Kyiv receives cluster bombs from US
Ukraine has received cluster bombs from the United States, munitions banned in more than 100 countries, but has pledged to only use them to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers.
Valeryi Shershen, a spokesman for the Tavria, or southern, military district confirmed an announcement by his commander later on Thursday that the weapons had arrived a week after the US said it would send them as part of an $800-million security package. The Pentagon also announced their arrival.
Moscow has denounced their shipment. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Russia could resort to deploying similar weaponry if faced with their use.
Kyiv said yesterday its troops had advanced nearly two kilometres along the southern front over the past week as Ukraine pushes ahead with its counteroffensive.
"This will further demotivate Russian occupying forces and fundamentally change things in favour of the Ukrainian armed forces," Shershen told US-funded Radio Liberty.
The munitions, he said, would be used strictly within the legal framework, "only for the de-occupation of our territories.
In Moscow, the Kremlin said yesterday that Russia could grant legal status to private military groups, in what would be a U-turn prompted by the fallout of the Wagner group's short-lived insurrection last month.
Meanwhile, a 56-year-old man was injured in an overnight Russian drone strike on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's hometown, the central city of Kryvyi Rih, the regional governor said yesterday.
The attack damaged a number of buildings in Kryvyi Rih but Ukraine's air force said 16 of the 17 Iranian-made Shahed attack drones launched by Russia overnight had been shot down in southern and eastern areas of the country.
In Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that he is in agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin that a deal allowing the Black Sea export of Ukraine grain should be extended.
Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said that the deal will hopefully be extended from its current July 17 deadline as results of the efforts by the United Nations and Turkey.
The Belarusian defence ministry said yesterday that fighters from Russia's Wagner mercenary group are training soldiers in Belarus.
The ministry released a video showing Wagner fighters instructing Belarusian soldiers at a military range near the town of Osipovichi, about 90 km (56 miles) southeast of the capital Minsk.