Here is the situation on Sunday, September 3, 2023.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuffed Western officials who say Ukrainian troops are gaining ground too slowly in their counteroffensive against Russian forces. “Ukrainian forces are moving forward. Despite everything, and no matter what anyone says, we are advancing, and that is the most important thing. We are on the move,” Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
- The Russian defence ministry said its forces thwarted an attempt by Ukraine to “launch a terrorist strike” on the Crimean bridge using a “half-loaded unmanned boat”. The boat was spotted late on Friday and destroyed off the Black Sea coast, it said.
- The ministry reported two other attempted Ukrainian attacks on the bridge early on Saturday morning, saying a “third Ukrainian semi-submersible unmanned boat, sent by the Kyiv regime… was destroyed in the Black Sea”.
- The ministry also said it shot down two Ukrainian drones over Russia’s Belgorod region, while the governor of the neighbouring Kursk region said one woman was wounded after Ukrainian forces shelled her village.
- The United Kingdom’s defence ministry, in its daily update on the war in Ukraine, said that Russia risks splitting its forces in an attempt to prevent a Ukrainian breakthrough in Ukraine’s south. According to UK intelligence, Ukrainian forces continued to take offensive action on the Orikhiv axis in southern Ukraine, with units reaching the first Russian main defensive line.
- A Ukrainian court ordered that tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky be held in custody for two months on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. The move comes as Kyiv is trying to signal progress in its wartime crackdown on corruption.
- The Nobel Foundation withdrew its invitations to representatives of Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend this year’s Nobel Prize awards ceremonies after the decision to invite them provoked widespread criticism.
Black Sea grain transport
- Zelenskyy said two more ships had passed through a “temporary” Black Sea shipping corridor established since Russia withdrew from a United Nations-backed grain export deal in July.