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Live briefing in Ukraine: US ‘trying to pin down cause of plane crash’; Russia takes back black box

Part of a private jet that crashed in Russia’s Tver region was evacuated on Friday. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

President Biden said the United States was trying to determine the cause of the plane crash in Russia that is believed to have killed Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. The Embraer jet that crashed this week, killing everyone on board, had Prigozhin on its passenger list, according to Russian aviation officials. “We try to get it straight to the point” Biden told reporters On Friday, he added that he was “not allowed to talk about it,” but wasn’t surprised by the reports that Prigozhin had died.

Russia’s investigative committee has since stated that this is the case recovered the black box of the plane and so on forensic testing were carried out to confirm the identity of all ten accident victims.

Here is the latest information on the war and its global impact:

Aviation experts said the plane crash indicates a mechanical problem or human error. However, in interviews with the Washington Post, they warned that there was not enough evidence available to draw a definitive conclusion. Initial assessments by US officials point to the possibility of an explosion on board, The Post reported.

The Kremlin rejected speculation that Prigozhin was probably assassinated on the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, without confirming the death of the Wagner leader. “These are all lies,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, adding that all speculation in the West is “from a certain angle”. However, many members of Russia’s elite also believe the crash was orchestrated by the Kremlin, The Post reported.

Journalist Evan Gershkovich has appealed a Moscow court’s decision to extend his detention until November, accordingly Russian state news site Tass. He is being held on espionage charges made by the United States and Gershkovich’s employer, the Wall Street Journal called unfounded. The diary said this week that he was “deeply disappointed” that he continued to be arbitrarily and unjustly detained for doing his job as a journalist.

Putin signed a decree ordering paramilitary fighters to swear an oath to the nation. after to Russian news agencies. The decreeThe law signed on Friday comes into effect immediately and applies to fighters from the Wagner mercenary group. The formal oath of allegiance also includes a commitment to obey orders from commanders and senior leaders.

Three Ukrainian pilots were killed in a mid-air collision during a combat mission This was announced by government authorities on Friday. The two L-39 fighter training aircraft collided near Zhytomyr, accordingly the Ukrainian Air Force and the State Bureau of Investigation look in whether their flights broke any laws. One of the pilots killed, who carried the call sign “Juice,” described to the Post in April 2022 how Ukrainian airmen fended off Russian invaders.

Moscow Mayor said anti-aircraft defenses destroyed a new drone approaching the capital on Saturday. the latest in a spate of drone strike attempts the Kremlin blames on Kiev. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a second drone was intercepted in the Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine.

It could take six to eight months for F-16 fighter jets to be delivered to UkraineDutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in an interview with European Pravda. Several conditions must be met, including pilot training and spare parts supply, before the transfer can take place, she said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed he had warned Prigozhin that his life was in danger if the Wagner boss continued his march on Moscow during a short-lived mutiny in June, according to the Belarusian state news agency BelTA. Lukashenko claimed to have negotiated a truce that enabled Wagner’s staff to move to Belarus.

Turkey sees no alternative to the Black Sea Grains Initiative, said Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan at a press conference during a visit to Kiev on Friday, Turkey TRT world reported. He said alternative routes are being explored, but they carry risks and cannot replace the original deal negotiated by Ankara and the United Nations to allow Ukrainian grain exports to flow around the world.

Russia warned Moldova not to increase its support for Ukraine. Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday. According to the Russian news agency Tass, Maria Zakhrova warned Ukraine’s neighbor “not to interfere too much in the process of supporting Ukraine,” adding that doing so would “endanger stability and security in the region.” Russia’s war in Ukraine raised fears it could spread to Moldova, a post-Soviet country with a pro-Western government. Moscow has long supported Moldova’s breakaway enclave of Transnistria and has troops stationed there.

In Ukraine, some see drinking Aperol Spritz as support for Russia: Many bars that once served the popular cocktail are now boycotting it, citing the brand owner’s decision to continue operating in Russia, according to Kiev-based Siobhán O’Grady and Kostiantyn Khudov.

The brand’s owner, Italy-based Campari Group, announced last year that all advertising and promotions in Russia have ceased and “business has been reduced to the bare minimum to pay the salaries of our colleagues”. It also said it had been helping employees in Ukraine with emergency funds and helping them find shelter.

Natalya Abbakumova contributed to this report.

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