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Ukraine-Russia war live: Putin ramps up production of deadly Lancet kamikaze drones

by nytime
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A wounded local resident stands near her destroyed flat in an apartment building destroyed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine August 8, 2023.

A wounded local resident stands near her destroyed flat in an apartment building destroyed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine August 8, 2023. – REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the head of a state-owned defence conglomerate to increase the production of attack drones, as the drone war between the warring countries ramps up.

In televised footage of the meeting on Monday night, Putin was seen ordering the head of Rostec – which produces around 90 per cent of the equipment used in Ukraine – to increase the number of weapons being churned out.

Putin said Russia needed more Kub and Lancet drones, which have emerged as a thorn in the side of Ukraine’s advancing forces, saying the drones had proven “very effective”.

“It is necessary to increase the percentage of the production of the latest types of weapons. T-90 ‘Proryv’ tanks, and aircraft systems,” the Russian President said.

08:32 AM BST

US to send $200mn to Kyiv after fixing $6.2bn accounting error

The US, as soon as today, is set to send the first $200 million of weapons aid to Kyiv as it starts to dole out the cash from a Pentagon accounting error that overvalued billions of dollars of Ukraine aid.

Tuesday’s expected announcement of $200 million would be the first tranche of the $6.2 billion windfall of previously authorized Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA),Reuters reported.

Mine clearing equipment, TOW and AT4 anti-tank weapons, guns and ammunition, air defense interceptors made by Lockheed Martin Corp for the Patriot system, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets and Javelin anti-tank missiles made by a joint venture between Lockheed and RTX Corp, among other equipment, were supplied in the package.

08:27 AM BST

In pictures: The aftermath of the Pokrovsk attack

Rescuers work at the site where a building was destroyed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine August 7, 2023.

Rescuers work at the site where a building was destroyed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine August 7, 2023. – Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

Ukrainian emergency services respond to Russian shelling in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, on Monday, August 7, 2023. One rescue team member was killed, and five others were wounded during rescue operations.

Ukrainian emergency services respond to Russian shelling in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, on Monday, August 7, 2023. One rescue team member was killed, and five others were wounded during rescue operations. – Photo by State Emergency Service of Ukraine/UPI/Shutterstock

08:18 AM BST

Putin to give national guard heavy weaponry after Wager mutiny, MoD says

Russia is providing its national guard with heavy weaponry, the British defence ministry has said in its daily intelligence briefing on Ukraine.

On Friday 4 August Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will allow the 200,000 strong Rosgvardia national guard to be equipped with heavy weaponry, it states. The briefing suggests that the decision was made on the back of the Wagner mercenary group’s failed mutiny.

“Despite [Viktor] Zolotov’s claim that his force performed ‘excellently’ during the mutiny, there is no evidence that Rosgvardia carried out any effective action against Wagner: exactly the sort of internal security threat it was designed to repress,” the briefing read.

Viktor Zolotov, Putin’s former bodyguard, leads the force.

“With Zolotov previously suggesting that heavy equipment should include artillery and attack helicopters, the move suggests that the Kremlin is doubling down on resourcing Rosgvardia as one of the key organisations to ensure regime security,” it added.

07:55 AM BST

Death toll in Pokrovsk attack rises to eight

Two Russian missile strikes – 40 minutes apart – slammed into Pokrovsk last night, hitting residential buildings, a hotel, shops and administrative buildings.

The death toll this morning had reached at least eight with more than 60 injured. Rescue workers are combing through the rubble. Their work had to be stopped last night “due to the high threat of repeated shelling,” according to Igor Klymenko, Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.

Pokrovsk is just 30 miles away from the eastern frontline, where Moscow says it is gaining ground.

A high-ranking emergency official of the Donetsk region was among the killed, Mr Klymenko added.

Nick Allen has more on the hotel that was attacked, here.

Ukrainian rescuers working on a site where a rocket hit the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk area, Ukraine, 07 August 2023, amid the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian rescuers working on a site where a rocket hit the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk area, Ukraine, 07 August 2023, amid the Russian invasion. – Handout Photo/State Emergency Service

07:42 AM BST

Good morning

Welcome to today’s Ukraine live blog. Abbie Cheeseman here, guiding you through all of the day’s developments.

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