Putin tells African nations Russia can take Ukraine’s place as supplier of grain – as it happened

Vladimir Putin addresses the BRICS summit in South Africa via video link from Moscow.


It is now approaching 9pm in Kyiv. Here is a summary of today’s main events:

  • A group of Ukrainian “saboteurs” have tried to breach Russia’s border in the Bryansk region, the regional governor, Alexander Bogomaz, said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The attempt was thwarted by Russia’s defence ministry, security services and police, Bogomaz said in a Telegram post. These claims have not yet been independently verified.

  • The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said Russia would remain a “responsible supplier” of food and grain to African countries and could take Ukraine’s place as an international supplier of grain, in recorded remarks to a summit of the Brics countries in South Africa. He also said Putin also said the use of US dollars in trade between Brics nations was decreasing, as the countries move towards national currencies and away from dollars in an “irreversible process of de-dollarisation”.

  • The international court of justice will hear Russia’s objections to its jurisdiction in a genocide case brought by Ukraine in hearings starting in September, the body said on Tuesday. Ukraine filed a case with the ICJ shortly after Russia’s invasion began on 24 February 2022, which accused Moscow of falsely applying genocide law to justify the attack, Reuters reports.

  • Denmark has begun training eight Ukrainian pilots in flying F-16 fighter jets as part of its commitment to donate aircraft to the country, the Danish armed forces said on Tuesday. This comes after Denmark and the Netherlands pledged on Sunday to donate F-16s to Ukraine, according to Reuters. The eight pilots have arrived at the Danish military airbase in Skrydstrup along with 65 personnel who will be trained in maintaining and servicing the jets, the Danish armed forces said in a statement. Athens also offered further military and diplomatic support during Zelenskiy’s visit on Tuesday.

  • The leaders of 11 Balkan and eastern European countries signed a joint declaration backing Ukraine’s territorial integrity at a summit in Athens on Monday. Signed in the presence of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, they expressed their “unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders” in the face of Russia’s aggression.

  • Poland’s president has said Russia is in the process of shifting some short-range nuclear weapons to neighbouring Belarus. Andrzej Duda said the move would shift the security architecture of the region and the entire Nato military alliance, Associated Press reports. “I was telling President [Sousa] about the implementation of the declarations by Vladimir Putin that Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons will be moved to the territory of Belarus,” Duda said. “Indeed, this process is taking place, we are seeing that.”

  • A prominent Russian journalist said on Tuesday that Gen Sergei Surovikin, former commander of Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine, had been dismissed as head of the country’s aerospace forces. There was no official confirmation of the report by Alexei Venediktov, the well-connected former head of the now defunct Ekho Moskvy radio station, but it was cited by some other Russian news outlets on social media, Reuters reports.

  • Ukraine said its troops had entered the strategically important south-eastern village of Robotyne, a potentially significant advance in its counteroffensive against Russia. Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, said Ukrainian soldiers were organising the evacuation of civilians, but were still coming under fire from Russian forces.

  • Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said the commitment made by some European countries to donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will help to minimise the country’s losses and de-escalate the conflict.

  • Brics leaders are meeting in South Africa for a three-day summit in Johannesburg. The Brics nations are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, hosted his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for a state visit on Tuesday.

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodomyr Zelenskiy, met with leaders of Balkan nations and the head of the European Commission on Tuesday.

  • In its latest intelligence update, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) makes reference to reports that a Russian bomber was destroyed in a Ukrainian drone strike. The MoD tweeted that a Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire medium-range bomber was highly likely to have been destroyed at Soltsy-2 airbase in the Novgorod region, 400 miles (650km) from Ukraine’s border, on Saturday. The Russian defence ministry said that an uncrewed aerial vehicle was responsible for the attack.

  • Russian officials said early on Tuesday that the military had brought down four Ukrainian drones near Moscow and over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine, Reuters reported.

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