Accessibility links

Breaking News

Latest Developments in Ukraine: Sept. 4

Ukrainians make camouflage nets and plan to create more that 2,000 square meters of camouflage nets for Ukrainian army during weekends in Lviv, Sept. 4, 2022.
Ukrainians make camouflage nets and plan to create more that 2,000 square meters of camouflage nets for Ukrainian army during weekends in Lviv, Sept. 4, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

11:15 p.m.: Around a hundred German soldiers arrived in Lithuania, driving off the ferry in the port city of Klaipeda, after Germany pledged to bolster its presence on NATO's eastern flank following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.

They were to make up the command unit of a new brigade, a group usually made up of around 4,000 soldiers.

"Our message to our allies here, on the eastern flank, is that we are committed to ensuring security," brigade commander Christian Nawrat said.

The command unit would remain permanently in the Baltic nation, while combat units would join them for exercises, he added.

10:30 p.m.: Watching the powerful historical testament to the horrors of war and the depths of human cruelty in "The Kiev Trial" at the Venice Film Festival, it can seem that little has changed, Agence France-Presse reported.

The out-of-competition documentary by Ukranian director Sergei Loznitsa uses archival footage of a now-forgotten war crimes trial of 15 Germans held in Kyiv in 1946.

But the atrocities that witnesses recount in the black-and-white film has echoes of war crimes that Ukraine accuses Russia of having committed on its soil in recent months.

The International Criminal Court is currently investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine.

"History repeats itself when we do not learn from history. When we don't study and don't want to know," warned Loznitsa, speaking to journalists Sunday.

This year, when Russia's invasion of Ukraine began in February, "we all realised we were (back) 80 years ago," he said.

9:17 p.m.: The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, left Russia after completing his diplomatic term there, the embassy said in a statement, Agence France-Presse reported.

Sullivan, 62, was appointed ambassador to Moscow in December 2019.

"Following his departure, he will retire from a career in public service that has spanned four decades and five U.S. presidents," the embassy said in a press release. "Elizabeth Rood will assume duties as Charge d'Affaires at U.S. Embassy Moscow until Ambassador Sullivan's successor arrives."

The embassy did not give further details.

8:13 p.m.: Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal on Sunday voiced hopes that Germany would become a leading player helping Kyiv to build up its air defenses, as he sought more heavy weapons for Kyiv from Berlin, Agence France-Presse reported.

Shmygal is the first high-level Ukrainian official to visit Germany in months, a sign of eased tensions between Kyiv and Berlin after a rocky patch.

Germany's initial stuttering response on providing military support to Kyiv following Russia's invasion of Ukraine had sparked consternation.

But Shmygal acknowledged during his visit that Germany has since significantly stepped up its military aid, with heavy armaments such as the tank howitzer 2000 or MARS rocket launchers all "working well on the battlefield."

In a speech on his vision for Europe on Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had said he saw Germany taking on "special responsibility" to help Ukraine build up its artillery and air defense systems.

7:29 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “I spoke today with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. It was, as usual, a very meaningful, very useful conversation about all the aspects of our relations.

“I expressed gratitude for the support already provided and for the efforts to limit Russian excess profits from oil and gas. I called for speeding up the provision of financial aid to us, to Ukraine. New sanction steps were discussed. In particular, I believe that the eighth package of sanctions should provide for pan-European visa decisions regarding Russian citizens so that none of those involved in this war can enjoy European hospitality,” Zelenskyy said.

“If the citizens of Russia support terror against Ukraine, against the whole of Europe, if they silently watch the genocide in Ukraine, they should not be able to use Europe for entertainment and fun. This is an important moral thing. Europe is a land of values, not Disneyland for supporters of terror. And visa restrictions will definitely demonstrate this. The free world must call the Russians to action - to action against those who started this war,” he said.

6:19 p.m.: The Kazakh city of Semey is refusing to take part in a Moscow-backed initiative that some say glorifies the Soviet Army's victory in World War II after it was condemned as Russian propaganda and inappropriate with a war raging in Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

“We are likely to cancel the [Essay Of Victory] due to the reactions on social media to this event,” a coordinator of the annual competition in Semey told RFE/RL.

Several other Kazakh cities were still expected to take part in the event on September 3 despite criticism and calls for it to be scrapped.

5:24 p.m.:

4:09 p.m.: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during his crucial trip to Berlin and pressed the need for additional weapons to fight off Russia’s full-scale invasion, including the delivery of powerful Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

"We discussed this. We even proposed in which way Germany can supply these tanks to Ukraine," Shmyhal told reporters.

“[We] discussed all the issues about tanks and about other military systems for Ukraine," he said, adding he was “optimistic” about eventual delivery of the tanks.

Scholz has so far expressed skepticism about sending battle tanks to Ukraine.

3:10 p.m.: European Union countries' energy ministers will discuss options to rein in soaring energy prices including gas price caps and emergency credit lines for energy market participants, a document seen by Reuters showed.

EU ministers will meet on Sept. 9 to discuss urgent bloc-wide measures to respond to a surge in gas and power prices that is hammering Europe's industry and hiking household bills, after Russia curbed gas deliveries to the bloc.

A document, seen by Reuters, said the ministers will consider options including a price cap on imported gas, a price cap on gas used to produce electricity, or temporarily removing gas power plants from the current EU system of setting electricity prices.

Ministers will also consider offering urgent "pan-European credit line support" for energy market participants facing very high margin calls, said the document drafted by the Czech Republic, which holds the EU's rotating presidency.

2:15 p.m.: Deceiving the enemy is an important war tactic. Throughout history, military strategy has involved the use of dummies — be it fake guns, tanks, airplanes, or soldiers. The current conflict in Ukraine is no different. Deutsche Welle reports that Ukrainian forces have a fleet of wooden HIMARS replicas ( High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) to draw Russian fire, which reveals the location of Russian weapon placements and leads the Russian military to squander its finite supply of precision missiles.

2 p.m.: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reports Putin promotes “Patriotic education” in Russia since at least 2005. But now, with Moscow’s war against Ukraine grinding on and Russia caught up in a tense standoff with the West, the country is redoubling its emphasis on “patriotism” in the schools. “One doesn’t become a patriot by just proclaiming slogans,” runs the text of an upcoming mandatory lesson for upper-level children in Russian schools. “Genuinely patriotic people are prepared to defend their motherland with a weapon in their hands.”

12:30 p.m.: Finland and Sweden announced plans to offer billions of dollars in liquidity guarantees to energy companies in their countries after Russia's Gazprom shut the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, deepening Europe's energy crisis, Reuters reported.

Finland is aiming to offer 10 billion euros ($9.95 billion) and Sweden plans to offer 250 billion Swedish crowns ($23.2 billion) in liquidity guarantees.

"The government's program is a last-resort financing option for companies that would otherwise be threatened with insolvency," Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin said at a press conference.

The guarantees are designed to prevent ballooning collateral requirements from toppling energy companies that trade electricity on the Nasdaq Commodities exchange, an event that could in turn spread to the financial industry, the governments said.

11:30 a.m.: About 2,000 mostly Russian-speaking protesters marched in the western city of Cologne on Sunday demanding Germany to stop supporting Ukraine and to drop sanctions it imposed after Moscow’s invasion earlier this year, Reuters reported.

The rally, organized by Russian-speaking diaspora groups in the city, was met by a few dozen counter-protesters who had also gathered to express support for Ukraine.

Germany is home to some 3 million people of Russian ethnic background, many of them heavily exposed to Kremlin narratives about the world via state-controlled Russian television, which is widely available.

11:20 a.m.: Ukraine said it had dispatched its biggest convoy of grain vessels under a U.N.-brokered deal so far after 13 ships set sail from its ports on Sunday carrying 282,500 tons of agricultural products to foreign markets, Reuters reported.

The cargo bound for eight countries was loaded at the Black Sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. The ports had been completely blockaded by Russia's invasion until a July 22 deal that was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

Eighty-six ships have since set sail from Ukrainian ports under the deal, carrying 2 million tons of agricultural products to 19 countries, the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement on Facebook.

The deal was struck after Ukraine’s access to its main export route via the Black Sea was cut when Russia invaded and blockaded Ukraine’s ports, prompting a surge in global food prices and fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East, Reuters reports.

10:40 a.m.: The European Union is preparing an emergency plan to separate power prices from the soaring cost of gas - as well as longer-term reforms aimed at ensuring electricity prices reflect cheaper renewable energy.

Energy ministers from EU countries will meet on Sept. 9 to discuss how to ease the burden of soaring energy prices on businesses and households as a matter of urgency.

European power costs have surged in the last year, driven by record gas prices as Russia curbed supply to Europe, Reuters reports.

10:45 a.m.: Ukraine's largest nuclear plant lost its main connection to the power grid again Saturday amid sustained shelling, despite the presence of international inspectors, CNN reported.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is now relying on a reserve line to supply electricity to the grid, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog arrived at the site Thursday amidst concerns about constant shelling in the area. Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for the repeated artillery fire.

IAEA experts at the facility, which is currently held by Russian forces but operated by a Ukrainian workforce, were informed by senior Ukrainian staff on Saturday that the plant's fourth operational 750 kv power line was down. Three others were previously lost, CNN reports.

9 a.m.: The USS Kearsarge is the first U.S. navy amphibious assault ship in at least 20 years to be taking part in international exercises in the Baltic Sea, The Associated Press reported.

"It's a first off for us in recent memory and it's been very exciting," commander Captain Tom Foster told The Associated Press journalists on board the ship.

The USS Kearsarge is the flagship of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and is one of the U.S. navy's largest vessels.

The exercises have been taking place amid tensions in the area in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

With some other U.S. navy ships, it has been training for months with the militaries of Sweden and Finland.

The Nordic countries started their path to accession to the NATO military alliance following Russia's actions.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Helsinki and Stockholm against joining NATO and has warned of retaliatory measures if they do.

8:40 a.m.: “Ukraine’s environment w[ill] feel the consequences of the war for decades” said Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ruslan Strilets.

Strilets told The Kyiv Independent that Russia has fired at least 3500 missiles at Ukraine. He said Russia rocket explosions contribute to air, water, and land pollution, destroying the flora and fauna in Ukraine. He added that 200,000 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory need to be demined.

8:45 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told Europeans to expect a difficult winter as the Russian assault on his country leads to cuts in oil and gas exports by Moscow, Reuters reported.

Zelenskyy was speaking on Saturday night after Moscow shut down a main pipeline that supplies Russian gas to the continent.

"Russia is preparing a decisive energy blow on all Europeans for this winter," he said in his daily video address.

Some analysts say the shortages and a surge in living costs as winter approaches risk eroding Western support for Kyiv as governments try to deal with disgruntled populations, Reuters reports.

8:15 a.m.: European Council President Charles Michel will hold talks with major gas producer Qatar on Europe's energy crisis during a visit to Doha this week, a Qatari government official said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Michel is expected to visit Qatar on Tuesday, according to his official schedule.

Reuters reports that European governments have been seeking alternatives to gas from main supplier Russia since Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine February, with Europe's power costs surging as Russian flows dropped.

State-owned QatarEnergy, one of the world's top natural gas exporters, has been negotiating with several European buyers for months, but no new deals have been announced.

"Charles Michel will meet several high-level officials to discuss and review regional and international issues including the Russia-Ukraine energy crisis, in addition to a number of other issues like Afghanistan, Iran, and Palestine-Israel," the Qatari official told Reuters.

European leaders, already struggling to manage soaring gas prices, fear winter gas shortages as Russia announced plans to keep its major gas pipeline to Europe shut. Russia typically provides 40% of Europe's natural gas.

8:10 a.m.: Germany will spend a further 65 billion euros ($64.7 billion) on shielding customers and businesses from soaring inflation, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, two days after Russia announced it was suspending some gas deliveries indefinitely, Reuters reported.

The measures include a tax on energy companies, help paying electricity bills and a public transport subsidy.

The energy crunch came into sharper relief when Russia's state-controlled energy giant Gazprom GAZP.MM said on Friday it was keeping closed its main Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany. Russia's invasion in Ukraine has spurred inflation worldwide.

"Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner," Scholz told a news conference, adding that Germany's earlier preparations meant that it would get through the winter heating season, Reuters reports.

European gas buyers are already facing record high prices and Europe has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies in what Moscow has called an "economic war" with the West over the fallout from the Ukraine conflict. Moscow blames Western sanctions and technical issues for supply disruptions.

5:31 a.m.: The latest Ukraine assessment from the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said social media footage shows evidence of effective Ukrainian strikes in western and central Kherson Oblast.

Russian forces, the assessment said, conducted limited ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut and north and southwest of Donetsk City.

Meanwhile, Russian milbloggers continue to claim that Ukrainian forces are fighting in western Kherson Oblast, along the Inhulets River, and in northern Kherson south of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border, the assessment said.

4:27 a.m.: The Joint Coordination Centre authorized Saturday the movement of two outbound vessels carrying a total of 14,250 metric tons of grain and other food products under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The two commercial vessels authorized to move Sunday are:

MRC Lina from Pivdennyi (Yuzhny) to Mersin, Turkey, carrying 7,800 metric tons of sunflower oil.

General Polad Hashimov from Chornomorsk to Mersin, Turkey, carrying 6,450 metric tons of sunflower oil.

In addition, 10 vessels whose scheduled departure was delayed by bad weather are expected to move Sunday:

Nord Virgo from Yuhzny/Pivdennyi to Huangpu, China, carrying 62,340 metric tons of corn.

Maina from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to Tarragona, Spain, carrying 56,500 metric tons of corn.

Canopus from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to Jawaharlal Nehru, India, carrying 42,000 metric tons of sunflower oil.

BC Callisto from Chornomorsk to Damietta, Egypt, carrying 31,400 metric tons of wheat.

Sea Dolphin C from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, carrying 31,098 metric tons of rapeseed.

Lady Perla from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to Porto Marghera, Italy, carrying 20,500 metric tons of corn.

Mubariz Ibrahimov from Odesa to Tekirdag, Turkey, carrying 6,600 metric tons of sunflower oil.

Lady Eva from Chornomorsk to Patras, Greece, carrying 6,117 metric tons of wheat.

Afanasiy Matyushenko from Chornomorsk to Tekirdag, Turkey, carrying 3,000 metric tons of wheat.

Sealock from Chornomorsk to Mersin, Turkey, carrying 2,070 metric tons of peas.

Destinations indicated are based on information received at the JCC and may change based on commercial activity.

In addition, following inspection of Lady Zehma it was noticed that it was carrying 30,274 metric tons of corn instead of 3,000 metric tons, as initially declared. The additional cargo has been added to total amount moved from the three Ukrainian ports.

As of Saturday, the total tonnage of grain and other foodstuffs exported from the three Ukrainian ports is 1,800,405 metric tons. A total of 167 voyages (92 inbound and 75 outbound) have been enabled so far.

3:37 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said Russian forces continue to suffer from morale and discipline issues in Ukraine. In addition to combat fatigue and high casualties, one of the main grievances from deployed Russian soldiers probably continues to be problems with their pay, the update said, specifically with sizeable combat bonuses not being paid.

2:19 a.m.: Germany's gas storage facilities on Friday reached the October goal of 85% despite of the extended halt of the main pipeline delivering gas from Russia to Germany, industry data from the European operators group GIE showed Saturday.

The storage levels are at 85.02%, suggesting that the companies and citizens in Europe's biggest economy are heeding the government's plea to save gas to get it through the winter in light of reduced Russian gas imports.

Industry gas consumption fell by 21% in July year-on-year, Germany's BDI industry association head Siegfried Russwurm said last week but warned that the drop was not a good sign.

"The reason for this is often not efficiency gains, but a dramatic drop in production. That is not a success, but an expression of a massive problem," Russwurm said.

1:17 a.m.:

12:02 a.m.: A top Russian official accused the U.S. and its allies on Saturday of trying to provoke the country's breakup and warned that such attempts could lead to doomsday.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, warned the West that an attempt to push Russia toward collapse would amount to a “chess game with Death,” The Associated Press reported.

After attending Saturday's farewell ceremony for former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Medvedev published a post on his messaging app channel, referring to the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to engineer Russia's breakup.

Medvedev alleged that some in the West would like to “take advantage of the military conflict in Ukraine to push our country to a new twist of disintegration, do everything to paralyze Russia's state institutions and deprive the country of efficient controls, as happened in 1991.”

“Those are the dirty dreams of the Anglo-Saxon perverts, who go to sleep with a secret thought about the breakup of our state, thinking about how to shred us into pieces, cut us into small bits.” Medvedev wrote. “Such attempts are very dangerous and mustn't be underestimated. Those dreamers ignore a simple axiom: a forceful disintegration of a nuclear power is always a chess game with Death, in which it's known precisely when the check and mate comes: doomsday for mankind.”

Medvedev concluded by saying that Russia’s nuclear arsenals are “the best guarantee of safeguarding the Great Russia.”

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.