Russia said Tuesday its air defenses destroyed three Ukrainian drones that targeted the Russian capital.
The Russian defense ministry said the drones were downed over the Istra district of the Moscow region, as well as the Kaluga and Tver regions.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said falling debris damaged a consumer services facility in the Istra district.
There were no reported casualties, Russian officials said.
The Russian defense ministry also said Tuesday it downed a Ukrainian drone over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has occupied since 2014.
Ukraine has routinely used drones to target Russian territory amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
North Korean arms
South Korea said Tuesday it is closely monitoring exchanges between Russian and North Korean officials after reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet as soon as this month with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibility of supplying weapons for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
"We are also closely communicating with relevant authorities of North Korea,” South Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said. “No United Nations member state should violate UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea, including illegal arms trade; and in particular, military cooperation with North Korea, which harms the peace and stability of the international community.”
The New York Times, citing U.S. and allied officials, reported Monday that Kim would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armored train, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific coast of Russia, where he would meet with Putin.
Putin wants Kim to send Russia artillery shells and antitank missiles to Moscow, while the North Korean leader would like Russia to provide Pyongyang with advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, the officials said. Kim is also seeking food aid for his impoverished nation.
The planned trip would come as Russia discusses holding joint military exercises with North Korea.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokeswoman, acknowledged that the United States expected “leader-level diplomatic engagement” on the issue of arms sales to take place between Russia and North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” she said in a statement after the Times story was published.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met Kim in July in North Korea seeking artillery ammunition for Russia’s war against Ukraine.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last week that the United States was concerned that arms negotiations between the two countries were advancing actively.
Grain deal flounders
Putin said Monday that the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain safely through the Black Sea corridor will not be restored until the West honors Moscow's terms on its own agricultural exports.
During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Russian resort of Sochi on Monday, Putin maintained that unless restrictions on shipping and insurance that are hampering Russia’s agricultural trade are lifted, Russia would not restore the deal.
Russia bowed out of the Black Sea grain deal in July, complaining that a parallel deal promising to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertilizer had not materialized.
Putin reiterated those complaints Monday adding, if Moscow’s terms were satisfied, Russia could return to the deal “within days.”
His remarks dashed hopes that his talks with Erdogan could revive the agreement, seen as vital for global food supplies, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited combat brigades Monday in Donetsk region.
“It is extremely important to support our warriors, to communicate with the brigade and battalion commanders. It is very, very useful to hear from those who are going into battle directly what exactly is lacking, what exactly is enough and what exactly needs to be changed,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Monday that Ukrainian forces have made advances around the villages of Novodanylivka and Novoprokopivka in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.
She added that Ukraine has so far recaptured 47 square kilometers of land around Bakhmut since the beginning of its counteroffensive in June.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.