North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a plant that builds fighter jets during his ongoing Russia trip, which comes as Washington repeats suspicions that Moscow and Pyongyang were seeking to engineer an arms deal that could see North Korean weapons flow into the battlefields of Ukraine.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Zelensky’s visit was coordinated with the Biden administration in a joint push to get Congress to provide $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, The Post reported. Republican leaders, Democrats and the White House insist that a majority of Congress continues to support helping Ukraine. But there has been growing tension within the Republican Party — and among a small number of Democrats — over how much assistance the United States should grant Ukraine.
Kim rolled into the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur early Friday, Russian news agencies reported. There, he toured a Russian factory that builds Sukhoi fighter jets alongside Russian deputy prime minister Denis Manturov, who said that Moscow sees a potential for cooperation with North Korea in the field of aircraft manufacturing, according to Russian news reports. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Kim’s trip will continue for several days. His next destination is expected to be the eastern port city of Vladivostok, where he would inspect Russia’s Pacific naval fleet.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is “aggressively probing” possible vulnerabilities related to the use of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites in Ukraine, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said. “Neither Elon Musk, nor any private citizen, can have the last word when it comes to U.S. national security,” Reed, the chairman of that committee, wrote in a statement Thursday. Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is also on the Armed Services Committee, made similar calls, saying it would be improper for “one billionaire” to have sway over U.S. foreign policy.
The International Criminal Court has set up a field office in Ukraine, Zelensky said in a nightly address Thursday. It is “the largest ICC office outside of The Hague,” he said. The court has issued arrest warrants against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in Putin’s office. The two are accused of the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to Russia. Russian troops are also suspected of war crimes, including the murder of noncombatants, rape and torture.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured Andriivka, a Russian-held village near Bakhmut, according to Ukraine’s general staff early Friday. Ukrainian troops “inflicted significant losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy, and consolidated their new positions,” it said.
Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had destroyed Russian air defense systems in Crimea. “The entire staff of the Security Service of Ukraine and our Navy should be specially commended for this. I thank you for today’s triumph,” he said in his nightly address. The remarks come as Ukraine claims to have damaged Russian military sites in Crimea, with Ukrainian news outlets also reporting that an S-400 air defense system was destroyed Thursday. The Post could not independently verify the reports. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and the peninsula has come under several attacks in recent months.
Tony Radakin, Britain’s most senior military officer, said Ukraine “continues to hold the initiative,” in a statement that rejected the view that Ukraine’s offensive is struggling. Radakin made the comment at an arms fair in London, according to the Guardian. “The idea that war is neat and tidy, and you can plan and predict it to the nth degree is nonsense,” he said.
Russia declared two U.S. diplomats working in Moscow as “persona non grata,” asking them to leave the country in seven days. The two diplomats were accused of maintaining contact with a Russian citizen performing “tasks for financial remuneration with the aim of damaging the national security of the Russian Federation,” according to Russian officials. The Russian has been named as Robert Shonov, a former employee of the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok, in other news releases. The U.S. State Department condemned Shonov’s arrest earlier this year and said the accusations against him “are wholly without merit.”
The head national security officials of the United States, Japan and South Korea held a trilateral call Thursday, affirming that arms exports from North Korea to Russia “would directly violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, including resolutions that Russia itself voted to adopt,” according to a White House readout of the call.
Scottish zoo will adopt Yampil the bear, rescued from Ukrainian front line: An Asian black bear found in a Ukrainian zoo near the front line will have a new home in Scotland, Daniel Wu reports. Yampil, named after the Ukrainian village where he was found, had been discovered barely alive by Ukrainian troops that had retaken the area from Russian forces last year.
Yampil was whisked from the front line and taken to a Polish zoo, then a Belgian wildlife rehabilitation center, where he was slowly nursed back to health. The center then contacted the Scotland-based Five Sisters Zoo, which had previously taken in rescued brown bears from the center, about potentially adopting the bear.
John Hudson and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.