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Ukraine live briefing: Russia learning from mistakes, analysts say; Musk cut Starlink amid attack by Ukraine

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A Ukrainian serviceman prepares an M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle for combat activities at a position near a front line in the Zaporizhzhia region on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Three months into the counteroffensive, Russia has slowed Ukraine’s efforts by learning from past mistakes, analysts say, as it waits for the resolve of Kyiv’s Western backers to falter.

Still, Ukraine appears to be making some progress. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a speech to the E.U. Parliament that there is “heavy fighting, difficult fighting,” but that the counteroffensive is “gradually gaining ground.” In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked brigades fighting in the east and south for the “very, very effective destruction of the occupiers.”

A Zelensky adviser called out Elon Musk after his new biography revealed details about how his company SpaceX cut off Starlink satellite internet service to Ukrainian submarine drones last year, just as they were launching an attack on a Russian fleet.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Russia’s organized defense marks a return to long-standing military doctrine and a shift from the early days of the war, when it overextended its forces, analysts say. Ian Matveev, a Russian military analyst for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, told The Post that Moscow’s forces are adapting and “using their experience of this war” to impede Ukrainian forces.

Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called out Musk after a CNN report cited an excerpt of a forthcoming biography of Musk that said the armed submarine drones “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.” Podolyak claimed the interference led to the deaths of civilians: “This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.”

A Pentagon official defended the U.S. decision to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions, which are capable of piercing armor, pushing back on claims from the Russian Embassy in Washington that such weapons cause cancer. “Even the IAEA has stated unequivocally that there is no proven link between D.U. exposure and increases in cancers or significant health or environmental impacts,” Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, said at a Thursday news briefing.

World leaders are arriving in New Delhi for the Group of 20 economics summit, with the war in Ukraine taking “center stage,” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, wrote on social media. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said at a news conference that she will work to strengthen support for Ukraine at the summit, which begins Saturday, and that it is “critical that we continue to provide timely economic assistance,” Reuters reported.

Zelensky introduced his new defense minister, Rustem Umerov. In his nightly address, Zelensky described Umerov as a “strong person” who “can reboot the work of the Ministry of Defense.”

As many as 90 percent of Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Russia have faced torture, rape, threats of sexual violence or other ill treatment, according to accusations leveled by Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, during a meeting with the U.N. special rapporteur on torture.

A funeral was held for victims of a deadly Russian missile attack that hit a crowded market in Kostiantynivka in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Wednesday, killing 16 and wounding 33, the Associated Press reported. Those killed included Mykola and Natalia Shyrai, a married couple in their 50s who were selling flowers at the time of the blast.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the “extraordinary resilience of the Ukrainian people” while visiting a school where Russian forces held more than 100 Ukrainians hostage. Before leaving Ukraine, where he pledged more than $1 billion in additional U.S. aid, Blinken also visited a border guard facility in the Kyiv region and a field that is being cleared of unexploded Russian ordnance.

The fallout from Russia leaving the Black Sea grain deal continues, as Ukraine turns to Croatian ports on the Adriatic to export grains, according to a news release citing remarks by Ukraine’s minister of economy. Bulgaria, meanwhile, announced Thursday that it will provide increased armaments to coast-guard ships in the Black Sea, amid security concerns about Russian naval activities.

Russia has “no place” at next year’s Paris Olympics at a time “when it has committed war crimes and deported children,” French President Emmanuel Macron told L’Equipe newspaper, according to the Associated Press.

Vice President Harris said it would be a “huge mistake” for North Korea to provide military support to Russia in an interview with CBS News. Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are expected to meet in Russia this month to discuss possible weapons deals.

Prigozhin confidant says fatal plane crash shows no one is safe: Maksim Shugalei, one of Wagner chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s trusted political influence peddlers, wrote on Telegram that the Aug. 23 plane crash, which killed Prigozhin and 9 others on board, shows no one is safe, “despite their merits, position, social status.”

“If we are talking about internal forces, this means only one thing to me,” he wrote. “In our country, no word given by anyone to anyone at any level can be trusted anymore.” Western analysts believe Putin probably ordered Prigozhin’s death as retribution for the short-lived mutiny he led in June, Robyn Dixon and Francesca Ebel write.





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