Russia-Ukraine war news: Ukraine says woman detained in plot to attack Zelensky

Representatives of China, Saudi Arabia and the United States attend talks on a peaceful resolution of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The gathering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ended Sunday. (Saudi Press Agency/Reuters)

A woman was detained in connection with a plot to attack Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to a statement from Ukraine’s Security Service. The woman, who has not been named, allegedly passed information to Russian forces about the president’s visit last week to Mykolaiv, a Ukrainian city near the war’s front lines.

Diplomats and security policy advisers from more than 40 countries had “an extremely honest, open conversation” on key principles that Kyiv wants to be the basis for peace, Ukrainian presidential adviser Andriy Yermak said of talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that ended Sunday. Yermak said different viewpoints emerged but that the talks were “very productive.”

Russia was not invited to the meeting, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called it part of the West’s “futile, doomed efforts” to swing the Global South to Ukraine’s side, according to state media. Ryabkov said Russia plans to discuss the results of the Jeddah consultations with economic partners who attended the meeting.

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

Ukraine’s Security Service detained a suspect accused of gathering intelligence to guide Russian airstrikes that would target Zelensky during a visit to Ukraine’s Mykolaiv region.

A drone was downed over Russia’s Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Monday. “Our air defense system was activated in Belgorod to down a plane-type UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] approaching the city,” he wrote on Telegram, adding that emergency services rushed to the scene. The incident came after Russian air defenses claimed they shot down a “hostile drone” that was heading toward Moscow on Sunday.

China sent a peace envoy to the Jeddah talks after not attending an initial gathering in Copenhagen in late June. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hailed Beijing’s participation as a “breakthrough,” according to Interfax-Ukraine. The summit was seen as a diplomatic push by Kyiv to grow partnerships beyond its established circle of Western supporters.

Two Russian missiles struck a residential building in the Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials said. Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Telegram that that five were killed and at least 31 were injured — among them were 19 police officers and 5 emergency rescuers. One of the people killed was Andrii Omelchenko, deputy head of the State Emergency Service main department in Donetsk region, according to Zelensky in his nightly address.

Yermak also reported an attack in Kharkiv, which killed two people and injured five. He said on Telegram that four guided aerial bombs hit homes in a village. “When law enforcement officers and emergency personnel arrived at the scene of the hit, the enemy fired again with cluster munitions,” Klymenko added.

Russian shelling overnight in Kherson targeted a residential building, killing one person, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said Monday on Telegram. The attack came after at least six people were killed over the weekend in strikes across Ukraine, including one that hit a blood transfusion center. Moscow had earlier promised retaliation for Ukrainian strikes against a Russian oil tanker. Zelensky condemned Russia’s airstrike on the medical facility as a war crime.

Russia’s air force appears to be losing its ability to generate effective tactical air power in the south, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Monday. In recent weeks, Moscow has consistently deployed “considerable resources in support of land operations in Ukraine, but without decisive operational effect,” it added.

Ukraine confirmed that its missiles hit two bridges in the Kherson region that connect to Crimea. Ukraine’s attacks on the strategically important Chonhar and Henichesk bridges will “pose significant disruptions to logistics,” the Institute for the Study of War think tank said in an analysis.

A group of 22 Ukrainian prisoners of war were brought home from captivity, Yermak said on Telegram on Monday. Some were wounded, and all of the men will go through rehabilitation, he said. The oldest was 54 years old, the youngest was 23.

China will maintain “close strategic cooperation” with Russia while upholding an “independent and impartial” stance on the Ukraine war, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a phone call to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, according to a readout released by the Chinese foreign ministry Monday.

In Jeddah, Yermak and U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan discussed Ukraine’s defense needs, especially air defense to protect the port infrastructure of southern Ukraine, Yermak said on Telegram. Sullivan “positively assessed” the start of negotiations on a bilateral agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine, according to Yermak.

Ukraine’s discussion with European countries focused on economic and security support, Yermak said, particularly on finding ways to continue the export of Ukrainian grain after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal.

In war against its Soviet past, Ukraine remodels towering Kyiv monument: The Motherland Monument, a 335-foot statue of a woman holding a sword and shield, is a symbol in Kyiv of the Soviet Union’s triumphs during World War II. Workers dismantled the part of the shield featuring the Soviet hammer and sickle and wheat beginning in late July. On Sunday, they replaced it with the Ukrainian emblem, Shera Avi-Yonah reports.

The statue’s new shield is yet another sign of Ukrainians’ “de-Russification” efforts since the invasion. The trident is featured on Ukraine’s coat of arms, a symbol it says dates to the 10th century, when it was associated with Volodymyr the Great, the grand prince of Kyiv.

Lyric Li contributed to this report.

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