According to official information, Russia repelled three naval drone attacks on the Crimean Bridge during the night. The Ukrainian naval drones were discovered and destroyed in the waters of the Black Sea in good time, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on its Telegram channel early on Saturday morning. Accordingly, the first attack occurred late on Friday evening, and two more followed early on Saturday Moscow time. The information could not be independently verified.
Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for around 18 months. The retrieval of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, annexed from Russia in 2014, is a key goal of Ukraine's national defense. The bridge from the Russian mainland to Crimea is extremely important for supplying the peninsula as well as the Russian troops in southern Ukraine. The bridge was therefore attacked by Kiev several times.
According to satellite images, Russia is securing part of the bridge with a barrier of ships. According to observers, this is intended to serve as protection against possible Ukrainian attacks with sea drones.
Meanwhile, Denmark wants to expel ten Russian diplomats. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen announced on Friday, the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Denmark will in future correspond to the number of employees in the Danish embassy in Moscow. A maximum of five diplomats and 20 other employees should be allowed to work in the embassy in Copenhagen, it said.
Moscow sees the Danish decision as "another expression of the hostile attitude towards our country," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement. "Necessary conclusions" would now be drawn, she explained.
Meanwhile, overshadowed by the ongoing war, the new school year began in Ukraine and Russia on September 1st. In the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is often shelled, schoolchildren gathered in the subway stations for security reasons. The media from the large city of Kryvyi Rih published pictures of first graders in the bomb shelter.
In total, the new school year has begun for around 3.7 million Ukrainian children and young people, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in his evening video speech. "And the day will come when September 1st will be peaceful and safe across our country," he promised.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would like to meet Chinese head of state and party leader Xi Jinping in the near future. "Pretty soon we will have events and there will be a meeting with the President of the People's Republic of China," Putin said at a meeting with children and young people on the occasion of the start of school.
He did not give an exact time for the meeting with Xi Jinping or any other details. A few weeks ago, however, the Kremlin had already announced that Putin would travel to China in October, when the Silk Road Summit is to take place there.
Amid mounting crackdowns on critics of the Kremlin, Russia also classified Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov as a "foreign agent." The renowned journalist is editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-critical medium "Novaya Gazeta", which works in exile abroad. The 61-year-old was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for his courageous fight for freedom of expression.
The Ukrainian army is continuing its counter-offensive to liberate occupied areas, for which it recently reported further advances in the south.