An aerial view shows the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Razoni sailing under the Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge along the Bosphorus Strait past Istanbul on August 3, 2022, after being officially inspected. - A team of Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey on August 3, 2022, inspected the first shipment of grain exported from Ukraine since Moscow's invasion under a deal aimed at curbing a global food crisis. The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni arrived at the edge of the Bosphorus Strait just north of Istanbul on August 2, 2022, a day after leaving the Black Sea port of Odessa carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize bound for Lebanon. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

Any attempt to challenge the right of Ukrainians to resist genocide to protect their families and homes is a perversion.

The US assumes that Russia wants to blame Ukraine for the attack on a prison with Ukrainian prisoners of war. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said it was expected that Russian officials would falsify evidence.

Russia has invited experts from the United Nations and the Red Cross to investigate the shelling of a prison that killed over 50 prisoners of war. Russia blames Ukrainians for a rocket attack on the prison in the town of Olenikova, in the pro-Russian separatist-controlled Donetsk region. (Reuters)

The Canadian government has defended the delivery of the Canadian-serviced turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany before a parliamentary committee. At a convened meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emphasized that they had thus maintained cohesion with allies in Germany and Europe. The government had come under pressure for handing over the unit.

“I cannot overstate the great concern on the part of Germans – but also on the part of the European Union – about the potential impact of having virtually no access to natural gas,” Wilkinson said. A ban on the export of the turbine was “unfeasible” in light of Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. (dpa)

According to press reports, NATO member North Macedonia has handed over four Soviet-type Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jets to Ukraine in addition to tanks. The Ministry of Defense in Skopje did not want to confirm or deny the delivery, as reported by the MKD portal on Thursday.

These are four Su-25s that North Macedonia bought from Ukraine in 2001. At that time there was a civil war-like conflict with Albanian gunmen in the Balkan country. The ground attack aircraft were used several times, it said. They have been mothballed for sale since 2003. North Macedonia has also ceded Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine. (dpa)

According to Turkish information, three more ships with grain deliveries will leave Ukraine on Friday. Thanks to the “intensive work” of the Grain Exports Coordination Center set up in Istanbul, the departure of three ships is planned for Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday evening, according to the Anadolu Agency. On the basis of an agreement brokered by Turkey, a cargo ship carrying grain left Ukrainian-controlled territory on Monday for the first time since the start of the Russian war against Ukraine. (AFP)

In Latvia’s capital Riga, the dismantling of the Soviet victory monument is to begin in the coming weeks. The dismantling of the controversial monument should then be completed within the statutory period of November 15, Mayor Martins Stakis announced on Thursday. It is still unclear how the monument, which consists of a 79-meter-high obelisk and several huge bronze statues, will be dismantled.

According to a parliamentary decision in the Baltic EU and NATO country, all objects that glorify totalitarian regimes must be dismantled by November 15. The regulation specifically targets the demolition of the Soviet Victory Monument. Russia has protested sharply.

The monument was erected in 1985 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Hitler’s Germany in World War II – as a “monument to the liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German-fascist invaders”.

Latvia was alternately occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II. After the end of the war, the Baltic state was an involuntary part of the Soviet Union until 1991. Most Latvians therefore do not see the monument as a symbol of the victory over Hitler’s Germany, but of the renewed occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union. (dpa)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travels to Russia on Friday for talks with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Putin receives Erdogan in Sochi on the Black Sea. It is the second meeting between the two heads of state since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began in February. Erdogan has repeatedly offered to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv.

Erdogan and Putin last met in Tehran in mid-July. Three days later Moscow, Kyiv, Ankara and the UN signed an agreement to allow Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea again. Last Monday, the first ship loaded with corn left the port of Odessa. Other ships are to follow. Because of the war, all Ukraine’s grain exports from its Black Sea ports have been blocked in recent months. (AFP)

The NATO countries are working closely with armaments companies to be able to supply Ukraine with more weapons and equipment in the long-term war against Russia. “We are providing a lot of support, but we have to do more and be prepared for the long term,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters on Thursday. “That’s why we are now also in close contact and working closely with the defense industry to produce and supply more different types of ammunition, weapons and equipment.” In recent months, the US and other Western countries have begun supplying Ukraine with more advanced conventional weapons. These include highly mobile HIMARS rocket launcher systems, which have greater range and precision. (Reuters)