US to redirect Patriot air defence orders to Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky stands in front of a Patriot anti-aircraft missile system during his visit to a military training area in Mecklenburg, Germany in June
Volodymyr Zelensky stands in front of a Patriot anti-aircraft missile system during his visit to a military training area in Mecklenburg, Germany in June - Jens Battner - Pool/Getty Images

The US government plans to divert Patriot air defence systems destined for other countries to Ukraine to help Kyiv protect its cities and critical infrastructure, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Joe Biden’s administration could announce the move as early as Thursday, after the President said last week that five countries had agreed to send Patriot systems, adding: “everything we have is going to go to Ukraine until their needs are met”.

On Thursday, Romania’s supreme defence council said it would donate one of the country’s two operational Patriot air defence systems to Ukraine, on the condition there would be negotiations with Nato allies to replace it with a similar system.

Volodymyr Zelensky said Romania’s decision to provide his country with a Patriot air defence system would bolster Ukraine’s air defence shield and strengthen security throughout Europe.

Ukraine has drummed up its lobbying for the US-made Patriot defences, vital for Kyiv’s chances of shooting down Russia’s ballistic and hypersonic missiles, in the wake of intensified attacks on its critical energy sector.

Earlier this month, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced his country would deliver another 100 Patriot air defence missiles to Ukraine in an initiative involving Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

It comes as Vladimir Putin was welcomed in Vietnam with a 21-gun salute on Thursday as he began his official visit to the Communist-run state, the day after he signed an anti-West mutual defence pact with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.


03:15 PM BST

That’s all for today

Thank you for following our live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

You can read more of The Telegraph’s latest news from the front line here.

Today’s headlines have included:

  • Ukraine launched multiple drone attacks on Russia overnight

  • Putin was welcomed in Vietnam with a 21-gun salute

  • EU countries agreed a new round of Russian sanctions

  • Ukrainian energy infrastructure was damaged by Russian attacks

  • The US announced plans to redirect Patriot air defense to Ukraine

  • A three-day fire continued to rage in the Russian regions of Tambov and Adygeyea

  • Russia and Vietnam exchanged a raft of agreements

  • Mark Rutte was announced the next head of Nato


02:56 PM BST

Russian attack on Donetsk village kills three and hospitalises 14-year-old

Russia attacked a village in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Thursday, killing three people and injuring four more, including a child, prosecutors said.

The village of Rozkishne, about 25 kilometres from the front line, was targeted by the strike, regional prosecutors said on Telegram.

According to preliminary data, Russian troops used the Smerch system to launch cluster munitions, prosecutors said.

Among the injured was a 14-year-old boy who was hospitalised. Four households, cars, and a gas pipeline were damaged in the attack, prosecutors added.


02:27 PM BST

Pictured: Graves of Ukrainian soldiers vandalised in Kyiv

Vandals have damaged the graves of Ukrainian soldiers at a memorial site in Kyiv. Dmytro ‘Da Vinci’ Kotsiubailo, pilot Andriy ‘Juice’ Pilshchikov and activist Pavlo Petrychenko are comemmorated at ‘Askold’s Grave’, a memorial dedicated to the soldiers killed in Ilovaisk, Debaltseve and the Donetsk airport in 2014-2015.

Memorial tablets and grave lanterns were broken, while portraits of fallen soldiers and flags on graves were also broken and painted.

The police have already started an investigation, and deputies of the Kyiv City Council are urging for the memorial to be provided with security.

Portrait of Ukrainian soldier Dmytro 'Da Vinci' Kotsiubailo, broken by vandals
Portrait of Ukrainian soldier Dmytro 'Da Vinci' Kotsiubailo, broken by vandals - Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images
A police officer operates at the site of the vandalism, near the grave of Ukrainian soldier and activist Pavlo Petrychenko
A police officer operates at the site of the vandalism, near the grave of Ukrainian soldier and activist Pavlo Petrychenko - Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

01:52 PM BST

Zelensky thanks Romania for donating Patriot system to Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky said Romania’s decision to provide his country with a Patriot air defence system would bolster Ukraine’s air defence shield and strengthen security throughout Europe.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Ukrainian president wrote: “This crucial contribution will bolster our air shield and help us better protect our people and critical infrastructure from Russian air terror.”


01:43 PM BST

Mark Rutte to become next head of Nato

The outgoing Dutch Prime Minister will become the next head of Nato at a pivotal time for the alliance, after sole challenger Klaus Iohannis, the Romanian President, pulled out of the race earlier today.

The veteran politician is expected to be formally named by Nato’s 32 nations in the coming days and should take over when the current secretary general Jens Stoltenberg’s term ends on October 1.

Mr Rutte made his case for the job last year following the collapse of his coalition in the Netherlands. A staunch Ukraine backer, he quickly won the support of heavyweights the United States, Britain, France and Germany.


01:23 PM BST

Watch: Scenes from Vietnam as red carpet rolled out for Russian president


01:16 PM BST

What happened yesterday at Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un?

The new Russia-North Korea “comprehensive strategic agreement” upgrades a “friendship” deal Putin signed with Kim Jong Un’s dictator father in 2001.

The leaders held two hours of talks at Kim’s residence before signing the military agreement that positions Russia and North Korea at the centre of an anti-West axis.

The Russian president said the “breakthrough document” raised relations “to a new level” and ensures the “provision of mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this agreement,” he said.

Read more about the shared hugs, gifts and open-topped limousine in this Soviet-style meeting of dictators from James Kilner here.

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un attend an official welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un attend an official welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang - Gavriil Grigorov

01:02 PM BST

Romanian president withdraws bid for Nato leadership

Klaus Iohannis, the Romanian President, has announced he is withdrawing his bid for Nato’s leadership and the country’s supreme defence council will support Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, as the alliance’s secretary-general.

Romania’s supreme defence council also said it will donate one of the country’s two operational Patriot air defence systems to Ukraine, on the condition it is replaced with a similar system.


12:57 PM BST

Vietnam and Russia exchange raft of agreements

Vietnam’s President Lam and Vladimir Putin have signed around a dozen cooperation agreements ranging from education to justice and civil nuclear projects, notably an agreement not to enter into alliances against each other.

In a joint statement, the nations said their defence and security cooperation was “not directed against any third country” and contributed to “peace, stabilty and sustainable development” in the region.

Putin told reporters the talks were constructive and that both sides had “identical or very close” positions on key international issues.

He said they discussed creating “an adequate and reliable security architecture in Asia-Pacific based on the principles of not resorting to force, and of resolving differences peacefully”.

Russia and Vietnam hold a bilateral meeting at the presidential palace in Hanoi
Russia and Vietnam hold a bilateral meeting at the presidential palace in Hanoi - MINH HOANG/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

12:48 PM BST

Three-day fire still raging in Russia after Ukrainian drone strikes

Fires have broken out at two fuel depots in Russia after they were hit by Ukrainian drone strikes conducted by the SBU security agency early on Thursday.

The strikes in the regions of Tambov and Adygeyea are the latest in Ukraine’s intensification of its attacks on large fuel depots in Russia, as it seeks to dent the country’s oil industry.

Maxim Yegorov, governor of the Tambov region southeast of Moscow, said firefighters were tackling a blaze at the Platonovskaya fuel depot and confirmed that no one was hurt.

A three-day old fire is still raging in the Russian town of Azov after a drone attack on Tuesday caused several oil storage tanks to catch fire.

Members of the Russian emergencies ministry work to extinguish fire at an oil storage tank after an alleged drone attack in the town of Azov
Members of the Russian emergencies ministry work to extinguish fire at an oil storage tank after an alleged drone attack in the town of Azov - Russian Emergencies Ministry

12:03 PM BST

Permit-free entry to EU for Ukrainian cargo extended

The European Commission have extended a liberalisation of freight transport that allows Ukrainian cargo permit-free entry to the EU for another year, Ukraine’s prime minister said on Thursday.

Denys Shmyhal said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the agreement envisaged the possibility of an automatic extension until the end of 2025.


11:45 AM BST

Pictured: Captured Russian tanks with makeshift anti-drone protection

A Ukrainian serviceman of the 22nd Separate Mechanised Brigade stands next to a Russian T-62 Soviet main battle tank crafted with anti-drone protection
A Ukrainian serviceman of the 22nd Separate Mechanised Brigade stands next to a Russian T-62 Soviet main battle tank crafted with anti-drone protection - REUTERS/Alina Smutko
The modified tanks were recently captured at an undisclosed location in Donetsk region
The modified tanks were recently captured at an undisclosed location in Donetsk region - k region, Ukraine, July 19, 2024.

11:38 AM BST

South Korea to consider supplying weapons to Ukraine

South Korea will “reconsider” a longstanding policy that bars it from supplying arms directly to Ukraine, a presidential official said on Thursday, after North Korea signed a mutual defence agreement with Russia.

The official said they are “planning to reconsider the issue of providing weapons support to Ukraine,” after Seoul expressed “grave concern” over the agreement in which the two nations agreed to strengthen their military and economic ties, including immediate military assistance if either faced armed aggression.

“Any cooperation that directly or indirectly helps strengthen North Korea’s military capabilities is a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions,” national security adviser Chang Ho-jin told reporters.

“Russia’s own violation of the resolution and support for North Korea will inevitably have a negative impact on the South Korea-Russia relationship,” Chang said.


11:16 AM BST

US to redirect Patriot air defence orders to Ukraine

Joe Biden’s administration plans to halt all open orders for Patriot air defense systems and interceptor missiles and redirect supply to Ukraine until its defence needs are met, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The move could be announced as early as Thursday, the report said, citing three people with knowledge of the decision.

Ukraine has been lobbying for the US-made Patriot missile defences, which have proved vital for Kyiv’s chances of shooting down Russia’s ballistic and hypersonic missiles. It has recently drummed up its requests for the missiles following Russian attacks on its critical energy sector.

Earlier this month, Boris Pistorius, the German Defence Minister, announced his country would deliver another 100 Patriot missiles to Ukraine in an initiative involving Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.


11:11 AM BST

Watch: Three-day old fire still raging in Russia after Ukrainian drone attack

Footage posted on X, formerly Twitter, reportedly shows a fire still raging at an oil depot in the Russian town of Azov three days after a drone attack on Tuesday caused several oil storage tanks to catch fire.

Elsewhere, other footage posted on X claimed to show the oil depot in the Tambov region of Russia on fire after a separate drone attack early on Thursday.


11:01 AM BST

Ukrainian energy infrastructure damaged by Russian attacks

Russian drone and missile strikes damaged energy infrastructure across Ukraine on Thursday, the Ukrainian energy ministry has said.

The Ukrainian air force shot down five out of nine missiles and all 27 drones launched by Russia over 10 Ukrainian regions during Thursday’s attack.

The attacks injured a total of seven workers and cut power for 218,000 consumers, according to the energy ministry.


10:36 AM BST

US and EU criticise Putin’s Vietnam visit

Vietnam’s hosting of Putin has been criticised by key partner the United States, which upgraded diplomatic relations with Hanoi last year and is Vietnam’s top export market, along with the European Union.

A US embassy statement earlier in the week said no country should be giving Putin a platform to promote Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A spokesman for the EU delegation in Vietnam said Hanoi had the right to develop its own foreign policy, but said Russia’s war in Ukraine proved Moscow did not respect international law.


10:16 AM BST

Pictured: Putin given military guard of honour in Vietnam

Vietnamese President To Lam greeted the Russian president with a military guard of honour at the presidential palace in Hanoi
Vietnamese President To Lam greeted the Russian president with a military guard of honour at the presidential palace in Hanoi - REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Vietnamese soldiers march past images of Vladimir Putin and Vietnam's President To Lam during a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi
Vietnamese soldiers march past images of Vladimir Putin and Vietnam's President To Lam during a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi - VLADIMIR SMIRNOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

10:09 AM BST

New sanctions include ban on re-exports of Russian LNG in EU water

EU diplomats said they will ban re-exports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in EU waters after they approved a 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine on Thursday.

Countries debated the new measures for over a month and ultimately watered down one of the Commission’s proposals, aimed at preventing even more circumvention, at Germany’s prompting.

The dropped measure would have forced subsidiaries of EU companies in third countries to contractually prohibit the re-exports of their goods to Russia. The EU is keen to stop the flow of dual-use technology such as washing machine chips that could be used by Russia for military purposes.

An EU diplomat said Germany had asked for an impact assessment, and the measure could be included at a later date.

The ban on re-exports is the first restriction the bloc has applied to LNG.


09:45 AM BST

EU agrees new package of sanctions against Russia

EU countries have agreed a “powerful and substantial” new round of sanctions against Russia in a bid to further choke off Moscow’s war effort against Ukraine.

On Thursday, Belgium, which holds the bloc’s presidency, wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter: “This package provides new targeted measures and maximises the impact of existing sanctions by closing loopholes.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU commission, said the “hard-hitting package will further deny Russia access to key technologies”.


09:32 AM BST

Putin in Vietnam: What’s happened so far?

Vladimir Putin was welcomed in Vietnam with a 21-gun salute during a military ceremony on Thursday as he began his official visit to the Communist-run state.

Newly installed Vietnamese President To Lam greeted the Russian president with a military guard of honour at the presidential palace in Hanoi, congratulating him on his re-election and praising Russia’s achievements, including “domestic political stability”.

Mr Lam said: “Once again, congratulations to our comrade for receiving overwhelming support during the recent presidential election, underlining the confidence of the Russian people.”

Putin responded, saying a comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam was one of Russia’s priorities and that he was keen to partner with the southeast Asian country in energy and security.

A day after signing a mutual defence pact with North Korea, Putin said Moscow and Hanoi are interested in building what he called a reliable security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, with Russian companies also ready to invest in liquefied natural gas projects in Vietnam.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to Vietnam's President To Lam at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to Vietnam's President To Lam at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi - NHAC NGUYEN/Pool via REUTERS

09:23 AM BST

Russia says woman killed in overnight Ukrainian drone strikes

Ukraine launched multiple drone attacks on Russia overnight, killing one woman in Slavyansk-na-Kubani in southern Krasnodar Krai, according to Venyamin Kondratyev, the region’s governor.

The Afipsky oil refinery, 20 kilometres south-west of Krasnodar city, was reportedly struck along with an oil depot at the village of Enem in the Takhtamukaysky District of the Republic of Adygea.


09:10 AM BST

Welcome

Good morning and welcome to today’s live blog.

Vladimir Putin is in Vietnam for talks as he began his official visit to the Communist-run state this morning.

Elsewhere, Ukraine launched multiple drone attacks on Russia overnight, including a strike on an oil facility.

We will bring you the latest news and developments as they unfold today.

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