Emergency services at the site of Russia’s strike on an outdoor market in Kostyantynivka in eastern Ukraine, September 6, 2023

EA on Australia’s ABC News: Is Kim Jong-un Vladimir Putin’s Last Friend?

Wednesday’s Coverage: Russia Kills 17+ in Strike on Market in Kostyantynivka

Map: Institute for Study of War


The Ukraine State Border Service says Russia has moved most of its units training in Belarus to other areas, and Moscow no longer has enough ground forces in place to launch an offensive from its neighbor and ally’s territory.

Spokesman Andrii Demchenko said:

Russia does not have a necessary strike group on the territory of Belarus that would be ready and able to invade the territory of Ukraine.

At this point, Russia has withdrawn almost all of its units that have been trained and completed their rotation. However, no new units have been deployed there.

Some analysts assess that Russia has moved the units to the front in northeastern Ukraine, towards Kupyansk and Kreminna.


UK insurance giant Lloyd’s of London is in talks with the UN to provide coverage for ships using a Black Sea “protected corridor” if it can be established.

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal said, “Are we happy and able to continue to provide insurances in the event that a corridor can be re-operated and can be re-established? The answer to that is yes.”

Lloyd’s said in a statement, “We continue to work with the UN and international governments in support of their diplomatic efforts to reinstate the Black Sea Initiative, and stand ready to facilitate grain shipments through the safe corridor.”

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq replied, “No, no comment from us,” when asked about the discussions.


Ukrainian officials have revised the toll from Wednesday’s Russian missile strike on an outdoor market in Kostyantynivka in eastern Ukraine to 16 killed and 33 wounded.

Witnesses have spoken of the scene.

Market worker Bohdan Oriekhov, whose hand was injured, recounted:

I personally saw many [wounded] women, 30 years and older. And one man who was brought in on a stretcher, he was hysterical, screamed, and cried: “Where is my wife? What happened to my wife?”

Another market vendor, Volodymyr, said, “Someone with a child came to see the vendor [at a nearby kiosk]. There were three dead bodies: a small child, [the vendor], and her friend.”

Olena Lavryk was close to a friend:

[There was an] explosion, flames, I had no fear at first. The fear came in 10 minutes. Our good acquaintance died where I’m standing. She was a young woman, she sold groceries. She died right here behind me.

A woman selling cosmetics was also killed: “She was burning, her clothes were on fire. She also was a young woman.”


British American Tobacco is ending its operations in Russia by early October.

BAT said in March 2022, just after the start of the Russian invasion, that it would continue operations. It reversed course two days later, citing “ethos and values”.

But BAT, which has 25% of the world’s fourth-largest market, has remained until it could sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses to a group led by its Moscow management team.


Visiting a school basement where villagers were held captive by Russian troops, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has praised the strength of Ukrainians in the face of Moscow’s 18-month invasion.

Blinken was in the Chernihiv region, occupied by the Russians Moscow from the first days of the invasion until early April 2022.

This is just one building…This is a story we’ve seen again and again.

But we are also seeing something else that’s incredibly powerful…the extraordinary resilience of the Ukrainian people.


Russia has carried out its fourth attack in five days on the Danube River port of Izmail in southwest Ukraine.

Governor Oleh Kiper said civilian and port infrastructure, a grain silo, and an administrative building were damaged during the three-hour Russian drone assault on the Odesa region.


Drone strikes are reported this morning in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

Governor Vasily Golubev posted on Telegram that at least three buildings and several cars were damaged and one person were injured. He claimed air defences shot down two drones, one outside the city and one “in the center, in the area of ​​42 Pushkinskaya Street”.

The Southern Military Headquarters, which oversees Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, is based in Rostov.

The city and headquarters were briefly seized by Wagner Group mercenaries during their mini-rebellion at the end of June.

Russian officials also said drones were downed in the Ramenskiy district, southeast of Moscow, and in the Bryansk region bordering northern Ukraine.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia carried out another mass killing of Ukraine’s civilians on Wednesday afternoon, slaying 17 — including a child — and wounding 32 in a missile strike on an outdoor market in the east of the country.

The attack on Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region set about 30 pavilions were set on fire. Twenty shops, power lines, administrative building, and the floor of an apartment building were damaged. Bodies were covered on the ground and blackened, twisted cars as emergency services put out the blaze.

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal pledged “a just retribution” as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted video of the blast and wrote:

He later linked the strike to the Ukrainian counter-offensive about 20 km (12 miles) from the frontline to the east in Donetsk, “Whenever there are any positive advances by Ukrainian defense forces in that direction, Russians always target civilian people and civilian objects.”

First Lady Olena Zelenska added, “Each attack on Ukraine is an attack on all of us. We have to be strong and stand up against all odds.”

The Russians attacked as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Zelenskiy and Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv.

Blinken hailed “important progress” in the counter-offensive and has announced an aid package worth more than $1 billion.

The assistance includes anti-tank weapons with depleted-uranium munitions for the first time. There are also air defense equipment, artillery munitions, and communications systems.

More than $200 million is devoted to support for transparency and reform for rule of law, the justice sector, and initiatives against corruption. Ukraine’s capacity for investigation and prosecution of war crimes, investment in reconstruction efforts, and financial management will be bolstered.

Blinken said, alongside Zelenskiy:

President Biden asked me to come, to reaffirm strongly our support. To ensure that we are maximizing the efforts that we’re making and that other countries are making, for the immediate challenge of the counter-offensive, as well as the longer-term efforts to help Ukraine build a force of the future that can deter and defend against any future aggression.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy summarized both the horror of Russia’s mass killing and the hope in Blinken’s visit and other international developments: