Europe 1 with AFP 2:01 p.m., January 29, 2023

On the 339th day of the war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian army claimed on Sunday to have repelled an attack near the village of Blahodatne located in the Donestk region, while the private Russian paramilitary group Wagner claimed to have taken control.

On the other hand, North Korea has denied supplying arms to Russia.


The Ukrainian army claimed on Sunday to have repelled an attack near the village of Blahodatne located in the Donestk region (eastern Ukraine), while the private Russian paramilitary group Wagner claimed to have taken control.

kyiv troops "repelled attacks near (...) Blahodatne" and thirteen other localities in the Donestk region, assured the Ukrainian general staff in its daily press release.

But the Wagner group had announced a little earlier that its units had taken control of this village.

The main information:

  • The Ukrainian army claimed to have repelled an attack near Blahodatne, Donestk

  • The Wagner group had announced that it had taken control

  • North Korea has denied supplying arms to Russia

"Wagner PMC units have taken Blahodatne. Blahodatne is under our control," said Evguéni Prigojine, leader of the paramilitary group, quoted by his press service.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has not confirmed at this stage.

Moscow has made the capture of the entire separatist region of Donestk – which Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation at the end of September – the main objective of the conflict in Ukraine.

kyiv recently reported that Russian troops have increased their attacks in the east of the country, particularly against the towns of Vougledar and Bakhmout.

Russia seized in January, after intense fighting, the city of Soledar which was its first victory after several months of defeats on the battlefield.

Blahodatne is north of Bakhmout, a city coveted for many months by Moscow and where some of the heaviest fighting has taken place since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In addition, local governor Pavlo Kirilenko reported Sunday that five civilians had been killed in attacks in the Donetsk region over the past day, including one person in Bakhmout.

North Korea denies supplying weapons to Russia

North Korea on Sunday denied supplying arms to Moscow after Washington accused it of delivering rockets and missiles to the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, engaged in Ukraine.

Last week, White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby released US intelligence footage showing alleged Russian train cars returning from North Korea loaded with military equipment, including rockets for Wagner.

In the process, the United States designated Wagner as a "criminal organization" and declared to transmit these recordings to the UN as part of the sanctions aimed at Pyongyang.

A senior North Korean government official on Sunday denounced "a stupid attempt to justify" future arms shipments to Ukraine by Washington, which on Thursday promised 31 Abrams tanks to kyiv.

Quoted by the official KCNA news agency, the Director General of the North Korean American Affairs Department, Kwon Jong Gun, dismissed this "trumpeted rumor" and warned the United States that they would expose themselves to a "truly undesirable result" if they continued to spread it.

"Trying to tarnish the image of (North Korea) by manufacturing something that does not exist is a serious provocation that can never be allowed and can only trigger a reaction," he added.

Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Friday criticized promises to send arms to Ukraine by the United States, accusing them of "crossing the red line even further ".

Russia is, along with China, one of Pyongyang's few international allies and has already helped the North Korean regime directly.

Apart from Syria and Russia, North Korea is the only country to have recognized the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk, two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has long argued against tougher international sanctions against North Korea and even called for them to be eased on humanitarian grounds.

During a meeting on Sunday in Seoul with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about Pyongyang's posture, both in terms of its "dangerous military tests that of his "support for Russia's war effort" in Ukraine.

Kim Jong Un said in 2022 that he wanted his country to have the most powerful nuclear force in the world, calling in September the North's nuclear power status "irreversible".

Seoul and Washington lend Pyongyang the intention of carrying out a new nuclear test soon, which would be the seventh in its history and the first since 2017.