Ukraine Recap: Three Pilots Die in Collision; Putin’s Decree

(Bloomberg) -- Three Ukrainian military pilots were killed after a midair collision of two L-39 jets on Friday, the defense ministry said. Russia’s navy has shifted some of its missile carriers to the Azov Sea and is shelling targets in Odesa and Mykolaiv from there, Ukraine’s military said. The UK defense ministry foreshadowed the move in July, saying warships, including three that could launch Kalibr cruise missiles, may be part of a fleet headquartered in occupied Mariupol. While Russia shot down drones near Moscow and in the Belgorod region north of Ukraine’s border, two people were killed by Russian shelling of a cafe in a village near Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region.

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President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Friday ordering paramilitary fighters such as those in the Wagner group to sign an oath of allegiance to Russia, two days after the presumed death of Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. President Joe Biden said Friday the US is “trying to nail down precisely” what happened to Prigozhin’s private jet when it crashed on Wednesday killing all ten people aboard.

Ukraine’s defense minister said he’s confident Germany will supply his country with Taurus cruise missiles, a controversial potential addition to Berlin’s military aid offerings. It’s unclear when Berlin will provide the long-range weapons, but “I don’t think it will take a whole year,” Oleksii Reznikov told Politico and the German daily papers Bild and Welt. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been reluctant to provide the missiles, which have a range of over 300 miles (482 km) and could strike targets inside Russian territory. Scholz told a Bavarian newspaper group on Saturday that he would “never do anything rash” as opposition leader Friedrich Merz warned against too much hesitation.

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Oil prices posted a second weekly loss on signs of improving supply and a deteriorating economic situation in China, the biggest importer. Still, crude remains markedly higher than its lows in June, driven largely by supply cuts by OPEC+ linchpins Saudi Arabia and Russia.

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