Ukraine war round-up: Strike on Wagner HQ and Russia to increase ties with North Korea

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Image source, Telegram
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The since deleted image was posted to Russian journalist Sergei Sreda's Telegram account

The Wagner group of Russian mercenaries, which has been linked to war crimes, was believed to be operating out of a secret headquarters in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine.

But reports claim a picture posted on the Telegram social media site by a pro-Kremlin journalist may have been the clue Ukrainian forces needed to locate the military base and target it on Monday.

The strike was reported by pro-Russian journalists and Luhansk's Ukrainian governor, who said "the number of dead is being clarified".

The extent of the damage to the headquarters is not yet clear.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin in 2019 at a meeting in Russia.

Putin vows to increase ties with North Korea

President Vladimir Putin has said he will expand Russia's relations with North Korea.

In a letter to Kim Jong-un on Pyongyang's liberation day, Mr Putin said the move would be in both countries' interests.

In reply, Mr Kim said the friendship between the two countries had been "consolidated and developed" over centuries.

The Soviet Union was once a major communist ally of North Korea, offering aid, cultural exchange and economic cooperation.

Image source, Georgian National Legion
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John Harding, who is in his fifties and originally from Sunderland, moved to Ukraine in 2018

British man in Ukraine could face death penalty

Five foreign nationals have been charged by a Russian proxy court - which is not internationally recognised - in the separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine.

Three of them, including British man John Harding, who had been fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, could face the death penalty, Russian news agency Tass reported.

Two other British men, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, were also charged but do not face execution.

All five men pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial is set to resume in early October.

Image source, Alamy

Russia reopens bond market to some investors

Russia has reopened its bond market to some investors after a six-month suspension.

The market was closed in February in a bid to restrict money leaving the country during the war.

Russia said only investors from "countries that are not hostile" will be allowed to trade bonds.

This will exclude many of biggest candidates, but it is thought investors from China and Turkey will be among those who are approved.

Worcestershire sunflower field raises money for Ukraine appeal

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Thousands of flowers offer a burst of colour to visitors at the Worcestershire farm

Thousands of sunflowers have burst into bloom at a farm in Worcestershire, where owners are raising money for Ukraine.

Becketts Farm, at Wythall in north Worcestershire, is asking visitors to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

It is the third year the sunflowers - the national flower of Ukraine - have been in bloom.

In the previous two years donations from visitors were given to NHS charities.