I'm alive – Wagner mercenary chief, Prigozhin resurfaces, debunks reports of his ‘elimination’
- The warlord insisted that “Everything is fine” in a video filmed in Africa during “the second half of August.”
- Recall that Prigozhin was said to be among the passengers who died in a plane crash in the Tver region near Moscow last Thursday
Russian Wagner mercenary group chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has said that reports of his death are false.
Prigozhin, who resurfaced on Thursday, dismissed the “reports of his elimination” in a new video.
The mercenary group boss said he is fine, hale and hearty, Sky News reports
The warlord insisted that “Everything is fine” in a video filmed in Africa during “the second half of August.”
Recall that Prigozhin was said to be among the passengers who died in a plane crash in the Tver region near Moscow last Thursday.
The president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, had said Prigozhin made serious mistakes.
Washington had accused Putin of masterminding the assassination of Prigozhin for staging a coup, which was later called off, against his government.
There are unverified reports that claimed that the private jet carrying him was shot down by Russian military forces.
Wagner’s burial was later held in Porokhovskoye Kladbishche, St Petersburg on Tuesday.
However, In the short video, posted on Wagner’s Grey Zone Telegram channel, Wagner said, “For those talking about whether I’m alive or not, how I’m doing, now it’s the weekend, the second half of August 2023, I’m in Africa.
“For those who like to discuss my elimination, private life, income or other things – basically I’m fine.”
WITHIN NIGERIA — NEWS
Pavel Prigozhin will try to keep his father's "assets" in working order - he has already held negotiations with an employee who, at Yevgeny Prigozhin, was responsible for the work of the Troll Factory, a number of websites and telegram channels. Director of Transparency International Russia Ilya Shumanov is on the air, we are talking about all of Prigozhin's businesses and who will get his billions.
Ilya Shumanov https://www.facebook.com/ilya.shumanov/
Dmitry Nizovtsev https://twitter.com/zimbru_khv
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Reinforcing trenches on the frontline
Under the cover of darkness, soldiers reinforce trenches and carry ammunition boxes near Bakhmut.
Air strike on high rise building kills two
A Russian air strike on a high rise residential building has killed a married couple, according to the Donetsk regional prosecutor's office.
Ukraine has opened a war crimes investigation into the attack on Vuhledar, which left the couple's 19-year-old daughter and another resident, 53, injured.
Explosions destroyed the entrance to the building, and damaged windows and balconies.
Russia's new 'Satan II' missile operational - reports
Russia has placed an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile on combat duty, according to Russian news agencies.
The Sarmat - nicknamed Satan II - is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and will make Russia's enemies "think twice", Vladimir Putin has previously said.
It replaces the R-36, known by the NATO reporting name Satan, and reportedly has a short initial launch phase that allows little time for surveillance systems to track it.
Around two months after invading Ukraine, Mr Putin said the Sarmat would "reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats and make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice".
Soldiers fire weapons and mortars near Bakhmut
Ukrainian soldiers fire weapons and mortars near Bakhmut, while others take rest in makeshift beds.
Earlier this week, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said Kyiv's troops were advancing near the city - the only one Russia captured in its offensive earlier this year.
Heavy battles were engulfing villages south of it, she said.
Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine's ground forces, reported a "positive dynamic" near Bakhmut
Surge in Russian demand for kamikaze drone insurance - reports
A surge in demand for kamikaze drone insurance has been reported among Russian citizens and businesses.
Some insurers have been selling terrorism packages while others have agreed to pay out for "falling flying objects", accorded to Izvestia.
Inquiries have risen most in western Russia, where it borders Ukraine, and in Moscow, the Russian newspaper said.
One company, RESO-Garantiya, charges between 500 and 5,000 roubles (£4 to £41) for collision coverage, its deputy director general told the news outlet.
Over at insurer AlfaStrakhovanie, terrorism is not excluded, its property director Denis Titov said.
Ukrainian drone attacks in Belgorod, Kursk, Moscow and other regions have become more frequent in recent months.
Ukraine 'attacks' two regions of Russian
Deadly strikes have hit the Belgorod and Kursk regions of Russia, according to their governors.
Artillery killed one civilian and wounded two more, said Belgorod's Vyacheslav Gladkov.
Ukrainian drones hit the Valuysky district, damaging one home, he said.
A woman was wounded during shelling of a village in neighboring Kursk, said governor Roman Starovoit.
He blamed Ukraine, which did not say whether they launched the attacks.
Sky News cannot independently verify these battlefield reports.
At least two civilians killed and 12 wounded in shelling
Missiles and artillery continued to wound and kill civilians across Ukraine today.
Sumy: A 32-year-old police investigator was killed and two other people were wounded when Russian shells hit the town of Seredyna-Buda.
Kherson: One person was killed and two were wounded in the south of region by shelling, according to governor Oleh Prokudin.
Donetsk: Four people were wounded in the occupied city by Ukrainian artillery, said Moscow-installed mayor Aleksei Kulemzin.
Dnipropetrovsk: Four people were wounded during artillery shelling and drone attacks in the Nikopol district, governor Serhii Lysak said.
Sky News cannot independently verify these battlefield reports.
Pupils return to school in Ukraine - underground
Under the fire of Russian bombs, one city in Ukraine has come up with a novel solution for sending pupils back to school on Monday - teaching them underground.
Approximately 1,000 students in Kharkiv will spend their lessons in a converted metro beneath the city.
"This is the first step, and when parents see the conditions created here, I am sure the number of applicants will grow," sayid mayor Ihor Terekhov.
"No other city in the world has experience in things like this - Kharkiv is the first" said mayor Ihor Terekhov.
Russia 'nervous of Ukrainian breakthrough' as it redeploys troops to 'fragile' front
A "nervous" Russia has likely been sending its northern offensive forces to help defend the southern front from a potential Ukrainian breakthrough, a military analyst has said.
The Russian frontline is looking "increasingly fragile" as Ukraine makes "slow progress" through the village of Robotyne, south of Zaporizhzhia, Sean Bell told Sky News.
Ukraine's progress comes despite "significant layers" of Russian defences in the region, and there is evidence Russia has responded by removing soldiers from its offensive operation in the city of Kupiansk to bolster its forces in the south, he said.
"That would imply that they are very nervous about the breakthrough that might be happening there," said Bell.
"While we are not seeing a breakthrough as yet, there is mounting evidence that Ukrainian pressure is building on an increasingly fragile Russian frontline."
Ukraine claimed it had taken Robotyne on Monday, and it is throught Kyiv wants to push south from the village to the Sea of Azov and split the Russian army in two.
Compounding Russia's problems is an apparent shortage of counterbattery radar systems, Bell said.
He explained the radars allow Moscow's troops to locate Ukrainian artillery cannons when they fire, but without them Russian forces "are facing an absolute deluge of Ukrainian artillery rounds which is causing them a great deal of difficulty on the frontline".
Nobel's Russia snub 'restores justice' at prize ceremony, says Ukraine
Ukraine has called the Nobel Foundation's decision to bar Russia and Belarus from its Stockholm prize ceremony a restoration of justice.
If you're just joining us, the foundation has cancelled an invitation to the two nations, and Iran, after widespread criticism.
"Thank you to everyone who demanded that justice be restored," said Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko.
"We are convinced that a similar decision should be made regarding the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors in Oslo," referring to celebrations that take place in Norway after the ceremony in Sweden.
The Swedish prime minister echoed Mr Nikolenko's comments and welcomed the decision.
"The many and strong reactions show that the whole of Sweden unambiguously stand on Ukraine's side against Russia's appalling war of aggression."
The leaders of several Swedish political parties threatened to boycott the prize ceremonies when the foundation initially invited Russia and Belarus on Thursday.
Immigrant street vendors have been setting up shop on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park for decades. A pecking order loosely allocates the spaces, but the setup is not worry free.
“It looks easy,” Oliver Hernandez said about being a sidewalk vendor. “But it’s not.” His day begins at 5 a.m.; he returns to his apartment in Ridgewood, Queens, at 9 p.m.Credit...
By Susan Hartman
Photographs by Todd Heisler
On a recent Sunday, Oliver Hernandez jumped out of the van driven by his partner. It was 6 a.m. The mom-and-pop shops along Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, were shuttered.
A few folding tables were chained to street signs. A chair was tucked behind a gate.
“I am the first one,” Mr. Hernandez, 41, said. “Most vendors come at 8.”
From the back of the van, he started pulling out buckets of flowers, then his backpack, a chair, a table, a canopy and pots of palm trees.
In 15 minutes, he had set up a garden by the traffic light on the corner. He put the less expensive flowers — carnations and baby’s breath — on the left. Lilies and roses on the right. Then he secured the canopy, tying it to the traffic light with a string.
For decades, some people — like Mr. Hernandez — have taken a chance, and set up stands along Sunset Park’s Fifth Avenue, a vibrant commercial strip of taquerias, sneaker stores, bakeries, dress shops and fruit markets. The neighborhood has a large Latin American and Asian population.
Like 19th century homesteaders, vendors find a free spot — and make it their own. Geography is important: “A corner is a good spot,” Mr. Hernandez said. “People stop for the light.” He has occupied his corner most weekends for four years.
Once claimed, a spot needs to be occupied: Newcomers worry that if they miss a weekend, they will be pushed out.
At the turn of the 20th century, an immigrant selling lemon ices on the street could dream of opening a candy store or ice cream parlor. Many immigrants made that leap, opening small stores by cobbling together money from family and friends.
But most vendors on Fifth Avenue are not dreaming about a shop: Brick and mortar stores are struggling. And the vendors are trying to stay afloat.
These stands are assembled each morning during the week and on weekends. They are as simple as a blanket on the sidewalk covered with rows of bracelets. Or a shopping cart topped by a plank that holds cameras.
They can be elaborate: A woman strings cords around her truck, then hangs children’s party dresses from it.
Isai Gonzalez, 28, erects an 8- by 12-foot metal shed with a red canopy. It takes him 45 minutes. “I had a vision to make it like a house — with a roof,” he said. “I can have my business if it’s raining or cold.”
These vendors arrive by subway, pushing shopping carts filled with wares. They walk from apartments, pulling wagons loaded with homemade food. People show up in vans, trucks and on mo-peds.
In summer, the line of vendors swells as people set up grills and sell sliced mangoes and horchata. Some children accompany their parents, sitting on crates.
By nightfall, all portable real estate is folded or taken apart, packed up — and carried away.
There are underlying tensions: Most vendors in Sunset Park do not have a permit — and a ticket can carry a fine of $1,000. Since the city capped the number of permits years ago, most of the city’s estimated 20,000 vendors operate without one.
In early April, the police and parks enforcement officers shut down the large Sunday market in Sunset Park called Plaza Tonatiuh. In late July, sanitation workers did a sweep through Corona Plaza, renowned for its lively food scene.
Vendors on Fifth Avenue can feel on edge: “We are always alert in case something happens,” said Eduardo Hernandez, 24, who sells tamales with his sister, Yoremi Hernandez, 22.
Some sellers are undocumented immigrants — and fear being deported.
And many vendors worry: Will I go home empty-handed?
Yet, it is a surprisingly stable scene: Some vendors have been there longer than the stores around them. They have raised children and bought houses. Sandy Yu, 47, a mother of four, has been repairing watches on Fifth Avenue for about 16 years.
A gregarious fruit seller, stationed near Ms. Yu, has been there 25 years; people remember buying fruit from him when they were children. A clothing vendor on the same block has been there 31 years.
In recent years, Sunset Park has seen a good deal of change: The development of Industry City — an enormous multi-use complex — on its western edge has produced tensions over gentrification.
Yet, Ms. Yu, the watch repairer, and others describe a gradual economic downturn that started years ago.
“It’s been little by little,” Ms. Yu said, referring to her business drying up.
Ten years ago, on a Saturday, her customers stood in line. People wanted battery changes for their watches. “Now, there are days with no money,” she said.
Yet some young vendors have high hopes.
Mr. Gonzalez, who owns the metal shed, saved $1000 and decided to start a business. He did some thinking: “What do people need? Hats!”
“I’m excited to do promotion,” he said about his two-year-old business. He is on Instagram and is developing a website.
This summer has been slow. “I am only making $600 a week,” he said. But he is undeterred. Unlike many other vendors on street, Mr. Gonzalez wants the brick and mortar. “My ambition is to own a store.”
“I’m the one who ends up pushing it,” Ariel Huerta, 22, said good-naturedly about the shopping cart loaded with 50 bottles of honey, two tables, and three chairs.
Most Sundays, Mr. Huerta, his mother, Fabiola Gonzalez, 53, and sister, Keren Huerta, 21, thread their way from their apartment in Bushwick to Fifth Avenue. It is about an hour and a half subway commute.
He is not complaining: On a good day selling honey, he makes about $400. On a bad day, $110 to $150. “It’s still substantial,” he said.
Honey is a family tradition: His grandfather kept bees on his property in Soto Y Gama, a village southeast of Mexico City. “He taught my mother and uncle because he needed help,” Mr. Huerta said. The family sold honey in the local marketplace.
His uncle, Florentino Gonzalez, 51, now lives in Albany and works full-time in a pizzeria. “The beekeeping thing is his side gig,” Mr. Huerta said. He keeps hives in Schenectady and sells honey through word of mouth.
“It was my mom’s idea to sell it here,” Mr. Huerta said. She knew a few vendors on Fifth Avenue.
His mother, who works as a housekeeper in Williamsburg, has her own table across the street from her children to try and catch more customers.
“Working with your mom, there’s always going to be disagreements,” he said. “But it’s not unpleasant.”
Recently, his uncle got a new idea — to brew and sell mead, which is made from fermented honey and water. “My mom’s up for that idea,” he said.
Mr. Huerta has his own plan: “I want to save up and buy a small house in Mexico.”
“I see how my uncle and relatives live,” he added, referring to their round-the-clock hours in New York. “Is that what awaits me? No thank you!”
A ramp on 53rd Street becomes a dollar store when Felix Vasquez, 60, shows up.
“Most vendors get six feet,” he said. “Here,” he pointed toward a long, unused ramp that runs alongside a Rite-Aid. “Unlimited!”
On a recent Sunday, children went from crate to crate, pulling out new and used Hess trucks, pop-up books and games, their parents trailing them. “Hess trucks can go for $100 online,” he said. “I don’t go past 10.”
A father came up, offering $5 for a truck. Mr. Vasquez took it. “I use discretion,” he said. “If they don’t have it, I change the price.”
“Thirty percent of my customers know me,” he added. “Seventy percent are new.” He started on that corner in 2014; he took a three-year break when he had cancer.
Another Sunday, his 81-year-old father-in-law helped him put out drills, leaf blowers and power cords. Within two minutes, half a dozen men were rooting in the bins.
“They’re mostly laborers, young guys,” said Mr. Vasquez, who lives on Staten Island and works as a super in Brooklyn. “They generally don’t have their own tools and can’t get ahead.”
Mr. Vasquez buys pallets — bins of closed-out merchandise — from stores for $200.
“If I buy one pallet, the other one is free,” he explained.
On his best days, he makes a profit of $200.
His four grown children don’t understand what draws him. They say, “You’re crazy staying there all day!”
For months, Jaquelin Paola Herrera Chaclan felt torn.
She wanted to sell her colorful crocheted flowers on Fifth Avenue. “But I was afraid to be deported,” said Ms. Paola. About seven years ago, she fled Guatemala with her 3-year-old daughter.
She worried about not having a permit. “I was also afraid — what if I don’t sell anything?”
But last December, Ms. Paola her husband, Adolfo Tzoc, their daughter, and toddler son stepped out of a cab. They unloaded a table and baskets of her tall sunflowers.
“We go all together,” her husband, 34, had told her. He works in a lamp store in Manhattan. “If people say we need to leave, we’ll leave. But we’ll try.”
Since then, Ms. Paola, 31, has been vending most weekends, accompanied by her daughter, Alejandra, 11. Two flowers cost $15. There are tough days — but also times when she glimpses possibilities: A woman recently ordered a dozen vases — filled with her flowers — for a birthday party.
Ms. Paola is passionate about her flowers. At the stand, her hands rarely stop moving as she crochets red roses.
Alejandra is also devoted: “I want to help my mom,” she said. “I don’t want her to be alone.”
As a child, Ms. Paola helped her parents.
She comes from a long line of weavers. On weekends, her parents drove to a town three hours from their village in Guatemala. “They had a stand, same as on Fifth,” she said.
On a recent Sunday, the avenue was crowded: Three girls stood admiring Ms. Paola’s flowers. Both mother and daughter looked flushed, happy; they had sold five flowers and three bracelets. Her husband looked on, holding their son.
At 7 p.m., Ms. Paola and her husband lifted the heavy container packed with her wares. Their children hurrying after them, they practically flew down the street toward their car.
WASHINGTON - A former member of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group who smashed a window at the U.S. Capitol in the building’s first breach of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison — and then defiantly declared as he walked out of the courtroom, "Trump won!"
The sentence for Dominic Pezzola, among the longest for Jan. 6 offenses, is the latest handed down after leaders of the group were convicted of spearheading an attack aimed at preventing the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election. The highest profile defendant in the monthslong trial, former top Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.
Pezzola, 46, took a police officer’s riot shield and used it to smash the window, allowing rioters to make the first breach into the Capitol, and he later filmed a "celebratory video" with a cigar inside the building, prosecutors said. He was a recent Proud Boys recruit, however, and a jury acquitted him of the most high-profile charge, seditious conspiracy, a rarely brought Civil War-era offense. He was convicted of other serious charges, and prosecutors had asked for 20 years in prison.
"He was an enthusiastic foot soldier," prosecutor Erik Kenerson said.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly noted that Pezzola, of Rochester, New York, was a newcomer to the group who didn’t write the kind of increasingly violent online messages that his co-defendants did leading up to the Jan. 6 attack. Still, he was in some ways a "tip of the spear" in allowing rioters to get into the Capitol, said the judge, who decided to apply a terrorism enhancement to the sentence.
"The reality is you smashed that window in and let people begin to stream into the Capitol building and threaten the lives of our lawmakers," the judge told Pezzola. "It’s not something that I ever dreamed I would have seen in our country."
Defense attorneys had asked for five years for Pezzola, saying that he got "caught up in the craziness" that day.
Pezzola testified at trial that he originally grabbed the officer’s shield to protect himself from police riot control measures, and his lawyers argued that he broke only one pane of glass and that it was other rioters who smashed out the rest of the window.
He told the judge that he wished he’d never crossed into a restricted area on Jan. 6, and he apologized to the officer whose shield he took. "There is no place in my future for groups or politics whatsoever," he said.
But later, as he left the courtroom, he raised a fist and said, "Trump won!"
A former organizer of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group was sentenced on Thursday to 17 years in prison for spearheading an attack on the U.S. Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election.
Another Proud Boy, former chapter president Ethan Nordean, of Auburn, Washington, is also set to be sentenced Friday. Prosecutor are asking the judge to sentence him to 27 years.
Two of their co-defendants were sentenced Thursday to a couple of the longest prison terms handed down yet in the Jan. 6 attack. Joseph Biggs, an organizer from Ormond Beach, Florida, got 17 years, and Zachary Rehl, a leader of the Philadelphia chapter, got 15 years.
The Proud Boys’ trial laid bare far-right extremists’ embrace of lies by Trump, a Republican, that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
More than 1,100 people have been charged with Capitol riot-related federal crimes. Over 600 of them have been convicted and sentenced.
The longest Jan. 6-related prison sentence so far is 18 years for Stewart Rhodes, founder of another far-right extremist group, the Oath Keepers. Six members of that anti-government group also were convicted of seditious conspiracy after a separate trial last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
UKRAINIAN'S spy chief has claimed the "real" Vladimir Putin has not been seen in public for over a year, adding fire to rumours that the leader uses one or more doppelgangers in his place.
Major-General Kyrylo Budanov - who is in charge of drone strikes and undercover ops against Russia - said he's unsure if the mad leader is still living.
In an interview with Anzhelika Rudenko of Radio Svoboda, the spy chief said: “The one who everyone used to know, was last seen around June 26, 2022."
Rudenko then asked: “So he is either not alive, or else he is in a really bad health state?”
Budanov replied: “Or he doesn’t want to appear. There might be so many different reasons.”
Putin glanced at his left wrist and looked baffled after realising his timepiece was not there.
But the warlord has always infamously worn his watches on his right wrist - leaving many questioning why he would be unsure of its place.
Later in the meeting, the Kremlin leader was seen taking off his watch - believed to be a £12,500 Russian-made Raketa - and fidgeting with it in his hands.
Budanov was asked by Rudenko: “Is this a real Putin?”
Budanov replied: “Let’s leave it to everyone to decide, so everyone leaves it to their own fantasy.”
The Radio Svoboda presenter mentioned she thought it was a body double posing for Putin, to which Budanov agreed.
When asked directly if Putin was alive or not, the intelligence chief coolly responded: “I don’t know what to answer you.”
Putin is known to be highly paranoid about his security, a fear which has only increased since he sent Russian forces into Ukraine.
Telegram channel General SVR has long claimed that a sickly Putin now permanently uses a doppelgangers and lookalike actors who have undergone plastic surgery for his public appearances.
In March, a clip of Putin's visit to Mariupol prompted sceptics to put a magnifier on his facial features.
The video points out a number of inconsistencies in the tyrant's appearance during various different publicity stunts.
It states: "Specialists long ago noticed the differences between the Russian president’s body doubles.
"A ledge on Putin’s earlobe constantly changes. As does a small mole on his face.
"One of the Putins has straight wrinkles on his face, the other has small and interrupted [wrinkles].
Rumours are rife that he now relies heavily on his "understudies" to stand in for him as he struggles to disguise his ailing health.
Bombshell spy documents leaked to The Sun appeared to confirm he has pancreatic cancer and early-stage Parkinson's disease.
It has also been alleged that Putin enlisted several lookalikes to go under the knife for plastic surgery to ensure they closely resemble him.
Russia, whether or not taking any action in the South Caucasus, is moving away from this region. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which was broadcast by the Public Television of Armenia on Saturday, September 2.
According to Pashinyan, Russian partners accuse Western countries of pushing the Armenian government "to take measures aimed at ousting Russia" from the region. “On the contrary, we see that Russia itself is leaving the region due to the steps that it takes or does not take. For what reasons is this happening? We don’t know. We can have our own observations on this matter, but I can’t assert," Armenpress quoted him as saying .
Pashinyan noted that "there are processes" that lead to the idea that "one day we will just wake up and see that Russia is not here."
The situation with the Lachin corridor
As an example of such processes, the Armenian prime minister cited the situation with the Lachin corridor, reproaching the Russian peacekeeping forces for failing to fulfill their obligations to ensure the security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh .
Pashinyan recalled that, according to the agreements between Moscow, Yerevan and Baku, concluded after the end of hostilities in 2020, Russian peacekeepers in the unrecognized republic should control the Lachin corridor, but in fact this does not happen. "Why? There can be two reasons: either the Russian Federation cannot or does not want to maintain control over the Lachin corridor. Both, in our opinion, are problematic," he said.
Armenia's dependence on Russia
The head of the Armenian government also called the complete dependence of the republic on Russia in the field of security a strategic mistake.
"Armenia's security architecture was 99.999 percent connected with Russia, including in the logic of acquiring weapons and ammunition. However, today, when Russia itself needs weapons, weapons and ammunition, in this situation it is clear that even if the Russian Federation wanted to, it could not ensure the security needs of Armenia ... That is, this example should show us that in the field of security, depending on or being tied to only one place is in itself a strategic mistake," Pashinyan said.
According to him, only after the fact, when Armenia "tasted the bitter fruits of this mistake," Yerevan began to make attempts to diversify its security policy.