Nato chief warns Putin eyes ‘long war’ as Ukraine claims eastern village

Ukraine claims to have taken the eastern village of Andriivka in latest gain of counteroffensive

William Mata
Sunday 17 September 2023 21:40 BST
Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia

Nato’s secretary general has warned Ukraine it is in for a “long war” with Russia while a Kyiv chief has called for the swift provision of weapons to halt Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Ukraine has been continuing its counteroffensive, claiming to have taken the eastern village of Klishchiivka. Kyiv soldiers reportedly continued their counteroffensive on Sunday, using drones to disrupt air traffic in Moscow and causing a fire at an oil depot in the southwest of Russia.

Read our live blog of events in Ukraine and Russia here.

Ukraine has not yet commented on the attacks. In addition, an anti-Moscow guerilla group claims to have destroyed two Russian vehicles in Kherson.

Russia has also been on the attack, striking an agriculture facility in Odessa on Sunday. It has also been reported that a farm worker has died and another left injured in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region after their tractor hit a mine while ploughing a field.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (Nato) chief Jens Stoltenberg told German media on Sunday that he could see no sign of the Kremlin giving up.

“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Funke media.

“Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.”

The head of Ukraine’s security council has also shared his thoughts on what is needed for the war to come to an end sooner rather than later.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a M109 self-propelled howitzer towards Russian troops in Donetsk

Oleksiy Danilov said on Sunday: “Refusing or delaying the transfer of modern weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces is a direct encouragement to the Kremlin to continue the war, not the other way around.”

He spoke as Mr Stoltenberg urged Germany to increase its defence spending by an even greater proportion than the 2 per cent target set by chancellor Olaf Scholz in 2024.

The Nato chief said: “During the Cold War, when Konrad Adenauer or Willy Brandt governed, defence expenditures consisted of 3 to 4 per cent of economic output.

“We did it back then and we must do it again.”

Mr Kim and Mr Putin shake hands

The Nato secretary’s comments came as South Korea’s president shared a warning over the increasing ties between Russia and North Korea.

Kim Jong Un travelled to Russia last week for a summit with Mr Putin. But away from the images of the pair touring high-profile military and technology sites, insiders fear that Mr Kim might be in discussions about providing ammunition to Mr Putin’s troops.

“Military cooperation between North Korea and Russia is illegal and unjust as it contravenes UN Security Council resolutions and various other international sanctions,” South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol said.

“The international community will unite more tightly in response to such a move.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted that Washington “controls” the war in Ukraine, on the sidelines of a domestic economic forum in Vladivostok.

“No matter what it says, it controls this war, it supplies weapons, munition, intelligence information, data from satellites, it is pursuing a war against us,” he claimed.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in