Russia-Ukraine live updates: Cuba uncovers human trafficking for Russia’s war in Ukraine

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(NEW YORK) –Russia has continued a nearly 19-month-long invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Recently, though, the Ukrainians have gone on a counteroffensive, fighting to reclaim occupied territory.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Sep 05, 6:30 AM EDT
Cuba uncovers human trafficking for Russia’s war in Ukraine

Cuban officials announced Monday that they have “detected” and are “working on the neutralization and dismantling of a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the military forces participating in war operations in Ukraine.”

“Attempts of this nature have been neutralized and criminal proceedings have been initiated against people involved in these activities,” the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The ministry noted that “Cuba has a firm and clear historical position against mercenarism and plays an active role in the United Nations in repudiation of this practice.”

“Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine,” the ministry added. “It is acting and will act energetically against anyone, from the national territory, who participates in any form of human trafficking for the purpose of recruitment or mercenarism for Cuban citizens to use arms against any country.”

Sep 03, 5:22 PM EDT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expects to replace defense minister

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the country’s parliament to replace the country’s current Minister of Defense.

In a Sunday address, Zelenskyy told the Ukrainian people they need new approaches for the military and Rustem Umerov is the person he wants in the minister job. Current minister Oleksiy Reznikov has served throughout the conflict with Russia.

Additionally, Zelenskyy announced he had reached an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron. Though he did not go into details, Zelenskyy mentioned the agreement is related to training Ukrainian pilots in France.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Aug 31, 11:08 AM EDT
Russia hit with barrage of drones for 2nd straight night

Russian officials are claiming a drone attack on the Bryansk region by Ukraine, the second such attack in the country in as many nights. Two drones were allegedly shot down by air defense in the city, according to local officials.

One of the Ukrainian kamikaze drones that attacked Bryansk fell on the hotel of the Department of Affairs of the regional government, about 100 meters from the building of the regional administration, according to multiple local officials.

Meanwhile, Russia claimed it repelled a drone attack on the Moscow region. The drone attack Thursday morning caused no casualties or destruction in the Voskresensk district of the Moscow region, the district’s head, Alexei Malkin, said.

“No traces of destruction have been discovered thus far. No one was injured. All emergency services are working at the scene,” Malkin said on his Telegram channel.

“On-duty air defenses destroyed the unmanned aerial vehicle over the Voskresensk district of the Moscow region,” the ministry said.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Aug 30, 2:19 PM EDT
Prigozhin plane may have been downed on purpose: Kremlin

The Kremlin on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that a plane carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin, mercenary chief of the paramilitary Wagner Group, was possibly downed on purpose.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that investigators are looking into the possibility that the 62-year-old Prigozhin was assassinated.

“It is obvious that different versions are being considered, including the version — you know what we are talking about — let’s say, a deliberate atrocity,” Peskov said when asked about the investigation.

The plane carrying Prigozhin and nine others crashed in Russia’s Tver region on Aug. 23, killing everyone aboard, according to the press service of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.

The crash came about a month after Prigozhin led a chaotic armed rebellion that threatened the longstanding leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Friday, Peskov denied speculation that the Kremlin was involved in the plane crash, calling the allegation an “absolute lie.”

The crash investigation is being conducted by the Russian Investigative Committee as a domestic incident and Peskov said that allowing in international investigators “is out of the question.”

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Aug 25, 12:08 PM EDT
Ukraine carries out drone attack in Crimea

Ukraine conducted a massive drone attack in Crimea Thursday night into Friday morning, Ukraine Defense Intelligence spokesman Andrii Yusov told ABC News.

An attack was made on the Russian 126th Separate Guards Coastal Defense Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet in the village of Perevalne, Yusov said.

“We are still calculating enemy losses at the moment,” Yusov said.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Aug 25, 11:39 AM EDT
Bomb likely cause of explosion that downed Prigozhin’s plane, US officials say

The explosion that downed a plane carrying Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and nine others in Russia was likely caused by a bomb, two U.S. officials told ABC News on Friday.

A senior U.S. official said the preliminary belief is that the private jet was downed Wednesday by an explosion on board, potentially caused by a well-placed bomb.

Another U.S official said the United States believes that a bomb was very likely the cause of the explosion.

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Luis Martinez

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