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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said a clear message was sent to Moscow and Minsk that “NATO is there to protect every ally, every inch of NATO territory.”
Stoltenberg made the remarks at a joint news conference at The Hague on Tuesday, alongside the leaders of seven NATO countries.
The NATO chief said the alliance is ready to defend members against Belarus and Russia, and that the events involving the Wagner rebellion were “internal Russian matters.”
When asked by journalists about any security issues that may come up with Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his forces being transferred to Belarus, all officials stated that it is too early to make any final judgments.
Russian missiles struck the busy city center of the east Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk and a nearby village on Tuesday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, according to Ukrainian officials.
A popular restaurant was badly damaged in the attack and video footage showed a chaotic aftermath, with injured and shocked patrons.
A 17-year-old girl was killed and an 8-month-old baby was among those injured, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement, adding that there may be additional people under the rubble.
At least 47 people were injured, the state emergency service reported late Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack "a manifestation of terror."
Here's what else you should know:
- Sanctions: The US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four companies involved in “gold dealing” and one person they say made “weapons deals” tied to the Wagner Group. The announcement of the sanctions comes days after the short-lived mutiny led by the head of the mercenary group’s leader, Yevegny Prigozhin. The sanctions target companies in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Central African Republic that “have engaged in illicit gold dealings to fund the Wagner Group to sustain and expand its armed forces, including in Ukraine and Africa.”
- Wagner rebellion: Wagner troops are still inside Ukraine after the weekend mutiny, according to the US Defense Department. And on Tuesday morning, two planes linked to Prigozhin landed at a Belarusian airbase outside the country's capital city, according to a satellite image from BlackSky. Prigozhin's exact whereabouts are still unknown. However, Belarusian state media quoted Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Tuesday, saying that Prigozhin is in Belarus. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu delivered his first on-camera remarks since the Wagner rebellion during a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Gen. Alvaro Lopez in Moscow.
- Ukraine's view: Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the Wagner rebellion in Russia would have hurt Russian troop morale had it lasted longer. "Unfortunately, Prigozhin gave up too quickly. So there was no time for this demoralizing effect to penetrate Russian trenches," he told CNN's Erin Burnett.
- Sweden and NATO: Speaking at a news conference alongside the UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said that with the introduction of a new terrorism law, Sweden has fulfilled the final requirements to join the alliance agreed in a tri-lateral plan between Finland, Sweden and Turkey. Sweden stated its intent to join NATO through its open-door policy in May last year, just weeks after Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
- Security assistance: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a $500 million security assistance package for Ukraine Tuesday. In hist nightly address Tuesday, Zelensky said he is “sincerely grateful” to President Joe Biden for the new package.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains at risk of attack so long as it is controlled by Russia.
He told CNN's Erin Burnett on Tuesday that he thinks Russia is trying to attack the power plant without being blamed for it.
"I think they're struggling to find a way to perform it as a false flag operation or as something else that would not be directly attributable to them," he said.
Kuleba also said he believes the threat of nuclear weapons to be "the last argument Putin has in his pocket."
"I think it's nothing more than a fear game because Putin loves life too much," he said, adding that "the West will make a big mistake if it decides to play the nuclear fear game with Putin."
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he does not think the Wagner Group will be the same following its failed attempt at a rebellion.
"I think Wagner will not continue its existence in the current form," he told CNN's Erin Burnett on Tuesday. "But I don't really care what is going to happen to them because, you know, we think about what is happening in Ukraine."
What we do know about next steps. Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin's exact whereabouts are still unknown. He hasn’t been seen in any videos or photos since he left the Rostov-on-Don military headquarters Saturday evening. However, Belarusian state media quoted Belarus’ President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Tuesday, saying that Prigozhin is in Belarus. And on Tuesday morning, two planes linked to Prigozhin landed at a Belarusian airbase outside the country's capital city.
Charges against Wagner fighters will be dropped by Russia's Federal Security Service. Wagner will also hand over its heavy military equipment to active units of the Russian military, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, according to state media RIA Novosti.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the rebellion in Russia led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin would have hurt Russian troop morale had it lasted longer.
"If this mutiny had lasted for 48 hours more, I'm pretty certain we would have felt a demoralizing impact on the Russian forces fighting in the south and east of Ukraine," he told CNN's Erin Burnett in an interview Tuesday. "Unfortunately, Prigozhin gave up too quickly. So there was no time for this demoralizing effect to penetrate Russian trenches."
Prigozhin's attempted rebellion triggered a weekend of chaos for the Russian leadership as his mercenary forces appeared to threaten Moscow. The Wagner boss said he called off the march Saturday to prevent Russian bloodshed and that the uprising was a protest — not an attempt to topple the government. He said the Russian Defense Ministry had planned for Wagner to "cease to exist" from July 1.
A Russian missile struck a busy area in the center of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday evening, killing at least four people, including a child, and injuring dozens of others, according to authorities.
A second missile hit a village on the outskirts of the city, officials said.
“Russia deliberately targeted crowded areas,” Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko said in comments on Telegram.
The strikes happened at around 7:30 p.m. local time, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk region military administration, told Ukrainian state TV. He later said in a Telegram post that the injured included three foreigners and one child.
A 17-year-old girl was among those killed and an 8-month-old baby was among those injured, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“At the epicenter of the explosion were also apartment buildings, commercial premises, cars, a post office and other buildings, in which windows, glass and doors were blown out,” the Prosecutor General said in a statement, adding that there may be additional people under the rubble.
An eyewitness described up to a dozen people being pulled from the rubble. It was not clear if these people were dead or alive, the man told CNN teams on the ground.
The restaurants on the plaza that was hit are popular with residents and the military, according to CNN teams familiar with the area. RIA Pizza, one of the businesses in the plaza, is especially popular with the military.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs said rescuers extinguished a fire in the building of a destroyed restaurant and the search for additional victims was underway as rubble was being cleared.
"The rubble of the destroyed cafe is being dismantled with the help of two cranes and the victims are being searched for," the State Emergency Services said.
A second strike struck the village of Bilenke, according to Andriy Yermak, adviser to the Office of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
CNN's Florence Davey-Attlee contributed to the report
Correction: An earlier version of this post gave the incorrect day for the attack on Kramatorsk.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called a Russian strike on eastern Ukraine's Kramatorsk “a manifestation of terror."
“Each such manifestation of terror proves over and over again to us and to the whole world that Russia deserves only one thing as a result of everything it has done — defeat and a tribunal, fair and legal trials against all Russian murderers and terrorists,” Zelensky said during his nightly address Tuesday.
At least four people and dozens of others were injured after a Russian missile struck a busy area in the center of Kramatorsk on Tuesday evening. A 17-year-old girl was among those killed and an 8-month-old baby was among those injured, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Zelensky said Russians “brutally shelled Kramatorsk with S-300 missiles.”
The Ukrainian president also said he is “sincerely grateful” to President Joe Biden for a new defense package. Earlier on Tuesday, the US Department of Defense announced additional security assistance to Ukraine, worth up to $500 million.
Two planes linked to Wagner CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin landed at a Belarusian airbase outside the country's capital city on Tuesday morning, according to a satellite image from BlackSky.
Prigozhin's exact whereabouts are still unknown. He hasn’t been seen in any videos or photos since he left the Rostov-on-Don military headquarters Saturday evening.
However, Belarusian state media quoted Belarus’ President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Tuesday, saying that Prigozhin is in Belarus.
The satellite image taken Tuesday morning by BlackSky shows the two planes — with serial numbers RA-20795 and RA-02878 – sitting on the tarmac at Machulishchy Airbase, just outside Minsk. Additional satellite imagery from BlackSky, as well as CNN’s analysis of the planes' measurements, confirmed the planes arrived within the last 24 hours and matched the dimensions of the Prigozhin-linked planes.
Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 indicated that the planes landed near Minsk at around 8 a.m. local time. Both planes had their transponders turned off before landing, obscuring their exact landing location.
Two sources – a senior European intelligence official and a source familiar with Prigozhin’s planes – confirmed to CNN the planes are linked to the Wagner boss but did not know if Prigozhin was on board.
The movement of Prigozhin’s planes has been closely watched in the aftermath of his attempted insurrection over the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, Prigozhin’s plane, RA-20795, appeared to make a trip to Rostov-on-Don from St. Petersburg. Tracking data from FlightRadar24 doesn’t show the plane landing in the city Prigozhin took control of on Saturday, but it makes a sudden turn toward the city before its transponders are turned off.
Roughly five hours later, the plane’s transponders were turned back on, and it was seen leaving the Rostov-on-Don area, heading back to St. Petersburg.
Then, at 1:03 a.m. this morning, the same plane appeared to make the same trek to the Rostov-on-Don area and once again, it turned off its transponders before landing.
The plane appeared back on radar at 5:32 a.m. local time, appearing to leave the Rostov-on-Don area, and began making a circuitous trek around Ukraine and Southern Russia towards Minsk. The transponders were turned off again at 7:37 a.m. local time as it began descending into the Minsk area.
The second plane, Ra-02878, flew from one Moscow airport to another on Sunday afternoon: Sheremetyevo International to Zhukovsky International Airport. On Monday, it flew from Moscow to St. Petersburg, landing at 1:26 p.m.
At 6:44 a.m. this morning, that plane left St. Petersburg. The transponders were turned off at 7:55 a.m. local time as it began descending into the Minsk area.