September 14, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 9:45 p.m. ET, September 14, 2023
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10:59 p.m. ET, September 13, 2023

European Parliament adopts resolution calling Belarusian president "an accomplice" in Russia's war crimes

From CNN's Mariya Knight

The European Parliament called Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “an accomplice" in the war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine in a resolution adopted Wednesday.  

“By enabling Russia’s unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, the Lukashenko regime has become an accomplice in the crimes committed by Russia, which implies responsibility for the destruction and damage caused to Ukraine,” the resolution reads, adding that “the special international tribunal on the crime of aggression perpetrated by Russia against Ukraine must have jurisdiction to investigate not only Putin and the Russian political and military leadership but also the Belarusian leadership.” 

The European Parliament urged European Union institutions and members “to enable the criminal prosecution of Belarusian officials who are complicit in the crime of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed against Ukraine.” 

It called for the establishment of an International Criminal Court country office in Ukraine and “to find legal pathways for seizing assets of the Belarusian leadership and related Belarusian entities involved in the Russian war effort” in order to support the reconstruction of Ukraine. 

The European Parliament also called on EU member states to “broaden and strengthen the scope of their sanctions” against Russia. It suggested applying the same sanctions against Belarus as it currently does against Russia. 

The parliament also called on Russia and Belarus to be put on “the EU’s high-risk third-country list with regard to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.” 

The resolution urged the International Olympic Committee and other international sports federations “not to allow athletes from Belarus and Russia to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games or any other international sports events.” 

It also labeled Belarus a "satellite state of Russia" and condemned “the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons under Russian command on Belarusian territory,” which it said was made in violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and may trigger further nuclear redeployments in the region. 

12:07 a.m. ET, September 14, 2023

Ukraine claims that North Korea is already supplying Russia with ammunition 

From CNN's Mariya Knight in Atlanta

Andrii Yusov talks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on September 5.
Andrii Yusov talks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on September 5. Kirill Chubotin/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images

Ukraine is claiming that North Korea is already supplying Russia with ammunition. 

“We can say that cooperation continues between North Korea and Russia,” Andrii Yusov, representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, said in an interview with Ukrainian state media on Wednesday. He added that such intel between the countries is being intercepted and recorded. 

Russian requests are mainly for projectiles for artillery and MLRS, Yusov said, referring to rocket launchers.

"This is an important factor that will be felt on the battlefield, unfortunately,” he said, adding that Ukraine is working on a proper reaction to such cooperation. 

Yusof did not provide any evidence that North Korea is already supplying weapons to Russia nor has CNN verified any such supplies.

The comments come after United States officials warned that Russia and North Korea could make a potential arms deal that could see Pyongyang provide weapons for Moscow.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Vladimir Putin met on Wednesday in Russia's Far East.

Afterward, Putin was asked if he discussed military-technical cooperation with Kim.

The Russian leader acknowledged certain restrictions in place, which he said Moscow fully complies with, but admitted there are areas open for discussion and consideration. 

12:11 a.m. ET, September 14, 2023

Here's what you need to know about the summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un

From CNN's Helen Regan, Gawon Bae, Larry Register, Simone McCarthy and Anna Chernova

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un attend a meeting at the Vostochny Сosmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on September 13.
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un attend a meeting at the Vostochny Сosmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on September 13. KCNA/Reuters

Vladimir Putin has said Russia is considering and discussing some military cooperation with North Korea, following a summit at which that country’s leader Kim Jong Un appeared to endorse Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

The leaders met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s far east, as both countries face international isolation.

Moscow is in need of fresh supplies of ammunition and shells after more than 18 months of war in Ukraine has left its military battered, while North Korea, which has faced years of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, is short of everything from hard cash and food to missile technology.

Here's what happened at the summit:

Kim signaled support for Russia's invasion: Without naming Ukraine, Kim said the “Russian military and its people will inherit the shining tradition of victory” and demonstrate their reputation on the frontline of “military operation,” the euphemistic phrasing Moscow uses to describe its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“I will always be standing with Russia,” Kim said, praising Moscow for having “stood up against the hegemonic forces” to defend its sovereignty and security, a veiled reference to the United States and the West.

What North Korea wants in return: Putin signaled a willingness to assist North Korea in developing its space and satellite program. North Korea has made space technology a priority — but has some ways to go, having tried and failed twice this year to launch a spy satellite into orbit.

Kim has also stressed the role of military satellites as a means to protect national safety and territorial stability and has spoken of their strategic value when deploying military force preemptively, North Korean state media reported in April.

Providing this technology to North Korea would be in violation of international sanctions, aimed at hampering Pyongyang’s ability to build a fully functioning nuclear weapons and ballistic missile force.

The meeting was at a space center: During the tour, the two leaders inspected the complex where Russia plans to launch its next generation of spacecraft. The facilities were built to receive launch vehicles, conduct pre-launch preparations, launches, and post-launch operations, state news agency TASS reported.

“Meeting at Russia’s eastern spaceport is particularly provocative because it suggests that Putin may offer sanctions-violating satellite launch technology in exchange for North Korean munitions that Moscow would employ in its illegal war in Ukraine,” Leif-Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, told CNN.

North Korea fires ballistic missiles: Hours before the summit, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Analysts say it’s unusual for Pyongyang to conduct a launch while Kim is out of the country. North Korea may be intending “to show that the military maintains readiness with uninterrupted command and control,” Easley, the professor of international studies, said.

12:14 a.m. ET, September 14, 2023

US says it "will not hesitate" to impose sanctions if weapons are transferred between North Korea and Russia

From CNN's Michael Conte and Jennifer Hansler

Matthew Miller attends a news briefing at the State Department in Washington on July 18.
Matthew Miller attends a news briefing at the State Department in Washington on July 18. Nathan Howard/AP/File

The United States “will not hesitate to impose sanctions” if the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un results in weapons transfers between the two countries, the US State Department said.

“We have taken a number of actions already to sanction entities that have brokered arms sales between North Korea and Russia, and we won't hesitate to impose additional actions if appropriate,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Wednesday.

Ahead of the Putin-Kim summit, US officials warned that Russia and North Korea are “actively advancing” in a potential arms deal that could see Pyongyang provide weapons for Moscow to use in its faltering Ukraine war in exchange for sanctioned ballistic missile technology.

Miller said that the US has not raised the issue of Russia potentially providing nuclear technology to North Korea with China, but that he anticipated they would.

“Secretary Blinken raised North Korea's nuclear program and North Korea's ballistic missile program in his engagements with Chinese officials when we were in Beijing, and we've regularly raised that in our conversations with Chinese officials,” Miller said.

Miller also condemned North Korea’s overnight ballistic missile launches.

11:56 p.m. ET, September 13, 2023

More than 2,000 people evacuated in the Kupiansk district, regional authorities say

From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva and Martin Goillandeau

A Red Cross volunteer helps an elderly woman to evacuate from the city of Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi in Kharkiv region in Kharkiv, Ukraine on August 15.
A Red Cross volunteer helps an elderly woman to evacuate from the city of Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi in Kharkiv region in Kharkiv, Ukraine on August 15. Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters

More than 2,000 people have left the Kupiansk district as of Wednesday, after a mandatory evacuation was ordered for 56 settlements on August 9, according to Kharkiv regional authorities.

Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv region military administration, said on Telegram that 2,339 people have evacuated so far, including 350 children. He said that another 1,438 evacuated on their own as well, including 164 children.

“The evacuation is ongoing," Syniehubov said. "People are reluctant to leave, explaining that this is their house, their land, their home. However, we are working with the national police to evacuate as many people as possible."

Syniehubov said 12,000 people were still living in the community as of Sunday, as opposed to the 57,000 people who lived there before Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Syniehubov added that the situation on the frontline in the Kupiansk sector remains “difficult.”

“The enemy is forming another ‘striking fist’ to intensify assault operations and try to break through our defenses," he said. "They carry out assault operations in waves and after suffering significant damage to their manpower and equipment from our military, they are forced to withdraw for renewal to form new assault forces.”

A video posted by Ukraine’s Offensive Guard on Wednesday appears to show an enemy position hit by an intense explosion in the distance. According to the caption, the Ukrainian border guard “used an automatic grenade launcher MK19 to hit the occupiers’ minefields.”