Ukraine's military confirms Wagner fighters return to the frontline

Some mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group have left Belarus and returned to the front in Donetsk Oblast, RBC Ukraine reported on Sept. 27, citing the spokesperson of the Eastern Grouping of Forces, Illia Yevlash.

The spokesperson said that of roughly 8,000 Wagner fighters who were stationed in Belarus, some departed for Africa, and around 500 are returning to Ukraine's eastern front.

Russia's Defense Ministry is renegotiating contracts with these mercenaries to serve either as combatants or instructors, Yevlash clarified.

However, he emphasized that Wagner fighters do not pose a "significant threat" since the death of their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

SBU detained two Kyiv residents suspected of coordinating Russian strikes

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained two Kyiv residents on suspicion that they assisted Russian forces in their missile attack against the capital on Sept. 21, the SBU announced on Sept. 27.

According to the report, the two suspected collaborators provided the Russian military intelligence (GRU) with coordinates to target critical infrastructure in the city, namely energy facilities, shortly before the attack.

The two suspects allegedly came to the attention of Russian intelligence because of their anti-Ukrainian posts on social networks, which they started publishing after the start of the full-scale invasion.

Egypt in talks with Russia to buy 1 million tons of wheat

Egypt is in talks with Russia to buy 1 million metric tons of wheat through a government-to-government deal, Bloomberg reported on Sept. 26, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The discussions reportedly concern deliveries for this season. However, Bloomberg added that it is unclear how close the two countries are to a deal.

The outlet commented that since last year, Egypt has begun shifting from traditional open tenders to government-to-government deals when securing its agricultural imports.

One of the world's leading grain buyers, Egypt imported 62.6 million metric tons between 2017 and 2021, with 59.7% coming from Russia and 22.3% from Ukraine.

Russia's termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17 and attacks against Ukraine's ports continue to hamper Kyiv's grain exports. Moscow seeks to utilize this and replace Ukraine's agricultural products on the global markets with its own supplies.

While attempting to stay neutral in the Russian-Ukrainian War, Egypt maintains a close relationship with Moscow. Egypt is simultaneously a close military partner of the U.S., which provides it with $1.3 billion every year in military aid.

According to media reports, Cairo has resisted appeals to provide military aid either to Russia or Ukraine during the ongoing war.

Russia starts building railway links to occupied cities in Donetsk Oblast

Russia started building direct railway links to the occupied Ukrainian cities Mariupol, Volnovakha, and Donetsk, which could decrease Moscow's logistical dependence on the Crimean Bridge, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to Melitopol's exiled mayor, said on Sept. 27.

The official noted that if these efforts are successful, Russia will connect the railway line of Mariupol-Aslanove-Kalchyk-Volnovakha in occupied Ukraine with the Russian cities of Taganrog and Rostov-on-Don.

Volnovakha links through the railway also to occupied Rozivka, Melitopol, and Crimea, he added.

Building these new connections would be a boon for Russian military and civilian logistics in the occupied territories and reduce Russia's reliance on the Crimean Kerch Bridge, Andriushchenko commented.

According to the official, the work on the new railway sections has already begun, specifically on a bridge over the Kalmius River near the village of Hranitne, Donetsk Oblast.

The Crimean Bridge, a vital connection linking the occupied peninsula with Russia's Krasnodar Krai, was severely damaged in a Ukrainian strike on July 17.

The Ukrainian military said earlier in September that the bridge had not been made fully functional yet. Drone and missile strikes against Crimea also cause regular closures of the Crimean Bridge, further hampering Russia's logistics.