Putin slams Western sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Western sanctions for hindering exports of Russian fertilizer to Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Putin was speaking at a security meeting at the presidential office in Moscow on Friday.

He described the sanctions, which were imposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as "discrimination."

He said grain exports from Ukraine have resumed, but most have been shipped to Europe and not poorer nations.

Putin plans to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week and propose restricting exports of agricultural products to Europe.

Turkey, along with the United Nations, brokered a deal between Ukraine and Russia to restart Ukrainian grain exports.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are fighting back in the eastern part of the country after launching a counteroffensive in the south in late August.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff said on Thursday that 20 settlements have been liberated in the eastern region of Kharkiv.

The military also said troops are advancing near Kramatorsk in the neighboring region of Donetsk.

Russia's defense ministry said on Friday that it carried out missile attacks in Kharkiv and destroyed a Ukrainian military command center, killing soldiers.

The ministry posted video footage of tanks and other military vehicles, and said it is once again deploying troops to the region.