After retreating around 20km in the north of the Kherson sector in early October, Russian forces are likely attempting to consolidate a new front line west from the village of Mylove, according to British intelligence. Heavy fighting continues along this line, especially at the western end where Ukrainian advances mean Russia’s flank is no longer protected by the Inhulets River, the latest UK Ministry of Defence report reads.
The Moscow-installed head of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, has urged residents to leave the area and asked Russia to help evacuate people.
Ukraine’s state emergency service said a 12-year-old boy has been rescued after hours under rubble after rockets hit a five-story residential building in Mykolaiv.
Ukraine‘s power grid has been “stabilised” after Russian strikes on the country that in particular targeted energy infrastructure, causing power and hot water cuts, the national energy operator Ukrenergo said Thursday.
A residential building in the southern Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border was hit Thursday in shelling by Kyiv’s forces, the city governor said today. Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential adviser, denied Kyiv’s military was responsible and said Russia had tried to shell Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the border “but something went wrong”.
Russia said it had summoned diplomats from Germany, Denmark and Sweden to complain that representatives from Moscow and Gazprom had not been invited to join an investigation into ruptures of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. “Russia will obviously not recognise the pseudo-results of such an investigation unless Russian experts are involved,” the foreign ministry said.
Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, did not discuss ways to resolve the conflict in Ukraine at their bilateral meeting on Thursday, the state-run RIA news agency reported, citing the Kremlin.
The United Nations general assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine as 35 nations abstained including China, India, South Africa and Pakistan. The resolution “condemns the organisation by the Russian Federation of so-called referendums within the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine“ and “the attempted illegal annexation” announced last month of four regions by Russia president Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, told Russian television Thursday that the vote was anti-Russian and that the west had used methods of diplomatic terrorism against developing countries in order to force them to vote. He dismissed US claims that Washington did not persuade anyone to vote.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine currently only has 10% of what it needs in terms of air defences.
UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said that Russia will run out of supplies and armaments before the west does. He said procurement processes were in place among allies in the west that will ensure that the international community will be able to continue arming Ukraine for years ahead.
The admission of Ukraine to Nato could result in a third world war, the deputy secretary of the Russian security council, Alexander Venediktov, told Russian state Tass news agency in an interview on Thursday.
Turkey’s aim is to stop the bloodshed in the Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible despite hurdles, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told a regional summit in Kazakhstan.
Germany chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday that the war in Ukraine was part of a broader movement against the west by Russia. He said “Vladimir Putin and his enablers have made one thing very clear: this war is not only about Ukraine. They consider their war against Ukraine to be part of a larger crusade, a crusade against liberal democracy.”
The Russian state-owned Tass news agency is reporting that officials at Russia’s nuclear power station operator Rosenergoatom have begun the process of transitioning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) to Russian processes, in particular “the storage system for spent fuel of the Russian Federation”.
Recently released satellite images show a close view of traffic and bridge repair work on the collapsed part of the Kerch bridge in Crimea. The images made available by Maxar Technologies are dated 12 October.
A Russian nuclear strike would “almost certainly” trigger a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies and potentially from Nato, a senior Nato official has said. Any use of nuclear weapons by Moscow would have “unprecedented consequences” for Russia, the official was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The US will need to deter two major nuclear weapons powers for the first time, the Biden administration has warned. Washington’s new national security strategy (NSS) depicts China as the most capable long-term competitor, but Russia as the more immediate, disruptive threat, pointing to its nuclear posturing over Ukraine. “Russia’s conventional military will have been weakened, which will likely increase Moscow’s reliance on nuclear weapons in its military planning,” the strategy blueprint reads.
Ukraine’s army boasted of territorial gains near the strategically vital southern city of Kherson on Wednesday. Five settlements in the Beryslav district in the north-east of the Kherson region – Novovasylivka, Novogrygorivka, Nova Kamyanka, Tryfonivka, Chervone – were said to have been taken from Russian forces over the day.
Nato allies delivered new air defence systems in the wake of Russia’s recent missile attacks across the country. Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, lauded the arrival of the first of four Iris-T defence systems from Germany and an “expedited” delivery of sophisticated National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (Nasams) from the US. France has promised radar and air defence systems in the coming weeks while Canada said it would provide artillery rounds and winter clothing and Britain pledged to donate Amraam anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down cruise missiles.
External power has been restored to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Rafael Grossi had warned earlier that the loss of off-site power at the facility, Europe’s largest, was “deeply worrying”.
Ukrainians continue to be asked to reduce their electricity consumption during peak hours to avoid blackouts. Prime minister Denys Shmyhal appealed to citizens and businesses to reduce power consumption from 5pm to 10pm by 25%. “This is a necessity and this is our contribution to the victory. After all, it depends on each of us how we will get through this winter,” he said.
The European Commission will next week present plans to mitigate soaring energy costs. Energy commissioner Kadri Simson told reporters on Wednesday that the commission would bring forward a proposal that includes joint gas purchases by 2023. By harnessing the bloc’s collective purchasing power, she said, the EU could “avoid member states outbidding each other on the market” and thus “driving up” prices.
Putin says Russia is ready to resume gas supplies via one link of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that remains operational. The ball was in the EU’s court on whether it wanted gas supplied via the pipeline, Putin said in an address to the Russian Energy Week international forum.
The head of the Russian state-owned gas monopoly supplier, Gazprom, has warned Europe of the consequences of renouncing Russian gas. There is “no guarantee” that Europe would survive winter based on its current gas storage capacity, Alexei Miller said, adding that gas in Germany’s underground storage would be enough for between two- and two-and-a-half months.