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UKRAINE UPDATE: 11 OCTOBER 2022

Putin threatens more strikes; EU condemns ‘war crimes’; India calls for de-escalation

Putin threatens more strikes; EU condemns ‘war crimes’; India calls for de-escalation
People shelter inside a metro station after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, 10 October 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Andrii Nesterenko)

President Vladimir Putin threatened more strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure after Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine. European Union leaders said the strikes, which Putin said were in retaliation for an attack on a bridge link to Crimea, amounted to ‘war crimes’.

Infrastructure facilities in eight regions of Ukraine were hit by Russian missile strikes on Monday, the most intense since the first days of the invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes targeted energy facilities and people, with the morning rush hour chosen as the time to inflict the most harm. Zelensky will hold an emergency call with Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday.

Putin blamed the strike on the multibillion-dollar bridge in Crimea on the security forces of Ukraine. Kyiv hasn’t officially claimed responsibility for the episode, which further highlighted the woes of Putin’s military in the eighth month of its invasion. 

Key developments

On the ground

Ukraine said Russia had launched 84 missiles and 24 drones by 2pm and that its air defence forces had downed 56 of them. The attacks also hit cities including Odesa, Dnipro and Lviv and killed 11 people and wounded 64, Ukraine’s emergency services said. 

Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia with missiles again overnight, damaging a multistorey apartment building, local authorities said on Telegram just a day after another attack on the city killed at least 14 and wounded more than 70. 

Russia is moving reserve troops towards areas where Ukrainian forces have advanced, Ukraine’s southern operational command said on Facebook. To the east, Russian troops continue offensive operations on the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka axes, Ukraine’s General Staff said.  

Ukraine halts electricity exports to EU 

Ukraine will halt exports of electricity from Tuesday after Russian missile and drone strikes hit power facilities, the Energy Ministry in Kyiv said in a statement.

The country had been exporting a maximum of 300 megawatts to Romania and Slovakia — a tiny fraction of either country’s consumption — to help “Europe replace Russian gas” and support “the stability of the European energy system,” it said.

Some major US airports hit by cyberattacks – ABC

Airports in US cities including New York, Chicago, Des Moines, Atlanta, and Los Angeles have been affected by cyberattacks, ABC News reported, citing a senior official it didn’t name. 

The attacks originated from within Russia and affected public-facing web domains that report airport wait times and congestion, ABC News said.

India calls for de-escalation following civilian deaths  

India is “deeply concerned” at the escalation of the war, “including targeting of infrastructure and deaths of civilians”, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“We urge immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue,” it said.

India, which relies on Russia as an energy and arms supplier, has tried to balance its ties with Moscow despite increasing US pressure to scale back relations. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chided Putin in talks in Uzbekistan, saying “today’s era is not one for war”. It later, however, abstained from a vote condemning the “annexation” of Ukrainian territory at the United Nations Security Council.

US, UK pledge continued military aid to Ukraine 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke separately to Zelensky by phone, condemning the Russian attacks and pledging more economic and military aid to Kyiv. 

“Putin’s destructive rhetoric and behaviour will not diminish our resolve,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. 

 

 

 

EU’s Michel condemns Russian strikes as ‘war crimes’

“These indiscriminate attacks on civilians are war crimes,” European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet.  

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed shock and called the assaults “another unacceptable escalation of the war”, his spokesman said.

Russia loses 60% of its seaborne crude market in Europe 

Russia has lost three-fifths of its seaborne crude sales in Europe since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February. That market is going to vanish almost completely in eight weeks and the latest sanctions will make it very difficult to divert flows elsewhere.

Crude shipments to Europe averaged 630,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to October 7, down from 1.62 million before the invasion. Tankers carrying Russia’s oil are now forced to spend 10 times as long making each delivery to India as they would previously have done shipping cargo to Poland.

Macron says Russian strikes change ‘nature’ of war 

French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure are a “deep change in nature” of the war. Speaking during a trip to western France, Macron added that he would summon his military and diplomatic advisers upon his return to Paris “to review the situation”.

Earlier on Monday, Macron spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart, who tweeted after the call that France was ready to support strengthening Ukraine’s air defence.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna condemned Russia’s “indiscriminate strikes” in Ukraine in a tweet. 

Ukrenergo starts rolling blackouts in four Ukrainian regions  

Ukraine’s national power grid operator set up a plan for emergency power cuts for consumers in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions, the company said.

Allies can’t get Ukraine arms fast enough as stockpiles shrink  

Some European nations that have funnelled weapons to Kyiv are running low, and it could take years for defence contractors to meet the shortfall. 

Nato states are urging companies to boost production to help them restock — to both resupply Ukraine and reinforce their own stores in a climate of heightened tension, according to people familiar with the matter. 

World Bank private arm working on $2bn Ukraine aid 

The World Bank Group’s private sector arm is working on a $2-billion support package for Ukraine to help the war-torn nation’s businesses weather the steep recession expected this year due to Russia’s invasion.

Approximately $1-billion would come from the International Finance Corporation, as the development institution is known, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified. The remaining funds would come from various nations, though those plans still need to be finalized, one of the people said.

Ukrainian officials urge energy cutbacks after strikes 

The strikes knocked out power in five regions: Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv and Ternopil, while there are partial disruptions everywhere else in Ukraine, the nation’s Emergency Services said. Ukrainians should use as little power as possible on Monday evening, with the situation particularly bad in the city of Lviv, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office.

Tymoshenko said authorities were working to restore power and urged people to conserve energy from 5pm to 10pm. A lawmaker from Zelensky’s party, Andriy Gerus, said the evening would be “one of the most difficult” for Ukraine’s power sector.

“Some regions have electricity blackouts, some have a scheduled rolling blackout,” Gerus said. “Tonight it is worth minimising the use of appliances.” Infrastructure facilities were hit in eight Ukrainian regions, the spokesman of the state emergency service, Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, said on television.  

EU mulls over €18bn in more Ukraine aid 

The EU is in discussions to extend Ukraine around €18-billion in funding next year to help cover urgent financing needs, even as billions of euros in aid the bloc approved more than four months ago remain unpaid to Kyiv.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is working on the new funding proposal, according to people familiar with the plans. The package will aim to provide at least half of the €3-billion to €3.5-billion Ukraine needs per month, one of the people said.

 

 

 

Russian troops to return to Belarus after failed campaign 

Russian troops will return to Belarus in large numbers, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said, months after most departed following Moscow’s failed campaign to capture northern areas of neighbouring Ukraine.

“This won’t be just a thousand troops,” Lukashenko said during a meeting with his security apparatus in Minsk on Monday, according to state news agency Belta.

Lukashenko, who allowed Russia to use his country as a launchpad for its invasion of Ukraine in February, also said he and Putin had agreed to deploy a regional grouping of armed forces. The core of the unit will be Belarusian armed forces, he said, adding that the formation of the grouping has been under way for two days.

Electricity supply in Kyiv and region is limited, says mayor  

The electricity supply was cut off in parts of Kyiv and its region after missile attacks on critical infrastructure, mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram. The power supply was partially limited for producers and for individual consumers during repairs. The missile strikes also damaged Kyiv’s water supply system. 

Putin threatens more strikes on Ukraine infrastructure 

President Putin vowed to deliver more strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure like those fired at cities across the country on Monday. “If attempts to commit terrorist acts on our territory continue, the responses from Russia will be harsh and their scale will correspond to the level of threat to Russia,” Putin said in televised comments to a meeting of his Security Council. “No one should have any doubts.”

Likening Ukraine’s government to “an international terrorist organisation”, he accused Kyiv of attempting attacks on the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, as well as gas pipelines and the Crimea bridge. He said Monday’s “massive strikes” targeted energy and communications infrastructure, as well as military command installations.

UAE ruler to meet Putin in Russia on Tuesday 

The ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will travel to Russia on Tuesday to meet with Putin, both countries said. Putin and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will discuss regional and international issues of common interest, the UAE’s state-run WAM agency said.

The UAE and Russia are both part of the Opec+ alliance. A previous visit by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed to Moscow in March discussed energy markets and food security.

UAE ruler to meet Putin in Russia on Tuesday as war escalates

Zelensky, G7 leaders set to discuss Russian strikes on Tuesday  

The leaders of the Group of Seven countries will discuss Russia’s missile attack on Tuesday in an emergency video conference that will also be joined by Zelensky, people familiar with the matter said. The leaders will liaise on how to respond, the people said.

Zelensky said earlier he spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country holds the G7 presidency. The Ukrainian leader also spoke with Macron to discuss air defence for Ukraine, with “the need for a tough” international response to the missile attacks.

Separately, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said of the strikes: “We must be ready — as Russia, the Kremlin realises that its war is heading for a shameful defeat — it will aim to further destabilise the situation, it will take desperate measures.” He added: “That seriously increases the risks both in Ukraine and elsewhere.” 

 

 

 

Moldova says Russian cruise missiles crossed its airspace  

Moldova, a tiny nation bordering Ukraine, said three cruise missiles launched by Russia at Ukraine crossed its airspace on Monday morning and the government summoned the Russian ambassador over the incident, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said in a Twitter post. Russia allegedly fired the missiles from ships in the Black Sea, Popescu said.

Chechen strongman hails Russian missile blitz on Ukraine 

Hardline Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov welcomed the barrage of missile strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, telling President Zelensky to expect more. “We warned you Zelensky, that Russia hadn’t really started, so quit whingeing and better run before the next one flies in,” Kadyrov said on Telegram on Monday.

Kadyrov, a Putin protege who’s harshly criticised military chiefs for the faltering Russian invasion of Ukraine, said he’s now “100% happy” with the military campaign.

Finland confident on Nato membership process 

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he is confident that Turkey and Hungary — who have yet to ratify Nato membership for Finland and Sweden — will do so in “due course”.

He cited “good and constructive conversations” that Finnish and Swedish officials have had with counterparts in both countries at various levels, speaking on Monday at an event by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo. 

Putin tells governors to fulfil mobilisation orders 

Putin vowed to complete the mobilisation of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine that’s caused even more Russians to flee the country, bemoaning the “clumsiness” of the process.

His sudden order last month to call up the reservists set off a wave of reports of ineligible people being swept up in the effort and new draftees confronted with shortages of equipment and dire conditions. Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the lower house of Parliament, called the hundreds of thousands who fled Russia in the wake of the announcement “traitors to their country”.

Wheat futures climb after attacks 

Chicago wheat futures soared more than 4% in the wake of the strikes. The intensifying conflict calls into question whether the sides will agree to extend the Ukraine grain-export deal that’s due to expire in about a month.

Russians target energy facilities and people, says Zelensky 

“We have to deal with terrorists,” Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. The strikes aim at “energy facilities across our whole country” and “the second target is people”, he said. 

“They chose such timing deliberately to harm the most,” Zelensky said in a reference to the morning rush hour, adding that temporary electricity blackouts were possible.

Ukraine’s top commander, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said on Twitter that Russia has launched 75 missiles, 45 of which had been intercepted. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, urged partners to supply air defence systems. 

Attacks mark escalation phase, says ex-Kremlin official 

The widespread Russian bombardment of Kyiv and other cities marks a new phase in the conflict, which is going to deepen, said Alexei Chesnakov, a former senior Kremlin official and adviser on Ukraine policy.

“We’ve entered a period of escalation,” Chesnakov said by text message. While Monday’s missile attacks are a direct retaliation for the damage to the Crimea bridge, Russia has “harsher options” to regain the upper hand.

Strikes hit power supply in Lviv, says mayor  

Andriy Sadovyi, mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine, reported an explosion at a “critical infrastructure” in Lviv on Telegram. Local central heating units were halted, with backup power generators now being used to restore hot water supply. Part of the city was without electricity supply, with a third of traffic lights not working.

In the Kyiv region, missiles hit residential areas in at least two locations, the regional military administration said on Telegram. 

Kyiv mayor says critical infrastructure hit  

Russian missiles hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, mayor Klitschko said.

“The capital is under attack from Russian terrorists!” Klitschko said earlier on Facebook. “The air alert, and therefore the threat, continues,” he added. “I appeal to all residents of the capital: stay in shelters during the alarm. If there is no urgent need, it is better not to go to the city today.”

Strikes kill five civilians in Kyiv, says adviser 

Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Heraschenko said on Telegram that five civilians died and 12 were injured in Kyiv.

President Zelensky said on Telegram that “they are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the Earth. Completely.” He cited Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kyiv. 

Latvia says Ukraine needs more weapons after shelling of Kyiv  

Ukraine needs more weapons deliveries to stop this war and Russia, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Twitter. The shelling of Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia show cowardice and the true nature of a terrorist state, he said. 

Ukraine eyes bilateral security guarantees, says Zelensky adviser  

Ukraine is considering signing bilateral security guarantees with countries that have supported it against Russia’s invasion, according to Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Zelensky. The bilateral agreements would serve as a placeholder until Ukraine joins Nato, which Kyiv believes could be swiftly done once Ukraine manages to push out Russian forces from its territory, Podolyak told Hungarian news website Telex. DM

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  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    The reticence of the Indian government to outrightly condemn the Russian aggression against Ukraine erodes India’s claim as the world’s largest democracy and confirms the notion that of Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin having the same narcissist nationalist tendencies. These tendencies, are surprisingly supported by people who refer themselves as communist in the form of the political parasites and state capturers of the SACP. The US decision to ban the sale of micro chips to China to avoid Russia having access to precision technology in the war has to be extended to India. To abstain in a vote that affirms the UN Charter and international law is not neutrality but complicity in the total disregard of international law by Russia. Whilst Dr Jaishankar, the Indian Foreign Minister has correctly articulated concerns and interests o India and told the world that war is not an option. He has failed to identify Russia as aggressor that has violated the UN Charter and international law and has actually torn to shreds the Minsk agreements. India has to indicate what would be the basis beyond total Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, payment of reparations and prosecution of war crimes committed by Russia against the people of Ukraine that are being daily documented by human rights groups.
    The Indian leadership must not just move their lips and say meaningless words when the people of Ukraine are facing untold suffering. You are either with them or against them, there is no middle road.

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