Ukraine-Russia war – live: Kyiv make advances near Bakhmut as Putin fires fresh wave of drones

By Isaac M October 10, 2023

Russian strike hits village in Kharkiv on Thursday, killing over 50 people

Ukraine has made advances south of the Bakhmut region in Donetsk, officials reported, as Russia has fired a fresh wave of drones at southern Ukraine overnight

The Ukrainian army repelled four Russian attacks near Klishchiivka, Donetsk Oblast, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, and continued their assault operations south of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.

Ukrainian soldiers succeeded in “inflicting losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy and consolidating their positions,” the report added.

It comes as Vladimir Putin’s forces launched 36 Iranian-made attack drones, targeting the Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, the Ukrainian military reported, adding that air defence systems destroyed 27 drones.

Odesa Governor Oleh Kiper said unspecified “logistics infrastructure” in his region had been damaged but that no injuries were reported.

Elsewhere, Volodymyr Zelensky today he had “good news” on artillery and air defence supplies after talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest.

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What is the UN Human Rights Council and what does it do? Part one

Russia missed out on a bid to return to the United Nations’ top human rights body on Tuesday, losing a vote to Albania and Bulgaria at the General Assembly in New York.

Here is what the U.N. Human Rights Council does:

– The United Nations Human Rights Council has 47 voting members from five regional groups. They are elected for three years for a maximum period of two consecutive terms.

– Members are voted on by secret ballot by the General Assembly in New York.

– In this vote, 17 countries competed for 15 seats starting from 2024-2026.

– The body was created in 2006 and is responsible for “promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner”.

– It replaced the Human Rights Commission which was dissolved partly due to a controversy over membership.

– New rules were created on eligibility meant to prevent major abusers getting voting rights.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 17:47

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Russian bid to return to UN rights body fails after vote

Russia failed in its bid to return to the United Nations’ top human rights body on Tuesday, which will see Moscow continue to be isolated.

In the secret ballot, Russia won 83 votes versus 160 for Bulgaria and 123 for Albania, which had competed against it in the same eastern Europe grouping for two seats on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

“UN member states sent a strong signal to Russia’s leadership that a government responsible for countless war crimes and crimes against humanity doesn’t belong there,” said Louis Charbonneau, United Nations director at Human Rights Watch. There was no immediate reaction from Moscow.

Russia was ousted from the council 18 months ago in a U.S.-led diplomatic push following its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Amid creeping signs of Ukraine war “fatigue”, some diplomats had said Russia had a reasonable chance of getting voted back onto the council.

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 17:26

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Russians who back Ukraine should be sent to region known for Gulag camps – continued

For Russians, Magadan is synonymous with the Gulag – a series of forced labour camps where Russians were used as slave labour under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

About 800,000 people are estimated to have passed through the camps of Magadan between 1932 — seven years before the city was officially founded — and the mid-1950s.

Overall, around 18 million people passed through the Soviet Gulag, which was immortalised by Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn – himself a survivor of incarceration there – in “The Gulag Archipelago”. His book was banned in the Soviet Union after its 1973 publication in the West.

The full Volodin remark was published on the Telegram messaging app by the State Duma’s press service.

The post elicited a mixture of resigned sarcasm, calls for Russian politicians to actually put their words into action, and also some humour.

One anonymous reply to the post on Telegram suggested that the Magadan region, a vast and sparsely populated area, might not cope with such an influx so the new arrivals should be put to work on building a new city.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 16:53

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Russians who back Ukraine should be sent to region known for Gulag camps – Duma speaker

Russians who leave the country and support Ukraine should be sent to a far eastern region known for its Stalin-era Gulag prison camps if they ever return home, according to the speaker of Russia‘s State Duma lower house of parliament.

Russia‘s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent mobilisation campaign prompted at least several hundred thousand Russians to leave their homeland, though it is unclear exactly how many.

More than a year and a half of war has made Russia a much shriller place: dissidents have been jailed; state television periodically discusses nuclear attacks on the West; and some politicians have suggested rather quixotic policies.

Vyachelav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma, told lawmakers on Tuesday that those who had left Russia and rejoiced at Ukrainian drone and missile attacks on their country should know that they were no longer welcome in their homeland.

“Those who left the country and committed despicable acts, rejoicing at the shots fired on the territory of the Russian Federation, wishing victory to the bloody Nazi Kyiv regime, should realise that no one is waiting for them here – but if they do come back, then Magadan will be provided for them,” Volodin said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 16:30

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Russia will only resume nuclear tests if the US does it first, a top Russian diplomat says

Russia will move to revoke the ratification of a global nuclear test ban to put itself on par with the United States but will only resume nuclear tests if Washington does it first, a senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that Moscow will rescind the ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty to “mirror” the action by the U.S. He added that if the U.S. conducts a nuclear test, “we will be forced to mirror that as well.”

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, adopted in 1996 and known as the CTBT, bans all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world, although it has never fully entered into force. It was signed by both the Russian and U.S. presidents but was never ratified by the U.S.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 15:56

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UN set to decide on Russia’s Human Rights Council membership as Putin ‘uses Ukrainian grain to buy votes’

A secret ballot of UN member states will be held later on Tuesday to allocate 15 seats for the top human rights body, more than a year after Russia was booted out for invading Ukraine.

Experts previously told The Independent that Russia will try to lure African allies and other friendly nations with stolen Ukrainian grain and arms in exchange for their votes. The vote is seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow diplomatically isolated.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 15:35

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Two top Polish army commanders quit 5 days ahead of election

Two top Polish army commanders quit on Tuesday, spokespeople said, just days ahead of a parliamentary election in which the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has made national security a key issue in its bid for an unprecedented third term in power.

No reason was given for the resignations.

However, they come against a backdrop of heightened tension between the upper echelons of the armed forces and the government, after Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in May the army had failed to inform him of a missile heading towards the country in December.

Polish media reported that a military object found in a forest in northern Poland in April was a Russian KH-55 missile, and that Polish armed forces had seen an object entering the country’s air space in December but then had lost track of it.

On Tuesday, armed forces operational commander Tomasz Piotrowski and chief of staff Rajmund Andrzejczak submitted their resignations, spokespeople for the respective services told Reuters.

“I can confirm that the operational commander (Piotrowski) has terminated his employment relationship. He has resigned from professional military service,” said the press spokesman for the Polish Armed Forces, Jacek Goryszewski.

The resignations were first reported by Rzeczpospolita daily.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 15:18

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Russia faces a tough fight to regain its seat in the UN’s top human rights body

Russia faces a tough fight to regain a seat in the U.N.’s premiere human rights body in Tuesday’s election in the General Assembly, which voted last year to suspend Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine.

The 193-member assembly will be electing 15 members to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, with candidates put forward by the U.N.’s five regional groups.

Russia is competing against Albania and Bulgaria for two seats allotted to the East European regional group, and Moscow’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States on Monday of leading a campaign to prevent their return to the council.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 14:57

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Ukraine makes advances near Bakhmut

Ukraine has made advances south of the Bakhmut region in Donetsk as they have seen “partial gains” near Andriivka, officials have reported.

The army repelled four Russian attacks near Klishchiivka, Donetsk Oblast, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, and continued their assault operations south of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.

Ukrainian soldiers succeeded in “inflicting losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy and consolidating their positions,” the report added.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 14:31

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Zelensky says ‘good news’ on air defence after talks in Romania

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday he had “good news” on artillery and air defence supplies after talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest, but gave no details.

“My main accent today was air defence. And I’m glad that Ukraine was heard by the Romanian side,” Zelensky, who has been seeking more arms to defend Ukraine against Russia‘s invasion, told a joint press conference in the Romanian capital.

Zelensky also said everything possible should be done to prevent Russia turning part of the Black Sea or the Danube region into what he described as a maritime “dead zone”.

Russia has pulled out of a deal that guaranteed safe shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, and has been attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure on the Danube River.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 October 2023 13:56

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