Ukraine-Russia war – live: Blow for Putin as Kyiv repels frontline attacks on key village Avdiivka

By Isaac M October 11, 2023

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

Ukrainian soldiers successfully repelled Russian attacks along the war frontline at Avdiivka on Tuesday in a blow to Vladimir Putin’s forces, officials said.

“I can add that our defenders on the Avdiivka front repelled all the attacks of the enemy, no losses of lines and positions were sustained,” colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, Kyiv’s spokesperson of the joint press centre of defence forces, said.

He confirmed an escalation of Russian military offensive actions on the same front. He said Ukrainian forces repelled attacks in Keramika, Ocheretyne, Berdychiv, Stepove, Lastochkyne, Tonenke, Avdiivka, and Pervomaiske in Donetsk oblast.

It comes as Vladimir Putin is set to visit Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, the presidential office of the Central Asian country said, in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Meanwhile, Russia has failed in its bid to return to the United Nations’ top human rights body on Tuesday, in a sign Moscow will continue to be isolated on the international stage.


Putin travelling on first trip abroad since ICC arrest warrant

Vladimir Putin will visit Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, the presidential office of the Central Asian country said, in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Putin has rarely travelled abroad since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 and is not known to have left Russia since the ICC issued in March a warrant for him on suspicion of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. The Kremlin denies those allegations.

“At the invitation of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sadyr Japarov, on October 12 of this year, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will make an official visit to the country,” the Kyrgyz presidential administration said in a statement on its website.

Putin agreed in May during talks with Japarov to visit Kyrgyzstan, but there has been no official confirmation yet from the Kremlin that the Russian president will travel there on Thursday.

The Russian leader is also due to travel to China next week for the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Neither Kyrgyzstan nor China are members of the ICC, which was established to prosecute war crimes.

Moscow denies the ICC allegations and the Kremlin said the warrant was evidence of the West’s hostility to Russia, which opened a criminal case against the ICC prosecutor and the judges who issued the warrant.

Vladimir Putin will visit Kyrgyzstan on Thursday

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Tara Cobham11 October 2023 07:35


Belgium’s prime minister says his country supports a ban on Russian diamonds as part of sanctions

Belgium’s prime minister said his country, which has the biggest interest in the global diamond trade in the European Union, is supporting a ban on Russian diamonds as part of sanctions targeting President Vladimir Putin’s government for its war against Ukraine.

This came during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyya’s visit to Brussels on Wednesday. He has repeatedly asked for such a move since the start of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

For months, the Group of Seven advanced economies and the EU have been working on a way to trace and restrict the trade in Russian diamonds to prevent it from skirting the sanctions. Russia exports about $4 billion worth of rough diamonds a year, nearly a third of the world’s total, according to various estimates.

Joe Middleton11 October 2023 16:27


Returning Russians who backed Ukraine must be sent to mines, says Putin ally

Russians who fled the country to side with Ukraine should be charged with treason and sent to work in mines in parts of Russia where there is no summer if they return home, the chairman of Russia’s parliament said on Wednesday.

Russia’s war in Ukraine, something it calls a “special military operation”, and a subsequent mobilisation campaign, prompted several hundred thousand Russians to leave their homeland, though it is unclear exactly how many.

Moscow has tried to encourage some specialists, such as IT workers, to return and says some Russians have come back.

But Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma, the lower house of parliament, made it clear on Wednesday that the authorities were less keen to see Russians whom he and others regard as traitors returning.

“If they start returning now but have made statements against the country and financed the armed forces of Ukraine then of course we must choose a place to send them immediately,” Volodin told parliament.

“Such actions relate to article 275 of the criminal code – state treason. We’re probably… talking about mines and we need to find territories where the weather is more constant, where there’s no summer.”

Volodin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, had suggested on Monday that such people, known in Russian as “relokanty”, should be sent to the far eastern region of Magadan known for its Stalin-era Gulag camps.

Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament


Tara Cobham11 October 2023 15:18


Former Australian PM had ‘China in mind’ when arming Ukraine

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday that he also had Beijing on his mind when he decided to help arm Ukraine given Western concern about the global expansion of authoritarianism.

Morrison, who was prime minister from 2018 to 2022, had repeated disputes with China, including in 2020 when Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, first identified in central China in 2019.

China responded by imposing tariffs on Australian commodities, including wine and barley, and limited imports of Australian beef, coal and grapes, moves described by the United States as “economic coercion”.

Speaking at a forum in Taipei, Mr Morrison said his decision to fund lethal defensive weapons for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion had a broader message.

“When my government took the decision for Australia to swiftly provide lethal aid to support and assist Ukraine following the illegal invasion by Russia, that decision was taken with as much of having Beijing in mind as Moscow,” Mr Morrison said.

“We did it certainly to support Ukraine in their time of need and to defend democracy there, but we also did it to demonstrate our alignment with a global Western resolve to resist the aggression of authoritarianism, especially given the tacit endorsement of that invasion by Beijing,” he added.

“As I said, I was as concerned about Beijing as I was about Moscow.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivers a speech at a dinner event in Taiwan

(Getty Images)

Tom Watling11 October 2023 14:22


Belgium to supply Ukraine with F-16s to Ukraine

Belgium has announced that it hopes to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by 2025.

Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, said this during a meeting in Brussels for the Ramstein discussions.

Mr Kroo said: “We joined the F-16 coalition from the beginning. And we said from the beginning that we would provide training, training personnel, and our own F-16 aircraft, including 2-seat F-16s, that would participate in the training mission in various locations in Europe in the next few months.

“We will be providing maintenance for the aircraft that you will receive and training Ukrainian workers to be able to maintain the aircraft.”

Tom Watling11 October 2023 13:24


Russian military facing mental health crisis, says MoD

The Russian military is facing a mental health crisis, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said in its latest intelligence update.

In December, 100,000 military personnel were found by Russian psychologists to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the MoD, with this number expected to have risen since.

Consequently, the MoD said: “Russia’s combat fighting effectiveness continues to operate at sub-optimal levels.”

Tara Cobham11 October 2023 12:43


Ukraine accuses two villagers of helping deadly strike on Hroza

Ukraine’s domestic intelligence service on Wednesday accused two villagers who fled to Russia of helping guide a missile strike that killed dozens of people, mostly civilians, at a soldiers’ wake in the Ukrainian village of Hroza.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app that the two suspects, who were brothers, worked for Russian occupation authorities when Moscow controlled the village for several months in 2022.

The SBU said the men fled to Russia shortly before Ukraine regained control of the village in September last year. After this, the agency said the men continued to work for Russia by building a network of informants in Ukraine.

When Reuters visited the village last Friday, two residents said that SBU officials had visited the village and checked residents’ phones after the attack.

According to the SBU, the brothers started gathering information on the wake in Hroza at the beginning of October.

“Under the guise of friendly conversations and correspondence in the messenger (service), the traitors asked people for information about the deployment of the Defence Forces and mass events in the region,” the SBU said.

The agency posted images which appeared to show Russian passports and other documents belonging to the men, as well as screenshots of messenger conversations where the men obtained information about the wake.

People react near the memorial for the victims of a Russian rocket attack in the village of Hroza


Tara Cobham11 October 2023 12:28


NATO boss says Putin planning to use winter as ‘weapon’

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Putin was “preparing once again to use winter as a weapon of war” by attacking energy infrastructure in Ukraine.

“We need to prevent that, with more advanced and increased capabilities for air defence, we can make a big difference,” Stoltenberg said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday asked NATO allies for more weapons and air defences to tide his country through another wartime winter as it braces for a barrage of Russian attacks on power stations and other infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg shake hands

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tara Cobham11 October 2023 12:18


Denmark to send Ukraine F-16 fighters jets by March or April next year

Denmark expects to make its first delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in March or April next year, national broadcaster TV2 reported on Wednesday, citing Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Denmark to send F-16s to Ukraine by April next year

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Tom Watling11 October 2023 11:42


Geolocated footage shows destroyed Russian military vehicle near Avdiivka

Geolocated footage has shown the Ukrainian destruction of a Russian BMP-1, an infantry fighting vehicle, near the frontline in Avdiivka.

Earlier, it was reported that Ukraine was “repelling” Russian attacks in the area as they launched an offensive.

“I can add that our defenders on the Avdiivka front repelled all the attacks of the enemy, no losses of lines and positions were sustained,” colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, Kyiv’s spokesperson of the joint press centre of defence forces, said.

Tom Watling11 October 2023 11:27


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