Ukraine-Russia war – live: Kyiv ‘thwarts saboteurs’ as Putin on first trip abroad since arrest warrant issued

By Isaac M October 12, 2023

Zelensky says Russia trying to incite war in the Middle East

Russian and Ukrainian forces have been fighting fierce battles around the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka after Moscow launched one of its biggest military offensives in months.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces were holding their ground on the third day of battle, but municipal officials said the Russian attacks were relentless.

Avdiivka, in Donetsk, has become a symbol of resistance since Russia’s invasion.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin arrived in Kyrgyzstan and is meeting Kyrgyz president Sadyr Zhaparov – his first time abroad since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him in March over the deportation of children from Ukraine. The Kremlin has denied these accusations.

Ukraine overnight prevented a Russian saboteur group from crossing its northeastern border in the Sumy region, the commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

“The saboteurs tried to cross the state border of Ukraine and intended to move further towards one of the civilian critical infrastructure facilities,” Lieutenant General Serhiy Naev wrote on the Telegram messaging app.


Russia steps up assault on symbolic town of Avdiivka

Russia has pounded port and grain facilities in southern Ukraine and launched new attacks on the eastern town of Avdiivka in one of its biggest offensive operations in months.

Underlining the intensity and importance of the assault on Avdiivka, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces were holding their ground. Ukraine’s military said it had repelled more than 10 Russian attacks near the town.

Russia is hitting back more than four months into a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east and south that has encountered stiff Russian resistance.

Avdiivka, which is home to a big coking plant in the southwest of the Donetsk region, lies just northwest of the Russian-held city of Donetsk. A symbol of resistance to Russia’s invasion in February last year, it has helped ensure Moscow could not gain full control of a region it says it has annexed.

Russia has also intensified air strikes on Danube River ports in the southern Odesa region that have become Kyiv’s main route for food exports since Moscow quit a deal allowing shipments via the Black Sea in July.

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 15:10


Nato warns of ‘united and determined’ response to pipeline attack

The head of Nato has warned of a “united and determined response” if it turns out that damage to a gas pipeline and data cable running between member states Finland and Estonia was a deliberate attack.

Damage to the pipeline and telecommunications cable was confirmed on Tuesday after one of the two pipeline operators, Finland’s Gasgrid, noted a drop in pressure and possible leak on Sunday night during a storm.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc was working with Estonia and Finalnd as they try to establish the facts.

“If this is proven to be a deliberate attack on critical infrastructure it will be a serious incident and it would be met by united and determined response,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

The pipeline runs across the Gulf of Finland, part of the Baltic Sea that stretches eastward into Russian waters and ends at the port of St Petersburg.

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 17:39


White House warns Israel stretching its ability to support Ukraine

The White House said it was “running out of runway” on supporting both Ukraine and Israel as US Republican lawmakers warned they would object to any funding request for military aid for the two crisis-hit nations:

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 17:12


Russia set to scrap nuclear test ban treaty ratification

Russia’s parliament will vote next week on withdrawing Moscow’s ratification of the global treaty that bans nuclear tests, politicians have said.

The move could provide Moscow with legal cover to conduct a test involving a nuclear explosion for the first time since 1990, even though it says it has no such intention.

Parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, said it would hold a first reading on the bill next Tuesday. Leonid Slutsky, head of the Duma’s international affairs committee, said he expected it to complete its passage two days later.

All 450 members of the Duma would sponsor the motion, Slutsky said, a sign that its unanimous approval is guaranteed.

Russia ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 2000; the United States has signed but never ratified it.

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 16:42


‘We must not give terror a single chance’

Watch again as Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Nato’s Parliamentary Assembly on Monday:

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 16:12


Drone found in Romania after Russian attacks

Romania’s defence ministry says it has found a drone crater near the country’s border with Ukraine following Russian attacks on Ukrainian port infrastructure last night.

Russia has been targeting Ukrainian ports and warehouses along the Danube between Ukraine and Nato member Romania since pulling out of a deal in July that had allowed Kyiv to export grain from its Black Sea ports. The strikes seem designed to choke off the main alternative route for Ukraine‘s farm exports.

In that time, Romania has reported isolated incidents of drone parts landing in the country, although it has said Romanian territory was not the intended target.

The defence ministry said there was a “possible explosion on impact” at the crater, measures had been taken to secure the area and forces would continue to monitor Romanian airspace.

“The Ministry of National Defence strongly condemns the attacks carried out by the Russian Federation against some objectives and elements of civil infrastructure in the Ukrainian ports on the Danube,” it said.

Jane Dalton12 October 2023 15:40


Death toll from Hroza missile strike rises to 59, Ukraine says

The death toll from a missile strike on the village of Hroza in northeastern Ukraine has risen to 59 after police finished identifying the victims, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Thursday.

Ukraine said a Russian missile hit a cafe in the village in the Kharkiv region last week as people gathered to mourn a fallen Ukrainian soldier. Moscow denies targeting civilians in its full-scale invasion, a position it repeated in response to a question at a Kremlin briefing about the strike on Hroza.

“The Russians killed 59 people with a direct hit with an Iskander (missile) on the village of Hroza,” Klymenko said on the Telegram messaging app.

“All victims are local residents. They were pensioners, medics, farmers, teachers, entrepreneurs. All were civilians. Entire families of several generations died.”

The toll is one of the biggest among civilians in any single Russian strike in nearly 20 months of the war.

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


Tara Cobham12 October 2023 13:03


Czech ministry ‘summons Russian envoy over Hroza attacks’

The Czech Foreign Ministry will summon Russia’s ambassador over Russian attacks on the Ukrainian hamlet of Hroza this month, CTK news agency reported on Thursday.

An air strike on Hroza in northeastern Ukraine earlier this month killed dozens. The Kremlin said after the attacks that the Russian military does not strike civilian targets in Ukraine.

New graves for victims of the rocket strike are seen at a graveyard in the village of Hroza

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

Tara Cobham12 October 2023 13:00


Czech Republic and Denmark to supply military equipment to Ukraine

The Czech Republic and Denmark will jointly supply heavy military equipment to Ukraine in the coming months, the Czech Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

It said the Czech-made supplies, financed from the Danish budget, would include tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, hand guns and ammunition.

Tara Cobham12 October 2023 12:30


Ukrainian troops ‘holding ground’ in eastern town of Avdiivka

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday Ukrainian troops were holding their ground in the eastern town of Avdiivka, where fighting with Russian forces has intensified this week.

Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have redirected large numbers of troops and equipment to Avdiivka after months of besieging it, and are making their largest attack on the town since launching the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian accounts also indicate the fighting has intensified around Avdiivka as Moscow pushes back on the eastern front, more than four months after Kyiv began a counteroffensive in the east and south.

“Avdiivka. We are holding our ground. It is Ukrainian courage and unity that will determine how this war will end,” Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app alongside photos from the area.

Vitaliy Barabash, head of the town’s administration, has described the Russian push as “the largest-scale offensive action in our sector since the full-fledged war began.”

Avdiivka is home to a large coking plant to the southwest of the Donetsk region. Much of the town has been reduced to rubble.

Smoke rises from the area in the direction of Avdiivka as seen from Donetsk on Wednesday


Tara Cobham12 October 2023 12:00


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