Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

The Kremlin says France and Germany have shown no “reluctance” to mediate over Ukraine

Moscow says France and Germany have shown no “reluctance” to take part in mediating the conflict in Ukraine, and it praises Turkey’s willingness to mediate the talks.

“[Turkish capital] Ankara is taking a different position than Paris and Berlin… and has announced its willingness to continue mediation efforts,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He added that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz have so far demonstrated “no desire to listen to Russia’s position or participate in mediation efforts.”

Macron said on Sunday that the terms of peace should be dictated by Ukraine.

– Natasha Torak

Ukraine’s foreign minister asks UN nuclear watchdog to inspect its facilities to disprove Russian ‘dirty bomb’ claim

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kolba asked the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Raphael Grossi, to send a team of experts to Ukraine to inspect its nuclear facilities, in order to refute Russia’s claim that it has a “dirty bomb” that it plans to use on its territory.

Grossi, head of the IAEA, which is the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, “agreed” to Kolba’s request to “urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine,” the minister wrote on Twitter.

“Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and remains transparent. We have nothing to hide,” Kolba added. In a separate tweet, he said that he spoke with the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, Joseph Borrell, who “welcomed Ukraine’s decision to invite IAEA experts.”

– Natasha Torak

Ukraine is increasingly successful in shooting down Iranian drones, Britain’s Ministry of Defense says

Local residents look at parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which Ukrainian authorities believe to be an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone, after an attack on a Russian drone, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine on 17 in October 2022.

Vladislav Musyenko | Reuters

Russia has used Iranian-made drones over many parts of Ukraine to target critical infrastructure and civilian areas, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its latest intelligence update, but added that Ukrainian forces’ use of anti-drone technology was becoming more effective.

“Russia continues to use Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets across Ukraine. Ukrainian efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 drones are increasingly successful,” the ministry said in a Twitter post.

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Ukrainian President Zelensky and other officials claim that up to 85% of the attacks were intercepted, the ministry wrote, adding “these drones are slow, noisy and fly at low altitudes, which makes individual aircraft easy to target with conventional air defense.”

The drones are apparently being used as a replacement for Russia’s long-range precision missiles, which it says are “becoming increasingly rare.”

– Natasha Torak

Zelensky calls Kremlin ‘dirty bomb’ claim, says only Russia will use nuclear weapons in Europe

“This morning is difficult. We are dealing with terrorists. Dozens of missiles, Iranian ‘martyrs’,” Zelensky wrote on his official Telegram account, referring to the Iranian-made Shahid drones increasingly used by Russian forces.

Ukrinform | Atid Publishing Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russia is the only player to deploy nuclear weapons in Europe, and has called for the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure over the past eight months.

His words came in response to the Kremlin’s claim, without evidence, that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” – which uses nuclear fission to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, without using an explosion – on its own territory.

It was Russia that used “nuclear blackmail” at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian occupation since March, and also used phosphorus munitions and other banned weapons again on civilian infrastructure, Zelensky said.

He added that such a claim only means that Russia is the one preparing to deploy the weapons it accused Ukraine of.

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated the Russian position that Ukraine plans to use a “dirty bomb” on its own territory to escalate the conflict with Russia.

“Their distrust of the information provided by the Russian side does not mean that the threat of using such a dirty bomb does not exist,” Peskov told the press.

“There is such a threat, and the Minister of Defense gave the information about it to his interlocutors. It is up to them whether to trust him or not.”

– Natasha Torak

“Ukraine has no ability or need to use a dirty bomb,” says the former British ambassador

Ukraine “does not have the ability or need to use a dirty bomb,” Nigel Gold-Davis, a senior fellow on Russia and Russia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in a Twitter thread.

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“[Russian Defense Minister] Shoigu’s round of talks with the US, Britain, France and Turkey, alleging that Ukraine plans to use a ‘dirty bomb’ is alarming. We haven’t seen anything like this intense military diplomacy since the war began. Its substance is even more alarming,” wrote Gold-Davis, who served Previously as British Ambassador to Belarus.

“Of course, Ukraine doesn’t have the ability or need to use a dirty bomb. It’s Russia that loses. No one will believe Shoigu anyway – especially [UK Defense Minister] Ben Wallace, who was lied to during his pre-invasion visit to Moscow.

“Shoygo also warned against ‘uncontrolled escalation’. Russia is the one escalating… it is so hard to see in these calls anything other than Shoygo either doubling down on Putin’s bluffs, or preparing the way for Russian nuclear use. Yes, nuclear (meaning fission) ,” Gold-Davis added. “A dirty bomb violated the nuclear taboo but did not achieve significant effects.”

– Natasha Torak

US rejects Russian claims that Ukraine will use ‘dirty bomb’

U.S. and Ukrainian officials dismissed Moscow’s claims that Ukraine was planning to use a “dirty bomb” as “blatantly false.”

The claim was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a round of high-level talks with Western defense managers. Shoigu expressed “concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb,'” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, February 27, 2022.

Alexi Nikolsky | Sputnik Reuters

A “dirty bomb” may contaminate a large area with radioactivity, making it harmful or uninhabitable for its inhabitants, without using a nuclear explosion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kulba that “the United States rejects the false claims of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its territory and that the world will scrutinize any attempt by Russia to use this claim as a pretext for escalation,” according to the White House statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also attacked the Russian accusation.

“If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is supposedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelensky said in his nightly speech.

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– Natasha Torak

France’s Macron says the terms of peace with Russia must be decided by Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures at a press conference on the final day of the NATO Heads of State Summit in Madrid on June 30, 2022.

Bertrand Gui | AFP | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the terms of peace with Moscow should be decided by Ukraine, and emphasized that the end of the war “cannot be the dedication of the law of the strongest”.

“To remain neutral is to accept the world order of the most powerful, and I don’t agree with that,” Macron said from Rome on Sunday, at the start of the three-day Cry for Peace conference.

Macron added that the international community will be open when the government of Ukraine decides on that date.

Ukrainian forces are gradually recapturing territory illegally seized and annexed by Russia, and while Moscow appears increasingly on the back foot, its ability to wreak havoc on Ukraine’s cities and vital infrastructure remains intact, and analysts fear it could use more extreme measures in retaliation, such as nuclear weapons .

– Natasha Torak

More than a million Ukrainian homes are without electricity

Smoke rises above the buildings after the Russian missile attack on the critical infrastructure of Lviv on October 10, 2022. Russia launched 15 rockets in the Lviv region, some of which were shot down by air defense forces, the rest hit energy infrastructure facilities. Due to the rocket attack, Lviv was left without electricity, water and mobile communication.

Storm pictures | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine have left more than a million homes in the country without electricity, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Kirill Tymoshenko said at the weekend. Cities and towns across Ukraine have been dealing with power outages this month due to Russian attacks, raising fears about what may lie ahead this winter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his citizens to be careful in using their power.

“We need to consume electricity with great awareness. Please remember to limit the use of unnecessary and energy-consuming devices… it is necessary to be really careful to save energy consumption in public spaces,” he said in his nightly speech on Sunday.

– Natasha Torak


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