Russia's Putin threatens more "severe" attacks against Ukraine as missiles rain down on Kiev and other Ukrainian cities on the 229th day of the conflict in what Washington brands "utter brutality".

A Ukrainian flag is put on an abandoned Russian tank near Dolina in the Donetsk region, which is at the centre of the fighting and where Kiev's forces have retaken some territory in a counter-offensive.
A Ukrainian flag is put on an abandoned Russian tank near Dolina in the Donetsk region, which is at the centre of the fighting and where Kiev's forces have retaken some territory in a counter-offensive. (AFP)

Monday, October 10, 2022

Biden condemns 'utter brutality' of Russian missile strikes

US President Joe Biden has condemned Russia's missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, saying they "demonstrate the utter brutality" of Vladimir Putin's "illegal war".

"The United States strongly condemns Russia's missile strikes today across Ukraine," Biden said in a statement. "These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose," he said. "They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin's illegal war on the Ukrainian people."

The US president said the attacks "only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes." He also called on "Russia to end this unprovoked aggression immediately and remove its troops from Ukraine".

UN wants Black Sea grain deal extended for a year

The 120-day deal on exporting grains from Ukraine agreed with Moscow and Kiev, which runs out on November 19, should be extended for a year, a UN chief has said.

The United Nations' humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was "reasonably confident" that the Black Sea Grain Initiative deal would be renewed.

Two agreements brokered by the UN and Türkiye were signed on July 22 - to allow the export of Ukrainian grain blocked by Russia's offensive in the country, and the export of Russian food and fertilisers despite Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Sweden refuses Russia's role in Nord Stream leaks probe

Sweden has said it will not allow Russia to join an ongoing probe of the Nord Stream gas pipeline leaks but added that Moscow could carry out its own inspections.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The pipelines are not currently in operation but they contained gas before falling victim to apparent sabotage. All four leaks, which were discovered two weeks ago, are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's statement follows requests from Russia to be included in investigations into the alleged sabotage. "In Sweden, preliminary investigations are confidential, and this is of course also true in this case," Andersson told a press conference.

Defiant Ukraine reopens eastern rail link despite missiles

As Russia launched a huge wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian cities, defiant rail workers in the east of the country managed to restore a severed rail link.

The passenger rail service between recently occupied Izyum and Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv restarted after Russia's February 24 offensive forced a seven-month closure.

"The trains will be running twice a day, every day," said Izyum railway manager Andrei Gadyatskiy, standing in the rain in front of the boarded up windows of his partially burned station.

Russian pop diva who denounced offensive says she is in Israel

Alla Pugacheva, the queen of Soviet pop music, has said she is in Israel, three weeks after she denounced President Vladimir Putin's campaign in Ukraine for turning Russia into a global pariah.

"I thank my multi-million army of fans for their love and support, for the ability to distinguish truth from lies," Pugacheva, 73, a Soviet and then post-Soviet icon who is probably Russia's most famous woman, said on Instagram.

"From the Holy Land, I pray for you and for peace," she said. "I am happy!"

Pugacheva is known across Russian generations for hits such as the 1982 song "Million Scarlet Roses" and the 1978 film "The Woman who Sings".

UN set to meet after Russia strikes in Ukraine

The UN General Assembly meets on Monday hours after Russia launched a deadly barrage of missile strikes at cities across Ukraine, as Western powers condemned Moscow's latest attacks and seek to underscore its isolation.

The United Nations called the urgent meeting to discuss Russia's declared annexation of four partly occupied Ukrainian regions, but the debate was set to be overshadowed by the attacks on Kiev and other cities in one of the most punishing assaults on Ukraine in months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed even more "severe" retaliation after the recent explosion that damaged a key bridge in Moscow-annexed Crimea — an attack the Kremlin has blamed on Kiev.

UN chief slams Russia strikes on Ukraine as 'unacceptable escalation'

UN chief Antonio Guterres has condemned Russia for launching a barrage of fatal bombardments across Ukraine, describing it as an "unacceptable escalation of the war," his spokesperson said.

"The Secretary-General is deeply shocked by today's large-scale missile attacks by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on cities across Ukraine that reportedly resulted in widespread damage to civilian areas and led to dozens of people being killed and injured," Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

"This constitutes another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price."

EU extends protection for Ukraine refugees into 2024

As Ukrainians hunker down under intensified Russian missile attacks, the EU has announced it is extending a bloc-wide protection scheme for Ukrainian refugees into 2024.

EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson also said that Ukrainians in the EU who chose to return to their country could maintain their refugee status there as long as they notified the relevant EU country of their move.

Johansson told journalists that 4.2 million Ukrainians currently held temporary protection status under the EU scheme, which gives them the right to live and work in any EU country and benefit from housing and schooling help.

Macron says Russian strikes signal 'profound change' in Ukraine conflict

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Russian air strikes across Ukraine and against civilians signalled a "profound change" in the conduct of the offensive.

The "deliberate strikes by Russia over the whole of Ukraine's territory and against civilians, it's a profound change in the nature of this war," Macron told reporters during a trip to the Mayenne region of France, adding that he would convene his diplomatic and military advisors when he returned to Paris.

Lukashenko accuses pro-Western neighbours of training Belarusian 'radicals'

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said that Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine were training Belarusian "radicals" for terror attacks, after announcing plans to deploy joint troops with Moscow.

"The training in Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine of Belarusian radical militants for them to carry out sabotage, terrorist attacks and to organise a military mutiny in the country is becoming a direct threat," Lukashenko said at a meeting with military officials.

The three countries, of which Lithuania and Poland are EU and Nato members, share a border with Belarus.

Lukashenko also accused Washington and Brussels of sheltering "fugitives" from Belarus in order to turn them into a "political force".

Russia targeting civilians 'amounts to a war crime': EU

The EU believes Russia's missile attacks on civilians in Ukraine "amounts to a war crime," a spokesperson for the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said.

"Indiscriminately targeting people in a cowardly, heinous hail of missiles on civilian targets is indeed a further escalation," the spokesperson, Peter Stano, said.

"The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms these heinous attacks on the civilians and civilian infrastructure... This is something which is against international humanitarian law and this indiscriminate targeting of civilians amounts to a war crime," he said.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen called the attacks on Kiev and other Ukrainian cities "vicious".

Putin's actions in Ukraine 'completely unacceptable': Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Russia's attacks on Ukraine present a "profound moral issue" and the international community has a responsibility to make clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions are unacceptable.

"Now is the time to speak out in support for Ukraine; it is not the time for abstentions, placating words, or equivocations under claims of neutrality. The core principles of the UN Charter are at stake," Blinken said in a statement.

Ukrainian energy ministry halts electricity exports due to Russian missile strikes

The Ukrainian energy ministry has said it will halt exports of electricity to the European Union following Russian missile strikes on energy infrastructure.

"Today's missile strikes, which hit the thermal generation and electrical substations, forced Ukraine to suspend electricity exports from Oct. 11, 2022 to stabilise its own energy system," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Ukraine's energy minister Herman Halushchenko said Monday's Russian attacks on the energy system were "the biggest during the entire war." In a TV broadcast he said that missile strikes "on the entire chain of supply (were made) in order to make switching supply as difficult as possible."

G7 meeting a chance to re-state opposition to Putin: UK PM Truss and Ukraine's Zelenskyy

Tuesday's virtual meeting of G7 leaders is a chance to re-emphasise opposition to Russia's offensive in Ukraine, British Prime Minster Liz Truss and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has agreed in a call.

"The Prime Minister and President Zelenskyy looked ahead to tomorrow's virtual meeting of G7 leaders, which President Zelenskyy will join," a spokesperson from Truss's office said in a statement following the call.

"They agreed it offers an important opportunity to re-emphasise the unity of opposition to Putin's despicable campaign."

India "deeply concerned" at escalation in Ukraine: Foreign Ministry

India is "deeply concerned" at the escalation of conflict in Ukraine, and willing to support all attempts at de-escalation, a spokesperson for the country's foreign ministry has said.

"We reiterate that escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest. We urge immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

Deadly Russian strikes hit Ukrainian capital Kiev, other cities

At least eight people were killed and 24 people were injured in Ukraine's capital in a Russian strike on several cities, according to the country's authorities.

Strikes were reported in multiple cities across Ukraine, including rare at tacks on the capital Kiev and the western Lviv region.

Zelenskyy said that attacks also took place in Dnipro, Vinnytsia and Ivano-Frankivsk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv and Sumy regions in the east, among others.

Russian strikes targeted Ukraine energy infrastructure: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy said Russia targeted Ukraine's energy infrastructure during Monday's strikes across the country, including by Iran-made drones.

"This morning is difficult. We are dealing with terrorists. Dozens of missiles and Iranian Shaheds. They have two targets. Energy facilities throughout the country," Zelenskyy said in a video address on social media, adding that "the second target is people".

"They want panic and chaos, they want to destroy our energy system", Zelenskyy said.

"There may be temporary power outages now, but there will never be an interruption in our confidence - our confidence in victory," Zelenskyy added.

There may be temporary power outages now, but there will never be an interruption in our confidence - our confidence in victory.

Volodymr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President

Russian missile strikes on Ukraine 'unacceptable': UK

Russian missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital Kiev and several other cities are "unacceptable", UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

"This is a demonstration of weakness by (Vladimir) Putin, not strength," he tweeted, adding that he had contacted his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy says spoke with Scholz, Macron, urged 'tough' response

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he had spoken with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron to urge a tough response against Moscow after strikes rocked cities across his country.

Zelenskyy said in a series of tweets that with Scholz he had discussed "increasing pressure" on Russia and with Macron that he had talked about "strengthening of our air defense, the need for a tough European and international reaction, as well as increased pressure on the Russian Federation."

EU's Borrell 'shocked' by Russia missile strikes on Ukraine

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was "deeply shocked" by Russia's targeted missile strikes on Kiev and other parts of Ukraine.

"Such acts have no place in (the) 21st century. I condemn them in the strongest possible terms," he tweeted.

Ukraine says it has shot down at least 43 Russian missiles

Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar told a briefing Russia had fired 83 missiles.

General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, had earlier said on Twitter that Russia had fired 75 missiles at Ukraine and that 41 of them had been intercepted.

Moldova says Russian missiles that hit Ukraine crossed its airspace

Moldova summoned Moscow's envoy to demand an explanation.

"Three cruise missiles launched on Ukraine this morning from Russian ships in the Black Sea crossed Moldova's airspace," Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said on Twitter.

Popescu expressed outrage at the many strikes carried out on Ukrainian cities, a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for an explosion on a bridge connecting annexed Crimea to Russia.

Lukashenko accuses Ukraine of preparing an attack on Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, claimed that Ukraine was preparing an attack on his country's territory. 

"I've said already that today Ukraine is not just discussing but planning strikes on the territory of Belarus," state news agency Belta quoted Lukashenko as saying. 

Russia, Belarus have agreed to deploy joint group of forces, says Lukashenko after meeting with top officials.

Putin orders newly elected governors ensure partial mobilisation is conducted properly

Russia's president instructed 14 newly elected governors to make sure partial mobilisation measures were being conducted properly in their jurisdictions.

At a meeting with the provincial heads, Vladimir Putin ordered them "to hold under constant control" legal issues related to the partial mobilisation, as well respect to the rights of conscripts, and support for their families.

I'd like to stress that all the decisions taken here, including social guarantees, payments, additional support from regional budgets to the families of soldiers, sergeants and officers who are serving and are now joining the ranks of the Russian Armed Forces, must be strictly implemented.

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president

After Nord Stream, power cut to Danish island Bornholm

Denmark's Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, located near the presumed sabotage attack on Nord Stream's gas pipelines,  suffered an unexplained power outage, electricity operator Energinet said.

The company said it believed the problem was linked to an underwater electricity cable linking the island's 40,000 residents to the European continent, but the exact cause of the outage was not yet known.

"We think it could originate from the cable but it could also very well be elsewhere in the system," she said.

Explosions rock central Kiev in apparent missile strikes

Multiple explosions rocked Kiev following months of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital. 

Kiev Mayor Vitalii Klitchko reported explosions in the city’s Shevchenko district, a large area in the centre of Kiev that includes the historical old town as well as several government offices and Zelenskyy's office.

Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine's parliament, posted a photo on Twitter showing that at least one explosion occurred near the main building of the Kiev National University in central Kiev.

Train services on red metro line stopped in Ukrainian capital Kiev, all underground stations now working as shelters, say local media reports. The number of casualties is not yet known.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy: Russia trying to "wipe us off the face of the earth"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there were dead and wounded in blasts that rocked cities across Ukraine and accused Russia of trying to wipe his country "off the face of the earth."

"They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth...destroy our people who are sleeping at home in (the city of) Zaporizhzhia. Kill people who go to work in Dnipro and Kiev," Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app.

"The air raid sirens do not subside throughout Ukraine. There are missiles hitting. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded."

Missile strikes Zaporizhzhia, causing injuries: Local official

Overnight shelling of the city of Zaporizhzhia destroyed a multi-storey apartment building causing injuries, Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the broader Zaporizhzhia region said.

"As a result of a missile attack in the centre of Zaporizhzhia, a multi-storey residential building was destroyed again," Starukh said on the Telegram messaging app. "There are injured."

An early Sunday strike in the city killed at least 13 people and injured 87 others, including 10 children.

For live updates from Sunday (October 9), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies