Ukraine says its forces have recaptured more territory, especially in the south, while Moscow's military leadership faces rare public backlash over its handling of the conflict — now in its 226th day.

Pro-Russian separatist forces controlling east Ukraine have said they have regained territory near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region
Pro-Russian separatist forces controlling east Ukraine have said they have regained territory near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region (AFP)

Friday, October 7, 2022

Death toll in Russian missile attack on Zaporizhzhia rises to 11

The death toll rose to 11 after a Russian missile strike on Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia city, said an official.

In a statement, Andriy Kurtev, the secretary of the Zaporizhzhia City Council, noted the ongoing search and rescue efforts in the city.

Kurtev said that "11 people are known to have been killed in total. At least 15 more people are still missing."

Lavrov slams Zelenskyy over call for preemptive NATO strikes on Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has harshly criticised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's call on NATO to launch preemptive strikes against Russia.

Speaking at a meeting of the political party United Russia via video conference, Lavrov said Zelenskyy's words are evidence that Kiev poses a threat to the global community.

"Yesterday (Thursday), Zelenskyy called on his Western masters to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against Russia," he noted, saying that the call is "another proof of threats by the Kiev regime."

Britain slaps down Russia's push for secret UN vote on Ukraine

Britain rejected Russia's call for a secret ballot in the UN General Assembly next week on whether to condemn Moscow's move to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine and requested that the 193-member body vote publicly.

Moscow has moved to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia - after staging what it called referendums. Ukraine and allies have denounced the votes as illegal and coercive.

The General Assembly is set to vote on a draft resolution that would condemn Russia's "illegal so-called referenda" and the "attempted illegal annexation."

France creates 100M Euro fund for Ukraine to buy arms

France has created a fund, initially worth 100 million euros ($98 million), for Ukraine to directly buy weapons and other materials it needs in its war against Russia, President Emmanuel Macron said.

"We are setting up this special, dedicated fund initially with 100 million euros to allow the acquisition of equipment that we have already delivered and that we will continue to do so in terms of weapons, meaning defensive ones," Macron said after an EU summit in Prague.

He added that discussions were being held, particularly with Denmark, to deliver more highly accurate CAESAR truck-mounted cannons to Ukraine, on top of the 18 it has already given.

Four more grain ships leave Ukraine under Türkiye-brokered deal

Four more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish National Defence Ministry said.

A ministry statement did not disclose the point of origin of the ships but said the export of Ukrainian grain continues without letup.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which paused after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February.

Russia will consider its own investigation into Nord Stream incidents

Russia will consider its own investigation into Nord Stream pipelines' leaks as Denmark does not want Russia to be engaged in its own examination, Russian embassy in Denmark said on its website.

It also said that refusal by Denmark to allow Russia to be part of the investigation undermines the reliability of any future results. 

Eastern Commander latest Russian general to be sacked as defeats mount 

Russia has sacked the commander of its Eastern Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Chaiko, the Russian news site RBC reported- the latest reshuffle of top brass amid a string of battlefield reversals in Ukraine.

RBC cited publicly available state registers to report that Lieutenant-General Rustam Muradov had been appointed to head the Eastern Military District, which covers troops based in Russia's Far East, though much of its strength is currently deployed in Ukraine.

Muradov, who was sanctioned by the European Union in February, previously served in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine calls on Russia troops to lay down arms

Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has called on Russian troops to lay down their arms, promising them "life and safety".

"You can still save Russia from tragedy and the Russian army from humiliation," Reznikov said in Russian in a video addressed to Russian troops. 

"We guarantee life, safety and justice for all who refuse to fight immediately. And we will ensure a tribunal for those who gave criminal orders," he promised. 

Russian-backed forces claim gains near Bakhmut in east Ukraine 

Pro-Russian separatist forces controlling east Ukraine have said they have regained territory near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, even as Ukraine's forces claw back swathes of territory in the east.

"On the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, a grouping of troops of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, with fire support from Russian forces, liberated Otradovka, Veselaya Dolina and Zaitsevo," the Donetsk region's military detachment said in a statement on the Telegram.

Five killed by Ukrainian strike on bus in Kherson region: Russia-backed officials

At least five people have been killed and as many injured after Ukrainian forces shelled a bus in the Russia-controlled part of Ukraine's southern Kherson region, Russia's TASS news agency has reported.

Russian-backed authorities in the region said the strike took place as the bus drove civilians across a bridge near the village of Darivka.

The report has not been independently verified.

Russia says Zelenskyy's 'preventive strike' comments justify its Ukraine 'special operation'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said remarks by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggesting NATO should launch preventive strikes on Russia confirmed the need for what it calls its "special operation" in Ukraine.

"By doing so, (he) essentially presented the world with further evidence of the threats posed by the Kiev regime," Lavrov said. "This is why a special military operation was launched to neutralise them."

In a discussion with an Australian think-tank on Thursday, Zelenskyy said he believed strikes were necessary to preclude any use of nuclear weapons.

EU needs to provide more money to pay for military aid to Ukraine: Top diplomat

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pushed the 27-nation bloc to earmark more money to pay for the military support of Ukraine.

"I will ask the leaders to support the proposal for a new tranche for European Peace Facility to continue providing military support to Ukraine, also to the training mission," Borrell told reporters as he arrived for an EU summit in Prague. 

Luxury yacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch docked in Hong Kong

A luxury yacht worth over half a billion US dollars belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Alexey Mordashov has docked in Hong Kong waters, according to shipping records, after a week-long voyage from Russia.

The vessel tracking website, Marine Tracker, showed the yacht, Nord, arrived in Hong Kong on October 5, after a voyage of seven days from Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, down through the Sea of Japan and East China Sea.

The Hong Kong government's marine department did not immediately respond to questions on whether it was aware of the sanctions imposed on the vessel's owner.

‘God put you in power’: Russian Orthodox leader tells Putin on his 70th birthday

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said that Vladimir Putin's reign over Russia had been mandated by God, congratulating the Kremlin chief on his 70th birthday.

"God put you in power so that you could perform a service of special importance and of great responsibility for the fate of the country and the people entrusted to your care," the patriarch said, joining a chorus of Russian officials congratulating Putin on his birthday.

Biden says nuclear 'Armageddon' threat back for first time since Cold War

US President Joe Biden has said the world risks nuclear "Armageddon" for the first time since the Cold War and that he is trying to find Russian President Vladimir Putin's "off-ramp."

"We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis" in 1962, Biden said at a Democratic party fundraising event in New York.

Putin is "not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons", and "we are trying to figure out what is Putin's off-ramp. Where does he find a way out?"

For live updates from Thursday (October 6), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies