Russia says reservists have been called up, with Moscow fighting to turn the tide after defeats in Ukraine have left the key southern city of Kherson in Kiev's sights, as the conflict continues onto its 247th day.

The announcement of the draft's completion came as Moscow's proxies said they had finished a pull-out of civilians from Kherson, which Ukrainian forces were pushing to recapture as winter closes in.
The announcement of the draft's completion came as Moscow's proxies said they had finished a pull-out of civilians from Kherson, which Ukrainian forces were pushing to recapture as winter closes in. (AP)

Friday, October 28, 2022

Russia mobilised 300,000 reservists: minister

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that the "partial mobilisation" of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine that Russia announced in September was complete, with tens of thousands of them already sent to the combat zone.

Speaking at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin broadcast on state television, Shoigu said: "The task set by you of (mobilising) 300,000 people has been completed. No further measures are planned."

Shoigu said that of the 300,000 mobilised reservists, 218,000 remained in training, while 82,000 had been deployed to the conflict zone, of which 41,000 were on active service with their units.

Blackouts back in Kiev as Russia targets energy infrastructure

Ukrainian authorities have announced further rolling blackouts in and around the country’s largest cities amid ongoing Russian strikes targeting energy infrastructure.

Ukrenergo, the state operator of Ukraine’s high-voltage transmission lines, said “emergency outages” of four hours a day or more had resumed in the Kiev region.

Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, said on Telegram on Friday that residents of the capital region could expect to see “tougher and longer” power outages compared to earlier in the war

US announces $275M in new military assistance for Ukraine

The United States will provide a new $275 million military assistance package for Ukraine to help it battle Russia's attacks, the Pentagon has announced.

The package includes ammunition for Himars precision rocket launchers, various types of artillery rounds, anti-armour systems, small arms ammunition and four satellite communications antennas, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said.

"We're seeing Ukrainian infrastructure and electrical grids being targeted by the Russians and these antennas provide an additional capability on the ground at a critical time when Ukraine's infrastructure is being hit," Singh said.

Ukraine tells Iran to stop sending arms to Russia

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said he received a phone call from his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian and that he had demanded that Tehran stop sending weapons to Russia.

Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Iran of sending drones to Russia, which have then been used by Russian forces in strikes targeting Ukrainian infrastructure. Iran denies the charge.

"I demanded Iran to immediately cease the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine," Kuleba said in a tweet on Friday. 

Russian assets seized in Ukraine may be used for reconstruction

Assets belonging to Russian and Belarusian individuals seized by Ukraine could be used for the country's massive post-war reconstruction effort, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has said.

"We are currently looking for the resources necessary for (our) critical recovery," Marchenko told Ukraine's Suspilne public broadcaster, mooting the creation of a special liquidation fund as one budgetary source for the reconstruction.

"Money seized on the territory of Ukraine from Russian and Belarusian citizens can be involved in this fund," he added, without elaborating.

The government has frozen Russian and Belarusian assets in Ukraine worth some $1.21 billion since the start of Moscow's attacks on February 24, according to the Economic Security Bureau, a state agency.

Canada sanctions more Russians, issues Ukraine Sovereignty Bonds

Canada will sell a government-backed, five-year bond to raise money for Ukraine and it will impose new sanctions on 35 Russian individuals, including Gazprom executives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.

"Canadians will now be able to go to major banks to purchase their sovereignty bonds which will mature after five years with interest," Trudeau told an annual meeting of the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Winnipeg.

"These funds will go to support the Government of Ukraine so they can continue to support the Ukrainian people," he said.

Civilian departures 'complete' in Kherson – Moscow official

The head of Moscow-annexed Crimea has said civilian departures from Kherson organised by Russia's forces amid a Ukrainian counter-offensive were "completed," after he visited the region with the Kremlin's domestic chief Sergei Kiriyenko.

"The work to organise residents leaving the left side of the Dnipro (river) to safe regions of Russia is completed," Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, said on Telegram late on Thursday.

Moscow's authorities in the southern Ukrainian region have urged residents to cross to the right bank of the Dnipro River as Ukrainian forces make gains in the south.

Top US, Ukrainian officials discuss weapons supplies for Kiev

Kiev's need for “ammunition and projectiles” has featured in discussions between the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff and US national security adviser.

In a phone call on Friday, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office, briefed Jake Sullivan on the latest situation on the frontlines and Kiev's push to “de-occupy Ukrainian territories,” according to a statement by the Ukrainian side.

“Special attention was paid to the needs of the Ukrainian army for ammunition and projectiles,” read the statement.

Seoul denies sending weapons to Ukraine 

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has said Seoul has not provided lethal weapons to Ukraine, Yonhap news agency reported, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said such a decision would destroy their bilateral relations.

Biden: Putin's talk of possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is 'dangerous'

US President Joe Biden has expressed scepticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment in a speech that he has no intention of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

"If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?" Biden said in an interview with NewsNation.

"He's been very dangerous in how he's approached this," Biden said.

Putin ally says 23 soldiers killed in Ukrainian attack

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said 23 of his soldiers had been killed and another 58 wounded in a Ukrainian artillery attack this week.

In a statement posted on Telegram, Kadyrov said the incident had taken place in the southern Kherson region.

IAEA to conduct 'independent' probe into Ukraine dirty bomb allegations

The UN's nuclear watchdog will this week carry out an "independent verification" of Russian allegations concerning the production of so-called dirty bombs at two sites in Ukraine, it said.

Russia has accused Ukraine of preparing to use such a weapon against Moscow's troops, but Kiev suspects Russia might itself use a dirty bomb in a "false flag" attack, possibly to justify the use of conventional nuclear weapons by Moscow as it finds itself on the back foot in eastern and southern Ukraine.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi said, "IAEA inspectors will conduct independent verification at these locations".

For live updates from Thursday (October 27), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies