The mayor’s office in a key eastern Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists was struck by rockets, Russian state agencies report, as fighting enters its 235th day.

This file photo taken on September 25, 2022 shows an antenna of the Starlink satellite-based broadband system donated by the US tech billionaire Elon Musk in Izyum, Kharkiv region.
This file photo taken on September 25, 2022 shows an antenna of the Starlink satellite-based broadband system donated by the US tech billionaire Elon Musk in Izyum, Kharkiv region. (AFP Archive)

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Ukraine hopeful about fate of Musk's satellite network

A Ukrainian diplomat expressed optimism about securing the money needed for the continued operation of a satellite network funded by billionaire Elon Musk that has provided key battlefield and humanitarian contacts in the conflict with Russia.

“It’s there, it’s working,” said the envoy, Oksana Markarova. “It will need to be working for a longer time.”

"We got the Starlinks in Ukraine very quickly, in some areas for humanitarian support, it’s the only connection that we have," Markarova told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And it’s very important to continue having it and I’m positive that we will find a solution there.”

France to train about 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers — defence minister

Paris will train up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers in France, the French defence minister has said, as Kiev battles Russian forces.

Ukrainian soldiers will soon be assigned to French units for several weeks, Sebastien Lecornu told the Le Parisien newspaper, according to Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform.

Lecornu said the training will focus “on three levels: general comba t training, training for specific needs reported by Ukraine, and training with the equipment provided.”

Top Turkish, Ukrainian officials meet in Istanbul

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov visited the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul established to coordinate Kiev's grain exports.

“During these three months, a total of 345 vessels shipped 7.7 million tons of grain from Ukrainian ports,” Akar told reporters, adding that food prices have significantly dropped due to the grain shipments.

For his part, Kubrakov thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Akar for their contributions to the establishment of the grain corridor.

“We believe that this initiative should continue. We understand the link between this initiative and grain prices around the world,” he added.

Donetsk's govt building hit by Ukrainian shelling - separatists

Shelling by Ukrainian forces has damaged the municipal building in the city of Donetsk, Russian-backed administration of the city said.

The administration said on the Telegram messaging app that the main entry into the building was hit and several nearby cars damaged on Sunday. 

There was no immediate reaction from Ukraine to the attack.

Photos circulating on social media showed plumes of smoke swirling around the building, rows of blown-out windows and a partially collapsed ceiling. 

RIA Novosti and local media also reported that three cars parked nearby had burnt out as a result of the strike.

Ukraine says 10 civilians killed, 14 injured due to Russia's recent attacks

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the presidential office, said on Telegram that there were casualties in the attacks on the Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Kherson regions.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russia has lost 65,000 liquidated personnel, 2,529 tanks and 5,193 armored vehicles since Moscow launched its offensive on Kiev on February 24.

Russia forces pushed back Ukrainian advances

Russia's defence ministry has said its forces had repelled efforts by Ukrainian troops to advance in the Donetsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, inflicting what it described as significant losses against the enemy.

The battlefield reports could not immediately be verified.

Russia also said it was continuing air strikes on military and energy targets in Ukraine, using long-range precision-guided weapons.

Gazprom says gas price cap would halt supply

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has said plans to cap the price of Russian gas exports would cause supplies to be halted, echoing a similar threat from President Vladimir Putin.

The conflict in Ukraine has prompted European Union customers to reduce their purchases of Russian energy while the G7 and the EU are trying to impose a price cap on Russian oil and gas.

"Such a one-sided decision is of course a violation of existing contracts, which would lead to a termination of supplies," Miller said in comments broadcast on state television on Sunday.

Zelenskyy claims Ukraine troops hold key town

Ukrainian troops are still holding the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks while the situation in the Donbass region remains very difficult, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

Zelenskyy also said Russian missiles and drones had continued to hit Ukrainian cities, causing destruction and casualties.

"Active fighting continues in various areas of the front. A very difficult situation persists in the Donetsk region and Luhansk region," he said. "The most difficult (situation) is in the direction of Bakhmut, as in previous days. We are holding our positions."

Russian official: Many soldiers killed in Belgorod base attack 

No civilians were killed in the attack at a military base in Russia's Belgorod region, but many soldiers were killed or wounded, the governor of Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

"A terrible event happened on our territory, on the territory of one of the military units," Gladkov said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.

"Many soldiers were killed and wounded ... There are no residents of the Belgorod region among the wounded and killed."

For live updates from Saturday (October 15), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies