A massive barrage of Russian cruise missile and drone strikes hits critical infrastructure in Kiev, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities as the conflict enters its 250th day.

Despite Russia's decision, at least 10 cargo ships loaded with grain and other agricultural products left Ukrainian ports on Monday, according to a marine traffic website.
Despite Russia's decision, at least 10 cargo ships loaded with grain and other agricultural products left Ukrainian ports on Monday, according to a marine traffic website. (AA Archive)

Monday, October 31, 2022

The US is confident Türkiye will succeed in reviving the Ukraine grain deal, said a US spokesman.

“We have the utmost confidence in the Turks when it comes to the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price at a press conference.

“We appreciate the efforts in the role Turkey played when it comes to the JCC (Joint Coordination Center), when it comes to this initiative more broadly,” said Price, referring to the body set up in Istanbul with officials from Türkiye, Russia and Ukraine to oversee grain shipments.

Ukraine will 'remain a guarantor' of world food safety: Zelenskyy

Ukraine vowed to uphold its commitment to the Black Sea grain export deal, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, after Russia's decision to suspend the agreement designed to ease the global food crisis.

"Confirmed (Ukraine's) commitment to the Grain Deal. We're ready to remain a guarantor of (global) food safety," Zelenskyy said on Twitter.

Moscow seeks Kiev commitment on grain corridor demilitarisation

Russia has announced that it has suspended traffic along the security corridor established by the Black Sea grain deal, as the UN, Türkiye and Ukraine have agreed on a movement plan for 16 vessels that are in Turkish waters.

The statement reiterates that Moscow suspended its operations under the deal rather than withdrawing from it.

The Russian army said it wanted "commitments" from Ukraine not to use the grain exports corridor for military purposes after an attack on its Crimea fleet led to Moscow's suspension from a deal to export foodstuffs.

Until the situation around the terrorist action committed by Ukraine on October 29 this year against warships and civilian vessels in Sevastopol is clarified, traffic along the security corridor defined by the Black Sea Initiative has been suspended.

The Russian Defense Ministry

UN aid chief pushes for continuation of Ukraine grain deal

The United Nations' relief chief said that Russia's suspension of the Black Sea grain deal is "concerning" and called for the supply line to stay open.

"We stand ready to discuss any concerns with the initiative and its implementation with all parties," Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council.

"And we continue to rely on the key contribution of Türkiye as a mediator, facilitator, and a host," he added, referring to Türkiye's key role in the deal.

US resumes 'on-site' inspections to keep track of weapons in Ukraine

The United States has restarted on-site inspections in Ukraine to help keep track of the billions of dollars of weapons being provided to Kiev, a senior US official has said.

Moving large amounts of weaponry into the largest conflict in Europe since World War Two carries with it risks that some could fall into the wrong hands. But US officials have said that it has been a risk worth taking in providing about $18 billion in weapons since Russia's offensive against Ukraine in February.

A senior US defence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Ukrainian government had committed to safeguarding and accounting for the weapons and there was no credible evidence they were being diverted. But, the official said, the US had recently restarted "on-site" inspections to check weapons stocks in Ukraine "whenever and wherever the security conditions allow."

Belarus plans joint military training centres with Russia, pro-Lukashenko channel says

Belarus plans to create joint military training centres with Russia, a Telegram channel close to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has said.

The move could bolster Russia's struggling war effort in Ukraine by providing training grounds in Belarus for newly mobilised soldiers, something Western analysts have flagged as a logical step for Moscow at a time when its army is stretched and depleted.

Lukashenko allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin, his close ally, to use Belarusian territory as a platform for the February 24 invasion of Ukraine. But he has refrained from committing his army to fight alongside Russia's in the eight-month-old war.

US accuses Russia of 'extortion' over Ukraine grain demands

The United States accused Russia of extortion at the expense of the developing world after it demanded Ukrainian security guarantees on its Crimea fleet for preserving a secure corridor to export grain.

"What you're describing appears to be either collective punishment or collective extortion," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.

"It is not an issue between any two countries on the face of the earth. This is an urgent imperative" for developing countries, he said.

Moscow's suspension of the initiative would be tantamount to collective punishment for the rest of the world, but especially lower- and middle-income countries that so desperately need this grain.

Ned Price, US State Department spokesperson

After weeks of chaos, Russia says partial mobilisation is complete

Russia has completed the partial military mobilisation announced by President Vladimir Putin in September, the Defence Ministry said.

"All activities related to the conscription...of citizens in the reserve have been stopped," the ministry said on Monday, and no further call-up notices would be issued.

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the time that some 300,000 additional personnel would be drafted, and that they would be specialists with combat experience.

Moldova declares Russian embassy employee persona non grata

Moldova declared a Russian embassy employee in the capital Chisinau persona non grata, and Russian news agencies quoted Moscow as saying it would respond to the decision.

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry did not identify the employee in a statement issued after the Russian ambassador was summoned and informed that the employee must leave Moldova.

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said the Russian ambassador was told that "missile attacks on a neighbouring country continue to increase security risks, and the citizens of our country increasingly feel the devastating consequences of the war."

UK warns Russia of severe consequences if nuclear weapons used in Ukraine

Britain warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of severe consequences if Moscow uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, saying such a step would change the nature of the conflict.

"No other country is talking about nuclear use. No country is threatening Russia or President Putin," foreign minister James Cleverly told lawmakers.

He should be clear that for the UK and our allies, any use, at all, of nuclear weapons would change the nature of the conflict. There would be severe consequences for Russia.

James Cleverly, Foreign Minister of UK

Ukraine water, power cuts after 'massive' Russian missile attack

Ukraine has suffered sweeping blackouts and water supplies have been cut for 80 percent of Kiev residents after what Ukrainian officials called another "massive" Russian missile attack on energy facilities.

The Ukrainian army said "more than 50" cruise missiles were launched at targets across the country on Monday, days after Russia blamed Ukraine for drone attacks on its fleet in the Black Sea.

The army said many missiles were shot down by air defences but Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said they had caused power cuts in "hundreds" of areas across seven Ukrainian regions.

Shot-down Russian missile fell on Moldova village, no casualties: Ministry

The Moldovan government said a Russian missile shot down by Ukrainian air defences fell on a village in northern Moldova, but without causing any injuries.

The country's interior ministry said the missile debris fell on the village of Naslavcea close to the Ukrainian border.

"So far there are no reported victims, but the windows of several houses in Naslavcea were destroyed," it said.

Czech, Ukrainian premiers hold talks in Kiev in wake of fresh missile attacks 

On a visit to Ukraine for talks with senior officials, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala met his counterpart Denys Shmyhal in the capital Kiev in the wake of missile attacks on Kiev and multiple regions.

“Glad to welcome Petr Fiala and the Czech government representatives in Kiev! Today we held a joint intergovernmental consultation between Ukraine and the Czech Republic. 

We are deepening our partnership. Thank you for your support and solidarity with Ukraine,” Shmyhal posted on Twitter following the meeting.

Norway raises military alert in response to Ukraine war

Norway will put its military on a raised level of alert as it sharpens security in response to the war in Ukraine, the Nordic country's prime minister said.

"This is the most severe security situation in several decades," Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told a news conference.

The armed forces will spend less time training and more time on operational duties, and the Home Guard, a rapid mobilisation force, will play a more active role, Defence Minister Bjoern Arild Gram said.

There are no indications that Russia is expanding its warfare to other countries, but the increased tensions make us more exposed to threats, intelligence operations and influence campaigns.

Jonas Gahr Stoere, Norwegian Prime Minister

Russia summons Dutch ambassador over alleged recruitment attempt by British intelligence

Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest at what it said was an attempt by British intelligence to recruit the Russian military attache at the Russian embassy in The Hague.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called on the Dutch authorities to prevent "countries that the Netherlands calls its allies" from taking such "unfriendly" actions. 

Heavy Russian strikes hit key infrastructure in central Kiev

Ukrainian officials reported a massive barrage of Russian strikes on critical infrastructure in Kiev, Kharkiv and other cities.

Part of the Ukrainian capital was cut off from power and water supplies as a result, its mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Officials also reported possible power outages in the cities of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia resulting from the strikes.

The attack comes two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the coast of the annexed Crimean peninsula. 

UN's Black Sea grain deal chief says 'the food must flow'

The UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative said that civilian cargo ships can never be a military target or held hostage, and that "the food must flow" under the deal from which Russia withdrew at the weekend.

Amir Abdulla's comment on Twitter came after the United Nations, Türkiye and Ukraine pressed ahead with a transit plan. Russia had withdrawn saying it could not "guarantee safety of civilian ships" after an attack on its Black Sea fleet.

New Zealand announces more sanctions on Russia

New Zealand announced additional sanctions on Russia over ongoing war in Ukraine.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said this round of penalties focused on the Russian defense and security sectors.

"Today we are sanctioning 14 individuals and seven entities as part of our ongoing support for Ukraine. The group includes military personnel, defence entities and executives, Russian-directed disinformation outlets, and a paramilitary organisation and its senior commanders," Mahuta said in a statement.

Ukraine repels Russia's offensive in eastern Donetsk

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukrainian forces had repelled a "fierce offensive" by Russian troops in the eastern Donetsk region.

Zelenskyy said a military unit from Chop in western Ukraine had undertaken the action, but did not say where the clash had occurred.

"Today they stopped the fierce offensive actions of the enemy," Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. "The Russian attack was repelled."

US, China discuss Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on a call and discussed Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability, the US Department of State said in a statement.

Both diplomats underlined the need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the bilateral relationship.

For live updates from Sunday (October 30), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies