Zelenskyy says Ukraine has discovered two more mass burial sites in Izyum and UN atomic watchdog chief says he is ready to hold talks this week on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, as fighting enters the 215th day.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to provide $11.7 billion in new emergency military and economic aid for Ukraine.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to provide $11.7 billion in new emergency military and economic aid for Ukraine. (AP Archive)

Monday, September 26, 2022

US Congress negotiators set $12B for new Ukraine aid

Negotiators to a stop-gap spending bill in the US Congress have agreed to include about $12 billion in new aid to Ukraine in response to a request from the Biden administration, a source familiar with the talks said.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said the measure will also include resettlement funding for Afghan refugees.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to provide $11.7 billion in new emergency military and economic aid for Ukraine.

UK announces 92 new sanctions on Russian officials

The British government has announced 92 more sanctions targeting Russian officials over “illegal sham referendums” in four Ukrainian regions.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced the new sanctions in response to the Russian regime imposing “sham referendums in four regions of Ukraine – a clear violation of international law, including the UN charter.”

In a statement, the government said that Russia was holding the referendums “in a desperate attempt to grab land and justify their illegal war.” 

NATO, EU chiefs hold talk on Ukraine conflict

NATO and EU chiefs met to discuss Russia-Ukraine conflict and preparation for a new deal on military cooperation.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held a meeting in Brussels.

“We discussed Russia’s war of aggression and stepping up support for Ukraine,” von der Leyen and Stoltenberg said on Twitter following their meeting.

Hungary opposes EU sanctions on Russian nuclear sector

Hungary, which is highly dependent on Russian energy, said it staunchly opposed European Union sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry, following EU talks on the issue at the weekend.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that "some entities in the European Union are...continuously making attempts to put hurdles and obstacles in (the) way of nuclear investments."

"I want to make it very clear here that we do consider all actions carried out... to put obstacles on the way of the construction of our nuclear power plants as attacks against our sovereignty." 

US announces $457.5M in new civilian security assistance for Ukraine

The US announced a new $457.5 million civilian security assistance package for Ukraine to bolster the besieged country's law enforcement capabilities.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the new package would be used to improve the "operational capacity" of Ukrainian law enforcement and would help to "save lives" amid Russia's ongoing offensive.

"Our provision of personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and armored vehicles has significantly reduced casualties for Ukrainian civilians and their defenders," the top diplomat said in a statement.

Russian drones hit military objects in Odessa: Ukraine military

Two drones launched by Russian forces into the Odessa region in Ukraine have hit military objects, causing a fire and the detonation of ammunition, the South command of Ukraine's forces has said.

"As a result of a large-scale fire and the detonation of ammunition, the evacuation of the civilian population was organised," the command said in statement on the Telegram.

"Preliminarily, there have been no casualties."

Zelenskyy: Two more burial sites found in liberated Izyum

Ukraine has discovered two more mass burial sites containing the bodies of hundreds of people in the northeastern town of Izyum, which Kiev recaptured from Russia this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

Russian authorities did not immediately comment on Zelenskyy's assertion about the discovery of two more burial sites.

Today I received more information... They found two more mass graves, big graves with hundreds of people... We're talking about (the) little town of Izyum.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President

Pro-Kremlin businessman confirms he founded Wagner mercenary group

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said he had founded the Wagner mercenary group and confirmed its deployment to countries in Latin America and Africa.

Prigozhin said in a statement from his company that he founded the group in order to send fighters to Ukraine's Donbass region in 2014: "From that moment, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which later acquired the name BTG Wagner". 

Prigozhin, dubbed "Putin's chef" because of his Kremlin catering contracts, has previously denied links with Wagner. 

Kazakhstan won’t recognise referendums in eastern Ukraine

Kazakhstan, one of Russia's close ex-Soviet partners, will not recognise the possible annexation of Ukraine's eastern regions by Russia through referendums held there, the Central Asian nation's foreign ministry has said.

As for the holding of referendums ... Kazakhstan proceeds from the principles of territorial integrity of states, their sovereign equivalence and peaceful coexistence.

Aibek Smadiyarov, Kazakhstan foreign ministry spokesperson

IAEA chief: Ready for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant talks in Russia, Ukraine this week

UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said he is ready to hold talks in Ukraine and Russia this week on setting up a protection zone at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine that he often says is needed urgently.

"There is a plan on the table to do it. Last week I had an opportunity to start consultations with Ukraine and with the Russian Federation... and I am ready to continue these consultations in both countries this week," Grossi told a meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency member states.

Russia arrests 100 in Dagestan call-up protest: NGO

Russian police arrested at least 101 people at the weekend in the southern region of Dagestan at a protest against Moscow's troop mobilisation, NGO OVD-Info said.

OVD-Info said more than 2,300 protesters have been arrested in protests across Russia since September 21, when President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation for the "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Dagestan -- a poor, Muslim-majority republic in the North Caucasus -- has seen more men killed in the Kremlin's military offensive in Ukraine than any other part of Russia, according to a tally made by independent Russian media of death notices published online.

EU crisis response meeting to discuss developments in Russia

Ambassadors of European Union member states have been invited to a meeting of the bloc's crisis response working group to discuss concerns about an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, an EU official and an EU diplomat have said.

The talks will also touch upon the ongoing referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine aimed at annexing territory to Russia, and on how the EU aims to handle scores of Russian men trying to enter the bloc to escape a partial mobilisation ordered last week, the sources said.

More Russians travelled to Finland during weekend, border data shows

Almost 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland during the weekend, an 80 percent rise from a week earlier, Finnish authorities said, as the influx of people continued in the wake of Russia's announcement of military mobilisation.

The border traffic had somewhat calmed early on Monday but remained busier than in the previous weeks, Captain Taneli Repo at Finland's southeastern border authority said.

OECD cuts world GDP growth forecast over Russia-Ukraine conflict

The world economy will take a bigger hit next year than previously forecast due to the impact of Russia's offensive in Ukraine, the OECD said.

The organisation slashed its 2023 global growth forecast to 2.2 percent, down from 2.8 percent in its previous estimate in June, with Europe's economic powerhouse Germany falling into recession.

Zelenskyy sees 'positive results' in multiple fronts of battle

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that heavy fighting is taking place with Russian forces in many places along the front line, some with "positive results" for Kiev.

"This is the Donetsk region, this is our Kharkiv region. This is the Kherson region, and also the Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia regions," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

"We have positive results in several directions."

US warns Russia of 'horrific' consequences of nuclear strike

The United States has warned Russia privately of "horrific" consequences if it uses nuclear weapons as part of the Ukraine offensive, top US officials said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an interview broadcast, confirmed reports that the United States has sent private warnings to Russia to steer clear of nuclear war.

"We have been very clear with the Russians publicly, and, as well as privately, to stop the loose talk about nuclear weapons," Blinken told the CBS News program "60 Minutes" in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

"It's very important that Moscow hear from us and know from us that the consequences would be horrific. And we've made that very clear," Blinken said.

For live updates from Sunday (September 25), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies