Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

German official says it’s time to start rebuilding Ukraine

German Development Minister Svenja Schulz said she believes it is important to start rebuilding Ukraine now.

“You probably have to do a lot of things in parallel and also expect that one or the other can get destroyed again,” Schulz said at the morning event at ARD Mediatheque. “But it’s important that children have schools open, the local hospital works, electricity, water.”

Germany is already helping with reconstruction, she added. Of the 426 million euros Germany has sent to Ukraine for reconstruction efforts, about 200 million euros have gone directly to the people of Ukraine, Schulz said.

Reconstruction of Ukraine after the war could cost up to $350 billion, according to a report released early last month by the World Bank, the Ukrainian government and the European Commission.

– Rocio Fabro

The Kremlin says France and Germany have shown “no willingness” to mediate over Ukraine

Moscow says France and Germany have shown “no desire” to participate in mediation over the Ukraine conflict, and it appreciates Turkey’s willingness to broker talks.

“[Turkish capital] Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Ankara takes a different position from Paris and Berlin… and expressed its readiness to continue mediation efforts.

He added that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have so far “shown no willingness to listen to Russia’s position or participate in mediation efforts.”

Macron said on Sunday that the terms of peace should be decided by Ukraine.

– Natasha Turak

Ukraine’s foreign minister asks UN nuclear watchdog to inspect its facilities to disprove Russian ‘dirty bomb’ allegations

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi to send a team of experts to Ukraine to inspect its nuclear facilities, denying Russia’s accusation that it has “dirty bombs” it plans to use on its own territory.

Grossi, head of the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, “agreed” with Kuleba’s request to “immediately send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine”, the minister wrote on Twitter.

“Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and has been transparent. We have nothing to hide,” Kuleba added. In a separate tweet, he said he spoke with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who “welcomed Ukraine’s decision to invite IAEA experts.”

– Natasha Turak

Ukraine is increasingly successful in downing Iranian drones, the UK Ministry of Defense said

Local residents look at parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which Ukrainian authorities believe to be an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone, after a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 17, 2022.

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Vladislav Musienko | Reuters

Russia is using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones to target critical infrastructure and civilian areas in many parts of Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest intelligence update, but added that anti-drone technology was being used by Ukrainian forces. . more effective.

“Russia continues to use Iranian uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets across Ukraine. Ukraine’s efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 UAV are increasingly successful,” the ministry said in a Twitter post.

Ukrainian President Zelensky and other officials claim that up to 85% of attacks are being intercepted, the ministry wrote, “These UAVs fly slowly, noisily and at low altitudes, which makes it easy to target single aircraft using conventional air defenses. “

The drones are being used as a replacement for Russia’s precision-guided long-range missiles, which he said are “becoming increasingly rare.”

– Natasha Turak

Zelensky rejects Kremlin ‘dirty bomb’ claims, says only Russia will use nuclear weapons in Europe

“Morning is difficult. We are working with terrorists. Dozens of missiles, Iranian ‘Shahid’,” Zelensky wrote on his Telegram official account, referring to the Iranian-made Shahid drone increasingly used by Russian forces.

Ukraineform | Future Release | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was the only actor that would deploy nuclear weapons in Europe, calling for the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure over the past eight months.

His comments came in response to the Kremlin’s claim, without evidence, that Ukraine was preparing to use a ‘dirty bomb’ – one that uses nuclear fission to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, without using an explosion.

That Russia was using “nuclear blackmail” at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian occupation since March, as well as using phosphorus munitions and other banned weapons again on civilian infrastructure, Zelensky said.

He added that such a claim only meant that Russia was preparing to deploy the weapon it is alleged to have on Ukraine.

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated the Russian position that Ukraine plans to use “dirty bombs” on its own territory to escalate the conflict with Russia.

“His distrust of the information provided by the Russian side does not mean that the threat of using such a dirty bomb does not exist,” Peskov told the press.

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“Such a threat exists, and the Defense Minister has given information about it to his informants. It is up to them to believe it or not.”

– Natasha Turak

‘Ukraine does not have the ability or need to use dirty bombs,’ says a former British ambassador

Nigel Gold-Davies, senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in a thread on Twitter that Ukraine “neither has the capability nor the need to use dirty bombs.”

“[Russian Defense Minister] Shoigu’s round of calls with the US, UK, France and Turkey, claiming that Ukraine is planning to use ‘dirty bombs’ is alarming. We have not seen anything like this intense military diplomacy since the war began. Its substance is more worrying,” Gold-Davies, who previously served as the UK’s ambassador to Belarus, wrote.

“Of course, Ukraine has neither the ability nor the need to use dirty bombs. That’s Russia losing. Nor will anyone trust Shoigu—especially [UK Defense Minister] Ben Wallace, who was lied to during a pre-invasion visit to Moscow.

“Shoigu also warned of ‘uncontrolled escalation.’ It is Russia that is on the rise… It is very difficult to see these calls as anything other than Shoigu either doubling down on Putin’s whims, or paving the way for Russian nuclear use. . . . yes, nuclear (i.e. fission),” Gold-Davis added. “A dirty bomb wd violate nuclear prohibition but not achieve significant effects.”

– Natasha Turak

US rejects Russian claim that Ukraine will use ‘dirty bomb’

US and Ukrainian officials have dismissed Moscow’s claims that Ukraine is planning to use “dirty bombs”, calling them “transparently false”.

The allegation was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a round of high-level calls with Western defense chiefs. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Shoigu expressed concern about possible provocation by Ukraine with the use of “dirty bombs”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 27, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Alexey Nikolsky | Sputnik | Reuters

Without using a nuclear explosion, a “dirty bomb” is created to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, rendering it harmless or uninhabitable to its inhabitants.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleban that “the United States rejects Russian Defense Minister Shoigu’s patently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use dirty bombs on its own territory, and the world will see Russia use them.” Any effort will be made. According to a White House statement, the allegation is a pretext for escalation.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also condemned Russia’s accusation.

“If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelensky said in his nightly address.

– Natasha Turak

France’s Macron says the terms of peace with Russia should be decided by Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a press conference on the last day of the NATO Heads of State Summit in Madrid, June 30, 2022.

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said the terms of peace with Moscow should be decided by Ukraine, insisting that the end of the war “cannot be the sanctity of the strongest law.”

“Being neutral means accepting the strongest world order, and I don’t agree with this,” Macron said from Rome on Sunday, as a three-day peace conference began.

Macron added that the international community will accept when the Ukrainian government makes a decision at that time.

Ukrainian forces are slowly retaking territory captured and illegally occupied by Russia, and while Moscow increasingly retreats, its ability to wreak havoc on Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure remains intact, and analysts fear that change May use more extreme measures to take. such as nuclear weapons.

– Natasha Turak

More than 1 million Ukrainian homes are without power

Smoke rises from buildings after a Russian missile attack on a critical infrastructure in Lviv on Oct. 10, 2022. Russia launched 15 rockets into the Lviv region, some were shot down by air defense forces, the rest hit energy infrastructure. Due to the rocket attacks, Lviv was left without electricity, water and mobile communications.

SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Russian strikes on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine have left more than 1 million homes without electricity in the country, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidency Kirylo Tymoshenko said over the weekend. Cities and towns in Ukraine have suffered power outages this month due to Russian attacks, raising fears of what the coming winter may hold.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his fellow citizens to be careful with their use of power.

“We should use electricity very consciously. Please remember to limit the use of unnecessary and energy-consuming appliances… It is necessary to be really frugal in energy consumption in public spaces,” he said in his Sunday night address.

– Natasha Turak

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