Russia can defend new regions with nuclear weapons: Medvedev | Russia-Ukraine war News

Putin ally says Ukrainian territories that vote to hitch Russia can be protected by Moscow as ‘sham’ referendums close to.

Dmitry Medvedev, the previous Russian president, has stated that any weapons in Moscow’s arsenal, together with strategic nuclear weapons, may very well be used to defend territories included into Russia from Ukraine.

Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Safety Council, additionally stated on Thursday that referendums being organised by Russian-installed and separatist authorities in giant swathes of occupied Ukrainian territory will happen, and that “there is no such thing as a going again”:

“The Donbas [Donetsk and Luhansk] republics and different territories can be accepted into Russia,” he stated in a Telegram publish, referring to breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

His feedback got here after President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Moscow would use “all obtainable means” to guard Russia’s “territorial integrity” as he moved to mobilise 300,000 reserve forces to struggle in Ukraine. The thinly veiled nuclear risk drew speedy condemnation from an array of Western leaders.

Medvedev, who usually points aggressive statements on the West and Ukraine, added that the safety of all of the territories can be considerably strengthened by the Russian armed forces.

“Russia has introduced that not solely mobilisation capabilities, but in addition any Russian weapons, together with strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based mostly on new rules, may very well be used for such safety,” he stated.

INTERACTIVE Russia's nuclear programme

The votes to hitch Russia are attributable to happen within the Russian-held elements of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces, in addition to a part of Mykolaiv province, from Friday – and are broadly anticipated to supply outcomes overwhelmingly endorsing becoming a member of Russia.

The votes, which is able to happen below army occupation with none outdoors oversight, have been labelled shams by Kyiv and its Western allies.

If formally admitted to the Russian Federation, the occupied territories, the place Ukrainian counteroffensives have gathered tempo in current weeks, will below Moscow’s nuclear doctrine, be entitled to safety from Russian nuclear weapons.

Moscow doesn’t totally management any of the 4 areas it’s anticipated to attempt to annex, with solely round 60 p.c of Donetsk and 66 p.c of Zaporizhia at present held by the Russian military.

Ex-US official visits Russia to push for Americans’ release | Russia-Ukraine war News

Biden administration distances itself from Invoice Richardson’s efforts, however Brittney Griner’s household welcomes the go to.

Former United States diplomat Invoice Richardson visited Russia this week, a number of information retailers have reported, amid efforts to safe the discharge of American basketball participant Brittney Griner and US army veteran Paul Whelan.

However the US State Division on Wednesday distanced itself from the journey, stressing that Washington is engaged with Moscow via established channels to safe the 2 People’ launch.

State Division Spokesperson Ned Worth mentioned the go to by Richardson — who has labored to free detained Americans internationally — to Russia was not coordinated with the US authorities.

“Our concern is that non-public residents trying to dealer a deal don’t and can’t converse for the US authorities, and we’ve got urged personal residents to not journey to Russia, owing to the risks that they’d face,” Worth instructed reporters throughout a information convention.

He added that holding talks with Russia outdoors the designated diplomatic channels could “hinder” the push to free Griner and Whelan.

The Related Press reported that the Richardson Heart for International Engagement declined to touch upon the go to.

The centre based by Richardson, a former envoy to the United Nations and New Mexico governor, says it negotiates “for the discharge of prisoners and hostages held by hostile regimes or felony organizations”.

Griner’s spouse, Cherelle, instructed CNN that the household requested the Richardson Heart to assist. “We’re inspired to listen to that they’re having conferences in Moscow,” Cherelle Griner mentioned.

A two-time Olympic gold medallist and Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) star, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in jail final month over drug fees.

She was arrested in February, days earlier than Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and her case has moved via the Russian court docket system amid frayed relations between Moscow and Washington over the struggle.

Griner was accused of bringing vape canisters containing hashish oil into Russia, the place she was set to play for a basketball crew in Yekaterinburg.

Since Griner’s arrest, kinfolk, teammates and supporters have been calling on the US authorities to place its full weight behind the case to push for her launch.

The US authorities mentioned in Might that Griner was “wrongfully detained“, and it has been calling for her launch.

After she was sentenced in August, President Joe Biden known as her detention “unacceptable” and promised to “tirelessly and pursue each doable avenue” to carry her and Whelan again to the US.

Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2020 on espionage fees.

On Wednesday, Worth mentioned Washington had made a “important supply” to Russia to safe the discharge of the 2 US residents, including that discussions on the difficulty are “ongoing”.

Russia loses control of key towns as Ukrainian forces advance | Russia-Ukraine war News

Moscow has deserted its principal bastion in northeastern Ukraine, in a sudden collapse of one of many warfare’s principal entrance strains after Ukrainian forces made a fast advance.

The swift fall of Izyum in Kharkiv province on Saturday was Moscow’s worst defeat since its troops had been compelled again from the capital Kyiv in March.

This might show a pivotal second within the six-month-old warfare, with hundreds of Russian troopers abandoning ammunition stockpiles and tools as they fled.

Russian forces used Izyum because the logistics base for one among their principal campaigns – a months-long assault from the north on the adjoining Donbas area comprising Donetsk and Luhansk.

The state-run TASS information company quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying it had ordered troops to go away the neighborhood and reinforce operations elsewhere in neighbouring Donetsk.

The top of Russia’s administration in Kharkiv informed residents to evacuate the province and flee to Russia to “save lives”, TASS reported. Witnesses described site visitors jams of vehicles with individuals leaving Russian-held territory.

Ukrainian forces
Ukrainian troops captured the town of Kupiansk, a railway hub [Press Service of the State Security Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters]

Zelensyy says 2000sq km retaken

The Russian withdrawal was heralded by Ukrainian leaders.

“The Russian military today is demonstrating its finest capability – to indicate its again,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned in a video handle Saturday night.

Ukraine’s armed forces have liberated about 2,000 sq. kilometres (770 sq. miles) of territory since a counter-offensive towards Russia began earlier this month, he mentioned.

Ukrainian officers stopped wanting confirming that they had recaptured Izyum, however Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy’s chief of workers, posted a photograph of troops on its outskirts and tweeted an emoji of grapes. Town’s title means “raisin”.

“The Russian military is claiming the title of quickest military on the planet … maintain working!” Yermak wrote on Twitter later.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Kyiv, mentioned Izyum was “a key navy strongpoint for the Russians for a lot of months”.

“It took the Russians six weeks of combating to come up with that metropolis, and now it seems that the Ukrainians could have retaken it, in just about a 12-to-24-hour timeframe,” Elizondo mentioned.

“It offers you an thought of how the tide is actually turning. Ukrainians clearly have the momentum on this battle proper now within the northeast, as they proceed to push the Russian forces again.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock
German overseas minister Annalena Baerbock, who was visiting the Ukrainian capital, mentioned Berlin would proceed to assist Ukraine [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

The Russian withdrawal announcement got here hours after Ukrainian troops entered the town of Kupiansk farther north, the only railway hub supplying Russia’s whole entrance line throughout northeastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian officers posted photographs early on Saturday of their troops elevating the nation’s blue-and-yellow flag in entrance of Kupiansk’s metropolis corridor.

That left hundreds of Russian troops abruptly minimize off from provides alongside a entrance that has seen among the most intense battles of the warfare.

There have been indicators of bother for Russia elsewhere alongside its remaining positions on the jap entrance, with pro-Russian officers acknowledging difficulties at different places.

Ukrainian armed forces are persevering with to advance in several areas alongside the entrance, Zelenskyy mentioned.

Earlier on Saturday, German overseas minister Annalena Baerbock, who was visiting the Ukrainian capital, mentioned Berlin would proceed to assist Ukraine in its struggle towards Russian forces.

“I’ve travelled to Kyiv as we speak to indicate that they will proceed to depend on us. That we are going to proceed to face by Ukraine for so long as crucial with deliveries of weapons, and with humanitarian and monetary assist,” she mentioned.

Ukrainian service members pose
Ukrainian service members pose for within the lately liberated settlement of Vasylenkove in Kharkiv area, Ukraine [Press service of the Territorial Defence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via Reuters]

Russian forces ‘regrouping’

Days in the past, Kyiv’s forces burst via the entrance line and have since recaptured dozens of cities and villages in a swift mechanised assault, surging ahead dozens of kilometres a day.

“To realize the acknowledged targets of the Particular Army Operation for the liberation of Donbas, it was determined to regroup the Russian troops positioned within the districts of Balakliia and [Izyum] for the aim of accelerating efforts within the Donetsk route,” TASS quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying.

Russian forces had already deserted Balakliia days in the past.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Malyar, sounded a cautionary notice, urging individuals to not report prematurely that cities have been “taken” simply because Ukrainian troops have entered, as in Balakliia.

“A couple of days in the past it was reported that troops had entered the city. Right now, now we have lastly established management within the metropolis, carried out all the required actions, and raised the flag,” she mentioned.

Ukraine tanks
A nonetheless picture from video, launched by the Russian defence ministry, reveals what it mentioned to be a Russian navy convoy heading in direction of the entrance line in Ukraine’s Kharkiv area [Russian Ministry of Defence/Handout via Reuters]

In Hrakove, one among dozens of villages recaptured within the Ukrainian advance, Reuters noticed burned-out autos bearing the “Z” image of Russia’s invasion. Packing containers of ammunition had been scattered together with garbage at positions the Russians had deserted in evident haste.

“Howdy everybody, we’re from Russia,” was spray-painted on a wall. Three our bodies lay in white physique luggage in a yard.

The regional chief of police, Volodymyr Tymoshenko, mentioned Ukrainian police moved in the day before today, and checked the identities of native residents who had lived below Russian occupation for the reason that invasion’s second day.

“The primary perform is to supply assist that they want. The subsequent job is to doc the crimes dedicated by Russian invaders on the territories which they quickly occupied,” he mentioned.

Russian rocket fireplace hit Kharkiv metropolis on Saturday night, killing a minimum of one particular person and damaging a number of properties, a part of a surge in shelling since Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Ukrainian officers mentioned.

Russia’s abrupt abandonment of the entrance line south of Kharkiv metropolis introduced a sudden finish to a interval when the warfare was fought as a relentless grind on a static entrance, favouring Moscow’s benefit in uncooked firepower.

Russia halts Nord Stream 1 gas flow to Europe again | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia’s state-owned vitality big Gazprom has once more suspended fuel deliveries on the arterial Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, citing upkeep necessities.

The suspension is the most recent in a sequence of halts to fuel provides which have contributed to an ongoing vitality disaster in Europe within the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that started on February 24.

Gazprom stated on Wednesday that provides through Nord Stream 1 have been “utterly stopped” for “preventive work” at a compressor unit. The announcement got here shortly after European fuel community operator ENTSOG introduced that deliveries had ceased.

Gazprom has repeatedly maintained the stoppages in provide are essential for routine upkeep however have been exacerbated by gear supply issues created by Western sanctions on Russia.

Germany has accused Moscow of utilizing its vitality sources as a weapon.

Germany’s Federal Community Company chief Klaus Mueller known as the most recent cessation “technically incomprehensible”, including that have reveals that Moscow “makes a political determination after each so-called upkeep”.

“We’ll solely know originally of September if Russia does that once more,” stated Mueller, apparently referring to suspensions and reductions of flows in June and July that Russia blamed on upkeep.

Anticipated to worsen

Europe’s ongoing vitality crunch has seen a 400 % surge in wholesale fuel costs since final August.

The shortages have squeezed shoppers and companies alike, who’re reeling from sky-high inflation and the excessive price of residing. It has compelled governments to spend billions to ease the burden.

The state of affairs is anticipated to worsen as European international locations enter the chilly winter months, with many properties utilizing pure fuel for heating. Some international locations, together with France, have stated gasoline rationing is feasible.

Since launching its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has additionally stopped supplying Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland with fuel whereas lowering flows through different pipelines.

On Tuesday, Gazprom stated it will droop fuel deliveries to its French contractor over a funds dispute. France’s vitality minister stated that was an excuse, however stated the nation had already been anticipating the lack of provide.

The European Union is getting ready to take emergency motion to reform the electrical energy market to be able to deliver rising costs beneath management, with vitality ministers scheduled to carry extraordinary talks subsequent week.

‘Nothing interferes with provides’

Germany, which is closely depending on Russian fuel, is faring higher than anticipated, with Mueller reporting the nation’s fuel storage was almost 85 % crammed.

Europe as a complete can be making progress in filling its fuel storage tanks. On Sunday, storage ranges have been already at 79.9 % of capability within the EU.

German financial system minister Robert Habeck, who’s main efforts to interchange Russian fuel imports by mid-2024, says the nation at present doesn’t have the wanted shops to make it by the winter.

Requested if Gazprom’s provides would resume after the three-day works have been accomplished on Saturday, Russian authorities spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated “there’s a assure that, aside from technical issues brought on by sanctions, nothing interferes with provides”.

Western capitals “have imposed sanctions towards Russia, which don’t enable for regular upkeep, restore work”, he stated, showing to seek advice from an incident in July when, following 10 days of scheduled upkeep, Nord Stream 1 flows dwindled.

Gazprom stated the problem was the results of a key turbine being blocked from supply to Russia due to sanctions.

Germany, from the place the turbine was being despatched, stated Moscow was the one blocking that supply.

Ukraine says Russia dropped phosphorus bombs on Snake Island | News

Russian Su-30 fighter jets flew two sorties over Snake Island dropping phosphorus bombs a day after ‘goodwill’ retreat.

Ukraine’s military has accused Russia of finishing up assaults utilizing incendiary phosphorus munitions on Snake Island, only a day after Moscow withdrew its forces from the rocky outcrop within the Black Sea.

Two sorties of Russian Su-30 fighter jets dropping phosphorus bombs had been flown over the island from the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, mentioned on Telegram on Friday.

“At this time at round 18:00 … Russian air pressure Su-30 planes twice carried out strikes with phosphorus bombs on Zmiinyi island,” the Ukrainian military mentioned in a press release, utilizing one other identify for Snake Island.

The Russian defence ministry described its retreat from the island on Thursday as “a gesture of goodwill” meant to show that Moscow won’t intervene with UN efforts to organise protected grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military on Friday accused Russia of being unable to “respect even their very own declarations”.

Video footage accompanying the Ukrainian assertion confirmed a airplane drop munitions a minimum of twice on the island, and what seemed to be white streaks rising above it.

Phosphorus weapons, which depart a signature white path within the sky, are incendiary weapons whose use in opposition to civilians is banned beneath a global conference however allowed for navy targets.

Ukraine has accused Russia of utilizing phosphorus bombs a number of instances because it invaded in late February, together with on civilian areas, allegations Moscow has denied.

Ukraine has claimed that Russian navy personnel had been compelled to retreat from the island after coming beneath a barrage of artillery and missile fireplace.

Snake Island lies off the Ukrainian coast, some 35 kilometres (22 miles) off the Danube delta, and was already a restricted navy space as a Ukrainian border outpost earlier than the conflict started.

A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on May 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]
A satellite tv for pc picture reveals an summary of Snake Island, Ukraine on Might 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

Russia denies debt default, blames Western financial agents | Business and Economy News

Russia’s finance ministry requested international bondholders to talk on to these withholding their funds.

Russia has rejected claims that’s has defaulted on its exterior debt for the primary time in additional than a century, telling traders to go to Western monetary brokers for the money which Moscow claims was despatched however bondholders didn’t obtain.

The White Home stated on Monday that Russia had defaulted on its worldwide bonds for the primary time because the Bolshevik revolution, as sweeping sanctions amid Moscow’s conflict on Ukraine have successfully lower the nation off from the worldwide monetary system.

“Statements of a default are completely unjustified,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov advised a name with reporters on Monday, pointing to a foreign exchange coupon cost in Might.

“The truth that Euroclear withheld this cash and didn’t deliver it to the recipients just isn’t our downside. There are completely no grounds to name such a state of affairs a default,” he stated.

Euroclear didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Till final week, Russia stored on paying on its Eurobonds in international foreign money, but its greenback and euro coupon transfers made in Might didn’t attain traders. Moscow owes $100m in curiosity on one bond priced in {dollars} and one priced in euros, which was initially due for cost on Might 27.

On Monday, the Russian finance ministry stated that “actions of international monetary intermediaries are past the Russian finance ministry’s management”, and directed international bondholders to talk on to these withholding the funds that Moscow claims to have made.

“The non-receipt of cash by traders didn’t happen due to lack of cost however as a result of third-party actions and which isn’t straight spelled out as a default state of affairs by concern documentation,” the ministry added.

President Vladimir Putin ordered final week that debt obligations could be thought-about fulfilled as soon as a rouble cost equal to the foreign exchange quantity due was made. Bondholders would wish to open an account at a Russian financial institution to obtain such a cost.

‘Monetary nuclear bomb’

The Group of Seven main Western powers banned transactions with Russia’s central financial institution and froze its property held of their jurisdictions, value about $300bn, after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Some Western politicians have referred to as to grab the frozen Russian reserves to rebuild Ukraine – and it was such an concept that two high-ranked Russian monetary sources stated they believed was behind the announcement of default on Monday, and which Moscow considers synthetic.

“By asserting a default, they’ll declare that sanctions work. Economically, financially, property could possibly be confiscated legally,” one of many two sources stated.

Kremlin spokesperson Peskov reiterated on Monday that Russia’s reserves had been blocked “unlawfully” and that any makes an attempt to make use of them would “quantity to outright theft”.

“I imagine {that a} monetary nuclear bomb was used in opposition to us, no nation within the historical past of mankind has skilled such sanctions strain as Russia is now,” Alexei Moiseev, Russian deputy finance minister, stated final week.

Russia and China open cross-border bridge as ties deepen | International Trade News

Moscow and Beijing hope new bridge linking Russian metropolis of Blagoveshchensk to Chinese language metropolis of Heihe will additional enhance commerce as Ukraine conflict hits provide stream.

Russia and China have opened a brand new cross-border bridge within the Far East that they hope will additional strengthen commerce as Moscow reels from sweeping Western sanctions imposed over its actions in Ukraine.

The bridge linking the Russian metropolis of Blagoveshchensk to the Chinese language metropolis of Heihe throughout the Amur River – identified in China because the Heilongjiang – is about 1km lengthy and price 19 billion roubles ($342m), the RIA information company reported on Friday.

Amid a fireworks show, freight vehicles from each ends crossed the two-lane bridge festooned with flags within the colors of each international locations, video footage of the opening confirmed.

Russian authorities stated the bridge would deliver Moscow and Beijing nearer collectively by boosting commerce after they introduced a “no limits” partnership in February, shortly earlier than President Vladimir Putin despatched his forces into Ukraine.

“In at this time’s divided world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China carries a particular symbolic which means,” stated Yuri Trutnev, the Kremlin consultant within the Russian Far East.

China needs to deepen sensible cooperation with Russia in all areas, Chinese language Vice Premier Hu Chunhua stated on the opening.

Russia’s Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev stated the bridge would assist enhance bilateral annual commerce to a couple of million tonnes of products.

Slicing journey time

The bridge had been underneath development since 2016 and was accomplished in Might 2020, however its opening was delayed by cross-border COVID-19 restrictions, stated BTS-MOST, the agency constructing the bridge on the Russian aspect.

BTS-MOST stated freight site visitors on the bridge would shorten the journey distance of Chinese language items to western Russia by 1,500km (930 miles).

Automobiles crossing the bridge should pay a toll of 8,700 roubles ($150), a value that’s anticipated to drop as toll charges start to offset the price of development.

Russia stated in April it anticipated commodity flows with China to develop and commerce with Beijing to succeed in $200bn by 2024.

China is a serious purchaser of Russian pure assets and agricultural merchandise.

China has declined to sentence Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has criticised the Western sanctions on Moscow.