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Russia Ukraine War Highlights: Russia says Zelenskyy’s ‘preventive strike’ comments justify its Ukraine ‘special operation’

Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: Biden said Putin was “a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend the opening of the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum in the Patriot Park outside Moscow, Russia, on Aug. 15, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russia Ukraine War Highlights: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that remarks by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggesting NATO should launch preventive strikes on Russia confirmed the need for what it calls its “special operation” in Ukraine. “By doing so, (he) essentially presented the world with further evidence of the threats posed by the Kyiv regime,” Lavrov said. “This is why a special military operation was launched to neutralise them.”

US President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons is the biggest such threat since the Cuban Missile Crisis. “For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they’d been going,” Biden said Thursday. Putin marks his 70th birthday on Friday.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Donestk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, representing about 15% of the country, after holding what it called referendums – votes denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive. as Putin’s seven-month invasion unravels. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s forces were swiftly recapturing more territory, especially in the south of the country

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Russia Ukraine War Highlights: Biden says Putin's nuclear threat biggest risk since Cuban Missile Crisis; Ukraine says 534 civilian bodies found after Russian retreat. Follow latest news here.

21:04 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Why Russia isn’t the villain of the war

Anastasia Piliavsky’s article entitled ‘Dear Indian Friends’ (IE, October 5) soliciting the support of the Indian people for Ukraine against Russian intervention is full of falsehoods and oversimplifications. She ignores the fact that the NATO dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the creation of Kosovo in 1999 demonstrated the weakness of international law and the UN. The big powers could get by within an international order that is essentially anarchic and where might is right. It was a humiliating experience for the Russian Federation as there was no Security Council resolution endorsing an action with a trumped-up charge of genocide. A relatively weak Russia realised that the US-led Western Alliance would treat it more as a defeated country than as an equal. Subrata Mukerjee writes

19:02 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Blunt criticism of Russian Army signals new challenge for Putin

Russia’s foundering invasion of Ukraine has produced an extraordinary barrage of criticism from supporters of the war in recent days, directed primarily at the leadership of the Russian military. The outpouring of discontent is creating a new challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who, after cracking down on Russia’s liberal opposition, now faces growing dissent in his own camp.

The latest salvo came Thursday when a Russian-installed official in an occupied region of Ukraine belittled the Kremlin’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, a close associate of Putin. The official, Kirill Stremousov, said Shoigu should consider killing himself because of his army’s failures in Ukraine. Read the NYT story here

18:32 (IST)07 Oct 2022
A Russian response: On Ukraine, India is on the right side of history — it is guided by national interest, not western propaganda

I would like to thank the editors of The Indian Express for publishing the message from Anastasia Piliavsky (‘Dear Indian friends’, October 6). You have been instrumental in letting Indian readers understand with whom and what Russia has been dealing. No Russian propagandist could write something better to disclose the mindset of Ukraine and its Western bosses. I will not waste time and space disproving Piliavsky’s statement of “bad Russia” and “Putin the tyrant”. She seems to be a worthy disciple of L Denivosa, the Ukrainian ombudsman sacked for concocting too many foolish stories of Russian soldiers raping everybody and everything from humans to telegraph poles – nothing has been verified (ask honest journalists like Adrien Bouquet, persecuted for telling the truth about the staging of the “Bucha massacre”). I will, instead, draw the reader’s attention to the utter disrespect shown by the author to Indians.

Madam, do you really believe that Indian foreign policy is driven by a “soft corner” and senile nostalgia for “Hindi-Rusi bhai-bhai”? Are you seriously pretending to be an eye-opener for Indian leaders and people that “Russia is not USSR”? Or has it not just occurred to you that a country like India may build its international relations on pragmatic grounds? That it is a young and dynamic society, not immersed in the reminiscences of Raj Kapoor, but building its future? What a “civilised” approach to treat Indians like children who do not know what they are doing! Smells of racism, doesn’t it? Read the full piece by Eugenia Vanina here

17:02 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Russia-Ukraine: Lessons from a seven-month war

After the 1971 war, when a tri-service discussion analysed the war, Sam Manekshaw, then a general, weighed in with a twinkle in his eye to say, “My dears, you can win as many battles as you like at sea, or in the air, or even lose them, but eventually it is the Army that will prove to be decisive”. Manekshaw was stating the conventional wisdom — that the political objectives are invariably won on land — and also invariably, by the capture of territory. So it has been, since time immemorial, although great maritime thinkers like Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan emphasised that any great land victory would never be lasting or decisive if the sea played a part in the conflict, in which case victory at sea was an essential precondition. What the Ukraine conflict has done is throw serious doubt on Manekshaw’s prediction that it was the victory in land and the subsequent peace treaty that would further the state’s objective in going to war. No one is a greater authority on this question than Claus Von Clausewitz and his famous dictum was, “War is politics by other means”. Raja Mohan writes

16:29 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Drone crashes into Russian military airfield northeast of Ukraine: Report

A drone has crashed into a military airfield in Russia's Kaluga region, just over 200 km (130 miles) northeast of Ukraine, the region's governor said on Friday. "Today there was an explosion at the Shaykovka military airfield in Kaluga region," governor Vladislav Shapsha wrote on Telegram.

"A drone, presumably coming from the direction of the border, crashed," he said. "The airfield infrastructure and equipment were not damaged. There is no threat to operations." (Reuters)

15:54 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Missiles, drones hit Zaporizhzhia again as death toll rises

The death toll from a missile attack on apartment buildings in a southern Ukrainian city rose to 11 as more Russian missiles and — for the first time — explosive packed drones targeted Ukrainian-held Zaporizhzhia on Friday.

As the war sparked by Russia's February invasion of its neighbor, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to human rights organizations in Russia and Ukraine, and an activist jailed in Russian ally Belarus. Asked by a reporter whether the prize shared by Belarus rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties should be seen as a “birthday gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who turned 70 on Friday, committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen said no.

“The prize is not addressing President Putin, not for his birthday or in any other sense, except that his government, as the government in Belarus, is representing an authoritarian government that is suppressing human rights activists,” Reiss-Andersen said. (AP)

15:22 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Ukraine's Center for Civil Liberties 'proud' to win Nobel Prize

Ukraine's Center for Civil Liberties said on Friday it was proud to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Morning with good news. We are proud," it wrote on Twitter. (Reuters)

13:56 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Russia says Zelenskyy's 'preventive strike' comments justify its Ukraine 'special operation'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that remarks by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggesting NATO should launch preventive strikes on Russia confirmed the need for what it calls its "special operation" in Ukraine.

"By doing so, (he) essentially presented the world with further evidence of the threats posed by the Kyiv regime," Lavrov said. "This is why a special military operation was launched to neutralise them." (Reuters)

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13:11 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Russia lashes out in Ukraine, raising question of what’s next

Deadly Russian strikes on Ukrainians far behind the front lines and new concerns about the safety of an endangered nuclear power plant highlighted questions about how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, with its troops retreating and dissension escalating at home Thursday, might lash out if its battlefield losses continue.

Ukrainian soldiers at a temporary base near Bashtanka, Ukraine, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (The New York Times)

As Ukraine claimed to retake more towns and villages in the south and east, missiles hit a residential area in the city of Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, killing at least seven people with five others missing — the latest in a series of attacks on civilian targets far from the fighting. (Read more)

12:34 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Yacht owned by sanctioned Russian tycoon docks in Hong Kong

A superyacht connected to Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov has anchored in Hong Kong this week amid moves by Western governments to seize yachts connected to sanctioned Russian businessmen.

The megayacht Nord, worth over $500 million, arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon after travelling for over a week from Vladivostok, Russia, its last port of call. Mordashov is one of Russia's richest billionaires, with an estimated wealth of over $18 billion according to an estimate by Bloomberg. He is the main shareholder and chairman of Severstal, Russia's largest steel and mining company.

He was sanctioned by the US, the United Kingdom and the European Union in February after Russia invaded Ukraine. Mordashov has since attempted to challenge the sanctions against him in European courts. (AP)

11:46 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ risk highest since ‘1962 crisis’, says Biden

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden.(Reuters)

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.” Biden added, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Biden also challenged Russian nuclear doctrine, warning that the use of a lower-yield tactical weapon could quickly spiral out of control into global destruction. (Read more)

11:26 (IST)07 Oct 2022
The missile Ukraine wants is one the US says it doesn’t need

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pentagon officials have sent the Ukrainian military an array of equipment totalling billions of dollars. But one powerful weapon, called the Army Tactical Missile System, has become part of a debate about the limits of US support for its ally.

Ukrainian officials say the missile could help them regain Crimea, a part of the country that Russia seized in 2014. (Photo credit: Lockheed Martin)

The long-range missile — known as ATACMS and pronounced like “attack ’ems” — can strike targets 190 miles away with a warhead containing about 375 pounds of explosives. It can be fired from the HIMARS mobile launchers that the United States has provided Ukraine, as well as from older M270 launchers sent from Britain and Germany. (Read more)

11:00 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Blunt criticism of Russian army signals new challenge for Putin

Russia’s foundering invasion of Ukraine has produced an extraordinary barrage of criticism from supporters of the war in recent days, directed primarily at the leadership of the Russian military. The outpouring of discontent is creating a new challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who, after cracking down on Russia’s liberal opposition, now faces growing dissent in his own camp.

Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the defense committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, excoriated the Defense Ministry for covering up the bad news from the front.(AP Photo/File)

The latest salvo came Thursday when a Russian-installed official in an occupied region of Ukraine belittled the Kremlin’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, a close associate of Putin. The official, Kirill Stremousov, said Shoigu should consider killing himself because of his army’s failures in Ukraine. (Read more)

09:59 (IST)07 Oct 2022
2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaska island

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid military service have requested asylum in the US after landing in a small boat on a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea, US Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office said Thursday.

Karina Borger, a spokesperson for the Alaska Republican senator, said in an email that the office has been in communication with the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.”

Thousands of Russian men have fled since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilisation to bolster Russian forces in Ukraine.  (AP)

08:55 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Where is the conflict today?

➡️ Biden, commenting on Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons, said the United States was "trying to figure out" the Russian leader's off-ramp.

➡️ A missile attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia in the southern region of the same name left some people buried under the rubble, the regional governor said, and was a reminder of Moscow's ability to strike targets even at a time when its forces have been pushed back in the south and east.

➡️ A Russian-backed official in Ukraine publicly criticised President Vladimir Putin's "generals and ministers" for failing to understand the problems on the front lines.

➡️ Ukraine's armed forces have advanced up to about 55 km over the last two weeks in a counteroffensive against Russian forces in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine, a Ukrainian general said. Reuters could not independently verify the remarks. (Reuters)

08:51 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Ukraine says 534 civilian bodies found after Russian retreat

In the northeastern Kharkiv region where Ukrainian forces regained a large swathe of territory in September, the bodies of 534 civilians including 19 children were found after Russian troops left, police official Serhiy Bolvinov told a briefing.

The total included 447 bodies found in Izium. He also said that investigators had found evidence of 22 "torture rooms". There was no immediate comment from Russia. (Reuters)

08:46 (IST)07 Oct 2022
Biden says Putin's nuclear threat biggest risk since Cuban Missile Crisis

US President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons is the biggest such threat since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Biden said the United States was "trying to figure out" Putin's off-ramp from the war, warning that the Russian leader was "not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, is significantly underperforming".

"For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they'd been going," Biden told Democratic donors in New York on Thursday.

"We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis," he said. (Reuters)

21:43 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Putin's defence minister should consider suicide, Russian-installed official says

A Russian-installed official in Ukraine on Thursday suggested President Vladimir Putin's defence minister should consider killing himself due to the shame of the defeats in the Ukraine war, an astonishing public insult to Russia's top brass.

After more than seven months of war in Ukraine, Russia's most basic war aims are still not achieved while Russian forces have suffered a series of battlefield defeats in recent months, forcing Putin to announce a partial mobilisation.

In a four-minute video message, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region, followed suit, publicly lambasting the "generals and ministers" in Moscow for failing to understand the problems on the front.

"Indeed, many say: if they were a defence minister who had allowed such a state of affairs, they could, as officers, have shot themselves," Stremousov, 45, said. "But you know the word 'officer' is an incomprehensible word for many."

Such public - and insulting - censure of Putin's military chiefs from within the system used to be extremely rare in Russia, but a series of defeats on the battlefield in Ukraine has prompted some of Putin's allies to rebuke top generals.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, ridiculed generals, saying the military was riddled with nepotism and that senior officers should be stripped of their ranks and sent to the front barefoot to atone for their sins.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, one of Putin's closest allies, was appointed in 2012. So close was their relationship that the two men regularly spent holidays together in the forests and mountains of Shoigu's native Tuva.

It was not clear if the criticism was being coordinated, though it poses a problem for Putin during a crucial juncture in the war: sacrifice a close ally and admit the military has failed, or keep Shoigu and risk taking the blame himself.

The defence ministry did not respond to a written request for comment.

Many Russian nationalists have repeatedly criticised Shoigu and his top generals for everything from poor planning and shallow logistics to ruinously outdated tactics and losing the information war despite massive investment under Putin.

In the last week, two retired generals now serving as members of the State Duma from Putin's United Russia party have added their voice to the chorus of criticism, accusing the defence ministry of corruption and dishonesty.

Most of all, though, critics blame Shoigu's ministry for losing the key battles for Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lyman and in the Kherson region.

Stremousov laced his criticism with words of praise for the soldiers who stood to the death to defend their country, contrasting their heroism with the "incompetent military leaders" in Moscow.

"The ministry of defence does not consist only of ministers, generals, corrupt looters and other various scum, but all those heroes who gave their lives to defend Russia.

"Let's say this: The ministry of defence does not only consist of ministers, generals, corrupt marauders and other various scum, but all those heroes who gave their lives today, who stand to the end," Stremousov said.

Stremousov praised Kadyrov and said he felt that Moscow would soon sort out the problems.

"I agree with Ramzan Akhmatovich Kadyrov, who raised this issue. Well done," he said.

"In Moscow, I think they will sort this out as soon as possible." Stremousov said. "We'll sort it out. We'll put things in order and, believe me, everything will be under our full control." (Reuters)

21:22 (IST)06 Oct 2022
IMF revises down Senegal growth forecast as inflation soars

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slightly revised down Senegal's growth forecast for 2022 to 4.7% from around 5% in June due to a slowing of activity in the first half of the year, it said on Thursday.

Inflation reached a multi-decade high of 11.2% in August y/y, driven by rising food prices, the IMF said in a statement. Average inflation in 2022 is now expected to reach 7.5%.

"The impacts of the war in Ukraine and the soaring commodity prices are taking a toll on the Senegalese economy," said Edward Gemayel, who led an IMF mission to Senegal that just concluded.

Economic growth is expected to rebound to around 10% over the period 2023 and 2024, boosted by oil and gas production, the IMF said, while inflation is expected to gradually fall to 2%. (Reuters)

18:09 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Psychologist says some face condemnation from own families

Russians opposed to the war in Ukraine or fearful of being sent to fight there have fled to Kazakhstan in their hundreds of thousands, but many are finding new problems on arrival.

Worries about money, sudden large increases in housing costs in response to the Russian influx, and scarce jobs are compounded by pressures from family back home - some have even been accused by relatives of betraying their country.

And the scale of the exodus has given rise to concerns from some Kazakhs who see the incoming Russians as a potential economic burden and even a security risk.

Kamar Karimova, a university professor in Kazakhstan's biggest city Almaty, had to move out of a rented apartment within a day when her landlord abruptly raised the monthly rent by 42% to 340,000 tenge ($723).

"Many of my friends, acquaintances and students ended up in similar situations," she says.

Rents have soared in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian nations - as well as Georgia - where Russians have headed since President Vladimir Putin announced a "partial mobilisation" on Sept. 21 to boost Russia's flagging war effort in Ukraine.

In Georgia, some landlords have started adding a "no Russians" clause to their rental ads.

"Colleagues and I...rented out a one-bedroom apartment in poor condition located in what we were told was a dangerous neighbourhood," said Dmitry, 39, a Russian interviewed in the Kazakh capital Astana who asked not to be identified by his full name.

"The price is not critical, but if you are paying 20,000 tenge ($43) per day and everyone tells you it is not worth even 10,000 tenge, you start believing them and it begins to stress you out."

The Kazakh government said this week that more than 200,000 Russians had entered the country since Putin's announcement, and some 147,000 had since left. No data is available on their final destinations, though some are thought to have headed to neighbouring former Soviet republics.

About 77,000 have registered in Kazakhstan's national ID system, a prerequisite for getting a job or a bank account.

The Kremlin on Thursday denied reports that 700,000 Russians had fled the country since the mobilisation decree. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov could give no precise figures but said "of course they are far from what's being claimed there". (Reuters)

In other updates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Zelenskyy Tuesday and asserted that there can be no military solution to the Ukraine conflict, while also underlining that endangerment of nuclear facilities could have catastrophic consequences. Zelenskyy thanked PM Modi for India's support of Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and underlined that Ukraine will not conduct any negotiations with Vladimir Putin.

In other news, Japan will reopen its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement. Japan temporarily closed its embassy in the capital on March 2 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

False records, seaborne subterfuge: How Russia is smuggling $530 million-worth Ukrainian grain to pay for Putin’s war

When the bulk cargo ship Laodicea docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said the vessel was carrying grain stolen by Russia and urged Lebanese officials to impound the ship. Moscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn’t stolen and allowed the ship to unload.

But an investigation by The Associated Press and the PBS series ‘Frontline’ has found the Laodicea, owned by Syria, is part of a sophisticated Russian-run smuggling operation that has used falsified manifests and seaborne subterfuge to steal Ukrainian grain worth at least $530 million — cash that has helped feed President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

AP used satellite imagery and marine radio transponder data to track three dozen ships making more than 50 voyages carrying grain from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine to ports in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and other countries. Reporters reviewed shipping manifests, searched social media posts, and interviewed farmers, shippers and corporate officials to uncover the details of the massive smuggling operation. (Read more)

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
First published on: 05-10-2022 at 08:57:12 am
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