Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

German official says it’s time to start rebuilding Ukraine

German Development Minister Svenja Schulze 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 might crash again,” Schulze said on ARD Mediatek’s morning program. “But it is important that the children continue to have schools, that the local hospital works, that there is electricity and water.

Germany is already helping with reconstruction, she added. About 200 million euros of the 426 million euros Germany sent to Ukraine for reconstruction efforts went directly to the people of Ukraine, Schulze said.

It could cost up to $350 billion to rebuild Ukraine after the war, 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 desire” to mediate in Ukraine

Moscow says France and Germany have shown “no desire” to participate in mediation over the Ukrainian conflict and praises Turkey’s willingness to mediate the talks.

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

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

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

– Natasha Turak

Ukraine’s foreign minister has asked the UN’s nuclear watchdog to review its facilities to dispel allegations of a Russian ‘dirty bomb’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has asked the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Raphael Grossi, to send a team of experts to Ukraine to inspect its nuclear facilities in order to dispel Russian allegations that it has a “dirty bomb” it plans to detonate. uses on its territory.

Grossi, the head of the IAEA, which is the UN’s nuclear monitoring 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 remains transparent. We have nothing to hide,” added Kuleba. In a separate tweet, he said he had spoken with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who “welcomed Ukraine’s decision to invite IAEA experts”.

– Natasha Turak

Ukraine is increasingly successful in shooting down Iranian drones, the British Ministry of Defense said

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

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Vladislav Musienko | Reuters

Russia is using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones over many parts of Ukraine to target critical infrastructure and civilian areas, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its latest intelligence update, but added that Ukrainian forces’ use of anti-drone systems was becoming more effective. .

“Russia continues to use Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets across Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Zelensky and other officials claim that up to 85 percent of attacks have been intercepted, the ministry wrote, adding, “These drones are slow, noisy and fly at low altitudes, making it easy to target the lone aircraft using conventional air defenses.” .

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

– Natasha Turak

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

“The morning is difficult. We are dealing with terrorists. Dozens of missiles, Iranian “Shahids”, Zelenskyy wrote on his official Telegram account, referring to Iran’s Shahid drones, which are increasingly used by Russian forces.

Ukrinform | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is the only actor to deploy nuclear weapons in Europe, citing its 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” – which uses nuclear fission to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, without using an explosion – on its territory.

Russia used “nuclear blackmail” at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian occupation since March, as well as reusing phosphorous munitions and other banned weapons on civilian infrastructure, Zelensky said.

He added that such a claim only means that it is Russia that is preparing to deploy the weapons it accused Ukraine of.

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

“Their distrust in the information provided by the Russian side does not mean that there is no threat of using such a dirty bomb,” Peskov told the press.

“Such a threat exists, and the Minister of Defense gave the information about it to his interlocutors. It is up to them whether they believe her or not.

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– Natasha Turak

“Ukraine has neither the opportunity nor the need to use a dirty bomb,” says the former British ambassador

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

“[Russian Defense Minister] Shoigu’s round of talks with the US, UK, France and Turkey, claiming that Ukraine is planning to use a “dirty bomb”, is worrying. We have not seen anything like this intense military diplomacy since the beginning of the war. Its substance is even more worrying,” wrote Gould-Davies, who formerly served as the UK’s ambassador to Belarus.

“Of course, Ukraine has neither the opportunity nor the need to use a dirty bomb. It is Russia that is losing. Nor will anyone believe Shoigu. [UK Defense Minister] Ben Wallace, who was lied to during his visit to Moscow before the invasion.

Shoigu also warned of “uncontrolled escalation”. It is Russia that is escalating… It is so hard to see these calls as anything other than Shoigu doubling down on Putin’s bluffs or preparing the way for Russian nuclear use. Yes, nuclear (ie fission ),” Gould-Davies added. “Dirty bomb that violates nuclear taboo but achieves no significant effects.”

– Natasha Turak

US rejects Russian claims Ukraine will use ‘dirty bomb’

US and Ukrainian officials have rejected Moscow’s claims that Ukraine plans to use a “dirty bomb”, calling them “transparently false”.

The accusation was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a round of high-level talks with Western defense chiefs. Shoigu expressed “concern about possible provocations from Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb'”, the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

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

Alexey Nikolski | Sputnik | Reuters

A “dirty bomb” is made to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, making it harmful or uninhabitable for residents there, without using a nuclear explosion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that “the United States rejects the transparently false allegations of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its territory and that the world will see what kind of attempt Russia makes to use this claim as a pretext for escalation,” the White House said in a statement.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also criticized the Russian accusation.

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

– Natasha Turak

French Macron says that the terms of peace with Russia must be decided by Ukraine

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

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the terms of peace with Moscow must be decided by Ukraine, stressing that the end of the war “cannot be a sanctification of the law of the strongest”.

“To remain neutral would mean accepting the world order of the strongest and I do not agree with this,” Macron said from Rome on Sunday, as the three-day Cry for Peace conference began.

Macron added that the international community will be receptive when the government of Ukraine decides on that time.

Ukrainian forces are gradually retaking territory occupied and illegally annexed by Russia, and while Moscow increasingly appears to be on the back foot, its ability to wreak havoc on Ukraine’s cities and vital infrastructure remains intact and analysts fear it could use more extreme measures like revenge. such as nuclear weapons.

– Natasha Turak

More than 1 million Ukrainian homes are without electricity

Smoke rises above buildings after a Russian missile attack on Lviv’s critical infrastructure on October 10, 2022. Russia launched 15 missiles in the Lviv region, some of which were shot down by air defense forces, and the rest hit energy infrastructure facilities. Due to the rocket attack, Lviv was left without electricity, water and mobile communication.

Sopa pictures | Light Rocket | Getty Images

Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine have left more than 1 million homes in the country without power, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidency Kyrylo Tymoshenko said over the weekend. Towns and cities across Ukraine have faced blackouts this month due to Russian attacks, raising fears of what the coming winter could hold.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his fellow citizens to be careful with the use of power.

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

– Natasha Turak

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