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Ukraine inches forward in counteroffensive as ‘cluster munitions hit Russian village’



Houses destroyed in Russian missile strike

The Ukrainian counteroffensive makes advances in the south east and elsewhere forces shell a Russian village with cluster munitions.

Geotagged footage from last night shows Ukrainian forces making progress in the northwest of Novomayorse, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Kyiv also hit the Russian village of Kilmovo with cluster munitions – damaging several houses.

The governor Alexander Bogomaz says there were no casualties however, the statement has not yet been verified and Ukraine has not commented.

Ukraine’s use of cluster munitions has stirred controversy as the powerful bombs are banned in over 100 countries, they release smaller bomblets that can kill over a wide spread area, with the explosive potential of unexploded weapons lingering for decades.

Elsewhere, Ukraine destroyed 29 out of 31 Russian drones and one cruise missile in the regions of Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk. The report has not yet been verified.


Ukraine downs 29 Russia-launched drones and one cruise missile

Ukraine destroyed 29 of 31 drones launched by Russia and one cruise missile, most of them targeting the regions of Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk, report the Ukrainian airforce.

The waves of overnight attacks lasted more than three hours, the southern command of Ukraine‘s forces had said earlier.

Falling debris in the southeastern city of Dnipro caused a fire at a private firm that was quickly doused, said Serhiy Lysak, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Damage to manufacturing facilities at an industrial enterprise in the city of Pavlohrad led to a fire that was also put out, he added on the Telegram messaging app.

Sixteen drones were destroyed over the southern region of Mykolaiv, its governor, Vitaliy Kim, said.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

Representational : Exploding drones loaded with shells lay inside a hay barn on the front line in the outskirts of Kremmina, Ukraine


Lydia Patrick3 October 2023 08:09


Russia’s Black Fleet struggling to deal with ‘concurrent threats’ in south of Ukraine

The Ministry of Defence has warned Russians are struggling to deal with threats coming from Ukraine’s southern flank.

“The Naval Aviation component of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has assumed a particularly important role in the Fleet’s operations as it struggles to deal with concurrent threats on the southern flank of the Ukraine war,” the ministry posted on X.

“Russia is attempting to use naval air power to project force over the northwestern Black Sea.”

Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev talks on the phone as flames rise from the main headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet


They added: “Su-24 FENCER and FLANKER variant combat jets conduct maritime strike operations, including at least one recent air strike on the strategically located Snake Island.”

Barney Davis2 October 2023 10:03


‘Everything for the front’: Russia allots a third of 2024 spending to defence

Defence spending will account for almost one third of Russia’s total budget expenditure in 2024, the government’s draft plans show, as Moscow diverts ever more resources towards prosecuting its war in Ukraine.

Russia also plans to ramp up state borrowing to help fund what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine in the coming years and is counting on a recovery in oil and gas revenues to pre-invasion levels to do so.

Spending under the “national defence” section of Russia’s budget will total 10.78 trillion roubles (£90bn) next year, or 29.4 per cent of total planned expenditure, according to the finance ministry’s budget documents that outline the government’s fiscal plans for 2024-2026.

In 2021, the year before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, defence spending totalled 3.57 trillion roubles, 14.4 per cent of total spending. In 2022, the share of defence spending rose to 17.7 per cent, data on Russia’s electronic budget page showed earlier this year.

“The budget’s structure shows that the main emphasis is on ensuring our victory – the army, defence capability, armed forces, fighters – everything needed for the front, everything needed for victory is in the budget,” finance minister Anton Siluanov said last week.

Reuters3 October 2023 07:01


Lindsey Graham warns Trump that ‘pulling the plug’ on Ukraine aid would be ‘10 times worse than Afghanistan’

US senator Lindsey Graham cautioned that if Donald Trump were to stop sending aid to the embattled country of Ukraine if elected president, the end result would be “10 times worse than Afghanistan.”

When asked about how he would advise Mr Trump and other Republicans in Congress who have threatened to stop sending aid to the country, Mr Graham said on Face the Nation on Sunday: “To President Trump and anybody else: if we pull the plug on Ukraine, that’s 10 times worse than Afghanistan.”

“To stop funding Ukraine is a death sentence for Taiwan,” the South Carolina Republican predicted. “Putin will keep going. You missed all of World War II if you missed how this movie ends.”

He then fired shots at members of his own party: “To the Republicans who say Ukraine doesn’t matter to us: you’re wrong. Respectfully, you’re wrong. The war gets bigger, not smaller.”

“If Ukraine can beat Russia,” Mr Graham added, “China is less likely to invade Taiwan and Putin gets stopped.”

Kelly Rissman has the full story:

Andy Gregory3 October 2023 06:02


Watch: Houses left destroyed in Ukrainian city after Russian bombardment of residential area

Houses left destroyed in Ukrainian city after Russian bombardment of residential area

Andy Gregory3 October 2023 05:03


Shapps plays down Western splits over Ukraine amid push for extra funding

Vladimir Putin would be “foolish” to believe internal political rows in the West were a sign that support for Ukraine is beginning to crack, Grant Shapps said.

The Defence Secretary suggested the possibility of Donald Trump winning the next US election would not necessarily result in the “worst case scenario” of America cutting its support.

The Western alliance has suffered a series of blows in recent days, with support for Ukraine dropped from a US stop-gap budget bill, election success for a pro-Russian party in Slovakia and rows between Poland and Kyiv over grain supplies.

But speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Mr Shapps said the Kremlin should not over-interpret domestic political wrangles.

He said: “It’s very easy to sit here, think about the single issue of Ukraine and frame everything in that context and forget about domestic politics. It’s always a mistake to think in that way.”

David Hughes3 October 2023 04:01


Wagner succession: Yevgeny Prigozhin’s son ‘set to be next mercenary boss’

The 25-year-old son of Yevgeny Prigozhin is set to take over from his father and become the next boss of the Wagner group, Telegram channels associated with the group have claimed.

Pavel Prigozhin appears to be inheriting the vast majority of his father’s riches – including the mercenary group, properties, and about £100 million – according to a photograph posted on social media of what seems to be Prigozhin’s will.

He is now negotiating with the Russian national guard, Rosgvardia, over having the mercenary organisation rejoin combat in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War said.

My colleague Tara Cobam reports:

Andy Gregory3 October 2023 03:05


Elon Musk mocked by Ukraine’s parliament over tweet taunting Zelensky

Ukraine’s parliament and its speaker have taunted billionaire Elon Musk after he posted a meme on his social media platform mocking President Volodymyr Zelensky’s pleas for assistance from the West against Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Musk owns SpaceX, which provides Starlink satellite communication services that are vital for Ukraine’s defence effort, but his statements have sometimes angered Kyiv since the full-scale invasion launched by Russia in February last year.

The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, hit out at Musk’s jibe with his own post on Twitter/X: “The case when [Elon Musk] tried to conquer space, but something went wrong and in 5 minutes he was up to his eyeballs in s***,” an apparent reference to SpaceX’s failed rocket launch in April.

Ukraine’s parliament, on its official page on X, accused Musk of spreading Russian propaganda, posting its own version of the meme with a picture of Musk and the caption: “When it’s been 5 minutes and you haven’t spread Russian propaganda”.

Max Hunder has the story here:

Andy Gregory3 October 2023 02:04


Shapps slams Musk’s ‘unhelpful’ Ukraine commentary

UK defence secretary Grant Shapps has suggested recent tweets by Elon Musk mocking Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky are “unhelpful”.

The senior Cabinet minister made the comments at a Conservative Party conference fringe event in Manchester, hours after the billionaire entrepreneur used Twitter/X to take aim at Mr Zelensky’s repeated requests for western support in the battle against Russian troops.

Mr Shapps, an avid social media user himself, expressed reservations about the owner of X’s recent attitudes to the war. “I think it’s unhelpful, to be blunt,” he said. “I can’t speak for him or his motivations. He’s a free individual, we live in a free world. He can tweet or X what he likes.”

“What Ukraine really needs is strong and steady friends who won’t waver,” he added.

Dominic McGrath3 October 2023 01:06


Watch: Explosions from drone attack in Ukraine seen from ferry on Danube crossing

Explosions from drone attack in Ukraine seen from ferry on Danube crossing

Andy Gregory3 October 2023 00:11

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