October 1, 2023

Russia-Ukraine war: Belgorod governor says shelling continues after two killed; missiles and drones shot down over Kyiv – as it happened

5 min read


It is approaching 9pm in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and here is a roundup of today’s developments.

  • Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, has ordered shelters to be operational in the capital on a 24-hour basis, after allegations that yesterday three people who were killed by falling debris from a Russian missile attack were stuck outside a “locked” air raid shelter. Three people including a child were killed and at least 11 people were injured in Thursday’s early morning missile attack. Residents of Kyiv have been leaving flowers, toys and sweets at a makeshift memorial at the location where Olha Ivashko, 33, and her daughter Vika, nine, were killed.
  • The US’s top military officer says training for Ukrainian forces on advanced US Abrams tanks has started, but those weapons crucial over the long term in trying to expel Russia from occupied territory will not be ready in time for Kyiv’s imminent counteroffensive.
  • The Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka skipped her post-match press conference at the French Open tennis tournament on Friday, citing mental health reasons, two days after she was asked to comment on the war in Ukraine after her second-round win.
  • Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned Russian opposition leader, released excerpts of his correspondence with prison administrators on Friday, detailing his sarcastic demands for things like a bottle of moonshine, a balalaika and even a kangaroo. His requests were denied.
  • Ukraine would be ready to continue exporting grain across the Black Sea as part of a “plan B” without Russian backing if Moscow pulls the plug on the current grain export deal and it collapses, Ukraine’s farm minister said on Friday.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had received ‘powerful support’ from allies attending a summit in Moldova on 1 June as it emerged F-16 fighter jets could be made available to Ukraine within six months. Several countries, including the UKDenmarkPolandthe Netherlands and Belgium, have said they want to help procure F-16s for Ukraine.
  • A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region said on Friday that Ukrainian forces shelled the Russian-controlled port city of Berdiansk, on the Sea of Azov. Footage shows a large cloud of grey smoke rising from near the port area.
  • The former KGB spy Alexander Lebedev has reacted to the imposition of sanctions on him by Ukraine, and has defended his investments in occupied Crimea, Luke Harding reported.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, and other city leaders of negligence after witness reports emerged that civilians had died earlier this week because a bomb shelter had not been opened in time, the Guardian’s Dan Sabbagh reported from Kyiv.
  • Denis Pushilin, the Russian-imposed leader of the occupied Donetsk region, has claimed three people have been killed and four injured, including a three-year-old girl, by fire from Ukrainian armed forces.
  • Ruslan Stefanchuk, chair of Ukraine’s parliament, has posted to social media about meeting Lithuania’s president, saying “We are grateful for the support of Lithuania, the EU, and the Euro-Atlantic future of Ukraine.”
  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he understood Ukraine would not join Nato while the war with Russia was ongoing
  • Britain supports Ukraine joining Nato, the defence minister, Ben Wallace, said on the sidelines of the Shangri-La dialogue security meetings in Singapore, saying the path is open to them, although political realities may slow the process as it is not possible to add members in the middle of a war.
  • The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has said the US “calls the tunes” for Nato, which Ukraine wants to join. Asked at a news briefing about Ukraine’s push to join the western military alliance, Peskov said Kyiv’s Nato ambitions underscored its unwillingness to resolve problems at the negotiating table.
  • Russia again attacked Kyiv overnight, with Ukrainian forces claiming air defence shot down all 15 cruise missiles and 21 attack drones. Overnight the governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, Serhiy Lysak, said the city of Nikopol had been struck by shelling.
  • The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said on Friday that two people had been killed and two others injured when Ukrainian forces shelled a road in the town of Maslova Pristan near the Ukrainian border. “Fragments of the shells hit passing cars. Two women were travelling in one of them. They died from their injuries on the spot,” governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.
  • The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region said on Friday that four houses were damaged after Ukrainian forces shelled a town near the border. There have also been reports of explosions in occupied Berdiansk, in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, one of the areas of the country the Russian Federation has claimed to annex.
  • Two long-range drones attacked fuel and energy infrastructure in Russia’s western Smolensk region overnight on Friday, but no injuries or fires were reported, the region’s acting governor said.
  • Mariupol’s mayoral aide Petro Andryushchenko has claimed that three people have been killed by the detonation of a landmine on the Mariupol-Donetsk H20 highway. He said the incident happened near Olenivka, the location of a prison massacre earlier in the war.
  • China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, said on Friday that the Russian side appreciated China’s desire and efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis. “The risk of escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war is still high,” Li said at a news briefing about his visit to Europe. “All sides must ensure the safety of nuclear facilities and take concrete measures to cool down the temperature,” he said.
  • The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Friday the US was working with Ukraine and other allies to build consensus around the core elements of a “just and lasting peace” to end the war with Russia. Washington would also encourage initiatives by other countries to bring about an end to the conflict, as long as they uphold the UN charter and Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
  • Two close allies of the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, on Thursday publicly criticised Russia’s most prominent mercenary, casting Yevgeny Prigozhin as a blogger who “screams” all the time about his problems.

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