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G7 leaders say they will hold Putin 'to account' for Ukraine missile strikes

by FRANCE 24
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world news Russian missile strikes on the Lviv region on Tuesday left parts of the western Ukrainian region without power a day after a wave of deadly strikes hit several Ukrainian cities. Leaders at a G7 meeting condemned ‘in the strongest possible terms’ Russia’s recent missile blitz.

This live page is no longer being updated. For more of our coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2). 

03:42am: Biden doesn’t rule out meeting with Putin at November G20 summit to discuss GrinerUS President Joe Biden left the door open Tuesday to diplomacy with Moscow to end the invasion of Ukraine, refusing to rule out talks with President Vladimir Putin at the meeting of G20 nations in Bali in November.

“Look, I have no intention of meeting with him,” Biden told CNN in a rare televised interview.

“But for example, if he came to me at the G20 and said I want to talk about the release of (detained basketball star) Brittney Griner, I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend.”

10:11pm: US President Biden says Russian President Putin is a ‘rational actor’US President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “rational actor who has miscalculated significantly” in an interview with CNN Tuesday.

“I think he thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms, that this was the home of Mother Russia in Kyiv, and that where he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated,” Biden said.

8:44pm: Ukrainians in Prague rally against Russian missile strikes while European leaders condemn PutinUkrainians rallied Tuesday in the Czech capital of Prague for the second straight evening to condemn this week’s barrage of Russian missile strikes against cities across Ukraine and to demand more weapons from the West to protect their nation.

The protesters held blue-and-yellow crosses with the names of the cities hit by the Russian missiles.

“Ukraine needs air defences to be able to prevent the massacres of the civilian population and destruction of our cities,” Anastasiia Sihnaievska told the crowd. 

“We are protecting our right to live,” said Sihnaievska, who fled her town of Zhytomyr because of the Russian invasion.

A similar rally took place in Romania’s capital of Bucharest on Monday.

On Tuesday, the presidents of 10 European nations – the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Montenegro – said the deadly Russian missile strikes this week against civilians in Ukraine “constitute war crimes under international law.”

6:37pm: US working to expedite shipment of NASAMS air defences to UkraineThe United States will work to expedite the shipment of sophisticated NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) air defences to Ukraine as soon as they can, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden pledged to Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky on Monday that Washington would provide the advanced air systems after a devastating missile barrage from Russia.

6:30pm: Ukrainians still fear the ‘threat from the skies’, FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris Trent reports from UkraineHundreds of Ukrainians are still sheltering underground and afraid for their lives, fearing the “threat from the skies”, locals told FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris Trent. Reporting from Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, Trent said that many Ukrainians were still being told to stay indoors as much as possible and to hide in bomb shelters.

Russian air raids struck major cities, including Kiev and Kharkiv, mainly hitting infrastructure such as power plants for the second straight day. “There’s concern about what could come from north of Ukraine’s borders both from Belarus and from Russia,” Trent said, adding “People are again feeling nervous about the fact that they could be coming in the line of fire.”

06:30

6:14pm: Dozens of civilian bodies exhumed in Donetsk, Ukraine saysUkraine said Tuesday that it had recovered the remains of dozens of civilians killed during Russia’s invasion in two towns in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine recently recaptured from Moscow’s forces.

“In the liberated towns of Sviatogirsk and Lyman, law enforcement officers discovered the sites of mass burials of civilians,” the prosecutor general said in a statement, adding that the remains of 34 people were exhumed in Sviatogirsk and another 44 in Lyman.

5:51pm: France to step up military presence in eastern EuropeFrance will step up its military presence in eastern Europe, with plans to deploy additional Rafale fighter jets in Lithuania and additional armoured vehicles and tanks in Romania, as the war in Ukraine intensifies, the office of the defence minister said on Tuesday.

Paris also plans to deploy additional infantry troops to Estonia, it said in a statement, as Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu presented the army’s draft budget to lawmakers.

5:33pm: Ukraine says 32 prisoners of war released by RussiaThirty-two Ukrainian prisoners returned home in an exchange of prisoners of war with Russia on Tuesday, a senior Ukrainian official said.

“Among the freed are officers, sergeants and soldiers of (Ukraine’s) Armed Forces. All of them were in places where fierce fighting was going on. Many of these people were considered missing,” Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president’s staff, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Yermak said Ukraine had also received the body of Israeli citizen Dmytro Fialka, who Yermak said had volunteered to fight for Ukraine.

5:06pm: Putin tells IAEA’s Grossi that situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant ‘of concern’Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday told International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi that the situation around Ukraine’s Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is “of concern”.

At a meeting in Moscow, shown on Russian state television, Putin told Grossi that Russia was open for dialogue and would discuss all issues concerning the facility’s operations.

4:58pm: G7 leaders will hold Putin to account for ‘indiscriminate attacks’The leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers on Tuesday condemned Russia’s most recent missile attacks on cities across Ukraine and said they would hold Russian President Vladimir Putin and those responsible to account.

“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime,” they added in a statement after talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

4:20pm: Zelensky asks G7 for air defences against RussiaUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday called on the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to give Ukraine enough air defence capabilities to stop Russia.

Speaking a day after missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv, Zelensky called for tough new sanctions on Moscow and again ruled out talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky, who joined the G7 leaders’ virtual meeting, also asked the G7 to support an international mission on the Ukraine-Belarus border.

4:05pm: 2,000 in southern Russia without power following Ukraine strikeA Russian official in the southern region of the Belgorod on the border with Ukraine said Tuesday that strikes by Kyiv’s forces had left 2,000 people with electricity.

“The Ukrainian armed forces fired at a substation in Shebekino. More than 2,000 residents have now been cut off from electricity. There are no victims or injured,” the region’s governor Viatcheslav Gladkov said in a post on social media.

01:34

4:04pm: Hard to predict Russia’s possible nuclear arms use, Japan PM saysJapanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons is highly unpredictable and the situation must be closely watched.

Kishida’s comment to reporters came after he attended a virtual meeting of G7 leaders on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The situation does not at all allow any prediction. It requires serious, close attention,” said Kishida, who comes from Hiroshima.

“For the past 77 years, the world has continued to put a stop to using nuclear weapons. This history of not using nuclear weapons must continue further.”

3:40pm: ‘Ukraine has the momentum’, NATO chief saysNATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that “Ukraine has the momentum” in the war with Russia and the Western defence alliance would stand with Kyiv as long as it takes.

“While Russia is increasingly resorting to horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure, President Putin is failing in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told a news conference on the eve of a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.

He said NATO would hold its annual nuclear deterrence exercise next week and was closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces.

“We have not seen any changes in Russia’s posture but we remain vigilant,” he added.

3:18pm Russia has not yet received Turkey’s proposal for peace talksRussia has not yet formally received a Turkish proposal to host peace talks between Moscow and Western countries, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and bilateral issues.

The Kremlin has not ruled out that the two leaders could discuss a Turkish proposal to host peace talks between Russia and the West, although the foreign ministry said it is yet to hear about this through diplomatic channels.

00:24

3:11pm: Deputy head of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant kidnapped by Russia, Ukraine saysA deputy head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been kidnapped by Russian forces and is being detained in an unknown location, Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Energoatom said on Tuesday.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Energoatom said the official, Valeriy Martynyuk, had been seized on Monday. The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

2:52pm: G7 declares support for Ukraine as Zelensky joins conference remotelyLeaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries will say following a meeting on Tuesday that they will support Ukraine for as long as it takes, Bloomberg News reported, citing a draft G7 statement.

“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Bloomberg cited the draft statement as saying.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders for their virtual meeting earlier Tuesday, the White House said as Kyiv seeks additional air defense weapons following Moscow’s escalating missile attacks.

03:08

2:11pm: Russia declares Meta among ‘terrorist and extremist’ organisationsRussia added tech company Meta to a growing list of ‘terrorist and extremist’ organisations, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday. Meta is the parent company to Facebook and Instagram.

A Moscow court in June rejected an appeal by Meta after it was found guilty of “extremist activity” in Russia in March. In court, Meta’s lawyer at the time said Meta was not carrying out extremist activity and was against Russophobia.

1:39pm: Putin to meet Erdogan in Astana: KremlinRussian President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and bilateral relations, according to the Kremlin.

The meeting will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Peskov has previously told reporters it was “possible” the two leaders would discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between Russia and the West on peace in Ukraine.

In an interview on state TV, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was willing to engage with the US or with Turkey on ways to end the war.

1:18pm: Russia returns bodies of 62 Ukraine soldiers: Kyiv Ukraine has negotiated the return of dozens of Ukrainian soldiers’ remains from Russia, including servicemen killed at the Olenivka prison, according to Ukrainian officials.

“Another transfer took place: 62 fallen heroes were returned home,” the Ukrainian ministry responsible for separatist-held territory said on social media.

“The negotiations were difficult but… it was possible to return our soldiers, in particular, soldiers from…Olenivka,” the ministry added.

Russia and Ukraine in July accused each other of carrying out deadly bombardments on the jail holding captured servicemen in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region that Moscow has since annexed.

Kyiv denied targeting civilian infrastructure or prisoners of war.

Russia said the Ukrainian prisoners held at the facility included members of the Azov battalion, who defended the Azovstal steel works as the last holdout in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol before surrendering to Moscow.

12:15pm: Russia says ‘purpose’ of Lviv strikes ‘achieved’Russia has acknowledged launching long-range air strikes on Ukraine’s energy and military infrastructure.

“The purpose of the strike has been achieved. All designated facilities have been hit,” the defence ministry said shortly after authorities in the western Lviv region said explosions at energy facilities has disrupted power supply in parts of Lviv.

11:45am: Russian strike on Lviv hits power supply: mayor A Russian missile strike on Lviv has left part of the western Ukrainian city without power, said Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi on the Telegram messaging app.

Lviv residents said three explosions shook the city shortly after noon local time.

Maxim Kozitsky, Lviv regional governor, said there were three explosions at two energy facilities in the region.

11:35am: Deadly Russian strikes ‘may have’ violated international law principles: UNRussia may have violated principles on the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law with Monday’s deadly strikes on Ukrainian cities, said a spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“We are gravely concerned that some of the attacks appear to have targeted critical civilian infrastructure … indicating that these strikes may have violated the principles on the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law,” Ravina Shamdasani told a news conference in Geneva.

“We urge the Russian Federation to refrain from further escalation, and to take all feasible measures to prevent civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure,” she added.

11:28am: Belarus says joint force with Russian troops is ‘purely defensive’ Belarus has said a contingent of Belarusian troops deploying alongside Russian forces was a “purely defensive” grouping aimed at defending the borders of the ex-Soviet republic closely aligned with Russia.

“We emphasise once again that the tasks of the Regional Grouping of Forces are purely defensive. And all activities carried out at the moment are aimed at providing a sufficient response to actions near our borders,” Belarusian Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin was cited as saying in a statement.

The statement came shortly after French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna warned that Belarus could face more sanctions if it gets more involved in the Ukraine conflict.

11:14am: Rheinmetall to send tanks to Czechs in Ukraine chain swap schemeGerman arms maker Rheinmetall will deliver Leopard 2A4 battle tanks and Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles to the Czech Republic as part of an international swap scheme to allow the flow of weapons to Ukraine, according to a company statement.

The first vehicle will be delivered in December, with all deliveries to be completed by the end of next year, according to a statement.

The Czech armed forces are to supply military equipment to Ukraine in exchange for replacement deliveries.

9:27am: France says Belarus could face more sanctions if it increases involvementBelarus could face more sanctions if it gets more and more involved in the Ukraine conflict, said French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

The warning came a day after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he had ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near Ukraine in response to what he said was a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its backers in the West.

The remarks from Lukashenko, who has held power in Belarus since 1994, indicate a potential further escalation of the war in Ukraine, possibly with a combined Russian-Belarus joint force in the north of Ukraine.

8:44am: Russian strikes hit Zaporizhzhia cityRussia targeted infrastructure facilities in Zaporizhzhia city early Tuesday, killing at least one person, according to Ukrainian officials.

The strikes hit educational and medical institutions as well as residential buildings, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

7:58am: Kharkiv residents get back to work a day after Russian strikesA day after multiple Russian missile strikes hit Kharkiv, FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris Trent, reporting from the northeastern Ukrainian city, says life is returning to a new normal state.

“There’s not a sense that people are cowering in fear,” said Norris Trent. “There are cars on the street, people are heading to work. They’re telling us they have to get on with life as normal.”

Russian missiles targeted power stations on Monday, cutting electricity for several hours. But by nightfall, electricity was restored in many parts of the city, said Norris Trent.

03:10

7:18am: Russia suffers setback as UN rejects secret vote on UkraineThe UN General Assembly voted to reject Russia’s call for the 193-member body to hold a secret ballot on whether to condemn Moscow’s annexation of four partially occupied regions in Ukraine.

The General Assembly decided, with 107 votes in favor, that it would hold a public vote – not a secret ballot – on a draft resolution that condemns Russia’s “illegal so-called” referendums and the “attempted illegal annexation”.

Here’s the breakdown of the procedural vote called by Albania for an open, public vote. Countries that approved an open vote include India and Brazil. Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are among the 39 member states that abstained.

UNGA | India voted in favour of a procedural vote called by Albania to have an open vote on a draft resolution on Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/NE4stY2fc6

— Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (@PBNS_India) October 11, 2022 6:51am: G7 to hold crisis talks on Russia’s bombing blitz in UkraineThe US, France and other G7 powers hold crisis talks Tuesday on Russia’s recent bombing blitz across Ukraine, with Britain’s Liz Truss expected to insist they “must not waver one iota” in their support for Kyiv.

The meeting comes a day after Russian missiles rocked the Ukrainian capital for the first time in months, with President Volodymyr Zelensky warning Moscow that his country “cannot be intimidated”.

Truss’s office said the British prime minister would use the platform “to urge fellow leaders to stay the course”.

German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit has told reporters that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had spoken with Zelensky and assured him “of the solidarity of Germany and the other G7 states”.

3:30am: UN ambassadors condemn Russian air strikes at General Assembly sessionThe UN General Assembly started debating Monday whether to demand that Russia reverse course on annexing four regions of Ukraine — a discussion that came as Moscow’s most extensive missile strikes in months alarmed much of the international community anew.

The assembly’s special session was planned before Monday’s barrage, but countries spoke out on the widespread, Monday morning rush-hour attacks that killed at least 14 people and wounded scores.

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergey Kyslytsya said some of his own close relatives were imperiled in a residential building, unable to take cover in a bomb shelter.

“By launching missile attacks on civilians sleeping in their homes or rushing toward children going to schools, Russia has proven once again that it is a terrorist state that must be deterred in the strongest possible ways,” he said.

Russia said it targeted military and energy facilities. But some of the missiles smashed into civilian areas: a park, a commuter minibus, and more.

Russia has said it was retaliating for what it called a Ukrainian “terrorist” attack Saturday on an important bridge, and Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the assembly that Moscow had warned that there wouldn’t be impunity for such an act.

The bridge was “civilian infrastructure, critical infrastructure”, he told reporters outside the chamber.

Ukrainian officials haven’t confirmed that Kyiv was behind the bridge attack or other incidents of apparent sabotage but have said they welcome setbacks for Russia in all territory that it has claimed to annex.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres was “deeply shocked” by the Russian attacks and spoke Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

Various nations also deplored the bombardment. Turkish UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu, whose country helped the UN broker a July deal to get Ukrainian and Russian grain exports flowing, called Monday’s attacks “deeply worrying and unacceptable”.

2:05am: Senior US senator wants ‘freeze’ on Saudi cooperation, blasts RiyadhThe Democratic chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on Monday for a freeze on cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including most arms sales, accusing the kingdom of helping underwrite the Russian war on Ukraine after OPEC+ announced last week it would cut oil production.

The Saudi-led OPEC+ cartel agreed to cut output by an amount equal to about 2 percent of global supply, curbing production in a tight market and raising the possibility of higher gasoline prices as Washington seeks to limit Russia’s energy revenue after its invasion of Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, rebuked the group’s cut as “shortsighted” as the world deals with the impacts of Russia’s war, the White House said.

Senator Bob Menendez called for aggressive action in another sign of the growing rift between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

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