Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


U.S., Britain and France to discuss Iranian drone transfers at U.N. meeting: Reuters

The United Nations Security Council at U.N. Headquarters in New York City September 30, 2022.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The United States, Britain and France plan to discuss Iran’s alleged drone transfers to Russia at a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting, Reuters reported citing unnamed diplomats.

Iran has also promised to ship more drones and missiles to Russia, Iranian officials told Reuters.

Ukraine invited U.N. experts to investigate drones they claim are of Iranian origin and have been deployed by Russia, on the grounds that this violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Resolution 2231 endorses the Iran nuclear deal. The diplomats told Reuters that the three countries believe the drone transfers to violate the resolution, and will be asking a U.N. official to notify the members about the issue.

— Natalie Tham

Military situation ‘tense’ in Ukraine, Russian commander says

Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, seen here in 2021.

Mikhail Metzel | Afp | Getty Images

The new commander of Russian forces in Ukraine has acknowledged that the military situation in the country is difficult, particularly around the southern Kherson region.

“The situation in the area of the ‘Special Military Operation’ can be described as tense,” Sergei Surovikin told reporters Tuesday, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

“Further actions and plans regarding the city of Kherson will depend on the developing military-tactical situation, which is not easy. We will act consciously, in a timely manner, without ruling out difficult decisions.”

Russia still describes its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” and says its aim is to “liberate” the Donbas in eastern Ukraine although it claims to have annexed four partially occupied regions — two in the east that make up the Donbas and two regions in the south, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — a move Ukraine and its international allies have condemned.

There are reports that Ukraine’s forces are trying to reclaim Kherson before winter kicks in, with a counteroffensive there continuing. Kirill Stremousov, a Russian-installed deputy administrator of the Kherson region, said on Telegram late on Tuesday that “in the very near future, the battle for Kherson will begin” but denied yesterday that there were any “large-scale offensives.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Kremlin is militarily and politically bankrupt, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s use of Iranian drones shows that the Kremlin is “militarily and politically bankrupt.”

Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Tuesday evening that more than 10 Ukrainian regions were subject to “Russian terrorist strikes” over the last 24 hours, including the Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions.

“Wherever possible we try to speed up reconstruction work. And of course all this is related to our efforts in defending against drones. We have to remember that the mere fact of Russia turning to Iran for such assistance is admission by the Kremlin that it is militarily and politically bankrupt.”

A drone flies over Kyiv during an attack on Oct. 17, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Supinsky | Afp | Getty Images

He said Russia had spent dozens of years “spending billions of dollars on their military-industrial complex but in the end had to go cap in hand to Tehran. To receive rather simple drones and missiles.”

The president said Russia’s apparent reliance on such weapons would not help it strategically. “It’s just an additional confirmation to the world that Russia is on the trajectory of its defeat,” he said.

Russia has denied it is using Iranian drones. When asked directly if Russia had bought drones from Iran, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, “no, we do not have such information.” Iran has denied reports that it provided Russia with drones and plans to sell more weapons to Moscow.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that it did not have information at the time to corroborate reports that Iran has promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, along with more drones.

‘We are completely ready,’ Pentagon says in response to ‘reckless’ Russian threats to use nuclear weapons

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon September 6, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. Brig. Gen. Ryder held a news briefing to answer questions from members of the press.

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The U.S. takes Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “reckless” comments about the potential use of nuclear weapons seriously and is closely monitoring the situation, the Pentagon said.

“We are completely ready,” Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said when asked if the U.S. was prepared if Russia decided to use nuclear weapons.

Ryder added that the U.S. had not found cause to change Washington’s strategic nuclear posture.

He also reiterated that the U.S. assesses that Putin has not yet decided whether to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

WHO records more than 620 attacks on vital health services in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion

Members of the Ukrainian military receive treatment for concussions and light injuries from Ukrainian military medics at a frontline field hospital on May 10, 2022 in Popasna, Ukraine.

Chris Mcgrath | Getty Images

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, there have been at least 623 attacks on vital health services in the country, the World Health Organization’s Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care estimates.

The organization reports that health care facilities were damaged 541 times, ambulances were targeted in 82 cases and at least 154 attacks affected crucial medical supplies. The group also estimated that attacks on health services led to at least 100 deaths and 129 injuries.

The Kremlin has previously denied that it targets civilian infrastructure like hospitals, schools and apartment buildings.

— Amanda Macias

30% of Ukraine’s power stations destroyed by Russian strikes in roughly a week, Zelenskyy says

Smoke rises over Kharkiv’s western outskirts as firefighters put out the fire after a Russian rocket attack hit an electric power station in Kharkiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on Sept. 12, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A whopping 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed by Russian strikes in the past eight days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in the wake of fresh Russian attacks on the country’s critical energy infrastructure.

This has resulted in widespread blackouts across the country, with three major cities, including Kyiv, experiencing power outages.

“Another kind of Russian terrorist attacks: targeting energy & critical infrastructure,” Zelensky wrote in a tweet. “Since Oct 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country. No space left for negotiations with Putin’s regime.”

— Natasha Turak

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