Vladimir Putin looks to be boxed in on multiple fronts as an attempt to manage the takeover of the Wagner Group by Kremlin loyalists looks to have unravelled.
Speculation surrounds the future of the notorious Russian PMC with the son of the group’s former leader Prigozhin believed to making a push to succeed.
Trouble also appears to be brewing for the Kremlin in the Black Sea with military analysts reporting that the Russian fleet station in Crimea is struggling to combat the multiple threats that Ukraine is fielding in the region.
This follows a series of spectacular attacks by Ukrainian missiles and drones, including one attack which took out the Black Sea Fleet headquarters.
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Putin ally delivers horror nuclear warning after ‘attack drone’ falls near home
Yet another key Kremlin and Vladimir Putin said the use of nuclear weapons is becoming “increasingly uncontested” after claiming an “attack drone” fell near her home.
Margarita Simonyan editor-in-chief of state-controlled television channel Russia Today (RT), is the latest supporter of the Russian president to make a chilling nuclear threat during her country’s war with Ukraine.
She claimed on Telegram: “Tonight, an attack drone fell right in front of our family home in Adler, where I and my mother grew up, and where my relatives and their small children still live.
“The goals are ever further away, the stakes are ever higher, the nuclear ultimatum becomes increasingly uncontested.”
Italy to help Ukraine restoring Odesa cathedral
Italy has agreed to help Ukraine undertake the restoration of the Saviour and Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa.
The splendid building was hugely damaged by a missile attack launched by Russia in July.
Antonio Tajani, the head of the Italian Foreign Ministry, announced this restoration project will be overseen by some of Italy’s finest architects.
Devastating moment Russian tank in hull-down position is blown up by Ukrainian artillery
Dramatic aerial footage has captured the moment a Russian tank is blown to smithereens by Ukrainian artillery fire.
The clip shoes the vehicle hull-down in an unspecified location on the frontline.
Despite being hidden in a trench, the tank’s cover is eventually blown when it’s lit up by artillery fire.
In an instant, the tank explodes, igniting a huge fireball that engulfs the sky.
Russian tank is hit directly by Ukrainian artillery, Zaporizhzhia Oblast
Civilians asked by Kremlin to patrol base
The British Ministry of Defence believes civilians in Russia are being asked to patron an air base to protect it from further drone attacks.
Mexican president slams US spending for Ukraine
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador slammed the US for its “irrational” spending to help Ukraine liberate its country from Russian troops.
Mr López Obrador has been urging Washington to help the development of Central America and the Caribbean.
He said: “I was just looking at how now they’re not authorising aid for the war in Ukraine.
“But how much have they destined for the Ukraine war? $30-50bn for the war. Which is the most irrational thing you can have. And damaging.”
Putin reeling as Ukraine kamikaze drones strike Russian cruise missile factory
A Russian factory that produces cruise missiles has been hit by Kyiv’s kamikaze drones, according to Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence agency (GUR).
The disruption of the production of Kh-59 cruise missiles would be a huge blow to Vladimir Putin’s forces in the country – the missiles are one of the most common weapons Russia uses to attack Ukraine’s, often civilian, infrastructure.
Three out of four drones reportedly struck the Smolensk Aviation Plant on Sunday.
Posting to Telegram, the GUR claimed “significant damage to the production facilities of the military enterprise of the aggressor state” had occurred.
Russian ‘grannies’ tell UK ‘get out of Ukraine’ as MI6 blamed for Putin’s war
A group of Russian grandmothers has blamed the war with Ukraine on MI6 in a bizarre video.
The group of elderly Russians, known as “Putin’s squads”, stirred controversy by blaming, in a video being shared on X, the British intelligence agency MI6 for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
In the clip, one woman fervently shouted: “I would like to say on behalf of the ‘Putin’s squads’ that every Russian knows behind all of the missile strikes on Crimea and the Crimean bridge stand not Ukrainians, but the British intelligence service MI6.
“All of that is set up by them. People in Britain shouldn’t hope that Russians will ever forget it. We remember it all, we will not forget that and all of that will be retaliated.”
‘Putin’s Squads’ blame UK for ‘strikes on Russia’
Belarus accused of swamping Poland with migrants by dropping them off at border
Poland has accused Belarus of delivering migrants to their shared border, claiming they are “inspired by Moscow”.
Last month, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik told reporters: “We’re talking about an operation organized by the Russian and Belarusian secret services that is getting more and more intense.”
And experts believe Belarus, and more likely Russia, may indeed be trying to weaponise migrants by swamping Poland them in a bid to “destabilise” the European Union.
Poland: Security forces clash with migrants on Belarus border
Key image from today’s summit
A key picture taken today as foreign ministers from the European Union flocked to Kyiv to attend a special summit concerning the future EU membership of Ukraine.
In the photograph, Josep Borrell, vice president of the European Commission, can be seen greeting Volodymyr Zelensky.
Slovakia’s outgoing minister shares support for Ukraine
Slovakia’s outgoing foreign minister, Miroslav Wlachovský, also attended today’s meeting in Kyiv, one day after his country elected Robert Fico.
Mr Fico earned more than 20 percent of the votes after pledging during his electoral campaign to cut military aid for Ukraine.
On the sidelines of a meeting between EU ministers, Mr Wlachovský said the bloc’s officials endorsed the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
Putin would rejoice if the US stopped helping Ukraine – aide
Ukraine’s National Security Adviser Oleksiy Danilov expressed his concerns in the wake of the US Congress excluding aid for Ukraine as part of a deal to prevent a federal shutdown.
Mr Danilov told the CNN: “We need to see whether the United States is responsible for democracy in the world, whether it remains the country that supports democracy, or whether it is the country that will stand by and watch as authoritarian states seize more and more territory. This is quite simple.”
He added: “If the United States is a bastion of democracy in the world, then the answer should be clear to everyone. If the United States believes that it should move away from this, that chaos should reign around the world, that authoritarian states should seize more and more territory, then the United States should give that answer as well.”
If the US stopped providing Kyiv with military aid and funds to face Russians on the battlefield, “it would be a great joy for Putin”, the aide added.
Ukraine hopes to begin talks on EU membership within months
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymytro Kuleba believes talks regarding Kyiv’s future EU membership should begin before the end of the year.
Speaking after meeting with European foreign ministers in Kyiv, the official said: “The topic that was a leitmotif in all the speeches was Ukraine’s membership in the EU. We are moving forward, we expect a decision to start negotiations on membership (in the EU) by the end of the year.”
Ukraine, he added, is a “first-class state” and while Kyiv hasn’t received a formal offer from Brussels, Mr Kuleba believes it is just a “matter of time” before Ukraine can join the EU.
Russian shelling in Kherson kills at least two
At least two people died following the latest round of Russian shelling in the Kherson region, in southern Ukraine.
At least 10 people, including children, were also left wounded the region’s governor said.
Putin losing control of Wagner again as mercenaries look to Prigozhin’s son
Pavel Prigozhin, the 25-year-old son of the late Wagner Group CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin, is believed to have entered negotiations with the Russian National Guard known as Rosgvardia to allow the mercenary group to rejoin combat operations in Ukraine.
According to US think tank Institute for the Study of War, Mr Prigozhin may be mounting a campaign to spoil the Kremlin’s hopes of crowning Commander Andrey Troshev the new leader of the mercenary group.
The ISW said: “Some Wagner personnel are interested in rallying around a Prigozhin-linked alternative to the Kremlin and MoD-aligned Troshev.
“It is unclear what the Kremlin thinks the relationship[s] between Wagner elements and the Russian government are.”
EU facing ‘critical juncture’ as military aid scepticism spreads
Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis believes the European Union is at a “critical juncture”.
Speaking during a meeting in Kyiv with his EU counterparts, Mr Landsbergis said the scepticism surrounding military aid for Ukraine – which has been seen in recent days in the US and Slovakia – has “the power to instil doubt” over the bloc’s support for the war-torn nation.
He said: “Many messages that have been sent from Brussels or Washington or elsewhere, have the power to instil doubt about whether we are serious.”
“And I hope that today’s meeting can fix this, and can send a very clear, crystal clear message that Europe is with Ukraine until this victory.”
Good afternoon from London. I’m Alice Scarsi, taking over this liveblog to bring you the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
Email: [email protected]
Germany welcomes Ukraine’s bid to join EU
German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, said Ukraine’s future is in the EU. She posted on X: “Here in Kyiv, in #Ukraine, the heart of #Europa is beating particularly strongly. The future of #Ukraine lies in the European Union. In our community of freedom, which will stretch from Lisbon to Luhansk.”
Zelensky’s latest update
Volodymyr Zelensky on the EU foreign ministers’ meeting:
EU warned as new pro-Putin PM could team up with another member state against Ukraine
The recent electoral triumph of pro-Putin politician Robert Fico in Slovakia has sent shockwaves throughout Europe, with concerns mounting over the implications for Ukraine and the European Union as a whole.
While Budapest appears elated at the prospect of a new ally in Fico, pro-EU forces are sounding alarms, calling on Europe to wake up to the potential consequences of his rise to power, particularly in light of fears regarding AI-driven misinformation campaigns. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was quick to offer his congratulations. He wrote: “Guess who’s back! Congratulations to Robert Fico on his undisputed victory in the Slovak parliamentary elections. Always good to work together with a patriot.” Orban’s words have fuelled speculations that Fico and the Hungarian leader could potentially form an alliance, challenging other EU member states on issues related to support for Ukraine and the rule of law.
UK will continue to support Ukriane
Russian President Vladimir Putin is wagering that international support for Kyiv will sooner or later begin to flag, and Peskov said the fatigue will eventually bring “fragmentation” of Ukraine’s foreign assistance. But UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps insisted “we’re a long way from the U.S. withdrawing its support” from Ukraine, and reaffirmed British commitment. “Britain will, regardless of what happens elsewhere, take a leadership role,” Shapps said during a meeting at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in northern England.
Russia is ready to test a nuclear missile
Satellite photos of an Arctic base show suspicious movements. Russia might be gearing up to test a nuclear-powered missile, as indicated by satellite images of a remote Moscow base published by The New York Times. The newspaper reports that the movements of aircraft and vehicles inside and around the base resemble those made during the testing of two missiles in 2017 and 2018. In the past two weeks, US surveillance planes have also been spotted in the area, and pilots have been warned to avoid the airspace nearby.
Russia defends new pro-Putin EU PM
Commenting on the victory of the pro-Russian politician Robert Fico in the Slovak legislative elections, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “Of course, we would like to see more experienced politicians, politicians who approach the situation with sobriety. Well, we shall see.” Peskov argued that “many politicians – not a few politicians in Europe – are labelled pro-Russian. In fact, now we find ourselves in a situation where any European politician inclined to consider the sovereignty of their own country, protecting its interests, is immediately branded as pro-Russian. But this is absurd”. Fico opposes military support to Ukraine.
Ukraine: ‘Every support to Moscow is an investment for the war’
“Any support for Russia today is a direct investment in war, in genocide, in the assassination of the free world, in escalation, and in the right to impunity,” wrote Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Telegram. According to Podolyak, “unfortunately, not all, especially when they are prominent media figures located thousands of kilometres away from the epicentre of the war, are able to understand the significance of daily bombings and the cries of children losing their parents”.
Bulgaria bans Russian cars
Like several other European countries, Bulgaria has prohibited entry to cars with Russian license plates. Authorities have announced the closure of borders to vehicles registered in Russia, a measure taken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February last year. “We have been working since Thursday, and I am certain that by the end of the day, the ban on entry for Russian vehicles will be in effect,” stated Anton Zlatanov, the head of Bulgaria’s Border Guard, emphasising that a similar measure has been in place for Russian trucks for months. He clarified that the measure applies to vehicles and products already subject to EU sanctions. As a member of the EU and NATO, Bulgaria joins Norway, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in implementing such restrictions.
Kuleba: Stop of US funds just an incident, will be resolved
“The question is to determine whether what happened in the American Congress was an isolated incident or systemic. I believe it was an incident, related to the negotiations for the shutdown,” stated Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a joint press briefing with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, regarding the halt of funds for Ukraine decided by the American Congress. “We have had in-depth discussions with both sides of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, about the decision made. We are working with both fronts of Congress and ensuring that it does not happen again,” he explained. “The United States understands that the challenge is bigger than Ukraine. It concerns the stability and predictability of the world. I believe we will find the necessary solutions,” added the head of Kyiv’s diplomacy.
MoD update as of October 2
Latest British Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine:
Prigozhin’s son could lead Wagner Group
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s 25-year-old son, Pavel, might be the new leader of the Wagner mercenary group founded by his late father, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has claimed. The think tank claimed that Pavel Prigozhin is negotiating with the Russian National Guard, Rosgvardia, to merge the mercenary organisation with them in the fighting against Ukraine. Quoting a Telegram channel affiliated with the group, the American think tank also said of an alternative leader to Wagner’s commander, Andrey Troshev, who was tasked by Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a group of volunteers to fight in Ukraine. The retired colonel has already signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence and has been publicly endorsed by Putin.
Over 100 bombs dropped on Belgorod in 24 hours
In the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian army has bombed the territory of the Belgorod region more than 100 times, and the number of injured civilians has risen to four. This was stated on his Telegram channel by the governor of the Russian Federation region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, quoted by the Ria Novosti agency. According to the governor’s account, yesterday the Ukrainian army hit six different towns with 102 bombs, two of which were dropped by drones. Over 40 bombs hit the village of Babka in the Valuysky urban district. The length of the Ukrainian border with the Belgorod region is 350 kilometres, as reminded by the Russian agency.
Putin fears revolt as train driver ‘dangled from balcony’ after displaying Ukraine colours
A train driver has been dangled from a balcony in Russia for painting belongings in the blue and yellow of Ukraine, according to Russian media reports. A policeman reportedly beat the train driver and threatened to drop him off the balcony after spotting Ukraine colours in the 27-year-old apartment in the city of Pechora. An investigation has been launched into the incident according to the Russian news site Baza.
Putin sigh of relief as European country ‘will stop helping Ukraine’
Slovakia’s election has sent shockwaves through the Western alliance as the victory of pro-Russian former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s populist SMER party threatens the crack Europe’s united front in support of Ukraine.
Fico emerged from the election with some 23 percent of the vote which leaves SMER in a pole position to form a coalition if the left-wing party can find a partner for government.Throughout Ficao’s election campaign, the former Slovak Prime Minister pledged to end military aid from Ukraine which has been generous.
Since the invasion began, Slovak military stockpiles have been emptied and shifted to aid Ukrainian forces from surface-to-air missiles to MiG-29 fighter jets.Moscow is likely looking at the results with glee though despite the results of the election whether SMER can cobble together the coalition to enter government is yet to be confirmed.
Ukraine to build underground classrooms in Kharkiv
Authorities in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv have announced plans to construct classrooms underground to allow learning to continue uninterrupted by air raids.Kharkiv’s mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram: “We are planning to build Ukraine’s first underground school, which will address the most modern regulatory requirements for protective structures. This shelter will allow thousands of children in Kharkiv to continue safe, in-person education even during missile threats.”
German foreign minister warns of Russian strikes on energy
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has spoked in Kyiv of the danger of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy supplies this winter. In response, Ms Baerbock called for stronger air defences to be handed over to Ukraine as well as energy supply guarantees.
She said: “Last winter, we saw the brutal way in which the Russian president is waging this war,
“We must prevent this together with everything we have, as far as possible.”
Elon Musk under fire for post criticising Ukraine
Billionaire Elon Musk has been slammed by Ukraine supports for posting a meme featuring a fake picture of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in an apparent jab as Ukrainian calls for increased military support and aid funding.
Poland in warning to Ukraine over forging German alliance
Amid worsening relations between Poland and Ukraine, Warsaw has issued a strong warning to Kyiv over entering into an alliance with Germany.
Voldymor Zelensky’s government has grown at odds with Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party in recent weeks as a row over grain exports escalated into a diplomatic split.Now Poland has cautioned Zelensky and looking to replace Ukraine’s relationship with Poland with a stronger alliance with Germany.Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: “I understand that he [Mr Zelenskyy] now thinks that he will have a close alliance with Germany. I warn you that the Germans will always try to come to an understanding with the Russians over the heads of the Central European countries.”
German foreign minister lands in Kyiv
Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has arrived in Ukraine. This comes ahead of a summit for European Union foreign ministers in Kyiv at the behest of EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell.
Russo-Ukraine war enters 586th day
Kharkiv battles fires following Russian strikes
Overnight shelling by the Russian army has triggered fires in the region of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.Regional governor Oleh Synyehubov reported a “large-scale fire” in the village of Borova destroyed four houses.Meanwhile, one person was killed in the city of Vovchansk.
Ukrainian forces forced back near Robotyne
Ukrainian forces are being forced back around the village of Robotyne, threatening one of the only significant gains of the ongoing offensive. Russian assault units have been attacking south of Robotyne where the frontlines are marked by miles of trenches, bunkers and tunnels.
Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War said: “Russian forces are prioritizing the defence of these positions, which have tactical significance in the area between Robotyne and Novoprokopivka.”
The US-based thinktank notes that Russian forces have “been conducting successful limited tactical counterattacks”.
Good morning from London. I’m Tim McNulty, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
Email: [email protected]
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