Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, October 12.
- United States President Joe Biden said he doubted whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon as Ukraine pleaded for a rapid increase in Western military aid to defend against missile attacks on its cities.
- In an interview with CNN, Biden also said that Putin was a “rational actor” but “miscalculated” the reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plans to continue his appeals for more military aid as Western leaders meet on the sidelines of a NATO defence meeting in Brussels.
- NATO members and allies meeting in Brussels on Wednesday are likely to focus on providing additional air defence systems to Ukraine, the US ambassador to NATO said.
- The US is speeding up the shipment of sophisticated NASAMS air defence systems to Ukraine, the White House National Security Council spokesperson said.
- The Group of Seven (G7) nations committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes.
- A Kremlin spokesman said US promises to supply advanced air defence systems to Ukraine will only extend the conflict and inflict more pain for Ukraine.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will not turn down a meeting between Putin and Biden at a forthcoming G20 meeting and would consider a proposal if it receives one.
- Russia has detained eight suspects over the deadly explosion on the bridge linking annexed Crimea to Russia, the FSB security service said in a statement quoted by news agencies on Wednesday.
- Explosions were reported in Russian-controlled Kherson and Melitopol on Wednesday, according to Russian media and the exiled mayor of Melitopol. Russia has hit Ukraine’s energy and communications infrastructure in what it called retaliation for the Crimea bridge blast.
- Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting energy facilities to create “unbearable conditions for civilians”.
- Ukraine urged civilians not to use domestic appliances like ovens and washing machines to save electricity as millions faced blackouts after the biggest Russian attack on its energy network since war broke out.
- The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said on Tuesday more than 2,000 people had been left without power after Ukraine shelled an electricity substation in the town of Shebekino, on the border with Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.
- Zelenskyy called for the G7 to back a tough cap on Russian oil and gas exports and again ruled out talks with Putin.
- Already blighted by Western sanctions, Russia’s economy now faces a more self-inflicted blow, with Putin’s military mobilisation drive threatening to undermine productivity, demand and recovery.
- The IMF said that the current energy shock, especially in Europe, is not transitory, and the geopolitical realignment of energy supplies occurring in the wake of Russia’s war in Europe is “broad and permanent”.
Source: News Agencies