Here is the situation on Sunday, October 1, 2023.
- The Ukrainian Air Force shot down 30 of the 40 Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack on Ukraine’s central and southern regions.
- Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for the Ukraine military’s southern command, told Ukrainian TV that Russia continued to attack port infrastructure. Targets included facilities on the Danube River as Moscow attempts to blow up critical infrastructure “to impact the economy”, she said.
- Romania, which borders Ukraine along the Danube, reported a possible violation of its airspace during Russia’s drone attacks. The defence ministry said as drones were detected heading towards Ukrainian territory near the Romanian border, an alert was issued for residents in the Tulcea and Galati municipalities. “The radar surveillance system … indicated possible unauthorised entry into national airspace, with a signal detected on a route towards the municipality of Galati,” the ministry said.
- Russia’s defence ministry said its air defence shot down nine missiles launched from Ukraine over the western Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. Officials in Russia’s Bryansk region, meanwhile, reported disruptions to power supply following an unspecified attack on the town of Pogar.
- The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Wagner Group chief of staff Andrey Troshev suggested Russia would continue to rely on private armies in its war against Ukraine, despite the short-lived Wagner mutiny in June. The update from the UK’s military intelligence noted that Troshev had taken up a role with the country’s official security forces around the time of the uprising and that Putin had now tasked him with setting up new “volunteer fighting units”.
- Russia marked a year since it claimed annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson – four Ukrainian regions it partially occupies in Ukraine’s east and where a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take back the land is advancing slowly. In an address, Putin claimed the residents of the regions had “made their choice to be with their Fatherland” in a referendum a year ago and in recent elections. He also said the annexation was carried out “in full accordance with international norms”. The annexation has been condemned by Ukraine, its allies and at the United Nations.
Diplomacy and politics
- Ludomir Blaha, the deputy leader of Slovakia’s opposition SMER-SSD party, dismissed accusations that if they were to win this weekend’s elections they would move the Central European nation closer to Moscow. “It’s nonsense that we would be pro-Russian or pro-Putin,” Blaha told the dpa news agency in an interview. SMER-SSD has said it will end military aid for neighbouring Ukraine
- The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visited the Ukrainian port city of Odesa on the Black Sea to see first-hand the effects of the war – including in Odesa’s old quarter and the historic Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration, which was badly damaged in July. As he toured the cathedral site, Borrell called the assault on the city “barbaric”.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who organised a forum of the international defence industry in Kyiv, announced the establishment of the Defence Industries Alliance to step up domestic weapons production. The foreign ministry said Ukrainian producers signed about 20 agreements with foreign partners for joint manufacture, exchange of technology, or supply of components to make drones, armoured vehicles and ammunition. “It will be a mutually beneficial partnership. I think it is a good time and place to create a large military hub,” Zelenskyy said during a meeting with United States, UK, Czech, German, French, Swedish and Turkish arms manufacturers.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the forum by video and said that Ukraine needed “high quality, high quantity” military capabilities. “Heroism alone cannot intercept missiles,” he told delegates, adding: “There is no defence without industry.”
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies