Here is the situation on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
- At least two people were killed and eight injured in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said the attacks hit residential areas, shops, medical facilities and other civilian infrastructure.
- Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the city will build Ukraine’s first fully underground school to protect pupils from Russia’s frequent bomb and missile attacks. While many schools in front-line regions have been forced to teach online, Kharkiv organised some 60 separate classrooms in its metro system before the school year that started on September 1, creating space for more than 1,000 children to study there.
Diplomacy and politics
- European Union foreign ministers showed their support for Ukraine at a meeting in Kyiv, their first outside the bloc’s borders, after a pro-Russian candidate won an election in Slovakia and the United States’s Congress left Ukraine war aid out of a temporary spending bill. “The EU remains united in its support to Ukraine. … I don’t see any member state folding on their engagement,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the duration of the war was linked to support from its allies. “Our victory directly depends on our cooperation: the more strong and principled steps we take together, the sooner this war will end,” Zelenskyy said in a statement on his website, urging the EU to expand sanctions on Russia and Iran, which has supplied attack drones for Russian forces. He also called for the “acceleration” of work to direct “frozen Russian assets to finance the restoration of war-torn Ukraine”.
- The US White House said it had been in touch with allies and partners about funding for Ukraine and stressed that there was continued bipartisan support in Congress to continue to support the country.
- Moscow said that while it expected Washington to continue its support for Ukraine, the vote in Congress was a sign of increasing divisions in Western countries over the conflict. “According to our forecasts fatigue from this conflict, fatigue from the completely absurd sponsorship of the Kyiv regime will grow in various countries, including the United States,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
- Germany’s economy ministry said exports of military equipment to Ukraine had grown more than fourfold so far this year, to 3.3 billion euros ($3.48bn), making Kyiv the main recipient of German weapons.
- Denmark’s Ministry of Defence said it will spend 100 million kroner ($14.1m) in a joint European order for ammunition to help Ukraine. On Friday, the European Defence Agency (EDA) said seven EU countries had ordered 155mm artillery rounds for Kyiv and to replenish depleted stocks. Delivery is expected in 2024.
- The first batch of Leopard 2 tanks sent for repair in Poland after being damaged on the battlefield have been returned to Ukraine, according to the Polish Armaments Group. Germany and Poland agreed to set up a repair centre for the tanks in July.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies