Here is the situation on Friday, October 6, 2023.
- At least 51 people were killed and six injured in a Russian missile attack on northeastern Ukraine. Oleh Syniehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said a busy cafe and a supermarket in the village of Hroza, about 30km (20 miles) west of the front-line town of Kupiansk were hit. A six-year-old child was among the dead, he said. There was no comment from Russia on the attack, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described as “genocidal aggression”.
- The Ukrainian general staff said 24 of 29 Russian drones launched overnight were brought down over the southern regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv, as well as the central Kirovohrad region. Regional Governor Andriy Raykovych said “critical infrastructure” has been damaged in Kirovohrad as a result of the Russian air raids.
- The Russian-appointed mayor of the occupied eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka said a teenager was killed and three others injured while trying to dismantle cluster munitions. He urged civilians to “not touch or lift” such weapons.
- The regional administration in Ukraine’s Donetsk said that one person was killed and three others injured in Russian shelling of three villages. Several houses were also damaged.
- At least two people were injured after the Beryslav hospital in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region was hit as at least five Russian air raids targeted the city. Kherson Regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said the hospital’s fourth floor was “completely destroyed” in the attack.
Diplomacy and politics
- Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Russia could return to nuclear weapons testing and might withdraw its ratification of a landmark nuclear test ban treaty. Putin also said that Russia had tested a new nuclear-powered missile delivery system but had not decided whether to resume the testing of explosives.
- Putin said traces of hand grenades had been discovered in the remains of those killed when the private plane carrying Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed on its way from Moscow to St Petersburg in August.
- European leaders expressed continued support for Ukraine as Zelenskyy joined them at a meeting in the Spanish city of Granada.
- Russia’s Izvestiya newspaper said Moscow had signed a deal for a permanent naval base on the Black Sea coast of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. “We have signed an agreement, and in the near future, there will be a permanent base of the Russian Navy in the Ochamchira district,” the paper quoted the leader of the breakaway region, Aslan Bzhania, as saying.
- The Ukrainian Interfax news agency said Kyiv has paused its complaints against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their bans on Ukrainian grain at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was working on a “complex solution” to their trade dispute.
- European countries gave a boost to Ukraine’s air defence systems. Spain announced it had sent six US-made HAWK launchers to Kyiv and that the Spanish army would train Ukrainian soldiers to use the systems. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised another Patriot air defence system to Kyiv. Ukraine received its first Patriot system in April.
- The AFP news agency reported that Russia’s Wagner group signed a contract with a Chinese firm in November 2022 to acquire two satellites and use their images for intelligence purposes. The contract was signed around the same time that Wagner was pushing Russia to step up its military operation in Ukraine, according to the news agency.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies