Related video: Pakistan’s Sharif struggles with headphones as he meets Putin during SCO summit
Russia is facing calls for an international war crimes tribunal after the discovery of mass graves in Ukraine.
It comes as the Defense Ministry questioned whether Russia’s front-line troops have “sufficient reserves or adequate morale” to withstand another concerted attack in the east of the country.
Any substantial loss of territory would “clearly undermine” Vladimir Putin’s strategy for the conflict, the experts say.
Mr Putin warned on Friday that Ukraine’s wide-ranging counter-offensive risks provoking a “more serious” move by Moscow, claiming that “we have so far responded with restraint”.
He vowed to continue his “military special operation” in his speech to reporters after attending a meeting of Asian world leaders, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in Uzbekistan.
He said the “liberation” of Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbass region remains Russia’s top military goal and he has no intention of giving up the fight.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a public rebuke to Mr Putin for the first time, and the Russian leader admitted there were also concerns about the situation in Beijing.
Biden urges Putin to avoid nuclear weapons in an interview broadcast on Sunday
Joe Biden will urge Vladimir Putin not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons after backlash in Ukraine in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday.
Ukraine’s military this week pushed back Russian forces in a lightning-fast rout in the country’s north-east, pressuring Putin from nationalists at home to regain the initiative.
Mr Putin has warned that Moscow would react more forcefully if its troops were further pressured, and expressed concerns that it might eventually use unconventional means such as small nuclear or chemical weapons
When asked by a 60 Minutes reporter what he would say to Mr Putin if he considered using such weapons, Mr Biden said: “No. Not. Not. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II,” read a clip of the interview released by CBS on Saturday.
Mr Biden said the U’s response was “consistent” but declined to give details.
Russia “would become more of an outcast in the world than ever before,” he added. “Depending on the scope of their activities will determine what reaction would take place.”
Russian government officials have dismissed Western suggestions that Moscow would use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but it remains worrying for some in the West.
Sam RkainaSeptember 18, 2022 6:30 am
Zelenskyi’s wife Olena will represent Ukraine at the Queen’s funeral
The wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Olena Zelenska, will attend the Queen’s funeral in London on Monday.
While the President will not join the heads of state at the funeral, Ms Zelenska will represent her nation at the service at Westminster Abbey.
“Olena Zelenska’s presence is another sign of global support for Ukraine while Russia is isolated,” a source was quoted as saying by The Sun.
Sravasti Dasgupta reports.
Zelenskyi’s wife Olena will represent Ukraine at the Queen’s funeral
Ukraine’s First Lady will fly back to the war-torn country immediately after the ceremony
Schweta SharmaSep 18, 2022 6:20 am
Zelensky cites more than 10 torture chambers as new evidence in Izyum
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there was new evidence of torture of people buried at the Izyum mass grave after more than 10 torture chambers and torture devices were discovered.
“More than 10 torture chambers have already been found in various cities and towns in the liberated areas of Kharkiv region,” Ukraine’s president said in a video address late Saturday.
“When the occupiers fled, they left torture devices behind. Torture rooms and instruments for electric shock torture were even found at a shared train station of Kozacha Lopan,” he said.
“Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territories. That’s what the Nazis did – that’s what (the Russians) did,” he added. “They will answer the same way – both on the battlefield and in the courtroom.”
A mass grave with an estimate of around 440 bodies has been discovered in Izyum, one of dozens of towns northeast of Kharkiv recaptured earlier this month after a lightning-fast Ukrainian advance.
Schweta SharmaSep 18, 2022 6:06 am
Ukraine dominates the UN General Assembly
The issue of the Ukraine conflict and a subsequent global food crisis will dominate discussions among world leaders as they convene at the UN General Assembly in New York this week.
“It would be naïve to think we are close to the possibility of a peace deal,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said ahead of the high-level meeting of the 193-member UN General Assembly that begins Tuesday. “The chances of a peace deal are minimal at the moment.”
Geopolitical divisions, hardened by the seven-month war, are likely to come into full focus as the US and Western allies compete with Russia for diplomatic influence.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “Other countries have expressed concern that … we are focusing on Ukraine and not looking at what is happening in other crises around the world.”
“That’s not the case,” she told reporters, adding that while Ukraine will be the focus next week, “it won’t be the only thing we’re dealing with.”
Guterres said the geopolitical rifts were “the widest since at least the Cold War.” He warned that they are “crippling the global response to the dramatic challenges we face,” citing war, climate, poverty, hunger and inequality.
Adam WhitnallSeptember 18, 2022 6:00 am
Australia rules out a ban on Russian tourists because of the Ukraine war
Australia said it would not target individuals and ruled out a ban on Russian tourists as part of sanctions against the country over the invasion of Ukraine.
Australian Defense Secretary Richard Marles said on Sunday the sanctions were aimed at the Russian government, “not the Russian people themselves”.
“That’s something we’re not considering right now,” he told ABC Television. Australia has sanctioned a number of Russian oligarchs and entities while supplying Ukraine with defense equipment and humanitarian supplies.
Mr Marles refused to be asked whether Australia would provide more Bushmasters and other armored vehicles to Ukraine, following a recent request from Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia.
“We will look at how we can provide this continued support,” Mr Marles said, calling Australia “one of Ukraine’s biggest non-NATO military supporters”.
Schweta SharmaSep 18, 2022 5:51 am
Greenpeace blocks Russian gas supplies
Greenpeace activists have blocked the unloading of a shipment of Russian gas in Finland, the climate campaign group says.
The organization is asking Helsinki to stop importing Russian gas because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The shipment contained liquefied natural gas from Russia, Finnish company Gasum said.
Greenpeace’s Olli Tiainen said: “It is totally unacceptable that Russian gas is still allowed to flow into Finland more than six months after Putin launched his invasion.”
Sam RkainaSeptember 18, 2022 5:30 am
From India, Putin is concerned about the Ukraine conflict
Russian President Vladimir Putin faced concerns from India over the protracted conflict in Ukraine at a high-level summit in Uzbekistan.
“I know that today’s era is not one of war,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Russian leader in TV commentary when they met on Friday.
“We discussed with you several times on the phone that democracy and dialogue touch the whole world.”
Modi said he wanted to discuss “how we can move forward on the path of peace,” adding that the world’s biggest concerns are food security, fuel security and fertilizer issues. “We must find a way out, and you must help too,” Modi said in a rare public rebuke.
Emily AtkinsonSep 18, 2022 4:30 am
Zelenskyy appeals to global leaders for more guns
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has renewed his appeal to Western countries and others to step up arms sales to Ukraine.
speaking in an interview with Reuters, he continued: “We would want more help from Turkey, we would want more help from South Korea. More help from the Arab world. From Asia.”
He also expressed his concern that foreign arms supplies to Kyiv would have declined if the recent Ukrainian counter-offensive had not made the territorial gains it had made.
“I think this is a very important step that has influenced or will influence the decisions of certain other countries,” he said.
Emily AtkinsonSep 18, 2022 3:30 am
Ukraine claims “hundreds more” POWs after counter-offensive, Zelenskyy claims
The Ukrainian army captured hundreds of prisoners of war during the country’s counteroffensive in Kharkiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed.
Speak with ReutersUkraine’s president said his new detainees “significantly expanded” his list of captured soldiers.
Noting that Russia has more POWs than Ukraine, he added, “Our job is to have more of them to return our own.”
Emily AtkinsonSeptember 18, 2022 2:30 am
Investigators suspect that the people buried at Izium are likely elderly
Investigators working at the mass grave in Izium said the condition of the teeth of some of the bodies found reportedly showed there were elderly people among those buried.
“Exhumations are underway. Her identity is currently unknown,” said Roman Kasianenko, a regional prosecutor Reuters.
Ukraine says hundreds are buried at the site discovered this week, including at least 17 Ukrainian soldiers found in a mass grave on Friday and others who may be civilians buried in individual graves are marked with thin wooden crosses.
Emily AtkinsonSeptember 18, 2022 1:30 am