Russia-Ukraine war live: Russia continuing ‘massive, forced deportations’; Kremlin’s missile stocks diminishing, UK says | Ukraine

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Russia continues ‘massive, forced deportations’, says think tank

Russia continues to conduct “massive, forced deportations” of Ukrainians that “likely amount to a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign”, according to a US-based think tank.

In its latest assessment of the conflict, the Institute for the Study of War notes that Russian officials have “openly admitted to placing children from occupied areas of Ukraine up for adoption with Russian families”.

It adds: “Russian authorities may additionally be engaged in a wider campaign of ethnic cleansing by depopulating Ukrainian territory through deportations and repopulating Ukrainian cities with imported Russian citizens.”

The Belarusian defence ministry has said just under 9,000 Russian troops will be stationed in Belarus as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect its borders, Reuters reports.

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Last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his troops would be deployed with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border as part of a “joint grouping”, citing what he said were threats from Ukraine and the West.

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“The first troop trains with Russian servicemen who are part of the [regional grouping] began to arrive in Belarus,” Valeriy Revenko, head of the defence ministry’s international military cooperation department, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

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“The relocation will take several days.

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“The total number will be a little less than 9,000 people.”

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The number of children killed since the start start of the war now stands at 423, the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor general has said.

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It added that a further 810 children had been injured in the conflict and that the most child casualties were suffered in the regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.

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It also said the numbers were not final because work was ongoing to collate tallies of those killed and injured in areas still occupied or where fighting is ongoing.

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More than 30 settlements in Ukraine have been hit by Russian strikes in the last day, according to the Ukrainian military.

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The latest update from the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the strikes had hit civilian areas.

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It said particularly targeted had been an area east of the capital, Kyiv, as well as others in the eastern regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia and the southern regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson.

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“Violating the norms of international humanitarian law … [Russia] strikes critical infrastructure and the homes of the civilian populations,” it said.

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It added that Russia also continued to shell the position of Ukrainian troops “along the entire contact line”.

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Russia continues to conduct “massive, forced deportations” of Ukrainians that “likely amount to a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign”, according to a US-based think tank.

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In its latest assessment of the conflict, the Institute for the Study of War notes that Russian officials have “openly admitted to placing children from occupied areas of Ukraine up for adoption with Russian families”.

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It adds: “Russian authorities may additionally be engaged in a wider campaign of ethnic cleansing by depopulating Ukrainian territory through deportations and repopulating Ukrainian cities with imported Russian citizens.”

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Russian is “probably incapable of producing advanced munitions at the rate they are being expended”, according to the latest update from the UK ministry of defence.

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The ministry said attacks like those launched across Ukraine on Monday, in which Russia fired some 80 cruise missiles, represent a “further degradation of Russia’s long-range missile stocks, which is likely to constrain their ability to strike the volume of targets they desire in future”.

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Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 16 October 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/cSR06lXKTG

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/UYBkbW8aYS

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) October 16, 2022

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The estimated number of Russians killed since the start of the war has reached 65,000, according to the Ukrainian military.

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This morning’s update from the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the death toll had risen by 300 over the last 24 hours.

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It added that the number of tanks lost had reached 2,529, and that 5,193 armored personnel vehicles had also been destroyed.

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Загальні бойові втрати противника з 24.02 по 16.10 орієнтовно склали / The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 16.10 were approximately:https://t.co/Sacj4PkeJm pic.twitter.com/TAutd0uRXC

— Генеральний штаб ЗСУ (@GeneralStaffUA) October 16, 2022

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An adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said the two Russian volunteers who opened fire on fellow volunteers at a military base had carried out the attack after an argument over religion.

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At least 11 people were killed and 15 wounded in the shooting at a military training ground in the Belgorod region in south-western Russia on Saturday, the Russian defence ministry has said. The two attackers were shot dead.

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Reuters reported that Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Zelenskiy, said in a YouTube interview that the attackers were from the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan and had opened fire on the others after an argument over religion.

Tajikistan is predominantly Muslim, while around half of Russians follow various branches of Christianity. The Russian ministry had said the attackers were from a nation in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which groups nine ex-Soviet republics, including Tajikistan.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the comments by Arestovych, a prominent commentator on the war.

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The independent Russian news website Sota Vision said the attack occurred in the small town of Soloti, close to the Ukrainian border and about 105km (65 miles) south-east of Belgorod.

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The Russian state media outlet RIA cited a defence ministry statement as saying:

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During a firearms training session with individuals who voluntarily expressed a desire to participate in the special military operation [against Ukraine], the terrorists opened fire with small arms on the personnel of the unit.

\n

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The attack took place a week after an explosion damaged a bridge in Crimea linking to Russia.

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attack on fellow troops followed ‘argument over religion’, says Ukraine”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Sun 16 Oct 2022 09.40 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Sun 16 Oct 2022 02.31 EDT”},{“id”:”634b6fe08f085fc6682b4007″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s continuing live coverage of the war in Ukraine. Here’s a rundown on the latest news and overnight developments as it just passes 9.30am in Kyiv.

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    \n

  • At least 11 people were killed and 15 wounded at a military training ground in south-west Russia’s Belgorod region when two volunteers opened fire on other troops, the Russian defence ministry said. The shooters were nationals from a former Soviet republic and had been shot dead after Saturday’s shooting, the ministry said, calling it a terrorist attack. Baza, a Russian news site with close ties to police, said the attack occurred at 10am local time during shooting practice.

  • \n

  • Elon Musk has announced his company SpaceX will continue to pay for Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine, a day after suggesting he could not keep funding the project. “The hell with it,” the billionaire tweeted on Saturday. “Even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”

  • \n

  • Russia has continued to try to hit Ukrainian’s energy infrastructure but Vladimir Putin’s forces did not appear to have enjoyed any significant success. One missile seriously damaged a key energy facility in the region around Ukraine’s capital, however, and 10 missiles and four drones hit locations in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhzhia.

  • \n

  • Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian attacks near 11 settlements, the Kyiv Independent has reported. According to the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, Russian forces were attempting to advance near the settlements of Novosadove, Yakovlivka, Berestove, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Opytne, Krasnohorivka, Nevelske, Pervomaiske, Mariinka, and Pobieda.

  • \n

  • France will train up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory, France’s minister for the armed forces told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview on Saturday. Sebastien Lecornu said soldiers would “be taken into our units for several weeks”, and that France would also provide Ukraine with Crotale air defence systems, without specifying how many.

  • \n

  • Iran has reiterated that it rejects accusations it has supplied Russia with weapons “to be used in the war in Ukraine”, its foreign ministry said. The topic is due to be discussed by EU foreign ministers in a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. In a statement, the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, “emphasised that the Islamic republic of Iran has not and will not provide any weapon to be used in the war in Ukraine”.

  • \n

  • Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has revealed the identity of the “Ghost of Vinnytsia” who had replaced the “Ghost of Kyiv”, which turned out to be propaganda. The pilot, named as Vadym, has been Ukraine’s poster fighter in the past few weeks after multiple reports of Russian losses in Ukrainian skies.

  • \n

  • A fuel depot in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, caught fire after shelling on Saturday, its governor said, without specifying the shelling’s origin.

  • \n

  • The Russian foreign ministry has confirmed the re-equipping of Belarusian Su-25 aircraft to carry nuclear weapons, according to the Belarusian Hajun project.

  • \n

  • Ukrainian troops have launched an offensive in Kherson oblast, the Kyiv Independent reported, while it has not been confirmed by Ukraine.

  • \n

  • Dane Partridge, a 34-year-old man from Idaho who fought as a volunteer soldier in Ukraine, died on Tuesday from injuries sustained during a Russian attack in Luhansk, AP reported.

  • \n

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Key events

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Israel prepared for a new wave of immigration from the former Soviet state. About 13,000 Ukrainians with Jewish heritage have made aliyah, or emigrated, since then.

Unexpectedly, double that have come from Russia, meaning around one in eight Russian Jews have left the country. Since Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation announcement in September, their numbers are growing.

“I got an Israeli passport many years ago because I always knew something like this was possible. I always knew the dark days of the Soviet Union could return,” said Anna Klatis, a journalism professor at Moscow State University who left for Jerusalem with her 16-year-old daughter in February.

“I could not let [my daughter] grow up in a place where freedoms are vanishing.”

Read the full story here:

Just under 9,000 Russian troops to be stationed in Belarus, says official

The Belarusian defence ministry has said just under 9,000 Russian troops will be stationed in Belarus as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect its borders, Reuters reports.

Last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his troops would be deployed with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border as part of a “joint grouping”, citing what he said were threats from Ukraine and the West.

“The first troop trains with Russian servicemen who are part of the [regional grouping] began to arrive in Belarus,” Valeriy Revenko, head of the defence ministry’s international military cooperation department, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“The relocation will take several days.

“The total number will be a little less than 9,000 people.”

People in the Kyiv region have averted blackouts by reducing their power usage, the regional governor has said.

Posting on Telegram, Oleksiy Kuleba said that, by exercising “responsibility and solidarity, residents had helped reduce energy consumption by 7%”.

“This made it possible to spend the evening without forced power outages,” he said.

“In the evening, turn off at least one electrical appliance and unnecessary lighting. Let’s hold another front! Let’s use energy wisely!”

Ukrainian authorities have been concerned about the country’s power supply since Russian strikes at the start of this week damaged key parts of its energy infrastructure.

US and allied security officials believe Iran has agreed to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles and attack drones intended for use in Ukraine, the Washington Post reports.

The paper says intelligence from a US-allied country suggests Iranian officials visited Moscow last month to finalise the terms of a shipment of additional weapons.

It comes after UK intelligence suggested Russia was unlikely to be able to produce missiles as fast as it is currently using them.

On Monday, Russia is believed to have used up more than 80 missiles in a series of strikes across Ukraine, including onthe capital, Kyiv.

On Saturday, Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said the country “has not and will not provide any weapon to be used in the war in Ukraine”.

No matter what Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, says, international opinion is dead against Putin’s war of aggression. More than 140 countries condemned Moscow at the UN last week. Only North Korea, Syria, Belarus and Nicaragua voted in support.

Yet despite this huge anti-war consensus, backed by three-quarters of the world’s countries, substantive steps to halt the fighting and pursue a genuine peace process remain wholly absent.

The reason there’s no peace – the reason diplomacy isn’t working – is simple. Putin does not want it. Since the US first warned of invasion, he has rebuffed all efforts to resolve matters peacefully.

Western leaders must now deploy the one big non-military weapon they still have in reserve.

It’s time to admit diplomacy has failed. It’s time to complete Moscow’s isolation by withdrawing all American, European and G7 diplomats, closing all western embassies, and ostracising Russian officials in international forums, including the UN. All Russian diplomats must simultaneously be expelled.

Read Simon Tisdall’s full piece here:

423 children killed since start of invasion, says prosecutor general

The number of children killed since the start start of the war now stands at 423, the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor general has said.

It added that a further 810 children had been injured in the conflict and that the most child casualties were suffered in the regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.

It also said the numbers were not final because work was ongoing to collate tallies of those killed and injured in areas still occupied or where fighting is ongoing.

Russian-installed officials have said Ukraine is responsible for a rocket attack that struck the mayor’s office in a key Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Kremlin forces. Separately, Ukrainian officials said Russian rockets struck a city across from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, injuring six people.

The municipal building in separatist-controlled Donetsk was seriously damaged by the rocket attack, the Associated Press reports. Plumes of smoke swirled around the building, which had rows of blown-out windows and a partially collapsed ceiling. Cars nearby were burned out.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Kyiv did not immediately claim responsibility or comment on the attack.

Ukrainian authorities have also reported that at least six people were wounded as a result of rocket attacks across from Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, where Russia has stationed its troops.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said that two residents of Nikopol had been hospitalised following the strikes, which also damaged five power lines, gas pipelines, and civilian businesses and residential buildings.

Ukraine’s presidential office and regional authorities also reported that Russian rockets destroyed two schools, a park and private houses in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, which has undergone sustained Russian shelling since Moscow illegally annexed it along with three other Ukrainian provinces last month.

The presidential office also said Moscow continued to shell civilian settlements along the frontline in the eastern Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, where Kyiv has been pressing a counteroffensive. It added that “active hostilities” continued in the southern Kherson region, another key focus of the Ukrainian advance, with repeated Russian strikes on a series of villages recently retaken by Kyiv.

Russia claims to have repelled efforts by Ukrainian troops to advance in the Donetsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, and says its forces have inflicted what it described as significant losses against the enemy as well as destroying three US-made M777 howitzers. The battlefield reports could not immediately be verified.

Russia also said it was continuing airstrikes on military and energy targets in Ukraine, using long-range precision-guided weapons.

Two schools in the southern Zaporizhzhia region have been destroyed in Russian strikes, the regional governor has said.

Posting on Telegram, Oleksandr Starukh said a school in the village of Vozdvizhivka was “almost completely destroyed” after being hit by two rockets.

A second school in the village of Dobropilla was also destroyed, he said, as were a number of private homes.

Starukh added that there were no casualties in the attacks.

“The enemy is defeated on the front, so it destroys and destroys the civilian infrastructure,” he said.

Russian soldiers have shot dead a Ukrainian musician in his home after he refused to take part in a concert in occupied Kherson, according to the culture ministry in Kyiv.

Conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko declined to take part in a concert “intended by the occupiers to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’ in Kherson”, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The concert on 1 October was intended to feature the Gileya chamber orchestra, of which Kerpatenko was the principal conductor, but he “categorically refused to cooperate with the occupants”, the statement said.

Read the full story here:

Poverty in Ukraine has increased tenfold since the start of the war, a top World Bank official has said.

Speaking to Reuters, Arup Banerji, the bank’s regional director for eastern Europe, said Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure away from the frontlines of the conflict have complicated an already dire economic situation in the country.

“If this continues, the outlook is going to be much, much harder,” he said.

“As winter really starts biting … certainly by December or January, and if the houses are not repaired … there may be another internal wave of migration, of internally displaced persons.”

He said that, by the end of next year, more than half of the population of Ukraine could be living in poverty.

More than 30 settlements in Ukraine hit by Russian strikes

More than 30 settlements in Ukraine have been hit by Russian strikes in the last day, according to the Ukrainian military.

The latest update from the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the strikes had hit civilian areas.

It said particularly targeted had been an area east of the capital, Kyiv, as well as others in the eastern regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia and the southern regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson.

“Violating the norms of international humanitarian law … [Russia] strikes critical infrastructure and the homes of the civilian populations,” it said.

It added that Russia also continued to shell the position of Ukrainian troops “along the entire contact line”.

For years, and especially since the invasion of 24 February, Russian state media has been calling to wipe Ukraine off the map, for killing Ukrainians en masse, and dehumanising its people, smearing them as “Nazis” who need to be “denazified”.

As the cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and genocide pile up against the Russian leadership and military, is there a way to hold members of the propaganda machine accountable as well?

Are they protected by freedom of speech or is their role qualitatively different: not mere trumpeters of abhorrent opinion but facilitators of crimes?

Read the full piece from Peter Pomerantsev, author of a number of acclaimed books on modern Russia, here:

In case you missed it last night, Elon Musk has said SpaceX will continue to provide Starlink satellite internet over Ukraine.

Musk, who runs SpaceX alongside electric car manufacturer Tesla, had earlier said the company had spent $80m providing the service for free, and that it couldn’t continue doing so indefinitely.

The US military had confirmed it was communicating with Musk about funding the network.

But on Saturday night, Musk tweeted: “The hell with it… even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to President Zelensky, replied to the post with a Star Wars reference.

“You were supposed to destroy the Sith… So you did…” he said. “Thank you for joining the right side. Ukraine appreciates that.”

The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1581345747777179651?s=20&t=U14qWITMl6GBFbhAN9qYYQ”,”id”:”1581345747777179651″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”380f2e83-be1d-455f-b17c-64238ccc4ee1″}}”>

The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022

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