Russia-Ukraine war: Putin must lose or he will invade other European countries, Zelenskiy says – as it happened | Ukraine

 Russia-Ukraine war: Putin must lose or he will invade other European countries, Zelenskiy says – as it happened |  Ukraine

Zelenskiy tells European leaders Ukraine must win to safeguard the EU

Volodymyr Zelenskiy is speaking at the first meeting of the European Political Community today.

He has told European heads of state that Ukraine must win so that Russia does not “advance on Warsaw or again on Prague”, according to reporting by Agence France-Presse.

Zelenskiy called on Western capitals to supply his army with more weapons “to punish the aggressor”.

Key events

Summary of the day

Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

It’s been a comparatively quiet day for news relating to the Ukraine invasion, but there have still been some important developments.

Thank you for following the blog today. We’re closing it for now but will see you again tomorrow.

Leaders of the European Unionthe United Kingdom and Turkey met on Thursday to discuss the security and energy crises resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in a symbolic summit seen as underlining Moscow’s isolation.

The gathering in Prague was the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community (EPC), the brainchild of French president Emmanuel Macron, and was intended to unite the EU’s 27 member states with 17 other European countries.

The meeting at the ancient Prague Castle was perceived as a grand show of solidarity for a continent grappling with multiple crises – from the security implications of the war in Ukraine to energy shortages and a looming recession.

“This meeting is a way of looking for a new order without Russia,” the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said, adding that Moscow may not always be excluded but for now, President Vladimir Putin’s Russia “does not have a seat” .

Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, addressing the meeting via video link, urged leaders to turn the new political community into a “European community of peace”.

“Let today be the starting point. The point from which Europe and the entire free world will move to guaranteed peace for all of us. It is possible,” he said, calling on leaders to “direct all possible powers of Europe to end the war” in Ukraine.

Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

The Guardian’s foreign correspondent Peter Beaumont has penned a dispatch from the Kherson region, shedding light on residents’ experiences of returning to their homes in newly liberated villages.

Unlike the wooded hills of the Donbas, the land here is flat, broad fields sectored by tree lines of acacia and oak, poplars and eucalyptus. They provided meager cover for the Russian armored vehicles that can be seen burned out in the distance, sometimes several together.

Razor-sharp shrapnel fragments litter the road’s surface. Lines of Russian anti-tank mines, strung together to close access to the road, have been defused and pulled to one side of the carriageway. Everywhere the skeletal remnants of missiles that once carried cluster bombs stand like tree-stumps in the fields.

One meadow is cratered every 20 meters by the dozen or so munitions that flew into it. Beyond that, the road is heavily damaged.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has said it was “obvious” the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant belonged to Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv on Thursday.

In a press conference, Grossi said:

For us it is obvious that since it is a Ukrainian facility, the ownership is Energoatom [the Ukrainian state nuclear agency].

With the safety and the security of the plant – and technical operation – we will continue to be guided by the agreements we have with Ukraine.

We are an international organization guided by international law and, as you know very well, annexations are not accepted under international law.

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, ordered his government to take over operations at Europe’s largest nuclear power station in southern Ukraine this week.

Shelling has hit the neighborhood in recent months, with Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for the attacks that have raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

US president, joe biden, you have said he would not rule out meeting with Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit next month in Asia.

“That remains to be seen,” the US leader told reporters when asked if he’d use the G20 gathering in Bali, Indonesia, as an opportunity to talk directly with Putin.

However, travel plans for both men remain unconfirmed and the White House has said that if Putin attends the G20 summit, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, should also participate, even if Ukraine is not a member of the group.

It is unclear whether Putin will attend the summit.

Liz Truss has said she considers Vladimir Putin to be the shared enemy of Europe for threatening democracy and pushing up energy prices, while her French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, is a “friend”.

Truss’s comments during the Tory leadership race, when she declined to say whether Mr Macron was a “friend or foe”, were widely criticized.

She told broadcasters in Prague, where she is attending the inaugural summit of the European Political Community and will meet with the French president:

I work very, very closely with President Macron and the French government and what we’re talking about is how the UK and France can work more closely together to build more nuclear power stations and to make sure that both countries have energy security in the future.

We’re both very clear: the enemy is Vladimir Putin who has, through his appalling war in Ukraine, threatened freedom and democracy in Europe and pushed up energy prices which we’re now all having to deal with.

Asked if Macron was then a friend, Truss said: “He is a friend.”

A Russian-installed official in Ukraine has suggested President Vladimir Putin’s defense minister should consider killing himself because of the shame of the defeats in the war in Ukraine, representing an astonishing public insult to Russia’s top brass.

After more than seven months of war in Ukraine, Moscow’s most basic war aims have still not been achieved, while Russian forces have suffered a series of battlefield defeats in recent months, forcing Putin to announce a partial mobilization.

In a four-minute video message, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region, followed suit, publicly lambasting the “generals and ministers” in Moscow for failing to understand the problems on the front.

Stremousov said:

Indeed, many say: if they were a defense minister who had allowed such a state of affairs, they could, as officers, have shot themselves. But you know the word ‘officer’ is an incomprehensible word for many.

Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza is being investigated for treasonaccording to his lawyer.

State-owned news agency RIA has quoted lawyer Vadim Prokhorov as saying a criminal case for treason – which carries a sentence of up to 20 years – had been opened against Kara-Murza in connection with three of his public speeches.

They included an address to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he said Vladimir Putin was bombing Ukrainian homes, hospitals and schools.

Moscow says it does not deliberately target civilians, but thousands have been killed in Ukraine. On Thursday, at least three people died when a Russian missile destroyed an apartment block in the city of Zaporizhzhia.

EU imposes new sanctions on Russia

The EU has imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, expanding import and export bans and blacklisting individuals over Moscow’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

AFP reports:

The measures, which came into force with their publication in the bloc’s official administrative journal, also pointed the way to an oil price cap on Russian crude transported around the world but only after details are worked out within the G7 group of nations.

The EU regulation said the sanctions were in response to Russia’s “further aggression against Ukraine, the organization of illegal sham ‘referenda’ in the parts of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions that are currently illegally occupied … the illegal annexation of those Ukrainian regions … as well as the mobilization in the Russian Federation and its repeated threat to use weapons of mass destruction”.

Thirty individuals and seven entities were added to the EU blacklist, including singers Yulia Chicherina and Nikolay Rastorguev, among others deemed pro-war “propaganda” artists.

Other listings were Russia’s electoral commission and its head, proxy Russian officials in the annexed regions, and Russian defense officials and defense-affiliated companies.

The regulation also introduced a “circumvention” list on which individuals or companies helping banned Russian entities get around the EU sanctions would be placed.

It was the eighth package of sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia since the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.

The last couple of sanction packets have been losing steam compared to earlier ones, as leading Russian trade, energy, banking, military and political sectors have already been hit.

The headline measure in the latest sanctions was meant to be an oil price cap on Russian crude transported around the world.

But the legal text published on Thursday did not set out how that would work, leaving it to future deliberations by the European Commission and EU member states in consultation with the G7. The sanctions include expanding a ban to all Russian cryptocurrency transactions, regardless of amount, and the widening of an existing ban on Russian imports, and broadening a prohibition on weapon sales to include personal arms.

Also, electronic components that can go into Russian weapons, such as transistors, electronic integrated circuits, controllers, and aerial surveillance cameras are banned for sale to Russia.

Additionally, the EU is barring service providers in several sectors from exporting to Russia, including in the fields of legal advice, architecture, engineering and IT consultancy.

Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

The Guardian’s foreign correspondent, Peter Beaumont, has shared his impressions from a road towards Kherson today, where he has observed what appears to be the remnants of a big fight, including burnt-out Russian armored vehicles and cluster munitions.

I saw a little farmhouse that had been occupied by three different groups of Russians, which was “smashed to bits and an absolute pigsty”. He could hear Ukrainian artillery fire in the distance.

I added:

This doesn’t feel to me like a small straightening of their line and regrouping but a rout.

We went down one of the roads towards Kherson. Looks like the remnants of a big fight down there. Burned out Russian armored vehicles in the tree line. Remains of cluster munitions. Lousy with mines again.

— petersbeaumont (@petersbeaumont1) October 6, 2022

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