Taisiya Kovaliova, 15, stands amongst the rubble of a playground in front of her house hit by a Russian missile in Mykolaiv, on 23 October. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP
By The Guardian - Samantha Lock - Mon 24 Oct 2022 00.27 BST
Russia urges more civilians in occupied Kherson to flee, the US denounces suggestions from Russia that Ukraine is preparing to use a ‘dirty bomb’ as dangerous lies
- Russia has urged more civilians in occupied Kherson to flee amid an exodus to escape an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian authorities told residents to take “documents, money, valuables and clothes” due to “the tense situation on the front” and reported on Sunday that there had been “a sharp increase” in the number of civilians trying to flee. About 25,000 people have been evacuated since Tuesday, the Interfax news agency said.
- Russia’s grip on Kherson appears increasingly fragile. The US think tank Institute for the Study of War said the urgent call to flee indicated that the occupiers “do not expect a rapid Russian or civilian return” to the city, and appeared to be trying to depopulate it to damage its “long-term social and economic viability”.
- One person was killed by a homemade bomb in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Sunday, according to Russia-installed authorities in the region. “An improvised explosive device, attached to a street pole and detonated remotely, killed a civilian from Kherson,” local pro-Russian official Kirill Stremousov wrote on social media, adding that a passerby had been wounded, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.
- Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of planning to blow up the Nova Kakhovka dam. Breaching it could flood a swathe of southern Ukraine, including Kherson.
- Ukraine and the US denounced suggestions from Russia that Ukraine was preparing to use a “dirty bomb” as dangerous lies. “If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address. The White House national security council also rejected Shoigu’s claims. “The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,” a statement said.
- A Russian fighter jet crashed in Siberia, killing two crew members. The Su-30 fighter jet came down on a private, two-storey building housing two families in Irkutsk, a major industrial centre in eastern Siberia. The crash appears to reflect the growing strain that the fighting in Ukraine has put on the Russian air force.
- Iran has said it will supply Russia with 40 turbines to help its gas industry amid Western sanctions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, local media reported. Iran’s “industrial successes are not limited to the fields of missiles and drones”, Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company’s CEO, Reza Noushadi, was quoted as saying by Shana, the oil ministry’s news agency on Sunday.
- Ukraine’s special operations forces said that Iranian drone instructors have been spotted in Belarus. According to special operations forces, Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard corps is training Russian forces in Belarus and coordinating the launches of Iranian-made drones.
- Russia fired missiles and drones into Ukrainian-held Mykolaiv on Sunday, destroying an apartment block. Mykolaiv lies roughly 35 km (22 miles) northwest of the frontline to occupied Kherson
- UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, rebutted claims made by the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, that Ukraine, facilitated by western counties including the UK, was planning to escalate the conflict. “The defence secretary refuted these claims and cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation,” the UK Ministry of Defence said in a statement after talks between the UK and Russia.
- French President Emmanuel Macron said it’s up to Ukraine to decide the time and terms of peace with Russia, and cautioned that the end of war “can’t be the consecration of the law of the strongest.” “To stay neutral would mean accepting the world order of the strongest, and I don’t agree with this,” Macron said at the opening of a three-day peace conference in Rome on Sunday.
- Ukraine faces power outages after Russian strikes target energy facilities. Russian airstrikes on energy infrastructure across the country have left more than a million households in Ukraine without electricity, the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said at the weekend.
- A German lobby group representing companies with interests in eastern Europe has called for a plan to rebuild Ukraine that would mirror the Marshall plan that helped Europe recover from the second world war, the media group RND reported. A Ukraine-Germany business forum in Berlin on Monday will discuss the plan set to be attended by German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian prime minister Denys Schmyhal.Topics