LIVE – Kyiv hit by suicide drones, Russian military plane crashes near border
The Ukrainian nuclear operator on Tuesday accused Russia of “kidnapping” two officials from the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Russian forces “kidnapped” the plant’s IT director Oleg Kostioukov and deputy director general Oleg Ocheka and “drive them to an unknown destination,” operator Energoatom said in a statement to a network.
Also in Kyiv, a power plant was hit by three strikes. Russia has bombed 30% of Ukraine’s power plants in just over a week, causing “massive” power outages as winter approaches, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned on Tuesday.
“Since October 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power plants have been destroyed, leading to massive power outages across the country,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted, reaffirming his refusal to negotiate with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Eight dead on Monday 17 October
Russian attacks, including the use of suicide drones, killed at least eight people in Ukraine on Monday, and 13 people died in Russia when a Russian military plane crashed near the Ukrainian border. In total, “the enemy carried out nine rocket attacks, 39 airstrikes, (launched) up to 30 shells from multiple rocket launchers throughout the day,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army summed up in the evening.
Information to remember:
- At least eight people died in Ukraine after a Russian attack on Monday October 17.
- For its part, the Russian army, which will send up to 9,000 soldiers and about 170 tanks to Belarus, an ally of Moscow, congratulated itself on having achieved all its goals with “high-precision weapons”.
- In south-west Russia, 13 people were killed and 19 others injured after a Russian military plane crashed, causing a large fire in a building in Yeysk, near the Ukrainian border.
- Kyiv has urged the EU to impose further sanctions on Iran, which denies supplying killer drones to Russia for its offensive against Ukraine.
In addition to the capital, the areas around Kharkiv and Sumy (northeast), Donetsk (east), Dnipropetrovsk (middle-east) or Cherson and Mykolaiv (south) were also affected, a week after massive bombing raids on Ukraine, he continued. Crucial infrastructure in three regions, including that of Kyiv, has been affected, leaving “hundreds of places” without power, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal said, reporting “five drone strikes” of suspected Iranian production on the only capital.
For its part, the Russian army, which will send up to 9,000 soldiers and about 170 tanks to Belarus, an ally of Moscow, congratulated itself on having achieved all its goals with “high-precision weapons”. At the same time, 13 people were killed and 19 others injured in southwestern Russia after a Russian military plane crashed, causing a gigantic fire at a building in Yeysk, near the Ukrainian border, authorities said.
Zelenskyy denounces Russian “terror”.
“Russian terrorists managed to strike again. In Kyiv they killed a young family who were aiming an Iranian shahed (drone) at a residential building. A man and a woman who was six months pregnant (…) A total of four people were killed by killed that one Shahed,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the evening.
“Russia has no chance (of winning) on the battlefield. And it tries to cover up its military defeats with terror. Why is terror needed? To put pressure on us, on Europe and on the whole world,” he continued in his daily video message.
“In order to ensure the protection of our skies and reduce the capabilities of Russian terrorists to zero, we need significantly more modern air defense systems and more missiles for them,” said Zelenskyy. According to the Ukrainian emergency services, which are still in the capital, a suicide drone also hit an administrative building.
A series of explosions were heard around the city early in the morning. An AFP journalist saw one of the suicide drones hit a building after two police officers tried to shoot it down with their service weapons.
“We’ve been here for maybe half an hour and four drones fell,” explained one of them, Yaroslav, still nervous after the shot.
108 women freed by the Russians
Five people were killed and 14 injured in rocket fire at an unspecified facility in the Sumy region, local authorities said. In Dnepropetrovsk’s, a cruise missile hit another transformer, injuring one.
And Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said that the Zaporijjia (south) nuclear power plant, which was the focus of concern for several months, had to be powered by its emergency diesel generators to cool its reactors after it was disconnected from the grid by Russian bombing.
Despite this context, 108 women, mostly soldiers, have been released thanks to a new prisoner swap with Russia, President Zelenskyy noted.
threat of US sanctions
Kyiv has urged the EU to impose further sanctions on Iran, which denies supplying killer drones to Russia for its offensive against Ukraine. “Iran is responsible for the murder of Ukrainians. This country, which oppresses its own people, is now supplying monstrous weapons for mass murder in the heart of Europe,” criticized Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidency.
Tehran reiterated its denials. “Iran has not exported arms to any of the warring factions,” said Nasser Kanani, his diplomatic spokesman.
Washington threatened to sanction companies or states collaborating on Iran’s drone program in the wake of Monday’s attacks. In southern Ukraine, the army previously said it had shot down 26 Iranian Shahed 136 drones in the night from Sunday to Monday.
The EU increases military aid to Ukraine
“The EU is increasing its military aid to Ukraine to 3.1 billion euros and launching a military training mission for our soldiers,” said Andriï Yermak, Chief of Cabinet of the Ukrainian Presidency. On Monday in Luxembourg, the EU foreign ministers discussed increasing European military aid and training around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
On October 10, Russian bombings on a scale not seen in months left at least 19 dead and 105 wounded. Kiev’s western allies then promised more air defense systems, some of which have already been delivered.
The Russians are on the defensive on most fronts in Ukraine, retreating north, east and south since September. The only sector where they are still advancing is the area of the city of Bakhmout (east), which they have been trying to conquer since the summer.
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