LIVE – War in Ukraine: Several explosions heard in Kyiv
Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was hit four times by Iranian drone strikes on Monday morning, damaging an apartment building and targeting the train station, Ukrainian officials said. “At 09:00 (06:00 GMT) four strikes were registered in Kyiv.
A residential building in the Shevchenko district was hit. We are in the process of clarifying the information about the victims,” said the military in the capital. The management of the state railway had previously confirmed that attacks had taken place “near” the main station.
Information to remember:
- Multiple explosions were heard in Kyiv on Monday morning, exactly a week after Russian attacks on the Ukrainian capital
- The EU launches a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory and grants a new allocation of 500 million euros for arms supplies
- France will train “up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers” on its soil, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu announced in a daily newspaper on Saturday.
On Monday, October 10, Russian bombardments hit Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine on a scale not seen in months, killing at least 19 people and wounding 105 and sparking an international outcry. On Tuesday, Russia, which has recently suffered many military setbacks, continued its shelling on a smaller scale, hitting in particular the power plants in western Ukraine very far from the frontline.
The shootings had been carried out in retaliation for the blast that partially destroyed the Russian bridge in Crimea, which was of great strategic importance. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his satisfaction with these massive strikes on Friday and judged that new large-scale bombing raids on the cities of Ukraine were not necessary “for the time being”.
500 million euros for arms deliveries
The European Union is stepping up its military support to Ukraine by launching a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory on Monday and granting a new €500 million allocation for arms supplies.
“This is a great first for the EU,” commented a European official. “We’ve never done a mission of this magnitude,” he said. The foreign ministers of the 27 member countries will approve these two decisions at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday and the mission will be operational immediately, a diplomatic source said.
In fact, several training courses are being held in various Member States, notably Germany and France, where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained to use European-supplied guns, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft systems. France will train “up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers” on its soil, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu announced in a daily newspaper on Saturday.
It is about offering the fighters “general training”, responding to “specific needs reported by the Ukrainians, such as logistics” and training them “on the equipment provided,” explained Sébastien Lecornu. These training courses can benefit from funds from the European Peace Facility (EPF), the fund established outside the European budget to provide military assistance to Ukraine.
An expense of 3 billion euros
Overall, the goal is to provide 12,000 Ukrainian soldiers with “basic training” and 2,800 others with “specialist training,” a European source said. Artillery, technical units, radars: the needs of the personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are diverse.
The European mission will complement the training of the British and Americans. Poland will serve as a hub for the mission because “it is the exit door for the Ukrainians and the return door,” it was stressed. Germany, for its part, wants to form a Ukrainian brigade.
According to Brussels, a budget of 50 to 60 million euros per year is planned for the start-up phase of the mission. It must be confirmed on Monday, at the same time as the granting of new funding of 500 million euros from the Armament Facility, bringing the Europeans’ effort to 3 billion euros, to which “add the much more important bilateral contributions”.
“A seven-year budget was spent in seven months,” said a senior European official. The facility’s endowment is 5.7 billion, and Europeans need to go back into the pot. Germany, France, Italy and Spain are the four largest contributors.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, must attend the meeting via videoconference, and Paris must arrange for the delivery of six new Caesar guns (in addition to 18 already sent), several 155mm howitzers and launchers for LRU missiles – the French equivalent of – to Ukraine confirms the American HiMARS and Crotale anti-drone surface-to-air defense systems deployed by the Russians.
Germany and Spain have also announced the delivery of air defense systems. Drones have become “an asset” in the Ukraine conflict. The Europeans condemn Iran’s supply of such weapons to Russia in violation of United Nations resolutions, which Tehran denies.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, raised these concerns in a telephone interview with Iranian Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Friday. He also called for an immediate end to the “violent crackdown” on protests sparked by the death of a young woman arrested by Iran’s Morality Police a month ago.
The EU will on Monday sanction the head of that police force and a dozen other leaders blamed for the repression. Mr Amir-Abdollahian condemned this prospect, calling on the EU to adopt “a realistic approach” to these demonstrations.
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