© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (not seen), as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi
(Reuters) – The United States is prioritising efforts to boost Ukraine’s air defences, President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart on Sunday, as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stepped up efforts to secure international assistance over the Russian invasion that is dragging into a 10th month.
* Zelenskiy held talks with U.S. Biden and with the leaders of Turkey and France on Sunday, stepping up diplomatic activity around a war started by Russia nearly 10 months ago.
* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Black Sea grain export agreement on Sunday with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, as both sides seek changes that would boost their exports.
* European Union foreign ministers will meet on Monday to try to agree on further sanctions on Russia and Iran and an additional 2 billion euros ($2.11 billion) for arms deliveries to Ukraine.
* An international team of legal advisers has been working with local prosecutors in Ukraine’s recaptured city of Kherson in recent days as they began gathering evidence of alleged sexual crimes by Russian forces as part of a full-scale investigation.
* Emergency crews were working to ease power shortages in many parts of Ukraine after Russian attacks, particularly the Black Sea port of Odesa, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday. The port of Odesa was not operating on Sunday after the latest attack on the region’s energy system, Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky said, while adding that grains traders were not expected to suspend exports.
* All non-critical infrastructure in Odesa was without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones to hit two energy facilities, leaving 1.5 million people without power, officials said on Saturday.
* Ukraine attacked occupied Melitopol, a strategically located city in the country’s southeast, on Saturday evening. The Russian-installed authorities said a missile attack killed two people and injured 10, while the exiled mayor of the city said scores of “invaders” were killed.
* A senior official in eastern Ukraine said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked a hotel town of Kadiivka where members of Russia’s private Wagner military group were based, killing many of them.
* Reuters could not independently verify the reports of the attacks or deaths.
* Ukraine’s top security officials have ordered punitive measures against seven senior clerics, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday, part of a crackdown on a branch of the Orthodox Church with longstanding ties to Moscow.
RUSSIAN VIEWS OF THE WAR
* Some Russian officers fighting in Ukraine are unhappy with the military top brass and President Vladimir Putin because of the poor execution of the war, an influential nationalist Russian blogger said after visiting the conflict zone.
* Russia launched what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine because its concerns around peace accords between Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists were ignored, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying.
#Biden #puts #priority #boosting #Ukraines #air #defences #Reuters