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Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Says ‘Mass Burial Site’ Discovered

·10 min read
Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Says ‘Mass Burial Site’ Discovered

(Bloomberg) -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that “a mass burial site” has been found in Izyum, a city that Ukrainian forces recaptured from Russian troops during the recent counteroffensive. President Joe Biden announced that the US would give Ukraine as much as $600 million in additional weaponry from Pentagon stockpiles

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan, as Moscow struggles with significant military setbacks in Ukraine. Putin promised a briefing on China’s “concerns,” while Xi said the allies could bring “stability and positive energy” to the world.

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Union’s executive, arrived in Kyiv for her third visit since Russia invaded Ukraine. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, she called on allies to provide Ukraine all the military aid it’s asking for.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • US Set to Give Ukraine Another $600 Million in Military Aid

  • Blinken Taking Part in Effort to End Azerbaijan-Armenia Conflict

  • US Imposes New Sanctions Against Russia as War Drags On

  • Democrats Imperil White House Plan to Wean Off Russian Uranium

  • Putin Tells Xi He Understands China ‘Concerns’ on War in Ukraine

  • Russian Invasion Knocked Out 14% of Ukraine’s Grain Storage

On the Ground

Russian forces are strengthening the first line of defense in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions in Ukraine’s east and south by moving reserves and deploying remnants of units withdrawn from the Kharkiv axis, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Ukrainian troops repelled several attacks near the eastern city of Bakhmut, according to the statement. In Kryvyi Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s home town, eight missiles hit the water system Wednesday night, causing flooding and prompting temporary evacuations.

(All times CET)

US to Give Ukraine Another $600 Million in Military Aid (4 a.m.)

Biden said the US would give Ukraine as much as $600 million in additional weaponry from Defense Department stockpiles for its fight against Russia. The aid, which Biden announced in a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, would mark the 21st time the administration has drawn down US inventories to send weaponry to Ukraine since September 2021.

The $600 million in assistance includes ammunition for the Himars rocket systems; 1,000 “precision-guided” 155mm artillery shells; 36,000 105mm shells; as well as mine-clearing equipment, according to a Defense Department press release issued on Thursday evening.

Burial Site Discovered in Izyum, Zelinskiy Says (1:55 a.m.)

Zelenskiy said that “a mass burial site” has been found in Izyum, a city that Ukrainian forces that Russian troops abandoned last week during the advance by Ukrainian forces. Zelenskiy, speaking in his nightly video address, did not provide further details, but said more information would be released on Friday. He visited Izyum on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow there will be Ukrainian and international journalists in Izyum. We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to,” he said, referring to Bucha, a town near Kyiv where evidence of atrocities was uncovered after a Russian retreat. “Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for that. The world must hold Russia to real account for this war.”

US Imposes New Sanctions Against Russia (8:50 p.m.)

The US announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia’s military intelligence and defense industry, as well as people accused of stealing Ukrainian crops, in a new push to restrict Putin’s ability to wage war.

The State Department sanctioned 31 defense, technology and electronics entities, while the Treasury Department imposed restrictions on 22 officials, including people who have “overseen the seizure or theft of hundreds of thousands of tons of Ukrainian grain,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“Those designated today — from perpetrators of violence to an official facilitating the purposeful removal of children from Ukraine — provide examples of the behavior that has become synonymous with the government of Russia’s unprovoked war,” Blinken said.

Russian Invasion Knocked Out 14% of Ukraine’s Grain Storage (7:33 p.m.)

Russia has destroyed, damaged or seized control of 14% of Ukraine’s crop storage facilities since invading in February, jeopardizing the global food supply and threatening future harvests, a US government-backed report found.

Researchers examined satellite images of 344 storage facilities -- out of almost 1,400 nationwide -- and concluded that Ukraine’s grain storage capacity fell to 49.8 million metric tons, down from a pre-war capacity of 58 million metric tons.

“Now, with a lack of storage for Ukraine’s farmers, it could cause a crisis of availability in terms of Ukraine’s farmers deciding to skip a planting cycle, because they don’t have anywhere to put the grain,” Nathaniel Raymond, executive director of the Yale School of Public Health, which conducted the research, said in an interview.

EU’s von der Leyen Says Ukraine Should Get All Arms It Seeks (7:17 p.m.)

European Commission President von der Leyen called on allies to provide Ukraine all the military aid it’s asking for to press back Russia’s invasion, as Kyiv makes gains in a counteroffensive.

“Ukraine should get all the military material they need,” von der Leyen, the chief of the EU’s executive arm, said in an interview in an in Kyiv with Bloomberg Television.

Ukrainian troops have proven that “if they have the military capabilities, they do defend themselves,” von der Leyen said.

Read the full story here.

European Investment Bank Gives Ukraine 500 Million Euros (6:30 p.m.)

The European Investment Bank disbursed 500 million euros ($500 million) for Ukraine as the first part of its 1.59 billion euro “urgent response package,” the bank said on its website.

The funds are intended to help the government repair roads, bridges and infrastructure and support state-run railway company Ukrzaliznytsya and road operator Ukravtodor. An earlier 668 million euro support package was given to Ukraine within a month of Russia’s invasion.

EU Can Disburse 5 Billion Euros for Ukraine in Mid-October: von der Leyen (4:39 p.m.)

The EU parliament approved 5 billion euros in macro financial assistance for Ukraine and the amount can arrive next month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv.

Ukraine expects more funds under the EU assistance program to be provided this year, Zelenskiy said. Reconstruction of Ukraine will be a topic of a special European congress in Berlin on Oct. 25, where experts from around the world will discuss the best approaches, von der Leyen said.

Ursula von der Leyen pledged the “simplest” access for Ukraine to the European market, and said she’ll “work as much as possible” for that goal.

Germany to Send More Rocket Launchers, Armored Vehicles (3:52 p.m.)

Germany will send Ukraine two more Mars II rocket launchers and 50 Dingo armored transport vehicles, the defense ministry in Berlin said. Ukrainian troops will travel to Germany this month for training.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure in recent days to supply more heavy weapons to help Kyiv continue its counterattacks against Russia, with some members of his ruling coalition urging the government to send Leopard 2 battle tanks.

Angolan President Calls for Russia to End Conflict (3:26 p.m.)

Joao Lourenco, president of long-time Russian ally Angola, called for Moscow to put an end to the war in Ukraine. “We consider it important that the Russian authorities take the initiative to end the conflict,” Lourenco said in Angola’s capital, Luanda, as he was sworn in for a second term.

A cessation of hostilities could create “a new environment for negotiating a new peace architecture for Europe, and opening the way for the much-desired and necessary reform of the United Nations Security Council,” said Lourenco, who studied military strategy in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.

Russian Convicts Offered Freedom for Signing Up to War (2:49 p.m.)

Convicts in Russian prisoners are being offered early release in exchange for signing up for a stint fighting at the front in Ukraine.

The move comes as the Kremlin struggles to fill ranks among widespread combat losses and Ukrainian counterattacks, and President Vladimir Putin resists a politically unpopular mass mobilization.

Read more: Russian Convicts Offered Freedom If They Join War in Ukraine

G-7 Vows to Impede Russian War Machine (2:45 p.m.)

Group of Seven trade ministers pledged to “maintain and expand” efforts to stop Russia profiting from its invasion of Ukraine and to curtail President Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage war.

“We discussed potential further trade-related steps to aid the Ukrainian economy,” the ministers said in a joint statement after a meeting in Neuhardenberg, Germany, attended by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.

“We will continue to coordinate future trade and investment measures to support Ukraine’s recovery efforts and call on all partners to join our efforts, and engage with us to help Ukraine to rebuild its future,” the ministers added.

Putin Says He Understands China’s Concerns (1:37 p.m.)

President Vladimir Putin told his counterpart Xi Jinping that he understands China’s “questions and concerns” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the leaders began their first in-person talks since the war began.

Hailing China’s “balanced position” on the “Ukraine crisis,” Putin offered to explain the situation “in detail.” In brief televised comments at the start of the meeting, the Russian leader also blasted what he called “provocations by the US and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

The pair are meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Beijing-led group seen as a counter to US-dominated alliances. Putin is expected to meet there on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Read more: Putin Tells Xi He Understands China ‘Concerns’ on Ukraine War

Zelenskiy’s Home Town Targeted by Multiple Cruise Missiles (1:10 p.m.)

Cruise missiles aimed at Kryvyi Rih caused “serious destruction” at an industrial enterprise in Kryvyi Rih on Thursday, regional governor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram.

The city is still recovering from flooding in the aftermath of eight Russian Kinzhal and Iskander missiles that hit its water system on Wednesday night. People from several municipal districts were evacuated and over 100 buildings were flooded after river levels rose following a missile hit to a major dam. Rescue teams had to demolish two other dams downriver to release excess water.

Russia Says Long-Range Missiles Would Cross ‘Red Line,’ IFX Reports (12:52 p.m.)

Supplying long-range missiles to Ukraine would cross a “red line” and make the US a part of the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says, according to Interfax.

The Pentagon has sent Ukraine its most accurate artillery shell, the GPS-guided Excalibur, according to budget documents seen earlier this month.

Read more: Most-Accurate US Artillery Shell Is Added to Ukraine’s Arms

Ukraine Says Army Liberated 400 Settlements (12:02 p.m.)

Troops have liberated 400 settlements in several days of the counteroffensive, most of them in east Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily statement last night.

Around 150,000 people are no longer living under Russian occupation, and are enjoying “normal and safe” lives, he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk said 1 million to 1.2 million Ukrainians remain in territories still occupied by Russian troops.

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