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After a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Saturday, the mayor of that city issued a dire warning that there might be no more survivors.

25 people died in the attack, while another 43 are still missing, according to local officials. Borys Filatov, the mayor of Dnipro, said there was a “limited” prospect of discovering any survivors.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised that military operations were going according to schedule while speaking to state television in Moscow. On Saturday, assaults that Moscow said were directed at Ukraine’s military and energy infrastructure also affected Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa.

The nine-story building’s entryway was struck by the devastating attack in Dnipro, which reduced many levels to smouldering ruins.

The number of casualties, according to Mr. Filatov, is anticipated to be in the dozens. Ten of the about 70 people who needed medical attention were, according to him, “in a bad state.”

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, referred to the missile strikes as “inhuman” and said that “Russia deliberately keeps on committing war crimes against civilians.”

In an effort to “push Russian troops back,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that his country will provide Challenger 2 tanks to Kyiv’s military forces on the same day that Russia launched its missile attack.

Moscow’s argument was that giving Ukraine more weaponry will result in increased Russian military activity and civilian losses.

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Vladimir Putin asserts that both countries are “sharing a sorrow” and that Russia is not to blame for the conflict in Ukraine. The Russian president stated that he still views Ukraine as a “brotherly nation” in a televised talk with senior military leaders.

He asserted that rather than being the outcome of Russian policy, the conflict was “the product of the policy of third countries.” Outside of Russia, the theory—which contends that Western expansion is the reason—has consistently been refuted. President Putin asserted that the West had “brainwashed,” beginning with Ukraine, the post-Soviet republics.

He said: “For years, we tried to build good-neighbourly relations with Ukraine, offering loans and cheap energy, but it did not work.

“There’s nothing to accuse us of. We’ve always seen Ukrainians as a brotherly people and I still think so.

“What’s happening now is a tragedy, but it’s not our fault.”

President Putin’s persistent worries appear to be related to Nato’s expansion since the Soviet Union’s fall in 1991.

Although the Kremlin has long contended that NATO’s admission of former Soviet allies as members endangers the alliance’s security, Nato’s primary purpose was to thwart Russian expansion following World War Two.

Following the fall of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 as a result of months of public unrest, tensions between the Kremlin and the West grew.

Military personnel vowed to continue the alleged “special military operation” through 2023 during the speech. The amount of money Russia was willing to spend was unbounded, President Putin added.

Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s minister of defence, suggested raising the minimum age requirement for conscription.

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The US claims that there is now a full-fledged defence alliance between Russia and Iran. According to John Kirby, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council, Russia is providing an unheard-of amount of military assistance.

The US is aware of rumours that the two nations are thinking about producing lethal drones together, he continues. It comes despite initial denials from Tehran after Ukraine charged Iran with providing Russia with “kamikaze” drones used in fatal assaults on October 17.

Later, the Middle Eastern nation acknowledged providing Moscow a small number of drones “several months” prior to the conflict. Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, responded by claiming that this was untrue and that many more Iranian drones were in use.

In the early hours of Saturday, the Ukrainian air force claimed to have shot down 10 of the 15 such drones being deployed to strike southern regions. The majority of his territory experienced power outages, according to the governor of Odesa.

Australia has issued sanctions on three Iranian individuals and one Iranian company for providing drones to Russia for use against Ukraine.

Speaking on Friday, Mr. Kirby asserted that a joint drone-production venture between Iran and Russia would be detrimental to Ukraine, Iran’s neighbours, and the global community.

“Russia is seeking to collaborate with Iran in areas like weapons development, training,” he said, adding that the US fears that Russia intended to “provide Iran with advanced military components” including helicopters and air defence systems.

“Iran has become Russia’s top military backer…” he said. “Russia’s been using Iranian drones to strike energy infrastructure, depriving millions of Ukrainians of power, heat, critical services. People in Ukraine today are actually dying as a result of Iran’s actions.”

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly responded to Mr. Kirby’s remarks by claiming that Iran had turned into one of Russia’s primary military allies and that their alliance was endangering international security.

Iran has sent hundreds of drones to Russia as part of the “sordid negotiations” between the two nations, he claimed. Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, issued the following statement on Saturday: “The sale of drones to Russia is proof of Iran’s contribution to the weakening of international security. This listing emphasises that individuals who give Russia material help will suffer the repercussions.”

Following the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in jail earlier this year, she also announced actions against 19 additional people and two companies, including Iran’s Morality Police, for the cruel treatment of anti-government protestors.

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US intelligence agencies predict that the combat in Ukraine will continue to wane through the upcoming winter. However, according to US head of intelligence Avril Haines, there hasn’t been any indication of Ukrainian forces’ resistance weakening.

Both sides, according to her, would endeavour to “refit, replenish, and reconstitute” for any springtime counteroffensive. The crucial energy infrastructure of Ukraine had already been attacked by Russia.

Even though Russia has lost more than half of the territory it had conquered, the war in Ukraine is already in its ninth month. The majority of the combat is presently taking place near the eastern Ukrainian cities of Bakhmut and Donetsk, Ms. Haines stated at a defence symposium in California.

She said fighting had slowed down following Russia’s withdrawal of troops from the west of the Kherson region last month.

“We’re seeing a kind of a reduced tempo already of the conflict… and we expect that’s likely to be what we see in the coming months,” she said.

She said both Ukraine and Russian militaries would be looking to prepare for any counter-offensive after the winter.

“But we actually have a fair amount of scepticism as to whether or not the Russians will be, in fact, prepared to do that,” she said.

“I think more optimistically for the Ukrainians in that time frame.”

According to Ms. Haines, US intelligence believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is now unaware of the full extent of his military’s difficulties.

“We observe ammo shortages, morale problems, supply problems, logistics, and a host of other issues that they are dealing with.”

On the other hand, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that a price ceiling imposed on Russian oil exports by his Western partners was “weak” and that it was not “severe” enough to harm the Russian economy.

The cap, which is set to take effect on Monday, aims to prevent nations from paying more than $60 (£48) a barrel for Russian crude oil that is transported by sea.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, stated that although Moscow had planned for the action, it would not sell its oil under the quota.

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In his first trip to Kyiv as prime minister, Rishi Sunak met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and committed £50 million in defence assistance.

According to No. 10, the meeting was organised to demonstrate “continuing UK support” for Ukraine.

Following the meeting, Mr. Zelensky posted on Telegram, “We discussed the most significant topics, both for our countries and for world security.”

He continued, “We are stronger, and we will get the desired outcomes.

Mr. Sunak, who assumed his position last month, described his visit to Kyiv as “very humbling” and promised that the UK would continue to support Ukrainians in their struggle.

During the meeting with Mr Zelensky, he said the UK would provide a major new package of air defence to help protect Ukrainian civilians and the country’s national infrastructure from Russian strikes.

As a result of frequent Russian aircraft raids on Kyiv and other parts of the country, Ukraine has recently asked for assistance from Western countries.

125 anti-aircraft guns, technologies to combat lethal drones supplied by Iran, several radars, and anti-drone electronic warfare capacity are included in the £50 million defence aid package.

It follows the announcement of more than 1,000 additional anti-air missiles made earlier this month by UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

Earlier that week, only days after being ordered to evacuate its forces from Kherson, Russia launched one of its heaviest missile barrages against Ukraine.

Strikes occurred all over the nation, from Chernihiv in the north to Lviv in the west, including in Kyiv.

That attack coincided with the G20 summit in Bali where, in a virtual speech, Mr Zelensky said he was “convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped”.

By sending skilled army physicians and engineers to the area to provide specialised support, Mr. Sunak indicated that the UK will also boost the training offer to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The British prime minister visited Kyiv and paid his respects at a war memorial and a memorial for those who perished in the Holodomor famine. He then spoke with first responders at a fire station. Mr. Sunak also observed drones of Iranian manufacture that had recently been used to target and bomb civilians in Ukraine.

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According to the local leader established by Russia, tens of thousands of citizens and Russian-appointed officials are being evacuated from the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson ahead of an invasion by Ukraine. All Russian-appointed agencies and ministries, according to Vladimir Saldo, would cross the Dnieper River.

He had stated that between 50 and 60,000 civilians would also depart in a “organised, progressive relocation.” Residents are being urged by Ukraine to disregard the Russian action. The regional administrator of Kherson claimed that Russia wants to kidnap residents and use them as human shields. A war crime is regarded to be the transfer or deportation of civilians from an occupied territory by an occupying power.

Vladimir Putin of Russia announced in a separate development that he had signed an order imposing martial law on four regions of Ukraine, including Kherson, which Moscow annexed last month in a move that was deemed unlawful by the international community.

He explained to Russia’s Security Council that it would allow local officials more authority to uphold social order and protect crucial infrastructure.

Text messages advising Kherson residents to leave right away in order to avoid Ukrainian military shelling residential areas began to arrive on Tuesday night.

Transport across the Dnipro River would be accessible beginning at 7:00 on Wednesday, according to the texts.

One resident told the BBC, requesting anonymity, “They are told to flee because the nasty Ukrainians are going to shell the city.”

“People are panicking because of propaganda.”

Russian TV footage on Wednesday showed a number of people gathering near the west bank of the Dnieper. As they queued for boats, it was not clear how many were leaving.

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Alla Pugacheva, one of the most well-known singers in Russia, has asked the government to label her a “foreign agent” in support of her adamantly anti-war husband Maxim Galkin. He is also a celebrity in show business, and on Friday after denouncing Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, he was called a “foreign agent.”

Pugacheva referred to her husband as “a truly incorruptible Russian patriot, who wants to put an end to our guys dying for illusory goals” on social media. She has a long history of success. The “illusory intentions” of the Kremlin in Ukraine, according to her, “make our country a pariah and the lives of our inhabitants very miserable.”

She noted that Galkin, a comedian, TV host, and singer, wished for “prosperity for his motherland, peace, and freedom of speech.”

The Russian government has branded a number of media outlets, political organisations, and people who openly oppose Kremlin policies as “foreign agents.”

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Through a secure maritime route, four more ships transporting grain and sunflower oil have departed Ukrainian ports. Due to Russian blockades, millions of tonnes of grain were delayed in Ukraine, causing shortages and higher food costs outside.

However, the first ship to leave Ukrainian ports since February did so last week. The most recent ships to leave port are headed for Turkey where they will be examined as part of an agreement negotiated with Russia and the UN. They began their journey over the Bosphorus strait on Sunday from the ports of Odessa and Chornomorsk.

Two are then slated to dock in Turkey following the inspections, with the other two sailing to Italy and China.

On Sunday afternoon, a new empty ship made her way to Chornomorsk and is now waiting to be loaded with grain for export.

Russia agreed last month not to attack ships that were in transit, and Ukraine said it would direct ships through mined seas as part of a pact mediated by Turkey and the UN.

If both parties concur, the 120-day agreement may be extended.

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For the first time, Russia has charged that the US is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine. The US, according to a spokesperson for Moscow’s defence ministry, is approving targets for the Himars artillery that Kyiv’s soldiers utilise.

Intercepted calls between Ukrainian authorities, according to Lt Gen Igor Konashenkov, showed the connection. The BBC was unable to confirm this independently. US government representatives did not immediately respond to the accusations. Previously, Russia charged that the United States was waging a “proxy war” in Ukraine.

The Biden administration is “directly liable” for all missile attacks that Kyiv authorised against residential areas and infrastructures used by the general public in the towns of the Donbass and other regions, according to Mr. Konashenkov.

Himars, a multi-rocket system, is much more powerful than Ukraine’s previous artillery and can fire precision-guided missiles up to 70 kilometres (45 miles) distant from their target. Additionally, they are thought to be more accurate than their Russian counterparts.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed in April that NATO was essentially fighting Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy as a result of US President Joe Biden’s decision to provide Ukraine with billions of dollars’ worth of weapons. The 72-year-old said, “War means war.”

Russia has been charged with various war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout the Ukrainian conflict. Ukraine accused Moscow this week of bombing a prison in Donetsk, which is controlled by separatists, in order to hide claims of abuse.

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According to Russian media, some locations of the recently launched fast food chain “Tasty and that’s it,” which took the position of McDonald’s in Russia, would temporarily stop providing fries. Because there aren’t enough of the right kind of potatoes available, customers will need to order another side dish to go with their burgers and nuggets. By the fall, according to the business, fries will be back on the menu. In opposition to the invasion of Ukraine, McDonald’s withdrew from Russia. A Russian investor purchased the American fast food chain’s eateries, and in June, a few of them reopened under the slogan “Vkusno I Tochka,” which translates to “Tasty and that’s it.”

However, a month after the restaurant’s debut, one of its signature dishes remains hard to find. It’s also possible that “rustic potatoes,” a thicker-cut variation of the standard French fry, won’t be available. According to a statement given to the Russian news outlet Tass, the harvest for the type of potato required to create fries in 2021 was subpar.

Although it had also become impossible to import potatoes from markets that may temporarily replace the domestic supply, it was stated that the corporation normally tried to purchase potatoes from Russian suppliers. However, Russia’s agriculture ministry attempted to allay any worries about a potato scarcity in a Telegram message headed “There are potatoes – and that’s it.”

“There are plenty of potatoes, especially processed ones, on the Russian market. Additionally, crops from the upcoming harvest have already begun to arrive, eliminating the danger of a scarcity “added the ministry. In 1990, McDonald’s built its first location in Moscow, signalling the opening of deeper trade and cultural links between the West and the former Soviet Union.

But more than three decades later, in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the American icon and scores of other Western businesses withdrew from the country.

Wide-ranging sanctions imposed by the West on Russia currently damage supply chains and raise unemployment. Up to 10% of the Russian economy is predicted to contract in 2022.

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