In a speech before a think-thank, Vladimir Putin emphasized that the use of nuclear weapons “makes no sense”. The Wagner founder admits the use of HIV-positive soldiers. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.

More on the course of the war in Ukraine

01:40: After Russian allegations about Ukrainian plans to build a “dirty bomb”, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will carry out an “independent review” of two facilities in Ukraine this week at the request of Kiev. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said Thursday the agency’s inspectors would “conduct independent reviews at these sites” to detect any “diversion of nuclear material.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously called for an IAEA mission to Ukraine. Moscow has been accusing Ukraine of working on a so-called dirty bomb for days. According to Russian information, it is to be manufactured in two Ukrainian facilities. Ukraine and its Western backers vehemently deny the accusation. Kyiv warns that Russia itself could plan to use such a weapon.

The IAEA confirmed on Thursday that it had examined one of the two locations a month ago. “No undeclared nuclear activities or materials” were found.

A dirty bomb is a conventional explosive device that releases radioactive, chemical, or biological material when it detonates.

Friday, October 28, 01:02: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared his country’s fight against the aggressor Russia with the resistance against the Nazis in World War II. Like Nazism, Russia is pursuing the same goals. “The form of evil has changed, but the essence is unchanged,” said Zelenskyj in a video message distributed in Kyiv on Friday night. Russia has gone from being a neighbor to an aggressor and a terrorist – and is guilty of war crimes.

Standing next to a shot down combat drone, Zelenskyy said that peaceful cities were repeatedly being bombarded with bombs and rockets. In the past two days alone, there have been 30 Russian attacks with Iranian drones, 23 of which have been shot down. Russia mines or seizes power plants, steals crops to threaten the planet with hunger. It abducts people, including children.

Referring to World War II and the Ukrainians’ struggle against the Nazis, Zelenskyy said that “evil had risen from the ashes again after 80 years”. He lamented that since the war began on February 24, the aggressor Russia had fired 4,500 rockets at Ukraine and carried out a total of 8,000 airstrikes.

Zelenskyy emphasized that the Ukrainian resistance is strong. The country will not be broken. The head of state expressed confidence that the invader would capitulate and be put to flight. Russia will also pay reparations; and the occupied territories of Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea would be free again.

“Russia’s only tactic is terror,” said Zelenskyy. That can only lead to defeat. In view of the power cuts as a result of the destroyed energy infrastructure, he said that life without light is not dark, but rather without freedom. The Ukrainians would also overlook the harsh winter. “We are not afraid of the dark,” Zelenskyj said.

9:37 p.m .: Yevgeny Prigozhin is the founder of the notorious mercenary group Wagner and also known as “Putin’s cook”. The entrepreneur recently attracted attention with harsh criticism of Russia’s war strategy and called for a change.

Now journalists from the US broadcaster CNN are reporting an email that Prigozhin apparently wrote to the reporter Sebastian Shukla. In it he practically admits that he also sends sick soldiers to the front. “There are no restrictions in Russian legislation for patients with hepatitis C or HIV infection,” the CNN reporters quote.

And further: “I see nothing immoral in soldiers who have hepatitis C and HIV killing other soldiers without knowing whether they were carriers of the virus while they were alive.”

5:55 p.m .: In a speech to a pro-Kremlin think tank, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out surprisingly clearly against the use of nuclear weapons. According to journalist Max Seddon, Putin said Russia does not need the use of such weapons. “It makes no sense politically and militarily,” Putin said. At the same time, according to the Anadolu news agency, he also made it clear: “As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is the possibility of using them.”

2:46 p.m .: Due to new damage to the energy supply, there is a risk of even more drastic power cuts in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. During the night, a Russian attack on a plant in the surrounding area caused “serious damage”, said the electricity supplier Yasno on Thursday Light sits there,” it said.

Since the beginning of October, the Russian army has been trying harder to destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure – even though attacks on civilian objects are forbidden under international law. Ukraine is reacting to this with staggered power cuts in all parts of the country – usually for four hours.

1:04 p.m .: Russia has denied reports of an alleged offer of talks by President Vladimir Putin to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “There was no specific message in this case – there was no question of that,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday about statements by the President of the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló. In Moscow, Embálo only offered to convey Putin’s position during his next visit to Kyiv.

At a press conference with Zelenskyj in Kyiv on Wednesday evening, Embaló said that Putin had shown himself ready for talks. The President of Guinea-Bissau currently also runs the business of the West African economic zone Ecowas. In Moscow and Kyiv, he worked primarily to ensure that Ukrainian grain exports continue under the supervision of the United Nations and Turkey. Russia threatens not to extend the program.

However, the Kremlin boss seems to want to talk to other countries. After all, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will step up cooperation with Iran to counteract terrorist threats. “I would like to reaffirm the willingness of the Russian side to further expand cooperation with our Iranian partners in the fight against terrorism,” said Putin in a telegram to Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi Expand Iran in “fighting terrorism”.

12:19 p.m .: Russia is threatening to attack commercial US satellites if they continue to be used to transmit data to Kyiv in the Ukraine war. According to a TASS report on Thursday night, Konstantin Vorontsov, a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry at the United Nations, complained that it is a dangerous tendency for the United States to use civilian satellites for military conflicts. “The quasi-civilian infrastructure could thus become a legitimate target for a counterattack,” Vorontsov warned. The West is thus putting civil space travel, but also many social and economic projects on earth, at risk.

In the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, satellite images play an important role in reconnaissance. A number of Western countries are making data available to Kyiv for its defense. Since Russia’s satellite network, for its part, is less dense, Ukraine has a partial information advantage here.

Russia is quite capable of hitting satellites in space. In November last year, Russia shot down one of its own discarded satellites with a laser weapon, causing international outrage. The US criticized the action as “ruthless” saber-rattling. At the time, Russia dismissed the allegations as hypocrisy. The United States itself was running an arms race in space, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the time.

8.44 a.m .: With the appointment of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin as regional coordinator in the war against Ukraine, the Kremlin wants to divert public criticism from the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, according to British estimates. “This measure should lead to a closer involvement of the regional governors in Russia’s national security system,” said the Ministry of Defense in London on Thursday, citing intelligence findings. During the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the north-east and south of the country, there was rarely any clear criticism of the political leadership in Russia.

“However, this will probably make it more difficult for the Kremlin to shield Russian society from the effects of the “military special operation” in Ukraine,” it said in London. The Kremlin had already followed a similar approach during the corona pandemic. In Russia, problems are often blamed on the local authorities. The Kremlin then acts as a caretaker.

Sobyanin was appointed coordinator by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday. He is to coordinate the “development of security measures” in the Russian regions.

7.30 a.m .: After allegations of blackmail, the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s former political mentor, the Russian journalist Xenia Sobchak, fled Russia to Lithuania. The former presidential candidate entered the country with an Israeli passport, a source from the Lithuanian border guards confirmed to the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

Earlier, Russian media, citing police, reported that Sobchak was suspected in a case of large-scale extortion. According to Tass, Sobchak’s residence was searched on Wednesday morning.

In recent months, Sobchak has repeatedly criticized the Russian attack on Ukraine on her YouTube channel. In 2018, Sobchak ran for the Russian presidency against incumbent Vladimir Putin. At the time, however, observers accused Sobchak of running for the election only to give the appearance of competition. Sobchak is reportedly Putin’s goddaughter. Her father Anatoly, the late mayor of St. Petersburg, was once the head of the Russian president.

Sobchak rejected the allegations against her in the online service Telegram on Wednesday, saying that it was an attempt to put pressure on her media company Attention Media. “It is clear that this is an attack on my editorial office, the last free editorial office in Russia that had to be put under pressure,” the 40-year-old wrote on Telegram. She hopes there is a misunderstanding.

Thursday, October 27, 2:16 a.m .: Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder has spoken out in favor of delivering more weapons to Ukraine – and at the same time looking for a political solution. “It needs increased arms deliveries, but always in the NATO alliance. Ukraine must be put in a position to negotiate with Russia from a position of strength,” Söder told Mediengruppe Bayern.

Ultimately, however, only Ukraine can decide on the timing of negotiations. “The West needs to think together about what a political solution could look like. At the moment, however, I can’t see any diplomatic concept from the Foreign Minister,” said the CSU boss, referring to Annalena Baerbock (Greens).

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