IMF member countries issue a near-unanimous call for Russia to end its aggression in Ukraine, calling conflict – now in its 234th day – the single biggest factor fuelling inflation and slowing the global economy.

The ministry said in a statement that the shooting took place in the Belgorod region
The ministry said in a statement that the shooting took place in the Belgorod region (Alexander Ermochenko / File / Reuters)

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Russian Defence Ministry said that two volunteer soldiers fired at other troops at a Russian military firing range near Ukraine, killing 11 and wounding 15 others, before getting killed.

The ministry said in a statement that the shooting took place in the Belgorod region. It said that the two volunteers from an unnamed ex-Soviet nation fired on other soldiers during target practice and were killed by return fire.

The ministry called the incident a "terrorist" attack.

Russia fuel depot shelling

A fuel depot in Russia's Belgorod region caught fire after shelling, its governor said, without specifying the origin of the shelling.

"Emergency services are already battling the fire. There is no danger of [the fire] spreading," the governor of Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on social media, posting a picture of flames and black smoke rising into the air.

Russian border regions including Belgorod have accused Ukraine of attacking targets including power lines and fuel stores since Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine. 

There was no immediate comment from Kiev.

EU's foreign policy chief vows unwavering military support for Ukraine

Josep Borrell pledged continued military support to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. 

"We have to explain to our people that we have to continue to support Ukraine militarily, economically, diplomatically because it is in our own interest," Borrell told a meeting of the Party of European Socialists in the German capital Berlin.

The EU official said they have to continue to provide arms to Ukraine for "as much as needed and for as long as needed".

World Bank: Ukraine has tenfold increase in poverty due to war

Russia's attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities away from the front lines will complicate the dire economic situation facing the country, which has already seen a tenfold increase in poverty this year, a top World Bank official said.

Arup Banerji, World Bank regional country director for Eastern Europe, said Ukraine's rapid restoration of power after this week's large-scale Russian attacks on energy facilities reflected the efficiency of the wartime system, but Russia's shift in tactics has elevated risks.

"If this continues, the outlook is going to be much, much harder," he told Reuters in an interview. 

"As winter really starts biting ... certainly by December or January, and if the houses are not repaired ... there may be another internal wave of migration, of internally displaced persons."

Ukraine and Russia work to gain advantage in annexed regions

Regions of southern Ukraine that Russia annexed saw more heavy fighting as Ukrainian soldiers pressed a ground campaign to recapture one, and Russian forces exploded long-range missiles and Iranian-made drones in another.

Following mounting setbacks, the Russian military has worked to cut off power and water in far-flung populated areas while also fending off Ukrainian counterattacks in occupied areas.

On Saturday, Ukrainian troops attempted to advance south along the banks of the Dnieper River toward the regional capital, of Kherson, but didn't gain any ground, according to Kirill Stremousov, a deputy head of the Russia-controlled region's Moscow-backed administration. 

Turkish, Ukrainian foreign ministers talk as the conflict continues 

Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have discussed the latest developments in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict in a phone call.

Ankara has played a crucial role in helping Ukraine resume grain exports while making multiple attempts to resolve the conflict. 

Russia hits power site in Kiev 

A missile strike has seriously damaged a key energy facility in Ukraine's capital region, the country's power system operator said. 

Kiev region Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said the strike did not kill or wound anyone.

Electricity transmission company Ukrenergo said repair crews were working to restore power but warned residents about possible outages.

Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv regions hit again 

Russian forces carried out missile and drone attacks on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions, according to Ukrainian officials.

Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration, said Russian forces attacked with S-300 missiles and Iranian-made drones at night. Energy infrastructure facilities were damaged as a result of the attacks, Starukh added.

According to local media, explosions also took place in Kharkiv at night, while no casualties have been reported yet.

First Russian soldiers arrive in Belarus

The first Russian soldiers to take part in a new joint force with Belarusian troops have arrived in Belarus, Minsk's defence ministry has said.

The ministry added that the regional force's mission was "exclusively to strengthen the protection and defence of the border" after the deployment raised fears that Belarusian troops could join Russian forces in their offensive in Ukraine.

Last Monday, the leader of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko claimed Ukraine was plotting to attack his country and announced a joint force with Moscow. 

He accused Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine of training Belarusian radicals "to carry out sabotage, terrorist attacks and to organise a military mutiny in the country".

US unveils new defence package for Ukraine

The United States will send an additional $725 million in military assistance to Ukraine, the State Department and Pentagon have announced.

This newest package includes more ammunition for the HIMARS rocket system and brings the total US military assistance to Ukraine to $18.3 billion since the start of Joe Biden's administration, the Department of Defense said in a separate statement.

Riyadh announces humanitarian aid package for Ukraine

Saudi Arabia will provide $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Saudi state news agency SPA said, adding that PM Mohammed bin Salman made a phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The prime minister expressed the kingdom's readiness to continue efforts of mediation and support everything that contributes to de-escalation, SPA added. 

For live updates from Friday (October 14), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies