Russia-Ukraine news live: Moscow praises Musk tweets as Zelensky says no Putin talks

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out holding talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and has signed a decree, declaring any talks between Kyiv and Mr Putin “impossible.”

The decree formalised comments made by Mr Zelensky about Mr Putin on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s soldiers have ripped through Russian defences in the country’s south and recaptured several villages along the Dnipro river on Monday, Ukrainian officials and Moscow’s leaders in the area said.

This marks Kyiv’s biggest breakthrough in the south in the seven-month course of the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has praised Elon Musk for his much-derided Twitter intervention in which he polled his followers on whether, and which, parts of Ukrainian territory should be formally handed to Russia.

The Tesla chief was swiftly rebuffed by Mr Zelensky and even told to “f*** off” by a Ukrainian diplomat.

Key Points

  • Russia backs Elon Musk for ‘looking for a peaceful’ solution to Ukraine war

  • Ukraine takes back more territory in south and east - officials

  • Heavy fighting underway on Ukraine’s frontlines - Zelensky

  • Liberated Kharkiv braces for winter of war

  • Russia facing challenges in training and deploying mobilised and conscripted troops - MoD

  • How Elon Musk’s changing Ukraine commentary totally backfired on him

Frustration with Ukraine war spills out on Russian state TV

13:50 , Eleanor Sly

Russia’s retreat from a key Ukrainian city over the weekend elicited outcry from an unlikely crowd – state-run media outlets that typically cast Moscow’s war in glowing terms.

A series of embarrassing military losses in recent weeks has presented a growing challenge for prominent hosts of Russian news and political talk shows scrambling to find ways to paint Ukraine‘s gains in a way that is still favorable to the Kremlin.

Frustration with the battlefield setbacks has long been expressed in social media blogs run by nationalist pundits and pro-Kremlin analysts. But it now appears to be spilling out on state TV broadcasts and the pages of government-backed newspapers.

Read more:

Frustration with Ukraine war spills out on Russian state TV

What's Putin thinking? Tough to know for nuclear analysts

13:35 , Eleanor Sly

Will President Vladimir Putin pull the nuclear trigger?

For Kremlin watchers trying to figure out whether the Russian leader’s nuclear threats are just bluffs, there is no more pressing -- or tough -- question.

For now, analysts cautiously suggest that the risk of Putin using the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal still seems low. The CIA says it hasn’t seen signs of an imminent Russian nuclear attack.

Read more here:

What's Putin thinking? Tough to know for nuclear analysts

Russia backs Elon Musk for ‘looking for a peaceful’ solution to Ukraine war

13:00 , Eleanor Sly

The Kremlin has praised Tesla boss Elon Musk for suggesting a possible peace deal to end the war in Ukraine.

In a Twitter poll posted on Monday, the Tesla boss suggested Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, that new referendums be held under UN auspices to determine the fate of Russian-controlled territory, and that Ukraine agree to neutrality.

That drew a furious response from Ukraine, with one diplomat even telling Musk to “f*** off”.

David Harding reports:

Russia backs Elon Musk for ‘looking for a peaceful’ solution to Ukraine war

EU summons Russia's envoy over annexation of Ukrainian territory

12:50 , Eleanor Sly

The European Union summoned Russia’s envoy to the bloc to condemn and reject Moscow’s “illegal annexation” of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, the bloc’s diplomatic service said on Tuesday.

Russia declared the annexations on Friday after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

The EU said it urged Moscow to reverse its “unlawful act” and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine during Monday’s meeting with Russia’s charge d’affaires, Kirill Logvinov.

“The EU does not, and will never, recognise this illegal annexation by Russia,” the bloc said in a statement. “These decisions by Russia are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever.”

Reuters

Video of injured Ukrainian soldier’s heartwarming proposal goes viral

12:18 , Eleanor Sly

A heartwarming video of a disabled Ukranian soldier proposing to his girlfriend has gone viral on social media.

Roman Dobryak proposed to his partner, Julia Matushchak, this summer amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

Dobryak sustained an injury to one of his legs from shelling during an attack by Russian troops in May. Sharing an update to Instagram at the time, he said his leg “could not be saved” and was amputated from the knee down.

Read more here:

Video of injured Ukrainian soldier’s heartwarming proposal goes viral

President Zelenskiy signs decree ruling out negotiations with Putin

11:46 , Eleanor Sly

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a decree formally declaring that any talks between Kyiv and President Vladimir Putin were “impossible.”

The decree formalised comments made by Mr Zelenskiy at the end of last week.

Speaking on Friday, he said said: “He [Putin] does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia.”

Mr Zelenskiy did however leave the door open to talks with Russia.

Putin expected to sign laws to annex four Ukrainian territories on Tuesday

11:40 , Eleanor Sly

President Vladimir Putin will “likely” sign laws to incorporate four Ukrainian territories into Russia at some point on Tuesday, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Peskov said that its “special military operation” in Ukraine will not end if Kyiv rules out talks, adding that it “takes two sides to negotiate”.

He said: “We will either wait for the current president to change his position or wait for the next president to change his position in the interests of the Ukrainian people.”

Homes for Ukraine proves how broken our housing market really is

11:12 , Eleanor Sly

This month is the sixth since the first Ukrainians were resettled in Britain through the government’s “Homes for Ukraine” scheme.

Many people across the country were keen to help those fleeing violence and generously opened their homes.

I was proud that in Sheffield alone, 500 Ukrainian refugee households were matched with hosts. The scheme has certainly been successful in highlighting the widespread desire in this country to help those escaping a warzone.

Olivia Blake writes:

Opinion: Homes for Ukraine proves how broken our housing market really is

‘Tomas the tank’: Online crowdfunding raises enough to buy Ukraine a modernised T-72 Avenger

10:20 , Eleanor Sly

A crowdfunding campaign in the Czech Republic successfully raised nearly $1.3m to gift a modernised Soviet-era tank called “Tomas” to Ukraine.

Backed by the country’s defence ministry and Ukraine’s embassy in Prague, the campaign received donations from more than 11,288 individuals.

The T-72 avenger tank, which first entered production in 1969, has been modernised to improve protective systems and has upgraded night-vision and communications equipment.

Namita Singh reports:

‘Tomas the tank’: Crowdfunding raises enough to buy Ukraine modern T-72 Avenger

Chechen leader Kadyrov sends three teenage sons, one aged 14, to fight in Ukraine

10:02 , Eleanor Sly

Chechen leader Kadyrov sends three teenage sons, one aged 14, to fight in Ukraine

Chechen leader and key Vladimir Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov has revealed that he has sent his three young sons to fight in Ukraine.

The warlord has been a vocal champion of the conflict in Ukraine, with Chechen forces forming part of the vanguard of the Russian army, and even advocated using nuclear weapons in the war over the weekend.

And now the Chechen forces will be joined on the frontline by his sons Akhmat, 16, Eli, 15, and Adam, 14, reports Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

Joe Middleton reports:

Chechen leader Kadyrov sends three teenage sons, one aged 14, to fight in Ukraine

Ukraine foreign minister starts Africa tour in Senegal

09:10 , Eleanor Sly

Ukraine Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba has visited Dakar in Senegal, as he begins a tour of Africa.

The Ukrainian diplomat met with Senegal’s Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall. The pair signed several bilateral co-operation deals.

Mr Kuleba tour comes following a visit to the African continent by Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov in July.

Mr Lavrov’s tour comes ahead of plans to host the second Russia-Africa summit in Ethiopia in 2023.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called on African leaders to condemn Russia over its invasion.

Russia's Federation Council ratifies annexation of four Ukrainian regions

08:45 , Eleanor Sly

On Tuesday, the upper house of Russia’s parliament voted to approve the incorporation of four Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it sized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict.

In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the State Duma, Russia’s lower house, yesterday.

The documents now pass back to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin’s final signature to complete the process of formally annexing the four regions, representing around 18% of Ukraine’s internationally-recognised territory.

Russia declared the annexations after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

Reuters

Lawyers overwhelmed by requests to help Russians avoid fighting in Ukraine

08:25 , Eleanor Sly

Russian lawyers say that they are working hard to offer advice to those at risk of being sent to fight in Ukraine.

Lawyers and civil society groups say that since President Vladimir Putin announced on 21 September that 300,000 people would be mobilised to boost Russia’s flagging war effort, they have been overwhelmed by demands for support.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to countries such as Kazakhstan, Georgia and Finland. Many more are still in Russia and are hiding from military recruiters, praying they won’t be summoned or hoping for exemptions from service.

“We are working round the clock,” said Sergei Krivenko, who runs a group of around 10 lawyers called Citizen. Army. Law.

“People are being torn from their normal lives,” he said. “This is a mobilisation without time limit during a war. It could last months or years. People may not return ... Leaving the army is pretty much impossible. The only way is death, injury or prison for disobeying orders.”

Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and what does Putin want?

08:00 , Eleanor Sly

Russia’s long-feared invasion of Ukraine continues to rage on from Vladimir Putin’s announcement of his “special military operation” against the country in the early hours of 24 February, the Russian leader declaring, groundlessly, a need to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” the neighbouring state after eight years of fighting in the Donbas.

As Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky leads by example from Kyiv, tirelessly rallying the international community for support and refusing to surrender so much as one square inch of territory, his people mount an impressive resistence, holding back Russia’s armed forces and preventing the walkover Mr Putin appeared to have assumed was assured.

Most recently, Ukraine staged a successful offensive assault in the east as part of an effort to win back the southern city of Kherson, gateway to Crimea, which sent Russian troops fleeing, instilled its supporters with fresh belief but revealed evidence of further mass graves at Izium, akin to those already found at Bucha.

Read more from Thomas Kingsley and Joe Sommerlad here:

Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and what does Putin want?

See Volodymyr Zelensky’s tweet to Elon Musk

07:40 , Eleanor Sly

Ukraine’s president and the Tesla tycoon sparred on the social media website:

Dead Russian soldiers include those drafted last week, says Zelensky

07:10 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his forces are finding ill-trained Russian soldiers sent to the front line without any war experience among the dead on the battlefield.

“Among the dead occupiers we can already see those who were taken just a week or two ago. People were not trained for combat, they have no experience to fight in such a war,” he said in his nightly address.

The Russian command, Mr Zelensky said, “just needs some people - any kind - to replace the dead”.

“And when these new ones die, more people will be sent. This is how Russia fights. That’s how it will lose as well,” he added.

Russia facing challenges in training and deploying mobilised and conscripted troops - MoD

07:01 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s delayed conscription cycle is a sign of rising pressure on Moscow to train its newly-drafted soldiers, the British defence ministry said today.

“The conscription cycle will begin on 1 November 2022, a month later than usual. The late start to the cycle is an indication of growing pressures on Russia’s ability to train and equip a large number of new conscripted personnel,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.

Vladimir Putin signed an order last week for the routine autumn conscription cycle, under which 120,000 conscripts will be trained.

These conscripts are legally not permitted to be deployed outside of Russia, the ministry said, adding that this is separate from those individuals being mobilised as part of the 21 September 2022 partial mobilisation order.

“The challenges of accommodating, training, equipping and deploying mobilised and conscripted personnel are significant.

Deficiencies within the Russian administrative and logistical systems will continue to undermine these efforts,” the ministry said.

How Elon Musk’s changing Ukraine commentary totally backfired on him

06:34 , Arpan Rai

The response from the war-torn country was quick and hostile when Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk took to Twitter to blithely run a poll among his 107 million followers on his own proposals for a peace deal between Ukraine and Russia.

Mr Musk’s suggestions for ending the conflict that has been raging for eight months since Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion was condemned by Ukrainian diplomats and politicians alike.

The spectacular backfire even earned Mr Musk a presidential slapdown from Volodymyr Zelensky, who took to Twitter to ask his 6.6 million followers which version of Mr Musk they preferred, the “One who supports Ukraine” or “One who supports Russia.”

Read the full story here:

How Elon Musk’s changing Ukraine commentary totally backfired on him

Elon Musk, Volodymyr Zelensky spar it out on Twitter over Ukraine war

06:22 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky condemned billionaire Elon Musk’s remarks on the ongoing war in Ukraine on Monday after the Tesla chief called for UN monitored elections in the recently annexed territories of Ukraine by Russia, infuriating Ukrainians.

Mr Zelensky responded with his own Twitter poll and asked social media users to vote on which “Elon Musk did they like more: one who supports Ukraine or one who supports Russia”?

To which Mr Musk said: “I still very much support Ukraine, but am convinced that massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world.”

He had waded into the war which has killed thousands and displaced millions on Monday night by tweeting suggestions asking for Crimea being formally given to Russia and restoring water supply to the annexed territory while Ukraine remains neutral.

The tweets sparked anger among Ukrainians who denounced the billionaire in the comments.

“If someone invaded your house, attacked your family, would you surrender half of it for “peace”? Any “peace” that gives aggressors gains, is no peace. It’s an interlude before more aggression,” wrote one user.

Zelensky fires back at Elon Musk’s ‘Insane’ Twitter poll on Russia Ukraine peace

Anti-war Russian reporter who protested live on TV flees house arrest

05:59 , Arpan Rai

A Russian TV journalist who staged a live on-air protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been put on a wanted list by Moscow after apparently escaping house arrest.

Marina Ovsyannikova made international headlines in March, just weeks after the Ukraine war started by walking out in front of studio cameras during an evening news broadcast on the flagship Channel One with a placard that read, “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you”.

Read the full story here:

Anti-war Russian reporter who protested live on TV flees house arrest

Liberated Kharkiv braces for winter of war: ‘It is going to be very, very difficult’

05:48 , Arpan Rai

Conventional weaponry has been enough to cause devastating damage to Kharkiv with artillery rounds and missiles since the start of the war.

Ukrainian forces heading out of the city drive past row after row of damaged and destroyed buildings, and smashed Russian tanks that are kept on the roads as a reminder of just how close the enemy came to capturing Ukraine’s second city.

Among the deserted families dreading the upcoming harsh Europe winter is 39-year-old Anastasia Bondarenka who spoke of what had happened to her in Saltivka, the most heavily shelled suburb of Kharkiv,

“We have winter coming, with power cuts. We’ll probably have no heating. It is going to be very, very difficult. I don’t know how we’ll cope. I think a lot of people will die.”

Read Kim Sengupta’s dispatch:

‘It is going to be very, very difficult’: Kharkiv braces for winter war

Heavy fighting underway on Ukraine’s frontlines - Zelensky

05:29 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian soldiers are engaged in heavy fighting with Russian troops on several sectors of the front, Volodymyr Zelensky said late on Monday.

“Fierce fighting continues in many areas of the front. But the perspective of these hostilities remains obvious - more and more occupiers are trying to escape, more and more losses are being inflicted on the enemy army, and there is a growing understanding that Russia made a mistake by starting a war against Ukraine,” Mr Zelensky said.

He added: “Of course, there are many fanatics out there. Those who will never admit the obvious, that this is a pointless war for Russia that Russia cannot win. Because it is impossible to defeat a nation that preserves unity and knows what they are fighting for.”

Ukraine has destroyed at least 31 Russian tanks and one multiple rocket launcher in the besieged country’s south, the military’s southern operational command said late last night but did not specify the location.

Ukraine takes back more territory in south and east - officials

05:21 , Arpan Rai

Soldiers in Ukraine have broken through Russia’s defences in the country’s south and east, officials said.

In the south, Ukrainian troops recaptured the town of Dudchany along the west bank of the Dnipro River, which bisects the country, Vladimir Saldo, a Russian-installed leader in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson province, told Russian state television.

The Ukrainian defence ministry also shared a video showing soldiers from Ukraine’s 128th Mountain Assault Brigade raising the country’s blue and yellow flag in Myrolyubivka, a village between the former front and the Dnipro.

In the east, columns of Ukrainian military vehicles were seen heading to recently recaptured logistics hub Lyman city for reinforcement.

04:41 , Arpan Rai

Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on Tuesday, 4 October.