Russia 'running out of ballistic missiles' and no longer targeting Ukrainian bases

The launch of an Iskander missile, pictured during a training exercise in Russia - AFP
The launch of an Iskander missile, pictured during a training exercise in Russia - AFP
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Russia has exhausted its “core stocks” of Iskander ballistic missiles and is no longer attacking Ukrainian military bases, Ukraine’s air force has said.

Shortages of the devastating weapons mean Russia has had to change tactics and is now exclusively targeting critical infrastructure.

“The enemy is facing severe shortages of the Iskander missiles. They’ve already used up their core stocks of them,” said air force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat.

“We see that the enemy is no longer interested in military targets, in troops or other strategic sites,” he said.

To replenish its ballistic missiles stocks, Russia is turning to Iran and North Korea, he added.

More than seven metres long and capable of carrying nuclear warheads as well as a conventional explosive payload, the Iskander missiles were introduced in 2006 and reportedly cost about £2.5 million each.

A single Iskander destroyed a railway station in the eastern town of Chaplyne in August, killing 25 people including two children.

An Iskander missile is believed to have been used in an attack on a Ukrainian base in Mykolaiv in March.

More than 40 Ukrainian marines were killed when the missile destroyed their barracks.

03:55 PM

Today's top stories

  • Russia's partial military mobilisation is complete and 82,000 recruits are already fighting in Ukraine, according to Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defence Minister.

  • The United Nations said it was "deeply concerned" by Russian lawmakers voting to toughen up a notorious 2013 "LGBTQ propaganda" law.

  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shattered former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev's dream of a "common European home," Germany's president said.

  • The US and its Western allies dismissed Russia's claims that banned biological weapons activities are taking place in Ukraine

03:40 PM

Russia says partial mobilisation complete

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday said that the "partial mobilisation" Russia announced in September was complete.

Speaking at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin broadcast on state television, Gen Shoigu said that 82,000 mobilised recruits were in the conflict zone, with a further 218,000 in training.

03:21 PM

Czech protesters call for direct gas talks with Russia

Thousands of Czechs protested in Prague on Friday, calling for talks with Russia on gas supplies ahead of winter and demanding the centre-right government step down to allow an early election.

The demonstration on a national holiday in Prague's main square was the third organised by far-right political movements, fringe groups and the Communist party. Police estimated the crowd in the lower tens of thousands, less than the two previous rallies.

Protesters waved Czech flags, chanted "Resign, Resign" and carried signs calling for an exit from Nato and the EU.

"This is a new national revival and its goal is for the Czech Republic to be independent," event organiser Ladislav Vrabel said. "When I see a full square, no one can stop this."

02:56 PM

Iranians rally in Kyiv in solidarity with Ukraine

A few dozen Iranians gathered in central Kyiv on Friday to protest the alleged use of Iranian-made drones by Russian forces in strikes on Ukraine that have in particular targeted energy infrastructure.

At the call of the local Iranian community, the demonstrators gathered on the city's Maidan Square in the heart of the Ukrainian capital, holding up Iranian and Ukrainian flags.

Some held posters saying: "The Iranian people stand with Ukraine".

"The country where we were born and the regime currently in power sends drones to kill us and our friends," 34-year-old Iranian architect Maziar Mian told AFP. "It is very painful ... We had to express our opinion and say that we are against it."

02:41 PM

Russia's Medvedev wishes Elon Musk good luck with Twitter takeover

Former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has wished Elon Musk good luck on "overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter".

He also said on Twitter that the billionaire entrepreneur should stop providing internet to Ukraine using his company's Starlink service.

Mr Musk and Mr Medvedev have interacted with each other on Twitter before, with Mr Musk asking the former Russian leader, who is one of the Kremlin's most hawkish mouthpieces, about the fighting in Bakhmut.

02:13 PM

Swedish PM says Sweden committed to Nato deal with Turkey

Sweden is fully committed to meeting the terms of a tripartite deal struck in Madrid aimed at overcoming Turkey's objections to Stockholm's bid to join the Nato alliance along with Finland, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said.

"We have to do our part of it, and we are doing our part of it," Mr Kristersson told reporters after meeting his Finnish counterpart in Helsinki.

"We are working very hard to fulfill what Sweden is supposed to do and we will report in detail what we have achieved."

01:54 PM

Live now: Listen in as journalists from The Telegraph discuss the latest developments in Ukraine

01:35 PM

Putin to host talks between rivals Armenia, Azerbaijan

The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will host talks in Sochi on Monday between the leaders of arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"On the initiative of the Russian side, tripartite negotiations between... Putin, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will be held on October 31 in Sochi," the Kremlin said in a statement.

01:07 PM

Moscow puts official's son arrested in Italy on wanted list

Russia on Friday put the son of a senior official arrested in Italy on a US order for alleged sanctions evasion on a wanted list, potentially paving the way for Moscow to demand his extradition.

Artyom Uss, the son of the Siberian region of Krasnoyars, was arrested at Milan Malpensa Airport on October 17, with Washington saying he had illegally sold US technologies to Russian arms companies.

Russia's interior ministry included the 40-year-old on its list of wanted people published on its website, without specifying what crime he was wanted for.

The Tass news agency reported Uss had been charged with "the laundering of money or other property acquired in a criminal way as part of an organised group," citing Moscow's Meshansky Court.

The crime is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

12:38 PM

Fighting around Bakhmut, in pictures

A partially collapsed building in Bakhmut city - Anadolu Agency
A partially collapsed building in Bakhmut city - Anadolu Agency
Ukrainian soldiers patrolling Bakhmut city in an armoured vehicle - Anadolu Agency
Ukrainian soldiers patrolling Bakhmut city in an armoured vehicle - Anadolu Agency

12:30 PM

Sweden conducts new Nord Stream crime scene inspection

Swedish prosecutors have announced they will conduct a new crime scene investigation of the Nord Stream leaks, after the navy and the pipeline owner also began surveys this week.

"I have decided together with the Security Service (Sapo) to conduct a number of complementary inspections of the crime scene," public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said on Friday.

The Swedish armed forces have decided to assist the investigation following a request, Mr Ljungqvist added, without giving any details as to what they were looking for.

Four leaks emerged on the two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm at the end of September with seismic institutes reporting they had recorded two underwater explosions prior to the leaks appearing.

While the leaks were in international waters, two of them were in the Danish exclusive economic zone and two of them in Sweden's.

12:03 PM

Ukraine has shot down more than 300 Iranian-made drones

Ukraine has shot down more than 300 Iranian Shahed-136 'kamikaze' drones so far, air force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat has said.

The drones have become a key weapon in Russia's arsenal and have often been used in the past month to target crucial energy infrastructure.

Iran has denied Ukrainian and Western accusations that it is supplying drones to Russia.

Parts of a Shahed-136 at a site of Russian strike in Kharkiv earlier this month - Reuters
Parts of a Shahed-136 at a site of Russian strike in Kharkiv earlier this month - Reuters

11:41 AM

UN 'deeply concerned' by Russia's 'LGBTQ propaganda' law

The United Nations said on Friday it was "deeply concerned" by Russian lawmakers voting to toughen up a notorious 2013 "LGBTQ propaganda" law, and urged them to repeal the legislation.

The Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, voted on Thursday to strengthen the law, part of Moscow's conservative drive at home while its troops battle in Ukraine.

Rights campaigners, who condemn the 2013 law, say the new amendments mean, in effect, that any public mention of same-sex couples is being criminalised.

The proposals "broaden a ban on any discussion and sharing of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their human rights", UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, is "deeply concerned" by the move, "which infringes even further on international human rights norms and standards", she said.

11:13 AM

Two dead as Russian soldier runs over conscripts at training ground

At least two conscripts were killed and 11 injured after they were run over by a Russian soldier driving a military truck.

Military investigators are looking into the incident, Russian news outlet Baza reported.

A 22-year-old contract soldier ploughed his truck into a column of 20 conscripts at a training ground near the town of Mirny, in the Arkhangelsk region north of Moscow.

One person was killed instantly, while a second died later in a military hospital.

10:52 AM

'No room for old dreams', German president says of Russia ties

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shattered former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev's dream of a "common European home," Germany's president said on Friday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who hails from a wing of Germany's Social Democrats that long argued for closer economic ties to Moscow to anchor it within a Western-oriented global system, said Russia's invasion caused an "epochal break" in German ties with Moscow.

"When we look at the Russia of today, there is no room for old dreams," Mr Steinmeier said in the prepared text of a national address. "Our countries are standing against each other today."

"It has also plunged us in Germany into another time, into an insecurity we thought we had overcome: a time marked by war, violence and flight, by concerns about the expansion of war into a wildfire in Europe," he added.

Mr Steinmeier made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, when he vowed further support to Ukraine, especially in the area of air defence. The visit was his first since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Mr Steinmeier had originally planned to visit Ukraine in April but Kyiv refused to welcome him then, amid disquiet over his past support for a Western rapprochement with Russia. Kyiv and Berlin later patched up their disagreement.

10:37 AM

The upgraded nuclear bombs en route to Nato bases in Europe

10:26 AM

Nato chief to visit Turkey to discuss Finland and Sweden joining

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg will visit Turkey on November 4 for talks on Finland and Sweden's nearly completed process to join the military alliance, a Turkish official told AFP on Friday.

Mr Stoltenberg is due to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has warned his country will not give a nod to the two countries' memberships until "the promises they made were kept".

Mr Erdogan has accused Finland and Sweden in particular of providing shelter to outlawed Kurdish militants deemed "terrorists" by Ankara.

In June, Turkey, Sweden and Finland struck a deal which included provisions on extraditions and sharing of information.

The two Nordic nations earlier this year ditched their longstanding policies of non-alignment, asking to join NATO because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and how it reshaped Europe's security.

09:56 AM

Moscow-installed official says Kherson civilian departures 'completed'

The head of Moscow-annexed Crimea has said civilian departures from occupied Kherson, organised by Russia's forces, were "completed", after he visited the region with the Kremlin's domestic chief Sergei Kiriyenko.

"The work to organise residents leaving the left side of the Dnipro [river] to safe regions of Russia is completed," Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, said on Telegram.

Moscow's occupational authorities in the southern Ukrainian region have urged residents to cross to the right bank of the Dnipro River as Ukrainian forces make gains in the south.

Kyiv compares this to Soviet-like "deportations" of its people.

08:55 AM

Which is greater threat - climate change or Putin?

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey refused to say whether climate change or Vladimir Putin poses the greater threat.

Asked the question during an interview on LBC: "We need to continue to address challenges for our country - climate change is a longer-term process. The immediate threat from Putin is very concerning."

Pressed again, she said: "I'm not going to say which is the greater threat.

"There's an acute threat right now from Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine. We've already seen the impact (of) that in terms of our economy, in terms of energy supplies, and it's very worrying about what is there now.

"But that is now for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary to continue to address."

08:05 AM

'Severely undermanned' Russian Army companies down to just six or eight men in Kherson

07:46 AM

Biological weapons claims 'fabricated'

The US and its Western allies dismissed Russia's claims that banned biological weapons activities are taking place in Ukraine with American support, calling the allegation disinformation and fabrications.

Russia's UN ambassador said Moscow will pursue a UN investigation of its allegations that both countries are violating the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons.

The dispute came in the third UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine-related issues that Russia has called since Tuesday.

This one focused on a 310-page document that Russia circulated to council members this week alleging there is "military biological" activity in Ukraine with support of the US Defense Department.

07:38 AM

Oil depot in flames after strike

A fire rages at an oil storage facility in the town of Shakhtarsk near Donetsk after shelling
A fire rages at an oil storage facility in the town of Shakhtarsk near Donetsk after shelling

07:31 AM

Top Putin aide visits Russian-controlled Kherson

Vladimir Putin's first deputy chief of staff, Sergei Kiriyenko, has visited the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea said.

Kiriyenko, a former head of Rosatom, visited the ferry port which is evacuating people from the right back of the Dnipro ahead of an expected Ukrainian offensive, said Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed head of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.

"The work on organising the departure of residents has been completed," Aksyonov said.

06:40 AM

Turkish company to complete plant in Ukraine

Turkish defence company Baykar is planning to complete the construction of its manufacturing plant in Ukraine in two years, its chief executive said, after the company became highly renowned for its drones' success in thwarting Russian forces.

The aerial drones supplied to Ukraine by Baykar were instrumental in Ukraine's defence against Russian armour and anti-aircraft systems in the first few weeks of the Russian invasion.

Its Bayraktar TB2 drone gained so much prominence with the public that Ukrainians composed a song about it and some allies launched unprecedented crowdfunding campaigns to buy more.

As part of an agreement between Turkey and Ukraine, signed just before Russia's February 24 invasion, Baykar agreed to build its second manufacturing plant in Ukraine.

Chief executive Haluk Bayraktar told Reuters that plans were moving ahead despite some obstacles created by Russia's invasion.

05:49 AM

Could satellites be targeted?

Under the laws of armed conflict, a Russian strike on a private American company's satellite could be seen as an act of war to which the US could respond, according to Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the University of Mississippi School of Law's Air and Space Law program.

White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that any attack on American infrastructure would be met with a response but he did not go into detail.

"The legal aspects of all this are really murky at the moment," said Brian Weeden, a space policy analyst at the Secure World Foundation.

"We don’t have any examples of wartime uses of force against satellites  there’s really nothing to go off of."

05:46 AM

'Space has gotten to be quite messy'

Tens of thousands of communications devices in Ukraine rely on US satellite communications giant Iridium's satellite network.

Iridium chief executive Matt Desch told Reuters: "It's really irresponsible to talk about shooting anything down in space for any reason.

"Space has gotten to be quite messy.

"If somebody starts shooting satellites in space, I'd imagine it would quickly make space unusable."

05:44 AM

Threat tests laws of war in space

A Russian official's threat this week to "strike" Western satellites aiding Ukraine highlights an untested area of international law, raising concerns among space lawyers and industry executives about the safety of objects in orbit.

"Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike," senior foreign ministry official Konstantin Vorontsov told the UN, reiterating Moscow's position that Western civilian and commercial satellites helping Ukraine's war effort was "an extremely dangerous trend".

No country has carried out a missile strike against an enemy's satellite. Such an act during the war in Ukraine could sharply escalate tensions between Russia and the United States.

"This threat has brought us to a brink that we've never been to before," said Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the University of Mississippi School of Law's Air and Space Law program. "There’s always been a sense that this could happen, but never has somebody actually said that they might do that out loud.”

05:11 AM

US to send hi-tech nuclear weapons to Nato bases

The US will bring forward the delivery of dozens of highly accurate guided tactical nuclear weapons to Europe amid escalating tensions with Moscow.

The new B61-12 thermonuclear bombs are "dial-a-yield" devices, meaning their payload can be changed. They are expected to be sent to Nato bases within weeks.

In what was seen as a move to reassure Nato allies amid Russian nuclear-sabre-rattling, the replacement process will begin in December, having previously been expected next spring.

The new weapons have had "all of the bomb’s nuclear and non-nuclear components" replaced or refurbished, according to the US energy department.

READ MORE: US to send hi-tech nuclear weapons to Nato bases amid rising tensions with Russia

04:00 AM

South Korea denies giving Ukraine lethal weapons

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Friday that Seoul had not provided any lethal weapons to Ukraine, after Russian president Vladimir Putin said such a decision would destroy their bilateral relations.

Putin made the remark at a conference in Moscow on Thursday, accusing the West of inciting the war in Ukraine.

"We have been in solidarity with the international community for peaceful, humanitarian aid to Ukraine and have not provided any lethal weapons, but that's in any regard a matter of our sovereignty," Mr Yoon told reporters when asked about Putin's remark.

A US ally, South Korea has maintained that it would not provide Ukraine with lethal aid, and has sought to avoid antagonising Russia, both for economic reasons and the influence that Moscow can exert with North Korea.

"We are putting efforts to maintain peaceful, good relations with every country in the world, including Russia," Mr Yoon said.

03:51 AM

US takes 'dirty bomb' talk seriously

In an interview on CNN, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said it was possible Russia was considering the use of a so-called dirty bomb and was setting up a pretext to blame Ukraine.

But he said the United States still had not seen any signs that was necessarily the case.

"They often blame others for that which they are doing themselves or about to do. So that's why we have to take that seriously," Mr Kirby said of Vladimir Putin's allegations.

"I'll also tell you that we're not seeing any signs, even today, that the Russians are planning to use a dirty bomb or to even make preparations for that."

03:46 AM

'Why does he keep talking about it?'

US President Joe Biden has expressed scepticism about Russian president Vladimir Putin's comment that he had no intention of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Putin, in a speech earlier in the day, played down a nuclear standoff with the West, insisting Russia had not threatened to use nuclear weapons and had only responded to nuclear "blackmail" from Western leaders.

"If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?" Mr Biden said in an interview with NewsNation.

"He's been very dangerous in how he's approached this."

Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly said in recent weeks that Russia could use nuclear weapons to protect its territorial integrity, remarks interpreted in the West as implicit threats to use them to defend parts of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed.

03:37 AM

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