West may not see a Russian nuclear attack coming, UK spy chief says

GCHQ Director Sir Jeremy Fleming -  Hannah McKay/PA
GCHQ Director Sir Jeremy Fleming - Hannah McKay/PA

The West may not see a Russian nuclear attack coming, the UK's spy chief has said.

GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming told a security conference today: "Russia is the only nation talking about using nuclear weapons and I have to say that it is extremely dangerous to do so.

"I would like to think that with our allies that we would have a good chance of spotting it but of course there are never any guarantees in this space."

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the defence alliance is "closely monitoring" Russia's nuclear forces.

He said Vladimir Putin's "veiled nuclear threats" were "dangerous and irresponsible" and the Kremlin knew that a nuclear war "cannot be won".

06:59 PM

That's all for today

Today's top stories included:

  • Russia continued its second day of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure

  • The West may not see a Russian nuclear attack coming, the UK's spy chief said

  • Businessman Graham Bonham-Carter faces extradition to the US over links to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

  • Elon Musk denies claims he spoke to Putin before sharing his controversial peace plan

  • Liz Truss to visit Ukraine 'as soon as possible'

  • Russian reply to bridge blast not a weapons escalation, GCHQ director says

  • Putin meets with Sheik Mohamed in St Petersberg

  • Russia kidnaps Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant chief

  • Belarusian forces join Russian troops to bolster border

  • Turkey calls for ceasefire two days before Erdogan and Putin are to meet

  • Ukraine gets 32 POWs in exchange with Russia

06:54 PM

Saying how UK would respond to Russia nuclear attack not 'tactically smart'

The Government has refused to spell out how it would respond to a Russian nuclear attack after being accused of "strategic ambiguity".

Defence minister Alec Shelbrooke said doing so would not be "tactically smart" after Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, said "clarity could be the very deterrence that helps prevent such hostile actions".

He said: "It has not been and it never has been tactically smart to outline exactly what responses would be to a potential situation, and we will continue on the lines that this Government has outlined and that indeed of what the secretary general (of Nato) has outlined."

The defence minister had told the House earlier: "President Putin's comments are irresponsible. No other country is talking about nuclear use and we do not see this as a nuclear crisis.

"President Putin should be clear that for the UK and our allies, any use at all of nuclear weapons would break a taboo on nuclear use that has held since 1945 and would lead to severe consequences for Russia."

The G7 today threatened Russia with "severe consequences" if it used a nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

06:38 PM

UK businessman accused of conspiring to violate Russia sanctions

British businessman Graham Bonham-Carter faces extradition to the US after being arrested on charges of conspiring to violate sanctions placed on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Manhattan prosecutors said Bonham-Carter was also charged with wire fraud for funding US properties purchased by Deripaska and efforts to expatriate Deripaska's artwork in the US.

In March the National Crime Agency said in a statement: “We can confirm that the NCA has secured two Account Freezing Orders in respect of five bank accounts held by Mr Graham Bonham-Carter.

“The orders were obtained on the basis that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the money in the accounts was derived from the laundering of funds of an individual subject to sanctions in the United States, namely Oleg Deripaska.

“The accounts contain funds of a value totalling approximately £110,000.

“This is an on-going investigation and we are not commenting further at this time.”

Deripaska, whose wealth is currently estimated to be £2.3 billion according to Forbes magazine, founded the Rusal aluminium company and is considered an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on him in 2018 in response to Russian activity, including instigation of “violence in eastern Ukraine … and malicious cyber activities”.

06:12 PM

West won't negotiate until Putin 'unpacks his nuclear toolkit', expert says

The West and Ukraine won't see a need to negotiate with Russia until Vladimir Putin begins unpacking his nuclear tool kit, a think tank expert says.

Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the FT: "Given the high stakes and emotions, the window for diplomacy is likely to open at the most dramatic moment: for example, when Putin starts to unpack his nuclear toolkit, which will be visible to NATO and involve a lot of signalling by Moscow.

"Only then might the Ukrainian and western publics be convinced there is an urgent need to negotiate."

The Kremlin sees US President Joe Biden as "the only real head of the opposing coalition" and the sooner conversations started "the higher the chance of climbing down the escalation ladder", he added.

"Given the irreconcilable differences between Moscow and Kyiv on core issues such as the status of Crimea and Donbas, as well as Ukraine's and the West's moral imperative not to trade territory for peace, only an armistice that will freeze the front lines can be agreed at this point, not a comprehensive solution to the war."

06:05 PM

Elon Musk denies claims he spoke to Putin

Asked if claims he recently spoke to Vladimir Putin about the war in Ukraine were true, Elon Musk tweeted: "No, it is not. I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space."

06:01 PM

Russia releases footage of missile strikes on Ukraine

05:58 PM

G7 threatens Russia with 'severe consequences' for using nuclear, bio or chem weapons

After their meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the G7 said in a statement: "We deplore deliberate Russian escalatory steps, including the partial mobilisation of reservists and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, which is putting global peace and security at risk.

"We reaffirm that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences."

05:51 PM

Elon Musk 'spoke to Vladimir Putin' before sharing controversial peace plan

Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin spoke before the Tesla chief tweeted a peace plan to end the war in Ukraine by having it cede territory to Russia, according to reports.

Musk is said to have claimed that the Russian President was "prepared to negotiate" if Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014, remained in Russian hands.

Putin also reportedly insisted to the world's richest man that Ukraine would have to accept permanent neutrality and recognise Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

The claims were shared in a mailout sent to Eurasia Group subscribers, by the political risk consultancy's founder Ian Bremmer.

According to Bremmer, Musk said Putin told him these goals would be reached “no matter what”, including the possible use of nuclear weapons if Ukraine invaded Crimea and that Musk told him that “everything needed to be done to avoid that outcome”.

05:35 PM

Zelensky calls for international monitoring mission along Belarus border

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for an international monitoring mission on the Belarus border after the country's Putin-backing president said it would deploy its troops there with Russian forces.

He made the call to the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations a day after Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine.

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said Belarus and Russia would deploy a joint military group in response to what he called an aggravation of tension on the country's western borders.

05:27 PM

One-year-old among scores exhumed from mass burials in liberated towns

Ukraine has said it had recovered the remains of dozens of civilians killed during Russia's invasion in two towns in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine recently recaptured from Moscow's forces.

"In the liberated towns of Sviatogirsk and Lyman, law enforcement officers discovered the sites of mass burials of civilians," the prosecutor general said in a statement, adding that 34 remains were exhumed in Sviatogirsk and another 44 in Lyman.

In a cemetery in Lyman, authorities found around 110 graves, the prosecutor's office said.

"The youngest person is only one year old. She is buried next to the whole of her family," it said.

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of sweeping abuses after discovering numerous mass burial sites and graves of killed civilians or victims bearing of torture or summary execution in retaken territory.

Russia systematically denies these accusations.

05:23 PM

Pictures of Russia's missile blitz on Zaporizhzhia and Kyiv

Aftermath of rocket attacks in Zaporizhzhia -  Dmytro Smoliyenko / Avalon
Aftermath of rocket attacks in Zaporizhzhia - Dmytro Smoliyenko / Avalon
Rescuers amid the wreckage of a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia - Ukrinform/Shutterstock
Rescuers amid the wreckage of a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia - Ukrinform/Shutterstock
A man examines the damage to his apartment in a residential block which was hit by a missile strike the day before near Kyiv's main train station - Ed Ram/Getty Images Europe
A man examines the damage to his apartment in a residential block which was hit by a missile strike the day before near Kyiv's main train station - Ed Ram/Getty Images Europe

05:19 PM

Liz Truss to visit Ukraine 'as soon as possible'

PM Liz Truss is “firmly committed” to visiting Ukraine “as soon as possible” in the wake of Russian missile strikes across the country's cities this week.

No 10 spokesman said: "I couldn’t get into the security considerations around trips like that nor could I get into speculation on dates.

"As you’ll appreciate, the Prime Minister is firmly committed to visiting as soon as possible."

05:10 PM

Putin tells of 'concern' for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Vladimir Putin said the situation around Ukraine's Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is "of concern", in televised comments to the UN nuclear watchdog chief today.

At a meeting in St Petersburg, he told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi that Russia was open for dialogue and would discuss "all issues" concerning the facility's operations.

Putin also said there had been "excessive, dangerous politicisation" of everything to do with nuclear activity.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, has been a key flashpoint in Russia's nearly eight-month military campaign in Ukraine, with fighting nearby fueling fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

05:07 PM

Ukraine gets 32 POWs in exchange with Russia

Thirty-two Ukrainian prisoners returned home in an exchange of prisoners of war with Russia today, a senior Ukrainian official said.

"Among the freed are officers, sergeants and soldiers of (Ukraine's) Armed Forces. All of them were in places where fierce fighting was going on. Many of these people were considered missing," Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president's staff, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Yermak said Ukraine had also received the body of Israeli citizen Dmytro Fialka, who Yermak said had volunteered to fight for Ukraine.

04:11 PM

Government urged to clarify its Russian nuclear plan

Former minister Tobias Ellwood has urged the government to publicly state what its response to the use of nuclear weapons by Russia would be.

"I believe we should state now what our conventional response would be to Putin deploying either nuclear weapons directly or targeting hazardous infrastructure such as chemical or indeed civil nuclear plants," he said.

"Such clarity could be the very deterrence that helps prevent such hostile actions from taking place rather than the vague position that we have now."

03:53 PM

Putin shakes hands with Sheik Mohamed in St Petersberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in St. Petersburg - Anadolu Agency
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in St. Petersburg - Anadolu Agency

03:47 PM

Russian reply to bridge blast not a weapons escalation - GCHQ chief

Referring to the deadly Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and the capital Kyiv in an apparent retaliation to the Crimea Bridge explosion, GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming said: "My view is what we saw yesterday was an escalation in terms of a return to that sort of targeted strike against critical national infrastructure but it wasn't in terms of types of weapons that are being used or the extent to which those weapons are bounded inside that conflict so in that way it continues to follow the shape, the framework of that conflict."

03:31 PM

'No guarantee' West will see Russian nuclear attack coming, GCHQ head says

Sir Jeremy Fleming, the director of GCHQ, has said: "Russia is the only nation talking about using nuclear weapons and I have to say that is extremely dangerous to do so.

"I would like to think that with our allies that we would have a good chance of spotting it but of course there is never any guarantees in this space.

"My view is for the moment that Russian doctrine and President Putin's approach to this, we would see that hopefully in a long way of but I think we all need to be concerned about the rhetoric."

03:25 PM

Russia has 'used a lot of cyber' in the war, GCHQ director says

Asked how capable Russian cyber attacks are, GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming said: "They are extremely capable.

"We've seen a lot of cyber in this conflict, we just haven't seen the film version of it, the cyber armageddon, the big red button that switched everything off at once - the reality of course is that's just not how these things play out."

03:10 PM

Blackouts in Russian Belgorod region after Ukrainian bombing, governor claims

The governor of Russia's Belgorod region has said more than 2,000 people had been left without power after Ukraine shelled an electricity substation in the town of Shebekino, on the border with Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

In a post on Telegram, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that emergency services were working to restore the power supply

03:08 PM

Russia says it hasn't received a Turkish proposal for peace talks

Russia has not yet formally received a Turkish proposal to host peace talks between Moscow and Western countries, the Russian foreign ministry has said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and bilateral issues.

The Kremlin has not ruled out that the two leaders could discuss a Turkish proposal to host peace talks between Russia and the West, although the foreign ministry said it is yet to hear about this through diplomatic channels.

Earlier Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogl said: "Unfortunately (both sides) have quickly moved away from diplomacy.

"As the Ukraine-Russian war drags on, unfortunately, the situation gets worse and more complicated.

"A ceasefire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better."

03:04 PM

Ukraine's frontline and cyber battles have 'turned the tide' in the war, GCHQ head says

In an ongoing security talk today, GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming said despite Russian propaganda saying the war would be won rapidly, that "it's clear that Ukraine's courageous battle on the battlefield and in cyberspace is turning the tide.

"With little effective internal challenge, Putin's decision making has proved flawed.

"Yesterday's attacks in Kyiv and across Ukraine are another example, it's a high stakes strategy that is leading to strategic errors in judgement.

"We know and Russian military commanders know that their supplies, ammunition are running out."

He said Moscow's forces are "exhausted" and Putin's mobilisation orders of 10,000s of new troops "speaks to a really desperate situation".

Sir Jeremy added GCHQ was "very proud" of the role the UK played in Ukraine's defence in the war against Russia, and the support was a result of a "decade" of UK and allied investment in cyber technologies and advanced equipment combined with "a willingness to share intelligence to drive operations."

02:59 PM

GCHQ director credits big tech's help in Ukraine

GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming has said the biggest security issue of the day is China and that communications technology has become a "battlefield for control, for values and for influence... and ultimately it's about our way of life".

Turning to the war in Ukraine, he said: "You can see this framework in actions in Ukraine's resistance to the illegal Russian invasion is a result of their national unity but that resistance also depends on their access and mastery of advanced technology.

"The alliance and trust that enables that supply and of course impressive and agile cyber security, now that's a government to government thing but it's reinforced by incredible and deep support by the private sector, especially from the big technology companies."

02:38 PM

Nato vows 'united response' to attacks on infrastructure critical to the alliance

Any attack on infrastructure critical to the NATO military alliance would trigger a "united and determined response", the Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

NATO allies were increasing security around key installations after attacks on gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea, hesaid, adding it is still unclear who was behind the blowing up of the pipelines.

Commenting on veiled threats of nuclear weapons use by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Stoltenberg said that NATO was closely monitoring Russia's nuclear forces and had not seen any changes in their posture.

02:35 PM

At least six die as power plant struck for second day in a row

At least six people have died after Russian forces struck a power plant where rescuers were dealing with the aftermath of a previous bombing in the western region of Vinnytsia region of Ukraine.

Those at the Ladyzhyn Thermal Power Plant say the area was struck by Iranian-made kamikaze drones for the second day in a row on Tuesday.

DTEK, Ukraine's largest energy company said the latest blast had killed six people, with energy equipment also damaged again.

02:25 PM

Nato says 'Ukraine has the momentum'

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said "Ukraine has the momentum" in the war with Russia.

"While Russia is increasingly resorting to horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure, President Putin is failing in Ukraine," he told a news conference.

Echoing today's G7 vow that it will stand with Kyiv as long as it takes on the eve of a meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels, he added Nato would hold its annual nuclear deterrence exercise next week and was closely monitoring Russia's nuclear forces.

"We have not seen any changes in Russia's posture but we remain vigilant," he added.

02:19 PM

Turkey calls for ceasefire ahead of Erdogan's talks with Putin

Turkey has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine two days before a scheduled meeting between the leaders of Turkey and Russia in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won plaudits for securing a grain deal as well as Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap.

"Unfortunately (both sides) have quickly moved away from diplomacy" since the talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul in March, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised interview.

"As the Ukraine-Russian war drags on, unfortunately, the situation gets worse and more complicated.

"A ceasefire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better."

02:17 PM

Russian strikes wreak 'serious' damage to energy facilities in central Ukraine

Russian strikes have wreaked "serious" damage to energy facilities in the central Ukraine region of Dnipropetrovsk, the region's head said on the second day of massive missile salvos across Ukraine.

"The Russians fired missiles at energy infrastructure in the Pavlograd and Kamian districts. There is serious destruction. Many settlements still do not have electricity," the regional governor Valentin Reznichenko said on social media.

The Ukrainian military's southern command said Russian forces had fired missiles at the southern Mykolaiv and Odessa regions, also causing damage to energy infrastructure.

"During a massive attack in the first half of the day, the enemy launched 16 cruise missiles... on south Ukraine. It has also dispatched two kamikaze drones against sites of critical infrastructure," the military said, according to the Interfax news agency.

"Following drone and missiles attacks, two such sites were damaged" in the southwest, in Vinnytsia region, and "two workers were injured", it added.

02:15 PM

Ukrainians urged to cut energy use after devastating Russian strikes

Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal has urged the public to limit their electricity use after Russian strikes left energy facilities across the country badly damaged.

"We are asking you today to again to limit your electricity consumption. In peak hours - between 5.00 pm and 11.00 pm - please do not turn on energy-intensive appliances... as the terrorist state is continuing massive attacks on the energy infrastructures of our country for the second day in a row," Shmyhal said on Telegram.

02:08 PM

G7 vows to support Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

The G7 pledged to support Ukraine "for as long as it takes" in a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today, Bloomberg reports.

A draft statement promised to continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support.

01:47 PM

Belarus troop deployment with Russia is 'purely defensive'

Belarus's defence ministry has insisted the joint deployment of its troops with Russia along its borders near Ukraine is "purely defensive" amid fears of further escalation of the war.

President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday claimed the move was in response to a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its western allies.

His defence ministry said in a statement: "The tasks of the Regional Grouping of Forces are purely defensive.

"All the activities currently being carried out are aimed at responding adequately to actions near our borders."

The moves were to ensure “security” along the border between Belarus and Ukraine, the statement continued.

01:37 PM

Nato could hold summit over Putin's nuclear threats

Nato is considering holding a virtual summit in response to Moscow's annexation of Ukraine territories, the mobilization of additional Russian troops and President Vladimir Putin's latest nuclear threats, a European diplomat has said, adding no date had been scheduled for the summit yet.

01:34 PM

Russia kidnaps Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant chief

A deputy head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been kidnapped by Russian forces and is being detained in an unknown location, Ukraine's state nuclear energy company Energoatom has said.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Energoatom said the official, Valeriy Martynyuk, had been seized on Monday.

01:05 PM

Mobilised troops are killing themselves before reaching Ukraine- Russian media

Newly mobilised troops are dying before they reach the Ukraine reportedly due to suicide, heart problems and alcohol abuse.

Dmitry Kolezev, editor of Republic news site, wrote: "Since the beginning of the mobilization, at least 13 drafted men have  died  before reaching the front.

"Most of the conscripts are said to die due to heart problems.  Among ⁠other reasons is alcohol, in two cases the reservists, ⁠according to preliminary data, committed suicide."

12:50 PM

Giving Ukraine air defence systems will prolong the war, Moscow says

White House promises to supply advanced air defence systems to Ukraine will only extend the conflict and inflict more pain for Ukraine,  the Kremlin has said.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that the deliveries would not change Moscow's goals in its military operation in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden on Monday made the pledges to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy after a devastating missile barrage from Russia.

12:44 PM

Putin and Erdogan to speak on Thursday

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and bilateral relations, the Kremlin has said.

The meeting will take place in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

He previously told reporters it was "possible" the two leaders would discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between Russia and the West on peace in Ukraine.

12:42 PM

Russia adds Meta to terror list

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp owner, US tech giant Meta Platforms Inc. has been added to Moscow's financial monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring's list of "terrorists and extremists", the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.

A Moscow court in June rejected an appeal by Meta after it was found guilty of "extremist activity" in Russia in March. In court, Meta's lawyer at the time said Meta was not carrying out extremist activity and was against Russophobia.

12:36 PM

Germany expects inflation will reach eight percent

The German government expects inflation to reach eight per cent this year and seven per cent next year based on the price-dampening effects of a gas price brake that was presented on Monday, according to government sources.

Without the brake, the inflation rate would have been significantly higher, especially in 2023, the sources told Reuters.

Berlin still expects Europe's largest economy to slide into recession next year, contracting by 0.4 per cent as an energy crisis, rising prices and supply bottlenecks take their toll, according to the sources.

12:33 PM

Moscow insists it will talk with the West after string of frontline defeats

Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow is open to talks with the West on ways of ending the war after last month's string of military defeats swung the conflict in Ukraine's favour.

The Russian Foreign Minister said it was willing to engage with the United States or with Turkey, adding: "We have not received any serious offers to make contact."

He added that Russia would not turn down a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at a mid-November summit of the Group of 20 in Indonesia, and would consider the proposal if it receives one.

He said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan would also have an opportunity to put proposals to Russian President Vladimir Putin when both visit Kazakhstan this week.

12:14 PM

Kyiv residents take shelter in subway station

Ukrainians shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv - VIACHESLAV RATYNSKYI/REUTERS
Ukrainians shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv - VIACHESLAV RATYNSKYI/REUTERS

12:09 PM

​Children's doctor killed in Kyiv, leaving her son an orphan

Oksana Leontieva was killed in a missile strike near Shevchenko park, Kyiv
Oksana Leontieva was killed in a missile strike near Shevchenko park, Kyiv

A doctor and single mother who was killed driving to work has been described as a "bright person, a friend, a colleague, a doctor, a wonderful mother, sister, daughter".

Oksana Leontieva had dropped off her five-year-old son at a kindergarten when she was hit by a Russian missile in Kyiv on Monday.

She was a doctor in the children’s bone marrow transplant department at the Okhmatdyt children’s cancer hospital.

Her colleagues shared a group photo of them on social media and said: "You are forever in our hearts, although today it was torn from our chests by a Russian missile that caught you in a car when , you went to work to save people! Rest in peace, bright memory!"

In a statement on Facebook, the hospital described her as a “dedicated and responsible person and doctor” who was a “true professional and support for her patients and colleagues”.

Anton Gerashchenko, a senior presidential adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said her five-year-old son is now an orphan, having lost his father six months ago.

11:41 AM

Bodies of dozens of fallen Ukrainian soldiers returned

Kyiv has said it had negotiated the return of dozens of Ukrainian soldiers' remains from Russia, including some of the 53  prisoners-of-war servicemen who were killed at the Russian-held Olenivka prison in the eastern Donetsk region.

"Another transfer took place: 62 fallen heroes were returned home. The negotiations were difficult, but... it was possible to return our soldiers, in particular, soldiers from... Olenivka," the Ukrainian ministry responsible for separatist-held territory said on social media.

11:37 AM

Nato members call Russia's bombing blitz a 'war crime'

Eleven members of NATO's eastern flank have called Russia's bombing blitz across Ukraine a "war crime".

The presidents of the so-called Bucharest Nine countries said: "We... condemn the mass bombardments of Ukrainian cities recently carried out by Russia, which constitute war crimes under international law."

"On behalf of our states we demand that Russia immediately stop attacking civilian targets."

Their joint statement came after Kyiv said more than 80 missiles had rained down on cities across the country on Monday, and added that any nuclear threats were "unacceptable".

Released by the Polish president's office, it was adopted by the nine states, as well as Montenegro and North Macedonia - all members of the Western defence alliance.

The blitz is an apparent retaliation for an explosion that damaged a key bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to Russia.

The B9 countries include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

11:29 AM

Three blasts leaves third of Lviv without power, mayor says

Russian missile strikes have left 30 percent of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv without power, its mayor Andriy Sadovyi has said.

Water supplies were also been disrupted after three explosions in the city were heard shortly before midday local time (9am in the UK).

"As a result of the missile strike, 30 percent of Lviv is temporarily without electricity," Sadovyi wrote on the Telegram messaging app, adding that the water supply had also been interrupted in two districts of the city.

Russian missile strikes had also hit the electricity supply in the Lviv region on Monday.

11:25 AM

Some 600 settlements in Kyiv and Lviv without power

Russian missile strikes have left around 300 settlements in Kyiv region and a similar number around Lviv in western Ukraine without power, deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin has said.

Russia's defence ministry said it had hit "all designated targets", claiming it had targeted military, communications and energy infrastructure after President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for an attack on a bridge linking Russia to annexed Crimea on Saturday.

11:20 AM

Car shop destroyed in Zaporizhzhia

An elderly man walks past a car shop that was destroyed after a Russian attack in Zaporizhzhia -  Leo Correa/AP
An elderly man walks past a car shop that was destroyed after a Russian attack in Zaporizhzhia - Leo Correa/AP

Russia launched fresh missile strikes overnight in Zaporizhzhia that targeted schools, medical facilities and homes as Vladimir Putin continues his campaign of retaliation for the Crimea bridge attack.

At least 15 explosions have rocked the city, according to a Ukrainian government official.

10:43 AM

Lviv strikes cut power and water supply

A Russian missile strike on Lviv on Tuesday left part of the western Ukrainian city without power, city mayor Andriy Sadovyi wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

A Reuters witness reported three explosions in the city shortly after noon local time. The city previously suffered blackouts and problems with water supply after Russian missile strikes on Monday.

10:23 AM

Belarusian forces join Russian troops to bolster border

Belarus said on Tuesday that its forces had grouped with Russian troops on its borders as a defensive measure.

"All the activities currently being carried out are aimed at responding adequately to actions near our borders," the defence ministry said.

President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday he had ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near Ukraine in response to what he said was a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its backers in the West.

10:10 AM

Nissan to sell its Russian assets

Japanese automaker Nissan will sell its Russian assets - including a factory in Saint Petersburg - to the Russian government, the ministry of industry and trade in Moscow said on Tuesday.

"Nissan's executive committee approved the sale of its Russian assets to the Russian Federation... this includes Nissan's production and research facilities in Saint Petersburg as well as a sales and marketing centre in Moscow," the ministry said in a statement.

09:57 AM

Turkey calls for ceasefire

Turkey on Tuesday called for a viable ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible, saying that both sides were moving away from diplommacy as the war drags on.

"A ceasefire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised interview.

09:42 AM

Pictured: Inside and out in Kyiv

Smokes rises on outskirts of the city during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine - Anna Voitenko/Reuters
Smokes rises on outskirts of the city during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine - Anna Voitenko/Reuters
People shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv - Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey/Reuters
People shelter inside a subway station during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv - Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey/Reuters

09:19 AM

'Any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous'

GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming has warned that talk of nuclear weapons in relation to Russia's war with Ukraine is "very dangerous".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous, and we need to be very careful about how we're talking about that."

Suggesting that GCHQ has not seen any signs of Russia preparing for use of nuclear weapons, he added: "They (Russia) are staying within the doctrine that we understand for their use, including for nuclear weapons.

"I would hope that we would see indicators if they started to go down that path. But let's be really clear about that - if they are considering that, that would be a catastrophe in the way that many people have talked about."

Further clarifying that part of GCHQ's role is to look for those indicators, Sir Jeremy said: "It is in part to look for those indicators, yes."

09:14 AM

GCHQ boss: Russia appears to be running out of military weapons

The head of GCHQ has said Russia appears to be running out of military weapons after missiles were deployed in Ukraine on Sunday.

Sir Jeremy Fleming told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We believe that Russia is running short of munitions, it's certainly running short of friends.

"We've seen, because of the declaration for mobilisation, that it's running short of troops. So I think the answer to that is pretty clear. Russia and Russia's commanders are worried about the state of their military machine."

He added: "The word I've used is 'desperate'. We can see that desperation at many levels inside Russian society and inside the Russian military machine.

"It certainly doesn't imply complacency.

"Russia, as we've seen in the dreadful attacks yesterday, still has a very capable military machine. It can launch weapons, it has deep, deep stocks and expertise. And yet, it is very broadly stretched in Ukraine."

09:11 AM

Billionaire Facebook investor renounced his Russian citizenship

Billionaire Silicon Valley investor Yuri Milner said Monday he had renounced his Russian citizenship.

"My family and I left Russia for good in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And this summer, we officially completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship," the Moscow-born Milner tweeted.

Milner, founder of the internet investment firm DST Global and one of the original investors in Facebook, has been an Israeli citizen since 1999, DST Global said in a fact sheet on its website.

Mark Zuckerberg (L) and Yuri Milner speak onstage during the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony on November 8, 2015 in Mountain View, California - Steve Jennings/Getty
Mark Zuckerberg (L) and Yuri Milner speak onstage during the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony on November 8, 2015 in Mountain View, California - Steve Jennings/Getty

The venture capitalist and physicist has no assets in Russia and 97 percent of his wealth was created elsewhere, it said.

"Yuri has never met Vladimir Putin, either individually or in a group," it said.

Milner's non-profit Breakthrough Prize Foundation has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

08:59 AM

Turkish president to meet Putin

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the margins of a regional summit in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on Wednesday, a Turkish official told AFP.

Turkey, which has stayed neutral throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbours - Russia and Ukraine.

08:48 AM

Russian MoD appoint special commander

Here is the latest update from the Ministry of Defence:

On 08 October 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced that General Sergei Surovikin had been appointed as overall commander of its Joint Group of Forces conducting the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.

Surovikin has previously commanded the Russian Aerospace Forces and, more recently, the Southern Grouping of Forces on operations in Ukraine.

For much of its operation, Russia has likely lacked a single empowered field commander.

General Alexandr Dvornikov likely held the role for a period between April and August 2022, but it is unclear whether he was able to effectively exercise control over the often disparate and competing groupings of forces.

Surovikin’ s appointment likely reflects an effort by the Russian national security community to improve the delivery of the operation.

However, he will likely have to contest with an increasingly factional Russian MOD which is poorly resourced to achieve the political objectives it has been set in Ukraine.

08:38 AM

Pictured: Latest strikes on Zaporizhzhia

Russia launched a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia. 12 S-300 missiles hit public facilities - SESU UA
Russia launched a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia. 12 S-300 missiles hit public facilities - SESU UA
Emergency workers at a site where a missile killed one in  - SESU UA
Emergency workers at a site where a missile killed one in - SESU UA

08:22 AM

Ukraine bolsters northern border with Belarus

Ukraine has said that it is strengthening its northern border with Belarus as Russia tries to draw its ally into open war.

Images which show Ukrainian forces manning the country's borders were obtained from the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs on Monday, along with a quote attributed to Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Bondarenko saying: "Active actions are being taken to strengthen the units of the MIA [Ministry of Internal Affairs] system on the border with the Republic of Belarus."

The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs also said in its statement: "Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Bondarenko inspected the section of the state border with the Republic of Belarus. During the visit, the readiness of the units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to repel potential aggression from the territory of the Republic of Belarus was verified."

Bondarenko added: "The Ministry of Internal Affairs determines and constantly carries out the task of promptly clarifying the needs of the relevant divisions of the MIA system in the places of deployment and immediately solving them. This is the main purpose of our work trips - studying the situation on the ground and clarifying needs."

And the ministry said: "Currently, the State Border Service is actively involved in the construction of fortifications, structural units are strengthened with a fire component, which significantly strengthens our defence lines."

08:14 AM

Ukraine on red alert for more strikes

Emergency services put all Ukraine on alert for more missile strikes on Tuesday, a day after heavy Russian attacks.

"Warning. During the day there's a high probability of missile strikes on the territory of Ukraine. Please remain in shelters for your own safety, do not ignore air raid signals," it said on the Telegram messaging app.

08:13 AM

Death toll rises

Ukraine said Tuesday that at least 19 people were killed and more than 100 wounded as a result of Russian strikes across the country a day earlier.

"According to preliminary data, 19 people were killed and 105 more were injured," Ukraine's emergency services said on Facebook.

08:12 AM

Moscow hard-liners laud Monday's attacks

Moscow's barrage of missile strikes on cities all across Ukraine has elicited celebratory comments from Russian officials and pro-Kremlin pundits, who in recent weeks have actively criticized the Russian military for a series of embarrassing setbacks on the battlefield.

Russian nationalist commentators and state media's war correspondents lauded Monday's attack as an appropriate, and long-awaited, response to Ukraine's successful counteroffensive in the northeast and the south and a weekend attack on a key bridge between Russia and Crimea, the prized Black Sea peninsula Russia annexed in 2014.

Many argued, however, that Moscow should keep up the intensity of Monday's missile strikes in order to win the war now. Some analysts suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is becoming a hostage of his own supporters' views on how the campaign in Ukraine should unfold.

"Putin's initiative is weakening and he is becoming more dependent on circumstances and those who are forging the 'victory' (in Ukraine) for him," Tatyana Stanovaya, founder of the independent R.Politik think-tank, wrote in an online commentary Monday.

Putin's supporters have been calling for drastic steps on the Ukraine battlefield for weeks. These calls intensified over the weekend, shortly after an explosion on the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to Russia sent shock waves around the globe. The bridge, Europe's longest, is a prominent symbol of Russian military might and was opened by Putin himself in 2018.

06:34 AM

Just in: Air raid sirens sound in Kyiv

Air raid sirens are now sounding again in Kyiv amid fears more Russian strikes are set to come.

It comes a day after Russia fired 84 missiles across Ukraine on Monday.

05:23 AM

What Zelensky and Biden spoke about on the phone

On Monday evening, Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone, where they discussed the importance of air defence and the upcoming G7 meeting today.

Mr Zelensky wrote on Telegram afterwards that air defence was the "number 1 priority in our defence cooperation".

The US President has pledged to furnish Ukraine with "advanced air defence systems".

Mr Biden condemned Russia's strikes, saying they "demonstrate the utter brutality" of Putin's "illegal war".

04:13 AM

In pictures: The aftermath of Russia's deadly shelling in Kyiv

Firefighters of the State Emergency Service (DSNS) work to put out the fire which erupted in a warehouse after several explosions hit Kyiv - Shutterstock
Firefighters of the State Emergency Service (DSNS) work to put out the fire which erupted in a warehouse after several explosions hit Kyiv - Shutterstock
An emergency worker carries dogs as he escorts a local resident outside a partially destroyed office building after several Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv - AFP
An emergency worker carries dogs as he escorts a local resident outside a partially destroyed office building after several Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv - AFP
An injured woman receives medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv - AP
An injured woman receives medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv - AP

04:05 AM

G7 leaders to meet in wake of Putin’s Kyiv bombardment

Today’s G7 meeting will be the first with all leaders since Ukraine’s counter-offensive started to take hold in Ukraine.

Liz Truss is set to urge fellow leaders to stay the course in the meeting, pointing out that Ukraine’s military advances have been made possible thanks to international support.

She will also call for an urgent meeting of NATO leaders, ensuring allies remain united and resolute in their opposition to Putin’s aggression.

"The overwhelming international support for Ukraine’s struggle stands in stark opposition to the isolation of Russia on the international stage," she is expected to say.

"Their bravery in the face of the most brutal acts of violence has earned the people of Ukraine global admiration.

"Nobody wants peace more than Ukraine. And for our part, we must not waver one iota in our resolve to help them win it."

03:05 AM

Zelensky: We’re counting on Britain to help protect our skies

Ukraine on Monday pleaded with Britain and the West to send air defence systems to Kyiv after Russia warned of more missile strikes following a barrage of deadly attacks on civilians.

Volodymyr Zelensky said after a call with Liz Truss: “We count on Britain’s leadership in consolidating international political and defence support for Ukraine, in particular regarding the protection of our skies.”

He also requested more missile defence weapons when he spoke to France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Nato’s Jens Stoltenberg.

Read the full story by Roland Oliphant and Joe Barnes here

02:57 AM

Death toll climbs following Russian strikes: 14 people now dead

The death toll from Russia's deadly missile strikes on Ukraine continues to rise, with at least 14 people now dead.

Earlier in his evening video address, President Zelensky said 12 people had died, with more than 80 people injured in the bombardments.

02:13 AM

Delayed metro saves mother from strikes

01:54 AM

In pictures: Russia's 'malicious' attacks spark widespread protests

Protesters hold a rally to condemn recent Russian widespread missile strikes on Ukraine, in Tbilisi, Georgia - Reuters
Protesters hold a rally to condemn recent Russian widespread missile strikes on Ukraine, in Tbilisi, Georgia - Reuters
People gather for a protest in Prague, Czech Republic - AP
People gather for a protest in Prague, Czech Republic - AP
People holding banners and Ukrainian flags gather around parliament building to protest against Russia's missile attacks in Tbilisi - Anadolu
People holding banners and Ukrainian flags gather around parliament building to protest against Russia's missile attacks in Tbilisi - Anadolu

01:47 AM

Russian people turning on Vladimir Putin and his war, UK spy chief says

The Russian people are losing faith in Vladimir Putin’s “war of choice”, the head of GCHQ has said.

It is becoming clear to the Russian people quite how badly Putin has “misjudged the situation,” according to Sir Jeremy Fleming.

The Director of GCHQ, Britain’s cyber security agency, will use a speech in London on Tuesday to highlight the ongoing threats from Russia and China.

He will say Russian forces are now in a “desperate situation” as they seek to prosecute the disastrous war in Ukraine.

Read the full story by Dominic Nicholls here

01:37 AM

Today's top stories

  • The Russian people are losing faith in Vladimir Putin’s “war of choice”, the head of GCHQ has said

  • Ukraine on Monday pleaded with Britain and the West to send air defence systems to Kyiv after Russia warned of more missile strikes following a barrage of deadly attacks on civilians

  • The death toll from Russia's revenge attacks has grown to at least 14 people

  • Prime Minister Liz Truss will join a virtual gathering of G7 leaders and President Zelensky today

  • Russia's retaliatory mass strikes across Ukraine were only the "first episode" of Moscow's planned response to the attack on the bridge to Crimea, said former President Dmitry Medvedev