US president Joe Biden urged Russian president Vladimir Putin not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine, Reuters reports.
Asked by CBS what he would say to Putin if he was considering using such weapons, Biden said: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since world war two.”
Biden said the US response would be “consequential,” but declined to give detail. Russia “would become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been,” Biden said. “Depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.”
Russian government officials have dismissed Western suggestions that Moscow would use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but it remains a worry for some in the west.
And if you want to read more about this issue, our columnist Simon Tisdall has been thinking about it too:
Russia has reacted to its military setbacks in the past week by increasing its missile attacks on civilian infrastructure even if it does not have any military impact, according to the latest intelligence report from the British Ministry of Defence.
It says in a post on Twitter that the move is intended to destroy the morale of the Ukrainian people.
Russia has launched several thousand long-range missiles against Ukraine since 24 February 2022. However, in the last seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect.
This category of mission has included strikes against the electricity grid, and a dam on the Inhulets River at Kryvyi Rih.
As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government.
Welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be with you for the next hour or so.
The main developments you need to know about are here:
US president Joe Biden urged Russian president Vladimir Putin to not use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine. Asked by CBS what he would say to Putin if he was considering using such weapons, Biden said: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since world war two.” Biden said the US response would be “consequential,” but declined to give detail.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene at the United Nations in New York this week. “It would be naive to think that we are close to the possibility of a peace deal,” said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres ahead of the high-level meeting of the 193-member UN general assembly, which starts on Tuesday. “The chances of a peace deal are minimal, at the present moment.”
The Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU presidency, have called for a “special international tribunal” after a mass grave was discovered in Izium, a town in north-eastern Ukraine. “In the 21st century, such attacks against the civilian population are unthinkable and abhorrent,” said Jan Lipavský, foreign minister of the Czech Republic. More than 440 bodies have been discovered by Ukrainian officials, with some found with their hands tied behind their backs.
Satellite imagery has emerged of the recently discovered mass grave site near Izium. The images, taken from March to August this year and released by Maxar Technologies, show the entrance to the “forest cemetery” where many bodies have been discovered.
One of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s four main power lines has been repaired and is supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down, the UN nuclear watchdog has said. Even though the six reactors at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, have been shut down, the plant needs electricity to keep them cool.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi told Putin on Saturday that “today’s time is not a time for war” when the pair met during a regional Asia summit in Uzbekistan. Putin told Modi he knew of India’s “concerns” about the conflict, echoing language he had used with Chinese president Xi Jinping the day before. “We will do our best to end this as soon as possible,” Putin said, while accusing Kyiv of rejecting negotiations.
Speaking to reporters later, Putin vowed to continue his attack on Ukraine and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes on the country’s vital infrastructure if Ukrainian forces target facilities in Russia. Putin said the “liberation” of Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia’s main military goal and that he saw no need to revise it. “We aren’t in a rush,” he said after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Samarkand.
Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told leaders at the summit that efforts were being made “to finalise the conflict in Ukraine through diplomacy as soon as possible”. Putin told Erdogan, who has been a key broker in limited deals between Russia and Ukraine, that Moscow was keen to build closer ties with Turkey and was ready to “significantly increase” all exports to the country.
The security service of Ukraine said that Russia’s federal security service (FSU) officers tortured residents in Kupiansk, a city in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. The Kyiv Independent reports that when FSU officers were in then-occupied Kupiansk, they tortured residents and threatened to send them to minefields and kill their families.