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Latest Updates on the Russo-Ukrainian War – The Washington Post

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu on Friday for the first time since May. Russian and U.S. officials provided few details about the call, but Air Force Brig. Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder said Austin “stressed the importance of maintaining the lines of communication amid the ongoing conflict.” The lack of conversation between Washington and Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine has become a source of concern in the West.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with a bipartisan Congress delegation in Kyiv on the same day. They discussed military aid, missile defense and “Iranian supplies for Russian terrorism”, Zelensky said in his evening speech.

In a televised address on Friday, the Ukrainian leader called on the West to warn Russia not to blow up a dam at a major hydroelectric power station near the Russian-occupied city of Kherson. “Destroying the dam would mean a full-scale disaster,” he said. A member of the President’s team promised this week that Ukraine would have “strike even harder” if such an attack occurs.

Here is the latest news on the war and its ripple effects around the world.

  • The bipartisan Congress delegation that met with Zelensky in Kyiv included Reps. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). “We also talked about financial support, our political interaction, new anti-European and anti-democratic measures to expect from Russia,” Zelensky said. The visit came after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled this week that the GOP would oppose more aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia. President Biden said Thursday he fears Republicans will cut aid to Ukraine if they regain the House.
  • Zelensky accused Russia of “deliberately inciting” a food crisis by slowing grain shipments. In a speech late Friday, Ukraine’s president said more than 150 ships were in an “artificial queue” caused by Russia’s delay in their passage. The Washington Post could not confirm the veracity of his statement. “Russia’s attempts to exacerbate the food crisis are also an assault on every person on earth,” Zelensky said, adding that countries like Egypt, Tunisia, China and Bangladesh have been hit by delayed food exports. . The two warring countries agreed this summer to allow agricultural exports after a Russian blockade blocked more than 20 million tonnes of grain in Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
  • Nearly 16,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine have been recorded by the United Nations Human Rights Office, UN Under-Secretary Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Friday. DiCarlo said that figure included 6,322 deaths and “the actual numbers are likely considerably higher.”
  • Russia began to withdraw from the western region of Kherson, the Institute for the Study of Warfare said Friday. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said the same day that Russian forces were “actively” moving military equipment and several units to the east bank of the Dnieper.
  • Zelensky said last week that ‘Russian terrorists’ had added mines to the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, one of Ukraine’s largest power plants, in preparation for a false flag attack. He did not provide evidence of the Russian plot, but told European Council leaders on Thursday it could lead to flooding in 80 settlements, including Kherson, and destroy much of the southern water supply. ‘Ukraine. In recent days, Moscow officials claimed that Ukraine planned to blow up the dam to flood Kherson and expelled thousands of people from the city.
  • Iran faces increasing pressure from the international community as leaders condemn the country for providing attack drones and training to Russia. The UK sanctioned Iran on Thursday, with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly calling Tehran’s support for Putin “deplorable”. On Friday, the Canadian government sentenced Iran’s “active support for Russian atrocities”. (Russia denied the drones were Iranian-made.)
  • The European Union has promised give Ukraine 1.5 billion euros ($1.48 billion) per month in 2023i.e. a total of 18 billion euros. “It is very important for Ukraine to have a predictable and stable revenue stream,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. said Friday after a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.
  • Britain, France and Germany have called for a UN investigation into whether Russia used Iranian-made drones in UkraineReuters reported on Friday.

4. From our correspondents

In a bloody battle for Bakhmut, Russian mercenaries aim for a symbolic price. The Ukrainian town, located about 10 miles from the border of Donetsk and Luhansk, has been locked in heavy fighting for four months, reports Louisa Loveluck.

Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group, continues to pour mercenaries into Bakhmut despite the town no longer being targeted by any coordinated military option. Instead, he seems to view the city as a military trophy while Putin’s forces look elsewhere.


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