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Ukraine news – live: Russia ‘has proof’ of UK involvement in Black Sea drone strike

UK brushes off allegations as ‘invented story’

Arpan Rai,Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 04 November 2022 17:00 GMT
Russian conscripts protest over pay at military base in Ulyanovsk

Moscow has claimed it will publish proof that British specialist troops were involved in a drone attack over the weekend on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

It comes as the Ministry of Defence dismissed Russia’s allegation as an “invented story” which says “more about arguments going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West”.

Andrei Kelin, the Russian ambassador to the UK, said it will publish its evidence “pretty soon”, adding that the UK is in “too deep” with its Ukrainian involvement.

He told Sky News: “We perfectly know about participation of British specialists in training, preparation and execution of plans against the Russian infrastructure and the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. We know that it has been done,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian official has suggested that Russia’s decision to withdraw troops from the west bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson could be a trap as Moscow prepares the settlements for street battles.


G-7 ministers back Ukraine support, are suspicious of China

Top diplomats from the world’s major industrialised democracies on Friday rallied support for Ukraine in its resistance to Russia‘s invasion, expressing “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine‘s defense, and expressed suspicion of China’s increasing assertiveness amid a panoply of global crises.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations, wrapping up two days of talks in the historic western German city of Muenster, released a joint statement asserting common positions on Ukraine, Russia, China and recent developments in Iran and North Korea.

A year after warning Russia about the consequences of invading Ukraine, the G-7 ministers endorsed further punishments for the Kremlin, including setting a price cap for Russian oil exports in the coming weeks.

They also pledged additional backing for Kyiv by creating a new way to assist with its reconstruction and to help other countries affected by food and energy shortages exacerbated by the war.

“We reiterate our unwavering commitment to continue providing the financial, humanitarian, defense, political, technical, and legal support Ukraine needs to alleviate the suffering of its people and to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement said.

The ministers accused Russia of “trying to terrorize the civilian population” of Ukraine by targeting critical power, water and other infrastructure and demanded an end to the war.

“We will continue to impose economic costs on Russia and on other countries, individuals or entities providing military support for Moscow’s war of aggression,” it said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 17:00

G7 Russian oil price cap applies only to seaborne crude -official

The price cap on Russian oil exports to be imposed by G7 countries and Australia next month will apply only to seaborne cargoes through the first landed sale and will exclude shipping and trading costs, a coalition official said on Friday.

Details of the price cap are being finalised as a 5 December deadline for launching the scheme and a European Union embargo on Russian crude approaches, but discussions on the level of the price cap are still continuing. The plan aims to scales back Moscow’s oil revenues to levels prior to its invasion of Ukraine while keeping Russian crude on the global market to avoid further price spikes.

Coalition officials told Reuters on Thursday that the price level be a fixed per-barrel dollar price that would be regularly reviewed, rather than a discount from market prices.

Under the loading rules, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, any oil that is re-sold while the crude is still en route to a landed destination must be priced at or below the cap level, the official said.

“Once the oil completes its first landed sale, it can be sold at market prices,” the coalition official said. “As long as it doesn’t go back out to sea it’s no longer ‘seaborne’ Russian oil.”

But if it is loaded back onto a tanker to be shipped elsewhere, the price cap again applies unless the crude has been substantially refined into other products, the official added.

The cap will not include the cost of freight or other trading and transportation costs, the official said, adding “In other words it will only apply to the physical molecules of Russian crude and refined products themselves -- only the oil is capped.

Official oil price cap guidance is still under development and will be released before Dec. 5, the official added.

Jane Dalton4 November 2022 16:32

Pope, in Bahrain, condemns rearmament pushing world to 'the brink'

Pope Francis on Friday appealed to religious leaders to help bring the world back from “the brink of a delicate precipice” and oppose a new race to rearm that he said was redesigning Cold War-era spheres of influence.

Francis spoke on his first full day in Bahrain as he closed a forum on East-West dialogue promoted by the king of the Gulf country where, unlike Saudi Arabia, Christians are allowed to practice their faith publicly in churches.

The visit continues the pope’s policy of improving ties with the Islamic world following an historic visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019, the first by any pope to the Arabian peninsula. He has visited about 10 predominantly Muslim states since his election in 2013.

Francis, who suffers from a knee ailment that forces him to use a wheelchair and cane, wove his speech around the role of religions in promoting peace, disarmament and social justice.

“After two terrible world wars, a cold war that for decades kept the world in suspense, catastrophic conflicts taking place in every part of the globe, and in the midst of accusations, threats and condemnations, we continue to find ourselves on the brink of a delicate precipice and we do not want to fall,” he said in a gleaming marble courtyard of the royal palace.

Apparently referring to Ukraine, Francis condemned a situation where “a few potentates are caught up in a resolute struggle for partisan interests, reviving obsolete rhetoric, redesigning spheres of influence and opposing blocs”.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 16:05

Putin says confrontation with Ukraine's 'Nazis' was inevitable

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia‘s confrontation with the ‘neo Nazi regime” in Kyiv was inevitable.

Answering questions about history, Putin scolded Western empires for robbing African countries during the colonial period. Putin praised modern India as having much potential.

He said Russia had a unique civilisation and culture.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 15:45

Round-the-clock curfew imposed in Ukraine's Kherson, Russian-installed official says

A 24-hour curfew has been imposed in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson, the Russian-installed deputy governor of the region said on Friday, amid what he said was a likely Ukrainian offensive.

In video message posted on Telegram, Kirill Stremousov said that the curfew was necessary “in order to defend our city of Kherson” from what he referred to as “terrorist attacks”.

Stremousov repeated earlier calls for civilians to leave Kherson city, saying that columns of Ukrainian vehicles had been spotted on areas of the frontline and that an attack was possible.

Earlier on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that civilians should be evacuated from Kherson, a strategically vital region bordering annexed Crimea that Russia has held since the early days of its campaign in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces have in recent drawn closer to Kherson city, the only regional capital to fall to Moscow since it deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24, with Russia‘s overall commander in Ukraine acknowledging difficulties in the region.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 15:25

Russia claims it will release ‘proof of British involvement’ in Black Sea drone strike

Moscow has claimed it will publish proof that British specialist troops were involved in a drone attack over the weekend on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

It comes as the British ministry of defence dismissed Russia’s allegation as an “invented story” which says “more about arguments going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West”.

Andrei Kelin, the Russian ambassador to the UK, said it will publish its evidence “pretty soon”, adding that the UK is in “too deep” with its Ukrainian involvement.

Read more here:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 15:00

US talk show host David Letterman interviews Zelensky for upcoming episode

American talk show host David Letterman travelled to Kyiv to interview Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky for an upcoming episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.

The episode will be released later this year.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 14:50

In pictures: Russian shelling in the Donetsk region

Photos show the cost of relentless shelling in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

A damaged Soviet-era Ukrainian car "Zaporozhets" is seen damaged next to a destroyed apartment building after Russian shelling in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region (AP)
Ivan Kulta, 68, drinks tea next to his destroyed apartment building after Russian shelling in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region (AP)
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 14:35

G7 foreign ministers condemn Mali abuses of Russia's Wagner mercenaries

The foreign ministers of the G7 group of advanced industrial democracies condemned the activities of the Russian-backed Wagner Group of mercenaries in Mali and elsewhere in Africa, where they have been linked to human rights violations.

“We are appalled by the violations and abuses of human rights against civilian populations, including those committed by terrorist groups and the Russia-affiliated Wagner Group forces in Mali,” the foreign ministers of Germany, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S. said at the conclusion of their meeting in Muenster, Germany.

Last month, the U.S. accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to help fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a charge Russia rejected as “anti-Russian rage.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 14:15

G7 agreed on coordination mechanism to help Ukraine defend its infrastructure

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven countries have agreed on the need for a coordination mechanism to help Ukraine repair and defend its critical energy and infrastructure from Russia‘s attacks, a senior State Department official said on Friday.

G7 countries gathered in the western German city of Muenster this week with Russia‘s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Iran’s deepening military alignment with Moscow over the war as well as China’s growing assertiveness topping the agenda.

The countries also discussed the state of the battlefield to figure out which weapons to provide to Kyiv, although this time the focus was more on assistance that would allow Ukraine to defend itself from the intensifying Russian attacks on its energy and water infrastructure, the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.

“They discussed what needs Ukraine was facing as it heads into the winter and agreed that there needed to be a G7 coordinating mechanism to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure,” the official told reporters.

“That’s something that will be a core focus of this group in the days and weeks ahead,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.

“There was a decent amount of discussion of that, and what countries have the ability to provide the individual systems and support that might enable Ukraine to better defend itself against these UAV and missile attacks,” the official added.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba joined the G7 discussion virtually.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 November 2022 13:55

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