Sat, 30 Sep 2023

The Ukrainian government dismissed six deputy defence ministers on Monday following the appointment of a new defence minister earlier this month. Those removed included Hanna Maliar, who frequently issued public updates on Ukrainian troops' progress in their counteroffensive against Russian forces. Read our liveblog for all the latest developments on the war. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

11:46am: Russia slams Ukraine's point of view in 'genocide' case at top UN court

Russia hit out at Ukraine at the International Court of Justice on Monday, as the warring countries squared off in a legal case over Moscow's claim that "genocide" in eastern Ukraine was a pretext for last year's invasion.

Moscow's representative, Gennady Kuzmin, said Ukraine's case that Russia "abused" the United Nations Genocide Convention as a reason to launch its war against its neighbour in February 2022 "couldn't be further from the truth".

10:56am: Ukraine government dismisses deputy defence ministers including Maliar

The Ukrainian government said on Monday it had decided to dismiss six deputy defence ministers including Hanna Maliar, who has provided frequent updates on the latest fighting in the war against Russia.

The government gave no reason for the decision. Ukraine appointed Rustem Umerov as its new defence minister earlier this month.

10:19am: Human rights situation in Russia has 'significantly deteriorated' since start of Ukraine war, says UN expert

The rights situation inside Russia has substantially worsened since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, a top UN expert said Monday, decrying a "systematic crackdown" on civil society.

"The situation of human rights in the Russian Federation has significantly deteriorated since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022," the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights situation in the country, Mariana Katzarova, said in her first report.

10:09am: Ukraine plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over food import ban

Ukraine plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their bans on Ukrainian agricultural products, Politico quoted Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka as saying in an interview published on Monday.

He said Ukraine could also impose reciprocal measures on Poland if Warsaw did not drop its additional measures.

"We would be forced to retaliate on the additional products, and would prohibit the import of fruit and vegetables from Poland," Politico quoted Kachka as saying.

9:21am: At least two people killed in overnight Russian attacks in Kherson region

Russia carried out a new wave of overnight air strikes and shelling in Ukraine, killing two people in the southern region of Kherson, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.

Kherson region Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said a man aged 72 and an elderly woman had been killed in a Russian attack on the region, and three others were wounded, but gave no further details.

He said four others were hurt in a morning drone attack on the town of Beryl, adding: "The occupiers deliberately attacked a crowded place, dropping explosives near the local bus station."

9:05am: Ukraine says recaptured 7 square kilometres from Russian forces last week

Ukraine said Monday its forces had recaptured small clutches of land from Russian forces in the south and east of the country, where Kyiv's troops have focused a months-long counteroffensive.

"Two square kilometres were liberated in the Bakhmut sector," Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar told state media, referring to the war-battered city in the east, adding: "Defence forces in the south liberated 5.2 square kilometres of territory."

7:38am: Ukraine says it downed 18 drones, 17 missiles in overnight attack

Ukraine said on Monday it downed 18 Russian drones and 17 cruise missiles attacking its territory overnight.

Russia launched 24 drones at the Ukrainian southern regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv overnight, Ukraine's air force said in a post on Telegram.

It added that all of the 17 missiles were destroyed over the Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Khmelnytskyi regions.

6:17am: Clinton Global Initiative will launch network to provide new humanitarian aid to Ukrainians

The Clinton Global Initiative will announce the launch of the CGI Ukraine Action Network, as well as numerous financial pledges, to support nonprofits working in the country, as the annual conference opens in New York on Monday morning.

The CGI Ukraine Action Network is the result of a collaboration between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Olena Zelenska, first lady of Ukraine, that began last year.

4:57am: Russia says more Ukrainian drones downed over Crimea

Russia said it repelled Ukrainian drone attacks over several parts of Crimea, outer Moscow and two border regions on Sunday.

"Drones were intercepted over the western, southwestern, northwestern and eastern parts of the Crimean peninsula; Istra and Domodedovo districts of Moscow region, Belgorod and Voronezh regions," Russia's defence ministry said on Telegram in the round-up of Sunday's attacks.

Crimea has been targeted by Ukraine throughout Russia's war but attacks there have recently intensified as Kyiv vows to recapture the Black Sea peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

And since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive in early June, Russia has weathered waves of drone attacks that have sporadically damaged buildings, including in the capital Moscow.

4:44am: North Korean leader ends Russia trip with 'heartfelt thanks' to Putin

North Korea's Kim Jong Un expressed his "heartfelt thanks" to President Vladimir Putin, state media said Monday, as he headed home after nearly a week in Russia on a defence-focused trip.

Kim's tour of Russia's Far East, which began Tuesday, has showcased potential military ties, with North Korea's leader inspecting everything from Russian space rockets to submarines, and including a symbolic exchange of rifles with Putin.

The trip has fanned Western fears that the isolated, nuclear-armed country could provide Moscow with weapons for its war in Ukraine.

4:02am: Ukraine and Russia to clash at top UN court

Russia and Ukraine will face off at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from Monday over Moscow's claim that "genocide" in eastern Ukraine was a pretext for its invasion of the country.

Representatives from the two nations will go head-to-head at the sumptuous Peace Palace in The Hague over whether the top UN court has the jurisdiction to order a halt to Russia's ongoing war.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 24, 2022 invasion, part of his reasoning was that pro-Russian people in eastern Ukraine had been "subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime".

Two days into the invasion, Ukraine filed suit at the ICJ, "emphatically denying" this and arguing that Russia's use of "genocide" as a pretext went against the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

3:15am: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi starting visit to Russia today

China's top diplomat Wang Yi will visit Russia from today to Thursday for security talks, his foreign ministry said Monday, the latest in a series of high-level visits and phone calls between the countries.

China and Russia are strategic allies, with both countries frequently touting their "no limits" partnership and economic and military cooperation.

Key developments from Sunday, September 17:

Two cargo ships arrived in one of Ukraine's ports over the weekend, using a temporary Black Sea corridor established by Kyiv following Russia's withdrawal from an agreement meant to ensure safe grain exports from the invaded country's ports.

Ukraine said Sunday that its forces had retaken Klishchiivka, a tactically important town south of the key frontline city of Bakhmut, as it pursues a counterattack against Russian forces.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that there will not be a swift end to the war in Ukraine in an interview published Sunday.

"Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin," Stoltenberg said to Germany's Funke media group. "Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine."

Read yesterday's liveblog to see how the day's events unfolded.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters and AP)

Originally published on France24

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