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CDS Daily brief (13.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

96 Ukrainian children were returned to Ukraine from Russia and the temporarily occupied territories, the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories said today. However, as of October 13, 8,140 Ukrainian children still remain in deportation in Russia, according to the Ukrainian government’s “Children of the War” portal.

The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Ukrposhta (Ukrainian postal service) paid 16.4 million hryvnias to people who survived the Russian occupation, the press service of the Ministry of Reintegration reported. Under this joint initiative, everyone who survived the occupation receives UAH 1,200 in one-time financial assistance.

Ukraine successfully completed another POW exchange freeing 20 soldiers from captivity, the head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said. There are people whom the Russians had kept in the notorious Olenivka colony in Donetsk Oblast, as well as those who were held in the temporarily occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts.

The Russian military continues hitting Ukrainian civilian targets.

  • At about 1 a.m. in the morning, the Russian forces fired 8 S-300 missiles at the city of Mykolayiv. They hit a 5-story apartment complex, destroying two top floors. According to preliminary information, two people were injured, including an 11-year-old boy pulled out from under the rubble. The bodies of 2 people were found under the rubble. A man was killed by a shell that hit a local boating station.
  • A kamikaze drone attack was recorded at night in Kyiv Oblast. An infrastructure object in the Makariv community west of Kyiv was targeted.
  • Dnipropetrovsk Oblast was shelled 5 times during the night. A 59-year-old man was wounded in Nikopol. He is currently hospitalized in serious condition. More than 30 high- rise and private buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were damaged. More than 2,000 families were left without electricity. Russian missiles also hit a hospital and a kindergarten.
  • Over the past day, 7 civilians were killed, and 13 more were injured due to Russian shelling in Donetsk Oblast.
  • The town of Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, was shelled for several hours. Residential buildings along the main street were ruined. The shelling took the life of a resident of the nearby village of Preobrazhenka. In addition, there are 9 wounded from Orikhiv and 1 from Preobrazhenka, 3 more people were wounded in Stepnohirsk.
  • Russian missiles hit the city of Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast on the evening of October 13. There is damage to critical infrastructure and blackouts. The rest of the information is being clarified.

(Information about shelling and its consequences comes from Heads of respective Oblast Military Administrations.)

Bodies of 4 more killed civilians were uncovered in the recently liberated Lyman, Donetsk Oblast, the head of Donetsk Oblast Military Administration Pavlo Kyrylenko said. In addition, law enforcement officers discovered the bodies of three civilians killed by the Russian occupying forces in the Kupyansk district in Kharkiv Oblast. One of them was killed for helping the Ukrainian armed forces.

Occupied territories

Russia appointed head of the Kherson Oblast occupation administration, Volodymyr Saldo, recorded a video address to the Russian central authorities urging them to help residents of Kherson evacuate to the occupied Crimea and neighboring Russian regions. “We know Russia does not give up its own,” Saldo said. Although the Ukrainian counteroffensive is presented in his speech as Ukraine’s revenge for the “choice to join Russia” that the residents have reportedly made, it most likely means that the occupation authorities are beginning to feel threatened by it.

According to the Head of the Luhansk Oblast Military Administration, Serhiy Haiday, the newly mobilized Russian citizens are brought to the occupied territories. They are both civilians and those who were serving their prison sentences. Haiday did not give the exact number; he only said there were quite a few. He also said that the occupation authorities no longer allow local residents to leave the occupied territory. Haiday believes the Russian military plans to use them as a shield.

In the Krasnodar Krai of the Russian Federation, in front of the Kerch Strait crossing, more than 1,000 trucks waiting to be sent to the occupied Crimea after the explosion on the Kerch Strait bridge have gathered in a traffic jam, “Kavkaz Realii” reports. The occupying authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea offer the drivers a land route accompanied by the Traffic police. It runs through the Ukrainian territories, annexed recently. According to the operational headquarters of Kuban, 10 new parking lots, which can accommodate 2,300 cars, have been prepared in the Temryuk district. As Serhii Aksyonov, the so-called “head” of the occupied Crimea, said, the average waiting time in the queue is 3-4 days. Currently, four ferries are operating on the crossing, which can accommodate up to 90 trucks and up to 300 people. The Kuban authorities claim that from October 8 to the morning of October 13, 9,000 people and 1,800 vehicles were transported in both directions.

Operational situation

(please note that this part of the report is mainly on the previous day’s (Oct 12) developments)

It is the 232nd day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to defend Donbas”). The enemy tries to maintain control over the temporarily captured territories. It concentrates its efforts on disrupting the counteroffensive actions of the Ukrainian troops, and continues the offensive in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions.

The Russian military shells the positions of the Ukrainian troops along the entire contact line, fortifies defensive positions and frontiers in certain directions, and conducts aerial reconnaissance. In violation of the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws and customs of war, it strikes critical infrastructure and residential quarters.

Over the past 24 hours, the Russian forces have launched 3 missile and 21 air strikes and fired 104 MLRS rounds. The Russian fire hit civilian targets and residents in more than 40 towns and villages. The Russian military struck, in particular, areas of Mykolaiv, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Chernyakhiv, Bilohorivka, Spirne, Pavlivka, Myrne and Davydiv Brid, using cruise missiles, aviation, anti-aircraft guided missiles and Iranian attack UAVs. In addition, Myropillya, Seredyna- Buda, Stukalyvka, Pavlivka, Buhruvatka, Hryanykivka, Dvorichna, Nova Vovcha, Strilecha, Udy, and Chervona Zorya of Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts located near the state border were shelled.

The aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 32 strikes over the past day. Hits on 25 areas of enemy weapons and military equipment concentration and on 7 Russian anti-aircraft missile systems are confirmed. In addition, Ukrainian air defense units shot down 4 enemy helicopters and 26 UAVs.

Over the past day, Ukraine’s missile forces and artillery hit 6 enemy command posts, 7 areas of manpower, weapons and military equipment concentration, and 4 ammunition depots. In addition, Russian artillery positions, EW and other military targets were destroyed.

Long-term downplaying of its problems by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation significantly affects the effectiveness of Russia’s mobilization efforts. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that all mobilized personnel are provided with modern equipment, protective gear, medical and tactical equipment, appropriate field uniforms, and first-aid kits, which is not true. Russian forces experience a shortage of modern weapons.

Representatives of the Russian and occupation administrations forced residents of Melitopol to donate blood for wounded Russian soldiers.

Russian troops stationed military personnel and equipment in the schools of Yasynuvata Donetsk Oblast, Tokmak of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Kadiivka of Luhansk Oblast, and Myrolyubivka and Gladivka of Kherson Oblast. The quartering of Russian troops in Ukrainian schools during the Ukrainian school year means that Russian soldiers use schoolchildren as “human shields.”

The morale and psychological state of the personnel of the invasion forces remain low. In some combat areas, particularly in Donetsk Oblast, Russian units began to receive orders from the senior command to suspend offensive operations. The main reason is the extremely low morale and psychological condition of the recruits, numerous facts of desertion among the mobilized personnel, and refusals to comply with combat orders.

Kharkiv direction
  • Zolochiv-Balakleya section: approximate length of combat line – 147 km, number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 10-12, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 13.3 km;
  • Deployed enemy BTGs: 26th, 153rd, and 197th tank regiments, 245th motorized rifle regiment of the 47th tank division, 6th and 239th tank regiments, 228th motorized rifle regiment of the 90th tank division, 1st motorized rifle regiment, 1st tank regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division, 25th and 138th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 6th Combined Arms Army, 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Tank Army, 275th and 280th motorized rifle regiments, 11th tank regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11 Army Corps, 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 11th Army Corps, 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps, 2nd and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, 1st Army Corps of so-called DPR, PMCs.

Ukrainian troops continued to advance in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna. Ukrainian troops advanced to the outskirts of Vilshany. They have strengthened their positions in Dvorichyna with air defense, repelled the Russian attack on Novosadove, and maintained control over Terny and Yampil.

Russian troops repelled an attack by Ukrainian forces in the area of Kyselivka and Orlyanka in Kharkiv Oblast, Tabaivka and Kuzemivka in Luhansk Oblast. The Ukrainian defense forces made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Zherebets River northwest of Kreminna near Raihorodok, Karmazynivka, Andriivka, Makiivka, and Novolyubivka in Luhansk Oblast. Russian troops have regained control over the left bank of the Zherebets River. The area around Torsky is currently a gray zone. Russian forces continued counterattacks west of Kreminna to delay the Ukrainian advance and buy Russian forces time to reinforce and replenish their units and strengthen defensive positions in the Svatove-Kreminna area. Fortification of defensive positions along the Kreminna-Svatove frontier continues, bridges are mined, and explosive barriers are built.

Kramatorsk direction
  • Balakleya – Siversk section: approximate length of the combat line – 184 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17-20, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.6 km;
  • 252nd and 752nd motorized rifle regiments of the 3rd motorized rifle division, 1st, 13th, and 12th tank regiments, 423rd motorized rifle regiment of the 4th tank division, 201st military base, 15th, 21st, 30th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 3rd and 14th separate SOF brigades, 2nd and 4th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Army Corps, 7th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps, PMCs.

The Russian forces fired mortars, tanks, barrel and jet artillery in the areas around Bilohorivka, Zarichne, Novoyehorivka, Serebryanka, Spirne, Terny, Torske, and Yampolivka.

Donetsk direction
  • Siversk – Maryinka section: approximate length of the combat line – 235 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 13-15, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 17 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 68th and 163rd tank regiments, 102nd and 103rd motorized rifle regiments of the 150 motorized rifle division, 80th tank regiment of the 90th tank division, 35th, 55th, and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 31st separate airborne assault brigade, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet,” 336th separate marines brigade, 24th separate SOF brigade, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 15th, and 100th separate motorized rifle brigades, 9th and 11th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, 6th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian military shelled Ukrainian positions along the entire contact line with tanks and artillery of various calibers, in particular in the areas around Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Zelenopillya, Soledar, Mayorsk, New York, Yakovlivka, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Nevelske and Pervomaiske.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas around Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, Bakhmutske, Ozaryanivka, Ivanhrad, Bakhmut, Soledar, Spirne, Mayorsk, Mykolaivka, Maryinka. However, mercenary detachments of the “Wagner” PMC established themselves in Ivanhrad and advanced several kilometers from the center of Bakhmut. Russian troops captured the intersection of E40 and T1302 roads.

The 100th separate motorized rifle division of the so-called DPR attacked in the direction of Nevelske but failed to accomplish its combat mission and retreated.

Zaporizhzhia direction
  • Maryinka – Vasylivka section: approximate length of the line of combat – 200 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 11.7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 36th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 29th Combined Arms Army, 38th and 64th separate motorized rifle brigades, 69th separate cover brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, 5th separate tank brigade, 37 separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 429th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 136th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 46th and 49th machine gun artillery regiments of the 18th machine gun artillery division of the 68th Army Corps, 39th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 68th Army Corps, 83th separate airborne assault brigade, 40th and 155th separate marines brigades, 22nd separate SOF brigade, 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, and 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled more than 15 towns and villages, among them Bohoyavlenka, Vremivka, Zaliznychne, Mykilske, Novopil, Novosilka and Poltavka. They attacked Nikopol and Marhanets with incendiary ammunition.

In the area of Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukrainian units hit three Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes along with personnel. The injured Russian soldiers were transported to a local hospital.

Russian troops repelled a Ukrainian ground attack near Novodarivka. The Russian forces strengthen the front line along the Orihiv-Polohy frontier. For this purpose, they involve the military units of the 58th Army, although they suffered significant losses in previous battles and have not recovered their combat capability.

The Russian units increased reliance on logistics lines through the southern part of Zaporizhzhya Oblast and the western part of Donetsk Oblast after the attack on the Kerch Strait bridge. They built temporary storage and living facilities in Mariupol. Russia’s reaction also shows increased fears of possible further degradation of Russian logistics lines through Crimea, in addition to fears related to the Kerch Strait bridge.

Tavriysk direction
  • Vasylivka – Stanislav section: approximate length of the battle line – 296 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 42, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 114th, 143rd, and 394th motorized rifle regiments, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division, 57th and 60th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 37th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, 429th motorized rifle regiment of the 19th motorized rifle division, 33rd and 255th motorized rifle regiments of the 20th motorized rifle division, 34th and 205th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division, 10th, 16th, 346th separate SOF brigades, 239th air assault regiment of the 76th Air assault division, 217th and 331st parachute airborne regiments of the 98th airborne division, 108 air assault regiment, 171st separate airborne assault battalion of the 7th Air assault division, 11th and 83rd separate airborne assault brigade, 4th military base of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 7 military base 49 Combined Arms Army, 224th, 237th and 126th separate coastal defence brigades, 127th separate ranger brigade, 1st and 3rd Army Corps, PMCs.

Areas around more than 20 towns and villages along the contact line suffered artillery fire damage.

Ukrainian troops attacked Russian positions in the northwestern and western Kherson Oblast. They continue to advance south from the current front line in the northwest of Kherson Oblast, advancing on Mylove and further in the direction of Beryslav. Ukrainian troops are trying to advance past Davydiv Brid. They attacked in the direction of Ishchenka and Kostromka from their positions near Davydiv Brid.

The Ukrainian defense forces have liberated Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka, Nova Kamianka, Tryfonivka and Chervone. They block Russian areas of concentration, limiting the maneuver of the Russian forces. Thus, as a result of a point-fire attack in the Tokarivka area, the Russian forces lost up to 150 people who were killed in action.

Up to 500 mobilized men, equipped with Soviet-era gear, arrived to replenish the 205th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 49th Army.

The Russian repair base in the area of Kalanchak daily receives up to thirty pieces of damaged armored vehicles, which are still fit for repair.

Russian forces brought an unspecified number of Iranian instructors to Dzhankoy (occupied Crimea), Zalizny Port and Hladivtsi (Kherson Oblast) to train Russian operators of Shahed-136 attack UAVs. Iranian instructors directly supervise UAV launches on Ukrainian civilian targets, particularly in Mykolaiv and Odesa Oblasts.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to project force on the coast and the continental part of Ukraine and control the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The ultimate goal is to deprive Ukraine of access to the Black Sea and to maintain control over the captured territories.

In the open sea, the Russian naval group numbers 14 units located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them are 2 carriers of cruise missiles, namely two corvettes of project 21631 carrying a total of 16 missiles.

In the Sea of Azov waters, patrol ships and boats are located on the approaches to the Mariupol and Berdyansk seaports to block the Azov coast.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 12 Su-27, Su-30, and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

The Russian military continues shelling Ukrainian ports and coastal areas. On the morning of October 12, the Russian forces attacked Odesa and Mykolayiv with “Shahid 136” kamikaze drones. Six drones were shot down by air defense. In general, according to various sources, 50- 85% of Russian drones are shot down by the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces.

“Grain Initiative”: on October 13, six ships with Ukrainian agricultural products left the ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdenny. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, 7.38 million tons of agricultural products have already been exported since the first ship with Ukrainian food left. In total, 331 vessels with agricultural products have left Ukrainian ports for the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Ukraine is working to extend the duration of the “grain deal” and is already raising the issue of expanding the range of exports from Ukrainian ports in the future, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, said at an online briefing on Thursday, October 13. The diplomat noted that, in general, the “grain corridor” works well and, despite certain technical difficulties, which arise primarily due to the Russian Federation’s attempts to slow down the process of inspecting ships, an average of 8 to 13 ships with Ukrainian agricultural products leave the ports of Ukraine.

It is also known that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also offered his Russian counterpart to extend the grain agreement, which allowed the Black Sea ports to be opened to export Ukrainian grain.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 13.10

Personnel – almost 63,800 people (+420);

Tanks 2,511 (+6);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,167 (+11);

Artillery systems – 1,556 (+17);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 357 (+2); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 183 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,935 (+9); Aircraft – 268 (0);

Helicopters – 240 (+6);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,182 (+33); Intercepted cruise missiles – 316 (0);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

Ukraine, general news

During his speech at the PACE session, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine has only 10% of the air defense systems it needs.

President Zelensky believes that the risk of Russia using weapons of mass destruction directly depends on how resistant Ukraine’s Western partners will be to Putin’s blackmail and whether he will receive a warning of a strong response. “He behaves like a terrorist… But you can’t show weakness in front of this leadership of the Russian Federation. It is already clear that he will “bite off pieces”, and the weak position of Europe will allow him to use any weapon he wants – because there will be no consequences”, he emphasized.

According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation and the Razumkov Center in August 2022, 67% of surveyed Ukrainian citizens assess the collapse of the Soviet Union positively. The share of those who have a negative attitude to this event is 16%, which is approximately equal to those who are undecided (17%). Compared to 2020, Ukrainians have a much more positive attitude towards the collapse of the Soviet Union. Over two years, the share of those who positively assessed the collapse of the USSR increased by 18%, while the negative assessment of this event decreased by 16%. The most satisfied with the collapse of the Union are citizens who did not live in those times or saw the end of the USSR at a young age. Among them, 70-72% of respondents positively assessed the collapse of the Union.

“Ukrenergo” is stopping the introduction of emergency blackout schedules in Ukraine due to the stabilization of the electricity supply, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, Chairman of the Board of the National Energy Company, said. He said Ukraine withstood one of the most significant attacks on its energy infrastructure. However, further attacks are to be expected. Therefore, the citizens are still asked to reduce consumption during peak hours. In Sumy Oblast, however, the scheduled power outages will continue because the Russian invaders destroyed about 10 energy infrastructure facilities, the head of Sumy OMA, Dmytro Zhivytskyi, told at a press briefing today.

International diplomatic aspect

Russia has hugely lost its diplomatic battle at the UN. Initially, Moscow tried to make an exemption to the procedure and hold a secret vote. This idea was rejected with fifteen Ayes and one hundred and four Nos. Yet the major defeat came with the voting results for the Resolution of “Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Russia found itself in the company of only four friends – Belarus, DPRK, Nicaragua, and Syria. One hundred and forty-three countries voted for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, whereas thirty- five abstained. Even Iran and Venezuela decided not to cast their vote at all. India and China abstained though they had been vocal about their support of the UN Charter principles and called on “both sides” to resolve the conflict at a negotiation table.

The Resolution reaffirmed member states’ “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” declared that “the attempted illegal annexation of these regions has no validity under international law,” and demanded Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.” Furthermore, the UN GA expressed its strong support for “the de-escalation of the current situation and a peaceful resolution of the conflict through political dialogue, negotiation, mediation, and other peaceful means, with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and in accordance with the principles of the Charter.” These points, along with security guarantees, reparations, and bringing Russian criminals to justice, are part and parcel of a lasting peace formula acceptable to Ukraine.

It’s worth noting that this time Russia was even more isolated. In 2014, its illegal annexation of Crimea found the support of ten “friends” of Moscow (Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, DPRK, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela). A hundred nations rejected the annexation by voting for the UN GA Resolution on “The Territorial integrity of Ukraine” (68/262 of 27 March 2014), and fifty-eight abstained. Only four “friends” (Belarus, DPRK, Eritrea, and Syria) voted against the UN GA Resolution on “Aggression against Ukraine” (ES-11/1 of 2 March 2022). At the same time, it was supported by one hundred forty-one states, with thirty-five nations abstaining.

While Moscow lost its diplomatic battle at the UN General Assembly, it tried to win a “translation battle.” The UN GA Resolution is titled: “Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” However, the Russian translation says “adherence” to the principles of the UN Charter rather than their defense. Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN mocked the intentional typo, asking whether the Russian Defense Ministry should now be called the Ministry of Adherence.

After an urgent debate on “Further escalation in the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine,” the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a resolution declaring “the current Russian regime as a terrorist one.” The Resolution, supported by nighty- nine, with a single voice abstaining, reiterated the support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, rejected sham referenda, and defined null and void the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territories. The PACE called Russia to “cease its aggression” and “completely and unconditionally withdraw its occupying forces” not only from all of Ukraine but “from the territory of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova” as well. Moscow was called to “stop threatening recourse to nuclear weapons and commit not to use them.”

Meanwhile, the French President showed that the Russian nuclear blackmail works. “We do not want a World War,” Emmanuel Macron twitted. And went on to explain in an interview that the French “doctrine is based on the fundamental interests of (our) nation, and they are clearly defined. If there were a nuclear ballistic attack in Ukraine, these interests would not be called into question.” Apparently, Emmanuel Macron didn’t consult his Allies, first and foremost Joe Biden, who warned Putin of catastrophic consequences, and Liz Truss, who said that she “would do it” [employ nuclear arms] if she were in a position to decide on the use of nuclear arms though the result would be “global annihilation.” At her address at the UN, the UK Prime Minister dismissed as “saber-rattling” Vladimir Putin’s warning that Russia will use “all the means at our disposal” to protect itself, warning that “this will not work.”

Macron’s words go against Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, who warned that “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated.”

For some reason, the French leader threw away strategic ambiguity, which seems to be a joint NATO stance. Asked what NATO would do if Russia launched a nuclear attack, Jens Stoltenberg said: “We will not go into exactly how we will respond, but of course, this will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict… of course, that would have consequences.”

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t regret her decision to buy large quantities of natural gas from Russia, turning it into the primary gas supplier on her long watch. It appears as whitewashing her strategic miscalculations after it was pointed out by the current Chancellor and the EU foreign policy chief. Olaf Scholz said that Putin was using energy “also as a weapon” and added that he “was always sure that he [Putin] would do that.” “I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security… Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia. Russian gas – cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not (to be) the case,” Josep Borrell told the EU Ambassadors’ gathering.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned ambassadors of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden for a “demarche.” Russians aren’t happy that they haven’t been invited to participate in the investigation on the Nord Stream I and II pipelines incident and threatened not to recognize its findings. Vladimir Putin speculated that the United States is likely to blame for blowing up the strategic corruption pipeline.

Russia, relevant news

On September 28, the Government of the Russian Federation submitted the draft federal budget for 2023 and for the planning period of 2024-2025 to the State Duma. According to calculations of a Russian opposition media outlet Meduza, the authorities decided to keep the record amount of expenses secret, namely more than six and a half trillion rubles, which come up to about a quarter of the expenditures. Classified spending will increase by more than 2.8 trillion rubles in 2023. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed on October 3 that resources for the restoration of the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts of Ukraine have already been budgeted, as the Kremlin calls them the territory of the Russian Federation.

French retailer Auchan has chosen to stay in the Russian market and is even developing its chain of stores, despite the Russian aggression against Ukraine. It continues to help Russia in its import replacement efforts and pay taxes into the Russian state budget. The chain manages 241 stores in Russia, employing about 30 thousand people. The market of the aggressor country generates 11% of revenues for the parent Auchan Holding. Auchan CEO Yves Claude explained the decision to stay by “care for employees and the civilian population,” Ekonomichna Pravda reports.

After ceasing its operations in the Russian Federation, IKEA cut 10,000 out of its 12,000 employees, Jesper Brodin, executive director of INGKA Group, which manages the stores, said in a comment to AFP. At the same time, IKEA reported a 6% increase in sales.

Amid falling exports and oil prices, Russia’s revenue from oil exports fell to $15.3 billion in September, its lowest this year, according to the International Energy Agency data.

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