Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, October 6.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed laws to formally absorb four Ukrainian regions – the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, and Kherson and Zaporizhia regions – into Russia, following referendums in those areas that Kyiv and its Western allies called a meaningless “sham”. He also said Russia would stabilise the situation in the regions, indirectly acknowledging the challenges it faces to assert its control. Putin signed a decree ordering the Russian government to take control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the biggest in Europe – and make it “federal property”. But hours after Russia said it plans to supervise operations, the head of Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Petro Kotin said he is taking charge of the nuclear power station. (Al Jazeera)
Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for her on-air protest against the war in Ukraine, said she has escaped house arrest. Intelligence agencies in the United States believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorised the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, according to a report in the New York Times. Russia’s Putin amended the partial mobilisation order to defer student conscription, following a wave of criticism.
Ukraine said its forces have retaken more settlements in Kherson, one of four partially Russian-occupied regions that President Vladimir Putin formally incorporated into Russia in Europe’s biggest annexation since World War II. The bodies of two Russian soldiers lay bloating in trees on opposite sides of the road, close to the blasted hulks of the cars and the van in which Ukrainian army officers said the dead men’s unit was retreating into the eastern town of Lyman. Dozens of firefighters doused blazes in a town near Kyiv following multiple strikes caused by what officials said were Iranian-made loitering munitions, often known as “kamikaze drones”. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the battlefield reports. Ukrainian forces recaptured more territory in the east and south of the country despite Russia’s mobilisation of 200,000 conscripts.
The United States is sending $625m to Ukraine in additional weaponry, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, in a move that Russia said risks escalating the war. The European Union gave its final approval for a new batch of sanctions, the bloc’s executive arm said. They include more limits on trade with Russia in steel and tech products, and an oil price cap for Russian seaborne crude deliveries through European insurers to align the EU with Washington. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia may cut oil production to offset the negative effects of price caps imposed by the West over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Europe may limp through the cold winter months with the help of brimming natural gas tanks despite a plunge in deliveries from Russia only to enter a deeper energy crisis next year, the head of the International Energy Agency said. (Al Jazeera)