Ukraine’s security service has detained a Russian agent accused of high treason over an alleged plot to join a drone school in Kyiv to spy on the Ukrainian military.
The SBU said on Monday the unnamed businessman was instructed to identify coordinates of Ukrainian training grounds to carry out long-range strikes on the facilities.
A statement by the agency said the 49-year-old was caught “red-handed” while he was photographing a military unit in the capital.
“In the event of successful completion of hostile missions, the Russian infiltrators ‘guaranteed’ their agent a monetary reward, which was to be transferred to his bank account,” it said.
Ukrainian forces have increasingly used UAVs to help identify Russian targets for artillery units, as well as one-way attack drones to hit their enemy at long-range.
Man faces life imprisonment
The man was remotely recruited by Russia’s FSB security service two months before being apprehended.
He had been hand-picked by his Russian handler because of his Ukrainian posts on a channel on the Telegram messaging app.
A search of his property was said to have revealed bank cards and computer equipment used in his “reconnaissance and sabotage activities against Ukraine”.
If found guilty, the 49-year-old man faces life imprisonment for his charge of high treason under martial law.
“The investigation is ongoing,” the SBU said.
Last month, two Kyiv residents were detained for allegedly providing Russia with information for missile attacks on the capital.
At the time, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said: “This is a clear warning to all traitors: retribution awaits.”
03:36 PM BST
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03:36 PM BST
Yevgeny Prigozhin's son 'takes over command of Wagner'
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s son has reportedly taken over “command” of the Wagner Group and is negotiating with Moscow on returning its fighters to the war in Ukraine, leading military analysts have said.
Pavel Prigozhin, 25, was in talks with the Russian National Guard over the future of the mercenary group founded by his father, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said, citing a prominent Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel.
Wagner’s main combat elements are scattered across several countries, including Belarus, the Central African Republic, Libya and Mali, with its fighters having withdrawn from Ukraine earlier this year.
Read more here
03:25 PM BST
Slovakia summons Russian embassy official over pre-election comments
Slovakia’ Foreign Ministry said it had summoned a Russian embassy representative to protest over statements made by the head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, Sergei Naryshkin.
It said the comments, which it said were false, came on the eve of a Slovak parliamentary election on Saturday when a moratorium on information that may benefit or harm candidates was in place.
“The department of diplomacy strongly protests against the false statement of Russian intelligence which cast doubt on the integrity of the free and democratic election in Slovakia,” the ministry said.
“We consider such deliberately spread disinformation to be unacceptable interference by the Russian Federation in the election process.”
It called on Russia to cease all disinformation activities aimed at Slovakia.
02:18 PM BST
Pictured: Medics, volunteers and military personnel undergo a tactical training in the southern Russian Rostov region
02:00 PM BST
Ukrainian victory in war 'depends on cooperation with EU'
A Ukrainian victory in the war with Russia depends on cooperation with the European Union,Volodymyr Zelensky told EU foreign ministers gathered in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian president, who was speaking after the US Congress left Ukraine war aid out of a spending bill, also underlined the importance of “defence support” for Ukraine during the war.
EU foreign ministers have convened in Kyiv for their first ever meeting outside the bloc.
01:26 PM BST
Baerbock urges 'winter protection plan' for Ukraine
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for the creation of a strategy to insulate Ukraine from the fallout of a campaign of Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy grid this winter.
“Ukraine needs a winter protection plan of air defence, generators and a strengthening of the energy supply.
“We saw last winter the brutal way in which the Russian president wages this war, with targeted attacks on critical infrastructure such as power plants,” she told reporters in Kyiv.
12:54 PM BST
Ukraine 'grateful' for unwavering EU support
Glad to welcome EU foreign ministers at the historic meeting in Ukraine. For the first time in history, outside current EU borders. But also within its future borders. I am grateful to the European Union and personally to @JosepBorrellF for the unwavering EU support for Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/xPjPVExp3S
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) October 2, 2023
12:27 PM BST
Musk accused of spreading Russian propaganda
Ukraine’s parliament has accused Elon Musk of pushing Russian propaganda after he appeared to mock Volodymyr Zelensky’s pleas for wartime aid.
Earlier today, the billionaire posted a meme on social media showing the Ukrainian president with the caption: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.”
The Verkhovna Rada posted its own version of the meme with a picture of Musk, captioned: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t spread Russian propaganda”.
Mr Musk owns SpaceX, which provides Starlink satellite communication services that are vital for Ukraine’s defence effort, but his interventions have angered Kyiv since the Russian invasion began.
12:26 PM BST
Kremlin says Ukraine fatigue 'will grow'
Western fatigue over Ukraine “will grow”, the Kremlin has said, as the future of United States aid for Kyiv hung in the balance.
A compromise struck in the US Congress over the weekend left out fresh funding for Ukraine due to opposition from hardline Republicans.
“Fatigue over this conflict - fatigue from the completely absurd sponsorship of the Kyiv regime - will grow in various countries, including the US,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He added that Washington would nonetheless “continue its involvement in this conflict”.
US President Joe Biden has vowed to “not walk away” from Ukraine in an attempt to reassure Kyiv as Russia’s offensive drags on for a 20th month.
12:01 PM BST
Pictured: An operator of the volunteer organization 'Postup' controls the flight of an UAV
11:34 AM BST
Britain believes US and Poland will maintain strong Ukraine support
The United States and Poland would maintain their strong support for Ukraine despite domestic pressures related to their upcoming elections, Grant Shapps has suggested.
The Defence Secretary said Britain would continue to back Kyiv regardless of what happened elsewhere as it had since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, he said.
A weekend US budget deal to avert imminent government shutdown did not include aid for Ukraine, while Poland, which elects a new parliament on Oct. 15, has said it would no longer agree to new arms deliveries to Kyiv but rebuild its own stocks.
Mr Shapps, who on Sunday announced Britain was sending 4 Typhoon jets to Poland, said it was understandable that any tensions over backing for Ukraine would surface during an election but Poland’s support had been “magnificent” so far.
“I very much hope and believe that when the elections happen there and things are more settled, a sensible, common sense approach will be taken,” he said at an event at the Conservative party conference.
11:05 AM BST
ISW: Russia conducting 'tactical counterattacks' in Robotyne
Russia is conducting ‘“tactical counterattacks” in Robotyne, a leading US thinktank has said.
NEW: Russian forces are conducting tactical counterattacks in the #Robotyne area as part of their elastic defense against ongoing Ukrainian offensive operations in western #Zaporizhia Oblast.
Latest campaign assessment: https://t.co/dJH2HiYgqR pic.twitter.com/Y71vxPCf8l
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) October 2, 2023
10:47 AM BST
Pictured: People visit the graves of fallen Ukrainian soldiers at Lychakiv Cemetery
10:23 AM BST
EU support for Ukraine 'not dependent on battlefield success'
by Joe Barnes
The European Union’s support for Ukraine is not dependent on battlefield successes, the bloc’s top foreign diplomat has said.
Josep Borrell said: “Our support does not depend on the advances of one day. It’s permanent, structured support because we are facing an existential threat for Europe.”
The Spaniard was speaking ahead of what he described as a “historic” meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv on Monday.
Ahead of the gathering, Mr Borrell told reporters in the Ukrainian capital that Brussels would “continue supporting and increasing our support” after a vote in the US to strip $300 million from a defence spending bill to train Ukrainian troops and purchase weapons.
It is hoped the EU’s foreign ministers will be able to unlock a new €500 million tranche to help fund weapons shipments to Kyiv that has been held up by a refusal from Hungary to endorse the decision.
10:14 AM BST
Kosovo says Serbia's behaviour same as Russia's before Ukraine invasion
Serbia’s troop deployment on Kosovo’s border recalls Russia’s behaviour towards Ukraine before its invasion, the Kosovar foreign minister said, urging the European Union to take action against Belgrade such as freezing its candidacy status.
The warning comes after the United States said on Friday it was monitoring a troubling Serbian military build-up along the Kosovo frontier that is destabilising the area, and Nato said it was authorizing additional peacekeeping forces for Kosovo.
“There has never been this kind of concentration of troops in recent years,” Kosovar Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk in an interview on Monday. “The weaponry they have there, the tanks - it gives us a bad feeling because we don’t know how the international community will respond.”
She said it was not just the concentration of troops on the edge of its former southern province, whose independence Belgrade does not recognise, but also Serbia’s rhetoric and its “methods” resembling Russian behaviour towards Ukraine.
09:41 AM BST
Watch: Ukraine fight back Russian efforts to re-take Klishchiivka
09:34 AM BST
Comment: Ukraine is winning. Now let’s finish the job
Ben Wallace, the former Defence Secretary, writes:
Whisper it if you need. Dare to think it. But champion it you must.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive is succeeding.
Slowly but surely, the Ukrainian armed forces are breaking through the Russian lines.
Sometimes yard by yard, sometimes village by village, Ukraine has the momentum and is pressing forward.
Read the full story here
09:09 AM BST
'What is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine'
Kyiv is working with Washington after a spending package cobbled together to avert a US government shutdown dramatically cut off support, Dmytro Kuleba has said.
The Ukrainian foreign minister said: “We do not feel that US support has been shattered, because the US understands that what is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine.
“It’s about the stability and predictability of the world, and therefore I believe that we will be able to find the necessary solutions.”
Mr Kuleba said Kyiv was in talks with Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress, and that the drama around the stopgap bill that averted a government shutdown on Saturday was an “incident” rather than something systemic.
08:32 AM BST
Zelensky: Victory will come
“Victory will come,” Volodymr Zelensky has vowed, as he marked a Ukrainian holiday honouring veterans and fallen soldiers.
“Our unity must enable us to go all the way to drive the occupier out of our land, and it will,” the Ukrainian president said during a ceremony in Kyiv to mark Day of the Defenders.
“Never again will Ukraine pay with the future of its children, its sovereignty, and its will for illusory promises of peace.”
08:29 AM BST
Wallace told Sunak to give £2bn more to Ukraine
Ben Wallace has revealed that he asked Rishi Sunak to spend £2.3 billion more on military support for Ukraine before departing as defence secretary.
Writing for The Telegraph, Mr Wallace said the UK had been overtaken by Germany as the biggest European military donor to Ukraine. His intervention will increase pressure on the Prime Minister to spend more money supporting Kyiv against the Russian invasion.
Another £2.3 billion would be a 50 per cent increase on how much the UK has committed so far, but no decision on next year’s spending has yet been announced.
Read more here
08:29 AM BST
Ukraine 'respects choice of Slovak people'
Ukraine has said it respects the “choice of the Slovak people”, as populists opposed to military aid for Kyiv won a parliamentary election in the neighbouring EU member country.
“We respect the choice of the Slovak people,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“But it is too early to say how the election result will affect Slovakia’s position,” he said, adding that Kyiv can “draw the first conclusions” after a coalition is formed in Slovakia.
Slovakia is poised to cut military aid to Ukraine after its pro-Moscow former premier Robert Fico won the country’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, threatening western unity over the war.
08:25 AM BST
'Historic' meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced that all of the bloc’s foreign ministers were for the first time meeting beyond its borders, in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
I am convening today the EU Foreign Ministers in Kyiv, for the first ever meeting of all 27 Member States outside the EU.
Ukraine’s future lies within the EU. pic.twitter.com/1mz5gpB1qx
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) October 2, 2023
“We are convening a historic meeting of EU Foreign Ministers here in Ukraine, candidate country and future member of the EU. We are here to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people,” he said.
08:19 AM BST
MoD: Russia struggling with 'concurrent threats' on southern front
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 02 October 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/YlymMMKcGU
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/a7EK91MKZd
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) October 2, 2023
08:15 AM BST
Pictured: People visit a makeshift memorial for Yevgeny Prigozhin in Moscow
08:14 AM BST
Joe Biden pleads with Congress not to end US support for Ukraine
Joe Biden pleaded with Congress to urgently approve more funds for the Ukrainian army after a spending package cobbled together to avert a US government shutdown dramatically cut off support.
The US president, speaking in the White House Roosevelt Room on Sunday, said Ukrainians would “die needlessly” if funding was allowed to run dry from mid-November.
“We have time, not much time and there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency,” he said in an impassioned plea.
“Look at me,” Mr Biden went on, as he stared straight into the camera. “We’re going to get it done.”
Read more here.
08:13 AM BST
Russian shelling of Ukraine's Kherson kills one and injures six
Russian shelling of Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson overnight killed at least one person and injured six, including two children, the regional governor has said.
On the Telegram messaging app the governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, said Russian forces had launched 71 attacks in the past 24 hours, “aimed at the residential districts”, as well as shops and medical infrastructure, among other establishments.
Twenty of the air and land attacks targeted the city of Kherson, the region’s administrative district, the governor added, while authorities promptly doused a fire sparked by shelling early on Monday.
Reuters could not independently verify the report. There was no immediate comment from Russia.
08:11 AM BST
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