- European Union countries on Wednesday approved their seventh round of sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, according to two E.U. diplomats. The latest measures ban gold imports, list new individuals and entities, and seek to improve the implementation of existing sanctions. But these sanctions do not take aim at natural gas importsfrom Russia, a major source of revenue for the Kremlin.
- Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska addressed Congress Wednesday, making a rare personal appeal to the United States to provide Ukraine with air defense systems. “I am asking for weapons — weapons that will not be used to wage a war on somebody else’s land but to protect one’s home and the right to make up a life in that home,” Zelenska said. The first lady’s remarks come about two months after Congress approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in May, which included $20 billion in military aid, nearly $8 billion in economic aid, nearly $5 billion in global food aid and more than $1 billion in combined support for refugees.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated Moscow’s goals will extend beyond the eastern Donbas region to include Kherson and Zaporizhia. He said Russia will push its geographical objectives in the war farther if the West continues to supply long-range weapons to Kyiv. He made the comments a day after the White House saidRussia intends to annex swaths of Ukraine’s east and south through “proxy officials” and sham referendums.
- Russia is “likely” to cut off gas supplies affecting Europe, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned. “We have to be proactive. We have to prepare for a potential full disruption of Russian gas. And this is a likely scenario,” she told a news conference in Brussels as she outlined a proposal for countries to cut gas consumption by 15 percent.
- The United States is expected to send four more high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, in the latest military package to aid Kyiv against Russian forces. “ We will tailor our assistance to ensure that Ukraine has the technology, the ammunition and the sheer firepower to defend itself,” Austin said in a virtual meeting with Ukraine allies.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was some progress on grain exports after meeting in Tehran with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but he did not elaborate. U.N.-backed talks have sought to lift Russian blockades of Black Sea ports to get Ukrainian grain flowing again and ease a global food crisis.
- Putin received support for his war in Ukraine from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his trip to Tehran on Tuesday. The Iranian leader said NATO would have attacked Russia if its forces had not entered Ukraine. Moscow has tried to strengthen links with allies in the face of Western sanctions.
- Using a HIMARS launcher system, Ukrainian forces fired rockets that damaged the Antonovsky bridge in the southern Kherson region, Russian media said. The bridge is one of two crossing points that Russian forces use to resupply or withdraw from territory they hold west of the Dnieper River, according to the British Defense Ministry.
- Ukrainian forces are collecting weapons left behind and clearing mines on Snake Island, which they recaptured from Russian troops last month in a small, morale-boosting win.
- Kyiv fears that Russian forces could get further entrenched if the war drags on into winter, making counterattacks more difficult. “After winter, when the Russians will have more time to dig in, it will certainly be more difficult,” said the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak….