Ukraine has begun using US-supplied cluster bombs, Washington says; Kyiv warns it could target shipping out of Russian ports in tit-for-tat move
US-supplied cluster bombs, which are banned by more than 120 countries, have been deployed in Ukraine against Russian forces, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has said. “We have gotten some initial feedback from the Ukrainians, and they’re using them quite effectively,” Kirby told reporters.
Ukraine warned that it could target all shipping out of Russian and Russian-occupied ports and signalled its readiness to fight on the Black Sea, after Moscow’s declaration of a naval blockade and bombardment of Ukrainian ports. The tit-for-tat moves come after Russia pulled out of a deal that allowed Ukraine to export its grain via its Black Sea ports on Monday.
The UN’s atomic watchdog says it has been unable to inspect the roofs of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which is occupied by Russian forces. Ukraine accuses Russia of turning the plant into a shield for its artillery guns and dynamiting the reactor roof, turning the site into an atomic bargaining chip.
EU foreign ministers discussed a proposal for a 20 billion euro ($22.4bn) fund to pay for weapons, ammunition and military aid for Ukraine over four years. The EU also said it would prolong its sanctions against Russia by six months, until the end of January.
Wheat prices following Russia’s withdrawal from the UN-backed grain deal. Wheat was trading almost 1.5% higher on the Chicago Board of Trade exchange on Thursday morning, while corn and soya bean prices were also rising. It followed a rise of more than 8% in wheat prices on Wednesday.
The UN security council will meet on Friday over the “humanitarian consequences” of Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, Britain’s UN mission said.
The US imposed Russia-related sanctions against nearly 120 individuals and entities aimed at blocking Moscow’s access to electronics and other goods that aid its war against Ukraine. The new measures are designed to “reduce Russia’s revenue from the metals and mining sector, undermine its future energy capabilities and degrade Russia’s access to the international financial system,” the treasury department said in a statement.
At least three people were confirmed to have been killed during Russia’s third night of successive airstrikes on southern Ukrainian port cities, according to Ukrainian officials. A security guard was killed in Odesa and a married couple were killed in Mykolaiv. China also confirmed that its consulate building in Odesa was damaged in the latest strikes.
Russia said it was imposing restrictions on British diplomats, requiring them to give five days’ notice of any plans to travel beyond a 120km radius, due to what it called London’s “hostile actions”.
Britain removed sanctions on Oleg Tinkov, the founder of digital bank Tinkoff, days after an appeal by British billionaire Richard Branson and nine months after Tinkov, critical of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, renounced his Russian citizenship. Britain sanctioned Tinkov a month after Russia invaded Ukraine but
Tinkov contested that designation, routinely criticising Russia’s actions in Ukraine and offloading his stake in the bank.
Eugene Shvidler, a longtime ally of the billionaire Roman Abramovich, meanwhile launched a legal challenge against sanctions imposed upon him after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a high court case being closely watched by other sanctioned oligarchs, lawyers for Shvidler, who is reportedly worth £1.3bn, are seeking to have his designation for sanctions declared unlawful and quashed, as well as pursuing restitution of his costs.
Ukraine’s deputy economy minister held talks with China’s vice-commerce minister in Beijing in the first high-level visit by a Ukraine government official to the country since 2019.