Monday, 25 September 2023 04:55

What to know after Day 578 of Russia-Ukraine war

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Russia's air attack on Odesa injures one, damages infrastructure - Ukraine official

One woman was injured and port infrastructure was damaged in Russia's overnight missile and drone attack, Oleh Kiper, governor of the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, said early on Monday.

A fire broke out in a non-residential high-rise in the city of Odesa, the administrative centre of the Odesa region, as a result of the attack, but was promptly extinguished, Kiper wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. The scale of the attack and the full extent of the damage were not immediately known.

** Russia dodges G7 price cap sanctions on most of its oil exports, Financial Times reports

Russian crude oil supplies increased 50% this spring despite the G7 countries imposing sanctions due to war in Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Sunday citing data from analytics company Kpler.

The European Union, G7 countries and Australia introduced a price cap of $60 a barrel on Russian oil in last December, aiming to curb Russia's ability to finance the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Russian oil revenues are likely to increase due to constant increases in crude prices and a reduction in the discount on its own oil, the FT report said, citing Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) estimates.

Almost three-quarters of all the seaborne Russian crude flows travelled without western insurance in August, according to an analysis of shipping and insurance records by the Financial Times.

Russia cut its seaborne diesel and gasoil exports by nearly 30% to about 1.7 million metric tons in the first 20 days of September from the same time in August. Russia's temporary ban on exports of gasoline and diesel to most countries, announced last week, was expected to further tighten supplies.



Conflict in Ukraine to last until 2035 – ex-Zelensky aide

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine could continue for more than a decade, Aleksey Arestovich, a former adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, has said, predicting that the two neighbors are unlikely to resolve their differences in the near future.

“That will last until 2035, that’s for sure,” he said in an interview on September 17, published on his YouTube channel. According to Arestovich, Russia is “seeking a new form of empire,” which will never come into existence without Ukraine.

The former presidential aide then doubled down on his forecast, saying that the “acute phase of the standoff will continue until 2035.” However, he argued that the standoff does not have to be a military one. The two sides might reach a ceasefire or end the hostilities altogether, but the conflict would then continue “on diplomatic, intelligence, economic, and information fronts.”

Ukraine has to get used to living in a situation of constant military threat and maintain an “advanced alert status,” Arestovich said, suggesting that Kiev should follow Israel’s example if it wants to adapt to such circumstances. “A war can break out or a border incident might [happen]”at any moment, even after the current fighting ends.

Arestovich also noted that he first made such a forecast in April 2022, just two months into the conflict. His words shocked people at that time, he added.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that seven of the world’s leading developed economies, known as the G7, believe the Russia-Ukraine conflict could extend for another six to seven years. The timeline has been stretched due to the apparent lack of progress in Ukraine's counteroffensive, the news agency reported, citing multiple officials.

One such official told Bloomberg that Kiev is likely to struggle with insufficient Western arms supplies and rising personnel losses. Regardless of such forecasts, Ukraine and its Western backers still oppose the idea of negotiations with Russia, and have rejected any resolution to the conflict that involves Ukraine ceding territory that it claims as its own, the article added.

Moscow has repeatedly said it is ready for peace talks, but insisted that they must take into account Russia’s interests and “the reality on the ground,” which saw four former Ukrainian territories join Russia following a series of referendums in 2022.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session that Russia was willing to engage in peace negotiations, but would not consider any ceasefire proposals, since it has already been “deceived” before.

** Russia says its air defenses shot down Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter in DPR

Russian air defenses shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"Air defense systems near the Kleshcheyevka settlement in the Donetsk People's Republic shot down a Ukrainian Air Force Mi-8 helicopter," the ministry said.

Also, three HARM anti-radar missiles were intercepted, along with eight HIMARS rockets. In other events, 15 unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the areas of Gorlovka and Stepnoye in the Donetsk People's Republic; Kuzemovka in the Lugansk People's Republic, Samoilovka; Chervonogorka, Lyubimovka and Ocheretovatoye in the Zaporozhye Region; and Kazachy Lagerya in the Kherson Region.



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