Russia-Ukraine war live: Russia sustains losses in southern Ukraine; Biden doesn’t think Putin will use nuclear weapons | World news

Biden, asked whether Putin will use nuclear weapons, says, ‘I don’t think he will’

When US President Joe Biden was asked in a Tuesday evening interview on CNN whether he thinks Putin will use nuclear weapons, he said, “I don’t think he will.” Biden was speaking after warning last week that the world faced the most acute nuclear threat for 60 years –since the Cuban missile crisis.

“The whole point I was making was it could lead to just a horrible outcome,” he told Tapper. “And not because anybody intends to turn it into a world war or anything, but just once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made, the miscalculations, who knows what would happen.”

Key events

Putin to attend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit – report

Rebecca Ratcliffe

Rebecca Ratcliffe

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok next month, according to a report in the Bangkok Post, which cites an unnamed security source.

Both the G20 and Apec summits will be held in Southeast Asia in November, with gatherings overshadowed by the war in Ukraine. Ministerial meetings held over the past year have been marred by confrontation and walkouts.

Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden are reportedly expected to attend the G20 summit in Bali between 15 and 15th November, while Indonesia has also invited the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to attend. Apec will be held on 18 and 19 November.

On Tuesday, Lavrov said that Putin would not turn down a meeting with Biden in Bali. Talking on Russian state TV, he said that Moscow was open to talks with the west on the Ukraine war but had yet to receive any “serious offers” to negotiate.

He said US officials including the White House’s national security spokesperson, John Kirby, had said the US was willing to engage in discussions but Russia had refused. “This is a lie”, he added.

Biden is not expected to be at Apec and will instead return home to attend his granddaughter’s wedding ceremony, according to Thai media. It is not known whether Xi will attend Apec.

Would Lukashenko really throw Belarus into a war Russia is losing? Andrew Roth and Daniel Boffey tackle the question in a new analysis piece.

Alexander Lukashenko, the dictatorial leader of Belarus, has executed a careful balancing act during the war in Ukraine.

On 24 February, Russian troops that had massed on Belarusian territory surged across the border into Ukraine, using his country as a staging ground in the largest invasion in Europe since the second world war.

But the Belarusian leader has not joined the war directly or sent his own troops into the fight, at times saying that he felt the invasion was “dragging on”.

Now, meetings between Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin have once again raised fears he is about to enter the fray. Lukashenko has said that Belarus and Russia are to deploy a joint military group and that thousands of Russian troops will be arriving in his country in the coming days for drills.

“We emphasise once again that the tasks of the regional force group are purely defensive. And all activities carried out at the moment are aimed at providing a sufficient response to actions near our borders,” the Belarusian defence minister, Viktor Khrenin, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, sounded the alarm during a meeting of the G7 on Tuesday, proposing to send UN peacekeepers to the border between Ukraine and Belarus to prevent Lukashenko from launching a “provocation”.

Despite the warning signs, there is considerable doubt that Lukashenko is ready to throw his own forces into a war that Russia is losing in Ukraine, even if he is under pressure from Putin.

Energy exports appear to be helping Russia ride out Western sanctions, AFP reports.

Moscow says inflation is easing and employment is virtually full, contradicting the predictions of a catastrophe from many financial experts.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday offered some support to Russia’s view, saying recession will be less severe than expected due to oil exports and relatively stable domestic demand.

The IMF forecast the Russian economy to contract just 3.4% over the whole year, after contracting 21.8% during the second quarter at a quarterly annualised rate.

It was only in June that the IMF forecast an annual drop of 6%.

Biden, asked whether Putin will use nuclear weapons, says, ‘I don’t think he will’

When US President Joe Biden was asked in a Tuesday evening interview on CNN whether he thinks Putin will use nuclear weapons, he said, “I don’t think he will.” Biden was speaking after warning last week that the world faced the most acute nuclear threat for 60 years –since the Cuban missile crisis.

“The whole point I was making was it could lead to just a horrible outcome,” he told Tapper. “And not because anybody intends to turn it into a world war or anything, but just once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made, the miscalculations, who knows what would happen.”

Russia sustains losses in southern Ukraine

Russian troops have sustained equipment and personnel losses in Ukraine’s south, the Kyiv Independent reported, citing Ukraine’s Operational Command.

“Ukraine’s Operational Command ‘South’ reported that they completed over 300 fire missions, targeting and damaging two Russian Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers and an APC,” the Kyiv Independent said in a tweet.

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be taking you through the latest developments for the next while.

Russian troops have sustained losses in Ukraine’s south following 300 fire missions, Ukraine’s Operational Command reported overnight.

Meanwhile, in an interview with CNN on Tuesday evening, US President Joe Biden said he doesn’t think Putin will use a tactical nuclear weapon. Biden was speaking after warning last week that the world faced the most acute nuclear threat for 60 years –since the Cuban missile crisis.

We’ll have more on this shortly. In the meantime, here are the key recent developments in the conflict:

  • Russia continued to attack key infrastructure in Ukraine with missile strikes on Tuesday. Amid warnings from the UN and some Nato countries that Moscow may be committing a war crime with its continuing deadly blitz on civilian targets, Russia’s defence ministry confirmed its troops continued to launch long-range airstrikes on Ukraine’s energy and military infrastructure.

  • The leaders of the G7 condemned Russia’s most recent missile attacks on cities across Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms” and vowed to stand “firmly” with Kyiv “for as long as it takes”.

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asked G7 leaders to supply more air defence systems and for an international monitoring mission on the Belarusian border.

  • The French president, Emmanuel Macron, described Russia’s attacks as “a profound change in the nature of this war”. During Russia’s strikes in recent days, cruise missiles and armed drones rained down on parks, playgrounds, power stations and other civilian targets.

  • Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is a “rational actor who has miscalculated significantly,” US president Joe Biden said in a clip of a CNN interview broadcast on Tuesday.

  • Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday they exhumed the bodies of dozens of people, including civilians and a one-year-old baby, to determine the cause of death after the retreat of Russian troops from Lyman and Sviatohirsk, two recently liberated towns in the eastern Donetsk region.

  • Roughly 30% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been hit by Russia since Monday, officials said. As millions in Ukraine are facing blackouts due to the attacks, the government has urged civilians to cut their electricity use and not use domestic appliances such as ovens and washing machines.

  • The Kremlin has confirmed that Putin will meet Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Thursday to discuss Ukraine.

  • Moscow would not turn down a meeting between Putin and Biden at the G20 meeting next month, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said. Moscow was open to talks with the west on the Ukraine war but had yet to receive any “serious offers” to negotiate, Lavrov said in an interview on Russian state television.

  • Putin has told the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency that he is “open to dialogue” on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

  • Meanwhile the deputy head of the Zaporizhzhia power plant has been kidnapped by Russian forces, Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Energoatom said. Valeriy Martynyuk was taken on Monday and is being detained in an unknown location, Energoatom said in a post on Telegram.

  • Elon Musk denied a report that he spoke with Putin before tweeting a proposal to end the war in Ukraine that would have seen territory permanently handed over to Russia.

  • Belarus’ defence ministry said the joint deployment of forces with Russia on its borders is a defensive measure. The moves were to ensure “security” along the border between Belarus and Ukraine, it claimed.

  • Russian strikes have damaged hundreds of cultural sites, Zelenskiy said as he urged the UN cultural agency to expel Russia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Unesco World Heritage Committee.

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