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Nord Stream site inspection points to ‘sabotage’

kyiv says it has retaken more settlements in a counteroffensive against Russian forces and is hitting the city of Zaporizhzhia in deadly attacks tearing through high-rise buildings as fighting enters the 225th day.

While Russia blames the West for damage to Nord Stream pipelines, Ukraine alleges the leaks are the result of a “terrorist attack” by Moscow. (AFP archive)

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nord Stream site inspection points to sabotage: Sweden

An inspection of two of the leaks on Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia to Europe has bolstered suspicions that they were acts of sabotage, Swedish authorities said.

“We can conclude that there were detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone which caused significant damage to the gas pipelines,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement, adding that “the investigation of the crime scene had reinforced suspicions of aggravated sabotage.”

The ruptures came at a time when the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, were already at the center of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in alleged retaliation for Western sanctions following Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine.

Russian missile strike kills woman and destroys building in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

A Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-story apartment building in the southern Ukrainian town of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least one woman and leaving other residents trapped under rubble, the regional governor said.

Firefighters rushed to the streets to tackle the blazes after the night’s attack, and more explosions were heard Thursday morning in what local officials said was another Russian strike.

“Another enemy missile attack. Stay in the shelters!” Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, told residents on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday.

Putin: Russia expects sanctions pressure to increase

Russian President Vladimir Putin said consumer demand remains weak and he expects sanctions pressure on the Russian economy to intensify, in televised remarks during a meeting with government officials .

“In general, the situation here is stable,” Putin said. “At the same time, it is important to understand that the sanctions pressure on Russia will only increase.”

The West has hit Moscow with unprecedented sanctions after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a “special military operation”. But the Russian economy has defied some predictions by Western analysts that it would face a 15% drop in its gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

Ukraine leader says Putin wouldn’t survive nuclear attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said it is “difficult to say” whether the risk of nuclear war has increased with his army’s territorial gains, but he remains convinced that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would not survive such an escalation of war. hostilities.

Zelenskyy was speaking to the Lowy Institute international think tank in Sydney via video link after the Ukrainian army recaptured ground annexed by Russia last week.

Asked if the risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has increased, Zelenskyy replied through an interpreter: “It’s hard to say.” He questioned whether Putin had enough control over the Russian countryside to lead a tactical nuclear strike. Zelenskyy said Putin understood that “the world will never forgive” a Russian nuclear strike.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow “fully committed” to avoiding nuclear war

Moscow said it remained “fully committed” to the principle of never allowing nuclear war, as fears grew over a possible dramatic escalation in the seven-month conflict with Ukraine.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a press briefing on Thursday that Moscow’s position – that a nuclear war should never be fought – had not changed.

President Vladimir Putin previously said he was “not bluffing” about his willingness to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia’s territorial integrity.

Kremlin says OPEC+ decision to cut oil production aims to stabilize market

The decision by the OPEC+ group of major oil producers to cut output by 2 million barrels a day is aimed at stabilizing the market, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Dmitry Peskov also said that by agreeing to cut production, OPEC+ confirmed its credentials as the organization responsible for market stability.

The OPEC+ cartel at a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday ignored calls from the White House to keep oil flowing and agreed to the cut, the deepest since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kremlin announces that it is preparing the visit of the head of the IAEA in Moscow

The Kremlin has said it is preparing to welcome the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to Moscow soon.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi was due to travel to Kyiv on Thursday and is then expected to travel to Moscow. The visit is expected to focus on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located in southern Ukraine on territory that Russia has claimed as its own.

Kazakhstan has ‘difficult’ talks with Russian ambassador

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it had summoned Russia’s ambassador to the Central Asian country for a “serious conversation” following Moscow’s demands to expel the country’s envoy to Ukraine.

Relations between Russia and Kazakhstan have been strained since Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine, with Astana seeking to balance its relations with the West and its ally Moscow.

Kazakh leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has publicly clashed with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.

EU adopts new sanctions package against Russia

The European Union has officially adopted its eighth package of sanctions against Russia in response to the partial mobilization and annexation of Ukrainian regions, the European Commission has announced.

“This package introduces new EU import bans worth 7 billion euros ($6.96 billion) to reduce Russia’s revenue,” the executive body of the EU explained. EU in a press release on Thursday.

The measures prohibit the import of Russian finished and semi-finished steel products, machinery and appliances, plastics, vehicles, textiles, footwear, leather, ceramics, certain chemicals and other jewelry. than in gold.

Kremlin says Russia won’t be invited to Nord Stream probe

Russia has been informed through diplomatic channels that there are no plans to invite Moscow to join an investigation into the Nord Stream gas leaks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters .

Peskov added that Russia considers it impossible to conduct such an investigation without Moscow’s participation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that it was “unthinkable” that an investigation into the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline ruptures would continue without Russian participation.

Most Americans support US support for Ukraine despite Russian threats

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say the United States should continue to support Ukraine, despite Russian threats that it may use nuclear weapons to protect its territory, according to a Reuters news agency opinion poll. /Ipsos.

The poll suggested continued support for President Joe Biden’s provision of weapons systems, training and other forms of military assistance to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government, despite fears the war could escalate if Ukraine receives longer-range weapons that could hit Russia.

The online poll of 1,005 Americans showed 73% agreed that the United States would continue to support Ukraine, despite Russian warnings that it might use its nuclear arsenal. Democrats and Republicans agreed, although there was more support among Biden’s fellow Democrats – 81% – than Republicans – at 66%.

Zelensky says more villages have been recaptured from Russia in southern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said three villages in the southern Kherson region had been recaptured from Russian troops.

“Novovoskresenske, Novogrygorivka and Petropavlivka…have been liberated in the last 24 hours,” he said in a video posted on social media, adding that the counteroffensive “continues.”

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies