Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

UN says at least 5,827 killed in Ukraine since start of war

This photograph taken on July 15, 2022, shows recently made graves at a cemetery in the Vinogradnoe district, Donetsk region, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.

– | Afp | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 5,827 civilian deaths and 8,421 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor on Feb. 24.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, because the armed conflict can delay fatality reports.

The international organization said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.

— Amanda Macias

Ukraine has exported 2.7 million metric tons of grains and other crops since ports reopened

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying Ukrainian grain, is seen in the Black Sea off Kilyos, near Istanbul, Turkey August 3, 2022.

Mehmet Caliskan Reuters

The organization overseeing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine said that a total of 2.7 million metric tons of crops have left the besieged country since ports reopened in July.

The Joint Coordination Center, an initiative of Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey, said that 122 vessels have so far left three Ukrainian ports.

— Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy will speak with IMF chief on financing requests

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends the NATO summit via video link, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 29, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, two sources familiar with the plan told Reuters, as Ukraine continues to press the global lender for a full-fledged financing program.

Ukrainian officials have said they are seeking an IMF program worth as much as $15 billion to $20 billion, although such a large amount is seen as unlikely to win IMF approval.

The IMF Executive Board, at an informal session on Monday, discussed a plan that could offer Ukraine $1.4 billion in emergency aid through the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument.

— Reuters

Ukraine’s foreign minister slams Berlin over ‘disappointing’ weapons response

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed Germany, accusing the country of not doing enough to help Ukraine with weapons.

“Disappointing signals from Germany while Ukraine needs Leopards and Marders now — to liberate people and save them from genocide,” Kuleba tweeted Tuesday, saying there was “not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses. What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not?”

Leopards are German tanks and Marders are infantry fighting vehicles; Ukraine has been seeking such weapons from Berlin for some time. The government, under Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has been accused of dragging its feet on weaponry for Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attends the summer party of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), in Berlin, Germany, July 6, 2022.

Michele Tantussi Reuters

CNBC contacted the German defense ministry for a response to Kuleba’s comments. On Monday, Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said sending more heavy weaponry to Ukraine was “not so simple.”

“It’s not so simple just to say: I’ll just risk that we won’t be able to act, the defense of the country, by giving everything away. No, I won’t do that,” she said. “But we have other possibilities, from industry, with our partners,” Deutsche Welle reported.

Ukraine has launched a series of counterattacks against Russian forces in the northeast and south of the country over recent days, prompting Russian units to retreat from the region of Kharkiv in the northeast.

However, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has again called on Ukraine’s Western allies to provide more weapons to help Kyiv maintain its momentum against increasingly demoralized Russian forces.

— Holly Elliott

Russia looks to punish Ukraine as shelling leaves Kharkiv region without power

The entire region of Kharkiv, including the region’s capital, has been left without electricity again after intense shelling by Russia.

Kharkiv has been hit by multiple strikes after Ukraine’s forces inflicted a humiliating defeat on Russia after it launched a counterattack in the region last week, and has since claimed dozens of towns and villages in the northeast.

“Just received information that the city of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv region have been left without electricity. The back-up power transmission line, providing the supply of electricity for settlements, went out of service. Now all efforts are focused to eliminate the problem. I will report the results later,” Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram on Tuesday.

“These are the consequences of insidious shelling by the Russians the day before,” the official added.

Firefighters of the State Emergency Service work to put out the fire that erupted after a Russian missile attack at an energy facility in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine. On Sunday evening, Russian invaders launched 11 cruise missiles at critical civilian infrastructures in Ukraine, strikes which were seen as “revenge” for its reclaiming of occupied land.

Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Russian shelling knocked out water and power supplies in Kharkiv on Monday after key energy infrastructure facilities were targeted.

— Holly Elliott

Russian airstrike hits Kharkiv after troops make a humiliating retreat

A Russian airstrike hit a public building in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Monday, Sept. 12. After the airstrike, flames broke out in the building, and firefighters tackled the fire.

Ukraine launched a counteroffensive that has driven Russian troops from the region, but sporadic Russian airstrikes have continued this week in Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities.

Source: Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Risks to Putin’s regime rise after defeats on the battlefield in Ukraine

There have been various reports of pro-Putin commentators appearing on state-run TV channels on which they have questioned the wisdom of continuing the conflict in Ukraine.

Mikhail Svetlov Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime is looking more fragile this week after Ukrainian victories on the battlefield have prompted even pro-Kremlin voices in Russia to question the war in Ukraine.

There have been various reports of pro-Putin commentators appearing on state-run TV channels on which they have questioned the wisdom of continuing the conflict in Ukraine, given the latest advances and recapturing of Russian-occupied land.

Russia has been tight-lipped about the retreat of Russian troops from the entire Kharkiv region above Donbas, although Putin’s press secretary said on Monday that what Russia calls the “special military operation” would continue.

“Military losses and the humiliation of Russian troops also pose risks to President Vladimir Putin’s regime, as domestic criticism of the conduct of the so-called special military operation is mounting from various sides,” Teneo consulting firm said in a note Monday evening.

“As a result, Putin faces growing pressure to respond to increasingly unfavorable dynamics on the frontline, which might include either escalatory moves or calls to start ceasefire talks.”

— Holly Elliott

Ukraine has recaptured more than 2,300 square miles of territory, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine has recaptured more than 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 sq miles) of Russian-occupied territory, President Zelenskyy said Monday night.

“From the beginning of September until today, our soldiers have already liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and in the south. The movement of our troops continues,” President Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

Ukrainian flags placed on statues in a square in Balakliya, Kharkiv region, on Sept. 10, 2022.

Juan Barreto AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s armed forces have made great strides over the past week in reclaiming dozens of towns and villages in both northeast Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region, as well as around Kherson in the south.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry compared the size of the area recaptured to the US state of Delaware.

— Holly Elliott

Zelenskyy urges world leaders to recognize Russia as a terrorist state

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Lviv, Ukraine on August 18, 2022.

Emin Sansar Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on world leaders to recognize Russia as a terrorist state.

“Yesterday and today, the Russian army struck the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians found themselves in the dark without electricity. Houses, hospitals, schools, communal infrastructure, Russian missiles hit precisely those objects that have absolutely nothing to do with the infrastructure of the Armed Forces of our country,” Zelenskyy said in an evening address on the Telegram messaging app, according to an NBC News translation.

“To protect against this, we must further strengthen our cooperation. Together we can overcome Russian terror. Russia must be recognized as a terrorist state,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy also called for an additional round of European Union sanctions and an increase in security assistance packages.

— Amanda Macias

White House says it will continue to send weapons to Kyiv, hails advances made by Ukrainian forces

A Ukrainian armored vehicle advances toward the front in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on September 8, 2022.

Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The White House welcomed Ukraine’s lightning advances made over the weekend and said the US would continue to provide Kyiv with additional military aid packages.

“As we have said many times we’re not going to speak for Ukrainians we’ll leave it to Ukraine to describe their operations. But it’s clear, they are fighting hard to defend their country and take back territory,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One.

“We’re going to continue to support their need to succeed on the battlefield that has been our goal as you all know,” she said, adding that the US has so far committed $14.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s war in late February.

— Amanda Macias

‘We do not currently see any negotiation prospects,’ Kremlin says on ending war in Ukraine

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin reviewing naval troops as he attends the main naval parade marking the Russian Navy Day, in St. Petersburg on July 31, 2022.

Olga Maltseva AFP | Getty Images

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia does not see an opportunity for Ukraine and Russia to negotiate an end to the war.

“We do not currently see any negotiation prospects and continue to state the absence of any prerequisites for such negotiations,” Peskov said during a press briefing, according to an NBC News translation.

“The special military operation continues and will continue until all the goals that were originally set are achieved,” he added, without elaborating further.

Peskov’s remarks come as Ukrainian forces recaptured almost all of the Kharkiv region in the past week.

— Amanda Macias

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