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Russia-Ukraine war live: Kyiv says ‘sick’ packages sent to its embassies following letter


17 Ukrainian diplomatic missions receive suspicious packages after letter bomb

The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has said that 17 Ukrainian embassies or diplomatic missions around the world have received letter bombs or packages containing animal parts, including cows eyes, in recent days.

In an interview with CNN, he said: “It started with an explosion at the embassy of Ukraine in Spain,” Kuleba said. “But what followed this explosion was more weird, and I would even say sick.”

A letter bomb at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid left a staff member with minor injuries on Wednesday. Others have been sent to the Spanish prime minister, the deputy prime minister and the US embassy.

Ukraine’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, said that embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy and Austria are among those to receive the packages.

When asked who he thought was behind the letters, Kuleba told CNN said: “I feel tempted to say, to name Russia straight away, because first of all you have to answer the question, who benefits?

“Maybe this terror response is the Russian answer to the diplomatic horror that we created for Russia on the international arena, and this is how they try to fight back while they are losing the real diplomatic battles one after another.”

Russia has denied any responsibility for the packages in Madrid. On Wednesday, its embassy in Spain said: “Any terrorist threat or act, even more so directed against a diplomatic mission, is totally reprehensible.”

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  • Eighteen Ukrainian diplomatic missions in 12 countries have received bloody packages, including animal parts, in what Ukraine has described as a “campaign of terror and intimidation”. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson from Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the packages were simultaneously sent from one European country, which he could not disclose while the investigation was ongoing.

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  • Ukrainian authorities in Kherson have urged people on the east of the Dnieper River to evacuate. The governor, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said that authorities would help people to evacuate during the daytime of Saturday to Monday, according to the Kyiv Independent.

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  • The west should consider how to address Russia’s need for security guarantees if Vladimir Putin agrees to negotiations about ending the war in Ukraine, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said. He said Europe needed to address Putin’s fear that “NATO comes right up to its doors”, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia, as Europe prepares its future security architecture, Reuters reports.

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  • More than 7,000 explosives have been removed from around Kherson, the Ukrainian state emergency service said.

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  • The Ukrainian army has recaptured 13 settlements in the Luhansk region, the eastern-most oblast in the country, according to the head of the regional administration, Serhiy Haidai. He said that artillery was still being fired at the villages by Russian forces. Doctors are due to visit next week and firewood is being organised for residents, Haidai posted on Telegram.

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  • Russian forces are concentrating most of their strength on taking the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, according to the British ministry of defence.

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  • The price cap on Russian seaborne oil has been adopted by the G7 and Australia, after it was agreed by EU countries. Poland had held out on a lower amount than the $60 a barrel that was agreed. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia would “not accept this ceiling”.

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  • Another 510 Russian troops were killed on Friday according to Ukraine, bringing the total killed since the invasion in February to 90,600. A tank and eight drones were also lost by the Russians.

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  • Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded in February, according to Kyiv’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. At certain points in the war, Ukraine said that between 100 and 200 of its forces were dying a day on the battlefield, making Podolyak’s estimate seem conservative. Speaking to Ukraine’s 24 Kanal, Podolyak said they were official figures from Ukraine’s general staff.

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  • One person was killed and six were injured in Russian attacks on Ukraine on Friday. Zelenskiy aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said one civilian was killed and four injured in the Donetsk region, one was injured in Kharkiv and another in Kherson.

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  • Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region said that they would start evacuating some people with reduced mobility from the Russian-occupied town of Kakhovka, on the east bank of the Dnieper River. The evacuations were to start on Saturday, they said in a Telegram post on Friday.

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  • Russian troops in Ukraine are deliberately attacking the country’s museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, according to a report issued by the US and Ukrainian chapters of the international writers’ organisation, PEN.

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  • The International Atomic Energy Agency hopes to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine to create a protection zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the end of the year, the head of the UN atomic watchdog was quoted as saying. The nuclear plant, Europe’s biggest, provided about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity before Russia’s invasion, and has been forced to operate on backup generators a number of times, Reuters reported.

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  • Ukraine has detained eight people over the theft of a mural painted by the elusive British street artist Banksy from a wall in the Kyiv suburbs, authorities said. The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher next to the charred remains of a window in the town of Hostomel went missing on Friday, they said.

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    As it approaches 5pm in Kyiv, here’s a roundup of today’s news so far.

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      n

    • Eighteen Ukrainian diplomatic missions in 12 countries have received bloody packages, including animal parts, in what Ukraine has described as a “campaign of terror and intimidation”. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson from Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the packages were simultaneously sent from one European country, which he could not disclose while the investigation was ongoing.

    • n

    • Ukrainian authorities in Kherson have urged people on the east of the Dnipro River to evacuate. The governor, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said that authorities would help people to evacuate during the daytime of Saturday to Monday, according to the Kyiv Independent.

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    • More than 7,000 explosives have been removed from around Kherson, the Ukrainian state emergency service has said.

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    • Russian forces are concentrating most of their strength on taking the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

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    • The price cap on Russian seabourne oil has been expanded to the G7 and Australia, after it was agreed by EU countries. Poland had held out on a lower amount than the $60 a barrel that was agreed.

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    • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia would “not accept this ceiling”.

    • n

    • Another 510 Russian troops were killed on Friday according to Ukraine, bringing the total killed since the invasion in February to 90,600. A tank and eight drones were also lost by the Russians.

    • n

    • Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded in February, according to Kyiv’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. At certain points in the war, Ukraine said that between 100 and 200 of its forces were dying a day on the battlefield, making Podolyak’s estimate seem conservative. Speaking to Ukraine’s 24 Kanal, Podolyak said they were official figures from Ukraine’s general staff.

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    • One person was killed and six were injured in Russian attacks on Ukraine on Friday. Zelenskiy aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said one civilian was killed and four injured in the Donetsk region, one was injured in Kharkiv and another in Kherson.

    • n

    • Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region said that they would start evacuating some people with reduced mobility from the Russian-occupied town of Kakhovka, on the east bank of the Dnipro River. The evacuations were set to start on Saturday, they said in a Telegram post on Friday.

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    • Russian troops in Ukraine are deliberately attacking the country’s museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, according to a report issued by the US and Ukrainian chapters of the international writers’ organisation PEN.

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    • The Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin, has called for Europe to build its own defence capabilities in the wake of the war in Ukraine, saying that without US help Europe is not resilient enough.

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    • The International Atomic Energy Agency hopes to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine to create a protection zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the end of the year, the head of the UN atomic watchdog was quoted as saying. The nuclear plant, Europe’s biggest, provided about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity before Russia’s invasion, and has been forced to operate on backup generators a number of times, Reuters reported.

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    The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has said that 17 Ukrainian embassies or diplomatic missions around the world have received letter bombs or packages containing animal parts, including cows eyes, in recent days.

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    In an interview with CNN, he said: “It started with an explosion at the embassy of Ukraine in Spain,” Kuleba said. “But what followed this explosion was more weird, and I would even say sick.”

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    A letter bomb at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid left a staff member with minor injuries on Wednesday. Others have been sent to the Spanish prime minister, the deputy prime minister and the US embassy.

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    Ukraine’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, said that embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy and Austria are among those to receive the packages.

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    When asked who he thought was behind the letters, Kuleba told CNN said: “I feel tempted to say, to name Russia straight away, because first of all you have to answer the question, who benefits?

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    “Maybe this terror response is the Russian answer to the diplomatic horror that we created for Russia on the international arena, and this is how they try to fight back while they are losing the real diplomatic battles one after another.”

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    Russia has denied any responsibility for the packages in Madrid. On Wednesday, its embassy in Spain said: “Any terrorist threat or act, even more so directed against a diplomatic mission, is totally reprehensible.”

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    A total of 7,042 explosive items have been “removed and neutralised” from Kherson oblast, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service.

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    Work to rid the area of mines and other traps has been going on since the Russian retreat from the city last month.

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    Ukrainian emergency workers say they have surveyed almost 700ha of open territory, 60km of railway tracks and 326 households.

    Authorities are urging anyone who returns to Kherson or the area around it to be extremely careful.

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    Last month, the Guardian reported that ridding Kherson of mines could take years.

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    The UK Ministry of Defence has released an update on Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine.

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    Russian forces continue to invest a large part of their overall firepower on an approximately 15km-long sector of entrenched frontline around the Donetsk oblast town of Bakhmut, the defence ministry says.

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    In recent days, Russia has likely made small advances on the southern axis of this assault and is likely to be planning to encircle the town.

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    Russia has prioritised Bakhmut as its main offensive effort since early August 2022. The capture of the town would have limited operational value although it would potentially allow Russia to threaten the larger urban areas of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

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    The statement from the ministry adds that the campaign has been disproportionately costly, relative to these possible gains.

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    There is a realistic possibility that Bakhmut’s capture has become primarily a symbolic, political objective for Russia.

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    The G7 and Australia have agreed to cap the price paid for Russian seaborne crude oil at $60 a barrel, hours after EU members overcame internal resistance to reach the same decision earlier in the day.

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    The EU agreed the price after holdout Poland gave its support, paving the way for formal approval over the weekend.

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    In a statement, the Group of Seven leading economies and Australia said the price cap would take effect on 5 December or very soon after.

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    The price cap aims to reduce Russia’s income from selling oil, while preventing a spike in global oil prices after an EU embargo on Russian crude oil takes effect on 5 December.

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    Poland had pushed in EU negotiations for the cap to be as low as possible in order to squeeze Russian revenues and limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

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    The final deal includes a mechanism to keep the oil price cap at least 5% below the market rate.

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    US officials said the deal was unprecedented and demonstrated the resolve of the coalition opposing Russia’s war.

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    The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the price cap would significantly reduce Russia’s revenues.

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    Read More:
    Russia-Ukraine war live: Kyiv says ‘sick’ packages sent to its embassies following letter

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