Russia-Ukraine updates: Ukrainian forces resist onslaught in Donbas city


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of a “very difficult” situation in Donetsk and Luhansk. Meanwhile, Elon Musk hinted that Starlink satellites would stay online. DW has the latest.

Ukrainian soldiers have been holding their positions in Donetsk and Luhansk despite a “difficult situation” there, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his late evening address on Saturday.

“Active operations continue in various areas of the front,” he said. “The most difficult is the Bakhmut direction, as in the previous days. We hold our position.”

Bakhmut is a strategically important city that has been under attack by Russian forces for weeks.

Located in the Donetsk region — one of the four the Kremlin illegally claimed to have annexed after a sham referendum — Bakhmut had around 70,000 inhabitants before the Russian invasion.

Following the Ukrainian counteroffensive in September, its forces have been able to regain large swathes of land, especially in the northeast, but the frontline in Donetsk and Luhansk has seen bitter fighting.

After Russian missile attack on railway, first train in 6 months heads for war-torn Kramatorsk

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on October 16.

Ukrainian nuclear energy official warns of potential catastrophe at Zaporizhzhia

The president of Ukraine’s nuclear energy body Energoatom, Petro Kotin, said that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is “the most dangerous” in the world, in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Saturday evening.

Kotin said that a meltdown at the plant “is very close” due to the precarious situation of its electricity supply which is needed to cool the nuclear reactors.

The plant has had to switch to diesel generators three times to power the cooling pumps, but there is only enough diesel supply for ten days.

He also warned of an unprecedented catastrophe if the concrete containers holding the spent nuclear fuel were hit.

Kotin also accused Russian forces of damaging the buildings and establishing military quarters there. He also said that Ukrainian Energoatom workers had been detained and tortured by the Russian occupiers.

Russia degrading its ‘long-range missile stocks,’ UK says

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said in its daily intelligence update that Russia was “probably” using up its advanced munitions faster than it could produce new ones.

The update said that “Russia probably fired more than 80 cruise missiles into Ukraine” on October 10, in response to the explosion that destroyed the Kerch bridge between mainland Russia and the illegally occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

“These attacks represent a further degradation of Russia’s long-range missile stocks, which is likely to constrain their ability to strike the volume of targets they desire in the future,” the ministry said.

Elon Musk hints at keeping Starlink online in Ukraine

Billionaire and social media user Elon Musk has said that he will keep the Starlink internet connection in Ukraine online after having said he would cut the service.

The satellite technology has been essential for Ukrainian forces to access the internet as well as to guide Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian positions.

The decision to cut the service was announced on Twitter after Musk had a spat with Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk over his controversial peace deal plan.

In Saturday’s tweet, the billionaire said “we’ll just keep funding Ukraine [government] for free” despite the service “losing money” and “other companies are getting billions of taxpayer [dollars].”

It remains unclear whether this is the official decision from Starlink.

Russian Duma calls for reports on mobilization violations

Speaker of Russia’s state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram on Sunday that everything must be done to achieve Russia’s partial mobilization in the next two weeks.

He called on people to write to the Duma in case of any violations of the mobilization decree, saying that these reports would be investigated by lawmakers as a priority.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree to mobilize at least 300,000 reservists has met with some of the biggest protests since the war began. Many men have also fled the country so as not to be called up to go and fight in Ukraine.

Catch up on DW’s coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Two soldiers opened fire at a Russian military training center in Belgorod leading to at least 11 deaths.

Source : Deutsche Welle