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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Oct. 4

A Ukrainian soldier stands near a damaged Russian tank in Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Oct. 4, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

11:30 p.m.: Ukraine's central bank chief announced Tuesday he was stepping down for health reasons, more than seven months after the Russian invasion of the country, Agence France-Presse reported.

"I have submitted my resignation letter and asked the President of Ukraine to accept it," Ukraine National Bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Shevchenko, 49, said the difficult decision to step down was due to health-related issues that could no longer be ignored.

Any changes at the head of the central bank are closely followed by Ukraine's western allies, whose financial support has been key to propping up the country's economy even before the war.

Appointed in 2020 after his predecessor resigned citing political pressure, Shevchenko and the central bank have been key players in efforts to ensure the country's financial and economic stability after the Russian invasion in February.

"The war was yet another difficult test for our team and for me personally," Shevchenko said.

11 p.m.: The ruble weakened past 59 against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday and slumped against the euro, giving up most of the previous session's gains, as concerns over possible new sanctions against Moscow continued to buffet the Russian currency.

The ruble has experienced significant swings in recent sessions, hampered by limited liquidity and investors' concerns that any new sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine could restrict access to foreign currency in Moscow.

"The accounts of many Russian companies in Europe are at risk of being frozen, either by the European Union as part of a new sanctions package, or by local authorities," said Otkritie Research in a note.

10:30 p.m.: A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced a U.S. citizen to four years and six months behind bars for allegedly kicking a law enforcement officer, the latest American detained in the country, Agence France-Presse reported.

Russian media identified the American as 28-year-old Robert Gilman and said he was sentenced in the western city of Voronezh over an incident dating from January 17.

Gilman intends to appeal against the decision and seek a reduced sentence because he apologized to the victim, his lawyer, Valery Ivannikov, told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Gilman was quoted as admitting responsibility but alleging that he was politically targeted.

10 p.m.: Russia’s defense chief says the country’s military has recruited more than 200,000 reservists as part of a partial mobilization launched two weeks ago, The Associated Press reported.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that the recruits were undergoing training at 80 firing ranges before being deployed to the front lines in Ukraine, where Russian forces are on the retreat in some areas.

Shoigu previously said that up to 300,000 reservists were to be called up for service, but Putin’s order left open the possibility of an even larger recruitment effort. Some Russian media have speculated that the military plans to call up 1 million reservists or more.

The mobilization sparked protests in many areas across Russia and drove tens of thousands of men to flee Russia.

9:35 p.m.: The operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines said on Tuesday it will examine the condition of the leaking pipelines once a police investigation is completed and a cordon is lifted, Reuters reported.

Europe is investigating what caused three pipelines in the Nord Stream network to burst near Swedish and Danish waters. Moscow quickly sought to pin blame on the West, suggesting the United States stood to gain.

Kremlin-controlled Gazprom has said flows could resume at the last remaining intact pipeline in the Nord Stream 2 network, a suggestion likely to be rebuffed given Europe blocked Nord Stream 2 days before Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

8:40 p.m.: The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi will travel to Kyiv and Moscow later this week, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse.

Grossi will "continue his consultations" on setting up a nuclear safety and protection zone around Ukraine's Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the IAEA said in a statement.

Ihor Murashov, the chief of the Zaporizhzhia plant who was detained by a Russian patrol for two days before being released Monday, will also "not be continuing his duties at the ZNPP," the IAEA said.

Ukraine's nuclear agency on Saturday said Murashov was detained by a Russian patrol as he was traveling from the plant to the Russian-controlled city of Energodar.

The UN nuclear watchdog has been pushing Kyiv and Moscow to agree to establish a security zone around the plant to avoid any nuclear accidents.

8 p.m.: The latest U.S. $625 million security assistance package for Kyiv is "tailored to meet Ukraine's immediate needs” and to “maintain momentum in the east and in the south," Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, said Tuesday during a briefing at the Pentagon, VOA’s Jeff Seldin reported.

"These are capabilities that the Ukrainians have received previously and requested additional capabilities," Cooper said, adding the latest aid will allow Ukraine "to have flexibility to how they employ these capabilities with their forces."

On the subjects of Russia’s nuclear threats and rumors of a Russian nuclear convoy, she said, “We have certainly heard the saber-rattling from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin but we see no signs that would cause us to alter our posture. The rhetoric is only rhetoric. It is irresponsible saber-rattling we see at this point."

Asked whether the U.S. could have been involved in any sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, Cooper said, "The U.S. was in no way involved."

7:10 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday said his forces were making "rapid and powerful" gains in southern Ukraine and that they had retaken "dozens" of villages from Russia this week, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The Ukrainian army is quite rapidly and powerfully advancing in the south," Zelenskyy said in his daily address on social media, adding that "dozens of settlements" had been recaptured in the south and east.

Some of the territory was taken back in the regions of Kherson, Lugansk and Donetsk, he said, where referendums were held last week on being annexed by Russia.

Kyiv and the West have denounced the referendums as a sham.

Zelenskyy cited eight settlements in the southern Kherson region, where Moscow's forces have retreated in the face of a sweeping Ukrainian counter-offensive, according to maps presented by the Russian defense ministry on Tuesday.

"Our soldiers do not stop. And it's only a matter of time before we expel the occupier from all of our land," Zelensky said.

6:20 p.m.: NATO has not observed changes in Russia's nuclear posture but is vigilant, an alliance official said on Tuesday, commenting after Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated the war in Ukraine with a mobilization and warnings of nuclear weapons use.

"We have not seen any changes in Russia's nuclear posture, but NATO and Allies remain vigilant," the official told Reuters.

The official, who declined to be named, added that as laid out in NATO's new strategic concept in June, Russia's expansion of "novel and disruptive dual-capable delivery systems, while employing coercive nuclear signaling" was a challenge to the defense alliance's security and interests.

5:28 p.m.: The British government said on Tuesday it had imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on Sergei Yeliseyev as part of its broader sanctions against Russia, Reuters reported.

The government said Yeliseyev was deputy prime minister of Kaliningrad and was involved in "destabilizing Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine."

4:45 p.m.: Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in a combined bid to host the 2030 World Cup, The Associated Press reported.

A person familiar with the project told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Ukraine is being added to the Spain-Portugal bid. The revitalized bid, which has been in the works for more than three years, is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made public.

Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko confirmed to the AP he will go to Switzerland for the announcement, but he declined to confirm details of the project.

The addition of Ukraine to the European bid was first reported by British newspaper The Times of London.

4 p.m.: A Finnish city removed the last publicly displayed statue of Lenin, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

3:15 p.m.: The team of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny says it will resume operations across Russia despite being banned as "extremist" last year, after which many of the Kremlin critic's associates and supporters fled the country, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Navalny associates Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov said in a statement posted on YouTube on Tuesday that after more than seven months of President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the regime had "weakened" and it is time for a new network to operate like an "underground guerilla group."

In recent months, many of Navalny's associates and members of his teams across Russia fled the country fearing for their safety amid a broad crackdown on political and civil dissent in Russia.

Zhdanov said in the video that the "safety of the group's members is a priority" and that a system has been set up to ensure the anonymity of any data transmitted through the group.

2:30 p.m: The city council of Kyiv says it is providing evacuation centers with potassium iodine pills in preparation for a possible nuclear strike on the capital, Ukraine’s largest city, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Potassium iodine pills can help block the absorption of harmful radiation by the thyroid gland if taken just before or immediately after exposure to nuclear radiation.

The pills will be distributed to residents in areas contaminated by nuclear radiation if there is a need to evacuate, the city council said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he would “use all the means at our disposal” to win the war while his ground forces retreat from a Ukrainian counterattack.

2 p.m.:

1:45 p.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris told Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Tuesday that “the United States will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Ukrainian territory,” according to a statement released by the White House.

Biden said the U.S. would continue to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia “for as long as it takes” and mentioned that an additional $625 million in U.S. security assistance to Ukraine was announced Tuesday. The package includes “additional weapons and equipment, including HIMARS, artillery systems and ammunition, and armored vehicles,” the statement said.

The statement said that Biden “noted the ongoing efforts of the United States to rally the world behind Ukraine’s efforts to defend its freedom and democracy, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

1:25 p.m.: Russian defense ministry maps presented on Tuesday appeared to show rapid withdrawals of Russian invasion forces from areas in eastern and southern Ukraine where they have been under severe pressure from a Ukrainian counteroffensive, Reuters reported.

The ministry's daily video briefing made no mention of any pullbacks, but on maps used to show the location of purported Russian strikes, the shaded area designating Russian military control was much smaller than the day before.

In northeast Ukraine, where Russia suffered a rout last month, its forces along a frontline running some 70 km southward from Kupiansk along the River Oskil appeared to have retreated some 20 km to the east, as far as the border of Luhansk province.

This would mean they had vacated the last remnants of Ukraine's Kharkiv province - where Russia for several months maintained an occupation administration - but for a small patch between the town of Dvorichna and the Russian border.

In southern Ukraine's Kherson province, Russia's line of control on the right bank of the Dnipro river had shifted 25 km southward on the map, to a line running westward from the riverside town of Dudchany.

Both areas are battlefields where Ukraine has been reporting advances, albeit without giving full details.

1:10 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced more military aid for Ukraine on Tuesday, VOA’s State Department bureau chief Nike Ching reported.

12:45 p.m.: The upper house of Russia's parliament voted on Tuesday to approve the incorporation of four Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it sized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict, Reuters reported.

In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the State Duma, Russia's lower house, yesterday.

The documents now pass back to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin's final signature to formally annex the four regions, representing around 18% of Ukraine's internationally-recognized territory.

12:15 p.m.:

11:50 a.m.: The head of the European Union's powerful lending arm has urged leaders not to backslide on climate targets amid the energy crisis and signaled a joint action plan from the world's top development banks at next month's COP 27 summit and on Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said the energy market turmoil caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine had undoubtedly been a setback for net zero emissions goals, but that the path forward remained unchanged.

"We are going to have ahead some very difficult times," Hoyer said in an interview at the Reuters IMPACT conference, highlighting that European and developing world countries alike were now having to deal with the energy crisis.

"We have the alternative on the table and that is an aggressive move towards renewables and an aggressive move towards energy efficiency, and we must not stop that now."

11:35 a.m.:

11:20 a.m.: Albania and the U.S. have requested a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the President of the General Assembly has scheduled it for Monday, October 10 at 3pm, VOA U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer reported.

This meeting will be the resumption of the 11th emergency session of the UNGA, that began on Feb 28, regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Analysts expect the draft resolution that failed at the U.N. Security Council last week to be presented to the full U.N. General Assembly for a vote on Monday.

11:05 a.m.: Ukraine’s foreign minister has promised that his embattled country will do all it can to send more grain to Africa, The Associated Press reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba began a tour of the continent this week in Senegal. He met with Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, who is the current chairman of the African Union, on Monday.

Ukraine will be sending “boats full of seeds for Africa,” Kuleba said said at a joint press briefing with his Senegalese counterpart, Aissata Tall Sall. “We will do our best until the last breath to continue exporting Ukrainian grain to Africa and the world for food security.”

Many African countries depend heavily on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine. Amid market shortages, Russia has sought to portray the West as the villain, blaming it for rising food prices.

Western leaders, meanwhile, have accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon and waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

10:45 a.m.:

10:30 a.m.: Russia's grain harvest is set to grow by about 5 million metric tons a year thanks to its incorporation of four Ukrainian territories, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"Considering the arable land that exists there, I think at least 5 million metric tons of grain will be added to the Russian savings box. I also think that we'll get other crops," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency TASS.

The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin was likely to sign laws on Tuesday to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, representing about 18% of Ukraine's internationally recognized territory.

All are partly or mostly occupied by Russian forces after an invasion that has sharply reduced Ukraine's grain crop and disrupted shipping in the Black Sea, as well as triggering a barrage of Western economic sanctions against Russia.

The resulting disruptions to grain and fertilizer flows have prompted the worst food security crisis in at least 14 years, with some 345 million people facing life-threatening shortages, the International Monetary Fund said last Friday.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from the territories it has seized. Russia denies this.

10:15 a.m.:

10:00 a.m.: The Kremlin praised Tesla boss Elon Musk on Tuesday for suggesting a possible peace deal to end the war in Ukraine, after Kyiv rebuked Musk for proposing terms it views as rewarding Russia, Reuters reported.

"It is very positive that somebody like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call.

"Compared to many professional diplomats, Musk is still searching for ways to achieve peace. And achieving peace without fulfilling Russia's conditions is absolutely impossible," he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded to Musk's proposal with his own Twitter poll asking: "Which @elonmusk do you like more? One who supports Ukraine (or) one who supports Russia."

As of 1030 GMT on Tuesday, Musk's original poll had garnered more than 2.5 million votes, with some 60% opposed to the plan.

Peskov said on Tuesday that "bots" - phony twitter accounts - were "actively participating in the voting". He provided no evidence.

9:50 a.m.:

9:35 a.m.: Ukraine is considering restarting Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, to ensure its safety just weeks after fears of a radiation disaster prompted its shutdown, the facility operator’s head said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has emerged as one of the most worrying flashpoints in Russia’s occupation of Ukraine. It has been damaged in fighting, prompting international alarm, and its head was detained by occupying forces through the weekend before his release Monday.

Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom shut down the last of the plant’s six reactors on September 11 because Russian military activity had cut reliable external power supplies for cooling and other safety systems, threatening a potentially catastrophic meltdown.

But now the company faces a different problem.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Energoatom President Petro Kotin said Energoatom could restart two of the reactors in a matter of days to protect safety installations as winter approaches and temperatures drop.

“If you have low temperature, you will just freeze everything inside. The safety equipment will be damaged,” he said in his office at the company’s Kyiv headquarters. “So you need heating and the only heating is going to come from the working reactor.”

9:20 a.m.: The U.N. Human Rights Council scheduled debate the situation in Ukraine for Tuesday morning.

9:00 a.m.: The European Union summoned Russia's envoy to the bloc to condemn and reject Moscow's "illegal annexation" of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, the bloc's diplomatic service said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Russia declared the annexations on Friday after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

The EU said it urged Moscow to reverse its "unlawful act" and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine during Monday's meeting with Russia's charge d'affaires, Kirill Logvinov.

"The EU does not, and will never, recognize this illegal annexation by Russia," the bloc said in a statement. "These decisions by Russia are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever."

8:55 a.m.:

8:35 a.m.: Devastated by Russia’s invasion eight months ago, the Ukrainian economy will plunge 35% this year, the World Bank forecast Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The war has destroyed factories and farmland and displaced millions of Ukrainians. The World Bank, a 189-country anti-poverty agency, estimates that rebuilding the country will cost at least $349 billion, 1.5 times the size of Ukraine’s prewar economy.

“Ukraine continues to need enormous financial support as the war needlessly rages on as well as for recovery and reconstruction projects,” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia.

Still, the bank’s assessment for Ukraine’s economy marks an upgrade from the 45.1% freefall it forecast in June. And it expects that the Ukrainian economy will return to growth in 2023, expanding 3.3% — though the outlook is highly uncertain and will depend on the course of the war.

Meanwhile, the Russian economy, hammered by Western sanctions, is expected to shrink both years — by 4.5% in 2022 and 3.6% next year. In June, however, the bank had predicted the Russian economy would fare even worse this year, shrinking by 8.9%. The energy-producing Russian economy has proven surprisingly resilient, helped by a surge in oil and natural gas prices.

8:15 a.m.:

8:05 a.m.: Kazakh Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov says 200,000 Russian citizens have entered the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization on September 21 amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Akhmetzhanov also said on Tuesday that 147,000 Russian citizens left Kazakhstan in the same period of time. He did not mention where the Russians were heading but last week Kazakh authorities said that tens of thousands of those Russians who entered Kazakhstan in recent days, moved further to neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Akhmetzhanov said that the number of Russians entering Kazakhstan has started decreasing since the weekend. Media reports said earlier that Russian authorities had placed mobile conscription stations at Russian-Kazakh border checkpoints.

7:50 a.m.:

7:30 a.m.: More than 200,000 people have been called up for military service since Russia announced a "partial mobilization" two weeks ago, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying on Tuesday.

Shoigu said Russia is aiming to recruit an additional 300,000 military personnel as part of the initiative.

6:50 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on Tuesday formally declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin "impossible," but leaving the door open to talks with Russia.

The decree formalized comments made by Zelenskyy on Friday after the Russian president proclaimed four occupied regions of Ukraine to be a part of Russia, in what Kyiv and the West said was an illegitimate farce.

"He (Putin) does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialog with Russia, but with another president of Russia," Zelenskiyy said on Friday.

Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian defenses in the south of the country and expanded a rapid offensive in the east, seizing back territory in areas annexed by Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February.

Putin, who turns 70 this week, has dominated Russia's political landscape for more than two decades and could run for office two more times under constitutional reforms he presided over, potentially remaining in power until 2036.

6:20 a.m.: Norwegian police have placed drone detection systems on offshore oil and gas platforms to investigate recent safety breaches, Reuters reported citing newspaper VG on Tuesday, part of a wider security ramp-up following damage last week to the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

Oil companies in recent weeks have reported a jump in sightings of unidentified drones, and Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) on September 26 warned of risks of accidents or even deliberate attacks.

Benedicte Bjoernland, the head of Norway's police directorate, told VG the sensors were deployed to identify any illegal drones and also as a deterrent against anyone seeking to use them in the first place. The police directorate declined to say how many of the more than 90 Norwegian oil and gas fields had been equipped with drone detectors.

"We do not want to say more about this because we do not want to reveal our capacity to potential opponents," Tone Vangen, head of emergency preparedness at the police directorate told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Norway, Europe's number one gas supplier and a major global oil producer, in the last week deployed its navy, air force and soldiers to patrol offshore petroleum fields and onshore terminals in response to the Nord Stream leaks, which some countries have blamed on sabotage.

Oslo announced on Friday it would also receive assistance from Britain, Germany and France in offshore patrols.

Russia's Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines burst on September 26, draining gas into the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark and Sweden. Seismologists registered explosions in the area, and police in several countries have launched investigations.

Norway's prime minister on Saturday visited an offshore platform to help calm concerns among workers over the drone sightings and the Nord Stream leaks, although the government has said it was not aware of any specific threats.

6:05 a.m.:

5:30 a.m.: Ukraine's presidential office said that at least five civilians have been killed and another 10 have been wounded in the latest Russian shelling, The Associated Press reported.

It said Tuesday that one person was killed when Russian missiles struck Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. A doctor was killed, and two nurses were also wounded when Russian shelling hit a hospital in the Kharkiv region.

The southern city of Nikopol across the Dnieper River from the Russia-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant came under intense shelling that damaged more than 30 houses, a school and several stores. The shelling interrupted water supplies and led to partial blackouts.

5 a.m.: The bodies of Russian soldiers are found in the streets of the Ukrainian city of Lyman following Moscow's retreat.

4:30 a.m.: The upper house of Russia's parliament voted on Tuesday to approve the incorporation of four Ukrainian regions into Russia, Reuters reported, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it seized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict.

In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the State Duma, Russia's lower house, yesterday.

The documents now pass back to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin's final signature to complete the process of formally annexing the four regions, representing around 18% of Ukraine's internationally-recognized territory.

Russia declared the annexations after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

4 a.m.: New sanctions by G-7 countries on Russia will target its oil and products in three phases, senior U.S. treasury official Ben Harris told the Argus European Crude Conference in Geneva on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Harris, the Treasury's assistant secretary for economic policy, said G-7 sanctions will target Russian crude oil, while later ones will focus on diesel and finally on lower value products such as naphtha.

The Group of Seven is trying to find ways to limit Russian profits from exporting oil following its invasion of Ukraine. Many countries have banned imports of Russian crude and fuel, but Moscow has largely maintained revenues through increased crude sales to Asia, particularly China and India.

The price at which Russian oil sales will be capped has not been decided, Harris said, adding it will be high enough to provide an incentive to maintain output and above the marginal production cost for Russia's most expensive oil well.

Sanctions from both the G-7 and the European Union are set to begin on December 5.

The EU will ban seaborne shipments of Russian oil from December 5 and of products from February 5, cutting the trade off from financial services and potentially halting it worldwide.

The proposed new EU sanctions aim to match the oil price cap agreed by the G-7 powers, three EU diplomats said.

Harris said the G-7 sanctions should be seen by the industry as way to continue trading, and that the aim was to ensure Russian oil continued to flow.

"The price cap can be considered a release valve on the (EU) sanctions package," he said. "It transforms the ban from an absolute ban to a conditional ban."

3:30 a.m.: In a series of Tweets, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense explains Russia President Vladimir Putin's signed an order for the routine autumn conscription cycle, which aims to train 120,000 conscripts. Here is the first of four tweets:

3 a.m.: North Korea supports Russia's proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine, its foreign ministry said on Tuesday, accusing the United States of applying "gangster-like double standards" in interfering in other country's affairs.

State media KCNA reported on a U.S.-led U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the proclaimed annexation, which was vetoed on Friday by Russia, backing Moscow's claim that the regions chose to be part of Russia, according to Reuters.

Kyiv and Western leaders condemned the referendums as a sham, with Washington urging U.N. member states not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine, and Russia to withdraw its troops from the regions where it has seized territory by force and fighting still rages.

2:30 a.m.: Swamped by panic-stricken requests for help to avoid being drafted, Russian lawyers say they are working flat out to offer advice to those at risk of being sent to fight in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Lawyers and civil society groups say they have been overwhelmed by demands for support since President Vladimir Putin announced on September 21 that 300,000 people would be mobilized to boost Russia's flagging war effort.

Hundreds of thousands have fled to countries such as Kazakhstan, Georgia and Finland. Many more remain in Russia and are hiding from military recruiters, praying they won't be summoned or hoping for exemptions from service.

"We are working round the clock," said Sergei Krivenko, who runs a group of around 10 lawyers called Citizen. Army. Law.

"People are being torn from their normal lives," he said. "This is a mobilization without time limit during a war. It could last months or years. People may not return ... Leaving the army is pretty much impossible. The only way is death, injury or prison for disobeying orders."

Implementation of the mobilization has been chaotic. Though billed as enlisting those with military experience and required specialties, it has often appeared oblivious to individuals' service record, health, student status or even age.

2 a.m.: Update from VOA's Eastern Europe Bureau chief Myroslava Gongadze.

1:03 a.m.: Ukrainian soldiers who were held captive by Russians reunite with their families.

12:05 a.m.: The International Monetary Fund's executive board will consider Ukraine's request for $1.3 billion in additional emergency funding on Thursday as Russia's war against the country continues, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

IMF staff have prepared the necessary documents and believe Ukraine has received sufficient financial assurances from its global partners to meet the IMF's debt sustainability requirements and qualify for further emergency funds, the sources told Reuters.

If approved, the funds would come from a new emergency lending program to address food shortages approved by the board last week.

IMF staff are slated to meet with Ukrainian authorities in Vienna the week of October 17 for discussions about Ukraine's budget plans and monetary policies, one of the sources said. The discussions will follow higher-level meetings to take place during next week's annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

Some information for this report comes from Reuters.