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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Oct. 6

A Ukrainian serviceman walks over the remains of Russian aircraft SU-34 in an area at the recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Oct. 5, 2022.
A Ukrainian serviceman walks over the remains of Russian aircraft SU-34 in an area at the recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Oct. 5, 2022.

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

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

10:17 p.m.: Norway on Thursday said that Russian fishing vessels can call at only three Arctic ports — Kirkenes, Tromsø and Båtsfjord — and that all Russian vessels arriving at these ports will be checked, The Associated Press reported.

“The recent serious developments with Russia’s unacceptable annexation of Ukraine, the attacks on gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea and increased drone activity, means that the government has further tightened preparedness," Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.

“This will make it more difficult to use Russian fishing vessels for illegal activities, for example by circumventing export regulations,” Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl added.

In April, the European Union, of which Norway is not a member, banned Russian vessels from entering EU ports. Norway followed suit with the exception of fishing boats, which led to criticism from the Norwegian opposition.

Authorities in Norway, a major oil and gas producer, have reported several drone sightings near offshore installations in the North Sea.

8:45 p.m.: The European Union on Thursday froze the assets of 37 more people and entities tied to Russia’s war in Ukraine, bringing the total of EU blacklist targets to 1,351, The Associated Press reported.

The newly sanctioned people include officials involved in last week’s illegal Russian annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

The latest sanctions, published in the EU’s Official Journal, also widen trade bans against Russia and lay the ground for a price cap on Russian oil being prepared with other G-7 members. The new commercial curbs hit an estimated $6.9 billion of EU imports of Russian goods including steel, plastics, textiles and non-gold jewelry.

The wider EU prohibition on exports to Russia covers such products as coal, electronics used in Russian weapons and aircraft components.

8 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked parliament on Thursday to approve banker Andriy Pyshnyi, who has helped advise the government on implementing sanctions against Russia, as the new central bank chief, Reuters reported.

Pyshnyi is set to replace Kyrylo Shevchenko, who quit on Tuesday citing health reasons and said on Thursday he had been identified as a suspect in an investigation into "illegal activities" at a bank he led before his central bank role.

Shevchenko issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Pyshnyi, 48, is the former head of Ukraine's state-run Oschadbank and has helped advise the government on sanctions against Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, and against Moscow's ally Belarus.

7:05 p.m.: The head of Ukraine’s human rights commission says Russian authorities detained hundreds of Ukrainians as they neared Russia's border with Estonia, The Associated Press reported.

Dmytro Lubinets wrote in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday that Russians “took them away on trucks to an unknown destination” a day earlier. He cited information from Estonia’s Interior Ministry about the transfers.

Amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, most of those Ukrainians had fled their country through Russia and Crimea and were seeking ways to enter the European Union — Estonia is a member state — or find a way to return home, Lubinets wrote.

Lubinets noted that a mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which counts both Russia and Ukraine as members, was expected to meet next week with Ukrainians who had been processed through Russian “filtration camps.”

6:22 p.m.: President Joe Biden on Thursday did not rule out meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit next month in Asia, Agence France-Presse reported.

"That remains to be seen," the U.S. leader told reporters when asked if he'd use the G-20 gathering in Bali, Indonesia, as an opportunity to talk directly with Putin.

Travel plans for both men remain unconfirmed, and the White House has said that if Putin attends the G-20 summit, then Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, should also participate, even if Ukraine is not a member of the group.

Biden has previously indicated he would be "sure" to see his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping if he is at the summit scheduled for November 15 and 16.

5:25 p.m.: Ukrainian forces have retaken 400 square kilometers of territory in the southern Kherson region so far this month as they continue to push Russian troops back in the south and east, Ukraine’s southern military command says, according to The Associated Press.

Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South, said in a briefing Thursday that the situation along the southern front was rapidly changing and remained complicated.

Ukraine has recaptured 29 settlements in the oblast since Oct. 1, Oleksii Hromov, deputy chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian army’s General Staff, told a separate briefing.

4:55 p.m.:

4:35 p.m.: International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said on Thursday that the U.N. nuclear watchdog considered the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be a Ukrainian facility, Reuters reported.

Russia captured the plant in southern Ukraine in March, shortly after invading Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government on Wednesday to take control of it.

The plant is Europe's largest, and Ukrainian staff have continued to operate it.

"This is a matter that has to do with international law. ... We want the war to stop immediately, and of course the position of the IAEA is that this facility is a Ukrainian facility," Grossi told reporters in Kyiv.

He is to travel to Moscow for talks with Russian officials following his talks in the Ukrainian capital.

4 p.m.: The U.S. deployed its international development chief to Ukraine on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, traveled to Kyiv and was holding meetings with government officials and residents. She said the U.S. would provide an additional $55 million to repair heating pipes and other equipment.

Among the sites she visited were a Kyiv neighborhood and school that had been hit by Russian missiles.

USAID said the United States has delivered $9.89 billion in aid to Ukraine since February.

A spending bill signed by President Biden last week promises another $12.3 billion in Ukraine-related aid — directed both at military and public service needs. Power said Washington plans to release the first $4.5 billion of that funding in the coming weeks.

2:57 p.m.: Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Karina Borger, a spokesperson for Murkowski, said by email that the office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection. Both referred a reporter's questions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond Thursday.

Alaska's senators, Republicans Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, on Thursday said the individuals landed at a beach near Gambell, an isolated community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island. Sullivan said he was alerted to the matter by a "senior community leader from the Bering Strait region" on Tuesday morning.

Gambell is about 320 kilometers southwest of the western Alaska hub community of Nome and about 58 kilometers from the Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia.

2:10 p.m. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Thursday that he met with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskyy in Kyiv to discuss the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine. Experts have expressed concern that fighting around the plant could trigger a nuclear disaster.

11:30 a.m.: A Russian-installed official in Ukraine unleashed harsh criticism of Moscow’s military brass Thursday, suggesting that the defense minister shoot himself. Such criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s team is extremely rare in Russia, as Reuters reports.

Russia has suffered a series of military setbacks in Ukraine, with Ukrainian forces regaining territory in areas that Putin declared annexed last week.

10:30 a.m.: A Russian opposition activist imprisoned for speaking out against the invasion of Ukraine has been charged with treason, the New York Times reports.

Vladimir Kara-Murza was jailed in April after he criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for shutting down independent news outlets and criminalizing the act of calling the invasion a war.

The latest charge against Kara-Murza stems from accusations that worked with a NATO member country against Russian interests for years, according to Russian state news agency Tass. If convicted, he faces up to two decades in prison.

9:55 a.m.: The French government has launched a campaign to save energy as the country, like others in Europe, attempts to wean itself off Russian natural gas.

9:35 a.m.: A Russian rocket attack has killed three people and destroyed a five-story apartment building in southern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

5:27 a.m.: A joke on social media proposing that Czechs seize the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has gone viral, sparking mirth as well as anger from those taking it as real, Agence France-Presse reported.

"Time to split Kaliningrad so that our Czech brothers have access to the sea," a Pole identifying himself as "Papiez internetu" (pope of the internet) tweeted last month.

He added a map of the small exclave encircled by Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea, dividing it into a Polish and Czech part.

The area belonged to Germany until 1945 when it was ceded to Russia as compensation after World War II.

Inspired by the annexation of four Ukrainian regions by Russia last week, the tweet sparked a storm of memes and jokes in the Czech Republic and Poland alike.

4:35 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said Ukrainian units have pushed the front line in Kherson Oblast forward by up to an additional 20 kilometers, primarily making gains along the east bank of the Inhulets and west bank of the Dnipro, but not yet threatening the main Russian defensive positions.

Russian commanders are likely to see the growing threat to the Nova Kakhovka sector as one of their most pressing concerns, the update said, and Russia currently has few additional, high quality rapidly deployable forces available to stabilize the front: it likely aims to deploy mobilized reservists to the sector.

3:55 a.m.: Reuters, citing The New York Times, reported that United States intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government approved a car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

The United States took no part in the attack on Dugina and was not aware of it ahead of time, the Times reported. American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, the Times said.

After the attack, Ukraine denied involvement in the killing while Russia's Federal Security Service accused Ukraine's secret services of being behind it.

The New York Times quoted a Ukrainian presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, as repeating the denial that Kyiv was behind the attack. Podolyak did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the report.

3:06 a.m.:

2:05 a.m.: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces have retaken more settlements in Kherson, one of the partially Russian-occupied southern regions that Moscow claims to have annexed.

Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that he and his senior military officials met on Wednesday to discuss recovering all lands occupied by Russia, according to Reuters.

Switching to Russian, Zelenskyy addressed pro-Moscow forces, telling them they had already lost.

"Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war," he said in a reference to Putin.

Moscow's map of Ukraine appears to show shrinking areas it controls. A map of "new regions" published by state news agency RIA included the full territory of the Ukrainian provinces, but some parts were shaded and labelled as being under Ukrainian military control.

1:05 a.m.: At the United Nations, Russia is lobbying for a secret ballot instead of a public vote when the 193-member U.N. General Assembly next week considers whether to condemn Moscow's move to annex Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south after staging referendums in the provinces, Reuters reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Wednesday to incorporate the four regions into Russia. Ukraine says it will never accept an illegal seizure of its territory by force. Kyiv and the West said the referendums were rigged votes held at gunpoint.

12:02 a.m.: A U.S.-based luxury yacht broker is advertising for sale a 51-meter superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian billionaire Igor Kesaev for about $29 million, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The proposed sale of the MySky yacht, which was disclosed in an advertisement emailed from the brokerage firm to undisclosed recipients on Sept. 14, comes amid concerns from Western governments and campaigners that billionaires like Kesaev have been able to work around a patchwork of international sanctions targeting their luxury assets such as yachts.

The EU and United Kingdom sanctioned Kesaev in April in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the EU citing his involvement in military weapons production and tobacco distribution in Russia, as well as links to the Russian government "and its security forces."

The United States has not sanctioned Kesaev, and the U.S. Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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