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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Sept. 12

Police officers carry a bag containing the body of a person killed in his house after a Russian attack in Pokrovsk region, Ukraine, Sept. 11, 2022.
Police officers carry a bag containing the body of a person killed in his house after a Russian attack in Pokrovsk region, Ukraine, Sept. 11, 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.: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would present a plan to the United Nations to end Russia's war in Ukraine, moments after criticizing the world body and calling for it to be reformed, Reuters reported.

Lopez Obrador, who expounds on the virtues of a non-interventionist foreign policy, said his plan involves the creation of a "mediation committee" that includes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis.

Modi in May called for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks between the Kyiv government and Russia, which invaded its neighbor on February 24.

Under Lopez Obrador's plan, the mediators would immediately start talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy to achieve "a truce of at least five years."

The plan was scant on other details, but Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference he will discuss it further in a speech celebrating Mexico's independence on Friday.

"I'm going to talk about world peace and I'm going to talk about Mexico's position on the war in Russia and Ukraine, and I am going to present a proposal to the United Nations to achieve peace," Lopez Obrador said.

The war has displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians and left cities, towns and villages in ruins.

8:43 p.m.: Russia has largely ceded its gains near Kharkiv and many of the withdrawing Russian soldiers have exited Ukraine, moving over the border back into Russia, a senior U.S. military official said, Reuters reported.

As it pulls back, the United States has seen anecdotal reports of Russian forces abandoning their equipment, "which could be indicative of Russia's disorganized command and control," the U.S. military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The remarks to Pentagon reporters followed a weekend of rapid gains for Ukrainian forces. Ukraine's general staff said its soldiers had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day, as Ukrainian forces swept deeper into territory seized from fleeing Russian troops.

The U.S. military official was upbeat, but cautious, when describing the Ukrainian advances.

"It's clear they're fighting hard," the official said, citing progress in the south and east to reclaim territory.

VIDEO: Ukraine Surprise Victories Hurting Russian Soldiers’ Morale, Experts Say

7:29 p.m.: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian forces had retaken 6,000 square kilometers (2,400 square miles) of Russian-held territory since the beginning of the month, according to Reuters.

"Since the beginning of September and up to today, our fighters have liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine in the south and in the east," Zelenskiyy said in his nightly video. "The advances of our forces continue."

Ukrainian chief commander General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Sunday his troops had retaken more than 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) this month.

6:14 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “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.

“On the one hand, this is a sign of the desperation of those who invented this war. This is how they react to the defeat of Russian troops in the Kharkiv region. They can't do anything to our heroes on the battlefield, and that's why Russia is directing its vile strikes against civilian infrastructure,” he said. “On the other hand, Russia is trying to prevent us from directing Ukraine's capabilities in such a way as to stabilize the situation in Europe. Our electricity export is something that Russia is very afraid of right now. Because we can disrupt Russian plans to empty the pockets of Europeans this winter due to crazy energy prices.”

5:09 p.m.: He's been blacklisted in Russia as a "foreign agent," but legendary rocker Andrei Makarevich says he won't be silenced for condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Speaking to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty at the Starmus Festival in the Armenian capital, Makarevich said the Kremlin's campaign to punish anti-war critics was "absolutely stupid."

4:27 p.m.: The World Health Organization expects a rise in COVID-19 in Ukraine to peak in October, possibly bringing hospitals close to their capacity threshold, WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, according to Reuters.

"We are now seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19 in Ukraine. We project that transmission could peak in early October and hospitals could approach their capacity threshold," Ghebreyesus told WHO'S Regional Committee for Europe conference in Tel Aviv.

"Oxygen shortages are predicted because major supply sources are in occupied parts of the country," he said. Oxygen is essential for patients with a range of conditions, including COVID-19 and those with other critical illnesses stemming from complications of pregnancy, childbirth, sepsis, injuries and trauma.

Russia's February invasion of Ukraine has greatly impacted healthcare, with the WHO confirming more than 500 attacks on health infrastructure there, resulting in some 100 deaths. Ghebreyesus also said that the war could increase polio spread.

3:16 p.m.: Then And Now: Ukrainian Sites Scarred By War: An RFE/RL correspondent visits the scenes of destruction six months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine to see what has changed. ​

2:30 p.m.: One crusading lawyer is battling for the rights of Russians sent to fight in Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several social media groups have sprung up where members of the Russian military can -- anonymously or otherwise - talk about the problems they face due to their participation in the war in Ukraine and ask for help from a lawyer.

Their complaints reflect the current poor situation in the Russian Army. Many Russian soldiers have never been rotated home after more than six months; combat payments have been delayed; and volunteers of the "special reserve" who signed a contract with a mysterious "authority" have been deprived of compensation for injuries.

As for those unfortunate enough to have been wounded in Crimea or the Belgorod region, the Russian authorities do not consider these areas to be included in the "special military operation," the euphemism the Kremlin insists on using when discussing the war in Ukraine, although there are explosions and shelling there, too.

Groups where lawyers offer help to military personnel are sometimes blocked by social media administrators, and some lawyers have been threatened.

"I get anonymous threats: 'We wrote a complaint against you to the FSB, to the prosecutor's office, get ready to come, they will summon you now, a task force has left for you,'" Moscow lawyer Maksim Grebenyuk, the author of the Military Ombudsman Telegram channel, tells RFE/RL's Russian Service.

2:10 p.m.: Ukrainian troops are posting jubilant videos of Kharkiv conquests, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday. Russian artillery litters the fields in areas of the Kharkiv region that Ukrainian troops have taken back in the last few days. Ukrainian soldiers have posted videos of themselves raising Ukrainian flags on buildings and being greeted by grateful residents. They say they have taken back some 20 towns and villages since September 8. Russia claims their retreat to the east is part of a planned operation to "regroup" its forces.

1:50 p.m.: Fossil fuel firms may have to share their excess profits to help European households and industries cope with red-hot energy bills, a draft European Union plan showed on Monday as the cost of the West's "energy war" with Russia took a growing toll, Reuters reported.

Energy prices and inflation have surged as Moscow slashed gas supplies in response to Western sanctions imposed over its actions in Ukraine, prompting France to tell consumers they would have to share some of the pain while Britain is among countries facing the threat of recession.

1:35 p.m.: The German government said Monday that it can’t stop a shipment of Russian uranium destined for French nuclear plants from being processed at a site in Germany because atomic fuel isn’t covered by European Union sanctions on Russia, The Associated Press reported.

Environmentalists have called on Germany and the Netherlands to block a shipment of uranium aboard the Russian ship Mikhail Dudin — currently docked in the French port of Dunkirk — from being transported to a processing plant in Lingen, close to the German-Dutch border.

“We have no legal grounds to prevent the transport of uranium from Russia, because the sanctions imposed by the EU due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine exempt the import of nuclear fuel ... to the EU from import bans,” said a spokesman for Germany’s Environment Ministry, Andreas Kuebler. Safety requirements for the shipment had been examined and found to meet requirements, meaning German authorities had to approve it, he added.

“You can imagine that we view such uranium shipments very critically due to the Russian invasion, but also because of Germany’s exit from nuclear in general,” Kuebler told reporters in Berlin, noting that the government has worked to close the processing plant in Lingen and a second in nearby Gronau.

1:05 p.m.:

12:40 p.m.: Ukrainian troops retook a wide swath of territory from Russia on Monday, pushing all the way back to the northeastern border in some places, and claimed to have captured many Russian soldiers as part of a lightning advance that forced Moscow to make a hasty retreat, The Associated Press reported.

A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence said Russian troops were surrendering en masse as “they understand the hopelessness of their situation.” A Ukrainian presidential adviser said there were so many POWs that the country was running out of space to accommodate them.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich did not specify the number of Russian prisoners but said the POWs would be exchanged for Ukrainian service members held by Moscow. Military intelligence spokesman Andrey Yusov said the captured troops included “significant” numbers of Russian officers.

Ukraine’s deputy interior minister accused fleeing Russian forces of burning official documents and concealing bodies in an attempt to cover up rights violations in the areas they controlled until last week. The Ukrainian military also claimed to have found more evidence of human rights violations by Russian occupiers. It did not elaborate.

12:05 p.m.: The White House on Monday vowed to keep up support for Ukraine as the Ukrainian military takes back territory that had been seized by Russia, Reuters reported.

"We'll leave it to Ukraine to describe their operations but it is clear they are fighting hard to take back territory," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters as President Joe Biden flew to Boston.

"We will continue to support Ukraine as they continue to defend their democracy against Russian aggression," she said.

Ukrainian forces swept deeper into territory seized from fleeing Russian troops on Monday and joyful residents returned to former frontline villages, while Moscow's leaders dodged any discussion of the collapse of their occupation force in northeast Ukraine.

At least 1,000 people have been killed in the last six months in fighting in the city of Izium but the real figure is probably much higher, an official said, two days after Kyiv's forces recaptured the major supply hub.

11:35 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the condolence book for Queen Elizabeth II at the U.K. embassy in Kyiv, British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons said on Twitter Monday.

11:20 a.m.: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday his government will present a proposal to the United Nations aimed at resolving Russia's war against Ukraine, Reuters reported.

11:05 a.m.: Pro-Kremlin candidates won all of the 14 regional governorships that were chosen in the first elections in Russia since it sent troops into Ukraine, according to preliminary results Monday, The Associated Press reported.

Most of the winners ran as members of United Russia, the country’s dominant political party that is closely tied to President Vladimir Putin. Two ran as self-nominated but support United Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by reporters Monday, if the results constitute a show of support for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, said “Absolutely.”

“This shows a high level of support for both the current head and the decisions he makes,” Peskov said.

United Russia candidates also dominated the elections for six regional parliaments in the voting that was held Friday through Sunday. However, in the Sakhalin region, United Russia totaled only 47% of the vote.

Many opposition politicians were barred from running in the three-day vote.

10:55 a.m.:

10:40 a.m.: Municipal lawmakers from 18 districts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the town of Kolpino near St. Petersburg have signed a petition demanding the resignation of President Vladimir Putin, saying his actions are "damaging Russia's future and its citizens," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday.

Ksenia Tortstrem, a lawmaker from St. Petersburg's Semyonovsky municipal territory, tweeted on September 12 that just under 20 lawmakers have already signed the petition and that she is continuing to collect more signatures.

Putin has kept an iron grip on dissent since he launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February, but cracks have appeared, especially with Ukraine claiming success on the battlefield in retaking territory from Russia in the northeast of the country.

Last week, municipal lawmakers from the Smolny municipal district in Putin’s native city of St. Petersburg approved a text to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, demanding it charge Putin with high treason, saying his decision to launch a war against Ukraine has damaged the security of Russia and its citizens.

The lawmakers were later summoned by the police and charged with discrediting the country's armed forces.

10:25 a.m.: Italy's main business lobby group Confindustria is in talks with the government about potential gas rationing, the head of the organization said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The measures would be required to reduce risks linked to a total halt to Russian gas flows in the coming winter season, Confindustria's Carlo Bonomi told a news conference in Rome.

"We are trying to analyze how best to intervene in the event of rationing. We are working to make sure that nothing takes us by surprise," he added.

Italy, which has been reducing its reliance on Russian gas imports and building up storage levels, last week set out plans to lower consumption over the winter by turning down heating for public and private residential buildings.

10:10 a.m.:

9:50 a.m.: Commentators on Russian state television have been forced to go off script by Ukrainian forces' swift advance in the country's Kharkiv region and Moscow's rapid retreat, Reuters reported.

Since the beginning of what Russia calls its “special military operation,” belligerent guests on state television talk shows typically have tried to outdo each other in backing President Vladimir Putin and denouncing Ukraine and its allies.

But in the wake of Kyiv’s lightning counteroffensive, the mood was more subdued and the narrative turned to how allegedly Ukrainian forces overwhelmingly outnumbered the Russians in the northeast.

In a rare show of dissent, Boris Nadezhdin, a former liberal politician and regular talk show guest said on the Gazprom-owned NTV channel, that Putin had been misled by advisers into thinking that Ukraine would quickly surrender, and urged immediate peace talks to end the conflict.

9:35 a.m.: Pope Francis had hoped his trip to Kazakhstan this week would offer a chance to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church — who has justified the war in Ukraine — and plead for peace. Patriarch Kirill bowed out a few weeks ago, but Francis is going ahead with the trip that is nevertheless being overshadowed by Russia’s seven-month war, The Associated Press reported.

9:20 a.m.:

9:05 a.m.: Europe felt the chill of soaring energy prices on Monday, with France saying it could not foot all of the extra costs for consumers, while Britain faces a rising risk of recession, Reuters reported.

The European Union and Britain are battling to mitigate the shock of what some politicians have dubbed an "energy war" with Russia, which has slashed gas exports to Europe after the West imposed sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission is set to unveil a package of proposed emergency measures on Wednesday for the 27-nation EU, including a windfall profit levy on energy firms and a life-raft for power firms facing a liquidity crunch. But countries are split over the details and whether to impose a cap on gas prices, diplomats said.

Meanwhile, Russia said it was hard to predict the consequences for gas transit to Europe of a new arbitration process initiated by Ukraine energy firm Naftogaz.

8:40 a.m.: Ukraine and Russia have expressed interest in a proposal put forward by the UN nuclear watchdog to create a protection zone around the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, its chief Rafael Grossi said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Both countries are engaging with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and asking many questions about the idea, which is aimed at preventing military activities, such as shelling that has damaged the plant's power lines and jeopardized its security, Grossi told a news conference in Vienna on September 12. Russia seized control of the nuclear power plant shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Grossi’s comments come a day after Enerhoatom, the Ukrainian state enterprise that is responsible for the plant, said its last working reactor had been shut down as a safety precaution. The IAEA said a backup power line to the plant had been restored, providing the external electricity it needed to carry out the shutdown while defending against the risk of a meltdown.

8:10 a.m.: Ukrainian forces swept deeper into territory seized from fleeing Russian troops on Monday, as joyful residents returned to former frontline villages and Moscow grappled with the consequences of the collapse of its occupation force in northeastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Ukraine's general staff said early on Monday that its soldiers had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day, after Russia acknowledged it was abandoning Izium, its main stronghold in northeastern Ukraine.

“People are crying, people are joyful, of course. How could they not be joyful!” said retired English teacher Zoya, 76, north of Kharkiv in the village of Zolochiv 18 km from the Russian frontier, weeping as she described the months she had spent sheltering the cellar.

Nastya, 28, had fled the village in April but returned last week after news of Ukrainian advances: “I think everyone’s in a great (mood)! It’s all over now. At least we hope it’s all over,” she said, queuing for groceries with two small children.

7:40 a.m.: The forced shutdown of Ukraine’s endangered and crippled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — Europe’s largest — significantly reduces the risk of a radiation disaster that has haunted the world for weeks, The Associated Press reported.

The last of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia plant’s six nuclear reactors was shut down Sunday because Russia’s military actions in Ukraine had repeatedly cut reliable external power supplies. That power is needed to prevent the reactors from overheating to the point of a meltdown that could breach the surrounding concrete and steel containment buildings and spew radiation through Ukraine, Russia and other nearby countries.

Since a September 5 fire caused by shelling knocked the plant off of all external transmission lines, the sixth reactor had had to keep operating — at reduced output — to power reactor cooling and other crucial safety equipment. This “island mode” is unreliable and not designed to be more than a stopgap measure, Ukrainian officials say. On Sunday, one plant connection to Ukraine’s power grid was restored, so the sixth reactor’s power wasn’t needed for the safety systems.

The AP on Monday published this explainer, looking at the risks, impact and what could be done if external power is lost again.

7:20 a.m.:

7:05 a.m.: The Kremlin insisted on Monday that Russia would achieve its military goals in Ukraine, in its first public response to dramatic Ukrainian gains on the battlefield, Reuters reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer directly, when asked by a reporter if President Vladimir Putin had confidence in his military leadership, replying that the "special operation" would continue until it had achieved its objectives.

"Of course, any actions of the military that they perform as part of the special operation are reported to the Supreme Commander," Peskov said, referring to Putin. "The president is in round-the-clock communication with the Minister of Defense and with all military commanders. It cannot be otherwise during the special military operation."

It was the first reaction from the Kremlin to a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive last week in which Kyiv says it recaptured more than 3,000 sq km (1,160 sq miles) of territory in the space of just a few days. Asked if Putin would order a general mobilization in response to Ukraine's counter-offensive, Peskov referred the question to the defense ministry.

6:45 a.m.: The acting U.N. human rights chief on Monday urged European Union member states to avoid “backtracking” on their efforts to develop renewables and energy-efficiency projects at a time when soaring energy prices have prompted some to ramp up use of and searches for fossil fuels, The Associated Press reported.

Nada al-Nashif, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights, made the comments in an opening speech to the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Beyond expressing concerns about the direct impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, she noted how the war has dented exports of food and fuel from those two countries, who are major producers of both, forcing EU states, for example, to scramble to boost their energy sources.

“In the face of soaring energy prices which threaten to impact the most vulnerable as winter approaches, some EU member states are turning to investments in fossil fuels infrastructure and supplies,” al-Nashif said.

While such an impulse was “understandable,” she warned of the long-term consequences of boosting use of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming and called for faster development of energy-efficiency projects and renewables.

6:20 a.m.:

6:05 a.m.: A Russian-installed official in Ukraine's Kharkiv region said on Monday that Ukrainian forces had outnumbered Russian and pro-Russian forces by eight times during a lightning counteroffensive over the weekend, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian forces overran the Russian supply hubs of Izium and Kupiansk over the weekend, Russia's worst military defeat since its forces were forced back from Kyiv shortly after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.

5:15 a.m.: The Ukrainian Agrarian Council said Monday that Ukrainian farmers are likely to cut the winter grain sowing area by at least 30% because of a jump in prices for seeds and fuel combined with a low selling price of their grain, Reuters reported.

Ukraine has already started 2022 winter grain sowing and the agriculture ministry said last month it expects the winter wheat sowing area could shrink to 3.8 million hectares (9.3 million acres) from 4.6 million a year earlier. Read full story

Ukraine sowed more than 6 million hectares of winter wheat for the 2022 harvest, but a large area was occupied during the Russian invasion that began in February and only around 4.6 million hectares of wheat would be harvested in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

“The main reasons that encourage agricultural producers to reduce sown areas are the high cost of fertilizers, problems with the sale of grain, as well as too low purchase prices for agricultural products,” the UAC said in a statement.

4:50 a.m.: Nissan will extend its suspension of an assembly plant in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for three months until late December, Reuters reported Monday, citing the Japanese automaker.

“Production is suspended at St Petersburg until the end of December and employees have been informed. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will take actions as needed,” a Nissan spokesperson said.

The plant, which was idled in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was originally set to resume in late September.

Russia describes its action in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

The Nissan plant suspension was extended because of continuing difficulties obtaining parts from Europe and Japan, the Nikkei daily paper reported.

3:50 a.m.: Natural gas flows from Russia to Europe along key routes were steady on Monday morning, while the Nord Stream 1 pipeline remained shut, Reuters reported.

Eastbound natural gas flows through the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany were steady.

Exit flows at the Mallnow metering point on the German border stood at 5,602,192 kWh/h at 0800-0900 CET, little changed from previously, data from pipeline operator Gascade showed.

Russia has halted flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, on August 31 for what was supposed to be three days of maintenance.

Russia’s Gazprom said on Monday that it will ship 42.4 million cubic meters of natural gas to Europe via Ukraine, a volume unchanged from yesterday.

Nominations, or requests, for Russian gas into Slovakia from Ukraine via the Velke Kapusany border point stood at 36.9 mcm on Monday, little changed from the previous day, Ukrainian transmission system data showed.

2:30 a.m.: Britain’s defense ministry said Monday that Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River.

The U.K. defense ministry said in a regular update that Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London.

“The rapid Ukrainian successes have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design,” the ministry said in a tweet.

2:20 a.m.:

2 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said Ukraine has “inflicted a major operational defeat on Russia, recapturing almost all Kharkiv Oblast in a rapid counter-offensive,” in its battleground update report published on September 11.

The recapture of Izyum, the report added, has derailed Russia from “accomplishing its stated objectives in Donetsk Oblast,” and its “offensive operations against Bakhmut and around Donetsk City have thus lost any real operational significance for Moscow and merely waste some of the extremely limited effective combat power Russia retains,” the report said.

1:30 a.m.: Ukrainian officials accused Russia of targeting Ukraine’s power system and other civilian infrastructure after Ukrainian forces made advances in a counteroffensive in the northeastern part of the country.

“A total blackout in the Kharkiv & Donetsk regions, a partial one in the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk & Sumy regions,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted late Sunday. “No military facilities, the goal is to deprive people of light & heat.”

Ukraine’s forces claimed a number of successes in recent days in the Kharkiv region, including recapturing the city of Izyum that Russian troops had used as a key command and supply hub.

Ukraine’s military chief, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said that Ukraine had reclaimed about 3,000 square kilometers from Moscow’s forces since the beginning of September. He said Ukrainian troops are now just 50 kilometers away from the border with Russia.

1 a.m.: France and Romania’s transport ministers sign an agreement to increase Ukrainian grain exports to developing countries including to the Mediterranean, Reuters reported.

12:30 a.m.: The International Monetary Fund is looking for ways to provide emergency funding to countries facing war-induced food price shocks and will discuss measures at an executive board meeting on Monday, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The plan, which has not previously been reported, will be presented at an informal board session.

It would allow the IMF to help Ukraine and other countries hit hard by Russia’s war in Ukraine without imposing conditions required in a regular fund program, said the sources, who asked not to be named since the matter is still under review. The size and scope of the measures was not yet clear.

A formal vote backing the measure — which has been developed by the IMF staff in recent months — is expected before the Fund’s annual meetings in October, the sources said.

If approved, it would temporarily increase existing access limits and allow all member countries to borrow up to an additional 50% of their IMF quota under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, and the Rapid Credit Instrument that serves low-income countries, the sources said.

“The concept is simple, but it could help many countries,” said one of the sources.

12:05 a.m.: Ukraine announced its troops had recaptured more than 3,000 square kilometers of territory in September from Russian forces during a counter-offensive in the northeast of the country, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometers have returned to Ukrainian control,” Valeri Zalouzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, said in a statement.

“Around Kharkiv, we started to advance not only south and east but also north. We are 50 kilometers from the border.”

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.