Ukraine Latest: Foreign Minister Urges More Guns in NY Visit

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(Bloomberg) — Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly, called for more weapons from the west to secure the gains from his recent counteroffensive.

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Ukraine said Russian forces had launched an artillery strike near a nuclear power plant north of the city of Mykolayiv, raising new concerns about a possible nuclear disaster in addition to concerns over the occupied Zaporizhzhya power plant.

A travel ban banning Russian tourists from entering Poland and the three Baltic states went into effect, restricting one of Russians’ main routes to travel to the European Union in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Moscow.

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To the ground

In the past day, Russia fired more than 90 shells from multiple rocket launchers at Ukraine, damaging more than 30 settlements, the country’s general staff wrote on Facebook. According to the latest report from the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, Ukraine’s armed forces are likely to reclaim much, if not all, of western Kherson oblast in the coming weeks. In the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops continue to consolidate positions on the eastern bank of the Oskil River, despite Russian efforts to contain them.

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(All times WITH)

Aircraft losses hampered Russia, US general says (3:30 a.m.)

Ukraine’s air defense forces, firing mainly Soviet-era SA-10 and SA-11 anti-aircraft systems, destroyed at least 55 Russian aircraft, most at the beginning of the invasion, General James Hecker, the head of the US Air Force in Europe, said Monday while meeting reporters at the annual Air & Space Forces conference.

When asked if there was a correlation between the loss of those planes and Russia’s inability to establish air superiority over Ukraine, Hecker replied, “Yes — absolutely yes” because “as soon as they were shot down” Russian planes withdrew their operations and did not go after any of the Ukrainian integrated air defenses.

Send more weapons, Ukraine’s foreign minister urges (10:38 p.m.)

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Kuleba, urged western countries to provide more weapons so that his government can continue its counter-offensive against Russian forces.

Kuleba said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday that Ukraine wants to increase its recent territorial gains and deny Russian President Vladimir Putin any strategic advantage he has gained since his army invaded on Feb. 24.

Ukraine’s counter-offensive is “a clear message to everyone that it works, that it makes sense to help Ukraine with weapons because we can defeat President Putin and his army on our soil,” Kuleba said. He said the recent counteroffensive was “a thoroughly planned and well-thought-out military operation”.

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Wagner Group fails to recruit convicts as combatants, US says (10:28 pm)

The Wagner Group, the private Russian military company, has so far fallen short in its effort to recruit convicted criminals to fight in Ukraine as official Russian troops dwindle, US defense officials told reporters Monday.

The official also said the US is increasingly focusing on Ukraine’s longer-term security needs for Western-type weapons as Soviet-era weapons such as tanks run out. Tanks are being considered for future supplies, but Ukraine will need to have the ability to service and maintain the modern tanks in order to receive them, the official added.

Germany sends more howitzers to Ukraine (4:49 PM)

Germany will send four more self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. The 22 Germany and the Netherlands have sent so far “have proved more than effective” on the battlefield, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in an emailed statement.

Germany will heed Kiev’s call for more howitzers by sending them directly from manufacturers, as the German military no longer has any, Lambrecht said.

Russia still outranks Ukraine in troops, weapons (4:17 p.m.)

Ukraine is stabilizing security in the estimated 8,500 square kilometers of territory it liberated from Russia this month, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on TV.

Active fighting continues along the 1,300km frontline, particularly in the eastern region of Donetsk and in southern Ukraine, and the army’s main focus is to prevent Russian advances, she said. Russia still surpasses Ukraine in terms of troops and weapons.

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“We mustn’t underestimate the enemy,” she said. “The fact that the enemy is not advancing into the depths of Ukraine is already a victory.”

EU removes sister Russian tycoon from sanctions list (1:39 pm)

The EU has removed the sister of Russia’s seventh richest man and the ex-wife of another billionaire from the list of sanctions it imposed in response to the invasion, over legal objections to their inclusion.

Saodat Narzieva, a sister of metal magnate Alisher Usmanov, and Olga Ayziman, the ex-wife of billionaire investor Mikhail Fridman, were removed from the list of 548 people sanctioned by the EU, according to the bloc’s official journal. The late Russian populist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky was also removed.

Russian tourist ban goes into effect in Poland and the Baltic States (12 hours)

Monday marked the beginning of a travel ban banning Russian tourists from entering Poland and the three Baltic countries, which have been one of the main entry points to Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Border authorities in Lithuania, which shares a border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, said it rejected 11 Russian citizens in the first nine hours after the visa restrictions came into effect.

Political leaders in the Baltic states, who have so far failed to persuade colleagues to issue an EU-wide ban, have also called for the measures to be extended to Belarusian nationals.

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