(Bloomberg) — President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the current focus of the war is Donetsk, describing the heavily industrial eastern region as the “primary target” for both Ukraine and invading Russian forces.
The situation in Donetsk is “especially tense,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly address. In a separate tweet, he urged the international community to step up pressure on Russia with sanctions and called for a decisive response to what he called “sham referenda” in the four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, which include Donetsk.
Germany suspects sabotage is behind damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system that usually transports Russian gas to the region. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is “extremely concerned” about the reports, which prompted a surge in gas prices even though the flows have been halted for monmths.
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)
- Putin’s Mobilization Hits Russia’s Economy in Its Weak Spots
- Energy Crunch Will Hurt Like 2009 Crash If Europe Gets It Wrong
- Nord Stream Says Gas Pipeline Damage is Unprecedented
- Putin Raises Stakes on Ukraine’s Bid for More Powerful Weapons
- Putin Gives US Fugitive Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship
On the Ground
Russian forces hit Kryvyi Rih airport in the Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region with a missile, rendering it inoperable, local authorities said late Monday. Russian rockets also struck the city of Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine’s General Staff reported that the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains tense, with staff reluctant to work with Russians and trying to flee occupied territories. In the south, Russia attacked the Odesa region with drones, all three of which were shot down by air-defense forces, while the city of Mykolaiv was heavily shelled overnight, local authorities said. Ukrainian forces continued to make advances north of Lyman and on the eastern bank of the Oskil River, according to the latest report by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.
All times CET:
Russian Billionaire Fights UK Sanctions Probe (2:40 p.m.)
Russian billionaire Petr Aven, fighting a UK investigation for evading sanctions, used companies supposed to manage his luxury mansion as a personal “piggy bank,” according to British authorities.
The investigation has focused on around 3.7 million euros ($3.6 million) routed to the UK from an Austrian trust in the hours before European sanctions were imposed.
Read more: Billionaire Without a Bank Account Fights UK Sanctions Probe
Denmark Says Pipeline Sabotage Can’t be Ruled Out (12:50 p.m.)
Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, echoed Peskov is saying that sabotage cannot be ruled out as the cause of damage to Nord Stream infrastructure off the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.
“It’s hard to imagine that these are coincidences,” the prime minister said in an interview with broadcaster TV2 from Poland, where she’s attending the opening ceremony of Baltic Pipe, a separate gas link between Norway and Poland.
Ukraine Slams Lufthansa Over Stake in Russian Airline Caterer (12:15 p.m.)
Ukraine’s foreign minister accused airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG of taking “blood money” and damaging Germany’s reputation over its minority stake in Russian airline caterer Aeromar.
“I urge the company’s management to immediately withdraw from Aeromar and stop supporting Russia’s war crimes,” Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF. Responding to ZDF’s inquiry about the Aeromar stake, Lufthansa said it’s not in breach of European Union sanctions on Russia and as a minority shareholder had no influence over a decision to establish a facility in Russian-annexed Crimea, the broadcaster said.
Nord Stream Says Pipeline Damage Unprecedented (10:45 a.m.)
Nord Stream said the damage to its key pipeline to Germany is “unprecedented” and it’s impossible to say when flows could resume.
Germany is probing the incidents in the Baltic Sea on the two idled Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia, while Denmark steps up security on its energy installations. It’s the clearest signal yet that supplies won’t resume this winter. European Union officials have repeatedly accused Moscow of weaponizing energy.
Latvia ‘Taking Russian Nuclear Threats Seriously’ (10:20 a.m.)
Russia wouldn’t be making threats about deploying nuclear weapons if it was winning its war in Ukraine, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said in an interview with TV3.
“A cornered rat is a dangerous rat” and Latvia is preparing for all scenarios, Rinkevics said. Latvia is supplying Ukraine with all the military equipment it has available and a swift end to the conflict isn’t in sight, he added.
Lithuania Arms Donations Constrained by NATO Needs (10 a.m.)
Lithuania cannot immediately hand over some critical military equipment that Ukraine needs such as NASAMS air-defense systems or howitzers without compromising operations with its NATO partners, according to an adviser to the Baltic nation’s president.
Lithuania is looking to find replacements for the equipment but this is unlikely to happen quickly, Kestutis Budrys, the president’s chief national security adviser, told radio broadcaster LRT. Lithuania has already supplied Ukraine with 50 armored personnel carriers, according to Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas.
Russian Traffic on Finnish Border Easing Further (8:45 a.m.)
Traffic on Finland’s eastern border remained busy on Monday, even as numbers of Russians crossing fell from a weekend peak, the Nordic country’s Border Guard said. Some 7,743 Russians entered via the land border, with about half that number returning to Russia.
Europe Ready for Winter Without Russian Gas: BNEF (8:30 a.m.)
Europe’s frenzied buying of liquefied natural gas means it’s likely to have enough of the power-generation fuel this winter to offset supplies from Russia, according to BloombergNEF.
The region may import almost 40% more LNG during the coming winter than the prior year, and it may increase purchases next summer by about 14% to rebuild lost inventories, BNEF said in a report. Along with demand destruction from higher energy prices, those shipments are enough to cover a complete halt in Russian pipeline flows from Oct. 1, it added.
Russia Expels Japanese Diplomat on Spying Charges (2:32 a.m.)
Russia expelled a Japanese consul in Vladivostok, accusing the diplomat of paying for sensitive information.
Tatsunori Motoki was given 48 hours to leave the country, the Foreign Ministry said, according to Tass. Earlier, the Federal Security Service said the envoy in the Far Eastern city had been caught collecting “restricted information” about Russia’s ties with an unspecified country in the region, as well as on the impact of sanctions on the local economy.
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