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Biden Warns Russia; Atomic Plant Reconnected

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “not in a hurry” to end military operations in Ukraine and threatened to step up attacks on civilian targets. The leaders of China and India both expressed concern about the war with Putin. President Joe Biden warned Putin in a “60 Minutes” interview against using nuclear or chemical weapons in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed an upcoming visit by United Nations investigators to mass burial sites discovered in one of Ukraine’s newly-liberated eastern regions. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia had committed war crimes following the discovery of the graves and evidence of torture at the Izyum site.

Another Ukrainian wheat cargo has sailed for Ethiopia under a UN humanitarian program, as Putin renewed his threat to torpedo a safe-transit agreement reached in July for Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • Biden Meets Griner, Whelan Families as Russia Sits on Swap Offer

  • Putin Threatens New Military Strikes on Ukrainian Infrastructure

  • Zelenskiy Says Russia Responsible for Grave Site Found in Izyum

  • Russia Puts Rate Path in Doubt After Smallest Cut This Year

  • Modi Urges Peace in Ukraine, Joining Xi in Questioning Putin

  • Putin’s War Is Deepening a Tussle for Influence in Central Asia

On the Ground

Russia’s invasion is approaching the seven-month mark. Overnight, Moscow’s troops shelled the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, and Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region. The Slavyanska thermal power plant was hit, causing equipment damage and a fire. Russia’s defense ministry reported more shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant by Ukraine; Kyiv and Moscow have repeatedly blamed each other for shelling near the plant. Almost a dozen Russian ships are now maneuvering in the Black Sea near the coast of Crimea, including three surface-to-surface missile carriers equipped with Kalibr missiles and 4 large amphibious ships, Ukrainian operational command “South” said on Facebook.

(All times CET)

Ukraine Has ‘Changed Modern Warfare,’ NATO Official Says (5:19 pm)

NATO chiefs discussed how to “sustain and increase allied support to Ukraine” at a conference in Tallinn on Saturday, Admiral Rob Bauer, chair of the alliance’s military committee, told journalists.

“The ammunition, equipment and training that allies and other nations are delivering are all making a real difference on the battlefield,” Bauer said. “With its successes on the ground and online, Ukraine has fundamentally changed modern warfare.”

Earlier, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Russia’s war had created “a significant shift” in NATO’s mindset. “Our focus must be scaling-up aid and weapons deliveries,” she said.

UN Agency Says Nuclear Plant Reconnected to Grid (5:06 pm)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is again receiving electricity directly from Ukraine’s national grid after repairs to one of its main external power lines damaged during the conflict, the UN’s atomic agency said.

The plant, Europe’s largest, shut its last operating reactor on Sept. 11. It now has the electricity it needs “for reactor cooling and other essential safety functions,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a post on its website.

The IAEA has had monitors at the site for the past two weeks, following a visit from a team led by Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi. On Saturday Grossi described the situation at Zaporizhzhia as “still precarious.”

Biden Tells Putin, ‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t’ Use Nuclear Weapons (2:52 pm)

Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin would face a “consequential” US response if the Russian president used nuclear or chemical weapons in the war in Ukraine.

“Don’t. Don’t. Don’t,” Biden said in an excerpt from an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” when asked what he would say if Putin were considering using tactical nuclear weapons or chemical weapons in the almost seven-month-old conflict.

Biden Warns Putin Against Using Nuclear or Chemical Weapons

Russian Envoy Warns on Weapons; ‘Poisoned Offer’ Seen Soon From Kremlin (12:24 pm)

Russia’s ambassador to Germany warned that delivering more armaments to Ukraine will merely lead to a longer war, as Western countries look for ways to boost Kyiv’s recent counteroffensive in the northeast.

“Supplying weapons is a path to a dead end,” Sergei Netshaev told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “It will prolong the fighting. It will bring additional victims.” His comment comes after Putin threatened new strikes on civilian targets.

The prospects of peace talks with Russia are being viewed skeptically by foreign policy experts in Berlin, the newspaper reported. Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael Roth told the paper, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin soon makes a poisoned offer of negotiations to Ukraine to secure the occupied territories, given the dramatic losses of the past few days.”

Ukrainian Wheat Cargo Headed for Ethiopia (12:30 pm)

A vessel chartered by the UN’s World Food Program has departed Ukraine carrying 30,000 tons of wheat for Ethiopia, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said on Twitter.

The shipment comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to curtail the safe-transit deal reached in July for exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, saying not enough cargoes are going to the world’s poor.

Millions of tons of grain and other foodstuffs have been exported under the deal so far, including to Africa. The availability of supplies from Ukraine has helped knock benchmark wheat prices down to pre-war levels, benefiting all buyers.

Read more: Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Grain Deal Belied by Shipping Data

Ukraine PM Says $1.5 Billion Grant Delivered (12:12 pm)

Kyiv has received a grant of $1.5 billion from the US, the final tranche of $4.5 billion from the World Bank Trust Fund, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Twitter.

Scholz Pledges Weapons, Wants to Avoid Broader Conflict (10:17 am)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to keep supplying weapons to Ukraine, even while trying to avoid stoking a broader conflict between Moscow and Germany’s NATO allies.

“We have supported Ukraine, we will do that, we are doing it on a very large scale and also with very relevant weapons that we are providing,” Scholz told the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. “At the same time, our goal remains that there should not be an escalation of the war.”

Germany has reportedly agreed to export and finance additional artillery for Kyiv. Eighteen units of the RCH-155 weapon system from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann worth 216 million euros ($216 million) have been approved for delivery, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk.

Zelenskiy Welcomes a UN Inquiry Into Izyum Graves (1:28 am)

Zelenskiy welcomed a UN decision to send investigators to the Ukrainian town of Izyum after the discovery of hundreds of bodies there, including civilian adults and children. In his nightly video address on Friday he said that Ukraine would provide full access now that the town has been recaptured from Russian forces.

Earlier Friday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva said some of its personnel in Ukraine would be going to Izyum.

“There is already clear evidence of torture, humiliating treatment of people,” Zelenskiy said. “Moreover, there is evidence that Russian soldiers, whose positions were not far from this place, shot at the buried just for fun.”

Putin Sees No Hurry to End Campaign, Warns of Stepped-Up Efforts (6:20 pm)

Vladimir Putin said Russia was “not in a hurry” to end its military campaign against Ukraine, hours after telling India’s leader that Moscow would strive to end the conflict as soon as possible. Putin threatened to step up attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, days after damaging a major dam in President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s home town, causing widespread flooding.

Putin made televised remarks after a regional summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He said Russia remains committed to the “liberation” of Donbas, the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

“The Russian army is occupying newer and newer territories,” Putin said, adding that Moscow is “not fighting with a full army” in Ukraine.

Putin Threatens New Military Strikes on Ukrainian Infrastructure

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