Live: France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine, Macron says (2023)

Table of Contents
9:25pm: UN to vote on resolution condemning Russian annexations 8:35pm: France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine 7:05pm: Czech Republic tightens entry rules for Russian tourists 6:15pm: IAEA chief heads to Kyiv after Russia talks 5:22pm: Kremlin believes Erdogan will offer Ukraine mediation 4:57pm: Russian nuclear strike would draw 'physical response', says NATO official 3:55pm: West meets to pledge more arms for Ukraine 2:56pm: Deadly shelling of Avdiivka market comes amid reports of fighting in Donbas 2:42pm: IAEA chief says external power restored to Zaporizhzhia plant 2:08pm: Gazprom chief says repairs to Nord Stream pipelines will take at least a year 1:32pm: Russia can supply EU via Nord Stream 2: Putin 1:17pm: Putin blasts Russian oil price cap proposals 1:05pm: Putin says Nord Stream sabotage is 'act of international terrorism' 12:32pm: Several killed in strike on market in Avdiivka: Donetsk governor 12:20pm: Germany's oil supply is secure amid Druzhba leak: economy ministry 12:08pm: Ukraine asks France to send guns - with roses 11:42am: Leak detected in pipeline that brings Russian oil to Germany 11:05am: Ukraine accuses Russia of blocking diesel supplies to Zaporizhzhia plant 10:17am: Ukraine recaptures five settlements in Kherson region 10:05am: Ukraine says Russia's investigation into Crimea bridge blast is 'nonsense' 9:48am: Zaporizhzhia plant has lost external power: IAEA 8:47am: FSB arrests eight suspects for Crimea bridge blast 8:19am: Ukraine has received German Iris-T air defence system: minister 7:20am: Russia deploying Iranian Shahed drones in Ukraine: UK 7:05am: Blasts heard in Russian-occupied Kherson, Melitopol 3:42am: Biden doesn't rule out meeting Putin at G20 summit to discuss jailed athlete Griner Videos

France will supply radars and air defence systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a television interview on Wednesday, urging Russia's Vladimir Putin to "return to the table" to discuss making peace. Earlier, the Russian leader warned that Moscow will stop supplying countries that impose a cap on Russian oil prices as G7 leaders look for a way to strip Russia of its largest source of income to finance the war. Follow FRANCE 24's live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

9:25pm: UN to vote on resolution condemning Russian annexations

The UN General Assembly is due to vote publicly on a draft resolution that condemns Russia's "illegal so-called referenda" and the "attempted illegal annexation" of Ukrainian territories.

FRANCE 24's correspondent Jessica Le Masurier has the details.

8:35pm: France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine

France will supply radars and air defence systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has said in a television interview, following Russia's missile assault which he said was aimed at "breaking Ukrainian resistance".

"We're going to deliver (...) radars, systems and missiles to protect them from these attacks," Macron told France 2 television, adding that France was also negotiating to send another six Caesar mobile artillery units.

The French leader said Russia's Vladimir Putin must "return to the table" to discuss making peace in Ukraine.

"Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and come back to the table for talks," he said.

7:05pm: Czech Republic tightens entry rules for Russian tourists

The Czech Republic will turn away Russian tourists holding Schengen-zone visas issued by any country from Oct. 25, the foreign minister has said, as the country joins other European Union member states in tightening entry rules.

Prague had immediately stopped visas for Russians, except on humanitarian grounds, after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February. But it had been allowing in visitors at airports who had visas issued by other countries in the EU's Schengen travel zone.

The tightening of rules, approved by the government on Wednesday, means even those with EU visas from other states will not be allowed to enter.

"While Russian rockets fall on a children's playground and on people in Ukraine, up to 200 Russian Federation citizens travel to the Czech Republic via international airports every day," Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said.

6:15pm: IAEA chief heads to Kyiv after Russia talks

UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi is on his way to Kyiv after holding talks with Russian officials on setting up a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

"After my meetings in St Petersburg I am coming back to Kyiv," Grossi said on Twitter, posting a picture of himself next to a Ukrainian train. "The work on the establishment of a nuclear safety & security protection zone around #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant continues."

Earlier, the IAEA chief said the external power supply to the Russian-occupied plant had been restored after an outage forced it to switch to diesel generators.

"(T)his morning's outage was caused by shelling damage to a far off sub-station, highlighting how precarious the situation is," Grossi tweeted.

5:22pm: Kremlin believes Erdogan will offer Ukraine mediation

Moscow believes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will offer to mediate negotiations with Ukraine at an upcoming meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin, a Kremlin aide has said.

"The Turks are offering their mediation. If any talks take place, then most likely they will be on their territory: in Istanbul or Ankara," Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.

NATO member Turkey, which has stayed neutral throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbours - Russia and Ukraine - and has refrained from joining Western sanctions on Moscow.

(Video) France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine after wave of Russian strikes • FRANCE 24 English

Turkey has twice hosted talks between Moscow and Kyiv, including a March in-person meeting of Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, the first high-level talks to take place after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine.

However, peace negotiations have since stalled and Ukraine's Zelensky said he will not hold any talks with Putin after the Kremlin claimed to have annexed four territories of Ukraine.

Asked about Zelensky's pledge, Ushakov told reporters: "I would like to tell him: never say never".

4:57pm: Russian nuclear strike would draw 'physical response', says NATO official

A Russian nuclear strike would change the course of the conflict and almost certainly trigger a "physical response" from Ukraine allies and potentially from NATO, a senior NATO official has told Reuters.

Any use of nuclear weapons by Moscow would have "unprecedented consequences" for Russia, the official warned.

It would "almost certainly be drawing a physical response from many allies, and potentially from NATO itself", he said.

The official added that Moscow was using its nuclear threats mainly to deter NATO and other countries from directly entering its war on Ukraine.

3:55pm: West meets to pledge more arms for Ukraine

Ministers from more than 50 Western countries are meeting in Brussels to pledge more weapons for Ukraine, focusing on its need for air defences after Moscow launched its most intense missile strikes since the start of the war.

Opening the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the NATO headquarters, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia's huge wave of missile attacks this week - in which more than 26 civilians have died - had laid bare the "malice and cruelty" of its war.

Ukraine has shifted the momentum in the conflict since September with "extraordinary" gains, but will need more help to keep fighting, Austin said.

"These victories belong to Ukraine's brave soldiers. But the Contact Group's security assistance, training, and sustainment efforts have been vital," he added.

Since the attacks, Germany has sent the first of four planned IRIS-T SLM air defence systems, while Washington said it would speed up the delivery of a promised NASAMS air defence system.

2:56pm: Deadly shelling of Avdiivka market comes amid reports of fighting in Donbas

The deadly shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka on Wednesday came amid reports of fierce fighting around the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, as well as farther north in the Luhansk region. FRANCE 24's Catherine Norris Trent reports.

2:42pm: IAEA chief says external power restored to Zaporizhzhia plant

The external power supply to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been restored after an outage that forced it to switch to diesel generators, UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday.

"I've been informed by our team on site that external power to #Zaporizhzhya NPP is restored," IAEA chief Grossi said on Twitter. "#ZNPP's operator says this morning's outage was caused by shelling damage to a far off sub-station, highlighting how precarious the situation is."

2:08pm: Gazprom chief says repairs to Nord Stream pipelines will take at least a year

The damaged Nord Stream pipelines would take at least a year to repair, and Russia has still not been granted access to the area of damage, the head of the Russian state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow, Alexei Miller also echoed a call made earlier on Wednesday by President Vladimir Putin for a European gas hub in Turkey.

1:32pm: Russia can supply EU via Nord Stream 2: Putin

President Vladimir Putin said Russian gas could still be supplied to Europe through one remaining intact part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the ball is now in the EU's court on whether it wanted that to happen.

(Video) Ukraine asks West for more air defence systems

An international investigation is under way into explosions last month that ruptured the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines on the bed of the Baltic Sea.

Putin said it was possible to repair the pipelines but it was up to Europe to decide.

1:17pm: Putin blasts Russian oil price cap proposals

A cap on Russian oil prices will worsen investments in other sectors, Putin has told the Russian Energy Week forum, as G7 leaders are contemplating a cap to strip the country of its largest source of income to finance its war in Ukraine.

A price cap on Russian oil would be a "threat to billions of people", warned Putin.

1:05pm: Putin says Nord Stream sabotage is 'act of international terrorism'

Addressing the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said major leaks, which were found in the Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Europe, were an "act of international terrorism".

Putin said that attacks on the pipelines, which European and Western governments have called sabotage, set a "dangerous precedent".

12:32pm: Several killed in strike on market in Avdiivka: Donetsk governor

At least seven people were killed and eight injured in a Russian strike on a crowded market in the town of Avdiivka on Wednesday, the governor of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region said.

"The Russians struck the central market where many people were at that time," Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a statement, adding that there was "no military logic" for such an attack.

His statement was accompanied by pictures of dead bodies and damaged market stalls. Reuters could not verify their authenticity.

12:20pm: Germany's oil supply is secure amid Druzhba leak: economy ministry

Germany's oil supply is secure and the Schwedt and Leuna refineries are still receiving oil via the Druzhba pipeline Freundschaft 1 via Poland, said a German economy ministry spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that the ministry was watching the situation closely and both refineries had been increasing their on-site stocks in recent weeks as a precautionary measure.

The statement came hours after Poland said a leak found in one of the Druzhba pipelines bringing oil from Russia was most likely caused by an accident.

12:08pm: Ukraine asks France to send guns - with roses

Ukraine's defence ministry posted a video on social media thanking France for its deliveries of Caesar howitzers and other arms and giving Paris a gentle nudge to show its love with more weapons deliveries.

The 41-second clip on Twitter came hours after a French security cabinet meeting held by President Emmanuel Macron decided that France had taken new decisions to "support Ukraine militarily" after speaking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

France has delivered Caesar howitzers, portable air defence systems and heavy armoured vehicles primarily.

However, a wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities has raised the stakes, with Kyiv demanding its partners provide more supplies, including air defence systems.

Wednesday's clip made clear to France that it wanted more than just words and promises.

"Romantic gestures take many forms," a title in the video reads, as the classic "Je t'aime moi non plus" (I love you ... me neither), the suggestive and once-censored pop song that Serge Gainsbourg recorded with Jane Birkin, plays in the background.

(Video) Ukraine: NATO allies aim to jointly procure air defence systems • FRANCE 24 English

11:42am: Leak detected in pipeline that brings Russian oil to Germany

A leak has been detected in an underground oil pipeline in Poland that is the main route through which Russian crude reaches Germany, according to the pipeline's Polish operator.

The operator, PERN, said it detected a leak in the Druzhba pipeline, which originates in Russia, on Tuesday evening about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the central Polish city of Plock.

It said the cause of the leak wasn't known. The incident follows leaks late last month in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines running along the Baltic seabed.

The Druzhba pipeline, which in Russian translates to "Friendship," is one of the world's longest oil pipelines, and after leaving Russia it branches out to bring crude to points including Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Germany.

Firefighters were working in the cornfields near the village of Zurawice to determine the exact point of the leak, said a spokesman for them, Brig. Karol Kierzkowski.

11:05am: Ukraine accuses Russia of blocking diesel supplies to Zaporizhzhia plant

Ukraine's state nuclear energy company Energoatom has accused Russia of not allowing the company's convoy of vehicles carrying diesel fuel to access the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after it lost power.

The recently restored power has been cut again, forcing the plant to switch to emergency diesel generators, the UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said earlier Wednesday.

"Energoatom prepared and sent another batch of diesel fuel to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant," the company said in a statement. "However, as of 10:00 a.m. (0700GMT), the Russian side does not allow the company's convoy of vehicles to pass."

10:17am: Ukraine recaptures five settlements in Kherson region

Ukrainian forces recaptured five settlements in the southern Kherson region, according to the southern Operational Command.

The villages of Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka, Nova Kamianka, Tryfonivka and Chervone in the Beryslav district were retaken as of October 11, said southern command spokesman Vladislav Nazarov on Wednesday.

The settlements are in one of the four regions recently annexed by Russia.

10:05am: Ukraine says Russia's investigation into Crimea bridge blast is 'nonsense'

A senior Ukrainian official has dismissed Russia's investigation into the Crimea bridge blast as "nonsense".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine's security forces for Saturday's deadly explosion and earlier on Wednesday, the country's Federal Security Service (FSB) said it had detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia over the blast.

"The whole activity of the FSB and Investigative Committee is nonsense," Ukraine's public broadcaster Suspilne cited interior minister spokesman Andriy Yusov as saying when asked about Moscow's allegations on the Crimea bridge blast.

Yusov described the FSB and Investigative Committee as "fake structures that serve the Putin regime, so we will definitely not comment on their next statements".

9:48am: Zaporizhzhia plant has lost external power: IAEA

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has lost all its external power for the second time in five days and is now relying on diesel generators for its nuclear safety and security functions, said Rafael Grossi, head of the UN's nuclear energy watchdog, the IAEA.

The "repeated loss" of the plant's off-site power "is a deeply worrying development and it underlines the urgent need for a nuclear safety & security protection zone around the site," said Grossi in a statement posted on Twitter.

The update came a day after Grossi met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg. In televised comments after the meeting, Grossi said the Russian leader declared that he was "ready to discuss all issues of mutual interest or cause for concern, for example, regarding the situation around the Zaporizhzhia power plant" and said he was "open to this dialogue".

(Video) France Sends CAESAR Howitzers To Ukraine Against Russia, Macron Says 'Won't Be Parties To Conflict'

8:47am: FSB arrests eight suspects for Crimea bridge blast

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia over the explosion that damaged the Kerch bridge linking Crimea and Russia on Saturday, according to Interfax.

The FSB said the explosion was organised by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry, and its director Kyrylo Budanov.

The explosives were stored in plastic film rolls that left the Ukrainian port of Odesa in August and transited through Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia before entering Russia, it said.

Bulgaria on Tuesday rejected reports that the truck linked to the powerful blast that damaged the bridge over the Kerch Strait had travelled via its territory.

8:19am: Ukraine has received German Iris-T air defence system: minister

Ukraine has received the first Iris-T defence system from Germany, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said.

"IRIS-Ts from (Germany) are already here. (American) NASAMS are coming. This is only the beginning. And we need more," Reznikov tweeted late on Tuesday. "There is a moral imperative to protect the sky over (Ukraine) in order to save our people."

Germany had promised delivery of the first Iris-T missile shield "in the coming days" after Russia unleashed deadly attacks across Ukraine on Monday, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 100, according to Ukrainian authorities.

7:20am: Russia deploying Iranian Shahed drones in Ukraine: UK

Russia has deployed Iranian-manufactured Shahed-136 drones in Russia since "at least August 2022" including during the October 10 extensive strikes on Ukrainian cities, according to the UK's daily military intelligence briefing.

>> Ukraine faces new Russian threat from Iran-made 'kamikaze' drones

While Russia may have "achieved some success" with the use of the drones, the briefing notes that the Iranian drones "are slow and fly at low altitudes making lone aircraft easy to target using conventional air defences".

7:05am: Blasts heard in Russian-occupied Kherson, Melitopol

Five blasts were heard in the city of Kherson early on Wednesday, Russian media reported, adding that according to unofficial information air defence systems were launched.

Kherson, the administrative centre of Ukraine's broader Kherson region, was one of the first cities to fall to Russian forces after they launched their invasion in February.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Russian-controlled Melitopol in the south of the Zaporizhzhia region, said on the Telegram messaging app that there was a powerful explosion in the city.

RIA reported, citing local Russia-installed police, that a device exploded near the city's central market. There were no casualties, RIA reported.

The reports could not be independently verified.

3:42am: Biden doesn't rule out meeting Putin at G20 summit to discuss jailed athlete Griner

"Look, I have no intention of meeting with him" at the November summit in Bali, Biden told CNN in a rare televised interview.

"But for example, if he came to me at the G20 and said I want to talk about the release of (detained basketball star) Brittney Griner, I'd meet with him. I mean, it would depend."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

(Video) UN General Assembly condemns Russia's 'illegal annexation' of Ukrainian regions • FRANCE 24

Live: France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine, Macron says (1)

Originally published on France24

Live: France to supply air defence systems to Ukraine, Macron says (2)

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