Ukraine latest news: Russian reservists 'buying own body armour' as price soars online - and Elon Musk pulls Starlink satellite cash (2023)

Key points
  • Anti-radiation missiles among new $725m US aid package
  • Russian reservists 'having to buy own body armour'
  • Musk pulls funding for critical satellite internet services in Ukraine
  • Putin open to talks with Ukraine - but threatens NATO
  • Russian leader may withdraw forces from key area - but has several conditions, report says
  • Putin's escalation 'frightening' but could be final blow to his hold on power - former US ambassador to Russia
  • Opinion:If Putin was gone, would the war end?
  • Podcast: Ukraine War Diaries: Bombs, bunkers, blood, belief
  • Updates from Alex Crawford in eastern Ukraine and Diana Magnay in Moscow


400 more Russian troops 'eliminated' in last 24 hours, says Ukraine

Ukraine's defence ministry has tweeted its latest assessment of Russian losses in the last 24 hours.

It claims 400 more enemy troops have been "eliminated" since yesterday, with other Russian losses said to include 16 pieces of artillery, three tanks, seven armoured combat vehicles, two helicopters and 11 drones.

Sky News cannot independently verify the figures.


Ukraine War Diaries: Bombs, bunkers, blood, belief

In Kyiv, Ilyas watches in horror as Russian rockets rain down on his city - the deadliest attack on the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the war.

Having left for Poland just hours before, Oksana escapes the attack, only to find her exit route to Warsaw targeted by more enemy missiles.

Helpless, and on military assignment in Ireland, Seva takes stock of what's to come.

And with the dust now settling somewhat in Kyiv, Ilyas returns to record a final reflection on one of the most significant weeks in the war.

Ukraine War Diaries uses first-person audio, recorded on the ground in Ukraine, to give an intimate day-to-day perspective of life in a war zone.


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Russian reservists 'having to buy own body armour' as price soars online

Many of the reserve troops being called up by Russia are probably having to buy their own body armour, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

In its morning briefing, it said the modern 6B45 vest - which is meant to be standard issue - is selling online for 40,000 roubles, up from about 12,000 roubles in April.

Some 300,000 reservists are being called up, according to Russia, as it seeks to halt a wave of successful Ukrainian counterattacks. However, the MoD said their equipment "is almost certainly lower than the already poor provision of previously deployed troops".

The substandard kit comes on top of expert assessments that many of the reservists will be poorly prepared and trained for war on the frontline.

President Putin said yesterday that the call-up would be over in two weeks.


Good morning - here's the latest

After Ukraine reported retaking 75 populated places in the region in the last month and the country's troops pushed deeper into the Kherson region, here's the latest:

  • Vladimir Putin said Russia's partial mobilisation would be over in two weeks and that Germany was making a "mistake" by prioritising its allegiance to NATO over its national interest;
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his SpaceX company could no longer offer its critical satellite services to Ukraine unless the US military donated tens of millions of dollars a month;
  • A NATO nuclear exercise with warplanes that can drop atomic bombs will take place from next week over the United Kingdom, the North Sea and Belgium, the alliance has said;
  • Moscow-installed officials in the occupied Kherson region of Ukraine repeated calls for local residents to evacuate to Russia, citing incessant shelling by advancing Ukrainian forces;
  • Repairs to the Kerch Bridge, which was damaged in an explosion last Saturday, are to be finished by July 2023, according to a document published on the Russian government's website;
  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he had placed his country in a state of heightened terrorism alert because of tensions on its borders.

This map shows the territorial gains and losses of both sides according to the latest analysis for Sky News...


Hundreds take to streets of Barcelona to protest Russia's declared annexation of Ukrainian regions

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to protest Russia's declared annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin officially signed laws annexing Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson on 5 October after illegitimate referendums were held.

The referendums have been widely condemned as "illegal" by the West.

Together with Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, President Putin's total claim now amounts to more than 22% of Ukrainian territory.


US to send more munitions and military vehicles to Ukraine as part of new support package

The United States will send more munitions and military vehicles to Ukraine as part of a new $725m (£639.7m) package.

Itwill bring the total of US security assistance since Russiainvaded Ukraine in February to more than $17.5bn.

The latest package includes high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs) andprecision-guided artillery, as well as medical supplies, the US Defence Department said in a statement.

It is hoped the support will bolster Ukraine's ability to beat back Russia in the counter-offensive that has yielded large territorial gains in recent weeks.

Separately, Ukraine expects the US and Germany todeliver sophisticated anti-aircraft systems this month to helpit counter attacks by Russian missiles and kamikaze drones,Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Friday.

Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) allows them to beshipped to Ukraine in the coming days.

It allows the UnitedStates to transfer defence articles and services from stocksquickly without congressional approval in response to anemergency.


Saudi Arabia announces $400m humanitarian aid to Ukraine

Saudi Arabia will provide $400million (£353m) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Saudi state news agencySPA said.

The agency added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday.

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Mr Zelenskyy said the pair agreed to "interact in the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war".

The crown prince expressed the kingdom's readiness tocontinue efforts of mediation and support everything thatcontributes to de-escalation, SPA added.

Last month, the Crown Prince helped broker a prisoner swap deal alongside Turkey, between Ukraine and Russia.

The deal saw almost 300 prisoners released, including five Britons.


Zelenskyy's adviser slams Putin's 'no regret' remark over war

One of Volodymyr Zelenskyy's advisers has criticised Vladimir Putin's comment earlier today where he said he has "no regret" about starting the war in Ukraine.

Mr Putin told reporters at a summit inKazakhstan that he does not regret starting the conflict and "did not set out to destroy Ukraine" when he ordered Russian troops to invade nearly eight months ago.

The Russian president described the situation as "unpleasant", but insisted that his actions are"correct and timely".

In response, Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: "Putin's statement about having no regrets and that war should have happened anyway – responsibility abdication".

He added: "If Russia did not want this war, it would not have happened".

At the summit, the Russian president also said he expects his partial mobilisation of reservists to be completed in two weeks.


Musk asks US govt to take over funding of satellite network for Ukraine

The US Defence Department has received a request from SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk to take over funding for his satellite network, which has provided crucial battlefield communications for Ukraine.

US officials said the issue has been discussed in meetings and senior leaders are weighing up the request.

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Mr Musk began sending Starlink satellite dishes to Ukraine just days after Russia invaded in February.

The system uses more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellites to provide broadband internet access.

On Friday, he tweeted that it was costing $20m (£17.7m) a month.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh confirmed that the department had received correspondence from SpaceX about the funding of Starlink.

On 28 February, at the start of the war, Ukraine's vice prime minister tweeted a photo of the first Starlink kits arriving.

The system has helped reconnaissance drone operators target artillery strikes on Russian assets.

A senior military official on Friday made it clear that the US believes the system has proved exceptionally effective.


Zelenskyy: Russia is in an atmosphere of hopelessness

Russia is sitting in "atmosphere of hopelessness", Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said in his nightly address.

As Ukraine marked its Defenders Day today, Mr Zelenskyy said: "Russia is already in the atmosphere of its defeat, already in the atmosphere of hopelessness for itself.

"They still have the opportunity to terrorise our cities and all Europeans, blackmail the world, but they have no chance and they won't because Ukraine is moving forward."

The comments come after Vladimir Putin said today Russia's partial mobilisation would be over in two weeks.

In a wide-ranging speech in the Kazakh capital Astana, Mr Putin also said there were no plans for additional military mobilisation in Russia.

In September, Russia's defence minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would draft 300,000 reservists to support its military campaign after Mr Putin ordered the partial mobilisation.

The move appeared to be an admission Moscow's war in Ukraine was not going to plan.

But the Russian president told the news conference today he ordered the partial mobilisation because it was "impossible to hold the front using only contracted servicemen".

He added 16,000 mobilised troops were already engaged in military tasks.

Mr Putin also said he was open to the idea of talks with Ukraine, adding: "We have always said this."


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