Western and Russian leaders exchanged claims and accusations over each other's willingness to use nuclear weapons, with U.S. President Joe Biden expressing skepticism over Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks that Russia had "no need" to deploy such weapons in Ukraine.
In previous weeks, Putin made several remarks vowing to use "all means" available to protect land Moscow claimed as its own — which is widely believed to include the illegally annexed Ukrainian territories.
Ukraine continues to reel from Russian attacks on its critical energy infrastructure, with blackouts in many major cities. Local authorities have urged residents to limit their electricity use and will schedule pre-planned blackouts to prevent uncontrolled power outages.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin continues to allege that Ukraine is preparing to use a radioactive "dirty bomb" on its own territory and blame it on Russia, a claim that Ukrainian and Western leaders denounce as baseless lies and a pretext to escalate the conflict.
At Kyiv's request, a team from the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency will be visiting Ukraine's nuclear power facilities, which Ukrainian officials say will disprove Russia's accusations.
'Russia may soon need a new wave' of mobilization, Zelenskyy says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed doubts over Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's claims that Russia had completed its partial military mobilization.
"Today they are reporting to the enemy about the alleged completion of their mobilization ... About the alleged needlessness of new waves of sending Russian citizens to the front. We feel completely different on the front line," Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegram post.
Earlier, Shoigu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to announce the completion of Putin's call for a partial military mobilization of 300,000 people. According to Shoigu, 82,000 have already been sent to the front lines.
"Although Russia is trying to increase the pressure on our positions by using mobilized people, they are so poorly prepared and equipped, so rudely used by the command that it suggests: Russia may soon need a new wave of sending people to war," Zelenkyy said.
Zelenskyy said that, as a result, Ukraine is preparing for the possibility of further Russian mobilization and aggression, noting Iran's contributions to Russia's missile and drone arsenal.
"We are preparing for the fact that the current Russian leadership will look for any new opportunities to continue the war. In particular, thanks to his accomplices - in Iran," he said.
— Rocio Fabbro
Canada raising money for Ukraine with sale of bonds
Canada will sell a government-backed, 5-year bond to raise money for Ukraine and it will impose new sanctions on 35 Russian individuals, including Gazprom executives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
"Canadians will now be able to go to major banks to purchase their sovereignty bonds which will mature after five years with interest," Trudeau told an annual meeting of the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Winnipeg.
The proceeds will "help the (Ukrainian) government continue operations, including providing essential services to Ukrainians, like pensions, and purchasing fuel before winter," a statement said.
The equivalent of the income raised will be channeled "directly to Ukraine" through an International Monetary Fund administered account, the statement said.
Trudeau also announced new sanctions on 35 senior officials of energy sector entities, including Gazprom "and its subsidiaries," according to a statement, plus six other "energy sector entities."
U.S. will provide an additional $275 million in military assistance for Ukraine
The United States announced an additional $275 million in military support to Ukraine, including "arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories."
"This drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to an unprecedented level of more than $18.5 billion since the beginning of the Administration," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. It is the "twenty-fourth drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021," according to the statement.
Air defense capabilities are a major focus of the assistance package, Blinken said, and two initial medium-range missile systems are ready for delivery to Ukraine next month.
"The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield for Ukraine today," he said.
This assistance comes as Russia has scaled up its missile and drone attacks on Ukraine, which many have considered a sign of Russia's faltering position on the battlefield.
— Rocio Fabbro
Russia launches 3 missiles and 14 air strikes, Ukrainian armed forces report
Russia sustained its missile and air strikes in Ukraine, according to an evening update from the general staff of Ukraine's armed forces.
"Today, the Russians launched 3 missile and 14 air strikes, carried out more than 50 attacks from remote missile launching systems," Ukraine's military reported.
Russian forces also targeted Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.
The armed forces reported that the military's aviation forces carried out 24 strikes on Russian positions, including in 20 areas with weapons and military equipment and four with anti-aircraft missile systems.
Ukrainian missile troops and artillery also hit a command post, areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, ammunition warehouses and other important military objects, according to the update.
— Rocio Fabbro
Ukrainian foreign minister demands that Iran "immediately cease" weapons supply to Russia
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Iran to stop sending arms to Russia in a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
"I demanded Iran to immediately cease the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine," Kuleba wrote in a tweet.
Iran has reportedly sent missiles and self-detonating Shahed drones, also known as "kamikaze" drones, to Russia to be used in its war against Ukraine. The U.S. Department of Defense assessed that Iran has already sent hundreds of drones to Russia.
However, Iran has outwardly denied the allegations.
— Rocio Fabbro
Putin's partial military mobilization is complete, says Shoigu
Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with President Vladimir Putin to confirm the completion of Putin's partial military mobilization of 300,000 people.
"The military commissariats, within the framework of a special military operation, will continue to recruit troops only by accepting volunteers and candidates for military service under the contract," Shoigu said in the meeting, broadcast on sta