Russia-Ukraine war latest: Kyiv aims to consolidate gains in Kharkiv; Biden says war will be ‘long haul’ – live | Russia

Key events

Russian oil and gas revenues have fallen to their lowest for almost a year, despite a big rise in prices, according to a report.

Bloomberg has reported that the Kremlin’s gains from its fossil fuel resources, which account for more than a third of nation’s budget, fell to 671.9bn rubles ($11.1 billion) in August, the lowest since June 2021, using calculations based on Russian finance ministry data.

The figure is down 13% from July and is a 3.4% decline from 12 months ago.

Russia has probably used Iranian-made drones for first time, says UK

Russia has probably used Iranian-made uncrewed aerial vehicles in Ukraine for the first time, Britain’s defence intelligence said on Wednesday, after Kyiv reported downing one of the UAVs – a Shahed-136 – on Tuesday.

The device is a “one-way attack” weapon, the MoD said, and has been used in the Middle East. The shooting down of the drone near the frontline in Ukraine suggests that Russia is using the weapons as a tactical weapon rather than a strategic one targeting military installations deeper into Ukrainian territory.

It added:

Russia is almost certainly increasingly sourcing weaponry from other heavily sanctioned states like Iran and North Korea as its own stocks dwindle.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych held out the prospects of building on the gains made over the weekend in the Kharkiv region by moving on the eastern province of Luhansk, which together with Donetsk is known as the Donbas.

“There is now an assault on Lyman and there could be an advance on Siversk,” Arestovych said in a video posted on YouTube.

However, the pro-Russian leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic denied the claims and said in a video post that Lyman remains in their hands. “The situation has been stabilised. The enemy naturally is trying to advance in small groups but (Russian-led) Allied forces are fully repelling them.”

A field is covered with craters left by shelling close to Izium, in the Kharkiv region.
A field is covered with craters left by shelling close to Izium, in the Kharkiv region. Photograph: Kostiantyn Liberov/AP

Any such move by the Ukrainian military would be a very bold one after Zelenskiy spoke about trying to stabilise the huge amount of territory retaken in the region. His comments suggested a safety first approach to avoid being outflanked by counterattacking Russian forces.

But it does the question of whether Ukraine can capitalise on its forces momentum and press on and even win the war.

With some answers to that big quesdtion, you can read this piece by our diplomatic editor, Patrick Wintour.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy that “stabilisation measures” were still ongoing in the Kharkiv region in order to consolidate his armed forces’ spectacular gains over the weekend.

In an address on Tuesday evening, he said that about 8,000 sq km (3,100 square miles) had been liberated so far, apparently all in the north-eastern region of Kharkiv.

“Stabilisation measures” had been completed in about half of that territory, Zelenskiy said, “and across a liberated area of about the same size, stabilisation measures are still ongoing”.

He also said that progress had been made towards shoring up international support for Ukraine’s future security. He said:

We are working to ensure that the guarantors of our state’s security become the strongest entities in the free world.

We have already built together with our partners a powerful anti-war coalition that includes dozens of different countries. And now we are working to turn the most powerful states that are already helping us into a coalition of peace that will last forever.

I’m Martin Farrer and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’ll be bringing you updates for the next hour or so.

Here are the main developments you need to know:

  • Ukraine has set its sights on freeing all territory occupied by invading Russian forces after driving them back in a speedy counteroffensive in the north-east. In an address on Tuesday evening, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said about 8,000 sq km (3,100 square miles) have been liberated so far, apparently all in the north-eastern region of Kharkiv. “Stabilisation measures” had been completed in about half of that territory, Zelenskiy said, “and across a liberated area of about the same size, stabilisation measures are still ongoing”.

  • Major setbacks for Moscow’s forces in Ukraine will further test the “limitless partnership” between Russia and China when Vladimir Putin meets his Chinese counterpart in Uzbekistan on Thursday, analysts say. The meeting scheduled for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Samarkand, is likely to involve jostling for influence in central Asia, where the two global powers have long waged a “quiet rivalry”.

  • US president Joe Biden said it was hard to tell if Ukraine had reached a turning point in the six-month war. Asked about the situation on Tuesday, he sai: “It’s clear the Ukrainians have made significant progress,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be a long haul.”

  • The White House said the United States is likely to announce a new military aid package for Ukraine in “coming days”. Russian forces have left defensive positions, particularly in and around Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, a US spokesperson said.

  • Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych held out the prospects of building on the gains by moving on the eastern province of Luhansk, which together with Donetsk is known as the Donbas. “There is now an assault on Lyman and there could be an advance on Siversk,” Arestovych said in a video posted on YouTube.

  • The pro-Russian leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic denied the claims and said in a video post that Lyman remains in their hands. “The situation has been stabilised. The enemy naturally is trying to advance in small groups but (Russian-led) Allied forces are fully repelling them.”

  • Asian shares tumbled in Wednesday’s trading session as a worse-than-expected US inflation report dashed hopes for a peak in the fuel and food inflation that has been partly driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US Federal Reserve bank is now almost certain to raise rates by another 0.75% next week to fulfil its vow of stamping out inflation, meaning more pain for economies facing energy shortages this coming northern winter.

  • The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces warned that Russian forces were continuing to loot as they withdrew from occupied territories. On a stretch of highway heading into Russian territory, Ukrainian officials spotted civilian vehicles with licence plates from the Kharkiv region, driven by Russian military and weighed down with looted belongings. In the south, there were reports of Russian occupants breaking the gates of private garages and taking cars, as well as removing furniture.

  • Russian forces continued to hit a number of civilian and civilian infrastructure facilities throughout the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine on Tuesday, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said. Via air attacks and missile strikes and high mobility artillery rocket systems, Russian force attacked settlements in the Luhansk oblast and the Donetsk oblast in the east, and the Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Cherkasy oblasts in the south.

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