Russia may annex more parts of Ukraine, Russia’s former leader Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday, as Moscow celebrated the first anniversary of their annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
“The special military operation will continue until the complete destruction of the Nazi regime in Kyiv,” said Mr Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council.
“Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia,” he said.
Mr Medvedev’s comments came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation and called the annexations an historic choice by residents of the regions to reunite with the “Fatherland”.
Vladimir Putin has signed a decree marking today as “reunification day”.
05:00 PM BST
Today's live blog is now closed
That’s all for today, thanks for following along. We will be back tomorrow with all of the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.
04:24 PM BST
Reported explosion and huge fire at oil pipeline in western Ukraine
A huge fire has erupted at an oil pipeline in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk, injuring three people, emergency services said.
“At 5 pm (3pm UK time), near the village of Strymba, Nadvirna district, an oil pipeline (150 millimetres in diameter) ruptured,” Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said, adding that the rupture led to an oil spill spanning an area of 100 square metres.
A powerful explosion near the village of Strymba in Ivano-Frankivsk Region has been reported by the Ukrainian media.
According to preliminary information, the explosion occurred at a gas pipeline. pic.twitter.com/EyGwpYsuo8
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 30, 2023
04:18 PM BST
EU's chief diplomat makes unannounced visit to Odesa
Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, has made an unannounced visit to Odesa to coincide with the one year mark of Russia’s illegal so-called annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
“Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture & spirit... Instead, it marks the news as frequent target of Putin’s war,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Ukraine has every right to defend itself against the Russian aggression and regain full control of its territory,” he added. “The EU stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture & spirit.
Instead, it marks the news as frequent target of Putin’s war.
The EU supports the stabilisation of sites impacted by Russia’s barbarically destruction.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) September 30, 2023
04:00 PM BST
Russian soldier defects to Ukraine, Kyiv says
A Russian soldier who had been working with Ukraine’s Military Intelligence (HUR) has defected to Ukrainian forces, the military intelligence said.
The soldier, Daniil Alfyorov, had been working with Ukrainian intelligence since July and had successfully convinced 11 other Russian soldiers to defect to the Ukrainian side, Andriy Yusov, a HUR spokesman, was quoted as saying in the Kyiv Independent.
When it became clear that suspicions had arisen and there was risk to Alfyorov’s life, Ukrainian special forces evacuated him, Yusov added.
03:53 PM BST
Ukraine claims to have reached the 5,000 mark in destroying Russian drones
03:13 PM BST
Ukraine signs 20 agreements and memoranda with foreign manufacturers
The First International Defense Industries Forum - DFNC1 📷
252 companies from over 30 countries in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian side signed 20 documents with foreign partners: agreements and memoranda on the manufacture of drones, repair and production of armored… pic.twitter.com/lGrRuTd49s
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) September 30, 2023
02:11 PM BST
Kyiv seeks to boost spending to $1.5 billion to encourage weapons industry boost
The Ukrainian government plans to spend $1.5 billion on weapons and materiel production in 2024, Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said Saturday.
The increase was included in the government’s budget proposal for next year. It represents a sevenfold increase on last year.
02:08 PM BST
Zelensky wants Ukraine's defence industry to be a 'large military hub'
Volodymyr Zelensky, hosting officials representing more than 250 Western weapons producers, has said he wants to turn the country’s defence industry into a “large military hub” by partnering with manufacturers.
“Ukraine is in such a phase of the defence marathon when it is very important, critical to go forward without retreating. Results from the frontline are needed daily,” he said.
“We are interested in localizing production of equipment needed for our defence and each of those advanced defence systems which are used by our soldiers, giving Ukraine the best results at the front today.”
01:34 PM BST
Iran unveils new jet-powered Shahed drone
Iran this week unveiled a new jet-powered version of the Shahed drone that Russia has used to attack Ukraine in the past year that promises to fly much faster than its predecessor.
The new version of the kamikaze drone, featured in the trailer of a documentary on state TV this week, features a jet engine instead of the piston engine and propeller of the original aircraft.
Experts believe that the new Shahed will fly significantly faster, making it more difficult to intercept, though a drawback could be a shorter range because of the amount of fuel it will consume.
Other experts warn not against speculation given how little we know about the new drone.
Read more here.
12:50 PM BST
'Africa' interested in making Ukrainian weapons, Kyiv says
African countries are interested in not just buying weapons from Kyiv but manufacturing them, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the first International Defence Industries Forum in Kyiv.
“Africa was one of the largest markets for Ukrainian military products before the outbreak of full-scale war,” Kuleba said in a panel discussion held behind closed doors on Friday.
He said that while Ukraine was not currently able to sell any weapons to Africa, African countries were interested in producing Ukrainian weapons and ammunition on their own territory.
“This stems from the African partner’s understanding that Ukrainian weapons will be of extremely high quality, and they understand us as partners,” Kuleba said.
He did not clarify which African countries were interested in making Ukrainian weapons.
11:57 AM BST
Pictured: Ukrainian pilots prepare in the east
11:39 AM BST
Air alerts sound in Zaporizhzhia
Yuriy Malashko, the head of the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia region military administration, has posted on Telegram that air raid sirens are sounding and asking people to head to shelters.
“The threat of using ballistic weapons, including for the Zaporizhzhia region and the city of Zaporizhzhia!” he posted in a second alert two minutes ago.
11:33 AM BST
Five injured in Zaporizhzhia
At least five people have been injured, with one hospitalised, during Russian rocket strikes on Zaporizhzhia this morning, local authorities said.
“Today, between 10:06 and 10:20 am, the Russian military launched 2 rocket strikes (the type of rockets is to be determined) on the territory of Matviyiv,” Yuriy Malashko, the head of the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia region military administration posted on Telegram.
As of 11:40am (9:40 BST) there was information of five injured people, he said, one person was taken to hospital while the others received medical assistance.
“According to preliminary information, five buildings and a critical infrastructure object were damaged as a result of the strikes,” he added.
11:21 AM BST
Zelensky opens Kyiv's first International Defence Industries Forum
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has opened Kyiv’s first International Defence Industries Forum, in a bid to attract more manufacturers to build arms in Ukraine.
“Our first task is to win this war and return a lasting and, most importantly, reliable peace to our people. We will accomplish this task through our cooperation with you,” Zelensky said in a speech at the opening on Friday.
“We are interested in localising the production of equipment necessary for our defence... and advanced defence systems used by our soldiers that give Ukraine the best results at the front today,” he said.
Officials from over 30 countries and 250 defence firms attended the forum.
“Dozens of international firms join Kyiv’s new defense industry alliance. President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sept. 30 announced the creation of an international alliance between defense industries,” Kyiv Independent reported today.
Our priority is the development of defense production using modern technologies, including the production of shells, missiles, and drones in Ukraine, in cooperation with global leaders in this field.
During the meeting with representatives of defense companies and associations… pic.twitter.com/8lpnelAncG
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 30, 2023
11:13 AM BST
Russian blogger jailed for posting photo of destroyed Ukrainian cities
A Russian blogger has been jailed for eight and a half years after investigators accused him of posting a photo of destroyed buildings on social media with the caption: “Ukrainian cities after the arrival of liberators”.
Alexander Nozdrinov, 38, ran a small Youtube channel where he posted videos of highway patrol officers from his home region of Krasnodar allegedly breaking the law.
He has been detained for the post since March 2022. His wife denied that he posted the image and said that his arrest was orchestrated by local police as revenge for his videos.
On Friday the court maintained that he posted the photo. “He was sentenced to eight years and six months’ imprisonment in a general regime colony,” the court said, as well as banning him from working in the media for four years.
11:04 AM BST
Pictured: The wounded near Bakhmut
11:01 AM BST
Putin met one of Wagner's former top commanders
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday tasked one of the former top commanders of Wagner with taking charge of new “volunteer units” fighting in Ukraine.
The British defence ministry today said that the former Wagner Chief of Staff Andrei Troshev “was probably involved in encouraging other Wagner personnel to sign contracts, contributing to the insurrection.”
“Many Wagner veterans likely consider him a traitor,” the MoD continued in its daily intelligence briefing.
“Yevkurov has recently been pictured touring African states. Presidential endorsement of Troshev and Yevkurov indicates Russia’s continuing utilisation of volunteer units and private military companies, and planning for the future of Wagner,” the briefing said.
“It is prepared to draw on the experience of veterans who can demonstrate their loyalty to the state and continued involvement in the Global South, but probably with greater oversight from the Kremlin.”
Russia’s deputy defence minister Yunus-Bek Yekhurov was also at the meeting on Friday.
10:56 AM BST
One person injured in Kramatorsk
One person was injured in overnight Russian strikes on the Donetsk Oblast.
According to the Kramatorsk city council, Russian forces launched two rocket attacks and damaged 37 cars in a parking lot, as well as a service station, a car wash and a dormitory.
10:49 AM BST
Ukrainian attack disrupts power supply in Russian village, local governor says
A Ukrainian attack on the Russian city of Bryansk has disrupted the local power supply, the region’s governor has said.
“As a result of an attack by Ukrainian terrorists in the village of Pogar, the power supply was disrupted,” he posted on Telegram early this morning.
“There were no casualties. Operational and emergency services are working on the spot.”
10:46 AM BST
Zelensky meets Slovakia's defence minister
Yesterday, I welcomed Slovak Defense Minister Martin Sklenár in Kyiv.
We discussed frontline developments, priority defense needs, and cooperation on humanitarian mine clearance.
I thank Slovakia for standing with Ukraine.
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 30, 2023
10:33 AM BST
EU extends temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees until March 2025
The European Union is extending temporary protections for Ukrainian refugees until March 2025, the European Council said.
The extension adds another year to the temporary protections. The council said that four million Ukrainians are living in the bloc.
The protection mechanism is designed to provide refugees with residence, right to work and housing, medical and social welfare assistance, and access to education for children.
10:26 AM BST
Slovakia votes, pro-West vs pro-Putin
Polls opened in Slovakia this morning in an early parliamentary election that pits a former prime minister who campaigned on a pro-Russia ticket against a liberal and pro-West newcomer.
Neither party is expected to win a majority when the polls close at 8pm, but it could mark a significant shift in their support for Ukraine and splinter the fragile unity in the EU and NATO.
Frontrunner Robert Fico has vowed to withdraw Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine if he prevails in the election. He also wants to block Ukraine from joining NATO and has repeated Putin’s unsupported claim that the Ukrainian government runs a Nazi state.
Fico has suggested that instead of sending arms to Ukraine, the EU and the US should use their influence to force Russia and Ukraine to strike a peace deal.
09:56 AM BST
Putin claims residents of occupied territories expressed desire to be part of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that residents of Russian-held regions in Ukraine expressed their desire to be part of Russia in recent local elections.
In a video address released on the anniversary of Russia’s announcement that it was annexing four parts of Ukraine, Putin said the choice to join Russia was reinforced by this month’s local elections that returned officials supporting Russia’s annexation.
“Just as a year ago in the historic referendums, people again expressed and confirmed their will to be with Russia and supported their countrymen who, through their labour and real actions, proved worthy of the people’s trust,” he said in the video.
Western countries dismissed the outcomes as meaningless and branded it an illegal annexation that was underpinned by the mass coercion of voters.
A Ukrainian underground resistance group in occupied territories, the Yellow Ribbon movement, told Kyiv Post that they are planning a surprise for Vladimir Putin’s so-called Day of Unification.
09:45 AM BST
Evacuation ordered after 'infrastructure site' hit in western Ukraine
Authorities in the western region of Vinnytsya ordered an evacuation in the early hours of the morning after an “infrastructure site” was struck in a Russian attack.
“At this time there is no need for a general evacuation,” apart from in the immediate area around the site of the hit, said Vasyl Polishchuk, the head of administration for the town of Kalynivka, according to the town’s website.
It did not say what target had been struck.
09:40 AM BST
Ukraine air defences took out 30 Shahed drones, Kyiv says
Kyiv’s air force shot down 30 of the 40 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia fired at central and southern regions of Ukraine overnight, officials said.
The South Military command said that 20 drones were shot down in the central Vinnytsia region and another 10 over the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions in the south.
Spokesperson for the southern command, Natalia Humeniuk, told Ukrainian TV that Russia continued to attack port infrastructure, including on the Danube river, and was also attempting to strike critical infrastructure facilities in other Ukrainian regions “to impact the economy”.
09:29 AM BST
Hello and welcome to The Telegraph’s daily live coverage of the war in Ukraine. First up this morning:
Romania probes possible airspace violation by Russian drones
Romania has reported a possible breach of its airspace during a Russian drone attack on Ukrainian infrastructure overnight.
The Nato member alerted residents in the Tulcea and Galati municipalities “following the detection of groups of drones heading towards Ukrainian territory near the Romanian border,” the defence ministry said. “The radar surveillance system ... indicated possible unauthorised entry into national airspace, with a signal detected on a route towards the municipality of Galati,” the statement added.
The defence ministry said that no objects appear to have fallen in Romanian territory but added that the search for any debris will continue today.
Nato has long been concerned about the conflict spilling into the territory of one of its members. It was reported yesterday that Romania is moving air defences closer to its Danube villages across the river from Ukraine where Russian drones have been attacking grain facilities, and is adding more military observation posts and patrols to the area.