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Ukraine accused the Russian military of attacking civilian infrastructure in response to a rapid weekend offensive by Ukrainian troops that forced Russia to abandon its main bastion in the Kharkiv region. “No military facilities, the goal is to deprive people of light & heat,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted Sunday. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).


9:07am: Ukraine says it has recaptured more than 20 settlements in past 24 hours

Ukrainian armed forces said Monday they had recaptured more than 20 settlements in the past 24 hours amid a large counter-offensive.

“In the past 24 hours, Ukrainian armed forces drove the enemy away from more than 20 settlements” and are regaining “full control over them” the Ukrainian army said in its daily briefing. 

8:46am: Zelensky ‘wants to encourage a mood of defiance among Ukrainians’

FRANCE 24’s correspondent Gulliver Cragg reports from Kyiv that Zelensky wants to encourage a mood of defiance among Ukrainians following alleged Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in response to the weekend offensive by Ukrainian troops that pushed Russian troops out of Kharkiv.

“I think Volodymyr Zelensky wants to encourage Ukrainians to feel very angry about what seem to be these revenge attacks deliberately cutting off electricity because that will help them to feel defiant. … He said in a message posted a message on Telegram to the Russians: ‘Have you still not understood that we don’t want you, and that we will have electricity and gas even without you?’” Cragg said.

“And he said that Ukrainians would prefer, at least for a certain time, to be without electricity if that is the cost of getting rid of the Russians. And I think he pretty well captures the mood that is dominant in Ukraine at the moment.’” Click on the video below for more.


8:20am: Moldava axes plan to resume Russia-bound flights

The national air carrier of Ukraine’s neighbour Moldova has cancelled plans to resume Russia-bound flights, it said.

Air Moldova had announced on Friday that it would resume flights to Russia, which were halted over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

But in a statement late Sunday it said that “Moldova’s civil aviation authority published an operational directive… prohibiting national companies to carry out flights in Russia’s air space.”

Moldova, a country of 2.6 million people wedged between Romania and Ukraine, was in late June granted EU candidate status. However, the process of its accession to the bloc could take many years.

7:02am: UK says Russia has likely ordered troops’ withdrawal from Kharkiv

Britain‘s defence ministry said on Monday that Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River.

The UK defence ministry said in a regular update that Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London, and that “the rapid Ukrainian successes have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design”.

3:05am: Western arms production to ramp up as Ukraine burns through stockpiles

Western governments are mobilising their arms manufacturers to ramp up production and replenish stockpiles heavily diminished by supplying Ukraine’s six-month-old battle against Russia’s invasion.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced this week a meeting of senior national armaments directors from allied countries to make long-term plans for supplying Ukraine and rebuilding their own arms reserves.

“They will discuss how our defense industrial bases can best equip Ukraine’s future forces with the capabilities that they need,” he said at a meeting at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany of the Ukraine Contact Group, 50 countries currently supporting the war effort.

On Friday, the Pentagon‘s arms acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said the meeting would take place in Brussels on September 28.

The goal is to determine “how we can continue to work together to ramp up production of key capabilities and resolve supply chain issues and increase interoperability and interchangeability of our systems”, LaPlante told reporters at the Pentagon.

12:05am: Ukraine accuses Russia of attacking power grid in revenge for offensive

Ukraine accused the Russian military of attacking civilian infrastructure in response to a rapid weekend offensive by Ukrainian troops that forced Russia to abandon its main bastion in the Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian officials said targets of the retaliatory attacks included water facilities and a thermal power station in Kharkiv, and caused widespread blackouts.

“No military facilities, the goal is to deprive people of light & heat,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter late on Sunday.

Moscow denies its forces deliberately target civilians.

Zelensky has described Ukraine’s offensive in the northeast as a potential breakthrough in the six-month-old war, and said the winter could see further territorial gains if Kyiv received more powerful weapons.

In the worst defeat for Moscow’s forces since they were repelled from the outskirts of the capital Kyiv in March, thousands of Russian soldiers left behind ammunition and equipment as they fled the city of Izyum, which they had used as a logistics hub.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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