Ukraine war live updates: Putin visits 'dear friend' Xi in Beijing as Ukraine reports overnight strikes

Russia is revoking ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty because of the irresponsible attitude of the United States to global security, the speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament said on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Oct. 5 that he was not ready to say whether or not Russia should resume nuclear testing after calls from some Russian security experts and lawmakers to test a nuclear bomb as a warning to the West.

“In the interests of ensuring the security of our country, we are withdrawing the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,” Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said ahead of a debate and parliamentary vote on revoking ratification.

Volodin said that while Russia ratified the 1996 treaty in 2000, Washington failed to ratify because of its “irresponsible attitude to global security issues”.

“The Russian Federation will do everything to protect its citizens and to maintain global strategic parity,” Volodin said.

— Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing Tuesday to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at China’s Belt and Road forum.

Putin flew into Beijing Capital International Airport Tuesday morning, in his first official trip outside the former Soviet Union this year.

Putin and Xi described the relationship between their countries as having “no limits,” with “no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation” in a statement in February 2022. The countries deepened ties in recent years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Grand Kremlin Palace on March 21, 2023, in Moscow.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“He [Xi] calls me his friend, and I am happy to call him my friend, because this is a man who personally does a lot for the development of Russian-Chinese relations and cooperation in different areas,” Putin said on Sept. 1, when he announced that the pair would soon meet.

The leaders’ last known face-to-face meeting took place at the Kremlin in March.

The Belt and Road Initiative was launched in 2013 as a project that would expand China’s links with Western Europe. Momentum behind the initiative has since slowed. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is set to be the most senior European Union leader attending the forum.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Ukrainian forces struck Russian airfields and military equipment near the cities of Luhansk and Berdiansk, Ukraine’s military said Tuesday, as reported by Reuters.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine made well-aimed strikes on enemy airfields and helicopters near the temporarily occupied Luhansk and Berdiansk,” the Ukrainian military’s communication department said on Telegram.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in parts of the Zaporizhzhia region controlled by Moscow in Ukraine’s southeast, said, however, that the strikes on the region were not successful.

“According to preliminary information, our air defence system successfully intercepted enemy rockets,” Rogov said on Telegram. “Information about victims and possible damage is being clarified.”

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Russia hopes to break through Ukrainian defences in the Kupiansk-Lyman sector of the front line in northeastern Ukraine, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces said on Monday.

Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi was shown in video footage posted on the Telegram messaging app telling soldiers that the situation on the northeastern front line had “significantly escalated” in recent days, and the Russian military wanted “revenge” by retaking territory it once occupied in the area.

— Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen arrives for a bilateral meeting on the third day of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meeting, in Marrakech, Morocco, October 11, 2023.

Susana Vera | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the country can “absolutely” afford to financially support both Israel and Ukraine in their respective war efforts.

Asked in an interview with Britain’s Sky News on Monday whether the U.S. could afford to be providing military support to Israel and to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia, Yellen said “the answer is absolutely.”

Read the full story here.

Elliot Smith

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a joint press conference following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on June 5, 2019.

Maxim Shipenkov | AFP | Getty Images

Russia is bringing a “really large delegation” to China for the Belt and Road summit this week, Russian presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov said Monday, according to a report from state news agency RIA.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the event, which begins on Tuesday in Beijing. Last week, Putin made his first overseas trip since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March.

The Russian delegation will include various ministers, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina; head of state oil firm Gazprom, Alexey Miller; and head of oil and gas giant Rosneft, Igor Sechin.

Moscow has endeavoured to maintain cordial relations with Beijing as it has faced condemnation and sanctions from the West amid the war in Ukraine. The Chinese position on the conflict is officially neutral, though it has increased its energy ties with Russia as many countries have severed them.

In an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Monday, Putin praised China’s sweeping Belt and Road initiative, calling it a “desire for cooperation.”

— Jenni Reid

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin with senior Saudi officials in 2014.

Rob Griffith | Afp | Getty Images

Vladimir Putin aims to strike a “fragile equilibrium” in Russia’s response to the unfolding turmoil in the Middle East, wanting to appear supportive of Israel without being critical of Iran-backed militant group Hamas.

Russia has tried to tread a fine diplomatic line in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, being one of the few countries to have good relations with Israel and Hamas-backer Iran, as well as other surrounding Middle Eastern countries. One analyst said that the position that Putin is taking in the war is essentially an anti-U.S. one.

“Despite the aggressive stance adopted by state controlled TV in Russia (which boosts anti-American narratives over anti-Israeli ones), Putin is more nuanced,” Russia analyst Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of analysis firm R.Politik, said Sunday.

“His own rhetoric suggests that he is willing to condemn Hamas’ attack but not to the extent that it jeopardises bilateral relations, maintaining Moscow’s bilateral diplomatic channels — a prerequisite for Russia to take a mediating role,” she noted.

“However, preserving this equilibrium — in part, to keep open communication with Israel — is becoming increasingly difficult for Moscow,” Stanovaya said, adding that, ultimately, the essence of Putin’s position is an anti-Western one, rather than simply being pro-Palestinian or “not pro-Israeli.”

“Ultimately, the essence of Putin’s decision is anti-American … This sentiment shapes his opinions towards Hamas, Israel’s actions and the broader conflict,” she noted.

— Holly Ellyatt

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