The head of Germany’s national cyber security agency has been fired following reports of possible links to Russian intelligence, the interior ministry announced on Tuesday. His dismissal came as several regions of Ukraine and the capital Kyiv experienced power outages following several Russian airstrikes targeting energy facilities across the country. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All are in Paris time (GMT+2).
3:25 p.m.: German cybersecurity chief fired over possible Russia ties
Arne Schoenbohm, director of GermanyThe BSI’s national cyber security agency has been sacked following reports of possible links to Russian intelligence, the Home Office has said.
Schoenbohm co-founded a cybersecurity group a decade ago that brings together experts from public institutions and the private sector. German media have reported that one of its members is a company founded by a former Russian intelligence agent.
The German government said over a week ago that it was investigating the reports thoroughly.
There is growing concern in Germany that the country’s critical infrastructure could be targeted by Russia because of Berlin’s support for Ukraine.
14:55: Estonian MPs declare Russa a “terrorist regime”
Estonian lawmakers have condemned Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory and declared Russia a “terrorist regime” in a statement passed by 88 votes in favor in the country’s 101-member legislature.
Parliament “declares Russia a terrorist regime and the Russian Federation a country that supports terrorism,” the statement said. “Putin’s regime, with its threats of nuclear attack, has made Russia the greatest danger to peace both in Europe and throughout the world.”
The parliament of Estonia’s neighbor Latvia declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” in August and accused Moscow of “targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people”.
But US President Joe Biden’s administration said last month it would not use the terminology, calling it “not the most effective or strongest way forward”.
13:29: Zelensky is set at the book fair in Frankfurt as the stars of Ukraine
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will headline this week’s book fair in Frankfurt, with organizers offering emphatic support for the country’s literary scene in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
Ukrainian writers led by “punk poet” Sergiy Zhadan will feature at the world’s biggest publishing event.
Zelensky will deliver his speech Thursday via video link at the five-day annual fair, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world and hundreds of exhibitors.
His wife, Olena Zelenska, will also speak at a side event.
13:17: Sviatohirsk remains divided between those with Ukrainian and Russian loyalties
Sviatohirsk was once so picturesque that it was nicknamed “Switzerland”. Donbass but today it lies in ruins. The city was destroyed by artillery fire and then occupied until Ukrainian forces drove out Russian troops. The loyalties of the remaining residents are divided between the Russian and Ukrainian sides. FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris Trent reports.
13:03: Russian army claims first gains in Kharkiv region since Ukraine’s counteroffensive
The Russian military said on Tuesday it had recaptured territory in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region, the first gains there since Moscow’s forces were pushed back in a sweeping counteroffensive.
“Units of the Russian army during offensive operations captured the village of Gorobiivka in the Kharkiv region,” the Defense Ministry said, claiming to have inflicted a “significant defeat” on Ukrainian troops in the village.
12:31: Kremlin says Putin not ending mobilization ‘yet’
President Vladimir Putin does not plan to end a military mobilization in Russia “yet” but some of the country’s regions completed the process, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
“At the moment there is no presidential decree (to end the mobilization),” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He spoke a day after Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced an end to mobilization in the capital and closed the city’s draft offices.
Putin announced a nationwide military call-up to support Moscow’s forces in Ukraine on September 21, in a move that has led to an exodus of men and some discontent.
Last week, the Russian leader said he aimed to end the drive “within about two weeks”.
12:14 p.m.: Ukraine says the situation is “critical” after strikes on energy facilities
The situation in Ukraine is “critical” after waves of Russian strikes against the country energy infrastructure ahead of winter, Ukraine’s presidency said on Tuesday.
“The situation is critical now across the country because our regions are interdependent… it is necessary for the whole country to prepare for electricity, water and heat cuts,” said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office. Ukrainian TV.
12:07 p.m.: Russian attacks on Kiev energy plant kill two, prosecutors say
Russian attacks targeting one energy facility in Kyiv left at least two people dead, officials said Tuesday, in a wave of bombings that knocked out electricity in several cities across the country.
“On October 18, 2022, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, using warfare prohibited under international law, launched a missile attack on an energy supply facility on the capital’s left bank. Preliminarily, two people were killed and one was injured,” the regional prosecutor’s office said.
11:53: Kremlin says it has no knowledge of its army using Iranian drones in Ukraine
“No, we have no information on this. Russian technology is being used,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked whether Russia was using Iranian drones during a briefing, referring further questions on the matter to the Defense Ministry.
11:48 am: Russia says ‘technical fault’ likely behind Yeysk jet crash
Russia said on Tuesday that a “technical error” likely caused the downing of the military jet crash into an apartment building in Yeysk, near Ukraine, killing at least 13 people including three children.
Investigators said they were questioning the pilots of the Sukhoi Su-34, who managed to eject from the plane before it crashed Monday night into the nine-story building, bursting into flames.
Nineteen people were injured, four of them seriously.
The crash was likely caused by “a technical error,” said Russia’s Investigative Committee, which investigates serious crimes.
It said it had opened a criminal investigation into possible violations of aviation regulations and had “seized fuel samples at the departure airport” and “flight recorders at the scene of the crash”.
11:03: Fifty meters of the Nord Stream pipe destroyed: video
At least 50 meters from Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been destroyed or buried beneath the seabed, following an explosion believed to be sabotage, underwater images released Tuesday showed.
In footage published by the Swedish newspaper Expressen, massive torn and twisted metal can be seen on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline 80 meters down into the Baltic Sea.
The Express said the footage, filmed on Monday, shows how over 50 meters (165 feet) of the pipeline is either missing or buried under the seabed, and long tears can be observed on the seabed leading up to the burst pipe.
“It is only an extreme force that can bend metal so thickly in the way we see,” Trond Larsen, drone operator at the Norwegian company Blueye Robotics, told Expressen.
Larsen, who piloted the submersible drone that captured the video, also said “a very large impact on the seabed around the pipe” could also be seen.
10:45: Power outages in Kyiv and Ukraine regions following strikes at energy facilities
Several regions of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, experienced power failure after several strikes targeting energy facilities, local officials and authorities said Tuesday.
Many settlements in the Zhytomyr region, west of Kyiv, and parts of the city of Dnipro in central Ukraine were without electricity, while power was restored to the southern city of Mykolaiv after overnight strikes.
Russian airstrikes have destroyed 30 percent of Ukraine’s power plants since October 10, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday.
He wrote on Twitter that the attacks had caused massive blackouts across Ukraine and that there was “no room left for negotiations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
8:35 am: Ukraine says three strikes hit “power plant” in Kyiv
Ukraine said on Tuesday that three attacks had hit a “power facility” in Kyiv, a day after deadly Russian drone strikes on the Ukrainian capital.
“Preliminarily three hits at a power supply facility on Kyiv’s Left Bank,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on social media.
Reports from the city of Zaporizhzhia, FRANCE 24 correspondent Catherine Norris Trent says strikes are occurring every night and notes “how important the energy infrastructure is” in the Zaporizhzhia region, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power station and a huge hydroelectric dam.
8:15 am: Ukraine says Russia “kidnapped” two nuclear workers
In a statement on social media, Energoatom said Russian forces on Monday “kidnapped” the head of information technology Oleg Kostyukov and the plant’s deputy general director Oleg Osheka and “took them to an unknown destination”.
06:50: Russian military jet crashes, leaving 13 dead as search ends
At least 13 people, including three children, were killed after a Russian military the plane crashed into a residential area in Yeysk, a city in southwestern Russia near the border with Ukraine, Moscow authorities said Tuesday as search efforts ended.
The Emergencies Ministry said in a statement that rescue workers had completed searching the rubble and discovered “10 more bodies”, after earlier announcing three deaths.
“A total of 13 people died, including three children, while 19 people were injured,” according to the ministry, as cited by Russian news agencies.
6.40am: Deadly drone strikes hit Kyiv as Russian warplane crashes
Moscow on Monday stepped up attacks across Ukraine, blacking out power and killing eight people, including in kamikaze drone strikes on the capital, when a Russian fighter jet crashed near the border.
Moscow is believed to be trying to offset battlefield losses in its eight-month war in Ukraine by pursuing a punitive policy to strike energy facilities before winter in a move President Vladimir Putin hopes will weaken the resistance.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said Russia launched five strikes in Kyiv and against energy facilities in Sumy and the central Dnipropetrovsk regions, knocking out electricity to hundreds of towns and villages.
Ukraine said four people were killed in Kyiv, including a married couple expecting a child, and another four in the northeastern region of Sumy.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)