As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 207th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Sunday, September 18.
- Ukraine’s counteroffensive has advanced farther into the partly recaptured northeast as pressure mounted on Russian forces.
- Ukraine has continued an offensive to retake territory in the south, where it hopes to trap thousands of Russian troops cut off from supplies on the Dnipro River’s west bank and retake Kherson, the only big Ukrainian city Russia took in its entirety since the start of the invasion.
- Russian forces have increased their targeting of civilian infrastructure in “a move to undermine the morale of the Ukrainian government and people … even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect,” the UK’s defence ministry said in a brief.
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nighttime speech: “Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territory. That’s what the Nazis did. That’s what [the Russians] do.”
- Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to stay the course in his campaign against Ukraine, warning of a “more serious” military response if counterattacks continue.
- One of the four main power lines at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was repaired and is supplying electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down.
- Russia’s defence ministry accused Kyiv of shelling near the Zaporizhzhia plant, which Ukraine denied. The ministry said its forces launched attacks on Ukrainian positions in several parts of the country.
- Both sides reported injuries in fighting in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
- Russian security forces fired on a gang of armed criminals in the centre of the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson and “neutralised” them, Tass news agency reported.
- Oleksandr Shapoval, a leading Ukrainian ballet dancer who died last week fighting on the front line, was honoured with a memorial service at the National Opera of Ukraine.
- US President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine. “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II,” he said on 60 Minutes in a clip released by American broadcaster CBS.
- Asked about Biden’s comments, RIA Novosti quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying: “Read [Russia’s nuclear] doctrine. Everything is written there.”
- Under the doctrine, nuclear weapons can be used after “an aggression against Russia or its ally with the use of mass destruction weapons”, or “when the very existence of the state is under threat”.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene for the United Nations General Assembly this week, a gathering that is unlikely to yield any progress towards ending the conflict.