October 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 12:31 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022
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9:19 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

Russia downplays the need for Belarusian troops in "special military operation"

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova 

A Russian defense official is downplaying the need for Belarusian troops to participate in Moscow's "special military operation" — the term used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to refer to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian Duma's Defense Committee, told Russian state media RIA Novosti on Monday that "there is no need" for Belarus to join forces with Russia.

His interview comes after Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus and Russia will “deploy a joint regional group of troops” that deepens the military cooperation between the two countries. Lukashenko had also claimed that Ukraine is planning to attack Belarusian territory. In turn, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said, "this information is not true."

Russian and Belarusian troops take part in the Zapad-2021 military exercise in the Brest region of Belarus on September 14, 2021.
Russian and Belarusian troops take part in the Zapad-2021 military exercise in the Brest region of Belarus on September 14, 2021. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Kartapolov explained that the deployment of joint forces was primarily in response to the actions of Poland, which he said has started deploying formations on the border with Belarus. 

“The deployment is aimed at relieving the concerns of Alexander Grigoryevich (Lukashenko) and our Belarusian brothers," he said. "Of course, we cannot remain indifferent ... This is not a new grouping, it is provided for within the framework of the union state.”

He added, "a decision has simply been made at the request of the President of Belarus to deploy this group. It is too early to say to what extent. The decision will be made by the general staffs of our countries."

11:47 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

EU chief vows to stand with Kyiv after Russia's "vicious attacks" on Ukrainian cities

From CNN’s Eve Brennan and Allegra Goodwin in London

International leaders continue to react to Russia's missile attacks on Kyiv and across other Ukrainian cities on Monday morning.  

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Monday that she is “shocked and appalled by the vicious attacks on Ukrainian cities.” 

“Putin’s Russia has again shown the world what it stands for: brutality and terror. I know that Ukrainians will stay strong. We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, with all the means we have,” the tweet reads. 

While on a visit to a border crossing point between Estonia and Russia with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, von der Leyen said "those who are responsible have to be held accountable."

“We are mourning the victims and I send my heartfelt condolences to our Ukrainian friends. I know Ukrainians will not be intimidated, and Ukrainians know that we will stand by their side as long as it takes,” von der Leyen continued. 

Kallas also said she wanted to send a “clear message” to Ukrainians, saying, “we are supporting you every possible way.” She expressed the importance of delivering air defense systems to Ukraine so the country could protect its cities and civilians. 

Meanwhile, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola tweeted on Monday that “what is happening now in #Kyiv is sickening. It shows the world, again, the regime we are faced with: One that targets indiscriminately. One that rains terror & death down on children. This is criminal. They will be held to account. Ukraine will win. Europe will not look away.”  

See the EU chief's tweet:

9:22 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

President Lukashenko accuses Ukraine of preparing attacks on Belarus

From CNN's Anna Chernova 

The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, accused Ukraine of preparing strikes on Belarus, and warned the country against possible attacks, state media Belta reported Monday.

“Yesterday, through unofficial channels, we were warned about strikes against Belarus from the territory of Ukraine,” Lukashenko reportedly said at a meeting on security issues.

Referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and others, Lukashenko warned that what had happened to the Kerch bridge would seem like nothing “if only they touch at least one meter of our territory with their dirty hands."

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said, "this information is not true."

8:21 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

NATO chief condemns "Russia’s horrific and indiscriminate attacks" in Ukraine

From CNN’s Alex Hardie

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on September 30.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on September 30. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg criticized “Russia’s horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg tweeted that he had spoken with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

He added that NATO “will continue supporting the brave Ukrainian people to fight back against the Kremlin’s aggression for as long as it takes.”

European allies roundly condemned Russian airstrikes that hit Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities on Monday morning.

“Deeply shocked by Russia’s attacks on civilians in #Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine. Such acts have no place in (the) 21st century. I condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell said.

"We stand with Ukraine. Additional military support from the EU is on its way,” Borrell tweeted Monday.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted that the "bombardment of Kyiv and of civilian targets in many other cities is a reprehensible act by Russia.

"It is an unacceptable escalation of violence that strengthens Belgium's resolve in supporting the people of Ukraine and their brave fight for a free and sovereign nation," he added.

8:27 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

Kremlin refuses to confirm joint regional deployment of troops with Belarus

From CNN's Tim Lister

Moscow has declined to confirm Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's announcement that Russia and Belarus will “deploy a joint regional group of troops."

When asked about Lukashenko's comments, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "Interaction in various fields, including defense, is constantly discussed in the course of bilateral contacts between Putin and Lukashenko."

In recent days, tensions between Belarus and Ukraine have risen, with the Belarusian Foreign Ministry accusing Kyiv of planning an attack on its territory.

In turn the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said "this information is not true."

"We categorically reject these latest insinuations by the Belarusian regime. We cannot rule out that this diplomatic note may be part of a provocation on the part of the Russian Federation to further incriminate Ukraine.

"Ukraine has never encroached on foreign territories. We strictly adhere to the fundamental norms and principles of international law and the UN Charter," the ministry added.

"(In) Belarus, military inspections have been extended until October 15. Also, once again, the closure of the airspace in the southern regions of this country was continued," the Ukrainian military said at the weekend.

8:29 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

Putin accuses Ukraine of "sabotage act on the Crimean bridge"

From CNN's Anna Chernova

A fire on the Kerch bridge at in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, on October 8.
A fire on the Kerch bridge at in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, on October 8. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin listed a catalogue of alleged acts of “terrorism” by what he called the “Kyiv regime” at the Russian Security Council meeting on Monday, accusing "Ukrainian special services" of the “sabotage act on the Crimean bridge.”

He went through a list of what he called acts of terrorism including “terrorist shelling of the citizen towns in Donbas for over eight years,” and alleged acts of terrorism against Russian energy infrastructure, including electric power facilities, the gas transportation infrastructure and “an attempt to undermine one of the sections of the Turkish Stream gas transportation system.”

He warned of a harsh response that corresponds to the level of threat towards the Russian Federation in case of further "acts of terrorism."

More on the explosion: An explosion early Saturday severely damaged parts of the Crimean bridge, which is a road and rail bridge between annexed Crimea and the Russian Federation. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the blast on the enormous 19-kilometer (about 12-mile) bridge, which was built after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, an annexation regarded by the West as illegal.

The crossing was opened by Putin himself in 2018, and Ukrainian reaction to the explosion has been gleeful and triumphant.

Here's a look at where the bridge is located:

1:14 p.m. ET, October 10, 2022

A Russian strike came close to the Romanian embassy in Kyiv, minister says

From CNN’s Jo Shelley

A Russian missile landed near Romania’s embassy in the Ukrainian capital this morning, according to foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu.

“I strongly condemn (the Russian) missile strikes against civilian objectives in ‪#Kyiv's centre & other cities, in blatant violation of int'l humanitarian law, resulting in loss of human lives,” he tweeted on Monday.

“Glad that the personnel of (the Romanian) Embassy is safe, even if one strike hit only 850m away (from) its HQ,” Aurescu added.

The announcement comes after the German Foreign Office said a building containing Germany's visa office in Kyiv was damaged in today's wave of Russian strikes on Ukraine.

8:17 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

Belarusian leader announces deployment of "joint regional group of troops" with Russia

From CNN's Tim Lister

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, left, meets with his Russian counterpart Putin in Sochi, Russia, on September 26.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, left, meets with his Russian counterpart Putin in Sochi, Russia, on September 26. (President of Russia)

President Alexander Lukashenko announced Belarus and Russia will “deploy a joint regional group of troops,” according to Belarusian state media.

"Due to the aggravation on the western borders of the Union State, we agreed to deploy a regional grouping of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus,” Lukashenko said Monday, according to state news agency Belta.

Lukashenko's declaration deepens the military cooperation between the two countries -- and follows claims made by Belarus that Ukraine is planning to attack its territory.

When Moscow its invasion of Ukraine in late February, it followed a substantial deployment of Russian forces and aviation in Belarus.

However, Lukashenko has not committed Belarus troops to Russia's "special military operation."

Last week, he said Belarus "has been caught up in the Russia-Ukraine war but that it is not an active military party to the conflict."

“As for our participation in a special military operation in Ukraine, we are participating. We do not hide it. But we are not killing anyone. We are not sending our military anywhere. We do not violate our obligations,” Lukashenko said during a military meeting.

He added that Belarus was “participating” in the war by preventing its spread into Belarus and by preventing “a strike on Belarus under the guise of a special military operation from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.”

He also said Belarus was not planning to announce any mobilization but that it intends to learn from Russia’s experience.

“If the threat level reaches the current level, as it is now, we start deploying the Union State grouping," he said on Monday.

Lukashenko is quoted as saying that the grouping has now started, and he believes it has been underway for two days.

However, it is unclear what comprises the grouping and where it is deployed.

8:22 a.m. ET, October 10, 2022

Russian strikes targeted energy infrastructure across Ukraine, official says

From Julia Kesaieva

The series of Russian missiles launched at Ukraine on Monday morning was aimed at “critical infrastructure to destroy the country’s energy supply," according to a Ukrainian government official.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, also warned Ukrainians to be prepared for blackouts.

“Power facilities from Lviv to Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv to Khmelnytskyi region, Dnipro and Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Sumy region, Kharkiv region, Zhytomyr region, Kirovohrad, and the entire south are targeted,” Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

“This may affect the stability of energy supply, so we need to be prepared for the consequences of such shelling, up to rolling blackouts,” he added.

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said there is no electricity supply in five regions -- Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv and Ternopil -- and power supply has been partially disrupted in the rest of the country.