October 12, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Aditi Sangal and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 1:00 a.m. ET, October 13, 2022
38 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:56 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

UN General Assembly overwhelmingly condemns Russia's attempted annexations in Ukraine

From CNN's Richard Roth and Mohammed Tawfeeq

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Wednesday telling Russia its annexation of four Ukrainian zones is illegal and not valid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the resolution "historic" in a tweet and thanked the states that voted in favor.

During the assembly's emergency special session on Ukraine, US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the vote "is important not just to the future of Ukraine and the future of Europe, but to the very foundations of this institution."

"After all, the UN was built on an idea: that never again would one country be allowed to take another's territory by force," Thomas-Greenfield added. 

The US diplomat said the resolution calls for peace and de-escalation, and "makes clear that we reject Russia's attempted annexations. That we reject this affront to territorial integrity, to national sovereignty, to peace and security."

She noted that "today it is Russia invading Ukraine. But tomorrow it could be another nation whose territory is violated. You could be next. What would you expect from this chamber?" 

"So let us send a clear message today: these United Nations will not tolerate attempts at illegal annexation. We will never recognize it. These United Nations will not tolerate seizing a neighbor's land by force. We will stand up to it. These United Nations will not tolerate the destruction of the UN Charter. We will defend it," she told the assembly.

"Our message Today is loud and clear: It does not matter if you, as a nation, are big or small, rich or poor, old or new. If you are a UN Member State, your borders are your own and are protected by international law. They cannot be redrawn by anyone else by force." Thomas-Greenfield added. 

4:11 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

Canada will do "whatever it takes" to support Ukraine, defense minister says

From CNN’s Anna Gorzkowska in London

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand reaffirmed the country's commitment to support Ukraine, saying on Wednesday that Canada would continue to do “whatever it takes” to stand in solidarity with Kyiv.

“We will continue to do whatever it takes to make sure we are standing in solidarity with Ukraine against this illegal and unjust Russian invasion,” she told CNN’s Isa Soares in an interview.  

Anand’s comments came after Canada earlier on Wednesday announced an additional $47 million in new military aid to assist Ukraine.  

Outlining what was in the aid package, Anand told Soares that there were three categories of aid: Military aid and equipment including winter clothes, training Ukrainian armed forces, and transporting aid from allies.     

“What I saw on the ground today in the meeting itself was incredible unity, collaboration, and cooperation," she said speaking from Brussels, where NATO defence ministers met on Wednesday.

She went on to say that “each country is leveraging its own respective capacities.”  

Anand condemned Russia’s recent strikes across Ukraine attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, calling them “war crimes.”  

On threats from Russia to the Arctic, she said Canada took this extremely seriously, and had already stepped up protection there to “ensure continental defense."

4:11 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

German economy minister: Putin's attempt to destabilize Europe's economic order will fail

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London

German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck speaks at a news conference in Berlin on October 12.
German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck speaks at a news conference in Berlin on October 12. (Annegret Hilse/Reuters)

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Wednesday that he is convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin's attempt to destabilize Europe's economic order will fail.

“Putin will fail in his attempt to destabilize the basic economic order, the same way he will fail on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Habeck said, speaking at a news conference in Berlin. 

The minister also addressed Germany’s economic health, stating that the country “will have a decline in economic growth this year.” 

Comparing growth forecasts from April 2022, autumn 2022 and 2023, he said that Germany was forecast to have “negative growth, a recession.” 

“This autumn, we are forecasting 1.4% growth. In April this year, that figure was 2.2%. Next year, growth will stand at minus 0.4%, in other words negative growth, a recession,” he said.

He estimated that inflation in Germany will stand at 8% this year and at 7% next year.

3:38 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

France will provide Ukraine with air defense systems and weapons, Macron says  

From CNN’s Joseph Ataman and Marguerite Lacroix in Paris

France will send air defense systems, radars, missiles and weapons to Ukraine in the coming weeks to defend against missile and drone attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with broadcaster France 2 on Wednesday. 

Macron, whose comments come after Ukraine experienced a wave of Russian missile attacks, said the French supplies would specifically help defeat these kinds of threats. 

He added that France would deliver the hardware and the necessary training to Ukraine. Ukraine has specifically requested the weapons as a priority.

The French president said that this decision followed “an unprecedented phase of bombings” that struck Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. 

Without going into detail, Macron said France was providing military intelligence to Ukraine. 

Pressed on the success of international sanctions, Macron said that they were working. 

“Russia is profoundly destabilized: in its capacity to regenerate its arms, its production and industry,” he said. 

Macron also declared, “We are in a hybrid war."

“We are not just using weapons on the ground but using weapons of information,” he said, adding that Russia was using a wide variety of approaches to wage the conflict, including: propaganda channels, paying for influence including on social media, weaponizing migration, blackmail and hunger. 

Questioned on nuclear risks in Ukraine, the French president confirmed that France’s nuclear doctrine would not automatically commit to a retaliatory strike, if Russia used nuclear weapons in Ukraine. 

The president also refused to brand Russia a “terrorist state” saying that such labels “have little consequences”. 

“There’s one state that’s declared war and that’s more than enough,” he said. 

3:25 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

"No guarantee" that Europe will survive this winter, warns chief of Russian state-owned energy giant

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite, Uliana Pavlova and Alex Hardie 

The head of the Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom has warned European countries of the consequences of weaning off energy from Russia. 

There was “no guarantee” that Europe would survive this winter season, based on its current gas reserves, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday. 

Speaking at the Russia Energy Week conference in Moscow, Miller claimed that gas in Germany's underground storage will be enough only for between two and two and a half months.

The European gas storage levels is at around “90% full and we are top of the class in that respect," Czech Minister for Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said Wednesday, after a meeting of European Union energy ministers in Prague.

Some background: Europe’s energy crisis is deepening as Russia further limits exports of natural gas, forcing governments to spend billions to protect businesses and consumers from soaring bills as the region slides towards recession.

3:18 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

Ukraine says Russian forces continue assault operations, with one town hit by more than 300 shells Wednesday

From CNN's Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

Russian forces in occupied Ukraine continue to launch offensive operations amid the much higher tempo of missile attacks, according to the Ukrainian military.

In an update late Wednesday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said enemy forces were "trying to conduct offensive actions at the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions," both in the eastern Donetsk region. Those attacks and others in Donetsk had been repelled, it said.

It said that parts of Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia regions also came under attack, especially the town of Orikhiv.

Svitlana Mandrych, deputy head of Orikhiv, said a total of 324 shells had landed in the town on Wednesday

 "Nine wounded residents...The infrastructure of the city is being destroyed. The population is being eliminated," she said, appealing to the townspeople to remain in shelters.

"We still have a night to survive ahead. Now we hear explosions again," Mandrych said. 

The General Staff said Russian forces continued to use cruise missiles as well as drones and multiple launch rocket systems. Another 10 Iranian-made drones had been shot down Wednesday, it said.

It said the Ukrainian air force was again active — carrying out 27 strikes. 

3:03 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

Senior NATO official: Russian nuclear strike would ​"almost certainly​" trigger a "physical response"

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London 

A still image from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows a Russian nuclear-powered submarine sailing during the military drill in the Chukchi Sea on September 16.
A still image from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows a Russian nuclear-powered submarine sailing during the military drill in the Chukchi Sea on September 16. (Russian Defense Ministry/Reuters)

A Russian nuclear strike would ​"almost certainly​" trigger a "physical response" from ​Ukrainian allies and potentially from NATO, a ​senior NATO official said Wednesday​, according to a press officer.

Speaking to media representatives in Brussels covering the ongoing meeting of NATO defense ministers, the ​senior NATO official warned that any use of nuclear weapons by Moscow would have "unprecedented consequences" for Russia.

It would "almost certainly be drawing a physical response from many allies, and potentially from NATO itself," the official said​, according to the press officer.

The official went on to say that Moscow was using its nuclear threats mainly to deter the alliance and other countries from directly entering its war on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, who warned last week the risk of “nuclear Armageddon” was at its highest level in 60 years, said in an exclusive CNN interview Tuesday that threats emanating from Russia could result in catastrophic “mistakes” and “miscalculation,” even as he declined to spell out how precisely the United States would respond if Putin deploys a tactical nuclear device on the battlefield in Ukraine.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post 

1:11 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

Allies need to help Ukraine rebuild an integrated air and missile defense system, top US general says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

The US and its allies need to provide Ukraine with air defense systems in order for Ukraine to help defend its airspace against incoming attacks from Russian forces, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a news conference after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels Wednesday.

“What needs to be done here by all the various countries that were at the conference today is chip in and help them rebuild and sustain an integrated air and missile defense system,” Milley said. 

The United States' proposed plan: Milley laid out a plan where different air defense systems that several countries have, including Israel and Germany, should be given to Ukraine, and then the systems can be used together to protect Ukraine’s airspace. 

“Many countries have Patriot, many countries have other systems, there’s a whole series of Israeli systems that are quite capable, the Germans have systems as we mentioned, so a lot of the countries that were here today have a wide variety of systems,” Milley said. “The task will be to bring those together, get them deployed, get them trained, cause each of these systems is different, make sure they can link together with a command and control and communication systems and make sure they have radars that can talk to each other so they can acquire targets on the inbound flights.”

The execution of this strategy will be “quite complicated from a technical standpoint,” but Milley said it “is achievable.” 

When asked by a journalist when the air defense systems will arrive in Ukraine, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “the systems will be provided as fast as we can physically get them there.” 

12:41 p.m. ET, October 12, 2022

Top US general calls Russia’s attack on civilian infrastructure a "war crime"

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Russia’s attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine a "war crime" while speaking in a news conference after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group met in Brussels on Wednesday.

“Russia has deliberately struck civilian infrastructure with the purpose of harming civilians. They have targeted the elderly, the women and the children of Ukraine. Indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilian targets is a war crime in the international rules of war,” Milley said.

Milley added that while Ukraine’s citizens “have suffered greatly,” the country continues to “endure, and they are an inspiration to all.”