US to factor in Russia's use of "kamikaze" drones in Ukraine in future decisions, official says
From CNN's MJ Lee
As Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv has come under attack by so-called “kamikaze” drones, according to a top Ukrainian official, the Biden administration will factor in Russia’s use of these deadly drones in its future decision-making and planning as it pertains to helping Ukraine, according to a senior administration official.
That decision-making notably includes ongoing deliberations about providing Ukraine with air defense systems, which is Kyiv's top need at this point in the war as Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said.
In recent days, US President Joe Biden and top US officials have made clear that the US plans to continue providing Ukraine with various air defense systems – including the expedited delivery of two NASAMS systems.
While the US is certain that Russians are in fact using these “kamikaze” drones and that they are lethal, the senior administration official also told CNN Monday, for now, the administration will let the Ukrainians describe and characterize how much harm attacks from those drones have caused on the ground.
8:21 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
It's mid-afternoon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know
From CNN staff
As Moscow escalates its assault on Ukraine, emergency services are working to rescue people from fatal "kamikaze" drone attacks launched by Russia early Monday.
EU to investigate Iran's ties with Moscow: The European Union "will look for concrete evidence" on Iran’s involvement in Russia's military assault on Ukraine, the bloc's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Monday.
Moscow targets Ukrainian energy infrastructure: Russia's defense ministry said Monday that its forces launched massive high-precision strikes on military targets and energy infrastructure facilities across Ukraine, with the Ukrainian prime minister urging residents to minimize their electricity consumption.
Ukraine-Saudi relations at critical juncture: Relations between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia are "strengthening," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday. His comments came after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
8:19 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
Attacks in Ukraine's Sumy region kill at least 3 and injure 9, official says
From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv
At least three people were killed, nine injured and others remain trapped in the rubble after rocket attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine’s northeastern Sumy region, according to the regional head of the military administration.
“At 5:20 in the morning, three Russian rockets hit the civil infrastructure facility. At least three people died. Nine are wounded. There are still people under the rubble,” Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the head of the Sumy region military administration, said on Telegram.
Electricity was also impacted and 1,625 subscribers were disconnected from the electricity supply in the Sumy region, Zhyvytskyi said.
He urged people to minimize electricity use during peak hours.
8:15 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
Russian official warns Israel against supplying weapons to Ukraine
From CNN's Uliana Pavlova and Hadas Gold
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia's Security Council and former Russian president, has warned Israel against supplying military weapons to Ukraine.
"Israel seems to be planning to supply weapons to the Kyiv regime. A very reckless move. It will destroy all interstate relations between our countries," Medvedev said in a Telegram post, without providing more details.
CNN reached out to the Israeli prime minister’s office for a response but they had no comment to Medvedev’s claims.
Some background: Nachman Shai, Israel's minister of diaspora affairs — whose agenda does not include military policy – tweeted Sunday, in support of sending military aid to Ukraine.
"This morning it was reported that Iran is transferring ballistic missiles to Russia. There is no longer any doubt where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as well, just as the USA and NATO countries provide," he said.
Remember: Although Israel has officially condemned the invasion and regularly sends aid to Ukraine, it has not yet sent any weapons to Kyiv, and has been criticized for not being more forceful in its criticism of Russia.
8:12 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
Russian journalist who held anti-war poster on state TV has fled the country, state media reports
From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London
Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who held up an anti-war poster on Russian state TV earlier this year, has fled Russia and is now under protection of a European country, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported Monday citing a comment from her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov.
"Marina Ovsyannikova was forced to leave Russia," said Zakhvatov, adding that the journalist is now "under the protection of one of the European countries."
Ovsyannikova was charged according to the Russian criminal code with disseminating false information about the Russian military after participating in a protest in July, which could lead to punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
In early October, she was placed on the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs' "wanted list."
8:21 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
Pregnant woman among those killed in attacks on Kyiv, mayor says
From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv
A six-month pregnant woman was one of the people killed in a drone strike on a residential building in Kyiv, according to the city's mayor.
"The bodies of three dead civilians were pulled out during search and rescue operations in a residential building in the city center, hit by a Russian drone. Among them is a young couple, a husband and wife, who were expecting a child. The woman was 6 months pregnant," Vitalii Klitschko said in a statement on Telegram.
Moscow launched drone attacks on residential buildings early Monday in Kyiv. Ukraine and US intelligence claimed that Russia used Iranian-supplied "kamikaze" drones to hit multiple regions in Ukraine, which Tehran has repeatedly denied.
7:36 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
"People were running, screaming" during Kyiv drone attacks, eyewitness tells CNN
From Victoria Butenko and Maria Avdeeva in Kyiv
Civilians were "running" and "screaming" amid deadly drone attacks launched by Russia across Kyiv early Monday, according to an eyewitness at the scene.
Vitalii, a man in his 20s, told CNN he was at a train station when the deadly strikes hit the Ukrainian capital city. He declined to give CNN his last name due to security concerns.
Vitalii said he saw "Shahed" drones flying overhead — the name given to Iranian-made "kamikaze" drones that Kyiv and US intelligence claim Moscow is using in their military assault on Ukraine.
"We were at the railway station (during the attack), we just arrived. We just got off the train and saw this Shahed flying over us. We saw a flash and an explosion," he said.
"We went to the basement, and when we got out, we saw a second hit over there, where there is smoke now. We had been staying in the basement for about two hours, and then there was another explosion. When it was quiet, we took a taxi and left.
"People first started coming out of the basement. After, when there was another explosion, everyone went back to the basement. People were running, screaming. There was panic. People were scared because they didn’t understand what was going on."
He added: "We have seen the explanation in internet about how it ('Shahed') works, it buzzes. We have heard, seen it. It flew just above us — a triangular one. And it exploded."
Anna works in a local coffee shop close to where the attack took place. She declined to give CNN her last name due to security concerns.
"I learned about the attack from the news. At first I decided not to go work, so I arrived only around 10:30 a.m. (local time)," she told CNN.
"It was scary, but not as scary as at the beginning of the war. That is, we are somehow used to it.
"I had a feeling this morning that something was going to happen, because I was here last Monday, I saw what happened. Thank God, I wasn’t here at the moment when everything happened.
"Last week we did not work because of this situation because we were afraid of new attacks. Today I really start thinking, whether it is safe," she added,
"I’m scared, but it’s hard to believe that it (drone or rocket) could fly here."
7:22 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
Russia says it launched massive high-precision strikes on energy infrastructure targets in Ukraine
From Uliana Pavlova
Russia's defense ministry said on Monday that its forces launched massive high-precision strikes on military targets and energy infrastructure facilities across Ukraine.
"During the day, the Russian armed forces continued to strike with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons at military command and control facilities and the energy system targets of Ukraine. All designated objects were hit," the ministry said in a statement.
Drone attacks launched by Moscow on residential buildings early Monday have killed at least three people in Kyiv, a senior Ukrainian official has said, with search and rescue operations still underway.
Kyiv and US intelligence claimed that Russia used Iranian-supplied "kamikaze" drones to hit multiple regions in Ukraine, which Tehran has repeatedly denied.
6:45 a.m. ET, October 17, 2022
EU to "look for concrete evidence" on Iran’s involvement in Ukraine war, says top official
From CNN’s Eve Brennan
The European Union "will look for concrete evidence" on Iran’s involvement in Russia's military assault on Ukraine, according to the bloc's foreign policy chief.
Russia is "more and more isolated" and is "losing this war," Josep Borrell said as he arrived in Luxembourg for a meeting with EU foreign ministers on Monday.
When asked about Iran’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, Borrell said: "This is something that will be discussed … and we will look for concrete evidence about the participation (of Iran)."
EU foreign ministers are due to discuss "peace facility, military support" and a "training mission" to support Ukraine, Borrell added.
Iran has repeatedly rebuffed claims from Kyiv and US intelligence that it is supplying "kamikaze" drones for Moscow's war on Ukraine.
The denials from Tehran follow a string of deadly drone attacks launched by Russia across Ukraine Monday.