Ukraine: Zelenskyy visits eastern front, cluster bombs and 'devastating' loss of US aid

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presents an award to a serviceman during the visit.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presents an award to a serviceman during the visit. Copyright AFP PHOTO / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
By Euronews with AFP/AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits eastern front


Images released by the Ukrainian Presidency show Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky visiting soldiers on the eastern front. 

"Today we are visiting our brigades performing combat missions in one of the hottest areas (of the front)" Zelensky said in a statement on social media.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Tuesday that he had visited the front in the east, in the area of the towns of Kupiansk and Lyman, which are the target of an offensive by Russian troops.

Mr Zelensky said he had "discussed the operational situation on the battlefield, current issues and needs with brigade commanders and fighters".

Ukrainian forces have been conducting a slow counter-offensive in the east and south since June, but in the Kupiansk sector it is Russian troops who are on the attack.

In August, the Ukrainian authorities called on the population living near Kupiansk to evacuate these areas. On 20 September, the army said it feared further Russian attacks in the area.

Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the front on several occasions since the start of the Russian invasion, including Bakhmut, the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war.

Leopard tanks and no additional mobilisation for Russia in Ukraine

The 47th Mechanised Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces releases images showing a Leopard 2A6 tank delivered by Germany and belonging to the Ukrainian infantry in the Zaporizhzhia region, firing in the direction of the southeastern city of Melitopol, according to them. 

Russian conscripts won’t be sent to the combat zone in Ukraine and no additional mobilisation is currently planned, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting on Tuesday with senior military staff.

“The Armed Forces have the necessary number of servicemen to conduct the special military operation,” Shoigu said, adding that over 335,000 people have signed contracts for military service in 2023, including some 50,000 in September.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said last week it would enlist 130,000 men for compulsory military service this fall, that began on Oct. 1, in most regions of the country.

Ukraine accused of firing cluster bombs at Russian village

The governor of Russia's Bryansk region has alleged Ukraine used cluster munitions on a Russian village near the Ukrainian border, hitting several houses. 

No casualties were reported in Klimovo, wrote Governor Alexander Bogomaz on Telegram. 

Kyiv has not commented on this accusation. 

Euronews cannot independently verify the Russian official's claim, which were made without photo or video evidence. 

Washington controversially supplied Kyiv with cluster bombs in July -  which was blasted as a "terrible mistake" by politicians and rights groups. 

Cluster munitions are banned under an international treaty, signed by more than 120 countries. 

Like a shotgun, they splatter explosive submunitions over an area as big as several football fields. These can then lie dormant like landmines, killing and maiming civilians years after a conflict has finished.  


Russia has been documented using cluster bombs extensively in Ukraine. 

Loss of US aid would have a 'devastating' effect on Kyiv - experts

Ukrainian troops could soon run out of ammunition and equipment if hard-right officials in Washington succeed in cutting US funding, experts warn.

Since Russia invaded in February 2022, the US has pledged more than $43bn (€41bn) in military aid to Ukraine - more than half the West's total.  

Top US officials have repeatedly claimed military and humanitarian support for Kyiv will last "as long as necessary".

However, the Republican opposition, pushed by a group of Trumpian officials, managed on Saturday to force Congress to approve a temporary budget that excluded aid for Kyiv. 


This compromise - which averted a government shutdown in Washington - illustrates aid is far from guaranteed for Kyiv. 

If funding was halted, “it would be devastating for the Ukrainians,” warns Mark Cancian, an advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington.

“Ukrainian troops would be weakened and could even possibly collapse,” although he believes they could “continue to be able to remain on the defensive.”

Stopping aid - which the White House maintains will not happen - would have a delayed effect since many deliveries are in the pipeline. 

“We would surely have to wait several weeks before seeing effects on the battlefield,” said Cancian. 


Plus Moscow may not be able to capitalise on this weakening, being "quite exhausted at this stage,” he added.

Far from the front lines, the end of US aid could also weaken Ukrainian air defences, which need to be continually resupplied with munitions.

They play a key role in protecting Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure from Russian strikes. 

Top EU diplomat dismisses concern about bloc's long-term support for Ukraine

The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Monday led a delegation of top diplomats on an unannounced visit to Kyiv, where he rejected worries about political tension in the bloc hampering its long-term support for Ukraine. 

Though largely symbolic, the informal meeting between EU and Ukrainian officials demonstrated the EU’s “clear commitment” to Kyiv, Josep Borrell said at a news conference in Kyiv.


“The EU remains united in its support to Ukraine … I don’t see any member state folding on their engagement.”

He insisted the bloc is devoted to “sustained engagement” with Ukraine. 

“Our resolve … is firm and will continue.”

Borrell listed the commitment the 27-nation club has made and hopes to make, including proposed military aid of €5bn next year, a target to train some 40,000 Ukrainian troops and possible joint arms industry ventures between EU and Ukrainian defence companies.

But their “strongest security commitment” for Ukraine is to grant it EU membership, he continued. 


Ukraine wants to join the bloc - something EU officials have encouraged - even though it could take decades, especially amid a war of attrition with no end in sight.

Talks between the EU and Kyiv took place after the weekend election victory in Slovakia of former Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose pro-Russian agenda has increased the question marks about the EU’s continued support for Kyiv.

The small eastern European EU country could bring more tension to the bloc's discussions on Ukraine, as has happened with Hungary. 

Budapest has maintained close relations with Moscow and argued against supplying arms to Ukraine or providing it with economic assistance. 

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