$100k for Girkin (alive), Tajikistan bucks Russian hegemony, and Musk u-turns on Starlink
Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Monday, October 17th, 2022.
Apologies for the interruption in service last week - I came down with an awful case of flu. But don’t worry - we’re back on track for your daily updates from Ukraine.
Ukraine has issued a $100,000 bounty for Igor Girkin, a Russian FSB operative implicated in the downing of MH17.
The $100,000 has been officially issued by Ukraine’s military intelligence service HUR, while a combination of Ukrainian officials and public figures have promised an additional $50,000 for his capture. Girkin’s wife, Myroslava Reginska, recently posted a picture of Girkin in uniform, sparking speculation that he has joined the war of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The President of Tajikistan told Vladimir Putin to his face not to treat the Central Asian countries as the former Soviet Union.
During a Central Asia-Russia summit in Astana, the Kazakh capital, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon directed the criticism directly at the Russian dictator. “Why do we have to beg (Russia to attend) some miserable forum in Tajikistan?” he asked Putin. “I ask you not to pursue a policy towards the Central Asian countries as (if they are) the former Soviet Union.”
This package is mostly focused on ammunition for various weapons systems given to Ukraine, including HIMARS, but also contains 5,000 anti-tank weapons and 200 vehicles, as well as medical supplies.
A NATO official clashed with a Chinese diplomat over China’s subdued reaction to the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine.
During the annual Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer said that Beijing "doesn’t share our values and undermines the rules-based international order.” In response, Chinese Ambassador to Iceland He Rulong shot back that that statement was “arrogant”, though he was unable to fully articulate his objection to Bauer’s comment.
According to French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, these anti-air batteries “will be particularly useful in the fight against drones and against aerial bombardments.” France currently has 12 of these systems, which it plans to upgrade to the modern Mamba systems. It did not specify how many Crotales would be supplied to Ukraine, though he noted that they would be ready to deploy in two months.
Enerhodar mayor Dmytro Orlov said that a number of children have been sent to the Russian city of Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia under the guise of a “vacation trip.” “Despite the significant escalation of the situation at the front, in particular in the Kherson area, today the invaders and collaborators of Enerhodar are sending children to the Russian Federation,” he said.
Elon Musk has promised that his SpaceX company will continue to “fund” the operation of the Starlink satellite communications network in Ukraine.
The comment came amidst days of controversy regarding the tech oligarch’s statements on Ukraine, despite previously tweeting that he was ready to cut Ukraine off from Starlink access. However, it is not clear how much of Starlink’s services are actually being compensated for by SpaceX – volunteers on the ground using the systems say that they have been paying the monthly connection costs out of pocket, though Musk claims that SpaceX had donated 25,000 terminals to the Ukrainian military.
Russia’s Gazprom has threatened to cut Europe off from its gas entirely if the EU imposes a price cap.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that the introduction of a price limit for Russian gas, which the EU is considering as part of sanctions in response to the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine and provoking an energy crisis, allegedly violates terms of contracts signed with European companies. As a result, Russia would have justification for a “cessation of services.” Similar threats were recently made over oil supplies, which are also subject to EU price caps due to sanctions.
The day’s long-read: Mobilized Russians returning to Russia (dead), who can remove Putin, and where is Girkin?
In an interview with Radio NV, journalist Roman Tsymbalyuk spoke about the casualties taken by newly conscripted Russians, how Russian propaganda is dealing with these losses, and the fate that awaits the Russian dictator.
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