Ukraine Latest: Japan Plans to Reopen Kyiv Embassy on Wednesday

(Bloomberg) -- The Japanese government will reopen its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday as its joins other major democracies in restoring diplomatic offices in the Ukrainian capital that had been halted by Russia invasion.

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The war in Ukraine will probably be over in months, rather than years, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, said in an interview. Ukrainian central bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko unexpectedly resigned, citing health reasons, presenting a new headache for an economy that has been devastated by war.

President Joe Biden called Zelenskiy to inform him of $625 million in new US military assistance and vowed his administration would “impose severe costs” on any person, entity or country that supports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation claims in Ukraine. Russia warned the US’s escalating military aid risks a direct conflict with the NATO alliance.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • More Russians Flee Than Join Putin’s Army After Call-Up for War

  • Ukraine’s Central Bank Governor Quits as War Devastates Economy

  • Ukraine Advances in South After Hammering Russians in Northeast

  • Musk Sets Off Uproar in Ukraine by Tweeting His ‘Peace’ Plan

  • EU Moves Closer to Russia Sanctions Deal With Oil Price Cap

On the Ground

Ukrainian forces made substantial gains around Lyman and in the northern Kherson region over the last 24 hours, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said. The Russian units defeated on these fronts were previously considered to be among Putin’s top conventional fighting forces. Russia launched a missile attack on the city of Kharkiv overnight, with one woman dying, the regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram.

(All times CET)

Japan to Reopen Embassy in Kyiv (5:03 a.m.)

Japan plans to reopen its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday after it has been shut for seven months after taking measures to help protect the safety of the staff, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Japan has been among the last major democracies to restart its embassy in the Ukrainian capital after shutting down its operations and moving diplomatic staff elsewhere at the start of the invasion.

Biden Signs Prohibition Against Russia and Belarus (4:30 a.m.)

Biden signed into law a prohibition that bars the US Treasury from engaging in transactions involving the exchange of dollars for Special Drawing Rights that are issued by the International Monetary Fund and held by Russia or Belarus, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday. The Special Drawing Rights assets supplement the official reserves of IMF nations.

The bill is part of an initiative by US lawmakers to expand restrictions on Russia through financial institutions that was proposed earlier this year.

Japan Expels Russian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Move (1:38 a.m.)

Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori summoned Russian Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin and protested the treatment of an official at Japan’s Vladivostok consulate, who was detained, interrogated and expelled in what Japan said was a serious violation of the Vienna Convention.

In response, Japan declared an official at the Russian consulate in Sapporo “persona non grata” and demanded the official leave the country by Oct. 10.

Japan has demanded an apology from Russia for what it saw as the unjust detention of one of its diplomats in Vladivostok at the end of September, who Tokyo said was blindfolded and physically restrained after the Kremlin falsely accused him of spying. Russia expelled the Japanese diplomat, after accusing him of paying for sensitive information.

Japan Demands Russian Apology Over Detention of Diplomat

Ukraine in Grain Talks to Ensure Exports Past Next Month (8:51 p.m.)

Ukraine is holding tough talks to ensure grain continues flowing from its Black Sea ports even after a deal on such exports expires next month, a key adviser said.

“We hope for a prolongation of the mandate to bring grain out of Ukraine’s ports,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff said, said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Tuesday.

He declined to elaborate on when any results can be expected, describing the talks as “complicated.” Ukraine doesn’t negotiate with Russia directly, according to Podolyak. Instead, there are sub-negotiating groups that also include Turkey and the United Nations.

EU States Need to Improve Sanctions Data, Official Says (8:33 p.m.)

European Union members are implementing sanctions well, but some governments need to improve their reporting on how much Russian assets have been frozen, a senior EU official said.

“We want figures. We want numbers. We want assets,” the bloc’s commissioner for financial services, Mairead McGuinness, said in a media roundtable hosted by Bloomberg. “My own view is that the numbers publicly quoted are not the full figures. I want to get those. I want to extract them.”

Previously, EU officials have said that the EU has frozen at least $14 billion since the invasion of Ukraine, but the bulk of that data comes from only six countries -- Germany, France, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Read more: Russian Assets Barely Touched Across EU With $14 Billion Seized

Russia Warns US Military Aid for Ukraine Risks Direct Conflict (8:02 p.m.)

A Russian official warned the US that its escalating military assistance to Ukraine risks triggering a direct conflict between Russia and the NATO alliance.

“The US is stepping up weapons supplies to Ukraine, providing military intelligence and involving its fighters and advisers in the conflict,” Konstantin Vorontsov, a senior disarmament official at the Foreign Ministry, said at the United Nations General Assembly, the Tass news service reported.

This is bringing the situation “dangerously to the verge of a direct military clash between Russia and NATO,” he said.

Italy’s Meloni Confirms Support in Call With Zelenskiy (7:24 p.m.)

Giorgia Meloni, the right-wing leader who is set to become Italy’s next prime minister, reaffirmed in a phone call with Zelenskiy her support for Ukraine’s freedom and underlined her commitment in any diplomatic effort needed to end the conflict, according to a statement by her Brothers of Italy party.

Ukraine’s Central Bank Governor Quits, Citing Health Reasons (6:51 p.m.)

Ukrainian central bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko unexpectedly submitted his resignation to Zelenskiy, citing health reasons, as the country struggles to stabilize the wartime economy.

Shevchenko’s departure is subject to approval by parliament. Once the assembly approves it, his first deputy will take over as the acting governor, according to the bank’s press office.

The 49-year-old has led the central bank since July 2020 and was criticized by Zelenskiy and the International Monetary Fund in the early days of his tenure. The scrutiny eased after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, as the monetary authority has played a key role in supporting the wartime economy.

Biden Pledges More Weapons to Ukraine in Call With Zelenskiy (6:49 p.m.)

President Biden pledged $625 million in new security assistance to Ukraine during a phone call with Zelenskiy, the White House said. The latest package includes HIMARS long-range rockets and ammunition, armored vehicles as well as other weapons and equipment.

Biden, who was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris on the call, also condemned Russia’s move to annex parts of eastern and southern Ukraine and promised the US would “impose severe costs” on any person, entity or country that supports the move, the White House said in a statement.

US Says Russian Oil Price Cap Is Weeks Away (6:15 p.m.)

The Group-of-Seven industrialized economies are within weeks of announcing a formal cap on the price of Russian oil, according to Ben Harris, the US Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy.

The step will be announced “substantially before Dec. 5,” Harris said. That’s the date when aggressive European Union sanctions on Russian oil exports are due to enter into force.

Zelenskiy Aide Expects War to Be Over in Months (6:04 p.m.)

There’s little chance of the war dragging on for years, even at the current pace of weapons deliveries to Ukraine, and expedited shipments may help end it in a few months, Podolyak said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

“I see months, not years,” Podolyak said. He added that there can be no peace negotiations with Putin until he is beaten militarily and “I wouldn’t exaggerate risks of Russia using nuclear weapons.”

Ukraine has lost 10,000 soldiers in the war, while more than that number were wounded, said Podolyak. Ukraine and Russia frequently give casualty figures that can’t be independently verified, often exaggerating their opponent’s losses while downplaying their own.

UK Says Nuclear Attack Would Warrant Response (4:52 p.m.)

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the use of nuclear weapons by any country “would not go without response.”

Speaking at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham, England, Cleverly didn’t specify what Britain’s response would be.

Ukraine Considers Restarting Nuclear Units, AP Says (4:43 p.m.)

Ukraine is considering restarting two of the six reactors at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to protect safety installations as temperatures drop, the Associated Press reported, citing Petro Kotin, the head of nuclear power plant operator Energoatom. The decision may come as early as Wednesday, AP said.

The last operating unit at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops since March, was safely shut down on Sept. 11 after shelling repeatedly cut the plant off from the national grid. The International Atomic Energy Agency has started talks with Ukraine and Russia about creating a security and safety zone around the plant.

US Weapons Package to Include Mine-Resistant Vehicles (4:32 p.m.)

The $625 million package of military equipment drawn from existing US stockpiles for Ukraine to be announced Tuesday will include as many as 200 additional fortified Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, according to two people familiar with the planned aid package.

That’s in addition to four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, bringing the total to 20, and 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery rounds.

Ukrainian Forces Press Advance After Breakthroughs (3:32 p.m.)

Ukrainian troops advanced further in the southern Kherson region after breaking through Russian lines there this week, the Defense Ministry said.

The counteroffensive is now pushing to encircle Russian forces occupying the region as Ukraine’s army retook villages and settlements including Davydiv Brid, about 60 miles from the city of Kherson. In the east, Russian troops retreated as Ukrainian forces advanced on the strategic occupied towns of Kreminna and Svatove in the Luhansk region.

More Russians Flee Than Join Putin’s Army (2:11 p.m.)

Far more Russians have fled abroad than have enlisted in the military since Putin announced a mobilization to bolster his faltering invasion of Ukraine.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said more than 200,000 people have been conscripted into the army since Putin’s Sept. 21 order for a partial call-up, Russian news services reported Tuesday.

That matches an exodus of more than 200,000 Russians to neighboring Kazakhstan alone, according to the central Asian country’s interior minister. Georgian authorities said almost 69,000 Russians had arrived from across the border by Sept. 30, while almost the same amount crossed into the EU.

NATO Puzzles Over How to Protect Undersea Links (2:21 p.m.)

NATO allies are struggling to work out how to better shield undersea critical infrastructure after the Nord Stream pipeline blasts laid bare the difficulty of monitoring facilities and identifying attackers.

Danish, Swedish and German officials are still investigating the causes, a process that can take weeks, while allies of NATO have rushed to deploy military vessels and planes to monitor the Baltic and North Seas.

The sheer scale and underwater depth of assets such as pipelines -- or data cables that allow the internet to function -- heighten the challenge for governments.

Putin Opponent Navalny’s Backers Restart Russia Movement (2:05 p.m.)

Top aides to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny said they’re restarting a national protest movement to capitalize on growing discontent over the war in Ukraine.

“The sleeping majority woke up,” said Ivan Zhdanov, a Navalny lieutenant, in a video posted on YouTube. “Putin woke it up himself.”

The Russian president’s decision last month to call up several hundred thousand reservists after setbacks in Ukraine alarmed the Russian population, according to opinion polls. The government banned Navalny’s organizations last year as “extremist.” The new network will be underground.

Western Officials See No Change In Moscow’s Nuclear Stance (12:55 p.m.)

Western officials said they don’t believe Russia has changed its nuclear posture despite unconfirmed newspaper reports on moves by Moscow. London’s Times reported that a train linked to Russia’s main nuclear command was seen on the move, while Italy’s La Repubblica reported a planned test of a new nuclear torpedo dubbed the ‘apocalypse weapon.’

The officials, who declined to be named on a confidential issue, said they had not seen any indicators or activities that were out of the norm conducted by Russian strategic nuclear forces.

Kremlin Says Musk’s Interest in Peace ‘Quite Positive’ (12:15 p.m.)

The Kremlin called Elon Musk’s desire for a peaceful solution in Ukraine “quite positive.”

“Many of the ideas in Musk’s tweets deserve attention,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call. But Peskov was cool to Musk’s proposal for new annexation votes in Russian-occupied lands, saying Russia’s absorption of the territories is not open to discussion. “Reaching peace is completely impossible without fulfilling Russia’s terms,” Peskov said.

Belarus’s Lukashenko Acknowledges Backing Russia’s War (11:50 a.m.)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko publicly acknowledged his country is taking part in Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, his first such statement since the start of Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

Lukashenko said his country’s participation is limited to preventing the conflict from spreading to Belarus, protecting Russian troops deployed in his country from attacks, and giving them medical care. “We are not killing anyone”, state-owned news agency Belta cited Lukashenko as saying. Lukashenko provided his country’s territory to Russia for the invasion.

Russian Missile Attack Triggers Rail Blackout in Kharkiv (11:35 a.m.)

Russian forces shelled Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, with missiles overnight, disrupting the railway network’s power supply, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook. “The enemy is attacking civilian infrastructure, trying to take revenge for defeats and intimidate Kharkiv residents,” Kubrakov said.

Railway workers sought to keep traffic delays minimal, Kubrakov added. Railway connections have already been restored to more than 45 settlements in the region, in particular to the recently won cities of Balaklia, Derhachi and Chuhuiv. Work was underway to restore connections with Izyum and Kupiansk.

Zelenskiy Signs Decree to Rule Out Talks With Putin (10:55 a.m.)

President Zelenskiy signed a decree which effectively bans any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a document text on the Ukrainian leader’s official website. The decree enacts a decision by the country’s National Security and Defense Council stipulating the “impossibility of conducting negotiations” with Putin.

The same decision also approves the country’s government appeal to join the NATO military alliance. “We are ready for a dialog with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelenskiy said Oct. 30 as he presented the country’s application for a fast-track entry to NATO.

Zelenskiy Says Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive Continues (8:10 a.m.)

The Ukrainian army has retaken settlements in several regions, Zelenskiy said in his nightly address. “Fierce fighting continues in many areas of the front,” he said.

Zelenskiy said that among the Russian troops killed were those drafted a week or two ago. “And when these new ones die, more people will be sent. This is how Russia fights. That’s how it will lose as well,” he said. “No sham referenda, announcements about annexations, conversations about the borders they invented and drew somewhere, will help them.”

Musk Says SpaceX Has Spent About $80 Million on Ukraine (6:25 a.m.)

SpaceX’s out-of-pocket costs for providing Ukraine with Starlink dishes stands at around $80 million so far, Elon Musk said in a tweet late Monday, adding that the company is “obviously” pro-Ukraine as it defends itself against the Russian invasion.

Musk, the company’s chief executive, infuriated Ukrainians when he suggested that the country seek a negotiated solution to the invasion by Russia and cede Crimea for good.

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