Many soldiers killed in big attack at Russian military base

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Oct 16 (Reuters) – No civilians were killed in the attack at a military base in Russia’s Belgorod region, but many soldiers were killed or wounded, the governor of Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov said early on Sunday.

“A terrible event happened on our territory, on the territory of one of the military units,” Gladkov said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.

“Many soldiers were killed and wounded … There are no residents of the Belgorod region among the wounded and killed.”

Gladkov did not say how many soldiers were killed. The state RIA news agency cited the defence ministry as saying that 11 people were killed and 15 others were wounded.

The gunmen were from Tajikistan and had opened fire after an argument over religion, Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said on YouTube.

In Other Developments:

FIGHTING

* Ukrainian troops are still holding the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks while the situation in the Donbas region remains very difficult, President Zelenskiy said.

* Russian missiles and drones had continued to hit Ukrainian cities, causing destruction and casualties, Zelenskiy said.

* Belarus said the first convoys of Russian servicemen, part of a “regional grouping” of troops, had arrived in the country. President Lukashenko said this week that his troops would deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border.

* Ukrainian engineers have restored “much needed” back-up power to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after shelling robbed it of access to external electricity twice in the past week, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said.

* Zelenskiy said almost 65,000 Russians had been killed so far since the Feb. 24 invasion, a figure far higher than Moscow’s official Sept. 21 estimate of 5,937 dead. In August the Pentagon said Russia has suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties, either killed or wounded.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

ECONOMY, DIPLOMACY

* Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine away from the front lines will complicate the dire economic situation facing the country, which has already seen a tenfold increase in poverty this year, a top World Bank official said.

* Putin authorised the Russian central bank to permit the export of foreign currency cash worth more than $10,000 in some cases, a published decree showed.

* International Monetary Fund member countries issued a near-unanimous call for Russia to end its war in Ukraine, after Moscow again blocked consensus, officials said.

* Elon Musk said his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, citing the need for “good deeds,” a day after he said it could no longer afford to do so. The service has helped civilians and military stay online during the war with Russia.

Russian conscripts attend a shooting training at a shooting range near Donetsk, Ukraine, Ukraine. EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO GUERRA

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