Live Updates | Russia-Ukraine-War

Oct 25, 2022, 1:47 AM | Updated: 2:43 am
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during the International Expert Conference on the Reconstructi...

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during the International Expert Conference on the Reconstruction of Ukraine, in Berlin, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. German and European Union leaders gathered experts on Tuesday to start work on what they describe as a “new Marshall plan” for the rebuilding of Ukraine. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)

(Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)

MOSCOW — A Russian court has started hearing American basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.

Griner, an eight-time all-star center with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Griner took part in the session via video call from a penal colony outside Moscow where she has been held.

Griner admitted having the canisters in her luggage but testified she inadvertently packed them in haste and had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented written statements that she had been prescribed cannabis to treat pain.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

– ‘They took my big love’: Ukraine woman searches for answers

– German president arrives in Ukraine as tensions rise

– EXPLAINER: Dirty bombs sow fear and panic, cause few deaths

– Ukraine hospital’s staff fight dark memories of occupation

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

MOSCOW — The Kremlin-backed head of the Russian region of Chechnya has called for wiping out entire cities in Ukraine in retaliation for Ukrainian shelling of Russia’s territory.

Authorities in Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions that border Ukraine have repeatedly reported Ukrainian shelling that damaged infrastructure and residential buildings.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the regional leader of Chechnya, previously sent troops from the region to fight in Ukraine. He said Tuesday that Russia’s response to the alleged Ukrainian attacks has been too subdued.

“Our response has been too weak,” Kadyrov said in a statement posted on his messaging app channel. “If a shell flies into our region, entire cities must be wiped off the face of the Earth so that they don’t ever think that they can fire in our direction.”

Kadyrov has repeatedly made hawkish statements urging the Kremlin to intensify the war in Ukraine.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s presidential office said Tuesday that at least seven civilians have been killed and three others have been wounded in the latest Russian shelling of the eastern Donetsk region.

The attacks came as the Russians pressed their offensive on the strategically placed towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka and also shelled other areas in the Donetsk region, which is part of Ukraine’s industrial heartland of Donbas.

As part of its attacks over the past 24 hours, the Russian military also again struck the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets facing the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant across the Dnieper, damaging residential buildings, a factory and water supply network.

In the Mykolaiv region, Russian shelling damaged residential buildings and a kindergarten.

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BERLIN — German and European Union leaders have gathered experts in Berlin to start work on a “new Marshall plan” for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday that the aim is to discuss “how to ensure and how to sustain the financing of the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine for years and decades to come.”

Scholz, who co-hosted the meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said he’s looking for “nothing less than creating a new Marshall plan for the 21st century — a generational task that must begin now.” That was a reference to the U.S.-sponsored plan that helped revive Western European economies after World War II.

Von der Leyen said the World Bank puts the cost of damage to Ukraine so far at 350 billion euros ($345 billion).

She said that, in addition to longer-term help, “Ukraine needs fast rehabilitation right now as we speak” as Russia targets Ukrainian electricity and other infrastructure ahead of the onset of the winter. She called those “pure acts of terror.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that point in a video address from Kyiv. He said that Ukraine has a $17 billion “fast recovery” plan to repair damage to hospitals, schools, transport and energy infrastructure among other things, but “as of now we haven’t received a single cent for the implementation of the fast recovery plan.”

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Tuesday that “the messages from the Russian leadership indicate that Russia is steering toward a long-term break with the West.”

“An isolated Russia is bad news,” Gahr Støre said, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “It is disturbing that today there is so little contact and direct communication with Russia. It weakens the possibility of finding a negotiated end to the war.”

In a speech to the Norwegian parliament, Gahr Støre said that after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 28, “we clearly see how much is at stake.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin “takes high risks. And the willingness to take risks seems to increase in line with bad news from the battlefield,” he said according to Norwegian news agency NTB. “We are now in the most demanding security political situation since World War II.”

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BERLIN — Germany’s president has arrived in Kyiv for his first visit to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began eight months ago.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after arriving Tuesday that “it was important to me in this phase of air attacks with drones, cruise missiles and rockets to send a signal of solidarity to Ukrainians,” German news agency dpa reported.

Steinmeier plans to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit.

The German president, whose position is largely ceremonial, made it to Ukraine at his third attempt.

In April, he hoped to visit with his Polish and Baltic counterparts, but said his presence “apparently … wasn’t wanted in Kyiv.” Steinmeier has been criticized in Ukraine for allegedly cozying up to Russia during his time as foreign minister.

Last week, a planned trip was put off because of security concerns.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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              German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during the International Expert Conference on the Reconstruction of Ukraine, in Berlin, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. German and European Union leaders gathered experts on Tuesday to start work on what they describe as a “new Marshall plan” for the rebuilding of Ukraine. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)
            
              Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on a screen as he delivers his speech during the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on a screen as he delivers his speech during the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine, in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              Catherine, 75, pushes her walker loaded with plastic bottles after refilling them in a tank, in the center of Mykolaiv, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Since mid-April, citizens of Mykolaiv, with a pre-war population of half a million people, have lived without a centralized drinking water supply. Russian Forces cut off the pipeline through which the city received drinking water for the last 40 years. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

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Live Updates | Russia-Ukraine-War