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Kherson battle lines drawn By Reuters

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© Reuters. Ukrainian servicemen drive near Bakhmut, as Russia’s attack in Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, September 7, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

(Reuters) – Russia rehearsed its response to a nuclear attack on Wednesday in an exercise involving nuclear submarines, strategic bombers and ballistic missiles, after a “dirty bomb” accusation against Ukraine.

CONFLICT

* Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russian forces in its southern Kherson region is proving more difficult than it was in the northeast because of wet weather and the nature of the terrain, Ukraine’s defence minister said.

* Russian-installed authorities in Kherson city have been encouraging residents to flee, but Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said there was no sign Russian forces themselves were preparing to withdraw.

* A Russian-backed separatist official in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region said heavy fighting was taking place in the region’s Kreminna and Svatove districts.

* Russia said it would continue to make the case to the international community that it believed Ukraine intended to detonate a “dirty bomb” with radioactive contaminants. Ukraine has said the allegation is false and that Russia may be airing it in preparation for using such a weapon and blaming Ukraine.

DIPLOMACY

* Russian President Vladimir Putin observed exercises by Russia’s strategic nuclear forces and told intelligence chiefs of several former Soviet countries that the risk of conflict in the region and the world was high.

* Putin is likely to use the possible extension of the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain deal as a way to gain leverage and dominate next month’s G20 summit in Indonesia, a European diplomat briefed on the grain talks told Reuters.

ECONOMY

* The European Union could introduce a gas price cap this winter to limit excessive price spikes, if countries give Brussels a mandate to propose the measure.

* Kazatomprom KZAP.KZ, the world’s biggest uranium miner, is seeking to boost the capacity of its alternative shipping route which bypasses Russia to mitigate risks from potential sanctions, the Kazakh company said.

* Mercedes-Benz MBGn.DE said it would withdraw from the Russian market and sell shares in its industrial and financial services subsidiaries to a local investor, becoming the latest carmaker to exit the country.

* London’s High Court lifted a temporary block on a case brought by former investors in defunct oil group Yukos seeking to enforce a $50 billion arbitration award against Russia in Britain.

QUOTE:

“It’s a game of roulette,” said a Russian officer, describing Ukrainian bombardment near Balakliia in northeastern Ukraine in September before Russian troops withdrew. “You either get lucky, or you are unlucky. The strikes can land anywhere.”



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