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Lavrov’s World War III Warning And Veiled Nuclear Threats

The Russian foreign minister's words come after U.S. officials say they believe Ukraine can win the war, and aim for a "weakened" Russia in the future.

Photo of two men through a bullet hole on a window in Ukraine

Two men are seen through a bullet hole on a window of a supermarket in Saltivka, Kharkiv Oblast, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Over the past 24 hours, the war of words between Washington and Moscow has escalated significantly. After U.S. Defense Secretary Llyod Austin said that seeing Russia not just defeated by Ukraine, but “weakened” by the war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded with an explicit warning that U.S. actions could lead to “World War III,” with veiled references to possible nuclear attacks.

Lavrov told Russia’s Channel One television network early Tuesday that the risks of nuclear conflict “are really very, very significant, I would not like these risks to be artificially inflated, and there are many who want them. The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated,” Lavrov said.

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Comparing the current situation with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Lavrov noted that there used to be a channel of communication "which was trusted by both leaders," but now "there is no such channel, and no one is trying to create it. Then there were few written rules, but the rules of conduct were quite clear. Moscow understood how Washington was behaving, Washington understood how Moscow was behaving. And now there are few of those rules.”

Austin, who was holding meetings with allies at the U.S. military base in Ramstein Germany on Tuesday, following his visit to Kyiv, reiterated his belief that Russia could and should be defeated: "Ukraine clearly believes that it can win. And so does everyone here," he said. "Russia's invasion is indefensible and so are Russian atrocities," Austin said.

UN Chief Guterres Arrives in Moscow Seeking Ceasefire ASAP

Photo of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/ ZUMA

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres is in Moscow for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin later Tuesday. Before an initial meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Guterres declared that a ceasefire “as soon as possible” was his priority, aiming to minimize human suffering. Guterres has been criticized by Ukraine for not coming to Kyiv first, and there is minimal hope that he will make significant progress in his talks with Putin.

Risk Of War Spreading To Transnistria After Attack On Radio Towers Damaged

If there is a “most-likely” point on the map where the war in Ukraine could spread, it may now be the self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria, a breakaway territory in Moldova that’s never been recognized by the international community.

Officials reports Tuesday that two radio towers have been damaged by explosions, which Moldovan officials warn that the attacks could be used as a pretext for Russia to launch an attack.

Last week, the Russian state news agency TASS quoted a top Moscow military official saying the goal was to create a land corridor between Donbas and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

After the explosions at the radio towers, which were reported soon after dawn Tuesday, Moldovan President Maia Sandu has convening a meeting of the country's Supreme Security Council.

UK: Ukraine Attacks Inside Russia “Completely Legitimate”

The Minister for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, James Heappey, stated that Ukraine could and should attack logistic facilities inside Russia, including using weapons supplied by Britain and other Western countries.

Russia has accused Ukraine of shelling targets in the Belgorod and Bryansk regions, and warned that such attacks could escalate the war.

Speaking on Times Radio, Heappey said that “Ukraine must strike deep into the enemy to attack its logistics lines, fuel supplies, ammunition depots, and this is part of the war” He added that: “it’s completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil … (weapons) that the international community are now providing to Ukraine have the range to be used over the borders.”

German Turnaround? Berlin Set To Pledge Key Weapons To Ukraine

Germany is set to provide Ukraine with key anti-aircraft weapons and further military aid. Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported the news Tuesday, citing German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht’s intentions to announce the move at the ongoing allied meetings at the U.S. base in Ramstein, Germany. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been criticized at home and abroad about not providing the leadership in the Western support of Ukraine.

UK Makes Ukraine “Free-Trade” Zone, Imposes New Bans On Russia

Photo of a field of wheat in Ukraine

Wheat grows in a field near Uzhhorod, Zakarpattia Region, western Ukraine

Serhii Hudak/Ukrinform/ZUMA

The UK has announced new measures to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia by removing all tariffs covered by the existing UK-Ukraine trade deal and hitting the government of Vladimir Putin with a new round of sanctions.

All tariffs on goods imported from Ukraine will now be reduced to zero and all quotas will be removed under the free trade agreement, providing Ukraine economic support in their hour of need, the UK government said in a statement. Exported goods from Ukraine include barley, honey, canned tomatoes and poultry, that help Ukrainian businesses and producers when they need it most," said the British Department of International Trade.

Ukrainian Pravda reports that Britain has also announced a ban on exports of goods and technologies that Russia can use in the war, including interception and monitoring equipment. "This will close any existing loopholes so that Russia does not buy these goods in Britain," the agency added.

Heartbreaking T-Shirts At Football Match For Peace

Shakhtar Donetsk football team held a charity match with Antalyaspor in Turkey as part of the Shakhtar Global Tour for Peace. The players attended the match wearing T-shirts with a photo in memory of 3-month-old Ukrainian Kira Glodan, who died with her mother and grandmother in Odessa as a result of rocket fire on the city by Russian troops. Under the photo was the inscription "How many more?" ("How much more?"). The game began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the war.

Ukraine Says It’s Winning The Cyberwar Against Russia

Cyber Security Business Technology - Free image on Pixabaypixabay.com

The war on the ground in Ukraine also features a parallel battle in cyberspace. Ukrainian authorities say they are also succeeding to fend off the invaders in the digital and telecom spaces, keeping communication lines open and countering cyberattacks coming from Russia.

Speaking to French daily Le Monde, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhaïlo Fedorov declared that Ukraine is winning the war on information. “Cyberattacks are part of the war and will be a part of the war until the last Russian tank leaves Ukraine.”

Fedorov also spoke about the impact of cryptocurrency on the war, with Ukraine having received some $70 million worth of cryptocurrency that has been invested in medical supplies, weapons and humanitarian aid.

Fellow French daily Les Echos, meanwhile, has reported on how “open source” methods have allowed official and non-official Ukrainian sources to help fight the information war, whether it’s accessing videos or photos on social media, location data, satellite images or the positions of planes and ships shared by a number of websites. Journalists, NGO’s and anonymous citizens have used these techniques in order to fight disinformation, inform on military positions and look for evidence of war crimes.

Ukraine Apologizes To Japan For Anti-Fascism Video

Ukraine’s government has apologized to Japan through its official Twitter account after backlash over an anti-fascism video that included a picture of wartime Emperor Hirohito alongside dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

The legacy of Hirohito, who was Japan’s emperor from 1926 to 1989, is still much debated: As part of the Axis powers along Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, imperial Japan committed war crimes — although it was de facto ruled by then Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, The Japan Times points out.

“Portraying Hitler, Mussolini and Emperor [Hirohito] in the same context is completely inappropriate,” Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said.

Ukraine has removed the image of Hirohito from the video, in an effort not to alienate its Japanese ally which, The Guardian notes, has imposed sanctions on Russia, provided $300 million in loans for Ukraine and accepted hundreds of refugees.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Russian Orthodox Church Has A Kremlin Spy Network — And Now It's Spreading Abroad

The Russian Orthodox Church has long supported Russia’s ongoing war effort in Ukraine. Now, clergy members in other countries are suspected of collaborating with and recruiting for Russian security forces.

Photo of Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Wiktoria Bielaszyn

WARSAW — Several countries have accused members of the Russian Orthodox clergy of collaborating with Russian security services, pushing Kremlin policy inside the church and even recruiting spies from within.

On Sept. 21, Bulgaria deported Russian Archimandrite Vassian, guardian of the Orthodox parish in Sofia, along with two Belarusian priests. In a press release, the Bulgarian national security agency says that clergy were deported because they posed a threat to national security. "The measures were taken due to their actions against the security and interests of the Republic of Bulgaria," Bulgarian authorities wrote in a statement, according to Radio Svoboda.

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These reports were also confirmed by Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, who told Russian state news agency TASS that the priests must leave Bulgaria within 24 hours. “After being declared persona non grata, Wassian and the other two clerics were taken home under police supervision to pack up their belongings. Then they will be taken to the border with Serbia" she said.

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