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France 24
France 24

Ukraine seeks to attract arms manufacturers in bid to boost local production

Handout photograph taken on September 29, 2023 shows Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the International Defence Industries Forum in Kyiv. © AFP - Handout

Ukraine is looking to expand its domestic arms production as Kyiv hosts its first International Defence Industries Forum. Speaking at the opening on Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kyiv aims to develop defence production in cooperation with global industry leaders. Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday marked the anniversary of the annexation of Ukrainian regions. Read our live blog to see how all the day's events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

This live page is no longer being updated. For more of our coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here

9:17pm: Ukrainian drone injures one, damages building in southern Russia, regional governor says 

A Ukrainian drone attack on Saturday in the southern Russian region of Bryansk injured one person and damaged windows and the roof of an administrative building, the region's governor said.

The governor, Alexander Bogomaz, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said the incident occurred in the town of Trubchevsk. Bogomaz earlier reported that a village in the region had been shelled by Ukrainian forces, damaging three homes.

7:34pm: Fire erupts at pipeline in west Ukraine, injuring nine

A huge fire erupted at an oil pipeline in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk on Saturday, injuring nine people, authorities said.

The blaze caused an oil spill spanning 100 square metres before it was later extinguished.

Footage shared on social media showed thick clouds of black smoke billowing out over a village, while firefighters worked to tackle the blaze.

"At 5 pm (1400 GMT), near the village of Strymba, Nadvirna district, an oil pipeline 150 millimetres in diameter ruptured," Ukraine's State Emergency Service said.

The cause of the rupture was not immediately clear, but local media outlets reported there had been a powerful explosion.

2:05pm: Russia may annex more Ukrainian regions, Medvedev says

Russia's former leader Dmitry Medvedev suggested Saturday that Moscow may annex more regions of Ukraine, as he marked one year since the Kremlin claimed four Ukrainian territories as its own.

Moscow held elections in the four regions this month, but does not fully control any of them and is currently battling a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take them back.

"The special military operation will continue until the complete destruction of the Nazi regime in Kyiv," said Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chair of Russia's Security Council.

"Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia," he said.

11:11am: Putin marks anniversary of annexation of Ukrainian regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday insisted that the residents of four Ukrainian regions that Moscow illegally annexed a year ago “made their choice — to be with their Fatherland”.

In an address released in the early hours to mark the first anniversary of the annexation, Putin insisted that it was carried out “in full accordance with international norms”. He also claimed that residents of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions had again expressed their desire to be part of Russia in local elections earlier this month, in which Russia’s Central Election Commission said that the country’s ruling party won the most votes.

The West has denounced both the referendum votes carried out last year and the recent ballots as a sham. The votes were held as Russian authorities attempted to tighten their grip on territories Moscow illegally annexed a year ago and still does not fully control.

10:10am: Zelensky opens forum in bid to attract arms manufacturers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has opened Kyiv's first International Defence Industries Forum in a bid to attract more manufacturers to build arms in Ukraine.

Kyiv has depended heavily on Western aid since Russia invaded last year, but is increasingly seeking to bolster its domestic arms industry amid fears support from its allies may waver.

"Our first task is to win this war and return a lasting and, most importantly, reliable peace to our people. We will accomplish this task through our cooperation with you," Zelensky said in a speech at the opening on Friday.

"We are interested in localising the production of equipment necessary for our defence... and advanced defence systems used by our soldiers that give Ukraine the best results at the front today," he said.

Officials from over 30 countries and 250 defence firms were gathered for the forum, which comes as Zelensky lobbies the West for more arms to wage a counteroffensive against Russia.

9:35am: Ukraine shoots down 30 drones over south, centre, say officials

Ukraine's air force shot down 30 out of 40 Iranian-made "Shahed" drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack on central and southern regions, regional and military officials said on Saturday.

The South Military command said that 20 drones were shot down in the central Vinnytsia region and another 10 over the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions in the south.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for the southern command, told Ukrainian TV that Russia continued to attack port infrastructure, including on the Danube River, and was also attempting to strike critical infrastructure facilities in other Ukrainian regions "to impact the economy".

Russia has intensified air attacks on Ukrainian grain export infrastructure on the Danube River and in the port of Odesa since July, when Moscow quit a UN-brokered deal that allowed safe passage for Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea.

9:05am: Russia says air defence downs nine Ukrainian missiles over Belgorod 

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday that its air defence had downed all nine missiles launched from Ukraine over its western Belgorod region.

Belgorod borders Ukraine's Kharkiv region and has repeatedly come under fire since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia. Russia's defence ministry said it thwarted Ukraine's "terror" attack on its objects by destroying nine missiles of the multiple-launch rocket system called "Uragan" (Hurricane) in the air.

Key developments from Friday, September 29:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday visited the site of the Babyn Yar massacre to mark the 82nd anniversary of one of the largest mass murders of Jews in the Holocaust. Zelensky placed a candle at the historic site and said Ukraine would “never” forget the tragedy perpetrated by Nazi Germany.

His visit came as Russian President Vladimir Putin met Andrei Troshev, formerly a top Wagner mercenary commander, and tasked him with overseeing volunteer fighter units in Ukraine, according to a Kremlin statement.

Troshev, also known by the nom de guerre "Sedoi", or "grey hair" in Russian, is now working for Russia's defence ministry, RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Friday.

The meeting underscored the Kremlin's attempt to show that the state had now gained control over the mercenary group after a failed June mutiny by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was killed in a plane crash in August.

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, and Reuters)

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