Ukraine latest: US, UK and France warn Russia not to escalate

The foreign ministers of the US, UK and France rejected Russia’s allegation that Ukraine is preparing to use a so-called dirty bomb on its own territory, and urged Moscow not to use the claim as a pretext to escalate the eight-month war.

The world would “see through” any attempt by Russia to do so, the ministers said in a joint statement on Monday. They said they remain committed to continue supporting Ukraine’s efforts to defend its territory for as long as it takes.

By calling counterparts in recent days and saying Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu “likely sought to slow or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and possibly weaken the NATO alliance,” according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key developments

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On the ground

Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks near 11 settlements in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions over the past day, and shot down 12 Shahed-136 drones, Ukraine’s General Staff said. As of Oct. 22 Russian troops have used 330 such drones, of which about 222 were shot down, while about 30% reached their targets, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, told Ukrainska Pravda.

(All times CET)

Ukraine Foreign Minister Denies ‘Dirty Bomb’ Claim, (8:51 a.m.)

Russian, US Defense Chiefs Speak Again (10:17 p.m.)

Shoigu and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke Sunday for the second time in three days. While Russia and the US provided no specifics of Sunday’s call, a Pentagon spokesman said Austin “rejected any pretext for Russian escalation.”

A dirty bomb uses conventional explosives to spray radioactive material.

Macron Says Peace Must Come on Ukraine’s Own Terms (6:22 p.m.)

French President Emmanuel Macron said the prospect of peace between Russia and Ukraine exists but will happen when the Ukrainians decide it, and on their terms.

“Let’s not let peace be captured by the Russian power. Peace is possible, but only the one decided by the Ukrainians and when they decide it,” he said at the Sant’ Egidio gathering, an interfaith event in Rome.

Macron said the war is the result of Russian nationalism fed by resentment and humiliation in the decades following the collapse of the Soviet empire, but stressed that nothing can justify the attack on Ukraine.

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