Ukraine war: Russia ditches nuclear treaty, Moscow piling forces into Donetsk region, Putin in China

Russian MPs ditch treaty banning nuclear tests

Russian lawmakers voted to revoke a treaty forbidding nuclear weapon tests, a setback for non-proliferation efforts. 

Set against the Ukraine war and crisis with the West, the Russian Duma voted by 412 to zero in favour of pulling out of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Russia ratified in 2000. 

Top Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin blamed what he called Washington’s “irresponsible attitude” to global security. 

Russia says the aim is to restore parity with the United States, which has signed but never ratified the treaty. 

Moscow has said it will not resume testing unless Washington does. But some arms control experts are concerned it may be inching towards a test as a warning to the West. 

No country except North Korea has conducted a test involving a nuclear explosion this century. 

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Russia piling more forces into eastern Ukraine – analysts

Russia is sending in more units as it tries to take a key eastern Ukraine city, according to Western experts. 

Russian forces are attempting to storm heavily defended Adiivka, which stands in the way of Moscow’s ambition of capturing the entire Donetsk region. 

They have reportedly suffered setbacks that have slowed their dayslong onslaught, however. 

The UK Ministry of Defence wrote on X that Moscow’s army was sustaining high casualties in what was proving to be a costly effort. 

Meanwhile, the US-based Insitute for the Study of War, claimed on Monday that Ukrainian forces pushed back 30 assaults in the previous day. 

Kyiv officials said Russia mounted up to 60 attacks per day in the middle of last week.

The Kremlin’s push to claim Avdiivka is its most significant offensive operation in Ukraine since the start of the year claimed the UK MoD. 

It comes after months of fending off Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which Kyiv launched some 16 months after Russia’s full-scale invasion.

 Both sides are looking for battlefield advantages ahead of winter. They are also looking to secure future weapons supplies for what is shaping up as a protracted war of attrition.

Putin visits ‘dear friend’ Xi Jinping in China

Under the shadow of multiple wars, Russia’s president is attending the Belt and Road summit in China on Tuesday.

Vladimir Putin is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, who he has described as a “dear friend”. 

At the Belt and Road Initiative Forum, the leaders of 130 countries will discuss Chinese investment in global infrastructure projects, the centrepiece of XI’s foreign policy. 

The meeting is likely to be overshadowed by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, besides the fighting between Israel and Hamas. 

Beijing has dismissed Western criticism of its Russia relations, saying it has the right to collaborate with whichever country it wishes. 

Washington has alleged that China is likely supplying Moscow’s war effort with key technologies, including drones and fighter jet parts. 

On the sidelines of the summit, Putin held bilateral talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The pair discussed “Hungarian-Russian cooperation in the fields of gas and oil supplies and nuclear energy,” according to the Hungarian Government’s International spokesman Zoltan Kovacs. 

“During the meeting, PM Orbán stressed the importance of peace. He said that it was crucial for the whole continent, including Hungary, that the flood of refugees, sanctions and fighting should end.”

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