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Ukraine live briefing: Trudeau apologizes after Nazi veteran honored; Kremlin critic sent to ‘strictest’ jail

Firefighters clear rubble after a Russian rocket attack in Kostiantynivka, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Wednesday. (Kostiantynivka/AP)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday after Parliament honored a Nazi veteran during an event with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week. “This was a mistake that has deeply embarrassed Parliament and Canada. All of us who were in this House on Friday regret deeply having stood and clapped even though we did so unaware of the context,” Trudeau told reporters.

Alexei Navalny, a jailed critic of the Kremlin, wrote Wednesday that he will be moved to a stricter prison for one year, according to his account on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. He faces a transfer to “the harshest grade in Russia’s penal system,” Reuters reported.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Canada apologized to Ukraine through diplomatic channels as well, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing Trudeau. Yaroslav Hunka, the 98-year-old veteran of a Waffen-SS unit, was invited by House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota and praised as a Ukrainian and Canadian hero, prompting a standing ovation during Zelensky’s visit to Parliament. Rota resigned after Jewish groups pointed out Hunka’s Nazi affiliation.

Navalny described his prison transfer as the “strictest possible punishment,” his X account said. The move was announced after he lost his appeal against a 19-year prison sentence Tuesday. He has already spent several months in a tiny one-person “punishment cell” for purported disciplinary violations, the Associated Press reported.

Russia continued to publish more video of its Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, whom Ukraine claimed to have killed in a strike in Russian-occupied Crimea last week. It was not clear when the video, of Sokolov speaking to reporters, was filmed. Earlier, Ukrainian Special Operations forces said it would clarify information of Sokolov.

Russian forces shelled civilian areas in the Donetsk region Wednesday, including the towns of Kostiantynivka and Toretsk, killing one and injuring four, the regional prosecutor’s office said on Facebook. More than two dozen private homes and buildings were damaged in the attack, it added.

Some Wagner Group mercenaries, who had been in Belarus since a failed mutiny, have returned to the Ukrainian battlefield, Illia Yevlash, a spokesperson for the Eastern Group of Forces, told local media RBC Ukraine. Such piecemeal deployment of former Wagner fighters to the front line was unlikely to have a significant impact on the war, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War wrote Wednesday.

A U.S. government shutdown could endanger funding for Ukraine, despite $6 billion in aid announced Tuesday as part of a bipartisan Senate plan to fund government operations until mid-November. The uncertainty “underscores the political challenges Kyiv’s supporters have” in continuing to seek billions of dollars for Ukraine, which could result in on-the-ground difficulties for its military, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Washington has imposed new sanctions aimed at halting the delivery of parts used in making Iranian Shahed-136 attack drones deployed by Russia in Ukraine, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday. Five entities and two individuals based across Iran, mainland China, Hong Kong, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have facilitated shipments and financial transactions involved in the procurement of critical components in the unmanned weapons, the department said. The Post reported in August on Russia’s effort to build 6,000 Iran-designed self-detonating Shahed-136s.

Analysis from our correspondents

How the war in Ukraine helped stoke an Armenian tragedy: In a matter of days, roughly half of the ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, within Azerbaijan, have fled their homes to nearby Armenia after a surprise offensive by Azerbaijani forces. The latest turn in the long-drawn-out conflict has highlighted the shifting role of Russia and the trickle-down effect of the war in Ukraine, writes Ishaan Tharoor.

Though it has maintained solid ties with Azerbaijan, Moscow has long counted Armenia as an ally and security partner in its immediate neighborhood. But it appears to lack the capacity to enforce its role as peacekeeper and guarantor of stability not just in the South Caucasus, but also in Central Asia.

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