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6:28 PM
Although a stopgap funding bill to prevent a U.S. government shutdown was passed on Sept. 30 without any provisions for aid for Ukraine, President's Office Head Andriy Yermak said on Oct 1 that it should not be construed as a change in U.S. support for Ukraine.
4:12 PM
Ukrainian drones successfully struck a helicopter base in Sochi and an aircraft factory in Smolensk on Oct. 1, according to reports by Russian Telegram channels and Ukrainska Pravda.
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7:27 AM
Russian forces launched another drone attack targeting Ukraine's southern oblasts overnight on Oct. 1. Ukraine's air defense downed at least 15 drones over Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson of Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, said on air.
6:50 AM
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a law averting a government shutdown that was set for midnight, according to the White House. Biden said that although the bill does not include financial assistance for Ukraine, he expects Speaker Kevin McCarthy "will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment."
5:49 AM
Following a passage of a bill to avoid a government shutdown, top U.S. Senate leaders issued a rare bipartisan statement affirming their commitment to Ukraine. They expect the Senate will work "to ensure the U.S. government continues to provide critical and sustained security and economic support for Ukraine."
4:36 AM
At least four explosions were heard in Kharkiv, city Mayor Ihor Terekhov said via his official Telegram channel in the early hours of Oct. 1. Two explosions were also reported in the city of Snihurivka in Mykolaiv Oblast, according to regional authorities.
5:50 PM
"Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture (and) spirit," Borrell wrote on Twitter. "Instead, it marks the news as a frequent target of Putin's war."
5:15 PM
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, he and Slovak Defense Minister Martin Sklenar discussed cooperation with Slovakia regarding the Ukrainian military's needs, the situation at the front line, and de-mining.

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UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps announced as new Defense Minister

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 31, 2023 1:33 PM 2 min read
MP Grant Shapps, who visited Ukraine in August 2023 as U.K. Energy Secretary, in Kyiv ahead of Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 24, 2023. (Grant Shapps / Twitter). 
This audio is created with AI assistance

U.K. Energy Secretary Grant Shapps is replacing Ben Wallace as Defense Minister, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Aug. 31.

Wallace held the position since 2019 and played a key role in Britain's response to Russia's war against Ukraine.

Shapps, who has been Energy Secretary since February 2023, said he will continue his country's "support for Ukraine in their fight against Putin’s barbaric invasion."

He visited Ukraine last week to learn about Ukrainian energy security, meeting with Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov and Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko.

He also said the visit was of personal significance as he had hosted a Ukrainian family in his home for a year following the outbreak of the full-scale invasion. He visited the kindergarten the child of the family used to attend and met the teachers.

Shapps said he was honored to be appointed Defense Minister and thanked his predecessor for his "enormous contribution."

A new Defense Minister had been anticipated since earlier in the summer when Wallace said in an interview with the Times that he planned to resign from his post.

Wallace had been U.K. Defense Minister since 2019 and played a key role in Britain's response to Russia's war on Ukraine.

In July, Wallace made an infamous remark at the NATO Summit in Vilnius that Ukraine needs to show "gratitude" to allies for providing weapons to keep receiving support.

Zelensky responded that he does not know how else should Ukraine show its thankfulness.

"Let him write to me (about) how else I should express my words of gratitude, or we could get up in the morning and express our words of gratitude to the minister," Zelensky said.

As minister, Wallace made the U.K. the first country to provide Ukraine with weapons capable of reaching targets deep into Russian-occupied territories, namely by providing Storm Shadow missiles in May 2023.

The United Kingdom spent 2.3 billion British pounds (about $2.9 billion) on defense assistance to Ukraine last year and has committed the same amount in 2023.

UK Ambassador Simmons: ‘People are waking up to understanding of Russia being colonial fascist-leaning country’
After four tumultuous and challenging years, Dame Melinda Simmons’ term as the British ambassador to Ukraine is coming to an end. Her successor Martin Harris will be arriving in September. Since Simmons, a career diplomat, arrived in Kyiv in September 2019, she has worked through the coronavirus ou…

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