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Live: EU proposes 18 billion Ukraine aid package

The European Commission on Wednesday released details of a €18 billion economic support package to get Ukraine through 2023, which it hopes will be approved by EU member states. Read our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

The European Commission has released details of an €18 billion economic support package to get Ukraine through 2023, which it hopes will be approved by EU member states.

Under the plan, the bloc would send Kyiv 1.5 billion euros per month in the form of 35-year loans, with interest payments covered by the EU.

Funding will be supplied "in regular tranches to help recovery in the short-term and strengthen institutions", said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a Twitter post.

The Ukrainian governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region reported "massive" overnight strikes with exploding Iranian-made drones that wounded four energy company workers in the city of Dnipro.

"Attacks on civilian infrastructure are war crimes in themselves. The Kremlin is at war with Ukrainian civilians, trying to leave millions of people without water and light (for them) to freeze in the winter," Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko said on Ukrainian TV.

Ukrainian and Russian forces also clashed overnight over Snihurivka, a town about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the southern city of Kherson.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office said widespread Russian strikes on Ukraine's energy system continued early Wednesday. Two cities not far from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were shelled overnight, it said.

At least nine civilians were killed and 24 others were wounded in 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian president's office.

The US midterm elections will not improve the "bad" relations between Moscow and Washington, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

As results of the 2022 US Midterm elections rolled in, Peskov dismissed allegations Russia was meddling in the US vote, Russian state media reported.

Peskov also told reporters it was too early to talk about a dialogue with the US on extending the New START nuclear arms treaty.

Russia's powerful Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev was in Tehran on Wednesday for consultations with Iranian officials on security matters, the TASS news agency reported.

"In Tehran, Patrushev will hold scheduled Russian-Iranian security consultations with the participation of Security Council experts and representatives from both countries' ministries and agencies," TASS cited the Russian Security Council's press service as saying.

The visit comes as allegations that Iran has supplied "kamikaze" drones to Russia to support Moscow's invasion of Ukraine remain in focus. Over the weekend, Tehran acknowledged for the first time it had sent a "small number" of drones to Moscow, but said they were shipped before the war began.

US basketball star Brittney Griner was transferred last week from a detention center outside the Russian capital and is on her way to a penal colony, her legal team said on Wednesday.

Neither Griner's exact whereabouts nor her final destination were known, the legal team said in a statement, adding that in line with Russian procedures, her attorneys as well as the US Embassy should be notified upon her arrival at her destination.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested on February 17, a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, at a Moscow airport.

The Ukrainian National Information Bureau showed 10,500 children had been deported or forcibly displaced, according to a statement from President Volodymyr Zelensky's office.

"The Russian Federation continues to commit its crimes in connection with Ukrainian children," Zelensky's office quoted the president's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, as saying at a meeting he chaired of a group of officials responsible for child protection. "The removal of children continues."

Yermak was quoted as saying Ukraine could count on UN help, but he restated Ukraine's lack of confidence in the International Committee of the Red Cross to help.

"Unfortunately, due to the very passive position of international organisations, in particular the ICRC, today we are unable to determine the exact number, how many, and where our children are," he said.

Yermak said discussions about the return of the children should start at the November 15-16 G20 summit in Indonesia, which Zelensky is expected to attend, most likely remotely.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)