Australia news LIVE: Defence minister condemns Russia’s latest missile strikes; Bruce Lehrmann trial set to continue

Key posts

  • Putin hopes to ‘scare people, terrorise people’: Ukraine’s ambassador
  • ‘Appalling’: Deputy PM responds to Russia’s attack on Kyiv
  • Bruce Lehrmann rape trial set to continue
  • Russia-Ukraine: what you need to know
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Putin hopes to ‘scare people, terrorise people’: Ukraine’s ambassador

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to Australi has been interviewed on ABC News Breakfast.

Vasyl Myroshnychenko described Russia’s latest attacks as “horrendous” and said his children grew up near a popular playground that was hit by one of the cruise missiles.

Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko says Russia is committing heinous war crimes.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“The only purpose is to scare people, to terrorise people,” he said.

“Many people have been coming back to Kyiv because it was found to be relatively safe. Russians have proved it is not safe to be in Kyiv. It is sending a strong message – that is, Russian revenge for the [explosion on the] Kerch Bridge [which links Russia to Crimea].

“There is no military purpose for [targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure like this]. It is only intimidation and it is psychological pressure. This is a war crime, what Russians have done, and they will be held to account.”

‘Appalling’: Deputy PM responds to Russia’s attack on Kyiv

To the first major political interview of the day, and Defence Minister Richard Marles has appeared on Channel Seven’s breakfast show Sunrise to condemn Russia’s latest missile strikes.

As mentioned earlier, Russia has fired 81 cruise missiles into Ukraine over the past 12 hours or so. At least 11 people have been killed and scores injured.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Here’s what Marles had to say about the latest developments:

It’s an appalling attack. And what is clear is that we are facing a protracted conflict. I was with the Ukrainian ambassador yesterday afternoon when news broke of these attacks and the sense of heartbreak was palpable.

We are now working on how we stand with Ukraine over the long term. Because I think that’s what we are now facing.

We have committed 60 Bushmaster [vehicles] and are in the process of supplying them. The scheduled deliveries on track. We will be looking at ways in which we can continue support beyond the current commitments.

Bruce Lehrmann rape trial set to continue

The criminal trial for the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins will continue for a sixth day.

Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.

Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum yesterday told the jury that Higgins was unavailable to give evidence.

The trial continues in her absence with the Crown to call other witnesses.

Higgins is due to face continued cross-examination by Lehrmann’s defence lawyer Steven Whybrow after her version of events was put to the jury in the trial’s first week.

The court heard Higgins allege that in the early hours of Saturday, March 23 2019, Lehrmann sexually assaulted her inside then defence industry minister Linda Reynolds’ office.

Lehrmann denies ever having sex with Higgins.

The trial is expected to last for at least another five weeks.


Russia-Ukraine: what you need to know

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russia’s attacks on Ukraine present a “profound moral issue” and the international community has a responsibility to make clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions are unacceptable.

“Now is the time to speak out in support for Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement, hours before the United Nations was due to meet on Ukraine. “It is not the time for abstentions, placating words, or equivocations under claims of neutrality. The core principles of the UN Charter are at stake.”

A medical worker runs past a burning car after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine.Credit:AP

The UN General Assembly was due to start debate on Monday, European time, on whether to demand that Russia reverse course on annexing four regions of Ukraine.

Putin’s regime rained cruise missiles on busy Ukrainian cities on Monday in what the United States called “horrific strikes”, killing civilians and knocking out power and heat with its most widespread air attacks since the start of the war.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said Russia had fired 81 cruise missiles. Officials said at least 11 people were killed and scores injured, with swathes of the country left without power.

More coverage is available courtesy of our world desk.


This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Tuesday, October 11. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • The majority of Australians prefer spending cuts over tax increases as the best way to repair the federal budget, according to new polling. It comes amid a debate about whether the government should scrap or tweak the stage three tax cuts.
  • The purchase of eight nuclear submarines under the AUKUS pact is expected to add at least another $100 billion to the nation’s ballooning defence bill.
  • There are reports that former politician and chair of the Coalition government’s Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, is in talks with Greens senator Lidia Thorpe about a potential campaign against the Indigenous Voice to parliament.
  • The criminal trial of the man accused of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins is due to continue for a sixth day.
  • In international news, more than 80 Russian missile strikes have pummelled Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities in the past 12 hours or so. At least 11 people have been killed and scored injured.
  • And the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have warned of the increased risk of a global recession.
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