The city of Kherson continues to be battered by Russian shelling on a daily basis, despite having been liberated by Ukrainian forces earlier this month, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
“The city is vulnerable because it remains in range of most of Russia’s artillery systems, now firing from the east bank of the Dnipro River, from the rear of newly consolidated defensive lines,” the MoD said in its daily intelligence update.
The ministry added that 10 people were killed in one day alone on 24 November.
It comes as Volodymyr Zelensky has asked Ukrainians to brace for more Russian missile strikes which would further affect the power grid amid freezing temperatures.
“We understand that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact,” the Ukrainian president said in his nightly video address.
“And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down.”
Ukrainian authorities are continuing endeavors to restore electricity and water services after recent pummeling by Russian military strikes that vastly damaged infrastructure, with Mr Zelensky saying millions have seen their power restored.
Kherson suffers daily bombardment, despite liberation - MoD
Zelensky asks Ukrainians to brace for more Russian missile strikes
Ukrainian president accuses Russia of ‘new genocidal policy’
More than 49,000 Russian war crimes recorded, says Ukraine
Russian ‘revenge shelling’ kills 32 in Kherson, officials say
Family holds funeral of newborn baby killed in Russian attack
Baltic and Nordic foreign ministers visit Kyiv
12:38 , Emily Atkinson
Seven foreign ministers from Baltic and Nordic countries travelled to Kyiv on Monday to show support for Ukraine as it struggles with power outages caused by Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure.
“We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, are in Kyiv today in full solidarity with Ukraine,” Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on Twitter.
“Despite Russia‘s bomb rains and barbaric brutality Ukraine will win!” he wrote, posting a photograph of officials standing at a railway station.”
US and Russia ‘still in talks to free jailed Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan'
12:08 , Emily Atkinson
US officials are still in contact with Russia about a deal to free jailed Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan but Moscow has not provided a “serious response” to any of its proposals, a senior US diplomat has said.
Elizabeth Rood told Russia‘s state-owned RIA news agency that talks were continuing through the “designated channel”.
“The United States, as we have said, has put a significant proposal on the table. We have followed up on that proposal and we have proposed alternatives,” she said. “Unfortunately, so far the Russian Federation has not provided a serious response to those proposals.”
Basketball star Griner was taken this month to a penal colony in the Russian region of Mordovia to serve a nine-year drug sentence after being arrested in February with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. She said at her trial she used them to relieve the pain from sports injuries and had not meant to break the law.
Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure amount to genocide, says top Ukrainian official
11:38 , Emily Atkinson
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Kostin said on Sunday that besides the attacks on the energy grid, 11,000 Ukrainian children had been forcibly deported to Russia.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports:
Watch: Smoke fills street in aftermath of Russian rocket attack on residential area of Kyiv
11:08 , Emily Atkinson
Kremlin denies Russia planning to quit Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
10:35 , Emily Atkinson
The Kremlin’s spokesman on Monday denied reports that Russian forces were planning to leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, telling reporters they should not look for signs where there were none.
Kremlin ‘welcomes Vatican offer to mediate negotiations with Kyiv’
10:05 , Emily Atkinson
The Kremlin says it welcomed a Vatican offer to provide a negotiating platform to resolve the Ukraine conflict, but that Kyiv’s position made this impossible.
Pope Francis reiterated 10 days ago that the Vatican was ready to do anything possible to mediate and put an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa.
Russian forces 'starting to retreat from Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’
09:33 , Emily Atkinson
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has said he has no doubt that Russian forces would leave the Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, where Ukrainian staff are still operating.
“The defence line is starting to retreat to the borders of the Russian Federation,” Mr Podolyak told Ukrainian broadcasters, adding that Ukraine would “take it (the plant) back.”
US weighs sending 100-mile strike weapon to Ukraine
09:07 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
The Pentagon is considering a Boeing proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs fitted onto abundantly available rockets, allowing Kyiv to strike far behind Russian lines as the West struggles to meet demand for more arms.
US and allied military inventories are shrinking, and Ukraine faces an increasing need for more sophisticated weapons as the war drags on. Boeing’s proposed system, dubbed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), is one of about a half-dozen plans for getting new munitions into production for Ukraine and America’s Eastern European allies, industry sources said.
GLSDB could be delivered as early as spring 2023, according to a document reviewed by Reuters and three people familiar with the plan. It combines the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the M26 rocket motor, both of which are common in U.S. inventories.
Doug Bush, the US Army’s chief weapons buyer, told reporters at the Pentagon last week the Army was also looking at accelerating production of 155 millimeter artillery shells - currently only manufactured at government facilities - by allowing defense contractors to build them.
The invasion of Ukraine drove up demand for American-made weapons and ammunition, while U.S. allies in Eastern Europe are “putting a lot of orders,” in for a range of arms as they supply Ukraine, Bush added.
“It’s about getting quantity at a cheap cost,” said Tom Karako, a weapons and security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said falling US inventories help explain the rush to get more arms now, saying stockpiles are “getting low relative to the levels we like to keep on hand and certainly to the levels we’re going to need to deter a China conflict.”
Karako also noted that the US exit from Afghanistan left lots of air-dropped bombs available. They cannot be easily used with Ukrainian aircraft, but “in today’s context we should be looking for innovative ways to convert them to standoff capability.”
Gazprom to preserve Nord Stream gas-pumping equipment - Kommersant
08:42 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Russia‘s Gazprom plans to preserve gas pumping equipment at the Portovaya and Slavyanskaya compressor stations that supply the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources.
According to Kommersant, Gazprom plans to keep the equipment at the stations and not move it to other sites.
Kommersant said Gazprom declined to comment on its report.
Neither of the Nord Stream pipelines, laid on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, are currently transporting gas.
Nord Stream 1 was shut down for repairs on Aug. 31 and never restarted, while Nord Stream 2 was never launched after Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine. Both lines were then damaged in what European authorities have called an act of sabotage.
Vast Ukrainian nuclear plant remains under Russian control - Russia-installed authorities
08:24 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine remains under Russian control, authorities installed by Moscow in the nearby city of Enerhodar said on Monday, after a Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave.
“The media are actively spreading fake news that Russia is allegedly planning to withdraw from Enerhodar and leave the (plant). This information is not true,” the Russia-installed administration wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
The head of Ukraine‘s state-run nuclear energy company said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate the vast Zaporizhzhia plant which they seized in March, soon after invading Ukraine.
Ukraine, which suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in Chornobyl in 1986, and Russia have accused each other of shelling the site of the Zaporizhzhia reactor complex.
Both sides have warned of the danger of a nuclear catastrophe. The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency), wants to create a protection zone around the nuclear power station, which is Europe’s largest.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said late on Sunday that he had no doubt that Russian forces would leave the plant, where Ukrainian staff are still operating. Many of these workers live in Enerhodar.
“The defence line is starting to retreat to the borders of the Russian Federation,” Podolyak told Ukrainian television, adding that Ukraine would “take it (the plant) back.”
Ukraine‘s military said on Monday its forces late last week destroyed six units of Russian military equipment and that about 30 Russian servicemen were wounded in fighting near Enerhodar.
Reuters was not able to immediately verify the reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin moved in September to annex Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and the Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine where his forces say they have partial control. Kyiv and its Western allies condemned the move as illegal.
Kherson suffers daily bombardment, despite liberation- MoD
08:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Despite being liberated on 11 November, the city of Kherson continues to be battered by Russian shelling on a daily basis, according to the UK ministry of defence.
“The city is vulnerable because it remains in range of most of Russia’s artillery systems, now firing from the east bank of the Dnipro River, from the rear of newly consolidated defensive lines,” the UK defence intelligence said.
The ministry added that 10 people were killed in one day alone on 24 November.
14 years on, Nato to renew a vow to Ukraine
07:47 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Nato returns on Tuesday to the scene of one of its most controversial decisions, intent on repeating its vow that Ukraine — now suffering through the 10th month of a war against Russia — will join the world’s biggest military alliance one day.
Nato foreign ministers will gather for two days at the Palace of the Parliament in the Romanian capital Bucharest. It was there in April 2008 that U.S. President George W. Bush persuaded his allies to open Nato’s door to Ukraine and Georgia, over vehement Russian objections.
”Nato welcomes Ukraine‘s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in Nato. We agreed today that these countries will become members of Nato,” the leaders said in a statement. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was at the summit, described this as “a direct threat” to Russia‘s security.About four months later, Russian forces invaded Georgia.
Some experts describe the decision in Bucharest as a massive error that left Russia feeling cornered by a seemingly ever-expanding Nato.
Nato counters that it doesn’t pressgang countries into joining, and that some requested membership to seek protection from Russia — as Finland and Sweden are doing now.
More than 14 years on, Nato will pledge this week to support Ukraine long-term as it defends itself against Russian aerial, missile and ground attacks — many of which have struck power grids and other civilian infrastructure, depriving millions of people of electricity and heating.
“Nato will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down,” the organisation’s top civilian official, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, vowed last week.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant remains under Moscow control -Russia installed administration
07:31 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control, the Russia-installed administration of the occupied Enerhodar city said on Monday, after a senior Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave.
“The media are actively spreading fakes that Russia is allegedly planning to withdraw from Enerhodar and leave the (nuclear plant). This information is not true,” the Russian backed administration said on the Telegram messaging app.
The head of Ukraine‘s state-run nuclear energy firm said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which they seized in March soon after their invasion.
The General Staff of Ukraine‘s Armed Forces said on Monday that Ukrainian forces late last week destroyed six units of Russian military equipment and about 30 Russian servicemen were injured in fighting near Enerhodar.
Reuters was not able to immediately verify the reports.
Many of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s workers live in the nearby Enerhodar city that has been under Russian occupation since the early days of the invasion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin moved in September to annex Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and the Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine where his forces claim partial control in a move condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies as illegal.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant ‘under Moscow’s control’
07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control, the Russia-installed administration of the occupied Enerhodar city said.
“The media are actively spreading fakes that Russia is allegedly planning to withdraw from Enerhodar and leave the (nuclear plant). This information is not true,” the Russia- backed administration said on the Telegram messaging app.
The head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear energy firm said yesterday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which they seized in March soon after their invasion.
Russia, US have ways to 'manage nuclear risks'
06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
The US and Russia have ways to manage nuclear risks at the level of intelligence agencies, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Moscow Elizabeth Rood told Russia’s state news agency.
The remark comes days after CIA director William Burns met head of Russian foreign intelligence Sergei Naryshkin and warned him about the consequences of any Russian use of nuclear weapons.
“The United States has channels for managing risk with the Russian Federation, particularly nuclear risks and that was the purpose of CIA director Burns’ meeting with his Russian counterpart,” Ms Rood said in a video on RIA’s Telegram channel.
“Director Burns did not negotiate anything and he did not discuss a settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.”
Ms Rood said if there is need for another conversation in that channel it can happen. “There is not anything scheduled that I know of.”
Kyiv mayor hits back at Zelensky’s criticism
06:29 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, hit back at president Volodymyr Zelensky’s criticism over how to help residents withstand power cuts.
Last week, the president criticised Mr Klitschko over the provision of emergency shelters, in a sign of a rare discontent.
Slamming Mr Zelensky’s remarks, the mayor said their dispute was “senseless” as Russia continues to shell the capital city.
Mr Klitschko said 430 “warming centres” were helping residents cope with the effects of Russian attacks on power stations and more than 100 more were planned in case of extreme conditions.
“I do not want to become involved in political battles, particularly in the current situation,” Mr Klitschko said in a video posted on Telegram.
“That is senseless. I have things to do in the city.”
Ukraine works to restore water, power after Russian strikes
06:10 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Ukrainian authorities endeavored to restore electricity and water services after recent pummeling by Russian military strikes that vastly damaged infrastructure, with president Volodymyr Zelensky saying millions have seen their power restored.
Skirmishes continued in the east and residents from the southern city of Kherson headed north and west to flee after punishing, deadly bombardments by Russian forces in recent days.
The strikes have been seen as attempts at Russian retribution against Ukraine's beleaguered but defiant people after Ukrainian troops over two weeks ago liberated the city that had been in Russian hands for many months.
“The key task of today, as well as other days of this week, is energy," Mr Zelensky said in his nightly televised address.
Russia ‘firing old nuclear missiles with warheads removed
05:40 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Vladimir Putin’s weapons arsenal is so “depleted” that Russia appears to be removing the nuclear warheads from ageing cruise missiles and firing the unarmed munitions at Ukraine, the UK has said.
Aside from the impact caused by the speed of the missiles and the combustion of any unspent fuel, such weapons are unlikely to achieve reliable effects against Moscow’s intended targets, the Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update.
The Kremlin is almost certainly hoping that such missiles “will function as decoys and divert Ukrainian air defences”, London believes.
Andy Gregory reports.
Zelensky asks Ukrainians to brace for more Russian missile strikes
05:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Volodymyr Zelensky warned against more Russian missile strikes and asked Ukrainians to be prepared to withstand a new week of strain on the power grid.
“We understand that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact,” the president said in a nightly video address.
“And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down.”
“Our defence forces are getting ready. The entire country is getting ready,” he said. “We have worked out all the scenarios, including with our partners.”
Over 4.7 million refugees granted temporary protection status
04:50 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
More than 4.7 million refugees from war-torn Ukraine have registered for temporary protection status across Europe, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
In total, over 7.8 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe since Russia’s unprovoked invasion in February.
Putin consoles mothers of soldiers killed fighting in Ukraine
04:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
President Vladimir Putin has been filmed speaking with the mothers of Russian soldiers who have died fighting for him in Ukraine, reassuring them that their sons have not died “in vain”.
He met with 17 of those who have lost loved ones, as they spent two hours sharing cake, tea, and stories.“I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country - we share your pain,” Mr Putin said.
“We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son.”
Rishi Sunak vows to maintain military aid to Ukraine
04:01 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
British prime minister Rishi Sunak plans to promise today to maintain or increase military aid to Ukraine next year, and to confront international competitors “not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism”.
“Under my leadership we won’t choose the status quo. We will do things differently,” Mr Sunak said in an extract released of his first major foreign policy speech, which he plans to deliver today in London’s financial district.
Mr Sunak said his priorities would be “freedom, openness and the rule of law.”
UK confirms supply of missiles to Ukraine despite Russia’s warnings
03:33 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
The British defence ministry yesterday confirmed supplying war-torn Ukraine with modern laser-guided Brimstone 2 missiles, rejecting Moscow’s repeated warnings.
In a clip shared on Twitter, the ministry said: “As part of its aid package, the UK has provided Brimstone 2 missiles, a precision-guided missile, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
“This aid has played a crucial role in stalling Russian advancements,” the ministry claimed.
It shared a video showing a pallet of the high-precision missile being delivered from the Royal Air Force Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire to an undisclosed airfield.
Ukraine buries two-day-old baby Serhiyko killed by shelling
03:26 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Family members held the last rites yesterday for a two-day-old baby killed in a Russian attack on a hospital in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine earlier this week.
Photos shared by the Ukrainian defence ministry showed the small casket belonging to the infant being buried by his family members.
“Serhiyko. The youngest victim of Russian terrorism. The baby lived for only two days,” the Ukrainian defence ministry said on Twitter.
It added: “For each of our children, for each of our babies, our soldiers will fight their hardest on the battlefield. But no matter how strong our rage is, we will never become like you, Russians.”
Arpan Rai has more.
Nearly 32,000 civilian targets damaged by Russian shelling
03:25 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Incessant shelling by the Russians in Ukraine has damaged nearly 32,000 civilian properties and more than 700 critical infrastructure facilities, according to Ukrainian officials.
“As one would expect of terrorists, they (Russians) target civilian properties. To date, about 32,000 such properties have been damaged by Russian missiles and shells. These are primarily civilians’ private houses or apartment buildings,” said Yevhenii Yenin, the first deputy minister of Internal Affairs.
He added: “Only 3 per cent of recorded attacks have been on military facilities.
“As of now, more than 700 critical infrastructure facilities - airfields, bridges, oil depots, electricity substations, etc - have been hit by the Russian soldiers.”
Ukrainian official says Russian attacks on energy amount to ‘genocide'
Sunday 27 November 2022 19:26 , Lucy Skoulding
Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Andriy Kostin told the BBC in an interview that Russia’s attacks on the energy grid in Ukraine amounts to ‘genocide’.
People in Ukraine are facing energy shortages amid the freezing cold weather.
Energy usage restrictions have been applied in 14 regions across Ukraine as well as the capital Kyiv.
Genocide, as well as killing, refers to harming members of a group, including forcibly transferring children to other places.
So far, 11,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia.
Protest in front of NATO HQ for Ukraine
Sunday 27 November 2022 18:31 , Lucy Skoulding
A protest in support of Ukraine took place outside NATO’s headquarters in Brussells, Belgium as NATO is set to reconvene on Tuesday.
One protester thanked NATO members for help already given to Ukraine but said more air defence systems are needed.
Jana Brovdiy, member of the Promote Ukraine Association, told Al Jazeera: “Ukrainians have shown that they are able to destroy a lot of these missiles, but we still don’t have enough this air defence systems.
“And as a result, the energy infrastructure, people, civilians are without electricity, without light, without energy, without heating.
“So we really need more air defence systems, to protect our civilians and to survive the winter.”
Ukraine only has enough power for 80% electricity needs
Sunday 27 November 2022 17:39 , Lucy Skoulding
Russia has attacked Ukraine’s energy strategy for the seventh time since the start of the war.
Ukraine currently only has enough power to meet 80 per cent of its electricity needs.
The Kyiv Independent tweeted: “Electricity deficit at 20% in Ukraine after latest Russian attack.
“Days after Russia’s seventh attack against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, state grid operator Ukrenergo said that electricity producers cover almost 80% of consumption needs.”
Pace of war in Ukraine slowed by extreme weather
Sunday 27 November 2022 16:40 , Lucy Skoulding
Deteriorating weather conditions have caused the pace of the war in Ukraine to slow down in the last few weeks according to expert analysis.
The Institute of the Study of War (ISW) predicts the pace will pick up again the coming weeks though as temperatures will continue to drop and this will cause the ground to freeze over.
The ISW tweeted: “The overall pace of #Russian and #Ukrainian operations along the frontline has slowed in recent days due to deteriorating weather conditions but is likely to increase starting in the next few weeks as temperatures drop and the ground freezes.”
According to BBC Weather it is currently -1C in Kyiv, where it is around 6.40 pm local time. Light snow is expected this evening.
Signs Russian forces might leave nuclear power plant
Sunday 27 November 2022 16:22 , Lucy Skoulding
An expert has said there are signs Russian troops might leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
Zaporizhzhia, a city in the southeast of the country, was seized by Russian forces in March this year.
But Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said on national television: “One gets the impression they’re packing their bags and stealing everything they can.”
Ministry of Defence confirms it’s supplied missiles to Ukraine
Sunday 27 November 2022 15:49 , Lucy Skoulding
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) says it has provided Ukraine with Brimstone 2 missiles as part of its aid package.
A tweet from the MOD account earlier today read: “As part of its aid package, the UK has provided Brimstone 2 missiles, a precision-guided missile, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“This aid has played a crucial role in stalling Russian advancements.”
Alongside it, the MOD shared a video explaining that a Brimstone 2 missile is a precision-guided missile originally designed for use for air-to-ground stikes.
Pictured: Kherson bridge destroyed as Russia retreated from key city
Sunday 27 November 2022 15:45 , Andy Gregory
Here are some new and striking images of the Antonivsky Bridge, the main crossing in Kherson across the Dnipro River, which was blown up as Russian forces retreated from the city earlier this month.
Rybar, an influential Russian military blog, reported that Russia had destroyed the bridge, and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky had accused Moscow of destroying critical infrastructure during the retreat.
Russia’s tactics likened to Holodomor by president of European Commission
Sunday 27 November 2022 15:29 , Lucy Skoulding
The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, has compared Russia’s tactics in Ukraine with that of the man-made famine implemented by Josesph Stalin.
Holodomor caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainian people between 1932 and 1933.
The president tweeted: “90 years after the Holodomor, the Kremlin is again using food as a weapon. We stand with Ukraine to guarantee global food security.
Four hospitalised by Russian shelling in Dnipropetrovsk, says governor
Sunday 27 November 2022 15:12 , Andy Gregory
Thirteen people have been injured by a Russian rocket attack in Dnipro on Saturday, the regional govenor has said.
A 17-year-old boy is among four who were taken to hospital, said Valentyn Reznichenko, warning that another person may be beneath the debris being cleared by rescuers.
Seven civilians killed in Russian attacks on Saturday, Zelensky aide alleges
Sunday 27 November 2022 14:45 , Andy Gregory
Seven civilians were killed and 19 injured by Russian attacks across four regions on Saturday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff has alleged.
Five people were killed in Donetsk, one in Kharkiv and one in Kherson, while 10 were injured by Russian missile strikes in Dnipropetrovsk, the Kyiv Independent said in a report citing presidential aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko.
Russian-led alliance remains in high demand, insists Kremlin after Armenian criticism
Sunday 27 November 2022 14:18 , Andy Gregory
The Kremlin has insisted that the Russian-led security alliance CTSO remains in high demand – after Armenia called its effectiveness into question.
Armenia requested assistance from the six-nation organisation in September but received only a promise to send observers, contrasting with the alliance’s rapid decision in January to send troops to Kazakhstan to help its president survive a wave of unrest.
“There have always been attempts to [bring about] the CSTO’s disintegration,” news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying in an interview broadcast on state television.
“But at least now we see that, despite all the difficulties, despite the possible contradictions even between member countries, this structure remains in high demand,” he said. “And it fully demonstrated its relevance and effectiveness, meaning the resolution of the situation in Kazakhstan.”
Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who has openly defied Russia over its actions in Ukraine, won re-election this month and is set to meet with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Orenburg on Monday.
Russia risks losing sway in parts of the former Soviet Union that it has long seen as its sphere of influence, as Mr Putin’s war in Ukraine drags into its 10th month.
Russian officials may be seeking to counter influence of Wagner Group founder, Kyiv claims
Sunday 27 November 2022 13:50 , Andy Gregory
Russian officials may be attempting to counterbalance the growing influence of the powerful oligarch and founder of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, it has been claimed.
With Vladimir Putin’s position weakened by Russia’s failures on the battlefield, Mr Prigozhin has sought during the war to further establish himself as a central figure in the Russian pro-war ultranationalist community.
But in a possible attempt to counter his influence, Russian officials have appointed pro-Kremlin businessman Armen Sarkisyan as its new administrator for prisons in occupied parts of Ukraine, who intends to use the role to create a new “private military company”, the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed.
The GUR suggested that Mr Sarkisyan is modelling his effort to create a new private military company on the Wagner Group’s recruitment of prisoners in Russia.
The US-based Institute of War think-tank said it is likely that high-ranking Russian officials have approved Mr Sarkisyan’s efforts as private military companies are illegal in Russia.
Ukraine’s allies helping to repair burnt-out weapons, report claims
Sunday 27 November 2022 13:14 , Andy Gregory
The Pentagon has set up a repair facility in Poland to fix the high-tech weapons given to Ukraine, according to a report.
A third of the roughly 350 Western-made howitzers donated to Kyiv are out of action at any given time, US defence officials and other sources told the New York Times, and keeping Western-made artillery pieces in action has become as important for Ukraine’s allies as providing the country with enough ammunition.
Weapons are burning out after months of overuse, or being damaged or destroyed in combat, and dozens have been taken off the battlefield for repairs, according to US and Ukrainian officials.
Kyiv residents ‘should have four hours of power per day'
Sunday 27 November 2022 12:47 , Andy Gregory
Residents in Kyiv should have access to at least four hours of power per day, an energy provider in the capital has said.
Sergey Kovalenko, chief operating officer of Yasno, said yesterday evening that the situation in the city has improved but still remained “quite difficult.”
“If you haven’t had at least four hours of electricity in the past day, write to DTEK Kyiv Electric Networks, colleagues will help you figure out what the problem is,” Mr Kovalenko wrote on social media.
Russian officials continuing to deport children under guise of medical help, says think-tank
Sunday 27 November 2022 12:18 , Andy Gregory
Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport children to Russian under the guise of medical rehabilitation schemes and adoption programmes, the Institute for the Study of War think-tank has warned.
It cited the Ukrainian Resistance Centre as alleging that Russian-backed authorities in occupied Luhansk had conducted medical examinations of 15,000 children and concluded that 70 per cent of them were in need of “special medical care” requiring them to be removed to Russia for “treatment”.
Kyiv alleges that Russian officials intend for these forced deportation schemes to lure children’s families to Russia to collect their children, at which point it is feared they will be prevented from returning home.
Shelling reported across Ukraine
Sunday 27 November 2022 11:50 , Andy Gregory
In the eastern Donetsk region, five people were killed in shelling over the past day, according to governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Overnight shelling was reported by regional leaders in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk areas to the west.
Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov said one person was killed and three wounded in the northeastern region.
Fighting ‘bogged down’ but pace of war ‘to increase as ground freezes’
Sunday 27 November 2022 11:28 , Andy Gregory
The overall pace of operations in Ukraine is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks as the ground freezes, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think-tank.
Operations on both sides are currently bogged down by heavy rain and resulting heavy mud, the ISW said, citing Ukrainian and Russian reporting from “critical frontline areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine”.
“Temperatures are forecasted to drop throughout Ukraine over the next week, which will likely freeze the ground and expedite the pace of fighting as mobility increases for both sides,” it added.
Kyiv could face pressure ‘to trade justice' for ‘cheap oil and gas’ for West, ex-ICC prosecutor claims
Sunday 27 November 2022 10:39 , Andy Gregory
Foreign powers could seek to pressure Ukraine into accepting a “negotiated settlement” which sacrifices Crimea and the Donbas region in exchange for “cheap oil and gas” for the West, a former international prosecutor has claimed.
Prof Sir Geoffrey Nice KC, the lead prosecutor in the Hague against former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, warned the Sunday Telegraph that there are “real risks” of Ukraine “subcontracting out” any legal action against Russia to the international community.
“The risks are that the internationals will have interests of their own to serve, that may allow them to affect or even to corrupt the process and you’ve always got to be alive to that,” he said.
“There might easily be pressure to trade off justice,” Prof Sir Geoffrey said. Asked what for, he said: “For cheap gas and oil.”
The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor launched an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine in March. However, Prof Sir Geoffrey said that it would better serve Ukraine’s interests if it were to hold Russia to account themselves, adding: “There’s a risk that a bad actor will seek to achieve and may succeed in achieving a narrow measure of moral equivalence.”
Lavrov sends condolences to wife of Belarusian counterpart after his ‘sudden’ death
Sunday 27 November 2022 10:11 , Andy Gregory
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has sent his condolences to the wife of his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei, whose “sudden” death at the age of 64 was announced yesterday by state media, without further explanation.
Moscow’s foreign ministry said its leadership and staff “deeply mourn” the “untimely death” of Makei, who it labelled “an outstanding diplomat and statesman” and “a true patriot who devoted his life to serving his Motherland and protecting its interests in the international arena”.
The ministry called Makei – a close ally of president Alexander Lukashenko – “a true friend of Russia, who made a unique contribution to the comprehensive development of broad bilateral cooperation ... and the strengthening of ties between the fraternal peoples of Russia and Belarus”.
Zelensky and De Croo sign declaration of support for Ukraine to join EU and Nato
Sunday 27 November 2022 09:47 , Andy Gregory
Volodymyr Zelensky and Belgium’s prime minister Alexander De Croo have signed a joint declaration of support for Ukraine to join the European Union and Nato, during the latter’s visit to Kyiv yesterday.
“I thank Belgium and the prime minister for the joint declaration signed today. This document testifies Belgium’s support for our movement towards full membership in the European Union and Nato. We will definitely get this important result for us,” the Ukrainian president said.
Nato scrambling to arm Ukraine and restock its own arsenals, report claims
Sunday 27 November 2022 09:19 , Andy Gregory
Nato is struggling to arm Ukraine and simultaneously keep its own stocks replenished as Kyiv and Moscow use weapons and ammunition at a rate not seen since the Second World War, a report claims.
With the western alliance left unprepared for a land war in Europe, it now finds itself scrambling to provide Kyiv with increasingly scarce Soviet-era missiles, tanks and artillery shells – a dilemma prompting discussions about investing in old factories in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria to restart the manufacturing of certain ammunitions, according to the New York Times.
While Nato forces fired maybe 300 artillery rounds each day in Afghanistan, the alliance’s recently departed assistant secretary general for defence investment, Camille Grand, told the paper: “A day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan.”
While the US produces 15,000 artillery rounds per month, last summer’s fighting in the Donbas region saw Ukraine fire 6,000 to 7,000 rounds each day and Russia fire 40,000 to 50,000, a senior Nato official told the paper.
As a result, the Times reported that the West is trying to come up with alternative systems, even if they are older, to substitute for shrinking stocks of expensive air-defense missiles and anti-tank Javelins, and is trying to purchase ammunition from countries like South Korea to “backfill” stocks being sent to Ukraine.
Hundreds evacuated from Kherson psychiatric hospital
Sunday 27 November 2022 08:53 , Andy Gregory
Hundreds of patients are being evacuated from a psychiatric hospital in Kherson, an aid coordinator has said, as civilians flee the newly-liberated city in the face of Russian shelling.
Emilie Fourrey, emergency project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine, said an evacuation of 400 patients at the hospital, which is situated near both an electrical plant and the front line, had begun on Thursday and was set to continue in the coming days.
Residents queue to leave Kherson in face of fatal Russian bombardment
Sunday 27 November 2022 08:25 , Andy Gregory
Civilians were yesterday fleeing the newly liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson, in the face of Russian shelling said to have killed at least 32 people since Moscow’s forces abandoned the city.
A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched a kilometer or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson, the Associated Press reported.
“It is sad that we are leaving our home,” Yevhen Yankov told the news agency, as a van he was in crawled forwards slowly. “Now we are free, but we have to leave, because there is shelling, and there are dead among the population.”
Speaking from the same vehicle, Svitlana Romanivna added: “We went through real hell. Our neighborhood was burning, it was a nightmare. Everything was in flames.”
Russia turned Soviet famine remembrance into ‘day of terror’, says Zelensky
Sunday 27 November 2022 08:04 , Andy Gregory
Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of turning Ukraine’s day of remembrance for the Holodomor – a Soviet famine which killed millions – into “a day of terror”.
In his nightly video address, the Ukrainian president accused Russia of launching a missile attack on Dnipropetrovsk region – “on private houses, on ordinary houses”, adding: “There are wounded. They shelled Donetsk region, the south, and other regions.
“Russia is turning this day – the day of remembrance – into a day of terror. The occupiers will definitely be responsible for all this. And we will drive them out of our land.”
Russia to bar foreigners from using surrogate mothers
Sunday 27 November 2022 07:26 , Andy Gregory
Russia will soon adopt a law barring foreigners from using Russian surrogate mothers, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament said on Sunday, the nation’s Mother’s Day.
Paid surrogacy is legal in Russia, but the practice has been criticised by religious groups as commercialising the birth of children, and Mr Volodin said some 45,000 babies born by surrogate mothers have been taken abroad in recent years, adding: “Child trafficking is unacceptable.”
“Everything must be done to protect children by prohibiting foreigners from using the surrogacy service,” Mr Volodin said on Telegram. “We will make this decision at the beginning of December.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine says Russia has forcibly deported more than 12,000 Ukrainian children since February – a charge denied by Russia, which claims the movement of people into Russia from Ukraine has been to protect civilians from Ukrainian soldiers.
Russia unlikely to achieve breakthrough in Donetsk fight - MoD
Sunday 27 November 2022 06:56 , Arpan Rai
Russia is unlikely to be able to concentrate sufficient high-quality forces to achieve an operational breakthrough in Ukraine’s Donetsk, where heavy fighting has taken place in the last two weeks, the UK’s ministry of defence said today.
“The area around the towns of Pavlivka and Vuhledar in south-central Donetsk Oblast has been the scene of intense combat over the last two weeks, though little territory has changed hands,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
It added that both Russia and Ukraine have significant forces committed to this sector, with Russian Naval Infantry having suffered heavy casualties.
“This area remains heavily contested, likely partially because Russia assesses the area has potential as a launch point for a future major advance north to capture the remainder of Ukrainian-held Donetsk Oblast,” the MoD speculated.
Russia ‘shocked’ by death of Belarusian foreign minister
Sunday 27 November 2022 06:30 , Arpan Rai
A spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry has said they are “shocked” by the sudden death of Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei at the age of 64.
“We are shocked by the reports of the death of the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei,” Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram, adding: “Official condolences will be published soon.”
No official explanation in Belarus has yet been given for his death.
Earlier this week, Mr Makei had attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in Yerevan, and was due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday.