Russia-Ukraine war live: Russian-installed governor of Kherson urges evacuation amid Ukraine offensive | Ukraine
Moscow-installed governor of Kherson urges residents to evacuate
The Moscow-installed head of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region has urged residents to leave the area and asked Russia to help evacuate people, Agence France-Presse reports.
In a video posted to Telegram, Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed head of the Kherson administration, said:
We suggested to all people of the Kherson region to, if they wish, leave to other regions to protect themselves from missile hits.
In addressing the leadership of the country [Russia], I ask you to help organise this work.
We, the people of the Kherson region, know that Russia does not abandon its own.
Saldo said the region was being hit by an increasing amount of rocket attacks bringing “serious damage”, in signs that Ukraine’s counteroffensive was continuing to made progress.
His warning comes just a day after Kyiv said it had retaken five settlements in the Kherson region.
Kherson is one of the four regions in Ukraine that Moscow recently claimed to have annexed.
Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, did not discuss ways to resolve the conflict in Ukraine at their bilateral meeting today, the state-run RIA news agency reported, citing the Kremlin.
“The topic of a Russian-Ukrainian settlement was not discussed,” RIA cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
A residential building in the southern Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border was hit today in shelling by Kyiv’s forces, the city governor said today.
Agence France-Presse reports that the Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement on Telegram:
The Ukrainian armed forces shelled Belgorod. There is damage at a residential apartment building on Gubkin street. Information about the victims is being detailed.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential adviser, denied Kyiv’s military was responsible and said Russia had tried to shell Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the border “but something went wrong”.
Gladkov added that shelling by Ukraine’s forces had landed near school grounds in a village called Krasnoye outside the main city of Belgorod, with students learning online from home.
No one was reported injured or killed.
Attending a Nato meeting, the UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said there was no risk that western allies would run out of arms supplies to aid Ukraine against Russia.
“The UK-Danish joint-led international fund is all about placing orders in a manufacturing space to make sure that we can go on between 2023, 24, and keep going on,” Wallace said today.
He added that the UK would provide Ukraine with air defence systems that would complement US-provided systems.
Ukraine faced a barrage of missile strikes earlier this week, damaging civilian infrastructure and knocking out electricity supplies in some cities
Ukraine’s power grid ‘stable’ after Russian air strikes
AFP reports that Ukraine‘s power grid has been “stabilised” after Russian strikes on the country that in particular targeted energy infrastructure, causing power and hot water cuts, the national energy operator Ukrenergo said today.
The head of Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, said on Facebook:
The introduction of scheduled emergency blackouts is currently not being planned … This became possible, first of all, thanks to the fact that Ukrenergo and Oblenergo experts stabilised the energy supply in all regions of Ukraine.
We withstood what was probably the largest missile attack on energy infrastructure in history.
Whether there will be [supply] restrictions in the future depends primarily on whether there will be new shelling and destruction.
Russia has blitzed Ukraine with missiles this week, in attacks that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said were retaliation for a deadly explosion at a Crimea bridge.
As we previously reported, Ukrainian officials said that 40 towns and cities in the country had been targeted by Russian forces in the past 24 hours.
As well as Putin’s idea for a gas hub, detailed in the post below this one, the Russian president and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also discussed nuclear power.
Meeting Putin at the start of a regional summit in Kazakhstan, Erdoğan mentioned Russia’s construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which Ankara hopes to open next year, AFP reports.
Erdoğan raised the idea of Russia building a second nuclear power plant in northern Turkey.
The Turkish president also defended Ankara’s booming trade ties with Moscow.
The US and the EU are piling pressure on Turkey to comply with sanctions they imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
But Erdoğan has refused, offering the Nato member Turkey as a neutral venue for possible truce talks, and approving a range of agreements that have seen the value of exports to Russia more than double in recent months.
Putin proposes ‘gas hub’ in Turkey during talks with Erdoğan
Russian president Vladimir Putin floated the idea of a major gas hub in Turkey during talks with his counterpart Recep Tayip Erdoğan today.
Putin told Erdoğan at a meeting in Kazakhstan:
Turkey has turned out to be the most reliable route for deliveries today, even to Europe. We could consider the possibility of creating a gas hub in Turkey for supplies to other countries.
The Russian president added:
In the course of the work of this hub, which we could create together, of course, it would also be a platform not only for supplies, but also for determining the price, because this is a very important issue – the issue of pricing.
Today, these prices are sky-high; we could easily regulate at a normal market level, without any political overtones.
Putin suggested on Wednesday that Russia could create a major gas hub in Turkey by redirecting supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream undersea pipelines, reports Reuters.
Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating the blasts as acts of sabotage but have not yet said who they believe was responsible.
In the televised exchange between the two leaders, Erdoğan did not comment on the gas hub idea.
This graphic shows the location of the Russian missiles that struck 40 Ukrainian towns and cities today, according to officials.
Ukraine‘s Armed Forces General Staff said that in the past 24 hours more than 40 settlements were hit by Russian shelling.
In response Ukraine‘s air force carried out 32 strikes on 25 Russian targets.
The mayor of the port city of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevich, said in a social media post that the southern city was “massively shelled”, reports Reuters.
Young Ukrainians from Kyiv are organising ‘Repair Together’ weekends to help poor villages devastated by Russian occupation by cleaning up and rebuilding homes for free.
Tetiana Burianova was traveling in Peru when war broke out, and rushed back to Ukraine to help out in any way she could. With her friends, she began collecting donations and organising repair events that now attract hundreds of young people from cities each weekend.
The Guardian’s Christopher Cherry reports from a liberated village where he meets locals finding it impossible to forgive a brutal occupation, and volunteers determined to build a better Ukraine amid the ruin.
Estonia has confirmed a new military aid package for Ukraine that will include winter gear, equipment and ammunition.
Prime minister Kaja Kallas confirmed the additional support in a tweet today.
Let us all speed up our help, so Ukrainians can free their territories. This is the way to peace.
Estonia, who share a border with Russia, have already provided Kyiv with more than €220 million (£192,479,486) in military assistance and have called for richer Western nations to increase weapons supplies to the country.
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begin talks in Kazakhstan
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have started talks in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The duo are in the country for the the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
The meeting is taking place on the sidelines of the regional summit, and the Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov previously suggested the Erdoğan could propose ideas for peace.
Philip Oltermann reports for us from Berlin:
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has accused Vladimir Putin of waging “a crusade against our way of life”, in a shift of rhetoric days after heavy Russian missile strikes hit major Ukrainian cities.
“They consider their war against Ukraine to be part of a larger crusade,” Scholz said in a video address to a summit of European socialist, liberal and green politicians and thinkers in Berlin.
“A crusade against liberal democracy, a crusade against the rules-based international order, a crusade against freedom and progress, a crusade against our way of life,” he added.
Read more: Putin’s war on Ukraine part of crusade against liberal democracy, says Scholz
Summary of the day so far …
Ukraine’s state emergency service has said it is actively searching for people trapped under rubble after a Russian strike on Mykolaiv. In a statement on Thursday, it said: “Rockets hit a five-storey residential building. As a result, the two upper floors were completely destroyed, the rest – under rubble.” A 12-year-old boy has been rescued from the site but there are thought to be at least seven others trapped.
After retreating around 20km to the north of the Kherson sector in early October, Russian forces are likely to be attempting to consolidate a new frontline west from the village of Mylove, according to British intelligence. Heavy fighting continues along this line, especially at the western end where Ukrainian advances mean Russia’s flank is no longer protected by the Inhulets River, the latest UK Ministry of Defence report reads.
Russia said it had summoned diplomats from Germany, Denmark and Sweden to complain that representatives from Moscow and Gazprom had not been invited to join an investigation into ruptures of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. “Russia will obviously not recognise the pseudo-results of such an investigation unless Russian experts are involved,” the foreign ministry said.
The UN general assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, as 35 countries abstained, including China, India, South Africa and Pakistan. The resolution “condemns the organisation by the Russian Federation of so-called referendums within the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine” and “the attempted illegal annexation” announced last month of four regions by Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, told Russian television on Thursday that the vote was anti-Russian and the west had used methods of diplomatic terrorism against developing countries to force them to vote. He dismissed US claims that Washington did not persuade anyone to vote.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Ukraine had only 10% of what it needed in terms of air defences.
The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said Russia would run out of supplies and armaments before the west. He said procurement processes were in place among allies in the west to ensure the international community would be able to continue arming Ukraine for years to come.
The admission of Ukraine to Nato could result in a third world war, the deputy secretary of the Russian security council, Alexander Venediktov, told Tass, the Russian state news agency, in an interview on Thursday.
Turkey’s aim is to stop the bloodshed in the Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible despite hurdles, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has told a regional summit in Kazakhstan.
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Thursday the war in Ukraine was part of a broader movement against the west by Russia. He said: “Vladimir Putin and his enablers have made one thing very clear: this war is not only about Ukraine. They consider their war against Ukraine to be part of a larger crusade, a crusade against liberal democracy.”
The Russian state-owned Tass news agency is reporting that officials at Russia’s nuclear power station operator Rosenergoatom have begun the process of transitioning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) to Russian processes, in particular “the storage system for spent fuel of the Russian Federation”.
That is it from me, Martin Belam, for now. I will be back later. Joe Middleton will be here shortly.
Russia summons diplomats over Nord Stream investigation snub
Russia said it had summoned diplomats from Germany, Denmark and Sweden to complain that representatives from Moscow and Gazprom had not been invited to join an investigation into ruptures of the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
“Russia will obviously not recognise the pseudo-results of such an investigation unless Russian experts are involved,” Reuters reports the foreign ministry said.
European nations have suggested the only possible cause of the ruptures to the pipelines was sabotage, with only a limited number of state actors suspected of being capable of such an operation.
Two quotes this morning underscore the diplomatic gulf between the rhetoric of western leaders and Russia.
Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has this morning said the war in Ukraine is part of a broader movement against the west by Russia. Reuters quotes him saying: “Vladimir Putin and his enablers have made one thing very clear: this war is not only about Ukraine. They consider their war against Ukraine to be part of a larger crusade, a crusade against liberal democracy.”
Meanwhile, Tass news agency is reporting the words of Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. He has told Russian television that the west used methods of diplomatic terrorism against developing countries so an anti-Russian resolution on “referendums” in the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions was adopted at the session of the UN general assembly.
Tass report Lavrov also said that US claims that Washington did not persuade anyone to vote were false.
Here is the clip of the UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, explaining that procurement processes are in place among allies in the west that he says will ensure that the international community will be able to continue arming Ukraine for years ahead.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has issued its latest situation map of how it sees developments on the ground in Ukraine.