Ukraine tells civilians from recently liberated areas to leave before winter
The key battlefield development was acknowledged by Ukraine’s military, with a spokesperson saying Kyiv is “continuing a military operation” in the area – which has been used by Moscow as a staging ground for strikes against Ukrainian troops seeking to retake their territory in the south.
Russia has faced monumental setbacks in its nearly nine-month war, and in a rare move, the Kremlin said that Mr Putin would meet the mothers of Russian soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine for the first time as Russia celebrates Mother’s Day this weekend.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities warned that Moscow’s renewed assault on its energy infrastructure has caused “colossal” damage, meaning that millions of Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts until at least the end of March.
Fighting also continued near the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, while president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office alleged that Russian strikes across eight regions killed at least eight civilians.
Watch: Orban wears scarf depicting Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary
Here is the footage which has led Kyiv to summon Hungary’s ambassador, over the scarf worn by Viktor Orban depicting territories of Ukraine and other neighbouring nations as part of Hungary:
Viktor Orbán wears scarf appearing to show Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary
The scarf is alleged to depict “Greater Hungary” – an informal term for the land which belonged to Budapest prior to 1920, which includes territory now belonging to Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 17:58
While all eyes are on Ukraine, there’s another conflict licking at Russia’s borders
Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta reports:
Vladimir Putin stayed away from the G20 summit in Bali to avoid the opprobrium he would have faced over his invasion of Ukraine. But this week he is going to be in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, as another conflict threatens to spread on Russia’s borders.
While international focus has been on Ukraine, the violent confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh – a disputed region which has led to two wars – is threatening to erupt once again.
A brief conflict two years ago has been followed by several large-scale clashes, with hundreds reported killed. Civilians have been forced to flee their homes, and there has been widespread destruction of cultural heritage. More than 120 square kilometres of its territory, says Armenia, is now occupied.
Gruesome images of atrocities have surfaced on social media, including one of an elderly Armenian villager being decapitated and his head being put on a pig’s carcass. Another image shows the naked body of a female Armenian soldier with her legs cut off, her eyes gouged out and a severed finger in her mouth.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 17:38
Russian forces ‘on alert’ in Crimea over ‘drone attack’ in Sevastopol
Here is more from the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, who claims the Crimean port is under attack from drones.
“Our air defence forces are working right now,” Mikhail Razvozhaev said on social media. “There is an attack by drones. According to preliminary information, two UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] have already been shot down. All forces and services are on alert.”
“No civilian objects were damaged. Please remain calm,” he added.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 17:16
Two drones shot down in Sevastopol, claims Russian-backed governor
Two drones have been shot down in Sevastopol after air defences were activated, the Russian-installed regional governor has said.
Sevastopol, in illegally annexed Crimea, is the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
Last month, Moscow blamed Ukraine – and British Royal Navy “specialists” – for an attack on the port using air and marine drones, in response to which it briefly suspended its participation in a deal to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 17:05
Anger as Viktor Orban wears scarf showing Ukrainian territory as Hungarian
Viktor Orban has sparked a diplomatic row with Ukraine after wearing a scarf allegedly depicting Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary – prompting Kyiv to summon the Hungarian ambassador.
My colleague Maryam Zakir-Hussain has more details here:
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 16:41
Anger in Poland over Russian pranksters’ call to president on night of blast
Opposition politicians in Poland have reacted furiously after president Andrzej Duda was duped into speaking with Russian pranksters imitating France’s Emmanuel Macron on the night that a missile killed two people near its Ukrainian border and sparked fears Nato could be dragged into the war.
Tomasz Trela, of the Left party, called it a “disgrace for the special services and for all those who should be checking who they allow to contact the top leader”, adding: “This is a blow for our security and for the opinion we have in the eyes of our allies.”
During the seven-minute call, posted online by the Russian pranksters – who have previously duped Mr Duda, Boris Johnson and Mr Macron – the Polish president could be heard relaying details of the blast and speaking of his plans to request Nato consultations. Mr Duda can be heard saying that US president Joe Biden did not blame Russia for the missile incident but that Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy insisted it was a Russian-launched projectile. The Polish president adds that he himself is being “extra careful” not to blame Russia.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 16:25
Japan to provide generators and solar lanterns to help Ukraine with blackouts
Japan has announced some $2.5m in aid for Ukraine to provide it with generators and solar lanterns in the face of blackouts this winter.
“The government of Japan will continue to provide support for and stand by the people of Ukraine who are facing hardship, in collaboration with the international community, including the G7 members,” Toyko’s foreign affairs ministry said.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 16:14
US will soon begin transferring $4.5bn in aid to Ukraine
The US will start to disburse $4.5bn in pledged economic aid for Ukraine in the coming weeks, Washington’s Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has said.
Approved in September, the funds were aimed at “bolstering economic stability and supporting core government services,” Ms Yellen said in a statement.
Other donors should also increase and accelerate their assistance to Ukraine, she added.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 15:49
Cuban president criticises Nato in address to Russian parliament
Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel has sought to blame Nato for the war in Ukraine, during an address to Russia’s parliament.
“The reasons for the current conflict in this zone must be sought in the aggressive policy of the United States and the expansion of Nato towards Russia’s borders,” Mr Diaz-Canel said – an argument Ukraine and its Western allies reject as a false justification for Russia’s illegal invasion.
He and Vladimir Putin unveiled a monument to Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in a square in Moscow today, pledging to deepen their friendship in the face of US sanctions against both nations.
Mr Putin told Mr Diaz-Canel that the two countries needed to build on the “solid foundation of friendship” established between Castro and Soviet leaders.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 15:30
Russia preparing to draft up to 700,000 in new mobilisation round, Ukrainian official claims
A Ukrainian government advisor has claimed that Russia is preparing the draft up to 700,000 people in a second wave of mobilisation to take place in January.
The 300,000 reservists drafted in Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilisation” which began in mid-Septmber are “already killed”, wounded or demoralised, claimed Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to Ukraine’s internal affairs minister.
Yesterday, the Kremlin rejected claims that there were discussions ongoing over a second round of mobilisation – however similar denials were made by the same spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, just a week prior to Mr Putin’s “partial mobilisation” in September.
Andy Gregory22 November 2022 15:13