Ukraine news – live: Putin’s commanders ‘concerned about threats to key naval base’

Rishi Sunak condemns Russia’s ‘barbaric’ war in Ukraine

Russian commmanders are concerned after an attack reportedly took place at an oil terminal in Novorssiysk port on Russia’s Black Sea coast, the UK ministry of defence has said.

The attack took place on 18 November, and although full details are yet to emerge, the defence ministry said: “Any demonstration of a Ukrainian capability to threaten Novorssiysk would highly likely represent a further strategic challenge for the BSF.”

The ministry also said that “Russian commanders will likely be concerned about threats to the Novorssiysk-based amphibious landing ship flotilla,” adding: “These vessels are relatively vulnerable without escorts and have assumed a more important role in supplying Russian forces in Ukraine since the Kerch Bridge was damaged in October.”

Elsewhere, millions of Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said.

Sergey Kovalenko, the head of YASNO, which provides energy for Kyiv, said workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives.

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‘Stock up on blankets’: Ukrainians brace for bleak winter

Rolling blackouts across Ukraine may continue through March, according to one of the country’s energy chiefs, as Ukrainians brace for a grim winter after weeks of relentless Russian strikes against its power grid.

Sergey Kovalenko, CEO of private energy provider DTEK Yasno, said in a Facebook post late Monday that the company was under instructions from Ukraine‘s state grid operator to resume emergency blackouts in the areas it covers, including the capital Kyiv and the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region.

“Although there are fewer blackouts now, I want everyone to understand: Most likely, Ukrainians will have to live with blackouts until at least the end of March,” Kovalenko warned.

“I think we need to be prepared for different options, even the worst ones. Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think about what will help you wait out a long shutdown,” he said, addressing Ukrainian residents.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 09:35

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Ukraine prepares for ‘worst winter’ as Zelensky says country will prevail

Praising the resilience and contributions of ordinary citizens to the war effort, the Ukrainian leader said his country would continue to stand firm.

“We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address.

His words came as Ukrainians prepared for the “worst winter” of their lives, according to residents affected by power cuts as Russia continues to concentrate its attacks on Kyiv’s energy infrastructure.

David Harding reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 09:11

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Ukraine’s security service raids Kyiv monastery, suspects Russian sabotage

Ukraine‘s SBU security service and police raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv early on Tuesday as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”, the SBU said.

The sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex that was raided is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church known as the Moscow Patriarchate.

“These measures are being taken … as part of the systemic work of the SBU to counter the destructive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement.

It said the search was aimed at preventing the use of the cave monastery as “the centre of the Russian world” and carried out to look into suspicions “about the use of the premises … for sheltering sabotage and reconnaissance groups, foreign citizens, weapons storage”.

The SBU did not say what the result of the raid was. The Moscow Patriarchate did not immediately comment.

In May, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate ended its ties with the Russian church over Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine and condemned the support of Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia‘s church, for what Moscow calls its “special military operation”.

Ukraine says the full-scale invasion began an unprovoked war of aggression.

A 2020 survey by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Centre found that 34% of Ukrainians identified as members of the main Orthodox Church of Ukraine, while 14% were members of Ukraine‘s Moscow Patriarchate Church.

In 2019, Ukraine was given permission by the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide to form a church independent of Moscow, largely ending centuries of religious ties between the two countries.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 08:47

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‘Close call’: UN claims nuclear disaster narrowly avoided by fighting around Zaporizhzhia

Ukraine narrowly escaped disaster during fighting at the weekend around Europe’s largest atomic power plant with a barrage of shells, some falling near reactors and damaging a radioactive waste storage building, the UN nuclear watchdog claimed.

Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame for at least a dozen explosions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been under Russian control since soon after it invaded but is across the Dnipro river from areas controlled by Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Nato members to guarantee protection from “Russian sabotage” at nuclear facilities.

The head of Russia’s state-run nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, said it had discussed Sunday’s shelling with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and said there was a risk of a nuclear accident.

Pavel Polityuk reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 08:26

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Ukrainians to suffer ‘blackouts until March’

Millions of Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts – a daily occurrence across the country – at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said on Monday.

Sergey Kovalenko, the head of YASNO, which provides energy for Kyiv, said workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives.

“Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think about options that will help you wait a long outage,” Kovalenko said. “It’s better to do it now than to be miserable.”

Citizens in the recently liberated southern city of Kherson, where Kyiv says Russian troops destroyed critical infrastructure before leaving earlier this month, can apply to be relocated to areas where security and heating issues are less acute.

In a Telegram message for Kherson residents – especially the elderly, women with children and those who are ill or disabled – deputy prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk posted a number of ways residents can express interest in leaving. “You can be evacuated for the winter period to safer regions of the country,” she wrote, citing both security and infrastructure problems.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 07:54

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Ukraine braces for harsh winter as Russian strikes cripple power facilities

Ukrainians braced for a winter with little or no power in several areas including Kyiv where temperatures have already dropped below freezing as relentless Russian strikes crippled half of the country’s energy capacity.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged people to conserve power, particularly in hard-hit areas such as Kyiv, Vinnytsia in the southwest, Sumy in the north and Odesa on the Black Sea.

“The systematic damage to our energy system from strikes by the Russian terrorists is so considerable that all our people and businesses should be mindful and redistribute their consumption throughout the day,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “Try to limit your personal consumption of electricity.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the blackouts and Russia‘s strikes on energy infrastructure are the consequences of Kyiv being unwilling to negotiate, the state TASS news agency reported late last week. On Monday evening, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia was bombarding Kherson from across the Dnipro River, now that its troops had fled.

“There is no military logic: they just want to take revenge on the locals,” he tweeted.

Moscow denies intentionally targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities.

Kyiv and the West describe Russia‘s actions as an unprovoked war of aggression.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 07:52

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Putin to meet soldiers’ mothers – Vedomosti newspaper

Russian president Vladimir Putin will in coming days meet the mothers of soldiers amid fierce fighting in Ukraine, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, citing three unidentified sources in the presidential administration.

Russia celebrates Mother’s Day on Nov. 27. The Kremlin has not officially announced any Putin meeting with soldiers’ mothers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to deny or confirm the meeting, Vedomosti said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 07:38

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Russia’s war on Ukraine latest news: Kyiv faces lengthy power outages as winter sets in

Ukrainians braced for a winter with little or no power in several areas including Kyiv where temperatures have already dropped below freezing as relentless Russian strikes crippled half of the country’s energy capacity.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged residents of Kyiv and several other areas to limit electricity use.

Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said. As they head into a cold winter, residents of a bombed-out Ukrainian village say they appreciate a warm bath in a mural painted by graffiti artist Banksy. The mural shows a man scrubbing his back in a bathtub.

(PA)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 November 2022 07:26

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Why did Russia invade Ukraine and what could happen next?

Russia’s “special military operation” has now been raging for nine months, the conflict continuing to record devastating casualties and force the mass displacement of millions of Ukrainians.

Vladimir Putin began the war by claiming Ukraine needed to be “demilitarised and de-Nazified”, an entirely baseless pretext on which to launch a landgrab against a sovereign neighbour state that happens to have a Jewish president.

Ukraine has fought back courageously ever since and continued to defy the odds by defending itself against Russian onslaughts with the help of Western military aid.

Arpan Rai22 November 2022 06:52

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Potential Ukraine threat a challenge to Russia’s Black Sea fleet – MoD

Any demonstration of a Ukrainian capability to threaten Novorssiysk would highly likely represent a further strategic challenge for the Russian Black Sea fleet, the British defence ministry said today.

The ministry was refering to multiple reports of an attack that took place at an oil terminal in Novorssiysk port on Russia’s Black Sea coast which is close to a major base of the BSF.

“The BSF relocated many of its submarine operations to Novorssiysk after its Sevastopol base in occupied Crimea was struck by Ukraine over the summer. Russian commanders will likely be concerned about threats to the Novorssiysk-based amphibious landing ship flotilla,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It noted that these vessels are “relatively vulnerable without escorts and have assumed a more important role in supplying Russian forces in Ukraine since the Kerch Bridge was damaged in October.”

The prevailing threat would also further undermine Russia’s already reduced maritime influence in the Black Sea, the MoD said.

Arpan Rai22 November 2022 06:37

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