Ukrainian forces can retake Kherson city from Russian troops, says US, in what would be a major defeat for Russia in its military offensive against its neighbour, as fighting enters its 254th day.

About 4.5 million people are without electricity across the country, Zelenskyy says.
About 4.5 million people are without electricity across the country, Zelenskyy says. (AA Archive)

Friday, November 4, 2022

Ukraine's president accuses Russia of 'energy terrorism'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of engaging in “energy terrorism” after Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy network left millions of residents without power.

About 4.5 million people were without electricity across the country, Zelenskyy said in his nightly address

Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 450,000 apartments in the capital alone did not have electricity on Friday.

Top Biden advisor meets Zelenskyy in Kiev

A top advisor to President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev to reaffirm US support for the country in its war with Russia, the White House said.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met Zelenskyy, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak "to underscore the United States’ steadfast support to Ukraine and its people as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

US announces new $400M military aid package for Ukraine

The US has announced a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine as Kiev's forces continue to press their counteroffensive across large swathes of Russian-controlled territories.

The latest tranche of military assistance includes funding to refurbish HAWK air defence missiles for future transfers to Ukraine, 45 Refurbished T-72B tanks with updated optics, communications and armour packages, and 1,100 Phoenix Ghost drones, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

The T-72B tanks are being sent to Ukraine as part of a trilateral agreement coordinated with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

'More than 5,000' civilians being evacuated from Kherson each day: Russian army

The Russian army said it was evacuating "more than 5,000 civilians" from the Moscow-controlled Kherson region of southern Ukraine each day.

"Military engineers every day transport up to 1,200 civilian vehicles - both trucks and cars - as well as more than 5,000 civilians to the left bank of the Dnipro river," Russia's defence ministry said in a statement on Friday. 

Ukraine has accused Russia of carrying out Soviet-like "deportations" of its people

Conflicting reports of curfew in Ukraine's Kherson

A Russian-backed official in the Ukrainian region of Kherson said that a curfew had been imposed in the city but then swiftly backtracked and said no such limits were in place.

The Russian-supported deputy governor of the region, Kirill Stremousov, said in a video message on Friday that a round-the-clock curfew had been imposed ahead of an expected Ukrainian offensive.

But an hour later, he posted another video in which he said that no limits had been imposed and reposted an edited version of his earlier video message without any reference to a curfew.

Britain 'steadfast' on Ukraine support: Cleverly

Britain will remain committed to supporting Ukraine under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Minister James Cleverly told AFP news agency on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Germany.

"I can absolutely reassure... the people of Ukraine that the prime minister is steadfast in his support for Ukraine and our assistance to the Ukrainians," Cleverly said in a short interview on Friday.

"We will help them bring this conflict to a successful conclusion for however long that takes."

Putin says 318,000 people reported to military service under mobilisation

President Vladimir Putin said that 318,000 people were recruited under the partial military mobilisation in Russia, while 49,000 of them are already carrying out combat missions in Ukraine.

Speaking at a meeting with volunteers in Moscow at an event on Friday, commemorating Unity Day - Russia's national holiday celebrated on November 4 - Putin explained that the number exceeds the planned 300,000 because many citizens voluntarily reported to the military service.

"We already have 318,000 (mobilised people). Because volunteers are coming," Putin said.

EU's Borrell urges Iran to end arms deliveries to Russia

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on Iran to end its military support to Russia in the war against Ukraine.

"We insist on Iran to stop providing arms to Russia. Iran denies it but Ukrainians have been providing evidence of these drones," Borrell said on Friday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven foreign ministers' meeting in the western German city of Muenster.

His remarks came in the wake of statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who also expressed concern on Thursday.

Bulgarian parliament approves sending military aid to Ukraine

Bulgaria’s parliament has approved sending military aid to Ukraine.

The proposal in the 240-member Assembly was approved on Thursday by 175 votes to 49, with one deputy abstaining.

During the voting, some deputies were holding placards saying "no to guns" and "peace."

Ukraine has enough gas for winter, prime minister says

Ukraine has sufficient gas supplies for this winter when planned imports are taken into account, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said, as the country prepares for further Russian strikes targeting its energy systems.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Friday, Shmyhal said Ukraine now had 14.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in its underground storages.

"Taking into account expected deliveries from abroad, this amount is sufficient for the heating season," Shmyhal said, referring to the October-April period when Ukraine switches on centrally supplied heating in homes.

Russia's Medvedev rails against 'traitors' who fled country

Russia's ex-president Dmitry Medvedev railed against the thousands of his countrymen who fled Russia after it sent troops to Ukraine, denouncing them as "cowardly traitors."

In a social media post on Friday on Russian Unity Day - a holiday introduced by President Vladimir Putin in 2005 to celebrate a 1612 victory over invading Polish forces - the former leader said Russia was "stronger and cleaner" without them. 

"Cowardly traitors and greedy defectors fled to faraway lands - let their bones rot in a foreign place," Medvedev said on Telegram. 

G7 calls on Russia to extend grain deal - US official

Group of Seven foreign ministers have urged Russia to prolong a deal allowing safe passage of grain shipments from Ukraine at a meeting in western Germany, a senior US State Department official said.

"Everyone agreed on the need to extend the Black Sea grain initiative," the official said.

The ministers also agreed on the need for a coordination mechanism to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure, he added.

Türkiye vows to send grain, fertilisers to countries in need

Türkiye has pledged to send grain and fertilisers to the least developed and developing countries especially in Africa.

Urging to take solid steps for grain and fertilizers to be sent to underdeveloped countries at the upcoming G-20 Summit in Indonesia's Bali, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Türkiye and Russia have reached a consensus on making more use of the grain corridor in Black Sea, especially for those in need in Africa.

Speaking at the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association's (MUSIAD) EXPO, Erdogan said Russia's Vladimir Putin agreed to send grain free of charge to countries in need.

Zelenskyy: Russian strikes leave 4.5 million without power

Around 4.5 million people across Ukraine are affected by power cuts caused by Russian strikes on energy infrastructure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has alleged.

"Tonight, about 4.5 million consumers have been temporarily disconnected from energy consumption ... the very fact that Russia is resorting to energy terrorism shows the weakness of our enemy. They cannot beat Ukraine on the battlefield, so they try to break our people this way," Zelenskyy said.

Time to focus on extending grain deal — Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres have discussed the developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Black Sea grain deal signed in Istanbul, over a phone call.

"President Erdogan stated that now it is necessary to focus on extending the duration of the Istanbul Agreement," a statement from the Turkish presidency said.

Guterres thanked Erdogan for his efforts to ensure the resumption of the grain corridor.

Ukraine touts 'irrefutable evidence' of no dirty bomb

The UN atomic agency's conclusion is "obvious" given "irrefutable evidence" showing the absence of any dirty bomb, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has said.

"The conclusion of the IAEA today is quite obvious," Zelenskyy said. 

We have given them full freedom of action at the relevant facilities, and we have clear and irrefutable evidence that no one in Ukraine has created or is creating any 'dirty bombs'."

For live updates from Thursday (November 3), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies