Ukraine says it is facing fierce fighting — now in its 267th day — in the east from Russian troops that withdrew from Kherson in the south, while Western allies clash with Moscow at the UN Security Council.

The Kremlin said that the reason civilians were suffering from blackouts in Ukraine was Kiev's refusal to negotiate with Moscow and not missile strikes launched by Russian forces.
The Kremlin said that the reason civilians were suffering from blackouts in Ukraine was Kiev's refusal to negotiate with Moscow and not missile strikes launched by Russian forces. (Reuters Archive)

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Russia launches new Ukraine barrage as grain deal extended

Russian air strikes have targeted Ukraine’s energy facilities again as the first snow of the season fell in Kiev, a harbinger of the hardship to come if Moscow’s missiles continue to take out power and gas plants as winter descends.

At least four people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in the drone and missile strikes, including one that hit a residential building, authorities said.

Thursday's salvo appeared to be on a lesser scale than the nationwide barrage of more than 100 missiles and drones that knocked out power to 10 million people earlier this week.

Russia is not yet ready for peace in Ukraine - EU

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that peace in Ukraine was not going to be possible until Russia withdrew its troops, but that Moscow showed no signs of being ready for that. 

"I am afraid Russia is not ready to withdraw and as far as it doesn't withdraw, peace will not be possible," Borrell told Reuters in the Uzbek city of Samarkand.

"It is Russia who has to make peace possible, the aggressor has to withdraw if he wants a sustainable peace," he said. 

Kremlin: UN gave assurances on Russian exports in grain deal

The Kremlin said it had been given assurances by the United Nations that work will be finalised on removing barriers to Russia's exports of agricultural products and fertilisers.

Moscow said earlier it had agreed to let the Türkiye-brokered Black Sea grain deal, which facilitates Ukrainian agricultural exports from its southern ports on the Black sea, roll over for another 120 days without any changes to its terms. 

Russian mines in Ukraine 'greatest challenge' to landmark ban treaty

Russia's use of newly-produced landmines in Ukraine poses the greatest challenge to the landmark Mine Ban Treaty struck 25 years ago, a monitor said.

Moscow has developed new anti-personnel mines and used ones made as recently as 2021 in Ukraine, the Landmine Monitor said.

The monitor's annual report identified 277 civilian casualties of mines and explosives in Ukraine in the first nine months of 2022 – a near fivefold rise on the 58 in 2021.

Civilians suffering as a 'consequence' of Kiev's refusal to negotiate: Kremlin

The Kremlin said that the reason civilians were suffering from blackouts in Ukraine was Kiev's refusal to negotiate with Moscow and not missile strikes launched by Russian forces.

"The unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to settle the problem, to start negotiations, its refusal to seek common ground, this is their consequence," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, referring to hardship stemming from blackouts in Ukraine caused by Russian missile attacks.

Ukrainian authorities have warned of "difficult" days ahead as winter sets in. 

Finland to spend $143 million on Russia border fence

Finland's government proposed spending 139 million euros ($143.4 million) to build fences along parts of the country's border with Russia, fulfilling a promise made in the wake of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

Finland, which is applying for membership in the Western military alliance NATO, has a history of wars with Russia, but the forest-covered border is still only marked with signs and plastic lines for most of its 1,300 km length.

The Nordic country said in June it would build barriers along parts of the Russian frontier in a move to strengthen preparedness against hybrid threats such as the potential mass influx of asylum seekers. 

Russian launches new air strikes, several killed

Russian air strikes inflicted more damage on Ukraine, with the latest barrage smashing into energy infrastructure, apartment buildings and an industrial site. 

At least four people were killed and five others wounded in drone and missile strikes around the country, authorities said.

Russian strikes hit Ukraine's southern Odessa region and the city of Dnipro for the first time in weeks morning, and air raid sirens sounded all across the country amid fears that Moscow unleashed another large-scale missile attack.

Russian missile strikes target Ukrainian gas production facilities: Ukraine's PM

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said new Russian missile strikes targeted gas production facilities and a missile plant, Interfax Uktraine news agency reported.

"Missiles are flying over Kiev right now. Now they are bombing our gas production (facilities), they are bombing our enterprises in Dnipro and Yuzhmash (missile factory)," it quoted him as telling a conference.

Black Sea grain deal to be extended by 120 days: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that the Black Sea grain deal will be extended by 120 days with the efforts of Türkiye and the UN

“Grain Deal will be prolonged for 120 days. Ukraine together with (UN Secretary-General) Antonio Guterres and (Turkish President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan made key decision in the global fight against the food crisis. Waiting for official announcement from partners - Türkiye and UN,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the continuation of the grain deal in order to “facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukraine.”

Ukraine will probably get access to blast site, says Polish official

Ukraine is likely to get access to the site in southeastern Poland where a missile killed two people, the Polish president's top foreign policy adviser said, after Kiev demanded access to the scene of the blast.

Warsaw says the explosion was most likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile that went astray, something Kiev denies.

"A Polish-American investigating team is on site," Jakub Kumoch told private broadcaster TVN 24. "The Ukrainians asked for access to the site of the investigation. If both parties agree, and as far as I know there will be no objection from the American side, such access could be obtained soon."

EU’s energy crisis deepening amid fresh supply disruptions in Eastern Europe

Concerns over energy supplies in the EU have intensified after Russia's pipeline monopoly Transneft announced that shipments via the Druzhba pipeline, which transports oil through Ukraine to Hungary, ceased.

The Druzhba pipeline, also known as the Friendship Pipeline, is the main line carrying Russian oil to parts of Eastern and Central Europe.

Ukrainian authorities informed Transneft that it had stopped shipments due to a voltage drop on the line. The suspension came after a suspected missile attack in eastern Poland's village of Przewodow, located a few kilometres from the border with Ukraine.

The regional governor this week warned the situation could become
The regional governor this week warned the situation could become "difficult" and that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius. (AA)

First snowfall in Ukraine hit by power cuts

The first snow of the season fell in Ukraine, which has been wracked by power cuts following Russian strikes on energy infrastructure throughout the country.

The regional governor this week warned the situation could become "difficult" and that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius.

Russian strikes on Ukraine spotlight Moldova’s energy woes

Massive blackouts that temporarily hit more than a half-dozen cities across Moldova this week highlighted the impact Russia's attack against Ukraine is having on Europe's poorest country.

The power outages happened Tuesday as the Russian military pounded infrastructure targets across Ukraine, which borders Moldova. Less than a week earlier, the European Union pledged nearly $260 million to help the former Soviet republic tackle a severe energy crisis after Russia halved its natural gas supply.

Every deadly bomb dropped on Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure has direct consequences for the people of our country.

Nicu Popescu, Moldovan Foreign Minister

US and allies ultimately blame Moscow for Poland blast

US and its allies have criticised Russia in the UN Security Council over missile attacks on Ukraine in a meeting a day after a missile that NATO said was a stray fired by Ukraine's air defences crashed inside Poland.

"This tragedy would never have happened but for Russia's needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure," Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told the Security Council. The British and Polish ambassadors to the UN echoed the statement.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the meeting, "We have long ago stopped being surprised by your attempts in any circumstances, in spite of facts or common sense, to blame Russia for everything."

Members of the Security Council at the meeting also called for Russia to extend the Black Sea grain deal, which is set to roll over on Saturday unless there are objections.

For live updates from Wednesday (November 16), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies