Ukrainian troops push towards Kherson, after Moscow orders retreat, even as Kiev warns Russian troops could still turn Kherson into a "city of death", as fighting enters its 261st day.

"Kherson is returning to Ukrainian control and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city," the Ukrainian defence ministry said on social media. (AFP)

Friday, November 11, 2022

7 killed in Russian strikes on civilian building, says Ukraine

At least seven people have been killed in Russian missile attacks on a civilian building in southern Ukraine, local media reported.

The missiles hit a five-story building which consequently collapsed, state-run news agency Ukrinform said citing Vitaliy Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional military administration where the attack occurred.

Russian troops also shelled the border territories of the northern Chernihiv province, but no casualties or damages were reported.

Ukrainian forces entering Kherson after Russian retreat: Kiev

Ukraine said its forces were entering the southern city of Kherson after Russia announced its troops had retreated to defensive positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river.

"Kherson is returning to Ukrainian control and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city," the Ukrainian defence ministry said on social media.

"The retreat routes of the Russian invaders are under fire control of the Ukrainian army. Any attempts to oppose the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be stopped."

Russia claims all troops gone from city in southern Ukraine

Russia relinquished its final foothold in a major city in southern Ukraine, allowing Ukrainian forces to move cautiously toward reclaiming the country’s only Russian-controlled provincial capital in what would be a major morale-boosting victory.

In a statement carried by Russian state news agencies, Russia’s Defense Ministry said its troops finished withdrawing from the western bank of the river that divides Ukraine's southern Kherson region at 5 a.m. The area they left included the city of Kherson, the only provincial capital Russia had captured during its nearly 9-month offensive on Ukraine.

Videos and photos circulating on social media showed a Ukrainian flag flying over a monument in a central square of Kherson and local residents cheerfully taking to the streets with Ukrainian flags as well. Some footage showed crowds cheering on men in military uniform. 

Ukraine seeks funds for naval drones to counter Russian missile strikes

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy backed a fundraising campaign to help Ukraine build a fleet of naval drones to protect its cities against Russian missile strikes from the Black Sea.

United24, an initiative launched by Zelenskyy to raise charitable donations for Ukraine following Russia's offensive, said Ukraine needed 100 drones, each of which costs 10 million hryvnias ($274,000)

Since launching its full-scale military operation, Russia has carried out missile strikes from ships in the Black Sea and from Crimea, which Moscow occupied in 2014 and is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Kiev says Russia frees 45 Ukrainians in new prisoner swap

Forty-five Ukrainian soldiers have been freed in a prisoner exchange with Russia and the bodies of two killed Ukrainian soldiers have also been repatriated, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office said on Friday.

The official, Andriy Yermak, gave no details of the Russians freed in the swap. He published a video of a group of soldiers sitting in the back of a vehicle who were told "Welcome to Ukraine" and then cheered "Glory to Ukraine!" 

Russia bans entry to 200 US nationals, including Biden's relatives, press secretary

The Russian foreign ministry said it had banned 200 US nationals from entering Russia, including a sister and two brothers of US President Joe Biden, in response to personal sanctions from Washington.

It said it had banned entry by Valerie Biden Owens, James Brian Biden and Francis William Biden.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was also included on the list.

Ex-guard at UK's Berlin embassy admits spying for Russia

A former security guard at the British embassy in Berlin has admitted spying for Russia and faces up to 14 years in prison.

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, pleaded guilty to eight charges under the Official Secrets Act. Prosecutors say he gave Gen. Maj. Sergey Chukhurov, Russia's military attache in Berlin, information about the activities, identities, addresses and phone numbers of British civil servants.

Smith also collected intelligence, some of it classed secret, on the operation and layout of the embassy, which prosecutors said would be useful to “an enemy, namely the Russian state.” 

Russia withdrew over 30,000 servicemen to eastern bank of the Dnipro river - IFX

Russia's defence ministry said that more than 30,000 of its servicemen have been withdrawn to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, Interfax news agency reported.

Russia's defence ministry said earlier on Friday it had completed the withdrawal of troops from the western bank of the Dnipro river in Ukraine's southern Kherson region. 

Ukraine hails 'victory' in Kherson after Russian pullout

Kiev has proclaimed Russia's announced withdrawal from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson as another key battlefield success in territory that Moscow once claimed as its own.

"Ukraine is gaining another important victory right now and proves that whatever Russia says or does, Ukraine will win," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on social media.

Air raid alerts sound in Ukraine's 4 regions

Air raid alerts have sounded in Ukraine's Cherkasy, Kirovograd, and Mykolaiv regions, as well as the Kiev-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia region, local authorities said.

The officials urged civilians to take shelter.

The alerts are issued by local authorities in Ukraine almost on a daily basis due to possible Russian missile and drone strikes which have recently targeted civilian and energy infrastructures.

Russian forces launched a new series of airstrikes on Kiev and other Ukrainian cities over the past weeks, after an explosion hit Russia's key Kerch Bridge connecting the country with the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

UN begins talks with Russia on Black Sea grains deal

Talks between a Russian delegation and senior UN officials to address Moscow's grievances about the Black Sea grains export initiative began in Geneva, a UN spokesperson said.

The negotiations come just eight days before the Türkiye-brokered deal in July is due to be renewed. The accord has helped stave off a global food crisis by allowing the export of food and fertilisers from several of Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

Moscow has indicated that it is prepared to quit the deal, which could expire in November.

Ukraine in 'final stage' of reclaiming right river bank in Kherson region

Ukrainian armed forces are in the final stage of reclaiming the right bank of the Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region from Russian troops, a regional lawmaker said.

Serhiy Khlan, a deputy for Kherson Regional Council, also told a briefing many Russian soldiers had been unable to leave the city of Kherson after months and had changed into civilian clothing.

Ukraine's Kherson still Russian 'subject' despite withdrawal: Kremlin

The Kremlin said that the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine was still part of Russia even though Moscow announced its troops were retreating as Ukrainian troops advanced.

"This is a subject of the Russian Federation. There are no changes in this and there cannot be changes," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters after defence officials in Moscow this week announced the drawdown of forces.

Asked by reporters whether Russia now regretted annexing Kherson, Peskov said the Kremlin had "no regrets" about the move.

Russian strike on residential building kills five in south Ukraine

Ukraine said that at least five people were killed following a Russian strike on a residential building in the southern city of Mykolaiv, near the frontline.

The latest attack came as Russia said it was drawing down troops from the nearby city of Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow's forces captured in Ukraine after they launched their attacks in February. 

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the strike was a "cynical response to our successes at the front."

Japanese man dies fighting in Ukraine conflict

A Japanese man fighting alongside Ukrainian soldiers against Russia has died, becoming the country's first confirmed casualty in the conflict, authorities in Tokyo said.

The man, who was in his 20s, was killed in combat on Wednesday, said top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno.

A foreign ministry official told AFP news agency that the man is believed to be the first Japanese national to have died in Ukraine "since the invasion began in February".

Two Swedes charged with spying for Russia

Swedish prosecutors charged two Swedish brothers with "aggravated espionage" for allegedly spying for Russia's GRU military intelligence service between 2011 and 2021, including one who was a former intelligence official.

"The information that has been obtained, transmitted and divulged could, ... if it comes into the hands of a foreign power, result in detriment to Sweden's security", chief public prosecutor Per Lindqvist said in a statement.

Russia, US to meet on New START nuclear arms treaty in Cairo 

Russia and the United States will meet soon in Cairo for discussions on the New START nuclear arms treaty, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Ryabkov's comments, quoted by RIA news agency, provided the first confirmation that the talks would be in Egypt. He said they would take place in late November-early December.

The US State Department said on Tuesday that the two sides would meet shortly and discuss resuming inspections under the treaty that have been paused since before Russia's offensive on Ukraine.

Russia takes prisoner swap proposals with US seriously: Kremlin

The Kremlin said that it always takes prisoner swap proposals with the United States seriously after Washington said it expected President Vladimir Putin to express a willingness to engage in talks.

"There are existing channels, they should be discreet, that is the only way to achieve results," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters, although he cautioned against what he called "megaphone diplomacy".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Friday that the idea of a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia remains open and that the two sides have certain channels and a schedule for talks on the subject. 

Russia's Tele2 files lawsuit against Ericsson

Russian telecoms firm Tele2 has started legal proceedings in Moscow against Ericsson over what it says is the Swedish firm's refusal to honour agreements to supply equipment, Tele2 representatives told Reuters news agency.

A spokesperson for Ericsson said: "We are aware of a lawsuit reported in Russian news media, but cannot comment further at this time."

Ericsson said it was suspending its business in Russia in April and would fully exit the market in the coming months, recording a charge of 900 million Swedish crowns ($81 million) and making 400 local employees redundant.

Kremlin: Work under way to address Russia's concerns on grain deal

The Kremlin said that work was under way to address a number of Russian concerns regarding the Black Sea grain initiative, which is due to expire on November 19.

Speaking as delegates from Russia and the United Nations were due to meet in Geneva on Friday to discuss a possible extension to the deal, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there was a "reciprocal understanding" about Russia's calls for the West to remove "obstacles" to its own fertilisers and grain exports.

"Negotiations and contacts are continuing," Peskov told reporters.

South Korea says weapon end user is US

South Korea has said negotiations to sell artillery shells with the United States as the end user are ongoing after the Wall Street Journal reported Seoul had agreed to sell weapons that would be destined for Ukraine.

South Korea's position of not providing lethal aid to Ukraine is unchanged, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

But a US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details of the deal hadn't been made public, said Washington will buy 100,000 rounds of howitzer artillery to provide to Ukraine, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Ukraine 'liberates' 41 settlements in south 

Ukrainian forces have liberated 41 settlements as they advance through the south of the country, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said, adding that an unspecified number of pro-Kiev troops had been killed.

"Today we have good news from the south," he said in his daily video address. 

"But although we are joyful, we must remember now and forever what this movement means — every step by our defence forces represents ... lives given for the freedom of Ukrainians."

For live updates from Thursday (November 10), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies