Ukraine latest: U.K. PM Sunak visits Kyiv, pledges support


The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24 continues, with casualties rising on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are mounting a strong counteroffensive against Russian troops, reclaiming territory lost when Moscow launched its invasion.

Ukraine has managed to withstand the Russian onslaught with the help of Western military aid, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regularly calls on the world to do more. For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.

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Note: Nikkei Asia decided on March 5 to suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code. Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Here are the latest developments:

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Tokyo time)

9:27 a.m. Ukrainian electricity supplies are under control despite a series of Russian attacks on power-generating infrastructure and there is no need to panic, the energy ministry said on Saturday. Separately, the head of DTEK, the country’s largest private energy company, said there was no need for people to leave Ukraine. Russian missile strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine’s energy system and Kyiv authorities said on Friday that a complete shutdown of the capital’s power grid was possible.

“Denying the panicky statements spread by social networks and online media, we assure you that the situation with the energy supply is difficult, but under control,” the energy ministry said in a statement. Authorities across the country have scheduled blackouts to help the repair effort, it said, urging families to cut their energy consumption by at least 25%.

5:45 a.m. Ukraine will soon begin evacuating people who want to leave the recently liberated southern city of Kherson and the surrounding areas, a senior official says.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said some people had expressed a wish to move a way from the region. “This is possible in the next few days,” she told a news conference.

Saturday, Nov. 19

11:50 p.m. Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his first visit to Kyiv, pledging to continue the firm support for Ukraine that was a focus of his predecessors, and providing a new air defense package to help shoot down Russian drones.

Sunak said in a statement that Britain would provide a new 50 million pound ($60 million) package that includes anti-aircraft guns and technology such as radar to counter drone attacks. Britain also said it would increase the training it provides to Ukraine’s armed forces. “While Ukraine’s armed forces succeed in pushing back Russian forces on the ground, civilians are being brutally bombarded from the air,” Sunak said in his statement.

The center of Kyiv is dark as it goes without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks in October.

  © Reuters

8:00 a.m. Kyiv, the area around the Black Sea port of Odesa and more than a dozen other regions are grappling with power shortages following relentless Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. “The situation with power supplies is difficult in 17 regions and in the capital,” he says in his nightly video address.

5:52 a.m. Russian missile strikes have taken nearly half of Ukraine’s energy system out of service, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says. Mykola Povoroznyk, deputy head of the Kyiv city administration, warns that the capital could experience a “complete shutdown” of its power grid.

1:30 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he has thanked Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support in extending the Black Sea grain deal.

12:00 a.m. Russia’s defense ministry has accused Ukraine of executing more than 10 Russian prisoners of war. There was no immediate response from Kyiv to Moscow’s claims, which were accompanied by video alleged to show the shooting of Russian prisoners.

Friday, Nov. 18

Polish soldiers walk near the site of an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland close to the border with Ukraine, on Nov. 17.

  © Reuters

11:00 p.m. A team of Ukrainian investigators is working at the site of the deadly missile blast in Poland, Kyiv’s top diplomat says.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says in a Twitter post that Ukraine “will continue our cooperation in an open and constructive manner.”

The explosion, which killed two people in village of Przewodow near the Ukrainian border, has put President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government in an awkward position. Zelenskyy initially pushed back against comments by Poland, NATO and the U.S. that the missile was likely fired by Kyiv’s air defense forces during a Russian attack.

Swedish investigators said that they have found traces of explosives on the Nordstream 1 and 2 gas pipelines connecting Germany and Russia.

  © Reuters

5:30 p.m. Investigators have found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor says. Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis. “Analysis that has now been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that were recovered,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

12:30 p.m. Thailand aims to redefine success as it hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that opened Friday, with members facing an uphill battle to reach consensus over the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine. In a year marked by walkouts and not a single joint statement from preceding ministerial meetings, Thailand looks to make its mark by enshrining sustainability into APEC’s trade and investment agenda.

8:30 a.m. Russian missiles and shells hit Ukrainian positions in several regions, and there was no let up in heavy fighting in Donetsk in the east, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday night as Moscow’s occupying forces appeared more active. Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was under persistent attack by Russian missiles and drones from the capital Kyiv in the north to Dnipro in central Ukraine and Odesa in the south, the military said in a statement. Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours downed two cruise missiles, five air-launched missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, it said.

Firefighters work against a fire at an energy installation damaged by Russian missile strike as the invaders carry on with an unrelenting attack, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Nov. 15. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters)

5:45 a.m. As Russian military strikes continue to hit Ukraine’s infrastructure, the European Commission says new emergency aid is on the way to help the nation prepare for winter.

More than 1,800 tonnes of supplies will be delivered through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. The new package — contributed by Belgium, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Sweden — includes energy supplies, shelter items and firefighting equipment.

“The destruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is reaching a critical point,” says Janez Lenarcic, the European commissioner for crisis management, in a news release. “On the eve of winter, people are being cut off electricity and heating. The key priority of our humanitarian operations today is to scale up winterization assistance.”

The latest round of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine hit civilian infrastructure in the east and south, including Naftogaz gas production facilities, Ukrainian military officials and the company say.

2:00 a.m. A court in the Netherlands has convicted two former Russian intelligence agents and a Ukrainian separatist leader of murder for their role in shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. Read more.

The three men have been sentenced to life in prison. The air disaster killed all 298 passengers and crew on the commercial flight bound for Kuala Lumpur.

Russia’s foreign ministry says in a statement that the Dutch court was under pressure to “impose a politically motivated outcome.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the “masterminds” behind the downing of MH17 must also be held to account.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Nov. 17 welcomed a deal to extend the Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukraine to ship foodstuffs and fertilizer from three Ukrainian ports.

  © Reuters

Thursday, Nov. 17

6:10 p.m. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he welcomes an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports. The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds. “I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine,” Guterres said.

Ukrainian police forensic experts search for evidence at a park where fighting took place between Ukrainian territorial forces and Russian forces at the beginning of the war, in Kherson, Ukraine,…


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2022-11-19 02:10:00

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