Zelensky slams fresh strikes as ‘another Russian terrorist attack’
US officials are concerned that Vladimir Putin may use chemical weapons in the war against Ukraine if his losses on the frontline continue to pile up.
As a last resort move before launching a full nuclear confrontation, the Russian president could deploy chemicals that are easily concealed which would make it harder for Western countries to trace the attack back to Moscow.
Though the threat of such an attack does not appear imminent, the anonymous sources from the US defence department told Politico that there is now a push for allies to better prepare themselves for such an event.
Elsewhere, Volodymyr Zelensky has sought punishment on “Russian terror” from the world leaders at the UN security council.
“We expect a strong reaction from the world to today’s Russian terror. We expect the reaction of partners. We expect the reaction of friends – not just observers. We expect the reaction of all those who really recognize the UN Charter,” the wartime president said in his virtual address to the gathering.
Poland concerned recent missile strike could happen again, western officials say
In a briefing about the situation in Poland amid the war in Ukraine, western officials said Polish politicians think the stray missile strike that killed two people last week is likely to happen again.
The Polish government handled the situation in a “calm” manner but the incident flagged that if it was “badly handled, it could escalate in a different way,” the official said.
“If it happens again- and Polish politicians think it will- they need to manage it in a way that is not unhelpful.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 09:58
EU preparing 9th Russia sanctions package, von der Leyen says
The European Union is pressing ahead with a ninth sanctions package on Russia in response to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Finland on Thursday.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 09:44
Ukraine races to restore power knocked out by Russian air strikes
Power was gradually being restored to Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv on Thursday, a day after Russian missile strikes caused Kyiv’s biggest outages in nine months of war.
Regional authorities said 25 per cent of homes in Kyiv was still without electricity but the water supply had been restored in some areas and would start working in other areas later on Thursday.
In a big improvement from Wednesday, when authorities said power was lost across the entire Kyiv region, public transport was operating in the capital, with buses replacing trams to save power.
“Let’s persevere, despite everything” the Kyiv regional military administration said in a statement.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 09:23
Russia says contacts with UN watchdog over Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are ‘constructive’
Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that contacts with the UN nuclear watchdog over safety at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine were “constructive” and showed some promise.
The Zaporizhzhia plant, which Russia seized shortly after the invasion, was again rocked by shelling last weekend, prompting renewed calls from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create a protection zone around it to prevent a nuclear disaster.
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog met a Russian delegation in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss safety at the plant, which both Ukraine and Moscow have accused each other of shelling.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 09:02
EU split on Russian oil price cap level, talks to resume Thursday
European Union governments failed to reach a deal on Wednesday at what level to cap prices for Russian sea-borne oil under the Group of Seven nations (G7) scheme and will resume talks on Thursday evening or on Friday, EU diplomats said.
Earlier on Thursday representatives of the EU’s 27 governments met in Brussels to discuss a G7 proposal to set the price cap in the range of $65-$70 per barrel, but the level proved too low for some and too high for others.
“There are still differences on the price cap level. We need to proceed bilaterally,” one EU diplomat said. “The next meeting of ambassadors of EU countries will be either tomorrow evening or on Friday,” the diplomat said.
The G7, including the United States, as well as the whole of the European Union and Australia, are slated to implement the price cap on sea-borne exports of Russian oil on Dec. 5.
The move is part of sanctions intended to slash Moscow’s revenue from its oil exports so it has less money to finance its invasion of Ukraine.
But the level of the price cap level is a contentious issue – Poland, Lithuania and Estonia believe the $65-$70 per barrel would leave Russia with too high a profit, since production costs are around $20 per barrel.
Cyprus, Greece and Malta – countries with big shipping industries that stand to lose the most if Russian oil cargos are obstructed – think the cap is too low and demand compensation for the loss of business or more time to adjust.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 08:40
Ukraine: Putin’s Russia declared ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ by European Parliament
In a 494-58 vote with 48 abstentions, the EU legislature sought to increase pressure on Moscow to bring anyone responsible for war crimes committed from the start of the invasion before an international court.
The 27-nation bloc has condemned in the harshest terms the invasion and repeatedly said that several Russian actions over the past 10 months have amounted to war crimes.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 08:22
Ukraine expects to have nuclear power plants back on line on Thursday
Ukraine expects three nuclear power plants that were switched off because of Russian missile strikes on Wednesday will be operating again by Thursday evening, energy minister German Galushchenko said.
“We expect that by evening the nuclear power plants will start working, providing energy to the network, and this will significantly reduce the (energy) deficit,” he said in comments broadcast on national television.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 07:55
Ukraine’s capital grapples with biggest power outages of war so far
More than two thirds of the Ukrainian capital was still without power on Thursday morning and a swathe of residents had no running water, a day after Russian missile strikes caused Kyiv’s biggest outages in nine months of war.
The capital was one of the main targets of the latest wave of attacks on energy facilities that cut power in many regions and made emergency blackouts necessary in others to conserve energy and enable repairs as winter sets in.
The temperature plunged below zero degrees Celsius overnight in a city that had 2.8 million residents before the war and where it is already snowing and the streets are icy.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said electricians and repair workers were doing everything to get the power back on “as fast as possible” but the recovery would depend largely on the overall energy “balance” of the nationwide grid.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s staff, said power supplies had been restored in the Kirovohrad and Vinnytsia regions.
In the south, Mykolaiv region governor Vitali Kim appealed to Ukrainians to be as frugal as possible in their use of power.
“Consumption has been growing this morning (which is logical), there isn’t enough capacity in the system to switch it on for more consumers!!,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
“The energy system is united like we all are! If you’ve turned off a few unneeded lights, that’s really important!!!”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 November 2022 07:31
Russia using mobilised reservists in Donbas battle – MoD
Russia has likely redeployed major elements of airborne forces called VDV units to the Donetsk and Luhansk fronts in the Donbas in the last two weeks, the British defence ministry said today.
“From September to October, most of the severely weakened VDV units were dedicated to the defence of Russian-held territory west of the Dnipro River in Kherson oblast,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
It added that some VDV units have likely been reinforced with mobilised reservists. “Although these poorly trained personnel will dilute VDV’s supposedly elite capability, Russia will likely still allocate these units to sectors deemed especially important,” the ministry said.
“Potential operational tasks for the VDV include supporting the defence of the Kremina-Svatove area in Luhansk Oblast or reinforcing offensive operations against the Donetsk oblast town of Bakhmut,” according to the defence ministry.
Arpan Rai24 November 2022 06:55
Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine, says US – Report
Officials in the US are concerned that Russia could resort to chemical weapons in Ukraine, reported Politico.
According to the report, Vladimir Putin might use chemical weapons in Russia’s war against Ukraine before using the nuclear force in confrontation with Nato if his troops continue to face losses in the battlefield, the US administration officials said.
The threat of such an attack does not appear imminent, officials said citing the intelligence.
The speculated attack would involve chemicals that are easily concealed, making it more difficult for Western countries to pin on Moscow, one official told Politico.
Arpan Rai24 November 2022 06:21