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Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

UN Secretary General says Black Sea grain deal extended

The Malta flagged bulk carrier Zante en-route to Belgium transits the Bosphorus carrying 47,270 metric tons of rapeseed from Ukraine after being held at the entrance of the Bosphorus due to Russia pulling out of the Black Sea Grain agreement on November 02, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris Mcgrath | Getty Images

The United Nations Secretary General said on Thursday he welcomed an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.

— Reuters

Kyiv looks to ‘crush’ Russia as Moscow rains blows on Ukraine

The head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said Thursday that Ukraine is looking to “crush” Russia and is withstandingextremely difficult blows from the enemy.”

“The enemy thinks that he will weaken our defense with strikes on energy and will be able to hit us in the back. This is a naive tactic of cowardly losers that we are ready for,” Yermak said in a statement on Telegram.

“Ukraine has already withstood extremely difficult blows from the enemy, which did not have the results that these Russian cowards were counting on. We continue to move forward,” Yermak said. “They won’t succeed. We will crush them,” he added.

Ukraine experienced a massive attack on its energy infrastructure on Tuesday with Kyiv claiming that Russia targeted it with around 100 cruise missiles, damaging energy infrastructure in several regions.

Ukraine’s national energy company, and Energy Minister German Galushchenko, called the Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy system the most massive attack in the country’s history, and since the war started.

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said Thursday that Russia’s relentless attacks on Ukraine’s energy sector, which has left millions without power, are “drawing deeply upon Russia’s reserves of conventional cruise missiles” with the degrading of Ukraine’s national infrastructure becoming a key element of Russia’s strategic approach to the campaign.

It said Tuesday’s strikes were “likely the largest number of strikes that Russia has conducted in a single day since the first week of the invasion.”

“Ukraine is facing a significant decrease in the power available from its national grid. This will impact upon civilian access to communications, heating and water supplies.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine says its forces were not to blame for Poland missile strike

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he had “no doubt” that Ukraine was not to blame for a missile strike that hit a Polish village on Tuesday evening, killing two people.

Zelenskyy said on Ukrainian TV Wednesday that his top military commanders had assured him that “it was not our missile and not our missile strike” that was the cause of the incident, which provoked an international furor and fears that a wider conflict between NATO and Russia could erupt.

“I have no doubt in [Tuesday’s] report to me personally — from the Commander of the Air Force to Commander-in-Chief [Valery] Zaluzhny — that it was not our missile and not our missile strike,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Kherson, Ukraine November 14, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

He reiterated calls from Kyiv to provide it with access the site of the explosion, near the village of Przewodow in southeastern Poland and just 4 miles from the Ukrainian border, and for Ukraine to be part of a joint investigation being led by Poland and the U.S.

“I believe that we have the right to this. Is it possible not to announce the final conclusions until the investigation is completed? I think it is fair. If someone says that this is our rocket, should we be in a joint investigative group? I think we should, it is only fair.”

NATO’s initial assessment of the incident, which Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the press on Wednesday, essentially exonerated Ukraine, finding that while it appeared that a Ukrainian air defense missile had caused the blast in Poland, the incident had happened while Ukraine was defending itself against a barrage of Russian cruise missiles.

— Holly Ellyatt

More than 60 tortured bodies exhumed in recently liberated Kherson region, Ukraine says

Workers clean debris off of the street in front of a destroyed storage complex in the recently recaptured village of Archangelske in Kherson, Ukraine on 26 Oct. 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi said that 63 bodies of tortured residents were recovered in the recently liberated Kherson region. 

“The bodies of those who were tortured there are being exhumed. So far, 63 bodies have been discovered in the entire territory of Kherson region, but we must understand that the search has only begun,” he said, according to an NBC translation.

Russia has previously said that its forces have not committed war crimes in Ukraine, which would include the torture and killing of civilians.

— Amanda Macias

Putin ‘will try to freeze the country into submission,’ U.S. Ambassador to U.N. says

New US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks after meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations on February 25, 2021 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations blamed Russia for the death of two citizens inside Poland’s territory.

“While we still don’t know all of the facts, we do know one thing: This tragedy would never have happened but for Russia’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure,” Linda Thomas Greenfield said before the U.N. Security Council.

“The UN charter is clear – Ukraine has every right to defend itself against this barrage. Defend its sovereignty. Defend its territorial integrity,” she added.

Thomas Greenfield said that Russia on Tuesday carried out “the widest scale missile attack since the beginning of the war.”

“Now, millions of Ukrainians are without heat or electricity. We extend our solidarity with the Ukrainian people for the fallout of this attack, and our deepest condolences for those lives lost,” Thomas Greenfield said, adding that this was a “deliberate tactic by Putin.”

“He seems to have decided that if he can’t seize Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze the country into submission. It is hard to overstate how horrific these attacks are,” she said.

— Amanda Macias

Pentagon calls Russia’s deliberate targeting of Ukraine’s civilian power grid a war crime

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (R) participate in a news briefing at the Pentagon May 23, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

The Pentagon slammed Russia’s deliberate bombing of Ukraine’s civilian energy sector, adding that more than a quarter of Ukrainians are without power throughout the country.

“While assessments are ongoing yesterday’s strikes looked like they launched at least 60 missiles and they may have launched upwards of 90 or even perhaps 100,” U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters during a press conference alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“It was likely the largest wave of missiles that we’ve seen since the beginning of the war,” Milley said, adding that “the deliberate targeting of the civilian power grid, causing excessive collateral damage and unnecessary suffering on the civilian population is a war crime.”

— Amanda Macias

Ukrainian official says Kyiv wants a ‘joint study’ and to see evidence on Poland missile strike

Ukraine asked to see the evidence upon which NATO based its assessment that a missile strike on Poland that killed two people was likely caused by Ukraine’s air defenses trying to defend itself against a barrage of Russian missile attacks.

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted, however, that the strike was not a deliberate attack and that Ukraine was not to blame.

“Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said at a press briefing.

After NATO’s comments, Oleksii Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, tweeted that Kyiv favored a “joint study” into the incident, and wanted to see the evidence held by its allies that suggested it was involved.

Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov addresses the media in Kyiv, Ukraine February 23, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Danilov said on Twitter that Ukraine was “ready to hand over the evidence of the Russian trail that we have” but Kyiv was still awaiting “information from our partners, on the basis of which a conclusion was made that it is a Ukrainian air defense missile.”

He added that Ukraine had requested that defense ministry and border guard officials are granted immediate access to the site of the explosion.

— Holly Ellyatt

NATO says Poland blast likely caused by Ukrainian missile, but doesn’t blame Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a closing press conference during the second of two days of defence ministers’ meetings at NATO headquarters on October 13, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium.

Omar Havana | Getty Images

NATO said there was no indication that the missile strike that hit a Polish border village on Tuesday night was deliberate, saying that Russia was ultimately to blame as it continues to bombard Ukraine with missiles.

The military alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the missile incident took place “as Russia launched a massive wave of rocket attacks across Ukraine.”

While the investigation was ongoing into the indicent, he said “there was no indication this was the result of a deliberate attack” and no indication it was a result of “offensive military actions against NATO.”

Preliminary analysis, as previously reported, suggests that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to intercept a Russian missile.

“Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its war against Ukraine,” he said.

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:



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