As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 252nd day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, November 2.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a “reliable and long-term defence” was needed for the safe passage of ships carrying grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
- In his nighttime address, Zelenskyy said the world must respond firmly to any Russian attempts to disrupt the corridor.
- Meanwhile, a total of nine Ukrainian regions were experiencing power cuts after Russian missile attacks.
- The United States said Russia fired about 100 missiles on Monday and Tuesday. Ukraine said it shot most of those missiles down, but some had hit power stations, knocking out electricity and water supplies.
- Three outbound vessels had left Ukrainian ports by midday on Tuesday under July’s Black Sea grain export deal, the United Nations-led coordination centre said, on the second day of sailings after Russia suspended participation in the UN-brokered initiative.
- Moscow’s move has raised fears that a global food crisis could return, though so far, a Russian blockade has not been reimposed.
- Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar said he believed grain exports under the deal would continue.
- The UN coordinator for the deal said he expects loaded ships to depart Ukrainian ports on Thursday. Earlier, delegations from Ukraine, Turkey and the UN agreed not to plan any movement of vessels on Wednesday.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a phone call that Moscow could consider resuming the deal only after the completion of an investigation into recent drone attacks on the Crimean naval port of Sevastopol.
Diplomacy and government
- Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Putin and the founder of the Wagner private military group, has praised Zelenskyy as a strong and confident leader who should not be underestimated.
- The Ukrainian government accepted the resignation of Yuriy Vitrenko as chief executive of state energy company Naftogaz on Tuesday.
- The European Union was exploring ways to increase help for Ukraine’s energy sector following “cruel and inhumane” Russian attacks, EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said.
- Zelenskyy told Simson that Russia’s “energy terrorism” had seriously damaged about 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
- Russia told civilians to leave an area along the eastern bank of the Dnieper river in the southern Ukrainian province of Kherson, a major extension of an evacuation order that Kyiv says amounts to the forced depopulation of occupied territory.
- Ahead of an expected battle, the streets of the Russian-held port city of Kherson, the capital of the eponymous province that Russia proclaimed annexed in September, were virtually empty.
- Many shops and businesses have been closed, and at a jetty on the banks of the Dnieper river, a handful of people boarded a ferry to leave.