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Latest Ukrainian-Russian War: Kiev forces aim at Russian-controlled Kinburn Spit Black Sea Gate

Ukraine tells civilians in recently liberated areas to leave before winter

Russia has been accused of using gas as a political tool after it threatened to cut supplies to Europe further, claiming that Kyiv was halting supplies to Moldova via Moscow’s last pipeline through Ukraine.

Kremlin-owned energy giant Gazprom said Ukraine held back significant amounts of gas instead of reaching its destination in Moldova, Ukraine’s western neighbor, which has already been forced to power outages due to Russian missile attacks that knocked down some power lines.

Gazprom said if the alleged congestion continued, it would “start cutting gas supplies” through Ukraine from Monday, after cutting supplies to Moldova by a third last month.

Ukraine said that all supplies that Russia sent through the country were “transferred in full” to Moldova. “This is not the first time that Russia has resorted to using gas as a tool of political pressure,” said Olha Belkova of Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System Operator.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces targeted the Kinburn Spit, Vladimir Putin’s only remaining outpost in Mykolaiv, which is the gateway to the Black Sea and parts of Kherson held by Russia.

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Kyiv confirms Ukraine’s attack on the Kinburn Spit

In a key battlefield event, a Ukrainian official acknowledged that Kiev forces were attacking Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit, which is the gateway to the Black Sea basin and parts of the southern Kherson region that are still under Russian control.

Despite the lack of information surrounding the operation, Natalya Humenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Operational Command of the Army of Ukraine South, said in a televised address that Ukrainian forces “continue their military operation” in the area.

The Kinburn Spit is the last Russian outpost in the southern Mykolaiv region of Ukraine, immediately west of Kherson. Ukrainian forces recently liberated other parts of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions.

Moscow has used the Kinburn Spit as a staging area for rocket and artillery attacks on Ukrainian positions in the Mykolaiv region and elsewhere along the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea coast.

Ukraine recently recaptured the city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnieper and the surrounding area in a major advance on the battlefield.

Capturing the Kinburn Spit could help Ukrainian forces push into territory Russia still holds in the Kherson region “under much less Russian artillery fire” than would likely be trying to cross the Dnieper River directly, a Washington-based think tank said on Monday.

The Institute for War Studies added that control of the area would help Kiev mitigate Russian attacks on Ukraine’s southern ports and allow Ukraine to increase naval activity in the Black Sea.

Maryam Zakir HussainNovember 23, 2022 03:01

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Putin met the mothers of Russian soldiers on Mother’s Day

Vladimir Putin will meet the mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine ahead of the country’s Mother’s Day celebrations this weekend (Maryam Zakir Hussain writes).

Russia faced massive setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine after the humiliating withdrawal of troops from the strategic southern region of Kherson earlier this month.

The Kremlin confirmed the meeting, which it was the first to announce Knowledge Newspaper. Mother’s Day is celebrated in Russia on November 27.

“Indeed, such a meeting is planned, we can confirm it,” a Kremlin spokesman told reporters.

Liam JamesNovember 23, 2022 02:00

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Russian pranksters are tricking the Polish president into thinking he is talking to Macron

The Polish president was tricked into talking to a fraudster posing as French Emmanuel Macron the night a missile hit a village near the Ukrainian border, his office said on Tuesday, raising doubts about his actions.

The conversation lasted more than seven minutes.

In a recording posted online by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, you can hear Polish President Andrzej Duda talking in English with an interlocutor who is trying to adopt a French accent.

At the time of the incident, there were claims that Russian missiles had landed in Poland and fears that NATO could be drawn directly into the war. It was later reported that the missiles were fired from a Ukrainian air defense system.

The call, which Russian pranksters managed to reach Duda for the second time in recent years, came in the evening when the world feared that the conflict in Ukraine could go beyond its borders.

Liam JamesNovember 23, 2022 01:03

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The Italian La Scala defends the choice of a Russian opera to open the season

Milan’s famous La Scala opera house has defended its decision to open its new season next month with “Boris Godunov”, despite criticism from Ukrainians for staging a Russian work.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian consul in Milan, Andriy Kartash, wrote to the head of the theater and local political leaders to protest plans to stage an opera written by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in the 19th century.

“We made this decision three years ago, it couldn’t be canceled and indeed, why would we cancel it?” La Scala’s artistic director, Dominque Meyer, told a press conference.

“We don’t do propaganda in favor of Putin and he has nothing against Ukraine,” he added.

The main roles will be played by Russian bass and soprano Ildar Abdrazakov and Anna Denisova. The opening of the new season at La Scala is one of the highlights of Italy’s cultural calendar.

“With this opera, Mussorgsky challenged authority – that’s one of the reasons it deserves to be staged,” said director Kasper Holten, presenting Boris Godunov as a story of power and cynicism.

Liam JamesNovember 22, 2022 23:58

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Ukrainian “invincibility centers” will provide heat and wi-fi

Ukrainians who lack basic services due to Russian attacks on power plants and other facilities this winter can turn to special “invincibility centers,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Thousands of centers scattered throughout the country will offer electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile connections and a pharmacy free of charge and around the clock.

The Russian attacks left up to 10 million consumers without power for long periods at a time, forcing cities across the country to go on constant blackouts to conserve depleted energy supplies.

“If massive Russian airstrikes are repeated and power is not restored for hours, the ‘invincibility centers’ will take part in all key services,” Zelensky said in a late-night video speech.

More than 4,000 centers have already been set up, he said, with more planned.

Liam JamesNovember 22, 2022 22:52

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Research suggests Ukrainian refugees are struggling to rent in the UK

A new Office for National Statistics study suggests Ukrainians who have come to the UK struggle to rent because they have no guarantor or references, Flora Thompson reports.

The results also indicate that some have changed addresses since arriving in the country as a result of “relationship difficulties” with their sponsor.

Meanwhile, there has been a “significant” increase in the number of people now working in the UK after fleeing war in their home country, albeit in different roles than before.

Andy GregoryNovember 22, 2022 21:50

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Ukraine tells civilians in recently liberated areas to leave before winter

Ukrainian authorities have begun evacuating civilians from recently liberated parts of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, fearing that the lack of heat, electricity and water caused by Russian shelling will make life difficult this winter, my colleague Oliver Browning reports.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says millions of Ukrainians will face “life-threatening” conditions in the coming months, and residents of the southern regions are being urged to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country.

Meanwhile, citizens living abroad have been asked not to return home to save energy.

Ukraine tells civilians in recently liberated areas to leave before winter

Andy GregoryNovember 22, 2022 21:21

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Ukraine is investigating footage of allegedly shooting prisoners

Ukraine has announced it is now investigating whether Russian troops violated the customs of war by “pretending to surrender” before opening fire – after Moscow accused Ukrainian troops of “executing” its troops.

Strongly contrasting claims center around short clips circulating on Russian social media channels that Moscow says show Ukrainian forces killing soldiers trying to surrender.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the video shows an “execution” and says Russia wants an international investigation.

But Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said today that an investigation has been opened on allegations of violation of the laws or customs of war in connection with “pretending surrender and opening fire on the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” by Russian soldiers.

Andy GregoryNovember 22, 2022 20:54

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Gas, water and communications “restored in hundreds of settlements” recaptured by Ukraine

Gas supplies have been restored in 1,300 settlements reclaimed from Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff Kyrilo Tymoshenko said at a briefing quoted by Ukrainian media.

He said water supplies had been restored in 1,400 settlements and cellular connectivity in 1,200 settlements.

Andy GregoryNovember 22, 2022 20:09

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Senators urge Pentagon to reconsider Gray Eagle drones for Ukraine

A bipartisan group of US senators has pressured the Joe Biden administration to reconsider Ukraine’s request for deadly Gray Eagle drones to fight Russia.

As reported by Reuters, the Biden administration has so far rejected requests for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle armed drone, which would represent a huge technological leap for Ukraine, based on fears that they could be shot down and could escalate the conflict.

In a letter submitted by Wall Street Journal16 senators – including a Republican and a Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee – expressed concern over the US opposition to the proposal, saying providing an armed drone “requires careful reconsideration.”

They gave U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin until November 30 to explain why the Pentagon believes the drone is unfit for combat in Ukraine, whether U.S. concerns about technology transfer are surmountable, and whether the Pentagon believes the introduction of the drone, by General Atomics would further antagonize Russia.

Andy GregoryNovember 22, 2022 19:44

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