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Russia-Ukraine war live news: Russia launched 400 strikes on Sunday, Zelenskiy says; UN to inspect Zaporizhzhia plant

Zelenskiy reports that Russia launched almost 400 strikes in Ukraine’s East.

According to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Russian forces launched nearly 400 strikes in Ukraine’s East Sunday as part of an artillery fire campaign.

As before, the Donetsk area is where you will find the most intense battles. Despite the fact that there are fewer terrorist attacks due to the changing weather conditions, the number and severity of Russian shelling incidents is still very high.

Luhansk area – slowly but surely we are moving forward in battles. Since the dawn of the day, almost 400 shelling incidents have occurred in the east.

On Sunday, 20 novembre, Ukrainian soldiers fired artillery on Russian positions in Donetsk, Ukraine. Photograph: Libkos/AP

After its withdrawal from Kherson, the south, Russia has sent troops to the Donetsk-Luhansk region to strengthen its positions.

Zelenskiy, referring to the Ukrainian positions in the South, stated that Kyiv’s forces were “holding the line, consistent and very carefully destroying the potential for the occupiers.”

According to a Pentagon senior official, Russia’s recent surge in missile strikes against Ukraine was partly intended to exhaust Kyiv’s air defenses and take control of the skies.

 

 

Events of note

 

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According to Reuters, 45 countries and institutions will gather in Paris Monday to pledge millions in aid to Moldova as they fear that the country could be further destabilised in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.

Moldova, located between Ukraine and Romania has seen the effects of rising energy and food prices, as well as the influx of thousands refugees into the country of approximately 2.5 million people. Moldova has taken in more refugees per head than any other nation.

Moldavskiy is heavily dependent on Russia energy supplies. This winter, Russia cut natural gas supplies by 40%. It has also made it more difficult for Moldova to provide enough electricity to its citizens.

“Moldova has been directly affected by Russian energy supplies, and it is a country that has a portion of its territory under control by Russian soldiers so it is particularly vulnerable,” a French diplomat said to reporters during a briefing.

The aid would be used to support the budget and electricity supply of Moldova as well as for the cost of hosting thousands more Ukrainian refugees.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russian forces are building defensive positions partly manned by poorly-trained mobilised reserveists around the Svatove section in the Luhansk area in north-eastern Ukraine.

The Russian south-western front line is now easier to defend along the east bank Dnipro River. According to the British intelligence report, the Svatove Sector is now likely to be a more vulnerable operational flank for the Russian force.

Russian leaders will likely view retaining control over Svatove as an important political priority, even though their commanders may struggle with the military realities that include maintaining a credible defense and attempting to fund offensive operations further south in Donetsk.

The report states that both Russian offensive and defensive capabilities continue to be hindered by severe shortages in munitions, skilled personnel, and adds that the report is still incomplete.

Multiple Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels have shared a video that purports to show the detention by two Russian servicemen who refused to fight against Ukraine.

Two men, each wearing a military uniform, are shown in the video and called upon to appear before their commander.

Meduza, an independent Russian news agency based in Russia, shared the video posted by Military Ombudsman Telegram on Sunday. It stated that the incident took place in Russia’s Belgorod Region. According to the outlet:

Privates are informed by the investigator that a criminal case has been opened against them on 16 November for failing to comply with the order (Part.2.1 of Article 332 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This article entails a sentence of imprisonment for a period of two to three year. The soldiers are then taken into custody by the convoy.

Human rights activists believe this video was recorded “as an alert to others”.

To celebrate the arrival in the city’s southernmost part of the Russian invasion, Kherson residents waved Ukrainian flags

Images released today by the newswires show that a train carrying passengers from Kyiv rolls into Kherson Saturday, for the first time since more than eighteen months.

Residents wait in line to be greeted by the first train that arrives in Kherson since the Russian invasion. Photograph: Svet Jacqueline/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock
Karina, 14 years old, hugs a Ukrainian soldier waiting for a train to arrive at Kherson station. Photograph: Svet Jacqueline/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock
img alt=”The first train to arrive in Kherson” src=”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/fa2b9da19e03f80d4f87fa183a26d178d2547e4f/24_0_5481_3291/master/5481.jpg?width=465&quality=85&dpr=1&s=none”/>
First train to arrive in Kherson Photograph: Svet Jacqueline/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

UN nuclear watchdog inspects Zaporizhzhia nuke plant

After the site had been shelled more then a dozen times during the weekend, the UN nuclear watchdog will assess the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although some buildings and equipment were damaged, none of them had been considered “critical” for nuclear safety or security.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the group, stated that the forces responsible for the shelling were “playing in fire”, and added that it “must stop immediately”.

The IAEA published a statement late Sunday night.

Multiple shelling attacks at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (ZNPP), Ukraine, yesterday evening and today damaged buildings, systems, and equipment. Some of the explosions occurred near the reactors.

Although the agency stated that the plant was struck with “more than a dozen blasts in 40 minutes”, radiation levels at the site were normal and no casualties were reported.

External power supplies of the ZNPP, which were knocked out multiple times during conflict, were not also affected.

According to IAEA experts site management reported damage to several locations, including a radioactive-waste and storage building, cooling system sprinkler systems, a condensate storage tank, condensate storage containers, an electrical cable to one reactor, and a bridge between another reactor’s auxiliary buildings.

Rafael Grossi added:

Although there was no immediate impact on nuclear safety or security systems at the plant’s core, the shelling came dangerously near them. This is not about kilometres, but metres. Anyone who is destroying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is taking great risks and risking many lives.

On Monday, the IAEA team will conduct an assessment of the site’s shelling impact.

Zelenskiy reports that Russia launched almost 400 strikes in Ukraine’s East.

According to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Russian forces launched nearly 400 strikes in Ukraine’s East Sunday as part of an artillery fire campaign.

As before, the Donetsk area is where you will find the most intense battles. Despite the fact that there are fewer terrorist attacks due to the changing weather conditions, the number and severity of Russian shelling incidents is still very high.

Luhansk area – slowly but surely we are moving forward in battles. Since the dawn of the day, almost 400 shelling incidents have occurred in the east.

On Sunday, 20 novembre, Ukrainian soldiers fired artillery on Russian positions in Donetsk, Ukraine. Photograph: Libkos/AP

After its withdrawal from Kherson, the south, Russia has sent troops to the Donetsk-Luhansk region to strengthen its positions.

Zelenskiy, referring to the Ukrainian positions in the South, stated that Kyiv’s forces were “holding the line, consistent and very carefully destroying the potential for the occupiers.”

According to a Pentagon senior official, Russia’s recent surge in missile strikes against Ukraine was partly intended to exhaust Kyiv’s air defenses and take control of the skies.

Summary and greetings

Welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage on the war in Ukraine. Samantha Lock is my name and I’ll bring you the latest developments over the next few hours.

Russian forces launched nearly 400 strikes in Ukraine’s east on Sunday as part of an artillery fire campaign, President Volodymyr Zilenskiy stated in a Sunday night address.

The UN nuclear watchdog will assess the Zaporizhzhia nuke plant Monday, after it was shelled more that a dozen times in the weekend.

You can contact us via Email or Tweet if you have any feedback or updates.

Here are the most recent developments if you just joined us:

  • Russian forces launched nearly 400 strikes in Ukraine’s east on Sunday as part of an artillery fire campaign, President Volodymyr Zilenskiy stated in a Sunday night address. The Donetsk region is where the fiercest battles are, as ever. Zelenskiy stated that although there were fewer terrorist attacks today, the Russian shelling is still very high. “In the Luhansk area, we are slowly moving ahead while fighting. Since the dawn of the day, almost 400 artillery strikes have occurred in the east.” Russia has deployed troops to strengthen positions in eastern Donetsk-Luhansk areas after pulling out of Kherson.
  • On Monday, the UN nuclear watchdog will perform an assessment of Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plant after it was bombed more than 12 times in the weekend. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although equipment and buildings were damaged, none of them had been considered critical for nuclear safety or security. Rafael Grossi, the head of the agency, stated that the attackers were “playing with fire” and should stop.
  • Germany offered Poland the Patriot missile defense system to assist it in securing its airspace following a stray ballistic missile that crashed into the country last week. Christine Lambrecht, defence minister, stated that Poland has been offered the Patriot missile defense system by Germany. Lambrecht stated that Germany offered Poland assistance in the security of its airspace, including with Eurofighters and Patriot air defense systems. Ground-based air defense systems like Raytheon’s Patriot can intercept missiles.
  • Ukraine has denied that its forces executed Russian prisoners-of-war. It claimed its soldiers were protecting themselves against Russians pretending to surrender. On Sunday, the Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner responded to videos that circulated this week on Russian social media claiming to show bodies of Russian soldiers killed in battle with Ukrainian troops. Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Ombudsman, stated that “excerpts of a video” showed that Russians had “used a staged capture…committed a war crime by opening firing on the Ukrainian Armed Forces”. He stated that soldiers cannot be considered prisoners-of-war. A spokesperson for the UN told AFP that they were aware of the videos and were “looking into” them.
  • Talking with Russia would be “capitulation”, according to a key advisor to the Ukrainian presidency. This was despite a string of major military victories by Kyiv. He said that it would mean that any country that recovers its territory must surrender to the losing country. These comments follow recent US media reports that senior officials had encouraged Ukraine to begin talks.
  • This is the first Ukrainian supermarket to open in Kherson since it was liberated earlier in the month. Although Kherson is still without electricity, running water, or heating residents were able to buy Ukrainian pickled gherkins and dumplings as well as other favorite foods.
  • According to a French defense minister, France sent two more air defense systems to Ukraine. Also, two multiple rocket launchers were sent to the country.
  • Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of spreading disinformation to further its “predatory” project in Africa. France has suffered military setbacks. On the sidelines of the conference of Francophone countries in Tunisia, Macron stated that there was a “predatory” project pushing disinformation into African nations. This was “a political project funded by Russia, sometimes other”. Macron stated that “a number of powers who want to spread influence in Africa are doing this to harm France, hurt its languages, sow doubts but above all pursue some interests.”

 

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