Turkey is committed to seeking a peace dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday, Turkish media reported.
“We are working on how to create a peace corridor here, like we had the grain corridor,” Erdoğan was quoted as telling reporters on a flight from Uzbekistan.
The president said that he would not be proposing a specific timeframe for any extension of the grain corridor deal – which expires at the end of next week – but said he wants it running “as long as possible”.
Erdoğan also praised Russia’s resistance to pressure from the United States and its allies, Reuters reports. He is quoted as saying “Russia is not an ordinary state, it is a powerful state. Of course, the west, especially America, is attacking Russia almost without limits. Against all this, of course, Russia is resisting.”
Russia commenced its latest invasion of Ukraine in February, and has claimed to have annexed four regions of occupied Ukraine into the Russian Federation.
The British graffiti-artist Banksy has unveiled his latest work, on a Ukrainian building damaged by Russian bombing.
The anonymous artist from Bristol, whose work sells for millions of pounds, posted a picture on Instagram of the artwork, a gymnast doing a handstand amid debris in Borodyanka, a town north of the capital Kyiv, which was pummelled by Russian bombs and then occupied.
Speculation had been mounting that Banksy was in the country after a series of murals appeared in its cities, including Kyiv.
Another mural in Borodyanka, not officially confirmed by the artist, depicts a man resembling Vladimir Putin – a noted admirer of the martial arts – being flipped by a child during a judo match.
Another showed two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw.
Bansky posted three images of the mural on Instagram with the caption simply reading “Borodyanka, Ukraine”.
Russian troops, rolling in from the Belarusian border, 200 miles north, invaded the town at the beginning of the war in February. Borodyanka, together with Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, was one of the towns hardest hit by Russia’s bombardments, before being was liberated in April. Ukrainian investigators found dozens of mass graves where the bodies of civilians, tortured and killed, had been buried. Moscow had unleashed cluster munitions, cluster bombs, and extremely powerful unguided bombs in the populated areas of Borodyanka, destroying dozens of buildings.
Since then, the town has been the focus of reconstruction efforts, with several tower blocks demolished as a result of damage caused by the fighting.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, is in Cambodia where, on the sidelines of the Association of Southeeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Phnom Penh, he has met the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken.
Henichesk declared new ‘temporary administrative capital’ of occupied Kherson
The state-owned Russian news agency Tass is reporting that Alexander Fomin, one of the members of the Russian-imposed administration in occupied Kherson oblast, has said Henichesk has been declared the temporary administrative capital of Kherson. The region is one of the areas that the Russian Federation has claimed to have annexed.
He said: “All the main authorities are concentrated there.”
Henichesk, a port city on the sea of Azov, has been occupied since 27 February. It is very close to the border with the Crimea region, but a significant distance from Kherson city and the Dnipro River.
The Russian-imposed authorities in occupied Luhansk claim three civilians have been injured by Ukrainian shelling. The Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reports that the local administration posted on Telegram that the incident occurred in the city of Kadiivka. The claims have not been independently verified. Luhansk is one of the regions of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has issued its intelligence update on how it sees the situation in Ukraine. It claims it is likely the Russians began their withdrawal from the city of Kherson on 22 October, and that it is likely Russian forces have destroyed bridges across the Dnipro in the process. The intelligence briefing states:
On 11 November 2022, Russia’s Ministry of Defence claimed their withdrawal from Kherson had been completed. Russian forces highly likely destroyed road and rail bridges over the Dnipro River as part of this process. The completion of the withdrawal came only two days after its announcement. It is likely that the withdrawal process had already started as early as 22 October 2022 when Russian-installed figures in Kherson urged civilians to leave the city. There is a realistic possibility that Russian military equipment and forces in civilian attire had been evacuating in conjunction with the 80,000 stated evacuated civilians in recent weeks.
Saying that the withdrawal brings “significant reputational damage” to Russia, the briefing goes on to say:
It is likely that Ukraine has retaken large areas of Kherson oblast on the west bank of the Dnipro River, and that its forces are now largely in control of Kherson city itself. It is likely that Russia is still attempting to evacuate forces from other areas of the oblast across the river to defensible positions on the east bank.
Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the governor of Sumy, has posted to Telegram to warn residents of the north-eastern region of Ukraine that power blackouts today “may start a little earlier than the schedule and last longer”.
He appealed to people to “treat it with understanding. These are forced steps to keep the balance in the power system.”
Here are some images that have been sent to us over the newswires from the village of Blahodatne, retaken by the Ukrainian armed forces a day ago.
UN grain talks with Russia remain stalled
United Nations chiefs have held talks with Russian officials about the Black Sea agreements for exporting grain and fertilisers, eight days before one of the deals is set to expire.
The discussions took place behind closed doors in Geneva, wrapping up on Friday afternoon.
Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain producers, and the Russian invasion had blocked 20m tonnes of grain in its ports until the safe passage deal was agreed.
Two agreements brokered by the UN and Turkey were signed on 22 July.
The first was to allow the export of Ukrainian grain blocked by Russia’s war in the country; the second was to allow the export of Russian food and fertilisers despite western sanctions imposed on Moscow after its invasion.
The 120-day Black Sea Grain Initiative runs out on 19 November, and the UN is seeking to renew it for one year.
The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, on Saturday accused Russian inspectors of “quiet sabotage”, saying they were intentionally dragging their feet over allowing shipments through.
“Russia should – must – stop playing hunger games with the world,” he said.
Moscow, however, has not yet said whether it will agree to renew any deal.
The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Saturday that the “war goes on” after the success of retaking the city of Kherson.
Speaking at the Association of South-east Asian Nations summit in Cambodia, Kuleba said the fight to liberate the country would continue.
“We are winning battles on the ground. But the war continues,” he told reporters in Phnom Penh.
Earlier, Kuleba said he understood that “everyone wants this war to end as soon as possible. We are definitely the ones who want that more than anyone else … But as long as the war continues, and we see Russia mobilising more conscripts and bringing more weapons to Ukraine, of course we will continue to count on your continued support”.
White House hails Ukraine’s ‘extraordinary victory’ in Kherson
The White House on Saturday hailed what it said appeared to be an “extraordinary victory” for Ukraine in recapturing the city of Kherson from Russian occupiers, AFP reported.
Speaking to reporters as he accompanied President Joe Biden to the Asean summit in Cambodia, the national security adviser Jake Sullivan said:
It does look as though the Ukrainians have just won an extraordinary victory where the one regional capital that Russia had seized in this war is now back under a Ukrainian flag – and that is quite a remarkable thing.
Sullivan said the Russian retreat would have “broader strategic implications”, including relieving the longer-term threat by Russia to other southern Ukrainian cities, such as Odesa.
It’s a big moment and it’s due to the incredible tenacity and skill of the Ukrainians, backed by the relentless and united support of the United States and our allies.
Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Christine Kearney and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments. It’s about 9am in Kyiv, here’s where things stand:
Ukrainians in Kherson city are celebrating after the arrival of Ukrainian soldiers to recapture the city. In extraordinary scenes, jubilant crowds have been seen welcoming soldiers in the southern Ukrainian city after progress made by the armed forces in recent days continued. Ukrainian forces have liberated 41 settlements as they advanced through the south, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
A Ukrainian flag has been raised in Svobody Square, near the headquarters for the regional administration for the first time since the city fell to Russia on 2 March. Another is being flown outside the city’s national police headquarters.
Zelenskiy declared the city to be “ours” and that it was a “historic” day for the country, after Russia announced the completion of its withdrawal from the regional capital. In a statement on his Telegram page, he said that people in Kherson never gave up hope on Ukraine, adding: “Hope for Ukraine is always justified – and Ukraine always returns its own.”
A Ukrainian defence ministry spokesperson has told the BBC that Ukraine’s forces are almost in full control of Kherson.
Russia said more than 30,000 service personnel have been withdrawn to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. The defence ministry said that its evacuation had been completed by 5am Moscow time on Friday. The ministry said there was no military hardware or soldiers left on the western side of the river.
However, reports have emerged of some Russian troops being left behind in Ukraine and changing into civilian clothes, or drowning trying to escape. The Ukrainian ministry of defence’s intelligence unit has urged Russian soldiers to surrender.
The White House on Saturday hailed what it said appeared to be an “extraordinary victory” for Ukraine in recapturing the city of Kherson from Russian occupiers, AFP reported.“It does look as though the Ukrainians have just won an extraordinary victory where the one regional capital that Russia had seized in this war is now back under a Ukrainian flag – and that is quite a remarkable thing,” the national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Saturday that the “war goes on” after the success of retaking the city of Kherson. Speaking at a south-east Asian summit in Cambodia, Kuleba said the fight to liberate the country would carry on: “We are winning battles on the ground. But the war continues,” he told reporters in Phnom Penh.
The Antonivskiy Bridge, the only nearby road crossing from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson to the Russian-controlled eastern bank of the Dnipro River, has been blown up. There was significant new damage to the nearby major Nova Kakhovka dam after the withdrawal, US satellite imagery company Maxar said.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general is investigating the discovery of three bodies found in the Kherson region who it suspected were victims of war crimes.
Russian attacks on electrical facilities are having a disproportionate effect on civilians in Ukraine, including an indiscriminate impact on critical functions, such as healthcare and heating, according to the latest evaluation by the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
Ukraine is building a wall at its northern border with neighbour Belarus, a key ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. The concrete wall is already 3km long.
Forty-five Ukrainian soldiers have been freed in a prisoner exchange with Russia and the bodies of two killed Ukrainian soldiers have also been repatriated, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office has said.
The United Nations has wrapped up talks for the week with Russian officials in Geneva, yet to finalise an agreement to export grain from Ukraine via the Black Sea.
The UN nuclear watchdog says an investigation of a research plant in the city of Kharkiv found it was badly damaged, but there were no signs of a radiological release or diversion of nuclear material.
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said Germany’s priority in its aid to Ukraine should be to help it defend itself from Russian air raids on its cities and to help it rebuild its infrastructure.