Ukraine-Russia war latest: Warship carrying Kalibr missiles deployed to Black Sea as Russia 'prepares fresh attacks'

Ukrainian service members fire a shell from an M777 Howitzer at a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk Region, Ukraine November 23, 2022. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS
Ukrainian service members fire a shell from an M777 Howitzer at a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk Region, Ukraine November 23, 2022. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS

A Russian warship capable of firing cruise missiles had recently deployed to the Black Sea with Kalibr-type missiles on board, according to the Ukrainian army.

Natalia Gumeniuk, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military, said it indicates preparations are underway for Russia to launch a fresh wave of missiles attacks on its energy grid.

"It's quite likely that the beginning of the week will be marked by such an attack," she added.

With temperatures dipping below zero, repeated Russian attacks have left Ukraine's energy grid teetering on the brink of collapse, and disrupted power and water supplies to millions over recent weeks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned "the upcoming week can be as hard as the one that passed" as Russia prepares to launch new strikes.

In the capital, Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged people to stockpile food, clothes and other essential items amid the possibility of the blackouts getting worse.

He said that part of the city’s three million people might also have to be evacuated to places where essential services would be less prone to shutdowns caused by missile attacks.

03:01 PM

Today's top stories

Thanks for tuning in to our live blog. There'll be more tomorrow. Here are today's top stories:

  • Seven Baltic and Nordic foreign ministers travelled to Kyiv on Monday to show support for Ukraine as it struggles with outages caused by Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure

  • The European Union gave itself legal authority to take action against anyone who helps Russia avoid its sanctions, the EU presidency said on Monday

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cautioned that Russia was "planning new strikes" on his country, urging defence forces and citizens to be prepared to withstand a new week of strain on the power grid amid freezing temperatures

  • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control, the Russia-installed administration of the occupied Enerhodar city said on Monday, after a senior Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave

  • Since Russia’s soldiers first stormed Ukraine, women have been gang-raped, men castrated, children sexually abused, and civilians forced to parade naked in the streets, according to the United Nations

  • The Pentagon said it is considering Boeing's proposal to supply Ukraine with Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs, effective in long-range strikes

02:57 PM

Russia summons Norwegian ambassador over arrest of Russian nationals

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that it had summoned the Norwegian ambassador over what it said was the politically-motivated arrest of Russian citizens for reportedly using drones illegally.

"It was noted that the sentences against the Russians were politically motivated and had nothing to do with the principles of fair and impartial justice," the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Several Russian citizens have reportedly been arrested by Norwegian authorities for flying drones near the Arctic border between the two countries or taking photos of classified facilities, as Norway boosts security following suspected sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

02:46 PM

Foreign European foreign ministers arrive in Ukraine

Seven Baltic and Nordic foreign ministers travelled to Kyiv on Monday to show support for Ukraine as it struggles with outages caused by Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure.

The visit by the officials from Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden precedes a meeting of Nato military alliance foreign ministers in Bucharest on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The strongest message from this visit is: Ukraine needs to win this war and therefore that the Western support should be stronger; more heavy weaponry without any political caveats, also including long distance missiles," Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told Reuters in an interview.

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02:39 PM

Castration, gang-rape, forced nudity: How Russia’s soldiers are using sexual violence to terrorise Ukraine

The Kremlin has been accused of terrorising Ukrainians with sexual violence systematically – and known reports are the 'tip of the iceberg', writes Harriet Barber

Since Russia’s soldiers first stormed Ukraine, women have been gang-raped, men castrated, children sexually abused, and civilians forced to parade naked in the streets, according to the United Nations.

The Kremlin stands accused of terrorising the Ukrainian population with sexual violence in a systematic and unsparing manner. It is thought that the full-extent of this barbarism will not come to light until years after the war.

The allegations come ahead of a major international conference for preventing sexual violence in conflict, held in London on Monday, during which dozens of survivors from around the world will speak out about their abuse.

“In Ukraine, an alarming number of reports are coming in from areas illegally controlled by Russia. The UN has begun to document them, and they are chilling,” James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, wrote exclusively in the Telegraph ahead of hosting the conference. More than 50 ministers from around the world will join him.

Read the full story

02:17 PM

Helping Russians avoid sanctions becomes 'EU Crime'

The European Union gave itself legal authority to take action against anyone who helps Russia avoid its sanctions, the EU presidency said on Monday.

According to a statement, member states unanimously agreed that violating restrictive measures against Russia be considered an "EU crime" across the bloc.

This would make it easier to add individuals and entities from countries outside the EU to sanctions lists set up to punish existing actions such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

And it would help standardise the interpretation and enforcement of EU sanctions law across the 27-member union.

02:02 PM

'Russia 'unilaterally' postpones nuclear arms meeting with US'

Russia has unilaterally postponed nuclear disarmament talks with US officials in Cairo planned for this week, Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday, citing the US Embassy.

Officials from the two countries were set to meet in the Egyptian capital from Nov 29 to Dec 6 to discuss resuming inspections under the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty.

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01:52 PM

Vitali Klitschko urges residents to stockpile food as they face 'the worst case scenario'

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has urged residents to stockpile on food in anticipation of "the worst case scenario," as Russia continues to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

In an interview with RBK-Ukraine media outlet, Mr Klitschko called on residents to stock up on food, water, warm clothes, and power banks in case of a long blackout in the capital.

There may be “a temporary relocation of certain categories of people to the suburbs, where there can be (communal) services,” according to Klitschko without offering further details.

The mayor also said people in Kyiv should be ready for the power outages to last until spring.

FILE PHOTO: People use their mobile phone lamps to look at items at a sporting goods store during a power outage, after critical civil infrastructure was hit by a Russian missile attacks in Ukraine, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, November 26, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo - REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: People use their mobile phone lamps to look at items at a sporting goods store during a power outage, after critical civil infrastructure was hit by a Russian missile attacks in Ukraine, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, November 26, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo - REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

01:33 PM

James Cleverly: Chilling reports of soldiers using sexual violence in Ukraine are just the tip of the iceberg

The weaponisation of rape, and other acts of sexual violence, is taking place in at least 18 conflicts around the world, writes James Cleverly, the UK Foreign Secretary.

It’s not just bullets and missiles that shatter lives in conflicts around the world. Rape and other acts of appalling sexual violence are weaponised by military forces, rebel groups and terrorists.

By exploiting women and girls, they are intimidating and destroying communities, sometimes as a sickening ‘reward’ for victory.

These aggressors walk away knowing they are unlikely to be punished, leaving survivors to deal with the devastation.

Such crimes are as old as war itself, but that does not mean we should accept them as inevitable.

Read the full piece

01:15 PM

Ukraine war increases chemical weapons threat, says watchdog

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has increased the threat from weapons of mass destruction including chemical munitions, the head of the world's toxic arms watchdog.

"The situation in Ukraine has again increased the real threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons," Fernando Arias of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Monday.

"It has exacerbated existing tensions to a point where unity of the international community on common global challenges related to international security and peace cannot be presumed," he said.

International disarmament bodies like the Nobel Peace Prize-winning OPCW "now have become places for confrontation and disagreement",  Mr Arias told the meeting on the Hague.

Threats and allegations about the possible use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons have been traded since the war in Ukraine began in February, but with no evidence they have been deployed.

12:37 PM

Watch: A Russian MP says his country will "finish off" Ukraine's power grid

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12:13 PM

Ukraine repels attacks in Bakhmut and Andiivka

Ukrainian forces had repelled Russian attacks in several areas, including Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region over the past 24 hours.

Ukraine's military said in its daily update on Monday that it had destroyed six units of military equipment of various types and that about 30 servicemen had been injured in the area of the occupied Enerhodar city, where many of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant's workers live.

11:55 AM

Scenes from the fighting in the Donetsk

Ukrainians after firing towards Russian positions on the front line near Bakhmut - Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP
Ukrainians after firing towards Russian positions on the front line near Bakhmut - Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP
A Ukrainian service member writes a message to Russian troops on a shell for an M777 Howitzer at a front line in Donetsk region, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine November 23, 2022. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS
A Ukrainian service member writes a message to Russian troops on a shell for an M777 Howitzer at a front line in Donetsk region, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine November 23, 2022. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS

11:10 AM

Watching: Ukrainian soldiers finding a novel use for their weapons

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10:50 AM

Filthy troops fight in freezing mud – the WWI-like horror of Bakhmut’s trenches

Photos shared by Ukrainian forces resemble the horrors of Passchendaele or other First World War battles from more than a century ago, writes Ben Farmer.

Nothing but shattered trees and mud are visible from the trench for as far as the eye can see.

Inside the fortifications themselves, filthy troops wade through slicks of freezing mud, waiting for the next artillery barrage.

The photos shared by Ukrainian forces resemble the horrors of Passchendaele or other First World War battles from more than a century ago.

Yet instead they show conditions in the 2022 battle for the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, which has become a centre for fighting in the nine-month-old war.

Read the full story

10:47 AM

Watch: A drive through the town of Bakhmut which has become a centre for fighting in the war

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10:13 AM

In pictures: Latest scenes from the war

TOPSHOT - Ukrainian servicemen repair a captured Russian tank in a forest near the front line in the Kharkiv region on November 26, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by ) (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images) - Anatolii STEPANOV/AFP
TOPSHOT - Ukrainian servicemen repair a captured Russian tank in a forest near the front line in the Kharkiv region on November 26, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by ) (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images) - Anatolii STEPANOV/AFP
KYIV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 27: A couple embrace in the snow at The Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian people on November 27, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. In recent days, Russia has retreated from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, allowing Ukraine to reclaim swaths of nearby territory occupied since shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) - Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
KYIV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 27: A couple embrace in the snow at The Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian people on November 27, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. In recent days, Russia has retreated from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, allowing Ukraine to reclaim swaths of nearby territory occupied since shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) - Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
KYIV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 27: Senior citizens dance in a metro station underpass on November 27, 2022 in Various Cities, Ukraine. In recent days, Russia has retreated from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, allowing Ukraine to reclaim swaths of nearby territory occupied since shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) - Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
KYIV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 27: Senior citizens dance in a metro station underpass on November 27, 2022 in Various Cities, Ukraine. In recent days, Russia has retreated from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, allowing Ukraine to reclaim swaths of nearby territory occupied since shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) - Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

10:03 AM

We welcome Vatican offer to mediate but Ukraine's stance prevents it, says Kremlin

The Kremlin said on Monday that it welcomed a Vatican offer to provide a negotiating platform to resolve the Ukraine conflict, but that Kyiv's position made this impossible.

Pope Francis reiterated 10 days ago that the Vatican was ready to do anything possible to mediate and put an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa.

09:55 AM

What are the small bombs Boeing wants to supply to Ukraine?

The US and allied military inventories are shrinking, and Ukraine faces an increasing need for more sophisticated weapons as the war drags on.

On Monday the Pentagon said it is considering Boeing's proposal to supply Ukraine with Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs, effective in long-range strikes. But what are they?

GLSDB's are cheap, small precision bombs fitted onto abundantly available rockets. They are guided artillery with a range of 150km - accurate to within one metre.

They are made by Boeing and Saab and combine an M26 ground-based rocket motor from the Multiple Launch Rocket System with Boeing's air-launched GBU-39B SDB.

They can attack both stationary and moving targets and be “ground-launched from a wide variety of launchers and configurations”, according to Saab.

They can also avoid mountains and penetrate caves.

Saab CGI of their proposed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) from https://www.saab.com/products/ground-launched-small-diameter-bomb-glsdb - www.saab.com
Saab CGI of their proposed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) from https://www.saab.com/products/ground-launched-small-diameter-bomb-glsdb - www.saab.com

09:20 AM

Vitali Klitschko says power outages in Kyiv may continue until spring, says Nexta

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08:44 AM

Ukraine sees less than 3 million tonnes of grain leaving in November

Exports of Ukraine's grain will not reach 3 million tonnes in November as Russia tries to limit ship inspections at ports, Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said late on Sunday.

In October, some 4.2 million tonnes of grain left Ukrainian ports, Mr Kubrakov said on his Facebook page.

"It was the custom to conduct 40 inspections a day, now, due to Russia's position, there are five times fewer checks," he said.

Mr Kubrakov said 77 ships were queuing to pass the inspection in Turkey while the three Black Sea ports use up to only 50 per cent of their capacity. Kyiv says Russia is reluctant to speed up ship inspections

08:32 AM

Latest from the UK Ministry of Defence: Kherson in range of most Russian artillery systems

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08:07 AM

UK Prime Minister Sunak vows to maintain military aid to Ukraine

Rishi Sunak plans to promise on Monday to maintain or increase military aid to Ukraine next year, and to confront international competitors "not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism".

British government support for Ukraine has remained unchanged, despite turmoil in recent months as Boris Johnson was succeeded as prime minister by Liz Truss and then Mr Sunak.

However, some Conservatives view Mr Sunak as less hawkish on China than Ms Truss - although a planned meeting between Sunak and China's President Xi Jinping at this month's G20 summit in Bali fell through and last week London banned Chinese-made security cameras from sensitive government buildings.

"Under my leadership we won't choose the status quo. We will do things differently," Sunak said in an extract released by his office of his first major foreign policy speech, which he plans to deliver on Monday in London's financial district.

07:25 AM

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant still in Russian hands

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control, the Russia-installed administration of the occupied Enerhodar city said on Monday, after a senior Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave.

"The media are actively spreading fakes that Russia is allegedly planning to withdraw from Enerhodar and leave the [nuclear plant]. This information is not true," the Russian backed administration said on the Telegram messaging app.

The head of Ukraine's state-run nuclear energy firm said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which they seized in March soon after their invasion.

07:17 AM

Zelensky warns Ukrainians to prepare for new Russian attacks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cautioned that Russia was "planning new strikes" on his country, urging defence forces and citizens to be prepared to withstand a new week of strain on the power grid amid freezing temperatures.

Moscow has targeted vital infrastructure in recent weeks, sparking power outages and killing civilians. Strikes last Wednesday caused the worst damage so far in the nine-month conflict, leaving millions without light, water or heat as temperatures fell below 0 Celsius.

"We understand that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday. "And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down."