Freezing temperatures grip Kyiv as power shortages persist in Ukraine
Issued on: 27/11/2022 – 09:23Modified: 28/11/2022 – 06:17
Snow fell in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Sunday, while the electricity supply was still disrupted due to recent air strikes carried out by Russia, guaranteeing a difficult winter for the city’s inhabitants. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of fresh strikes from Moscow. Read our live blog to review all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
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12:43am: Zelensky warns Ukraine to brace for more Russian attacks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Russia would surely launch new missile attacks on his country, and warned defence forces and citizens to be prepared to withstand a new week of strain on the power grid.
“We understand that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down.”
Zelensky said the coming week could be as difficult as the previous week, when attacks on electricity infrastructure subjected Ukrainians to the most acute power cuts since Russian troops invaded in February.
11:55pm: UK Prime Minister Sunak vows to maintain military aid to Ukraine
British Prime Minister 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 Sunak.
Earlier this month, Sunak visited Kyiv to offer further support to Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces.
“By protecting Ukraine, we protect ourselves,” he will argue.
11:30PM: 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, 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.
Kubrakov said 77 ships were queuing to pass the inspection in Turkey while the three Black Sea ports use up to only 50% of their capacity.
6:18pm: Russia may switch from European to Asian football federation
The Russian Football Union (RFU) may consider switching its football federation membership to Asia from Europe, Russian news agencies quoted RFU head Alexander Dyukov as saying on Sunday.
“A few months ago I said that Asia was premature,” the RIA news agency quoted Dyukov as saying. “But now it is an opportunity that we should consider.”
Global and European football’s governing bodies, and UEFA, decided in February that all Russian teams, whether national or club sides, would be suspended from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.
4:11pm: Ukraine nuclear boss says he sees signs Russia may leave occupied plant
The head of state-run nuclear energy firm said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to leave the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which they seized in March soon after their invasion.
Such a move would be a major battlefield change in the partially-occupied southeastern Zaporizhzhia region where the front line has hardly shifted for months. Repeated shelling around the plant has spurred fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
“In recent weeks we are effectively receiving information that signs have appeared that they are possibly preparing to leave the (plant),” Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said on national television.
1:41pm: Kremlin defends Russian-led security alliance after Armenia criticism
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Sunday said attempts to break up a Russian-led security alliance had always existed and would continue to do so, but insisted that the alliance remained in high demand following criticism this week from Armenia.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called into question the effectiveness of the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) at a summit this week.
Armenia requested assistance from the organisation in September, but received only a promise to send observers. Pashinyan contrasted that with the alliance’s rapid decision in January to send troops to CSTO member Kazakhstan to help President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev survive a wave of unrest.
12:45pm: Snowy Kyiv grapples with power outages
Snow fell in Kyiv and temperatures hovered around freezing on Sunday as millions in and around the Ukrainian capital struggled with disruptions to electricity supply and central heating caused by waves of Russian air strikes.
The cold weather is gradually pushing up the energy needs of consumers even as repair workers race to fix wrecked power facilities, grid operator Ukrenergo said.
Electricity producers are still unable to resume full power supply after Russia’s missile attacks on Wednesday and have no choice but conserve energy by imposing blackouts, it said.
7:00am: Ukraine launches grain export programme to African countries
On the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the great famine orchestrated by the Stalinist regime in the 1930s, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has launched the “Grain from Ukraine” programme, a plan to export grain to the poorest countries in Africa.
“We plan to send at least 60 ships from Ukrainian ports to the countries most threatened by famine and drought,” said the Ukrainian president.
Zelensky announced that he had raised $150 million from more than 20 countries and the European Union to export to Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
In a video message broadcast during the summit, promised €6 million in additional aid for Ukrainian grain exports, which are vital for supplying many African and Asian countries. The French president also recalled the “immense tragedy” of the famine of the 1930s.
“From yesterday to today, the Ukrainian nation shows its determination and forces our admiration,” the French president said. “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine (…) threatens the world with a food crisis.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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