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Russia-Ukraine War At A Glance: What We Know On Day 258 Of The Invasion

Ukraine said its position on negotiations with Russia had not changed and it is not being asked to negotiate by its allies, after reports by the Washington Post that its main ally and backer, the US, had asked Kyiv to signal that it is open to negotiations amid worry among allies in parts of Europe, Latin American, and Africa about a protracted war. Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podalyak, told Radio Svoboda, that Ukraine will only negotiate with Russia once Russian troops have left all of Ukraine’s territory, including those it occupied in 2014. Podalyak said that the US treats Ukraine as an equal and there is no coercion. He said Ukraine is winning and therefore to sit down at the negotiating table now would be “nonsense”.

Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal said he saw no need at present to evacuate Kyiv or any other cities that are not near the frontlines in the war against Russia. He made his comments at a cabinet meeting following Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system, and after the mayor of Kyiv told residents to consider everything including a worst-case scenario where the capital loses power and water completely.

The secretary of Ukraine’s security council said on Tuesday the “main condition” for the resumption of negotiations with Russia would be the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Oleksiy Danilov said that Ukraine also needed the “guarantee” of modern air defences, aircraft, tanks and long-range missiles.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has claimed his forces are gradually pushing back Russian troops in some parts of the east and south. “We are gradually moving forward,” he said in his latest Monday evening address. Zelenskiy added that Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region remains the centre of Ukraine’s bloodiest battles, claiming Russians “die by the hundreds every day”.

Ukraine wants the Black Sea grain export deal expanded to include more ports and goods, and hopes a decision to extend the agreement for at least a year will be taken next week, Ukraine’s deputy infrastructure minister said. The deal, which eased a global food crisis by unblocking three major Ukrainian ports during Russia’s invasion, expires on 19 November and briefly appeared imperilled last month when Moscow suspended its participation in the deal before rejoining again.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has distracted world governments from efforts to combat climate change, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message played at the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt on Tuesday. “There can be no effective climate policy without the peace,” he said.

One of the Russian-imposed leaders in the occupied Kherson region of Ukraine, Kirill Stremousov, has claimed on Telegram: “The situation in the morning is unchanged along the entire frontline. We do not see any kind of mass offensive. At this stage, everything is unchanged and without difficult moments for our region.”

Russia is stepping up its efforts to build substantial obstacle barriers to slow the advance of Ukrainian forces in key locations it is defending, including around the devastated city of Mariupol, the UK Ministry of Defence has said. Its intelligence assessment on Tuesday said the Russian military was using two plants in occupied Mariupol to produce large numbers of “dragon’s teeth” – pyramidal concrete blocks designed to slow advancing military vehicles. The production and placement of the blocks in conjunction with razor wire and mines is the latest indication of how Russia’s struggling forces are increasingly attempting to transition to more defensive warfare, not least on the key southern Kherson front on the east bank of the Dneiper River.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, will join next week’s G20 leaders summit “if the situation is possible”, his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, the meeting’s host said Tuesday, adding that Putin could attend virtually instead. On Monday Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Putin would decide by the end of the week if he was attending the summit.

Zelenskiy will take part in the G20 summit in Bali next week, most likely attending virtually, his spokesperson told the Suspilne public broadcaster on Tuesday. Previously the Ukrainian position was that Zelenskiy would not appear if Putin did.

The Italian government is readying a new arms package for Ukraine including air defence systems, a governing coalition official said. Western nations have been delivering more air defence hardware to Ukraine since president Volodymyr Zelenskiy last month asked the leaders of the G7 nations for help to stop Russian missiles raining down on Ukrainian cities.

Ukrainians continue to brace for more blackouts after the country’s grid operator told consumers to expect power outages in Kyiv and other regions on Monday and Tuesday as it seeks to reduce the strain on energy infrastructure damaged by Russian missile and drone attacks. Rolling blackouts are becoming increasingly routine after a wave of Russian attacks on power facilities damaged 40% of energy infrastructure since 10 October.

A recruitment office in St Petersburg has issued a draft notice to a missing Russian sailor who was aboard the flagship Moskva missile cruiser, which sank in the Black Sea in April. According to a report by the local news website Fontanka, the parents of the sailor, named Mikhail, who was a cook on the Moskva cruiser, received his call-up notice last month. The papers ordered their son to report to the drafting station or face possible prosecution.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the governor of Sevastopol in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, said this morning that air defences in the city shot down a Ukrainian drone.

Russia and the US are discussing holding talks on strategic nuclear weapons for the first time since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, Russian newspaper Kommersant reports, citing at least three sources familiar with the discussions.

Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson will seek Turkey’s approval for his country’s bid to join Nato during talks later Tuesday in Ankara with president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A further 30 Ukrainian service personnel who were captured from Ukraine’s Zmiinyi (Snake) Island have been released from Russian captivity, according to the Ukrainian parliament’s commissioner for human rights.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, visited Kyiv Tuesday, where she met Ukraine minister of infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrako. She also visited the KyivMlyn flour mill, saying on Twitter of the trip “Ukraine has long been a breadbasket to the world. And today, I had the chance to visit a facility that stores and processes grain in Kyiv. This site has taken on added importance because Russian forces have attacked so many of Ukraine’s other grain facilities.”

Another US volunteer has died in combat in Ukraine, a spokesperson for the country’s International Legion confirmed on Monday, bringing the number of US fighters killed in the war against Russia to at least six. Timothy Griffin, from New York state, had been fighting alongside Ukrainians as part of their counteroffensive on the eastern front when his unit came under attack. The legion’s spokesperson, identified as “Mockingjay” to NBC News, said Griffin was “killed in action”.

Ukraine received more air defence systems from western allies, defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced on Monday. Included in the military aid are national advanced surface-to-air missile System (Nasams) and Italian aspide air defences. “These weapons will significantly strengthen the Ukrainian army and will make our skies safer,” Reznikov said. “Thank you to our partners – Norway, Spain and the US,” he added.

Ukraine has accused Russian troops of looting and occupying empty homes in the southern city of Kherson to prepare for street fighting in what both sides predict will be one of the war’s most important battles. In recent days, Russia has ordered civilians out of Kherson in anticipation of a Ukrainian assault to recapture the city, the only regional capital Moscow has seized since its invasion in February. Kherson was also cut off from water and electricity supplies on Sunday after an airstrike and damage to the Kakhovka dam, local officials said.

Putin has said 50,000 Russian soldiers called up as part of his mobilisation drive were now fighting with combat units in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported. Putin said 80,000 were “in the zone of the special military operation” – the term Russia uses for its war in Ukraine – and the rest of the almost 320,000 draftees were at training camps in Russia.

However criticism is brewing over the chaotic mobilisation campaign as Russian conscripts say hundreds were killed in an attack. Moscow’s willingness to throw hundreds of ill-prepared conscripts on to the frontline in Ukraine’s east has prompted growing anger in Russia as more coffins return from Ukraine. Last Friday, Putin boasted that Russia had mobilised 318,000 people into its armed forces, citing a high number of “volunteers”.

Zelenskiy made a pitch for closer security ties with Israel on Monday, saying both countries faced similar threats. “I think it is clear to everyone what Ukraine emphasises and the security emphasis of Israel,” he said in his nightly address after a conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu, the winner in last week’s Israeli election. “I believe we can significantly strengthen our states, especially since the threats we have are related.”

An internal rift over the supply of deadly drones to Russia for use in Ukraine has opened up in Iran, with a prominent conservative cleric and newspaper editor saying Russia is the clear aggressor in the war and the supply should stop. Iran has denied it sold drones to Russia despite their use to target power stations and civilian infrastructure, but at the weekend said it had supplied a small number of drones before the war started, an explanation that has been rejected by the US and Ukraine.

North Korea said it has never had arms dealings with Russia and has no plans to do so, its state media reported, after the US claimed it appeared to be supplying Russia with artillery shells for its war in Ukraine. A North Korean defence ministry official called the allegations a rumour and said Pyongyang has “never had ‘arms dealings’ with Russia” and has “no plan to do so in the future,” according to a Reuters report.

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