Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Moscow has abandoned its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine, a sudden apparent collapse of one of the war’s principal front lines after Ukrainian forces moved to encircle the area in a shock advance.
* The state-run TASS news agency quoted Russia’s defense ministry as saying it had ordered troops to leave the area around the city of Izium in Kharkiv province, saying they would be sent to reinforce operations elsewhere in neighboring Donetsk.
* The announcement came hours after rapidly advancing Ukrainian troops captured the city of Kupiansk, the sole railway hub supplying Russia’s entire frontline across northeastern Ukraine, cutting thousands of Russian troops off from supplies.
* A Reuters journalist inside a vast area recaptured in recent days by the advancing Ukrainian forces saw Ukrainian police patrolling towns and boxes of ammunition lying in heaps at positions abandoned by fleeing Russian soldiers.
* Russia’s defense ministry said its air forces destroyed a Ukrainian radar tracking station the southern Mykolaiv region and six weapon and missile depots in eastern and southeastern areas, TASS reported.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
* Mark Hertling, a retired four-star general and former commander of U.S. ground forces in Europe: “Make no mistake, (Ukraine) is executing a brilliant maneuver focused on terrain objectives to ‘bag’ Russians. But the Russians are helping them – by doing very little to counter.”
* Russia’s defense ministry on TASS: “To achieve the stated goals of the Special Military Operation for the liberation of Donbas, it was decided to regroup the Russian troops located in the districts of Balakliia and Izium for the purpose of increasing efforts in the Donetsk direction.”
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, calling for it to be “demilitarized.”
* Shelling has destroyed power infrastructure in the city of Enerhodar where staff operating Zaporizhzhia live, posing a growing threat to the plant, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday.
* European Union energy ministers on Friday gave the European Commission the task of pressing ahead with a cap on the revenues of non-gas power producers benefiting from soaring energy prices, while backing away from capping Russian gas prices.
* Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday a deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea is being fulfilled “badly” and its extension, due in late November, will depend on how it is implemented, RIA reported.
(Compiled by Grant McCool, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Andrew Heavens)
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