Ukraine is to evacuate civilians from recently liberated areas of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. Residents of the two southern regions have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country, amid fears that the damage to infrastructure caused by the war is too severe for people to endure the winter.
The head of Ukraine’s national power grid operator, Ukrenergo, has described the damage dealt to Ukrainian power-generating facilities by Russian missile attacks as “colossal”. Volodymyr Kudrytskyi also dismissed calls to evacuate civilians from some cities worst hit by energy shortages as “inappropriate”.
Ukrainians are likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said on Monday, as the government started free evacuations for people in Kherson to other regions. Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had been damaged by Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, leaving millions of people without electricity and water as winter sets in and temperatures drop below freezing.
The Kremlin said it was concerned by what it claimed to be Ukrainian shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister, countered that the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia plant was a Russian tactic aiming to disrupt power supplies and “freeze Ukrainians to death”. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, appealed to Nato members to guarantee the protection of his country’s nuclear power plants from “Russian sabotage”.
Ukraine’s SBU security service and police have raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv and as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”.
Russian shelling hit a humanitarian aid distribution center in the town of Orihiv in south-eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing a volunteer and wounding two women, the regional governor said. Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, gave no further details of the attack on Orihiv, about 70 miles east of the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station which has been shelled in the past few days.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Ukraine’s health system is “facing its darkest days in the war so far”. WHO regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, called for a “humanitarian health corridor” to be created to all areas of Ukraine newly recaptured by Kyiv, as well as those occupied by Russian forces.
The EU will give a further €2.5bn (£2.2bn) to Ukraine for the reconstruction of the country, the head of the block’s executive, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said he was “grateful” and that the aid would make “a strong contribution to the stability of Ukraine on the eve of a difficult winter”.
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has warned his country must be prepared for the situation in Ukraine to escalate. This could include the destruction of infrastructure, he added while speaking at a conference in Berlin.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general office has said its officials have identified four locations where Russian forces tortured detainees in Kherson city. It said Russian forces “set up pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in pre-trial detention centers and a police station before troops withdrew from the southern Ukrainian city.
Russians have murdered, tortured and kidnapped Ukrainians in a systematic pattern that could implicate top officials in war crimes, the US state department’s ambassador for global criminal justice said Monday. There is mounting evidence that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has been accompanied by systemic war crimes committed in every region where Russian forces have been deployed”, said the US ambassador at large, Beth Van Schaack.
Russian troops have been accused of burning bodies at a landfill on the edge of Kherson during their occupation. Residents and workers at the site told the Guardian they saw Russian open trucks arriving to the site carrying black bags that were then set on fire, filling the air with a large cloud of smoke and a stench of burning flesh.
The Kremlin said it would bring to justice those responsible for the alleged execution of Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine. Russia has accused Ukrainian soldiers of executing more than 10 Russian prisoners of war, citing a video circulating on Russian social media. Ukraine denies the claims.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there were no plans to call up more Russian soldiers to fight in Ukraine through a second round of mobilization.
Russian forces launched almost 400 strikes on Sunday in Ukraine’s east as part of a campaign of artillery fire, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. “The fiercest battles, as before, are in the Donetsk region. Although there were fewer attacks today due to worsening weather, the amount of Russian shelling unfortunately remains extremely high.”
Russian forces are constructing defensive positions partially staffed by poorly trained mobilized reservists around the Svatove sector in the Luhansk region in north-eastern Ukraine, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. With Russia’s south-western frontline now more readily defendable along the east bank of the Dnieper River, the Svatove sector is likely a more vulnerable operational flank of the Russian force, the latest British intelligence report reads.
Forty-five countries and institutions will meet in Paris on Monday to pledge millions of euros of aid for Moldova, as fears mount that it could be further destabilized by the conflict in Ukraine. Moldova, which lies between Ukraine and Romania, has felt the effects of rising food and energy prices as well thousands of refugees arriving in the country of about 2.5 million people.
Ukrainian refugees in the UK are experiencing difficulties accessing private rented accommodation because they are unable to secure guarantors or references, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.