Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Russia denies the foreign minister was hospitalized

The Associated Press reported Monday that Indonesian officials said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was hospitalized shortly after arriving in Indonesia on Sunday, without giving further details.

Pavel Bednyakov | Sputnik | Reuters

The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied a report that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was hospitalized upon his arrival in Bali on Sunday for this week’s G-20 meeting, calling it “fake news”.

AP reported that Sergei Lavrov was taken to hospital after landing in Bali, where he was due to attend the summit that begins Tuesday. Indonesian officials were cited as sources for the report.

Lavrov was to attend the G-20 summit in Bali in place of President Vladimir Putin, who previously said he would not attend the meeting. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend virtually.

Indonesian officials did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

— Holly Ellyatt

Winter will pose unique challenges for both sides in war, Britain says

As temperatures drop in Ukraine and winter approaches, both Ukraine and Russia are likely to face a new set of challenges as the war unfolds.

According to the latest military assessment by the British Ministry of Defense, winter will bring a change in the conditions of the conflict for both Russian and Ukrainian armed forces.

“Changes in daylight hours, temperature and weather will present unique challenges for combatant soldiers,” the UK said on Twitter on Monday. “All decisions made by the Russian General Staff will be made in part by the onset of winter.”

Daylight will be reduced to less than nine hours a day, compared with 15 to 16 hours in midsummer, the ministry noted, meaning it will result in “fewer offensive and more static defensive fronts”.

“The average high temperature will drop from 13 degrees Celsius in September-November to zero in December-February. Armed forces lacking winter weather clothing and shelter are most likely suffering from non-freezing cold injuries,” the ministry said.

“In addition, the ‘golden hour’ window in which a seriously wounded soldier can be rescued is reduced by about half, greatly increasing the risk of contact with the enemy.”

Local residents harvest the last potatoes in a field in the eastern Ukrainian village of Zarichne, near the front line in the Donbass region, on November 10, 2022. In the village of Zarichne, which was recaptured by Russian forces a few weeks ago, people live without electricity, water and basic needs.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

Spring and autumn in Ukraine are marked by snowmelt and heavy rain respectively, both of which bring muddy conditions across the country in the so-called ‘rasputitsa’ or ‘muddy road season’.

The UK said the likely increase in precipitation, wind speed and snowfall over the next few weeks and months will pose additional challenges to the already low morale of Russian forces, but will also pose problems for equipment maintenance.

“Basic exercises such as cleaning weapons must be adapted to the circumstances and the risk of weapon malfunctions increases.”

— Holly Ellyatt

The Kherson region “still very dangerous,” Zelenskyy warns, as demining teams go to work

As Ukraine’s jubilation over the liberation of the city of Kherson last week continued over the weekend, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminded civilians on Sunday evening that the situation in the region remains dangerous.

“Please do not forget that the situation in the Kherson region is still very dangerous. First, there are mines. Unfortunately, one of our pioneers died demining and four others were injured,” he said in his nightly address. Kherson residents are urged to “be very careful and immediately inform rescuers of any dangerous objects.”

“The detention of Russian soldiers and mercenaries left behind in this area and the neutralization of saboteurs are also ongoing,” he said, noting that investigators had already documented more than 400 alleged war crimes by Russian forces.

“The bodies of civilians and military personnel are being found,” he said, adding that the Russian army left behind the same atrocities in the Kherson region as in other regions of our country it managed to penetrate.

A Ukrainian soldier from the demining battalion deactivated Russian mines in a trench in a field near the town of Snihurivka in Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine, 12 November 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

With so much attention on Kherson over the past week, it’s easy to forget that fierce fighting is ongoing in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. Zelenskyy said on Sunday that “fighting in the Donetsk region is as intense as in the past few days. The scale of the Russian attacks is not decreasing.”

“So far, the territory of five of our regions has been hit by rocket, air and artillery attacks by the occupying forces during the day. These are the Sumy region, the Kharkiv region, the Zaporizhia region, the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region. We’ll do anything to let the enemy feel our vengeance. To the max.”

Zelenskyy is preparing for another busy week in the diplomatic circle as Tuesday’s Group of Twenty meeting takes place in Bali. Zelenskyi will take part in the meeting virtually. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the summit, but Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be there.

— Holly Ellyatt

Demining teams are getting to work in downtown Kherson today

Residents of the newly liberated city of Kherson have been told to stay away from the city center and evacuate to safer regions overall if possible, as Ukrainian forces work to clear the city and surrounding area of ​​landmines laid by retreating Russian troops .

Yaroslav Yanushevich, the governor of the Kherson region, told Telegram that while residents continue to celebrate last week’s withdrawal of Russian troops from the city, it is not safe for residents to gather in public places. Mine clearance operations will take place in the center of Kherson on Monday.

“Dear friends, it’s already the second day of celebrations in the Kherson region. People take to the streets and squares with Ukrainian flags, are happy and express their gratitude to the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine]. But I want to warn everyone. Mine clearance work is being carried out. The enemy has mined almost everything. I beg you: do not gather in crowded places,” he said on Sunday.

A destroyed tank with the inscription “Mines” near the village of Myroliubivka. Many of the vehicles or weapons abandoned by the Russian army were mined with explosives.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Various images have surfaced of abandoned military vehicles and buildings with warnings scrawled on them – that they contain landmines.

The inscription “Dismantled” was scrawled on the door of a damaged local hardware store left by Russian soldiers in Velyka Oleksandrivka, Ukraine, on October 24, 2022. Velyka Oleksandrivka in the Kherson region was under Russian occupation for almost seven months. There is no electricity, water or gas in the village.

Global Pictures Ukraine | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

Russian forces are expanding defense lines across the river from the city of Kherson, an official says

After withdrawing from the city of Kherson and the west bank of the Dnipro River, Russian forces continue to build defense lines on the east bank in the Kherson region, a Ukrainian army official said Sunday.

Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Army General Staff, said Russia “continues to equip defense lines” on the left bank of the river and “concentrates its efforts on containing actions” by Ukrainian forces “in certain directions.” .”

He added that Russia was conducting “offensive operations” in the Bakhmut, Avdiiv and Novopavliv areas.

Ukrainian forces retook the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine last week after Russian forces announced they were withdrawing from the region’s capital. The retreat marked the latest blow to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Russian troops have not gotten far after regrouping on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River. It is expected that from there they will continue bombing the city of Kherson.

Ukrainians surround Ukrainian soldiers as they celebrate the liberation of Kherson amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine November 13, 2022.

– | AFP | Getty Images

On Sunday, the governor of the Kherson region Yaroslav Yanushevych called on residents of the west bank of the river to evacuate the area. We have seen this again and again in many liberated settlements.”

He said Russian forces had also seriously damaged electricity and water supply infrastructure and recommended that civilians be evacuated to safer regions.

— Holly Ellyatt

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