In other news, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke for the first time since May, and a senior Russian diplomat said the call was necessary to clear up misunderstandings, the TASS news agency reported. The Pentagon declined to provide details, except that Austin, who initiated the call, stressed the need for lines of communication amid the war in Ukraine.
“It was horrible”: Liberated Ukrainians talk about the occupation
Russian troops searched for weeks for Mariya, the 65-year-old partner of a serving Ukrainian army officer.
Twice, she said, they ransacked her hut in a village outside the city of Balakliya in Ukraine, and when they finally arrested her months later, they repeatedly tortured her with electric shocks and threatened her with rape during interrogation.
The recapture of much of the Kharkiv region by Ukrainian militants a month ago now reveals what life was like for thousands of people living under Russian military occupation since the early days of the war. There were periods of quiet for many, but almost no food or public services. It was pure hell for people like Mariya, who are accused of sympathizing with or helping Ukrainians. (Continue reading)
Ukraine is rationing power and warning of a deadly winter despite war gains
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid on Thursday forced nationwide blackouts, deepening the misery of people facing winter without enough light or heat, while Ukraine’s president accused Moscow of blasting a dam that would cause catastrophic flooding and cut off more electricity supply .
The government ordered Ukrainians to minimize electricity use from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. after 10 days of concerted missile and drone attacks on utilities, which left civilians grappling with power outages and isolated shortages of clean water. Ukrainian and United Nations officials have warned of a deadly humanitarian crisis for civilians in the coming cold months.
Speaking by video on Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “we have information” that Russian forces had mined the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper. If the dam were destroyed, cities would be flooded and “hundreds of thousands of people could be affected”. (Continue reading)