Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

1. “The beginning of the end of the war,” says Zelenskyy during a visit to Kherson

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Kherson for the first time since the southern Ukrainian city was retaken from Russian forces on Friday.

Zelenskyy hailed Moscow’s withdrawal as “the beginning of the end of the war,” but also acknowledged the high price paid by Ukrainian soldiers during the counteroffensive.

“Ukraine is impossible to kill,” Volodymyr Zelensky said during a surprise visit on Monday.

“The price of this war is high,” he added. We are going step by step in all temporarily occupied areas of our country.

Russia has reiterated that the Kherson region belongs to Moscow even though its forces were forced to withdraw last week after eight months of occupation.

Kherson is one of four regions in southeastern Ukraine that Russia “annexed” in September. Moscow’s forces still control about 70% of the greater Kherson region.

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2. Moscow troops destroyed a key power plant in Kherson during the withdrawal, Ukrainian authorities say

Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo said on Monday that Russia destroyed a key power plant in Kherson before its troops withdrew from the city and the right bank of the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine last week.

“The power plant that supplied electricity to the entire right bank in the Kherson region and a significant part of the Mikolayiv region was practically destroyed,” Ukrenergo president Volodymyr Kudrytsky wrote on Facebook.

This was one of the “consequences of the helplessness (and) fear of the occupiers before their escape,” Kudrytsky added.

“Most of the liberated Kherson region has been without electricity since November 6,” he said. “We are doing our best so that people get electricity as soon as possible.”

Ukraine “sent a list of equipment needed in the Kherson region to our international partners,” he said, adding that “Poland and France have already responded.”

The Russian military has carried out several waves of mass rocket and kamikaze drone attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent weeks.

3. Ukraine detained a Russian soldier ‘disguised as a civilian’

The Ukrainian security service announced that it had arrested a Russian soldier who was “disguised as a civilian” in Kherson.

“Officers of the security service have arrested a Russian soldier in the liberated Kherson, the press release said on Monday.

“The man was disguised as a civilian and tried to present himself as a ‘local’,” it added.

It comes because of fears that Russian soldiers are still present and hidden in the city during Zelenskiy’s visit.

Russia has carried out several waves of missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in recent weeks.

On Monday, Russian forces claimed a rare success and said they had taken control of Pavlivka, a town in eastern Ukraine.

Heavy fighting also continues in the Luhansk region. Ukraine’s military says it has recaptured the village of Makievka, 50 km northeast of the strategic Russian-controlled city of Severodonetsk.

“The next months will be difficult” for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday.

“We must not make a mistake and underestimate Russia,” he told reporters in The Hague.

4. Russian ideologue Dugin repeats his support for Putin

The Russian ultra-nationalist ideologue assured that he remains loyal to President Vladimir Putin despite Moscow’s withdrawal from Kherson.

Alexander Dugin is considered one of the most zealous supporters of the invasion of Ukraine and has long promoted the idea of ​​”neo-Eurasianism”.

“The West has begun to spread the false claim that I – and Russian patriots – are turning away from Putin since the surrender of Kherson and allegedly demand his departure,” Dugin wrote on Telegram over the weekend.

“Suffering the loss of Kherson is one thing, but our relationship with the commander-in-chief is another,” he added. “We are loyal to Putin and will support the military operation and Russia to the end.”

Dugin had earlier posted an online message in which he appeared to criticize the Kremlin, saying that a “limit has been reached” with Kherson.

The American Institute for the Study of War claims that the withdrawal from Kherson caused an “ideological rift between pro-war figures and Vladimir Putin”.

But Dugin rejected those claims and called on Russian society to mobilize “spiritually and ideologically”.

In August, Dugin’s daughter — Daria — was killed in a bombing near Moscow that Russia blamed on Ukrainian services.

5. Biden and Xi condemn the threat of nuclear weapons at the G20 summit

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping reiterated their agreement that nuclear war “should never be fought”.

The White House said the two leaders agreed to “oppose” any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Beijing refused to directly condemn the Russian invasion, although China’s foreign ministry said it was “very concerned” about the war.

The the long-awaited meeting at the G20 summit in BaliIndonesia is Biden’s first personal meeting with Xi.

“As leaders of our two nations, I think we share a responsibility to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything close to conflict, and find ways to work together on pressing global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” he said. said Biden opening the meeting.

Earlier Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States would impose new sanctions on a network of individuals and companies that worked to procure military technology for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Yellen told reporters that the sanctions would target 14 individuals and 28 entities, without giving further details.

6. Imprisoned Zambian student found dead in Ukraine

A 23-year-old Zambian student who was serving a prison sentence in Russia was found dead in Ukraine.

The Zambian government has asked Moscow to explain the death of Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo said Nyirenda died “on the front line of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” on September 22.

“The Zambian government has asked the Russian authorities to urgently provide information on the circumstances under which a Zambian citizen, serving a prison sentence in Moscow, could have been recruited to fight in Ukraine,” the statement said.

Nyirenda was convicted of violating Russian law in April 2020, according to the Zambian government.

The nuclear engineering student was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison, which he served in a medium-security prison on the outskirts of Moscow.

The head of the Wagner paramilitary group, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, is accused of sending thousands of Russian prisoners to war in Ukraine in exchange for amnesty and pay.

Zambia’s foreign minister said he was “deeply saddened by the untimely death of Mr Nyirenda”, adding that his body had been flown to the Russian border city of Rostov for repatriation.

In April, another Zambian student — identified as 21-year-old Tionge (Rebecca) Ziba — was arrested in Russia for allegedly “rehabilitating Nazism” by twerking in front of a war memorial.

She faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 3 million rubles (47,800 euros) if she is found guilty of “defiling the symbol of Russian military glory.”