Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Much of Kherson and neighboring Mykolaiv left without power

Russian forces almost destroyed an energy facility that supplies power to the western bank of the Kherson region — which Russian troops retreated from last week — and a large part of the neighboring Mykolaiv region.

Ukrenergo National Power Company CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said on Facebook Tuesday that “the energy facility … was practically destroyed. It doesn’t exist anymore.”

Men play chess by a flashlight in a park in Kyiv during a power cut.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Two autotransformers, which each weighed 250 tons, were blown up, he added, with other parts of the unit damaged. He said is was working hard to restore power to the Kherson region (much of which has been without power since Nov. 6) but that a large amount of landmines, laid by retreating Russian forces, are impeding its progress.

— Holly Ellyatt

More on that draft communique from the G-20…

G-20 nations have agreed a draft communique condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying “today’s era must not be of war.”

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy — constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks,” the joint statement will say, according to a draft document seen by CNBC.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani (C front) attends the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Nusa Dua, on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, on July 16, 2022.


The joint statement also said “the peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.”

The communique has been agreed upon by the highest public servants of all the G-20 nations and is expected to be approved by the heads of state later before the end of the summit. At the time of writing, it was unclear whether China was among the nations condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Read more here: G-20 nations to condemn Russia’s Ukraine invasion as Foreign Minister Lavrov watches on

— Silvia Amaro

Russian foreign minister responds to Zelenskyy’s address

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives for the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is in Bali for the latest G-20 summit of leading global economies, said that the Ukrainian president’s rejection of a future peace deal with Russia shows Kyiv’s “unwillingness to negotiate.”

Earlier at the G-20 summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the summit that there would be “no Minsk-3” agreement, alluding to two previous failed attempts at a cease-fire agreement in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have fought Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Russia’s representative at the G-20, Lavrov, told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that Zelenskyy’s comments “absolutely” confirm Kyiv’s unwillingness to negotiate.

Kyiv has said it will not negotiate with Russia while President Vladimir Putin is in power, and that it must see Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine, vowing to retake every piece of lost territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and the Donbas.

 Holly Ellyatt

UK prime minister lambasts Putin’s regime at G-20, calling out ‘barbaric’ war

Addressing global leaders and Russia’s foreign minister at the G-20 summit in Bali, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was unreserved in his criticism of Russia’s war. He told delegates that “there can be no normalization of Putin’s behaviour, which has no place in the international community.”

“Putin and his proxies will never have a legitimate seat at the table until they end their illegal war in Ukraine. At the G-20, the Putin regime – which has stifled domestic dissent and fabricated a veneer of validity only through violence – will hear the chorus of global opposition to its actions.”  

In a pre-released statement on Sunak’s speech at the G-20, the U.K. said that Russia has” acted with disregard for sovereignty and international law – pillars of the stable international system the G20 was created to preserve.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends a working session on food and energy security during the G-20 Summit on Nov. 15, 2022 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

It said the U.K. and its allies would use the summit to “call out Putin’s callous disregard for human rights and stress that Russia’s role in the international system will never be normalised while the war in Ukraine continues.”

Addresing the summit Tuesday, Sunak said Putin had the power to change the situation but said “it is notable that Putin didn’t feel able to join us here. Maybe if he had, we could get on with sorting things out.”

“Because the single biggest difference that anyone could make is for Russia to get out of Ukraine and end this barbaric war.”

Holly Ellyatt

Most G-20 members strongly condemn war in Ukraine, draft declaration says

A draft of a declaration by leaders of the Group of 20 major economies, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is exacerbating fragilities in the global economy.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” said the draft declaration, which was confirmed by a European diplomat. The 16-page document has yet to be adopted by G-20 members.

The summit, which host Indonesia and other countries have said should focus on the global economy, has instead been overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy,” the draft declaration said.

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends a working session on food and energy security during the G-20 Summit on Nov. 15, 2022, in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday said the G-20 is not the place for security issues to be discussed and should instead prioritize the world’s economic challenges, ahead of a meeting expected to be dominated by the war.

The draft document also said the G-20’s central banks are monitoring inflationary pressures and calibrating monetary policy accordingly.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged counterparts at the summit via video link to step up their leadership and stop Russia’s war in his country under a peace plan he has proposed.

Russia, which was represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rather than President Vladimir Putin, said it is conducting a special military operation in Ukraine.

— Reuters

Russia names new ‘temporary capital’ of Kherson region

A woman celebrates Ukrainian troops’ liberation of Kherson city on Monday, Nov. 14. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to the city after Russian forces fled to the other side of the Dnipro River.

Paula Bronstein | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Moscow named a port town on the Azov Sea, Henichesk, as the new “temporary capital” of the Kherson region, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said Tuesday.

Ukraine’s troops drove Russian forces out of the Ukrainian region’s actual capital, Kherson city, last week. The Kremlin illegally declared Kherson a part of Russia following a sham referendum in September.

Henichesk is “well positioned to coordinate action against potential Ukrainian threats from both Kherson city in the west, or via Melitopol to the north-east,” the U.K. ministry said as part of a daily briefing on the Ukraine war.

“Above all, it is currently out of range of Ukrainian artillery systems which have inflicted heavy damage on Russian field command posts,” the ministry said.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has stated his government’s intention to retake the entire region of Kherson.

— Ted Kemp

Ukraine sets out its ‘formula for peace’ as he addresses G-20 from afar

The Group of 20 meeting in Bali began earlier on Tuesday and the war in Ukraine is already taking center stage at the summit.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the summit virtually today and outlined what he called a “Ukrainian formula for peace,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov among those listening to the address.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a surprise visit to Kherson on Nov. 14, 2022, in Kherson, Ukraine.

Paula Bronstein | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Zelenskyy said “there is a set of solutions that can be implemented to really guarantee peace” and listed them as follows on Telegram after his speech:

1. Radiation and nuclear safety
2. Food safety
3. Energy security
4. Release of all prisoners and deportees
5. Implementation of the U.N. Charter and restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the world order
6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities
7. Restoring justice
8. Anti-ecocide
9. Prevention of escalation
10. Fixing the end of the war

Zelenskyy ruled out a further peace agreement along the lines of the “Minsk” agreements, previous attempts at peace deals between Ukraine and Russia that were brokered by Germany and France in a bid to stop the prewar conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

“We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilization. There will be no Minsk-3, which Russia will violate immediately after the agreement,” Zelenskyy said.

— Holly Ellyatt

The U.S., U.K. and EU jointly call for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative

A view shows silos of grain from Odesa Black Sea port, before a shipment of grain as the government of Ukraine awaits signal from UN and Turkey to start grain shipments, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine July 29, 2022.

Nacho Doce | Reuters

The European Union, United States and United Kingdom jointly called on Russia and Ukraine to extend and expand the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is up for renewal at the end of this week.

“We call on the parties to the Initiative to extend its term and scale up its operations to meet the evident demand,” the joint statement said. “And we reiterate our support for other efforts by the United Nations to facilitate access to food and fertilizer in global markets.”

The group affirmed its commitment to global food security in the statement, noting that sanctions are not directed at Russia’s food or fertilizer sectors.

The U.N.-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative was agreed to in July. Since then, the U.N. estimates the deal has facilitated the export of approximately 10 million tons of grain and other foods from Ukraine. Russia has not yet agreed to the year-long renewal of the program, claiming that the agreement exempting its fertilizers from sanctions is not being respected.

— Rocio Fabbro

IAEA will send nuclear safety missions to four Ukrainian nuclear sites, including Chornobyl

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi points on a map of a Ukrainian power plant during a news conference in Vienna, Austria March 4, 2022.

Leonhard Foeger | Reuters

The International Atomic Energy Agency will send nuclear safety and security missions within the coming weeks to three active nuclear power plants in Ukraine, as well as to the Chornobyl site.

An agreement was reached between the Ukrainian government and the IAEA, at the request of Ukraine, to dispatch teams of nuclear safety and security experts to the Khmelnytskyi and Rivne nuclear power plants in southern Ukraine and an expert mission to Chornobyl, the IAEA said in a statement. Experts are continuously present at the Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest in Europe, which has been under Russian military occupation since March.

“From the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the IAEA has been doing everything it can to prevent a nuclear accident with potentially serious consequences for public health and the environment,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

“Immediately after I received this latest request from Ukraine, we developed concrete proposals and began preparing the technical and logistical details and we are now ready to deploy these new missions soon,” he said. “While the world is focused on the precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, we must not forget the other nuclear facilities located in a country at war.”

Each mission should last for about a week, according to Grossi, but more may follow if needed.

The IAEA has regularly carried out safeguard activities in these facilities. Last month, at the request of the Ukrainian government, the agency completed in-field verification to test the nuclear capabilities and activities of the sites following Russia’s “dirty bomb” allegations.

— Rocio Fabbro

U.N. General Assembly calls for Russian reparations to Ukraine

Russian is one of five nations that hold a veto power on the U.N’s Security Council.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine including by paying reparations.

The vote in the 193-member world body was 94-14 with 73 abstentions. It was the lowest level of support of the five Ukraine-related resolutions adopted by the General Assembly since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of its smaller neighbor.

The resolution recognizes the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury'” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” against Ukraine.

It recommends that the assembly’s member nations, in cooperation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to document claims and information on damage, loss or injury to Ukrainians and the government caused by Russia.

— Associated Press

182 towns and villages in Kherson now under Ukrainian control, national police chief says

Ukrainian police control 182 towns and villages in the Kherson region, with a continuously increasing police presence in the territories vacated by Russia, according to the head of the Ukrainian national police.

Police chief Igor Klymenko acknowledged that, beyond the Ukrainian victory in the region, officials are now faced with the difficult task of ensuring the safety of the city following Russian occupation.

“There is still a lot of work to do. Especially for our explosives technicians,” Klymenko said in a Facebook post. “It is necessary to examine every administrative building, infrastructure facilities, so that it becomes possible to restore the normal life of the cities.”

Klymenko said police units will be patrolling streets “day and night” and are at the disposal of locals.

The withdrawal of Russian forces from the southern Ukrainian region late last week was met with celebrations, as inhabitants unfurled their Ukrainian flags and took to the streets. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the regional capital earlier to participate in an official ceremony to raise the national flag in the city and to present state awards to Ukrainian soldiers.

— Rocio Fabbro

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

Eleanore Beatty

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