Russia has suffered the largest number of casualties in a single day as Ukrainian troops targeted unequipped Russian soldiers, killing at least 1,000. Ukraine’s defence ministry has claimed that up to 71,200 Russian soldiers have so far been killed in the conflict.
In its latest escalation, Russia has pulled out of a United Nations-brokered deal with Ukraine to export grains amid war. The deal was brokered in July by the UN and Turkey. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded security guarantees from Ukraine after he accused Kyiv of using the grain corridor to attack Russian ships in Crimea.
Meanwhile, water and power supplies were fully restored in Kyiv days after missile strikes knocked out critical infrastructure in the war-torn country.
Here are the top developments.
According to the Ukrainian ministry of defence, almost 1,000 soldiers were killed in 24 hours, days after British defence intelligence analysts said “several thousand” newly mobilised Russian soldiers (most of them reservists) deployed to the front line are “poorly equipped”.
Russia ended its military call-up campaign where reservists were drafted into the military to fight the war in Ukraine. According to Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, 41,000 reservists were called up and deployed to the battlefield.
The mobilisation was ordered by President Vladimir Putin last month after his forces suffered major battlefield setbacks, the first time since it launched the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Meanwhile, Russia has pulled out of a United Nations-brokered deal with Ukraine to export grains amid war. Russia announced the move after accusing Kyiv of a “massive” drone attack on its fleet on Saturday, which Ukraine labelled a “false pretext”.
On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Erdogan that Russia would consider resuming the grain deal with Ukraine only after an investigation into the drone attacks on the Crimean naval base of Sevastopol.
In response to Russia’s move, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the grain shipping corridor to get food out of his country, part of an agreement which Russia has now suspended, needs reliable, long-term protection. Russia must clearly understand that it will receive a harsh global response to any measures that disrupt our food exports, he added.
The United States has accused Russia of deciding to let the developing world “starve” after pulling out of the UN-brokered deal.
“Moscow doesn’t care if the world goes hungry. Moscow doesn’t care if people starve. Moscow doesn’t care if the world’s food insecurity crisis is compounded,” a US official said.
The UN coordinator for grain and fertiliser exports under the accord said on Twitter that he expects loaded ships to leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday. Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter that eight vessels were expected to pass through the corridor on Thursday.
On the battlefield, Russia has pivoted to systematically attacking Ukrainian energy infrastructure as the Russian army is facing pushbacks on the eastern and the southern fronts.In the south, Kyiv’s forces are preparing for fierce battles to recapture the city of Kherson and its surrounding region.
Kherson is one of the four regions — along with Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Lugansk — that Moscow claims to have annexed but does not fully control.
Russia fired missiles at Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv in what President Vladimir Putin called retaliation for an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet over the weekend. Ukraine said it shot most of those missiles down, but some had hit power stations, knocking out electricity and water supplies.
Vladimir Putin’s escalation in recent weeks came in retaliation for the October 9 bombing of the Kerch Bridge – a key link to Crimea. Russia blamed Ukraine for the bombing and called it an act of terrorism, an allegation that Kyiv denied. Ukraine says the strikes on energy grids are intended to freeze Ukrainians in winter.
Recent missile and drone strikes have knocked out more than 40 per cent of Ukraine’s power-generating capabilities, leading to energy rationing and blackouts throughout the country. They signal the start of what could be a cold, dark winter in Ukraine as war rages on.