A man in Kherson city stands atop a Russian tank and flies the Ukrainian flag, defying the Russian occupation, March 2022
UPDATE 1803 GMT:
The Russian Government has reinforced the order of its proxy authority for residents of occupied Kherson city in southern Ukraine to flee, as an Ukrainian counter-offensive closes in.
Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov said in a video message, “The situation today is difficult. It’s vital to save your lives….It won’t be for long. You will definitely return.”
UPDATE 1702 GMT:
In calls with US and European counterparts, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has pushed the unfounded claim that Ukrainian forces are preparing to use a “dirty bomb”.
Shoygu has spoken with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin twice in three days, and also with French and British ministers.
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace “refuted these [Russian] claims and cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation”.
UPDATE 1630 GMT:
Russian forces again fired S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on civilian sites in the port city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine early Sunday.
Two apartment blocks were destroyed, but there was no fatalities as most residents evacuated after attacks in April.
The first missile hit at 1:35 am, blasting a hole in the top two stories of a five-story apartment block. The second sturck eight minutes later, demolishing a playground and a small store inside the courtyard.
UPDATE 1505 GMT:
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on all countries to ban the Russian State broadcaster RT.
Kuleba made the appeal following comments by RT’s director of broadcasting, Anton Krasovsky, which seek to incite violent crimes against Ukrainians.
RT and the State disinformation outlet Sputnik have been banned across the European Union and in the UK since March, soon after Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Governments which still have not banned RT must watch this excerpt. This is what you side with if you allow RT to operate in your countries. Aggressive genocide incitement (we will put this person on trial for it), which has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Ban RT worldwide! https://t.co/xJC371rqyg
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) October 23, 2022
UPDATE 1143 GMT:
A violinist performs in an underground shelter in Rivne in western Ukraine:
A bomb shelter in Rivne. As a result of russian missile attacks, part of the city remains without electricity and water. pic.twitter.com/nMEeNCCraj
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) October 22, 2022
UPDATE 0934 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed two civilians and injured nine.
Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said investigators also found the bodies of four people killed while the area was under Russian occupation.
“Every war criminal will be punished!” he promised.
UPDATE 0928 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says power has been restored to some areas of the country after Russia’s missile and drone attacks knocked out 30% of energy infrastructure.
Despite more than a dozen missiles hitting facilities on Saturday, Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation that power was back in Odesa in the south and in Khmelnytsky and Rivne in the west.
There are positive reports from other regions as well. But in many cities, in many districts, recovery work is still ongoing. We are trying to return power to people as soon as possible.
Zelenskiy urged continued conservation:
The stability of the power industry of our entire state depends on each city and district of Ukraine.
Even if the enemy can leave us temporarily without power, it will still never succeed in leaving us without the desire to make things right, to mend and return them to normal.
UPDATE 0707 GMT:
The G7 countries have condemned Russia’s kidnapping of senior staff of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as Moscow presses for the transfer of Europe’s largest site to Russian control.
The officials of the G7 — the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and the UK — said in a Saturday statement, “We urge Russia to immediately return full control of the ZNPP to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine.”
In recent weeks, Russian forces have abducted the head of the plant and other top personnel. While the head and the director of human resources were released after a few days, the Russians kidnapped the assistant general director and the head of information technology on Wednesday and took them to an unknown location.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: With Ukrainian troops advancing further in the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine, Russian proxy officials have ordered residents to leave Kherson city.
Earlier this week, Moscow and its proxies advised people to depart, and said they would move 60,000 out of the city. On Saturday they escalated advice into a command:
All civilians of Kherson must immediately leave the city. Civilians of Kherson and all departments and ministries of civil administration must cross today to the left (east) bank of the Dnipro.
The proxy administration cited “increased danger of massive shelling of the city and the threat of terrorist attacks”. Residents were instructed to bring clothes, valuables, and documents, indicating that the Russians do not expect a quick return to the western Kherson region.
The Ukrainian counter-offensive continues to attack Russian positions, including bridges and routes for resupply and movement of troops. On Saturday, it moved into the villages of Charivne and Chkalove, about 33 km (21 miles) northwest of the city of Nova Kakhovka, as Russian forces withdrew. Moscow’s officers and medics have also reportedly evacuated from Beryslav.
The location of Charivne, shown by the red marker:
The Ukraine General Staff said Russian forces are removing patients from the Kakhovka Hospital on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, seeking to free up beds for troops wounded during the retreat.
Max, the Ukrainian commander of a unit flying reconnaissance and attack drones that guide artillery fire, summarized the situation. “We have a window” to liberate the region, among the first territory taken by Russia in its invasion of February 24.
Like Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Max warns that the Russians may blow up the Nove Kakhovka Dam, with floods affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
It is possible as it doesn’t matter to them. They don’t care. If they are losing the areas they don’t mind making the situation for Ukrainians worse.