An Iranian-made drone flies over Kyiv, Ukraine during a Russian attack, October 17, 2022 (Sergei Supinsky/AFP)
EA on PTV World and ANews: The G20 Summit, Ukraine, and Russia
Saturday’s Coverage: Almost 50% of Ukrainian Energy Grid Knocked Out by Russia’s Attacks
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1840 GMT:
France has sent another two air defense systems to Ukraine, as well as two multiple rocket launchers.
Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said France is also considering a request for radars.
France has given $655 million in military aid to Kyiv during the Russian invasion.
UPDATE 1823 GMT:
The Ukraine Parliament’s commissioner for human rights has denied Moscow’s claims of an execution of Russian troops.
Dmytro Lubinets cited a video showing that Russians were “using a staged capture” to commit “a war crime by opening fire on the Ukrainian Armed Forces”. Because of this, the Russian soldiers “cannot be considered prisoners of war”.
UPDATE 1818 GMT:
The first ATB store, a 24/7 supermarket, has reopened in liberated Kherson in southern Ukraine.
People were reportedly crying as they entered, nine days after Russian forces retreated to end an 8-month occupation.
First ATB supermarket reopens in Kherson after 8 months of occupation.
Since the city is mostly without electricity, the store also opened a charging station. pic.twitter.com/60wUynZsAq
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 20, 2022
UPDATE 1331 GMT:
Ukrainian officials say Russia has again shelled the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces since March.
The nuclear energy company Energoatom said there were at least 12 strikes on the plant’s infrastructure, posting the list of damaged equipment. It accused the Russians of disabling the components needed for the restart of two of the plant’s six dormant reactors.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director General, Rafael Grossi, said those responsible for the “powerful explosions” on Saturday night and Sunday morning are “playing with fire”.
Plant management told the two IAEA experts at the complex that there had been damage to some buildings, systems, and equipment; however, “none of them so far” were critical for safety and security.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Iran and Russia have completed an agreement for Tehran to make hundreds of attack drones on Russian territory, according to “new intelligence seen by US and other Western security agencies”.
Iran’s “kamikaze” drone, the Shahed-136, has been vital for Russia as it tries to stave off the defeat of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. More than 400 have been used, alongside missiles and rockets, in Russian attacks trying to break Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and break civilian will.
While most of the drones have been downed by air defenses, those that “swarm” in packs have been able to get through and strike targets. They have contributed to the Russian campaign which by Friday had knocked out half of Ukraine’s energy grid and left 10 million people without power.
“Three officials familiar with the matter” said Russian and Iranian officials confirmed the deal during a meeting in Iran in early November, with a team of Russian defense industry staff working out the logistics,. Designs and key components are being transferred for production to begin within months.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev traveled to Tehran on November 9 for discussions with Iranian officials. The official readout of the meetings said they discussed economic sanctions and other “Western interference”.
US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement:
Iran and Russia can lie to the world, but they can’t hide the facts: Tehran is helping kill Ukrainian civilians through the provision of weapons and assisting Russia in its operations. It’s another sign of how isolated both Iran and Russia are.
The United States — with allies and partners — is pursuing all means to expose, deter, and confront Iran’s provision of these munitions and Russia’s use of them against the Ukrainian people. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the critical security assistance it needs to defend itself, including air defense systems.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not reply to a request for comment.
Iran’s UN mission in New York, in response to questions about the reported technology-sharing arrangement said the two countries “maintained bilateral defense, scientific, and research cooperation, that predates the start of the Ukrainian conflict”.
However, it maintained Tehran’s denial that its drones have been used in Russian attacks:
Following the alleged claims of using Iranian drones in the Ukraine conflict, Iran has requested a joint expert meeting with Ukraine authorities to consider such allegations.
Significant steps have been taken so far in the collaborative dialogue between Iranian and Ukrainian defense experts, and it will continue to clear up any misunderstanding on this matter.
UK Pledges Air Defense to Ukraine
The UK has pledged more support for Ukraine’s air defense, during a meeting between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv.
London announced another £50 million ($59.5 million) with 125 anti-aircraft guns, radars, and anti-drone technology.
Zelenskiy wrote of the discussion with Sunak, who took office on October 25, “During today’s meeting, we discussed the most important issues both for our countries and for global security.”
Sunak said at a press conference, “In years to come, we’ll tell our grandchildren of your story, how proud and sovereign people stood up in the face of an appalling onslaught, how you fought, how you sacrificed, how you prevailed.”