Wednesday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy — “We Will Do Everything To Give People Electricity and Heat”

Ukraine: Another Dangerous Escalation as Putin Blocks Grain Exports

Source: Institute for the Study of War


The Russian proxy deputy administrator in the occupied Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, has posted that it is “most likely” Russian forces will withdraw from Kherson city.

Stremousov indicated that the troops will cross to the left bank of the Dnipro River, following the removal of tens of thousands of Ukrainian residents. He posted on Telegram that “the remaining residents of Kherson put themselves in danger”.


Seven ships with agricultural products have left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Thursday.

The ships are carrying 290,000 tons of food products for European and Asian countries.


Electricity has been restored to all consumers in the Kyiv region after Monday’s Russian attacks.

Scheduled outages began from 5 am to maintain a stable supply.

The Russian missile strikes had knocked out power to 80% of consumers. By Monday evening, repairs reduced that to 40%.

There are also scheduled blackouts in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine following “serious destruction” from overnight attacks, said Governor Valentyn Reznichenko.


The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been disconnected again from the power grid, after Russian shelling damaged the remaining high-voltage lines.

Ukraine nuclear agency Energoatom said the plant is being cooled by backup diesel generators.

The mayor of nearby Energodar, Dmytro Orlov, posted on Telegram that the plant was blacked out at 11:04 pm after the shelling damaged the last two electrical lines: “All 20 diesel generators were switched on.”

He warned that there is only a 15-day supply of diesel fuel: “The countdown has begun.”

Russian officials have threatened for weeks to transfer the plant to Moscow’s nuclear power plant operator Rosenergoatom.

The disconnection of the complex from the grid appears to be part of the plan — Renat Karchaa, advisor to the general director of Rosenergoatom, said the transfer will occur after the plant uses up all available fuel reserves.

The Russian-installed head of occupied Energodar, Alexander Volga, confirmed that the integration of the complex and its Ukrainian staff into Russian systems has begun.


The UN Security Council overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s latest propaganda ploy, the establishment of a commission over its unsupported claims that Ukraine and the US are carrying out “military biological” activities.

Since early in its February 24 invasion, Russia has put out disinformation that the US helped Ukraine establish laboratories for biological warfare.


The Biden Administration says North Korea has secretly shipped a “significant number” of artillery shells to Russia, as Moscow faces shortages in its eight-month invasion.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said US intelligence assesses that the North Koreans are “trying to make it appear as though [the shells] are being sent to countries in the Middle East or north Africa”.

US analysts do not believe that the munitions will alter the battlefield situation as Ukraine advances in the east and the south. Russia’s artillery advantage, significant through the spring and summer, has been eroded by advanced weapons systems sent by the international community to Kyiv.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Vladimir Putin has suffered a humiliating defeat over his threat to withdraw from the July deal lifting Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

On Wednesday, only four days after suspending Russian participation in the agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN, Putin U-turned. The reversal came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan firmly rejected Putin’s approach for support.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who had spoken with Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, emphasized that Turkey expected Moscow to reconsider its suspension. He said the shipments were a “purely humanitarian activity which should be separated from the conflict conditions”.

After Putin’s confirmation of his reversal, Erdoğan told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, “the ability of Ukraine and Russia to sell grain was of critical importance for the whole world”. He added that ”diplomatic efforts should be increased to end the war with a just solution”.

Zelenskiy tweeted his gratitude:

UN Secretary General António Guterres welcomed Russia’s return and expressed hope for the renewal of the agreement when it expires on November 19, continuing “his engagement with all actors towards the renewal and full implementation of the initiative”.

Since Russia’s five-month blockade was lifted in July, Ukraine has exported about 10 million tons of grains and other foodstuffs.

The Russian suspension affected more than 200 vessels, but Kyiv, Turkey, and the UN were already organizing defiance by continuing shipments. Twelve left Ukrainian ports on Monday, and another eight were scheduled to depart on Thursday.

“Russian Blackmail Has Led Nowhere”

Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation, “Today, we have a significant diplomatic outcome for our country and the whole world – the Grain Export Initiative will continue being implemented. Russian blackmail has led nowhere.”

He emphasized the worldwide significance of Putin’s threat and climbdown:

Everyone saw that there is only one threat to global food security in our region, and that is the Russian Federation, and no one else….

Every Russian missile that hits our ports, grain storage facilities, and power plants that power our agricultural production ultimately affects the standard of living of tens of millions of people in many countries. This includes Egypt, Algeria, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam… This year they overpaid tens of billions of dollars for food – and only because of Russia, only because of crazy Russian aggression that destabilizes international trade.

Putin hid behind the assertion, “We demanded assurances and guarantees from the Ukrainian side that nothing like this would happen again, that the humanitarian corridors would not be used militarily.”

Given Ukraine’s position — supported by the UN — that it had not carried out military action through the humanitarian corridors, Putin’s statement was insignificant.

Instead, the Kremlin was left to count the cost of the event that triggered its suspension — explosions that damaged three Russian warships, including its Black Sea flagship Admiral Makarov — in Russian-occupied Crimea, and face the ongoing advance of Ukrainian counter-offensives in the east and south of the country.

Zelenskiy told the nation, “These are really striking changes. This shows both the failure of Russian aggression and how strong you and I are when we remain united.”