Ukraine’s Zelenskyy urges European unity; Russian reservists suffer heavy losses

“We share your pain”: Putin met mothers of Russian soldiers

President Vladimir Putin met on Friday with the mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, telling them he and his country share their pain.

Sitting with a group of women around a table with tea and cake, Putin said he understood that nothing could replace the loss of a son.

President Vladimir Putin met with the mothers of Russian soldiers, telling them he shares their pain.

Associate | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

“I would like you to know that I personally and the entire leadership of the country share your pain,” he said, according to a recorded television clip seen by Reuters.

“We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son – especially for a mother. We share this pain,” he added.

The clip does not immediately show the mothers’ response to Putin’s comments.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian troops have been sent to fight in Ukraine this year, including about 300,000 reservists who were called up in September in a “partial” mobilization.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russian strikes put millions in trouble, says UN rights chief

At least 77 civilians have died and millions have faced extreme hardship since Russia began hitting Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in October, the UN human rights chief said.

“Millions have been put into extreme hardship and appalling living conditions by these strikes,” Volker Türk said in a statement, according to Reuters.

“Taken as a whole, this raises serious problems under international humanitarian law, which requires a specific and direct military advantage for any object attacked,” he added.

Turk also noted that an early analysis of videos allegedly showing Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners of war showed it was “highly likely that they are authentic.”

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— Karen Gilchrist

Russia increases shelling of Kherson

Russian forces continued shelling the southern city of Kherson, killing seven people and wounding at least 21 more in the latest round of strikes, according to an official.

Shelling from Russian positions across the Dnieper River has become a regular occurrence since the city was liberated from Russian occupation two weeks ago.

Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said a residential area was hit by Russian artillery and anti-aircraft fire at around 5:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, which set a high-rise building on fire. According to him, a playground was also hit.

— Karen Gilchrist

Ukrainian President Zelensky calls on Europeans to remain united

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday urged Europeans to remain united in the face of Russia’s war.

Speaking via video link at a conference in Lithuania, Zelensky described the task as the number one mission in the region.

“There is no division, there is no split between Europeans and we have to keep that. That is our number one mission this year,” he said.

UK says Russian reservists are suffering heavy losses

The UK Ministry of Defense said Russian reservists, two months after being mobilized by Putin, were “very likely” to suffer heavy casualties after being asked to dig trenches in eastern Ukraine.

“The Kremlin is likely to be concerned that a growing number of reservist families are willing to risk arrest by protesting the conditions under which their relatives serve,” the daily update said on Friday.

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Putin supporters increasingly use ‘genocidal rhetoric’

Prominent supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin are increasingly using “genocidal rhetoric” when discussing and demonizing Ukrainians, analysts say, with some pro-war commentators hailing the concept of the “liquidation” of the modern state of Ukraine.

Read the full story here.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on screen in Red Square as he speaks at a rally and concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine — Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia — in central Moscow on September 30, 2022.

Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images

About 70% of Kyiv remains without electricity due to Russian shelling, Ukraine claims

Local residents walk near a downed electricity pole and a residential building destroyed during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, March 25, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

The head of the Kyiv regional government reiterated that approximately 70% of the regional government remains without electricity.

Alexey Kuleba also said the death toll from the latest Russian airstrikes had risen to seven, according to a translation by NBC News.

Rockets rained down on Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after officials said a newborn became one of the youngest casualties of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.

— Amanda Macias

50 mass grave sites have been discovered in recently liberated Ukrainian cities, Kyiv said

The Ukrainian government said investigators had found 50 separate sites of mass graves in the recently liberated regions of Mykolaiv and Kherson.

“In the liberated territories of Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, 50 places of possible burials have been investigated,” the government wrote on the Telegram messaging app, according to a translation by NBC News.

“Search teams have identified the bodies of around 200 victims,” ​​the statement added.

The Kremlin has previously denied allegations that its forces used mass graves in areas that were once heavily occupied.

— Amanda Macias

Backlog of 79 ships waiting to transport harvest from Ukraine

Ships, including those carrying grain from Ukraine and awaiting inspections, are seen anchored off the coast of Istanbul on November 2, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

The organization that monitors Ukrainian crop exports said it has a backlog of 79 ships waiting to be loaded with cargo.

The UN-led Joint Coordination Center also said around 110 laden ships were awaiting inspection in Turkish territorial waters.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal struck in July between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, eased Russia’s maritime blockade and reopened three key Ukrainian ports.

Since the signing of the deal, more than 490 ships carrying 11.8 million metric tons of grain and other food products have departed for destinations around the world.

Kyiv previously accused Moscow of suspending inspections and delaying the movement of ships.

— Amanda Macias

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