Power restored in occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson


Kremlin-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson said Tuesday that power had been fully restored to its main city, after blaming Kyiv for attacks that disrupted water and electricity supplies.The city, occupied by the Russian army since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, had been without water and electricity since Sunday. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

13:08pm Ukraine’s Zelensky urges ‘unwavering unity’ in US until ‘peace restored’

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged the United States to remain united, as questions hover over American support for his country following midterm elections to determine control of the US Congress.

“I call on you to maintain unwavering unity, as it is now, until that very day when we all hear those important words we have been dreaming of … Until we hear that peace has finally been restored. Democracies must not stop on their way to the victory,” he said in a recorded address, receiving the US Liberty Medal.

US President Joe Biden, who has been a key ally to Ukraine in supplying weapons and financial backing to fend off Moscow’s invasion, has been encouraging voters to back Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

10:51am: Power restored in occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson

Kremlin-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson said Tuesday that power had been fully restored to its main city, after blaming Kyiv for attacks that disrupted water and electricity supplies.

Kherson city was the first urban hub to be captured by Russia after Moscow announced its “special military operation” in February and it has suffered outages after strikes Sunday for which Moscow and Kyiv have traded traded blame.

“There is electricity, despite sabotage and attacks,” Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region said on social media Tuesday.

Ukraine troops have been pushing closer towards the city in recent months and its capture by Kyiv would be a significant defeat for Moscow.

9:55am: White House does not deny report Biden advisor Sullivan in talks with Moscow

The United States reserves the right to hold talks with Russia at the senior level on risk reduction, the White House said on Monday in not denying a report that national security adviser Jake Sullivan has been talking with Moscow.

Sullivan, speaking on Monday at an event at the Economic Club of New York, did not say he had been engaged himself in direct talks but noted he had said repeatedly that “we have channels to communicate with the Russian Federation at senior levels”.

“We have done so when it’s been necessary to clarify potential misunderstandings and try to reduce risk and reduce the possibility of catastrophe like the potential use of nuclear weapons,” he said.

The White House, which has been careful not to make diplomatic moves concerning Ukraine without Ukrainian involvement, did not deny the talks.

“We reserve the right to speak directly at senior levels about issues of concern to the United States. That has happened over the course of the past few months. Our conversations have focused only on … risk reduction and the US-Russia relationship,” White House Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

She said US support for Ukraine will be “unflinching and unwavering”.

8:54am: Swedish PM set to meet with Turkey’s Erdogan over NATO membership bid

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will seek Turkey’s approval for his country’s bid to join NATO during talks on Tuesday in Ankara with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has stalled the process and accused Sweden of harbouring militants.

Along with Finland, Sweden applied to join NATO in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkey had objected over security concerns related to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and other groups, and over the Nordic states’ arms-export bans.

The three sides signed a memorandum in June that lifted Turkey’s veto and obligated obligated Sweden and Finland to address its remaining concerns.

Erdogan was set to host Kristersson at the presidential palace on Tuesday afternoon, with a news conference scheduled for 15:30 GMT.

Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told Swedish Radio on Saturday his country’s new government would distance itself from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in its bid to win Turkey’s support for its membership in the Western defence alliance.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the PKK, which launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984 and is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

Sweden, along with the United States and several other NATO countries, has supported the YPG in the fight against Islamic State. Turkey has vowed to block Sweden’s application if it doesn’t stop.

7:51am: Ukrainian military says attacks in Kherson region kill more than 30 Russian personnel

The Ukrainian military reported hits on a Russian anti-aircraft facility and an ammunition dump, and on the destruction of Russian armour in the Beryslav district of the Kherson region, in a statement early on Tuesday.

It said 32 Russian military personnel were killed.

7:35am: Ukraine’s military says Russian forces preparing for ‘street battles’ in Kherson

Ukraine accused Russia of looting empty homes in the southern city of Kherson and occupying them with troops in civilian clothes to prepare for street fighting in what both sides predict will be one of the war’s most important battles.

Ukraine’s military said Russian forces, “disguised in civilian clothes, occupy the premises of civilians and strengthen positions inside for conducting street battles”.

Russian forces were “involved in looting and theft from residents and from infrastructure sites and are taking away equipment, food and vehicles to the Russian Federation”, the military said in an update late on Monday.

Reuters was seeking comment from Russian authorities on the Ukrainian allegations. Moscow denies abusing civilians.

In recent days, Russia has ordered civilians out of Kherson in anticipation of a Ukrainian assault to recapture the city, which was the first to be seized by Moscow’s forces following their invasion in February.

Kherson, with a prewar population of nearly 300,000, has been left cold and dark after power and water were cut to the surrounding area over the past 48 hours, both sides said.

Russian-installed officials blamed Ukrainian “sabotage”, while Ukrainian officials said the Russians had dismantled 1.5 kilometres of power lines.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, and Reuters) 

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