Ukraine latest: U.S. hasn’t enabled Ukraine to strike inside Russia, Blinken says

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24 continues, with casualties rising on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are mounting a strong counteroffensive against Russian troops, reclaiming territory lost when Moscow launched its invasion.

Ukraine has managed to withstand the Russian onslaught with the help of Western military aid, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regularly calls on the world to do more. For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

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India takes over G-20 chair as world seeks Ukraine breakthrough

Germany struggles to get China parts to replenish ammo stockpile

Ian Bremmer: The risk that Russia will go nuclear in Ukraine is real

Ukraine war will make China think twice about invading Taiwan

Note: Nikkei Asia decided on March 5 to suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code. Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Here are the latest developments:

Wednesday, Dec. 7 (Tokyo time)

7:00 a.m. The U.S. has “neither encouraged nor enabled Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says at a news conference.

“The important thing is to understand what Ukrainians are living through every day with the ongoing Russian aggression against their country, and our determination to make sure they have in their hands, along with many other partners around the world, the equipment that they need to defend themselves and their territory,” Blinken tells reporters.

The remarks come at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defense Minister Richard Marles.

Tuesday, Dec. 6

6:00 p.m. The supply of military aid to Ukraine is depleting Germany’s stockpiles of ammunition — an problem that may be exacerbated by the slowdown of component imports from China.

The massive bottlenecks in raw material supply “concern especially ammunition and special steels,” Wolfgang Hellmich, the defense affairs speaker for the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in parliament, tells Nikkei Asia when asked whether there are supply bottlenecks for China-sourced materials for military equipment.

German ammunition makers at a recent defense symposium near Munich said the lead time for orders of cotton linters from China — a key component for propelling charges for both small guns and artillery — has tripled to up to nine months, Die Welt reports. Read more.

2:40 p.m. A drone attack on an airfield in Russia’s Kursk region set fire to an oil storage tank, a regional governor said on Tuesday, a day after Russia accused Ukraine of drone attacks on two military airfields deep inside Russian territory. Roman Starovoyt, governor of the Kursk region bordering Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app that there were no casualties from the attack and the fire was “localized.” Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for any of the attacks.

11:00 a.m. Canada says it will contribute 15 million Canadian dollars ($11.04 million) for equipment needed by Ukraine to clear landmines. The assistance will help fund detection and clearance of landmines, unexploded explosive ordnance and other explosive war remnants. “The Ukrainian authorities now estimate that landmines are found in 30% of the country,” Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a speech on Monday at Carleton University in Ottawa.

8:30 a.m. Ukrainian drones struck two air bases deep inside Russian territory, the Kremlin says, shortly before Russian forces unleashed a massive missile barrage in Ukraine that struck homes and buildings and killed civilians. The Russian Defense Ministry said it had shot down two Ukrainian drones, as three Russian servicemen were killed and two aircraft slightly damaged. The attacks on the Engels base in the Saratov region on the Volga River and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region in western Russia were part of Ukraine’s efforts to curtail Russia’s long-range bomber force, the ministry said.

Monday, Dec. 5

11:00 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been named the Financial Times’ person of the year. “Written off by many Ukrainians before the February invasion as something of a joke, an amateur struggling to rise to the challenge of high office, the 44-year-old Zelenskyy has earned a place in history for his extraordinary display of leadership and fortitude,” the FT explains.

2:30 p.m. Japan implemented a price cap on Russian crude oil from Monday, but crude oil imported from the Sakhalin-2 plant will be excluded, the government says. The decision follows an agreement by the G-7 leading industrial nations and Australia on Friday to limit the price of Russian crude oil at $60 per barrel. The exclusion of crude oil from the far eastern Russian Sakhalin-2 project, which Japanese energy operators hold stakes in after the exit of Shell, was decided “in light of Japan’s energy security,” the government said in the statement.

Part of the Sakhalin-2 gas plant at the seaport of Prigorodnoye, Russia.

  © Reuters

9:30 a.m. The Group of Seven price cap on Russian seaborne oil came into force on Monday as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine, but Russia has said it will not abide by the measure even if it has to cut production. The price cap, to be enforced by the G-7, the European Union and Australia, comes on top of the European Union’s embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea and similar pledges by the United States, Canada, Japan and Britain. It allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G-7 and EU tankers, insurance companies and credit institutions, only if the cargo is bought at or below the price cap.

Sunday, Dec. 4

10:30 p.m. Russia is working on the possibility of banning oil supplies subject to a Western-imposed price cap, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday. “We are working on mechanisms to prohibit the use of a price cap instrument, regardless of what level is set, because such interference could further destabilize the market,” Novak said.

8:50 a.m. U.S. intelligence expects the reduced tempo in fighting in Ukraine to continue in the next several months and sees no evidence of a reduced Ukrainian will to resist, despite attacks on its power grid and other critical winter infrastructure, the director of national intelligence said on Saturday. “We’re seeing a kind of a reduced tempo already of the conflict … and we expect that’s likely to be what we see in the coming months,” Avril Haines told the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California.

Saturday, Dec. 3

5:00 a.m. The European Union agrees on a $60 price cap for Russian oil after securing the support of Poland by including a mechanism to keep the cap below the market rate.

In addition to reducing Russian revenues, the measure “will help us stabilize global energy prices, benefiting emerging economies around the world,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says on Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link from the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on Dec. 2.

  © Sputnik//Pool via Reuters

1:15 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin faults Western financial and military support for Ukraine while speaking by phone Friday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, alleging that this aid discourages Kyiv from conducting talks with Moscow, Russian news agency Tass reports.

“Attention was drawn to the destructive policy that is being pursued by Western countries, including Germany, who are flooding the [Kyiv] regime with weapons and training Ukrainian troops,” the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

Friday, Dec. 2

6:30 p.m. Germany is preparing to deliver seven Gepard tanks to Ukraine, adding to the 30 air-defense tanks already being used to fight the Russian army, according to a German government website. According to Spiegel magazine, which first reported the number of additional tanks, the seven Gepards, which were initially destined for the scrap pile, should arrive in Ukraine in spring 2023 and are currently being repaired by Munich-based arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz poses in front of a Gepard tank in August: Germany will deliver seven more tanks to Ukraine, adding to the 30 air-defense tanks already there.

  © Reuters

The government did not say when it planned to deliver the tanks, which it said have come from manufacturers’ stocks and whose deliveries in some cases depend on repair measures or production still being ongoing.

3:30 p.m. The ruble extends the week’s losses in early trade, slumping to fresh lows against the dollar, the euro and the yuan as the Russian currency traded without the support of a favorable month-end tax period that usually sees Russian exporters convert foreign currency revenues into rubles to pay local liabilities.

At 0610 GMT, the ruble was 0.4% weaker against the dollar at 61.73, earlier coming within a whisker of the 62 mark and its weakest since Nov. 7. It had lost 1% to trade at 65.10 versus the euro, at its weakest since July 7, and had shed 0.4% against the yuan to 8.76, slipping to its weakest since mid-October. The Russian currency may also come under pressure from the upcoming oil price cap.

9:30 a.m. European Union governments tentatively agree on a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil — an idea of the Group of Seven nations — with an adjustment mechanism to keep the cap at 5% below the market price, according to diplomats and a document seen by Reuters. The agreement still needs approval from all EU governments in a written procedure by Friday. Poland, which had pushed for the cap to be as low as possible, had, as of Thursday evening, not confirmed if it would support the deal, an EU diplomat said.

8:10 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden says he would talk with his Russian counterpart if Vladimir Putin expresses a desire to end the invasion of Ukraine, adding that he would only do so in consultation with NATO allies.

“I’m prepared if he’s willing to talk, to find out what he’s willing to do,” Biden tells a news conference at the White House after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. “But I’ll only do it in consultation with my NATO allies. I’m not going to do it on my own.”

Biden says that he has “no immediate plans” to contact Russia’s leader and that he has not seen any indications from Putin of a willingness to bring the war to an end.

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, said in a news conference with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Putin shows an interest in ending his war in Ukraine.

  © Reuters

3:40 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron reaffirm their support for Ukraine and warn that those who commit attacks on civilians will be held responsible.

“The presidents strongly condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and stress that intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes war crimes whose perpetrators must be held accountable,” the two leaders say in a statement after their summit in Washington.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accuses the U.S. and NATO of “directly participating” in the war not only by supplying arms, “but also with the training of personnel … on your territory.” He defends the infrastructure attacks as necessary, saying that “we disable energy facilities [in Ukraine] that allow you to pump lethal weapons into Ukraine to kill Russians.”

Lavrov says Moscow is ready to listen to anyone who wants to hold talks. Ukraine has said it will talk only after Russia leaves its territory — including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Thursday, Dec. 1

11:40 p.m. Xi Jinping should bring his influence to bear on Russia over the war in Ukraine, visiting European Council President Charles Michel tells the Chinese leader.

“I urged President Xi, as we did at our EU-China summit in April, to use his influence on Russia to respect the U.N. charter,” Michel is quoted as telling reporters.

Xi tells Michel it is necessary to avoid the escalation and expansion of the crisis, insist on persuading peace and promoting talks, and control the spillover impact of the crisis, China’s state-run Xinhua reports. China has always stood on the side of peace and will continue to play a constructive role in its own way, Xinhua reports.

Michel’s visit to Beijing comes after NATO members meeting in Romania discussed dealing with the “challenge” posed by China.

In a tweet, Michel says “engaging openly on all aspects of our relationship is the only way forward” with China.

8:00 p.m. India has taken over the Group of 20 presidency from Indonesia at a time when advanced and emerging economies alike are grappling with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its inflationary ripple effects.

After India won praise for helping to orchestrate a symbolic joint statement at the group’s November summit in Bali — something many thought would be impossible due to deep divisions over the war — analysts see the presidency as a unique opportunity for the country to make its mark on the international stage, and even push for a Ukraine cease-fire.

Since the Ukraine war began in February, many in the West have questioned India’s reluctance to explicitly condemn the invasion by its longtime ally and arms supplier. Read more.

The recently liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson has lost its power supply after heavy shelling by Russian forces.

  © Reuters

6:00 p.m. The recently liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson has lost its power supply after heavy shelling by Russian forces, the regional governor says. Kherson, which had endured weeks without basic utilities such as running water and electricity, partially regained its power supply last week after Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city from Russian forces earlier in November. Yaroslav Yanushevych, the governor of the Kherson region, blamed Russian shelling for the new power cut and said in a statement on the Telegram messaging platform that energy workers were trying to fix the problem.

3:40 p.m. Geoffrey Pyatt, assistant secretary for energy resources at the U.S. State Department, says he is confident that agreement will be reached on the level at which to cap prices for Russian seaborne oil under a Group of Seven (G-7) scheme. Pyatt was speaking to reporters in Tokyo after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Ryo Minami. A former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt is in Japan to meet officials on aspects of energy security.

8:50 a.m. The U.S. Army awarded a $1.2 billion contract to Raytheon Technologies for six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) for Ukraine on Wednesday, the Pentagon says. The United States has approved sending Ukraine a total of eight NASAMS to help fend off Russian missile and drone attacks. Ukraine received its first delivery of two NASAMS air defense systems in November. Others will be delivered in future months once they are built.

6:29 a.m. Lynne Tracy, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Russia, says the “plight of U.S. citizens detained in Russia will be a top priority for me,” during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Tracy, a career diplomat and current ambassador to Armenia, promises to visit detained Americans including basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan. Tracy, a Russian speaker, served as deputy chief of mission in Moscow from 2014 to 2017 and would be the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Russia.

3:00 a.m. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he believes Russia cannot win its war against Ukraine on the battlefield.

Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure constitute a “desperate scorched-earth strategy,” Scholz tells the Berlin Security Conference.

12:05 a.m. A staffer at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was hurt while inspecting what appears to have been a letter bomb, the Financial Times reports, citing Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko.

“The diplomat suffered minor injuries and is now hospitalized, receiving the necessary medical attention,” Nikolenko is quoted as saying. “There is no threat to his life.”

Kyiv has put all of its diplomatic missions on high alert, Nikolenko says.

Wednesday, Nov. 30

A Chinese H-6 bomber was among the Chinese and Russian warplanes spotted over the Sea of Japan this week, Japan’s Ministry of Defense says. (Photo courtesy of the ministry)

8:00 p.m. Two Chinese bombers and a pair of Russian ones flew for a long distance near Japan, the Japanese Defense Ministry says.

The Chinese H-6 planes and Russian Tu-95 bombers were seen entering the East China Sea from the Sea of Japan. They passed between Okinawa’s main island and Miyako island, the ministry says. A total of eight aircraft were involved in the flights. Japanese fighter jets were scrambled, but Japan’s airspace was not violated, according to the ministry.

Japan expressed serious concern to both Beijing and Moscow through diplomatic channels. According to the Ministry of Defense, Russia says the Chinese planes landed on Russian soil and vice versa, both of which were firsts for the countries’ militaries.

South Korea’s military says a total of eight Chinese and Russian warplanes entered the country’s air defense identification zone on Wednesday.

The Russian Defense Ministry says Russian long-range strategic bombers conducted joint patrol flights with Chinese bombers over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea on Wednesday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We have blocked 300 billion euros of the Russian Central Bank reserves and we have frozen 19 billion euros of Russian oligarchs’ money.”

  © Reuters

6:09 p.m. The European Commission proposed a plan to confiscate Russian assets that have been frozen to punish Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine. “We have blocked 300 billion euros ($310 billion) of the Russian Central Bank reserves and we have frozen 19 billion euros of Russian oligarchs’ money,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Union’s executive, said in a statement.

She said that in the short term, the EU and its partners could manage the funds and invest them. The proceeds would go to Ukraine and ultimately compensate for damages caused to the country.

“We will work on an international agreement with our partners to make this possible. And together, we can find legal ways to get to it,” she said. She also said that the EU was proposing the establishment of a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, “to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression.”

3:51 p.m. NATO foreign ministers will on Wednesday seek to reassure fragile countries in Russia’s neighborhood that they fear could be destabilized by Russia as the conflict in Ukraine drags on, squeezing energy supplies and pushing up prices.

“The reason we are having this gathering is a signal from us on how important it is to create stability not just for NATO countries but beyond,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said upon his arrival for a second day of talks in Bucharest.

NATO allies on Tuesday pledged more help to Ukraine to repair energy infrastructure heavily damaged by Russian bombardments in what the defense alliance’s chief said was Moscow using the winter weather as “a weapon of war.” Speaking on Tuesday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the 30-member alliance would hold talks with Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, countries “facing pressure from Russia.”

9:01 a.m. Britain said it had agreed in principle a digital trade deal with Ukraine, the eastern European country’s first such agreement as it seeks support for its economy following Russia’s invasion. Britain has sought to support Ukraine during the war, providing weapons and also taking steps to help its economy, such as eliminating tariffs on all Ukrainian goods.

“This agreement will mean our businesses and governments can collaborate even more and ensure Ukrainians have access to essential goods and services digital trade opens up,” British Trade Minister Kemi Badenoch said. “This will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s postwar future.” The deal covers areas such as streamlining digital border processes, cross-border data flows, electronic transactions and e-signatures.

3:30 a.m. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO on Tuesday against providing Ukraine with Patriot missile defense systems, denouncing the alliance as a “criminal entity” for delivering arms to what he called “extremist regimes.”

“If, as (NATO Secretary-General Jens) Stoltenberg hinted, NATO were to supply the Ukrainian fanatics with Patriot systems along with NATO personnel, they would immediately become a legitimate target of our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote on the Telegram messaging app. It was not clear from his message whether he was referring to Patriot systems, Ukrainian forces or NATO personnel becoming a target.

2:45 a.m. Top diplomats from NATO member countries and invited ministers say they remain steadfast in their commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We will never recognize Russia’s illegal annexations, which blatantly violate the U.N. Charter,” the ministers say in a statement. “We will continue and further step up political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and our shared values against Russian aggression, and will maintain our support for as long as necessary.”

2:00 a.m. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirm the alliance’s trans-Atlantic bond and say they are united against the challenge posed by China.

“The fundamental principle that we have and that we brought to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, that we bring to other challenges, including challenges that China poses to our interests, is that we are doing it together, we’re doing it united,” Blinken says in remarks with Stoltenberg before a meeting in Bucharest.

Foreign ministers from NATO members are meeting for two days in the Romanian capital. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is on hand for talks with officials including International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi.

Tuesday, Nov. 29

7:00 p.m. A Turkish company says it is in talks to send floating “powerships” to Ukraine to supply electricity to the beleaguered country as Russia steps up attacks on civilian infrastructure.

Karpowership, which claims the world’s largest fleet of such vessels, would send ships close to Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port, a senior company executive tells Nikkei.

“We are discussing with the Odesa governorate and Ukraine’s electricity utility Ukrenergo to put three powerships close to Odesa with a total output of 300 megawatts,” Zeynep Harezi, Karpowership board member for commercial operations, says in an interview. Read more.

6:30 p.m. China is willing to forge a closer partnership with Russia on energy issues to ensure global energy security, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday as the Group of Seven industrialized nations prepare to impose new measures on Russia’s oil exports. State broadcaster CCTV reported Xi’s comments, made in a message to a China-Russia energy forum. “China is willing to work with Russia to forge a closer energy partnership, promote clean and green energy development and jointly maintain international energy security and the stability of industry supply chains,” it cited the message as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Feb. 4. (Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters)

2:40 p.m. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will call on allies to pledge more winter aid for Kyiv at a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, after Ukraine’s president told residents to brace for another week of cold and darkness due to Russian attacks on the country’s infrastructure. NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest will focus on ramping up military assistance for Ukraine, such as air defense systems and ammunition, even as diplomats acknowledge supply and capacity issues. They will discuss providing additional nonlethal aid as well.

11:30 a.m. Kyiv plans to erect Christmas trees, minus lights, throughout the battered city in a defiant display of holiday spirit as the capital area’s millions of residents suffer through blackouts due to Russian attacks, officials of the Ukrainian capital say. “No one is going to cancel the New Year and Christmas, and the atmosphere of the New Year should be there,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told the RBC-Ukraine news agency in an interview. “We cannot allow Putin to steal our Christmas.”

Wires at a high-voltage substation of Ukraine energy company Ukrenergo damaged by a Russian military strike.

  © Reuters

9:00 a.m. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in Bucharest early on Tuesday, will announce new assistance to help restore Ukraine’s power transmission capacity, a senior State Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity. Washington has been working with U.S. utilities and hardware providers and with European nations to locate equipment that can restore high-voltage transmission stations damaged by Russian missile strikes, the official said.

2:45 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have vowed to strengthen energy cooperation in their latest meeting, which follows Tokayev’s election win.

Marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between their two countries in a meeting in Moscow, the two leaders also express opposition to nuclear war.

Tokayev, who leads Russia’s largest neighboring former Soviet republic, has maintained a delicate balance with Moscow while seeming to distance his country from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Monday, Nov. 28

4:00 p.m. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control, the Russian-installed administration of the occupied city of Enerhodar says, after a senior Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave. “The media are actively spreading fakes that Russia is allegedly planning to withdraw from Enerhodar and leave the [nuclear plant]. This information is not true,” the Russian-backed administration said on the Telegram messaging app. The head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear energy company said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which they seized in March soon after their invasion.

Ukrainian soldiers fire an M777 howitzer as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Nov. 23.

  © Reuters

11:30 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russia is “planning new strikes” on his country, urging defense forces and citizens to be prepared to withstand a new week of strain on the power grid amid freezing temperatures. “We understand that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Sunday. “And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down.”

4:10 a.m. Russian forces struck eastern and southern Ukraine early Sunday as utility crews scrambled to restore power, water and heating with the onset of snow and frigid temperatures, while civilians continued to leave the southern city of Kherson because of the devastation wreaked by recent attacks and their fears of more ahead. With snowfall blanketing the capital Kyiv on Sunday, analysts predicted that cold weather — bringing with it frozen terrain and grueling fighting conditions — could have an increasing impact on the conflict that has raged since Russian forces invaded Ukraine more than nine months ago.

Sunday, Nov. 27

A grain terminal during barley harvesting in Ukraine last June.

  © Reuters

3:15 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hosts a summit with allied nations to launch a plan to export $150 million worth of grain to countries most vulnerable to famine and drought. The gathering in Kyiv follows criticism from the Kremlin, which says food exported from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under a U.N.-brokered plan has not been reaching the most vulnerable countries.

Zelenskyy says Kyiv raised $150 million from more than 20 countries and the European Union to export grain to countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

Saturday, Nov. 26

11:30 p.m. Belarus’s long-standing foreign minister has died suddenly, the state news agency Belta reports, two days before he was meant to meet his Russian counterpart. Vladimir Makei, 64, had held his post since 2012.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, Makei, a supporter of close ties between Moscow and Minsk, said the West had provoked the war and that the Ukrainian authorities should agree to the Russian terms of peace. A few days before the start of the war, Makei promised that there would be no attack on Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. A few days later, Russian troops proved that he was wrong.

“We are shocked by the reports of the death of the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posts in her Telegram channel.

2:00 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin has told mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine that he shares their pain, state television reports, as the nine-month war heads into its first full winter.

Putin praises the soldiers as “heroes” in a meeting with more than a dozen mothers at his residence outside Moscow. Some of the women have lost sons in the war, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

The meeting marks a rare admission by Putin of Russian military losses in Ukraine. Putin says the internet and media are spreading disinformation about the war.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in September that 5,937 Russian military service members had been killed. The U.S. military estimates the number of Russian casualties at more than 100,000.

Friday, Nov. 25

6:45 p.m. NATO will not flag in its support of Ukraine, and will also ramp up nonlethal aid for the country, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says. “NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down,” he told reporters in Brussels ahead of a foreign ministers meeting of the alliance in Bucharest, Romania, next week.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg vowed the alliance would continue to support Ukraine ahead of a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, next week.

  © Reuters

6:30 p.m. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls on Europeans to remain united against Russia’s war and to severely limit the price for Russian oil. “There is no split, there is no schism among Europeans and we have to preserve this. This is our mission No. 1 this year,” he said in an address via a live video link to a conference in Lithuania. “Europe is helping itself. It’s not helping Ukraine to stand against Russia, this is helping Europe to stand against Russian aggression,” he added.

Oil from the Sakhalin-2 energy project will be excluded from the price cap on Russian crude slated to be imposed in early December by an international coalition led by the U.S.

  © Reuters

2:00 p.m. The Japanese government says oil from the Sakhalin-2 energy project will be excluded from the price cap on Russian oil slated to be imposed in early December by an international coalition led by the United States. The price cap coalition, including the Group of Seven industrialized nations and Australia, will limit the price of crude oil from Russia, starting Dec. 5, with the aim of depleting Moscow’s revenue for its war in Ukraine. Japanese trading companies have maintained their stake in the Russian energy project, which accounts for around 9% of Japan’s liquefied natural gas imports.

6:00 a.m. Over 15,000 people have gone missing during the war, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) says. Matthew Holliday, the Europe program director for The Hague-based ICMP, says it was unsure how many people had been forcibly transferred, were being held in Russia, were alive and separated from family members, or had died and had been buried in makeshift graves.

The process of investigating the missing in Ukraine will last years even after fighting stops, Holliday tells Reuters, adding that 15,000 is a conservative figure. “The numbers are huge and the challenges that Ukraine faces are vast. Besides which they’re fighting an ongoing war as well against the Russian Federation,” Holliday says.

1:10 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden says price caps on Russian oil proposed under a Group of Seven nations scheme were in play, adding that he had spoken to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the issue. “Yes, it’s in play,” Biden tells reporters. The cap is seen by the Biden administration as a way to cut Moscow off from a major source of funding for the war.

EU governments were to resume talks on the level to cap prices for Russian seaborne oil later in the day or the next after failing to reach a deal Wednesday.

Thursday, Nov. 24

Kyiv without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks on Nov. 23.

  © Reuters

6:30 p.m. Power is gradually being restored to Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, a day after Russian missile strikes caused Kyiv’s biggest outages in nine months of war. Regional authorities said 25% of homes in Kyiv were still without electricity but the water supply had been restored in some areas and would resume in other areas later in the day. In a big improvement from Wednesday, when authorities said power was lost across the entire Kyiv region, public transportation was operating in the capital, with buses replacing trams to save power.

11:00 a.m. A Russian rocket struck the maternity wing of a hospital in eastern Ukraine, killing a newborn boy and critically injuring a doctor. It was the second deadly strike on the small town of Vilniansk in a week, and Mayor Nataliya Usienko said she feared it would not be the last. “The attack started, and the first S300 rocket hit the road. The second rocket hit this place, the main general hospital, at the maternity wing, where people were,” she said. “One woman gave birth two days ago. She delivered a boy. Unfortunately this rocket took the life of this child, who lived only two days.”

Firefighters work at a damaged hospital maternity ward after a Russian rocket killed a newborn boy and critically injured a doctor in the town of Vilniansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia on Nov. 23. 

  © AP

7:30 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to take action to stop Russian airstrikes that are targeting vital infrastructure and have once again plunged Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold as winter sets in. Russia unleashed a missile barrage across Ukraine earlier in the day, forcing shutdowns of nuclear power plants and killing civilians in Kyiv. “Today is just one day, but we have received 70 missiles. That’s the Russian formula of terror,” Zelenskyy said via video link to the council chamber.

4:50 a.m. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he is “very confident” the European Union would soon agree on a price cap for Russian oil as negotiations were underway in Brussels. The Group of Seven nations (G-7) is looking at a price cap on Russian seaborne oil in the range of $65 to $70 per barrel, a European Union diplomat said earlier on Wednesday. Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries are discussing the G-7 proposal with the aim of reaching a common position by the end of the day. Views in the EU are split, with some pushing for a much lower price cap and others arguing for a higher one.

2:00 a.m. Ukraine will seek an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council on recent Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweets, calling the murder of civilians and the ruining of civilian infrastructure “acts of terror.”

1:00 a.m. The U.S.’s latest military aid to Ukraine includes arms, munitions and air defense equipment, the State Department says.

The $400 million package brings total American military assistance to Ukraine to about $19.7 billion under the Biden administration, according to a news release.

In a Twitter post, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says “Ukraine must get all necessary air defense systems ASAP” to defend itself against Russia’s “missile terror.”

Wednesday, Nov. 23

10:30 p.m. Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have caused blackouts across half of neighboring Moldova, the country’s deputy prime minister says. Andrei Spuni calls the situation a repeat of Nov. 15, when Moldova also suffered blackouts after Russian missile strikes.

Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries, and it has the highest per capita intake of Ukrainian refugees. It shares a border with Ukraine, a fellow ex-Soviet state, and is connected to its power grid.

10:15 p.m. The entire Kyiv region is without electricity after Russian airstrikes target critical infrastructure, says Oleksii Kuleba, head of the regional military administration.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reports on the Telegram messaging app that the water supply also is cut off.

A Russian natural gas pipeline is seen at a Gazprom pumping station near Ukraine.

  © Reuters

Tuesday, Nov. 22

11:55 p.m. Russia’s state-backed Gazprom says it may reduce supplies of natural gas through Ukraine this month, accusing Kyiv of taking gas meant for Moldova.

Gazprom warns it may restrict gas flows through Ukraine from Nov. 28. Ukraine is a transit country for Russian gas bound for Western Europe.

European countries have been filling up gas storage sites ahead of winter. Any disruption of flows through Ukraine threaten to upset energy markets.

Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator denies holding back gas meant for landlocked Moldova, which has suffered blackouts, an influx of refugees and other effects of the war.

A woman prepares food at a wood stove installed in her apartment, which has no electricity, heating and water, in a building partially destroyed by a Russian military strike in the Ukrainian village of Horenka on Nov. 19.

  © Reuters

7:00 p.m. Canada’s foreign ministry says it will slap more sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s administration for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine. The ministry plans to sanction 22 more Belarusian officials as well as 16 Belarusian companies involved in military manufacturing, technology, engineering, banking and railway transportation. It said the officials included some who were “complicit in the stationing and transport of Russian military personnel and equipment involved in the invasion of Ukraine.”

8:30 a.m. Ukraine urged residents of Kyiv and several other areas to limit electricity use as it seeks to recover from Russian strikes on its power grid. “The systematic damage to our energy system from strikes by the Russian terrorists is so considerable that all our people and businesses should be mindful and redistribute their consumption throughout the day,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. Citizens in the recently liberated southern city of Kherson, where Kyiv says Russian troops destroyed critical infrastructure before leaving earlier this month, can apply to be relocated to areas where security and heating issues are less acute.

4:40 a.m. Kazakhstan is expected to bolster ties with China and Western powers after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won Sunday’s snap election in a landslide, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine erodes Moscow’s clout over former Soviet states in Central Asia.

Tokayev beat five other candidates as he received 81.3% of the votes, according to preliminary results announced Monday by the country’s election commission. He is now set to remain in office until 2029.

Under Tokayev’s continued leadership, Kazakhstan is expected to leverage its ample supply of oil and grains to forge stronger ties with China, the U.S. and Europe as Russia’s influence wanes. Read more.

4:00 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discusses the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and other topics with France’s Emmanuel Macron.

Monday. Nov. 21

6:10 p.m. Around 60 Russian soldiers were killed in a long-range Ukrainian artillery attack this week, Kyiv says, the second time in four days that Ukraine claimed to have inflicted major casualties in a single incident. In a Facebook post, the armed forces general staff said Russia suffered the losses on Thursday when Ukrainian forces shelled the town of Mykhailkva, 40 kilometers south of Kherson. Russian forces abandoned the city earlier this month. It gave no further details.

Germany has offered a Patriot missile defense system to Poland after a stray missile landed in the country, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Nov. 20.

  © Reuters

4:00 a.m. Germany has offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defense system to help it to secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper. The German government had already said it would offer its neighbor further help in air policing with German Eurofighters after the incident, which initially raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border. “We have offered Poland support in securing airspace — with our Eurofighters and with Patriot air defense systems,” Lambrecht told the Rheinische Post and General-Anzeiger.

Sunday, Nov. 20

11:34 p.m. More than a dozen blasts shake Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Saturday night and Sunday, the International Atomic Energy Agency says, as Moscow and Kyiv both blame the other for the shelling of the Russian-held facility.

“Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable,” IAEA head Rafael Grossi says. “Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!”

Citing information from plant management, the IAEA team on the ground says some buildings, systems and equipment have been damaged, but none of them critical for nuclear safety and security so far.

9:27 a.m. Ukrainian electricity supplies are under control despite a series of Russian attacks on power-generating infrastructure and there is no need to panic, the energy ministry said on Saturday. Separately, the head of DTEK, the country’s largest private energy company, said there was no need for people to leave Ukraine. Russian missile strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine’s energy system and Kyiv authorities said on Friday that a complete shutdown of the capital’s power grid was possible.

“Denying the panicky statements spread by social networks and online media, we assure you that the situation with the energy supply is difficult, but under control,” the energy ministry said in a statement. Authorities across the country have scheduled blackouts to help the repair effort, it said, urging families to cut their energy consumption by at least 25%.

5:45 a.m. Ukraine will soon begin evacuating people who want to leave the recently liberated southern city of Kherson and the surrounding areas, a senior official says.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said some people had expressed a wish to move away from the region. “This is possible in the next few days,” she told a news conference.

Saturday, Nov. 19

11:50 p.m. Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his first visit to Kyiv, pledging to continue the firm support for Ukraine that was a focus of his predecessors, and providing a new air defense package to help shoot down Russian drones.

Sunak said in a statement that Britain would provide a new 50 million pound ($60 million) package that includes anti-aircraft guns and technology such as radar to counter drone attacks. Britain also said it would increase the training it provides to Ukraine’s armed forces. “While Ukraine’s armed forces succeed in pushing back Russian forces on the ground, civilians are being brutally bombarded from the air,” Sunak said in his statement.

The center of Kyiv is dark as it goes without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks in October.

  © Reuters

8:00 a.m. Kyiv, the area around the Black Sea port of Odesa and more than a dozen other regions are grappling with power shortages following relentless Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. “The situation with power supplies is difficult in 17 regions and in the capital,” he says in his nightly video address.

5:52 a.m. Russian missile strikes have taken nearly half of Ukraine’s energy system out of service, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says. Mykola Povoroznyk, deputy head of the Kyiv city administration, warns that the capital could experience a “complete shutdown” of its power grid.

1:30 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he has thanked Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support in extending the Black Sea grain deal.

12:00 a.m. Russia’s defense ministry has accused Ukraine of executing more than 10 Russian prisoners of war. There was no immediate response from Kyiv to Moscow’s claims, which were accompanied by video alleged to show the shooting of Russian prisoners.

Friday, Nov. 18

Polish soldiers walk near the site of an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland close to the border with Ukraine, on Nov. 17.

  © Reuters

11:00 p.m. A team of Ukrainian investigators is working at the site of the deadly missile blast in Poland, Kyiv’s top diplomat says.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says in a Twitter post that Ukraine “will continue our cooperation in an open and constructive manner.”

The explosion, which killed two people in the village of Przewodow near the Ukrainian border, has put President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government in an awkward position. Zelenskyy initially pushed back against comments by Poland, NATO and the U.S. that the missile was likely fired by Kyiv’s air defense forces during a Russian attack.

Swedish investigators said that they have found traces of explosives on the Nordstream 1 and 2 gas pipelines connecting Germany and Russia.

  © Reuters

5:30 p.m. Investigators have found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor says. Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis. “Analysis that has now been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that were recovered,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

12:30 p.m. Thailand aims to redefine success as it hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that opened Friday, with members facing an uphill battle to reach consensus over the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine. In a year marked by walkouts and not a single joint statement from preceding ministerial meetings, Thailand looks to make its mark by enshrining sustainability into APEC’s trade and investment agenda.

8:30 a.m. Russian missiles and shells hit Ukrainian positions in several regions, and there was no let up in heavy fighting in Donetsk in the east, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday night as Moscow’s occupying forces appeared more active. Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was under persistent attack by Russian missiles and drones from the capital Kyiv in the north to Dnipro in central Ukraine and Odesa in the south, the military said in a statement. Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours downed two cruise missiles, five air-launched missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, it said.

Firefighters work against a fire at an energy installation damaged by Russian missile strike as the invaders carry on with an unrelenting attack, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Nov. 15. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters)

5:45 a.m. As Russian military strikes continue to hit Ukraine’s infrastructure, the European Commission says new emergency aid is on the way to help the nation prepare for winter.

More than 1,800 tonnes of supplies will be delivered through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. The new package — contributed by Belgium, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Sweden — includes energy supplies, shelter items and firefighting equipment.

“The destruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is reaching a critical point,” says Janez Lenarcic, the European commissioner for crisis management, in a news release. “On the eve of winter, people are being cut off electricity and heating. The key priority of our humanitarian operations today is to scale up winterization assistance.”

The latest round of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine hit civilian infrastructure in the east and south, including Naftogaz gas production facilities, Ukrainian military officials and the company say.

2:00 a.m. A court in the Netherlands has convicted two former Russian intelligence agents and a Ukrainian separatist leader of murder for their role in shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. Read more.

The three men have been sentenced to life in prison. The air disaster killed all 298 passengers and crew on the commercial flight bound for Kuala Lumpur.

Russia’s foreign ministry says in a statement that the Dutch court was under pressure to “impose a politically motivated outcome.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the “masterminds” behind the downing of MH17 must also be held to account.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Nov. 17 welcomed a deal to extend the Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukraine to ship foodstuffs and fertilizer from three Ukrainian ports.

  © Reuters

Thursday, Nov. 17

6:10 p.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he welcomes an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports. The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds. “I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine,” Guterres said.

Ukrainian police forensic experts search for evidence at a park where fighting took place between Ukrainian territorial forces and Russian forces at the beginning of the war, in Kherson, Ukraine, on Nov. 16, 2022.

  © Reuters

2:30 p.m. Investigators in Ukraine’s recently liberated southern Kherson region have uncovered 63 bodies with signs of torture, Ukraine’s interior minister was quoted as saying early on Thursday. “We must understand that the search has only just started so many more dungeons and burial places will be uncovered,” Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Denys Monastyrsky as telling national television. Monastyrsky said law enforcement had uncovered 436 instances of war crimes during Russia’s occupation. Eleven places of detention had been discovered, including four where torture had been practiced.

7:00 a.m. A missile that crashed inside Poland was probably a stray fired by Ukraine’s air defenses and not a Russian strike, Poland and military alliance NATO say, easing international fears that the war could spill across the border. Nevertheless, NATO’s chief said Russia, not Ukraine, was still to blame for starting the war in the first place with its February invasion and launching scores of missiles on Tuesday that triggered Ukrainian defenses. “This is not Ukraine’s fault,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

5:32 a.m. The top U.S. military officer downplays the chances of a swift victory by Ukraine, despite major gains made by its forces in areas like Kherson.

“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory — defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they claim as Crimea — the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily,” U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells reporters at the Pentagon.

The U.S. will help Ukraine defend itself for as long as it takes, he says.

A Ukrainian soldier sits on captured Russian mortar shells after retaking a village in the Kherson region on Nov. 11.

  © Reuters

Wednesday, Nov. 16

8:05 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden told G-7 and NATO leaders earlier that the explosion in Poland that killed two people was caused by a Ukrainian air-defense missile, a NATO source confirmed to Nikkei Asia. Read more.

An emergency meeting was convened in Bali on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, after Poland and Ukraine had said it was likely a Russian-made missile. Russia quickly denied its missiles struck Poland.

6:52 p.m. Pope Francis has condemned the latest wave of missile attacks on Ukraine and called for a cease-fire to avert the risk of an escalation of the conflict. He was speaking at his weekly General Audience as NATO allies were investigating unconfirmed reports that an explosion in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine was caused by stray Russian missiles. He did not mention the incident.

“I learned with pain and concern of a fresh and even fiercer missile attack on Ukraine, which caused deaths and damage to much civilian infrastructure,” Francis said in Italian. “Let us pray so that the Lord converts the hearts of those who still bet on war and make the desire for peace prevail in martyred Ukraine in order to avoid escalation and to open the path to a cease-fire and dialogue,” he said.

Pope Francis has condemned the latest wave of missile attacks on Ukraine and called for a ceasefire to avert the risk of an escalation of the conflict.

  © Reuters

6:11 p.m. A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blames Russia for any “incidents with missiles.” Mykhailo Podolyak made his comments in a written statement after U.S. President Joe Biden said a missile that killed two people in Poland was probably not fired from Russia.

“In my opinion, it is necessary to adhere to only one logic. The war was started and is being waged by Russia. Russia massively attacks Ukraine with cruise missiles. Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield,” Podolyak said. “Intent, means of execution, risks, escalation — all this is only Russia. And there can be no other explanation for any incidents with missiles.”

3:09 p.m. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he believes the U.N.-brokered grain export deal between Russia and Ukraine will be extended beyond its Nov. 19 deadline, adding that Ankara is making efforts to prolong it by a year. Speaking at a news conference at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Erdogan said talks about extending the deal were ongoing, adding that the deal was important for the world.

10:02 a.m. Global leaders who were gathering for the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, went into an emergency meeting on Wednesday after two people in Poland were killed in explosions that Ukraine and Polish authorities said were caused by Russian-made missiles. The meeting was convened by U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House said, after two people were killed in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine. Leaders from the United States, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Spain, Italy, France and the U.K. were taking part in the meeting.

9:21 a.m. NATO member Poland said that a Russian-made rocket killed two people in eastern Poland near Ukraine, and it summoned Russia’s ambassador to Warsaw for an explanation after Moscow denied it was responsible.

5:40 a.m. Poland’s government has convened an emergency security after two people were reportedly killed by a missile strike near the border with Ukraine. Local media reports say a Russian missile is suspected in the deaths near the village of Przewodow. Read more.

2:30 a.m. A defiant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukrainians are working to restore electricity to areas struck by a wave of Russian attacks.

“We will restore everything, we will survive,” he says in a video posted on Telegram.

The U.S. has condemned the attacks, with President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying in a statement: “It is not lost on us that, as world leaders meet at the G-20 in Bali to discuss the issues of significant importance to the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, Russia again threatens those lives and destroys Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.”

Russia’s TASS cites Ukrainian media reports of explosions in Kyiv and the Kyiv region but does not describe them as Russian attacks. At the Group of 20 leaders summit in Bali, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says: “If anyone is refusing to negotiate, it is Ukraine.”

2:05 a.m. Protesters shouting “you are criminals, war criminals” interrupt an event hosted by the Russian delegation at the COP27 United Nations climate change conference.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and China’s Wang Yi meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Bali on Nov. 15. (Handout photo from the Russian Foreign Ministry)

  © Reuters

12:30 a.m. China praises Russia for reiterating its position that a nuclear war cannot be fought, crediting Moscow for a “rational and responsible” attitude, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports.

The comment comes at a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia. China says the two sides discussed the Asia-Pacific, the Korean Peninsula and the Iranian nuclear issue. Beijing says it will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks in Ukraine.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

11:57 p.m. Russian missiles strike energy facilities and cities across Ukraine including Kyiv, Lviv in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast and Odesa in the south. Kyiv’s mayor says about half of the capital lacks electricity and that two residential buildings were hit in a central area of the city.

The wave of missile strikes comes as Western leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia seek agreement on a statement condemning Russia’s invasion following a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

6:35 p.m. Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies plan to urge peaceful resolution of conflicts and condemn the use of nuclear weapons, in a reflection of global anxiety over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the leaders will say, according to a draft final summit declaration seen by Nikkei Asia. “The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.” The communique is set to be formally adopted by G-20 leaders on Wednesday. The text could change before then as a result of further talks on its content.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 summit opening session in Bali. Modi has called for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine.

  © Reuters

5:20 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges a return to diplomacy to end the Russia-Ukraine war, reiterating the South Asian nation’s call for peace in the ongoing conflict.

“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of cease-fire and diplomacy in Ukraine,” Modi said in his opening remarks at the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. India has not condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in September that “today’s era is not an era of war.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sings the national anthem during his visit to Kherson, Ukraine on Nov. 14.

  © Reuters

2:30 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations that now is the time to stop Russia’s war in his country under a peace plan he has proposed. He spoke via video to leaders of the G-20 nations who have gathered for a summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. Zelenskyy said the war should be ended “justly and on the basis of the U.N. Charter and international law.” He called for restoring “radiation safety” with regard to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and introducing price restrictions on Russian energy resources.

9:30 a.m. Kyiv welcomes reported Chinese comments criticizing threats to use nuclear weapons as world leaders gathered in Indonesia to take part in Tuesday’s G-20 meeting, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the spotlight. U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping “underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” the White House said in a readout of a meeting in Indonesia between the two leaders. A readout of the Biden-Xi meeting on China’s foreign ministry website made no use of the word “nuclear” but said: “Conflicts and wars produce no winner … confrontation between major countries must be avoided.”

7:52 a.m. The United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution recognizing that Russia must be responsible for making reparations to Ukraine.

The nonbinding resolution, supported by 94 of the assembly’s 193 members, says Russia “must bear the legal consequences of all of its internationally wrongful acts, including making reparation for the injury, including any damage, caused by such acts.” Fourteen countries voted against the resolution, including Russia, China and Iran, while 73 abstained, including Brazil, India and South Africa. Not all member states voted.

Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Vassily Nebenzia, told the General Assembly before the vote that the provisions of the resolution are “legally null and void” as he urged countries to vote against it. “The West is trying to draw out and worsen the conflict and plans to use Russian money for it,” Nebenzia said.

A still image from video released by the Russian Defence Ministry shows what it said to be a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launched during exercises in Russia.

  © Reuters

1:35 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping “reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” according to a White House readout of their meeting in Bali.

But the Xinhua report on the meeting does not mention any discussion of nuclear weapons at the talks. Read more about the Biden-Xi summit here.

12:45 a.m. Russia approves the participation of Japan’s Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co. (SODECO) and India’s ONGC Videsh in the new Russian operator of the Sakhalin-1 project, Interfax reports, citing instructions issued by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is a stakeholder in Tokyo-based SODECO, along with other investors including Itochu, Japan Petroleum Exploration and Marubeni. The Japanese government had sought to remain involved in the Russian oil and gas project following operator ExxonMobil’s departure.

Exxon announced its withdrawal from Sakhalin-1 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree on Oct. 7, transferring the project to a new company. Foreign investors were told to decide within one month whether they would continue to participate in the business.

Monday, Nov. 14

6:30 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the newly recaptured southern city of Kherson, the biggest prize yet won by Ukrainian forces, where he has accused Russian forces of committing war crimes before they fled last week. “We are moving forward,” he said in an address to Ukrainian troops, thanking NATO and other allies for their continuing support in the war against Russia. “We are ready for peace, peace for all our country.”

11:30 a.m. The U.S. will impose new sanctions on a transnational network of individuals and companies working to procure military technologies for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tells reporters in Bali. She added that the sanctions would target 14 individuals and 28 entities, including financial facilitators but declined to provide further details. “This is part of our larger effort to disrupt Russia’s war effort and deny equipment it needs through sanctions and export controls,” Yellen said.

5:00 a.m. “Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found,” in areas of Kherson freed from Russian occupation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says in his nightly video address.

2:30 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, emphasizing their deepening political, trade and economic cooperation, the Kremlin says without elaborating on when the phone call took place. Neither were Iranian arms supplies to Moscow mentioned. “A number of topical issues on their bilateral agenda were discussed, with the emphasis on further enhancing cooperation in the political, trade and economic fields, including the transport and logistics sector,” the Kremlin said.

For earlier updates, click here.

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