World: Why Kanye West’s career may be over

Dave Chappelle divides audiences with remarks about Kanye West's anti-Semitism

  Dave Chappelle divides audiences with remarks about Kanye West's anti-Semitism Dave Chappelle decided to zero in on Kanye West's recent anti-Semitic comments while on Saturday Night Live, admitting he didn't decide to help him after the controversy. In a lengthy stand-up set, Chappelle, 49, discussed West's targetting of the Jewish community, opening his monologue with a tip for the rapper. Before he began his routine, Chappelle unfolded a piece of paper and read from it: "'I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms. And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community.' And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.

LIVE – Updated at 16:25

Ukraine’s forces are targeting the Kinburn Spit, Vladimir Putin’s only remaining outpost in Mykholaiv, which acts as a gateway to the Black Sea and Russian-held parts of Kherson.

The key battlefield development was acknowledged by Ukraine’s military, with a spokesperson saying Kyiv is “continuing a military operation” in the area – which has been used by Moscow as a staging ground for strikes against Ukrainian troops seeking to retake their territory in the south.

Russia has faced monumental setbacks in its nearly nine-month war, and in a rare move, the Kremlin said that Mr Putin would meet the mothers of Russian soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine for the first time as Russia celebrates Mother’s Day this weekend.

Kanye West returns to Twitter following ban with insensitive tweet

  Kanye West returns to Twitter following ban with insensitive tweet Kanye is back on Twitter following a previous ban for anti-Semitic tweets. The ban, which was overturned by the social media's new CEO Elon Musk, unceremoniously came to an end with yet another insensitive tweet from the embattled rapper:. "Shalom :)" the 45-year-old rapper, also known as 'Ye', simply wrote – which is also a greeting used by Jewish people meaning 'peace'. READ MORE: The food King Charles is banning in royal residences READ MORE:The ban, which was overturned by the social media's new CEO Elon Musk, unceremoniously came to an end with yet another insensitive tweet from the embattled rapper:.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities warned that Moscow’s renewed assault on its energy infrastructure has caused “colossal” damage, meaning that millions of Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts until at least the end of March.

Fighting also continued near the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, while president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office alleged that Russian strikes across eight regions killed at least eight civilians.

Key Points

  • Putin to meet the mums of Russian soldiers on Mother’s Day
  • Potential Ukraine threat a challenge to Russia’s Black Sea fleet - MoD
  • Ukrainians evacuated from Kherson ahead of winter
  • Ukraine holding battle frontlines in south, fierce fighting in east
  • Russia’s ‘General Armageddon’ under pressure to deliver after Russia’s retreat in Kherson

Anger in Poland over Russian pranksters’ call to president on night of blast

16:25 , Andy Gregory

Opposition politicians in Poland have reacted furiously after president Andrzej Duda was duped into speaking with Russian pranksters imitating France’s Emmanuel Macron on the night that a missile killed two people near its Ukrainian border and sparked fears Nato could be dragged into the war.

Kanye West again candidate in the American presidential elections

 Kanye West again candidate in the American presidential elections The rapper intends to embark on the race for the White House again after failing three years ago. © provided by Bang Showbiz Kanye West Kanye West would again like to become president. The rapper actually confirmed that he will present himself in the American presidential elections in 2024 despite the fact that he failed in the 2020 elections. As a reminder, he had to leave them after having gathered only 50,000 votes and had not appeared in several elections in a majority of states.

Tomasz Trela, of the Left party, called it a “disgrace for the special services and for all those who should be checking who they allow to contact the top leader”, adding: “This is a blow for our security and for the opinion we have in the eyes of our allies.”

During the seven-minute call, posted online by the Russian pranksters – who have previously duped Mr Duda, Boris Johnson and Mr Macron – the Polish president could be heard relaying details of the blast and speaking of his plans to request Nato consultations.Mr Duda can be heard saying that US president Joe Biden did not blame Russia for the missile incident but that Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy insisted it was a Russian-launched projectile. The Polish president adds that he himself is being “extra careful” not to blame Russia.

Japan to provide generators and solar lanterns to help Ukraine with blackouts

16:14 , Andy Gregory

Japan has announced some $2.5m in aid for Ukraine to provide it with generators and solar lanterns in the face of blackouts this winter.

In race for the White House, Kanye West offers Donald Trump to be his vice-president

 In race for the White House, Kanye West offers Donald Trump to be his vice-president © Copyright 2022, the Obs the American rapper Kanye West, stuck in a series of controversies, suggested that he would be a candidate for the 2024 presidential election and claimed to have proposed to Donald Trump to be his running mate. The artist, who calls himself YE, published a series of videos on his Twitter account on the night of Thursday 24 to Friday 25 November, accompanied by the "Ye 24" logo.

“The government of Japan will continue to provide support for and stand by the people of Ukraine who are facing hardship, in collaboration with the international community, including the G7 members,” Toyko’s foreign affairs ministry said.

US will soon begin transferring $4.5bn in aid to Ukraine

15:49 , Andy Gregory

The US will start to disburse $4.5bn in pledged economic aid for Ukraine in the coming weeks, Washington’s Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has said.

Approved in September, the funds were aimed at “bolstering economic stability and supporting core government services,” Ms Yellen said in a statement.

Other donors should also increase and accelerate their assistance to Ukraine, she added.

Cuban president criticises Nato in address to Russian parliament

15:30 , Andy Gregory

Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel has sought to blame Nato for the war in Ukraine, during an address to Russia’s parliament.

“The reasons for the current conflict in this zone must be sought in the aggressive policy of the United States and the expansion of Nato towards Russia’s borders,” Mr Diaz-Canel said – an argument Ukraine and its Western allies reject as a false justification for Russia’s illegal invasion.

Kanye West shares bizarre conspiracy theory suggesting celebrities are 'controlled'

  Kanye West shares bizarre conspiracy theory suggesting celebrities are 'controlled' Rapper Kanye West has given a baffling new interview in which he suggests fellow celebrities haven't spoken out in his defence because they are 'controlled' by secret mastersKanye West is convinced fellow celebrities haven't spoken out in his defence because they are "controlled" by secret masters.

He and Vladimir Putin unveiled a monument to Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in a square in Moscow today, pledging to deepen their friendship in the face of US sanctions against both nations.

Mr Putin told Mr Diaz-Canel that the two countries needed to build on the “solid foundation of friendship” established between Castro and Soviet leaders.

Russia preparing to draft up to 700,000 in new mobilisation round, Ukrainian official claims

15:13 , Andy Gregory

A Ukrainian government advisor has claimed that Russia is preparing the draft up to 700,000 people in a second wave of mobilisation to take place in January.

The 300,000 reservists drafted in Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilisation” which began in mid-Septmber are “already killed”, wounded or demoralised, claimed Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to Ukraine’s internal affairs minister.

Yesterday, the Kremlin rejected claims that there were discussions ongoing over a second round of mobilisation – however similar denials were made by the same spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, just a week prior to Mr Putin’s “partial mobilisation” in September.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Reach Divorce Settlement: Details

  Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Reach Divorce Settlement: Details Shutterstock (2) Officially done. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have settled their divorce, Us Weekly can confirm. According to the settlement obtained by Us, The Kardashians star, 42, and the “Famous” rapper, 45, will receive joint custody with “equal access” to their four children: North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3. The documents also state […]According to the settlement obtained by Us, The Kardashians star, 42, and the “Famous” rapper, 45, will receive joint custody with “equal access” to their four children: North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3.

Germany ‘must be ready for an escalation’ of Ukraine war, says Scholz

14:37 , Andy Gregory

Germany must be ready for the war in Ukraine to escalate, chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.

“In view of the development of the war and Russia’s visible and growing failures, ... we must be ready for an escalation,” Scholz said at a conference in Berlin hosted by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Mr Scholz said his recent trip to China was worth it alone for spelling out the two countries’ joint stance against using nuclear weapons.

Months of power cuts face Ukraine after ‘colossal’ damage to energy infrastructure

14:09 , Andy Gregory

Ukrainian authorities have warned of “colossal” damage to the nation’s energy infrastructure and said that millions of Ukrainians could face power cuts until at least the end of March as a result of Russian attacks.

State energy firm Ukrenergo’s chief Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said that practically no thermal or hydroelectric stations had been left unscathed – though he dismissed the need to evacuate civilians from cities hit particularly badly by shortages.

"We cannot generate as much energy as consumers can use," he told a briefing, adding that the planned shutdowns were being implemented to prevent the risk of the power system “collapsing”.

In his nightly video address, president Volodymyr Zelensky also appealed for residents to be “mindful” in their consumption of energy.

“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,” he said.

Sale of right online network Parler to Kanye West stopped

 Sale of right online network Parler to Kanye West stopped New York. The right online network Parler is not sold to the rapper Kanye West. The 45-year-old had previously done further Nazi expressions in an interview with a conspiracy theorist. The right rapper Kanye West in Beverly Hills California immediately after new Nazi comments from Kanye West has announced the right online network Parler that the planned sale on the controversial US rapper was canceled.

Millions of lives at risk as Ukraine’s health system faces ‘darkest days’, warns WHO

13:44 , Andy Gregory

Millions of lives are at risk in Ukraine this winter as the nation’s health system faces its “darkest days” of the war, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

While the WHO has counted more than 700 direct attacks on Ukraine’s health infrastructure – in alleged breaches of international humanitarian law and the rules of war – the country’s health system is now also a victim of the energy crisis," said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe

Hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational – lacking fuel, water and electricity to meet people’s basic needs, Mr Kluge warned, following a visit to Ukraine.

Poland investigating after Russian prankster dupes Duda on night of fatal blast

13:23 , Andy Gregory

Polish president Andrzej Duda’s office is investigating how Russian pranksters managed to speak with him by phone while posing as Emmanuel Macron – on the night that fears were briefly sparked of a wider escalation in the war when a missile killed two people on Nato territory.

Alan Charlish has more details:

  Ukraine news – live: Kyiv’s forces target Russian-held Black Sea gateway Kinburn Spit © Provided by The Independent

Russian pranksters trick Polish president into thinking he is talking to Macron

Ukrainian refugees in UK struggling to rent homes, survey suggests

13:15 , Andy Gregory

Ukrainians who have come to the UK are having trouble renting because they do not have a guarantor or references, experimental research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests.

Some 3,148 people took part in the survey between 17 October and 7 November, which saw a sample of adults questioned who had arrived in the UK in June under Ukraine visa schemes.

According to the findings, 45 per cent of respondents “experienced barriers to accessing private rented accommodation” and the most common challenge was not having a guarantor or references (59 per cent).

Rapper Kanye West claims during a well-known conspiracy theorist’s show that he likes Hitler

  Rapper Kanye West claims during a well-known conspiracy theorist’s show that he likes Hitler Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has claimed during a commercial break on U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show that he likes the figure of Hitler after numerous accusations against him for anti-Semitism. During the program, Jones has asked West about the controversial actions of the American artist, who lost his contract with Adidas […]During the program, Jones has asked West about the controversial actions of the American artist, who lost his contract with Adidas for comments that the company called "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous". In this sense, the presenter has assured that Ye "is neither Hitler nor a Nazi", after which the rapper has taken the floor.

One in four respondents had changed address since June. When asked why, the most common reason was because they could now afford to live without a host. However, one in six (16 per cent) said they had “relationship difficulties with their sponsor”.

Kyiv summons Hungarian diplomat over Orban scarf depicting Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary

13:00 , Andy Gregory

Kyiv has said it will summon the Hungarian ambassador as it seeks an apology after prime minister Viktor Orban was filmed wearing a scarf depicting some Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary.

Ukrainian media showed images of Mr Orban meeting a Hungarian footballer while wearing a scarf which the outlet Ukrainska Pravda said depicted a map of “Greater Hungary”, including territory that is now part of the neighbouring states of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.

“The promotion of revisionism ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and does not comply with the principles of European policy,” Ukrainian ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said.

Ukraine is seeking an apology and a rebuttal of any Hungarian claims on Ukrainian territory, Mr Nikolenko said.

Viktor Orban is seen wearing a scarf allegedly depicting other nations’ territory as part of Hungary, in footage shared to his official Facebook page (screengrab) © Provided by The Independent Viktor Orban is seen wearing a scarf allegedly depicting other nations’ territory as part of Hungary, in footage shared to his official Facebook page (screengrab)

In a Facebook post, Mr Orban did not directly address the controversy over the scarf, saying: “Soccer is not politics. Do not read things into it that are not there. The Hungarian national team belongs to all Hungarians, wherever they live.”

The two countries have repeatedly clashed in recent years over what Hungary said were curbs on the right of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to use their native tongue, especially in education, after Ukraine passed a law in 2017 restricting the use of minority languages in schools.

Russian prankster impersonating Macron spoke to Poland’s Duda after fatal blast

12:41 , Andy Gregory

A Russian prankster impersonating Emmanuel Macron spoke with Polish president Andrzej Duda on the night that a blast killed two people on Nato territory near the Ukrainian border, initially sparking fears of a wider escalation of the war.

In a seven-minute recording of the call posted on the internet by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, Mr Duda can be heard speaking in English to the caller, who attempts to put on a French accent.

“Emmanuel, believe me, I am extra careful,” Duda tells the caller. “I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.”

Mr Duda’s office said on Twitter today: “After the missile explosion in Przewodow, during the ongoing calls with heads of state and government, a person claiming to be French president Emmanuel Macron was connected.”

“During the call, President Andrzej Duda realised from the unusual way the interlocutor conducted the conversation that there might have been an attempted hoax attempt and ended the conversation.”

Mr Duda’s office said it was investigating how the callers managed to get through to him together with the relevant services.

It is the second time the pranksters have managed to reach the Polish president, having previously pretended to be UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in 2020 – raising questions about security and call screening in the president’s office.

Putin to meet the mums of Russian soldiers on Mother’s Day

12:18 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Vladimir Putin will meet the mothers of Russian soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine in time for the country’s celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend.

It comes as Russia has faced monumental setbacks in their invasion of Ukraine following the humiliating withdrawal of troops from the strategic southern region of Kherson earlier this month.

The Kremlin confirmed the meeting that was first reported by the Vedomosti newspaper. Mother’s Day takes place on November 27 in Russia.

  Ukraine news – live: Kyiv’s forces target Russian-held Black Sea gateway Kinburn Spit © Provided by The Independent

Putin to meet the mums of Russian soldiers on Mother’s Day

Kyiv confirms Ukraine attack on the Kinburn Spit

12:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In a key battlefield development, a Ukrainian official acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces are attacking Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit, which is a gateway to the Black Sea basin and parts of the southern Kherson region that are still under Russian control.

Despite an information blackout around the operation, Natalya Humenyuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian army’s Operational Command South, said in televised remarks that Ukrainian forces are “continuing a military operation” in the area.

The Kinburn Spit is Russia‘s last outpost in Ukraine‘s southern Mykolayiv region, directly west of Kherson. Ukrainian forces recently liberated other parts of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions.

Moscow has used the Kinburn Spit as a staging ground for missile and artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions in the Mykolaiv province, and elsewhere along the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea coast.

Ukraine recently recaptured the city of Kherson, on the western bank of the Dnieper River, and surrounding areas in a major battlefield advance.

Capturing the Kinburn Spit could help Ukrainian forces push into territory Russia still holds in the Kherson region “under significantly less Russian artillery fire” than an attempt at a direct crossing of the Dnieper would likely unleash, a Washington-based think tank said late Monday.

The Institute for the Study of War added that control of the area would help Kyiv alleviate Russian strikes on Ukraine‘s southern seaports and allow Ukraine to increase its naval activity in the Black Sea.

Russian Orthodox Church calls Ukraine monastery raid 'act of intimidation'

11:50 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Russian Orthodox Church said on Tuesday that searches conducted by Ukrainian security services at an Orthodox monastery in the capital Kyiv were an “act of intimidation”.

“Like many other cases of persecution of believers in Ukraine since 2014, this act of intimidation of believers is almost certain to go unnoticed by those who call themselves the international human rights community,” Vladimir Legoida, a spokesperson for the church said.

Ukraine said it carried out the searches at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra complex as part of counter-intelligence measures, and that they were conducted within the law. Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia‘s church, has given his support for what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Canada to sanction Belarus firms, more officials over Russia's war in Ukraine

11:29 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Canada said on Tuesday it will slap more sanctions on Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko’s administration for supporting Russia‘s war in Ukraine.

The foreign ministry in Ottawa said it would 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.”

Canada is among several countries that have imposed steep financial penalties on Russia for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent war, for which it has used Belarus as a staging ground.

The country has imposed sanctions on more than 1,500 individuals and groups, including from Belarus, according to the foreign ministry.

While Kyiv and the West describe Russia‘s actions as an unprovoked war of aggression, Moscow calls it a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities.

Putin to meet mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, Kremlin confirms

11:09 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian president Vladimir Putin will in the coming days meet the mothers of reservists called up to fight in Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The war in Ukraine has killed and wounded tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides, according to the United States, and the Russian invasion has triggered the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers have been sent to fight in Ukraine - including some of the more than 300,000 reservists who were called up as part of a mobilisation announced by Putin in September.

The meeting with soldiers’ mothers, first reported by the Vedomosti newspaper, was confirmed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russia celebrates Mother’s Day on Nov. 27.

“Indeed, such a meeting is planned, we can confirm,” Peskov told reporters when asked if Putin was to hold a meeting with families of the mobilised. “Such a meeting is in preparation.”

“The president often holds such meetings, they are not all public. In any case, the president receives first-hand information about the real state of affairs.”

Kremlin says no substantive progress made on security zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

10:46 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that no substantive progress had been made towards creating a security zone around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russia seized shortly after its invasion, was rocked by shelling on Sunday, drawing condemnation from the U.N. nuclear watchdog which said such attacks risked a major disaster.

Ukraine says Russia hit aid distribution centre, one killed

10:22 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian shelling hit a humanitarian aid distribution centre in the town of Orihiv in southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing a volunteer and wounding two women, the regional governor said.

Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, gave no further details of the attack on Orihiv, about 110 km (70 miles) east of the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station which has been shelled in the past few days.

Russia and Ukraine accused each other of firing the shells that fell near reactors and damaged a radioactive waste storage building at the plant.

“Russian terrorists are shelling humanitarian delivery points, continuing nuclear blackmail - a pitiful tactic of military losers,” Andriy Yermak, chief of the presidential staff, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Well, for every such action there is a Ukrainian counteraction,” he added.

'Stock up on blankets': Ukrainians brace for bleak winter

09:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rolling blackouts across Ukraine may continue through March, according to one of the country’s energy chiefs, as Ukrainians brace for a grim winter after weeks of relentless Russian strikes against its power grid.

Sergey Kovalenko, CEO of private energy provider DTEK Yasno, said in a Facebook post late Monday that the company was under instructions from Ukraine‘s state grid operator to resume emergency blackouts in the areas it covers, including the capital Kyiv and the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region.

“Although there are fewer blackouts now, I want everyone to understand: Most likely, Ukrainians will have to live with blackouts until at least the end of March,” Kovalenko warned.

“I think we need to be prepared for different options, even the worst ones. Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think about what will help you wait out a long shutdown,” he said, addressing Ukrainian residents.

Ukraine prepares for ‘worst winter’ as Zelensky says country will prevail

09:11 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed Ukraine will prevail in the war against Russia as he marked the annual Day of Dignity and Freedom.

Praising the resilience and contributions of ordinary citizens to the war effort, the Ukrainian leader said his country would continue to stand firm.

“We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address.

His words came as Ukrainians prepared for the “worst winter” of their lives, according to residents affected by power cuts as Russia continues to concentrate its attacks on Kyiv’s energy infrastructure.

David Harding reports:

  Ukraine news – live: Kyiv’s forces target Russian-held Black Sea gateway Kinburn Spit © Provided by The Independent

Ukraine prepares for ‘worst winter’ as Zelensky says country will prevail

Ukraine's security service raids Kyiv monastery, suspects Russian sabotage

08:47 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine‘s SBU security service and police raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv early on Tuesday as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”, the SBU said.

The sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex that was raided is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church known as the Moscow Patriarchate.

“These measures are being taken ... as part of the systemic work of the SBU to counter the destructive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement.

It said the search was aimed at preventing the use of the cave monastery as “the centre of the Russian world” and carried out to look into suspicions “about the use of the premises ... for sheltering sabotage and reconnaissance groups, foreign citizens, weapons storage”.

The SBU did not say what the result of the raid was. The Moscow Patriarchate did not immediately comment.

In May, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate ended its ties with the Russian church over Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine and condemned the support of Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia‘s church, for what Moscow calls its “special military operation”.

Ukraine says the full-scale invasion began an unprovoked war of aggression.

A 2020 survey by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Centre found that 34% of Ukrainians identified as members of the main Orthodox Church of Ukraine, while 14% were members of Ukraine‘s Moscow Patriarchate Church.

In 2019, Ukraine was given permission by the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide to form a church independent of Moscow, largely ending centuries of religious ties between the two countries.

‘Close call’: UN claims nuclear disaster narrowly avoided by fighting around Zaporizhzhia

08:26 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine narrowly escaped disaster during fighting at the weekend around Europe’s largest atomic power plant with a barrage of shells, some falling near reactors and damaging a radioactive waste storage building, the UN nuclear watchdog claimed.

Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame for at least a dozen explosions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been under Russian control since soon after it invaded but is across the Dnipro river from areas controlled by Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Nato members to guarantee protection from “Russian sabotage” at nuclear facilities.

The head of Russia’s state-run nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, said it had discussed Sunday’s shelling with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and said there was a risk of a nuclear accident.

Pavel Polityuk reports:

  Ukraine news – live: Kyiv’s forces target Russian-held Black Sea gateway Kinburn Spit © Provided by The Independent

UN claims nuclear disaster narrowly avoided by fighting around Zaporizhzhia

Ukrainians to suffer ‘blackouts until March'

07:54 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Millions of Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts - a daily occurrence across the country - at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said on Monday.

Sergey Kovalenko, the head of YASNO, which provides energy for Kyiv, said workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives.

“Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think about options that will help you wait a long outage,” Kovalenko said. “It’s better to do it now than to be miserable.”

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.

In a Telegram message for Kherson residents - especially the elderly, women with children and those who are ill or disabled - deputy prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk posted a number of ways residents can express interest in leaving. “You can be evacuated for the winter period to safer regions of the country,” she wrote, citing both security and infrastructure problems.

Ukraine braces for harsh winter as Russian strikes cripple power facilities

07:52 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainians braced for a winter with little or no power in several areas including Kyiv where temperatures have already dropped below freezing as relentless Russian strikes crippled half of the country’s energy capacity.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged people to conserve power, particularly in hard-hit areas such as Kyiv, Vinnytsia in the southwest, Sumy in the north and Odesa on the Black Sea.

“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,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “Try to limit your personal consumption of electricity.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the blackouts and Russia‘s strikes on energy infrastructure are the consequences of Kyiv being unwilling to negotiate, the state TASS news agency reported late last week. On Monday evening, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia was bombarding Kherson from across the Dnipro River, now that its troops had fled.

“There is no military logic: they just want to take revenge on the locals,” he tweeted.

Moscow denies intentionally targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities.

Kyiv and the West describe Russia‘s actions as an unprovoked war of aggression.

Putin to meet soldiers’ mothers - Vedomosti newspaper

07:38 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian president Vladimir Putin will in coming days meet the mothers of soldiers amid fierce fighting in Ukraine, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, citing three unidentified sources in the presidential administration.

Russia celebrates Mother’s Day on Nov. 27. The Kremlin has not officially announced any Putin meeting with soldiers’ mothers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to deny or confirm the meeting, Vedomosti said.

Russia's war on Ukraine latest news: Kyiv faces lengthy power outages as winter sets in

07:26 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainians braced for a winter with little or no power in several areas including Kyiv where temperatures have already dropped below freezing as relentless Russian strikes crippled half of the country’s energy capacity.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged residents of Kyiv and several other areas to limit electricity use.

Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said. As they head into a cold winter, residents of a bombed-out Ukrainian village say they appreciate a warm bath in a mural painted by graffiti artist Banksy. The mural shows a man scrubbing his back in a bathtub.

 (PA) © Provided by The Independent (PA)

Why did Russia invade Ukraine and what could happen next?

06:52 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s “special military operation” has now been raging for nine months, the conflict continuing to record devastating casualties and force the mass displacement of millions of Ukrainians.

Vladimir Putin began the war by claiming Ukraine needed to be “demilitarised and de-Nazified”, an entirely baseless pretext on which to launch a landgrab against a sovereign neighbour state that happens to have a Jewish president.

Ukraine has fought back courageously ever since and continued to defy the odds by defending itself against Russian onslaughts with the help of Western military aid.

  Ukraine news – live: Kyiv’s forces target Russian-held Black Sea gateway Kinburn Spit © Provided by The Independent

Why did Russia invade Ukraine and what could happen next?

Potential Ukraine threat a challenge to Russia’s Black Sea fleet - MoD

06:37 , Arpan Rai

Any demonstration of a Ukrainian capability to threaten Novorssiysk would highly likely represent a further strategic challenge for the Russian Black Sea fleet, the British defence ministry said today.

The ministry was refering to multiple reports of an attack that took place at an oil terminal in Novorssiysk port on Russia’s Black Sea coast which is close to a major base of the BSF.

“The BSF relocated many of its submarine operations to Novorssiysk after its Sevastopol base in occupied Crimea was struck by Ukraine over the summer. Russian commanders will likely be concerned about threats to the Novorssiysk-based amphibious landing ship flotilla,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It noted that these vessels are “relatively vulnerable without escorts and have assumed a more important role in supplying Russian forces in Ukraine since the Kerch Bridge was damaged in October.”

The prevailing threat would also further undermine Russia’s already reduced maritime influence in the Black Sea, the MoD said.

Desperate residents flee inhabitable Kherson as evacuation train arrives

06:12 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk posted a number of ways for residents in Kherson to express interest in leaving as the city, recently reclaimed by Kyiv, has been battered to the limit of habitability.

The politician shared a Telegram message for Kherson residents - especially the elderly, women with children and those who are ill or disabled.

“You can be evacuated for the winter period to safer regions of the country,” she wrote, citing both security and infrastructure problems.

Nuclear disaster narrowly avoided amid fighting around Zaporizhzhia

05:50 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine managed to narrowly escape a nuclear disaster during fighting at the weekend, the UN nuclear watchdog claimed, as it confirmed that Europe’s largest atomic power plant saw a barrage of shells, some falling near reactors and damaging a radioactive waste storage building.

On Monday, Russia and Ukraine traded blame for at least a dozen explosions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been under Russian control since soon after it invaded but is across the Dnipro river from areas controlled by Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelensky urged Nato members to guarantee protection from “Russian sabotage” at nuclear facilities but did not state the details of the military counterattack by his troops in the area.

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UN claims nuclear disaster narrowly avoided by fighting around Zaporizhzhia

Zelensky says Ukraine will prevail as country braces for ‘worst winter’

05:22 , Arpan Rai

President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed Ukraine will prevail in the war against Russia as he marked the annual Day of Dignity and Freedom.

Praising the resilience and contributions of ordinary citizens to the war effort, the Ukrainian leader said his country would continue to stand firm.

“We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address.

In a separate address to the Nato parliamentary assembly, Mr Zelensky said: “Russia has bet on a genocidal policy, and that is why it is destroying our energy infrastructure.”

“To ‘kill’ electricity, water and heat supply in winter - and this is Russia’s goal - is to put the lives of millions of people in direct danger. This is equivalent to the use of weapons of mass destruction - an absolute crime,” he said.

Another conflict preoccupies Putin even as war in Ukraine goes on

05:06 , Arpan Rai

Vladimir Putin stayed away from the G20 summit in Bali to avoid the opprobrium he would have faced over his invasion of Ukraine.

But this week he is going to be in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, as another conflict threatens to spread on Russia’s borders.

While international focus has been on Ukraine, the violent confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh – a disputed region which has led to two wars – is threatening to erupt once again.

A brief conflict two years ago has been followed by several large-scale clashes, with hundreds reported killed. Civilians have been forced to flee their homes, and there has been widespread destruction of cultural heritage. More than 120 square kilometres of its territory, says Armenia, is now occupied.

Kim Sengupta reports here:

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While all eyes are on Ukraine, there’s another conflict to worry about | Kim Sengupta

Military offensive continues to bomb Ukraine: ‘Revenge on locals’

04:49 , Arpan Rai

Russia is now bombarding Kherson from across the Dnipro river after its troops made a hurried exit from the captured territory last week, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said yesterday evening.

“RF [Russian federation] began to systematically shell Kherson from the left bank. There is no military logic: they just want to take revenge on the locals. This is a huge war crime live. Has anyone seen the @UNHumanRights statements yet? Or the routine of Russian atrocities is no longer interesting?” he said on Twitter.

Elsewhere, fierce fighting has been concentrated in Ukraine’s east where Russian troop movements have been confirmed into the industrial Donbas region from around Kherson in the south — a strategic territorial target for Moscow in the invasion.

Russian forces had tried to make advances around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk, and bombarded nearby towns, Ukraine’s military said late last night.

Moscow has denied intentionally targeting civilians in what Vladimir Putin has called a “special military operation”.

Russian missile installed next to New York’s Charging Bull

04:46 , Arpan Rai

Activists have placed a sculpture of a Russian missile next to the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in New York, accusing Russia of ecocide on Ukrainian land in the course of its invasion.

Photos shared by Oleksandr Todorchuk, founder of UAnimals showed the Russian missile installation partially burried in the ground immediately next to the bull and read #StopEcocideUkraine and ‘Bull fleeing the war’

The installation focusing on the war’s impact on land and environment has been placed at the landmark location in New York for a day.

“The pop-up installation aims to draw attention to the ecocide that Russia commits during the war in Ukraine. In this action, we reimagine the essence of the popular statue and show that an angry bull may be just a frightened animal fleeing war,” read an Instagram post by Mr Todorchuk.

It added: “During a full-scale invasion, Russia kills not only people, but also millions of animals. And destroys the ecosystem in general. To fight this crime uanimals launched an international campaign #StopEcocideUkraine. I remind you that due to Russian aggression millions of animals died.”

The soil is contaminated with harmful substances, and there are 8 reserves and 12 national parks under occupation, Mr Todorchuk said in the post.

View this post on Instagram

Kremlin not looking for second wave of mobilisation for Ukraine, says Russia

04:33 , Arpan Rai

Russia is not considering a second round of mobilisation to aid its war effort in Ukraine, said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

There are no discussions about that, the top Moscow official said yesterday.

However, he did not refuse the possibility of Russia calling up additional men to fight against Ukrainian forces in what is now nearly a nine-month long invasion.

“I cannot speak for the ministry of defence. There are no discussions on this matter in the Kremlin,” Mr Peskov said, reported The Moscow Times.

Intelligence reports from as early as March claimed that the Russian forces are short of personnel and resources to fight a prolonged battle in Ukraine.

Russia has destroyed ‘800 cultural objects in Ukraine’

04:00 , Liam James

Russian forces have destroyed or damged around 800 cultural objects in Ukraine, Kyiv’s culture minister claimed.

Speaking on Ukrainian TV, Oleksandr Tkachenko said: “We are currently working actively, in particular with Unesco, to strengthen these facilities ahead of winter, to obtain, in particular, generators.

“It is important for us now to get through the winter so that the museums are warm and have electricity. And that, as a result, cultural life in the country continues.”

He added that Russia’s war was waged on the very right to be Ukrainian and the existence of Ukrainian culture.

“This war is against our very identity, against our people. We see not only Bucha, but also in many other liberated areas of Kharkiv and Kherson regions, Ukrainians were killed just for the right to be Ukrainians,” he said.

Ukraine has protected many of its statues with sandbags during the Russian invasion. Pictured: Statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in Kharkiv, 27 March (Getty) © Provided by The Independent Ukraine has protected many of its statues with sandbags during the Russian invasion. Pictured: Statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in Kharkiv, 27 March (Getty)

Power outage situation difficult in Kyiv, says Zelensky

03:38 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation with electricity outages was particularly difficult yesterday evening in Kyiv city and region, along with other districts and cities like Vinnytsia, Sumy, Ternopil, Cherkasy and Odessa.

“Please try to limit your personal use of electricity in areas where there is the most difficulty on a daily basis, and especially during peak consumption hours. Of course, there should be a very frugal approach in public places as well,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address.

He added that the country’s energy workers, utility workers, rescuers and everyone involved were working at their maximum.

“But the systemic damage to our energy sphere by the attacks of Russian terrorists is so significant that all our people and businesses should be very frugal and spread consumption by hours of the day,” he said.

Russians burned and dumped the bodies of their soldiers in Kherson - report

03:34 , Arpan Rai

Residents in reclaimed Kherson have accused Russian forces of dumping and burning the bodies of their soldiers in a local landfill, reported The Guardian.

The remains of fallen Russian soldiers were moved to the landfill and burned each time the Ukrainian army shelled Moscow’s troops there, 40-year-old Kherson resident Iryna told the newspaper.

For this purpose, the Russian forces had locked and sealed off the landfill where they were dumping the remains of neutralised troops, locals have said.

This is believed to have occurred over the summer when the Russian soldiers were facing visible trouble to keep their control on the territory.

The site, earlier used by locals to dispose of their rubbish, swiftly turned to a no-go area after the Russian forces took it over.

Moldova warns of harsh winter as Russian energy supplies slashed

03:00 , Liam James

Moldova warned its people to brace for a harsh winter as it was facing an “acute” energy crisis which risked stoking popular unrest with Russia’s war in Ukraine threatening its energy supplies and prices surging.

“This war is endangering the supply of electricity and gas. We are not certain we can find enough ... to heat and light our homes, and even if we do, the prices are unaffordable for our people and economy. This could jeopardise our social peace and security,” President Maia Sandu told delegates at a meeting in Paris of representatives from 50 countries and institutions to pledge aid to Ukraine’s smaller neighbour.

Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, has felt the effects of rising food and energy prices and thousands of refugees arriving in the country of about 2.5 million people, which has taken more Ukrainian refugees per head than any other country.

Although it has strong historical and linguistic ties to neighbouring European Union member Romania, Moldova relies exclusively on Russia‘s Gazprom for gas imports and is largely depended on Russian energy.

With winter arriving and Moscow slashing natural gas supplies by about 40 per cent, its ability to supply enough electricity to its population is in doubt.

Ukraine’s alleged war crimes under observation, says US #ICYMI

02:00 , Liam James

The United States is monitoring allegations that Ukraine executed Russian prisoners of war, Washington’s war crime envoy said after videos circulating on social media that Moscow claimed as evidence that Ukrainian troops had shot a group of Russians who had surrendered.

“We are obviously tracking that quite closely,” Beth Van Schaack, the US ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, told reporters during a telephone briefing after the UN said it was investigating the footage.

“It’s really important to emphasise that the laws of war apply to all parties equally: both the aggressor state and the defender state and this is in equal measure,” she said, adding that “all parties to the conflict must abide by international law or face the consequences.”

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has reportedly said Ukraine will investigate the incident. The country’s commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said the videos appeared to show “a staged capture” where Russian forces were not truly surrendering.

Ms Van Schaack said the scale of criminality exhibited by Russian forces was “enormous” compared to the allegations against Ukrainian troops, and noted that the two sides responded differently when allegations of atrocities surface.

“Russia inevitably responds with propaganda, denial, mis- and dis-information, whereas Ukrainian authorities have generally acknowledged abuses and have denounced them and have pledged to investigate them,” she said.

Ukraine on edge of disaster at nuclear plant, says UN

01:00 , Liam James

Ukraine narrowly escaped disaster during fighting at the weekend that rocked Europe’s largest atomic power plant with a barrage of shells, some falling near reactors and damaging a radioactive waste storage building, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said.

Russia and Ukraine traded blame for at least a dozen explosions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been under Russian control since soon after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February.

IAEA experts toured the site on Monday, and the agency said they found widespread damage but nothing that compromised the plant’s essential systems.

“They were able to confirm that despite the severity of the shelling key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns,” a spokesperson said.

But, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said, “we were fortunate a potentially serious nuclear incident did not happen. Next time, we may not be so lucky.

“We are talking metres, not kilometres.”

Ukraine prepares for ‘worst winter’ as Zelensky says country will prevail

00:01 , Liam James

President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed Ukraine will prevail in the war against Russia as he marked the annual Day of Dignity and Freedom.

Praising the resilience and contributions of ordinary citizens to the war effort, the Ukrainian leader said his country would continue to stand firm.

“We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address.

His words came as Ukrainians prepared for the “worst winter” of their lives, according to residents affected by power cuts as Russia continues to concentrate its attacks on Kyiv’s energy infrastructure.

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Ukraine prepares for ‘worst winter’ as Zelensky says country will prevail

Russia fired 400 times on Donbas, says Zelensky #ICYMI

Monday 21 November 2022 23:04 , Liam James

Russian forces launched almost 400 artillery strikes in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night in a video address.

“The fiercest battles, as before, are in the Donetsk region. Although there were fewer attacks today due to worsening weather, the amount of Russian shelling unfortunately remains extremely high,” Mr Zelensky said.

“In the Luhansk region, we are slowly moving forward while fighting. As of now, there have been almost 400 artillery attacks in the east since the start of the day,” he continued.

Mr Zelensky also said troops in the south were “consistently and very calculatedly destroying the potential of the occupiers” but gave no details.

Russia withdrew its forces from the southern city of Kherson this month and moved some of them to reinforce positions in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, an industrial area known as the Donbas.

Four suspected Russian torture sites found in Kherson, says Ukraine prosecutor

Monday 21 November 2022 22:15 , Liam James

Ukrainian police and prosecutors have identified four places in Kherson where they suspect Russian forces tortured people before abandoning the city, the prosecutor general’s office said on Monday.

In a statement on Telegram, a spokesperson said the Russian forces had set up “pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in detention centres and a police building in the southern Ukrainian city.

The police, prosecutors and experts based their findings on documents signed by the Russian forces that occupied Kherson soon after invading Ukraine in February until pulling out this month, the statement said.

They also discovered objects in the buildings including parts of rubber batons, a wooden bat, handcuffs and an incandescent lamp, and bullets were found in walls, it said.

“Various methods of torture, physical and psychological violence were applied to people in cells and basements,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Ukrainians evacuated from Kherson ahead of winter

Monday 21 November 2022 21:44 , Liam James

Ukrainian authorities are evacuating civilians from Kherson and the neighbouring Mykolaiv region, fearing that a lack of heat, power and water due to Russian shelling will make living conditions too difficult this winter.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said residents of the two southern regions, regularly shelled in the past months by Russian forces, would be provided with ““transportation, accommodation” and “medical care”.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned today about the energy crisis’s human impact on Ukraine.

“This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” said the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri Kluge. “Attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational, lacking fuel, water and electricity.”

He warned of health risks such as respiratory and cardiovascular problems from people trying to warm themselves by burning charcoal or wood and using diesel generators and electric heaters.

Ukraine could face blackouts until late March, says energy official

Monday 21 November 2022 20:55 , Aisha Rimi

Ukraine could face rolling blackouts throughout winter and until at least late March, said the CEO of Yasno, a Ukrainian energy supply company.

“Today we again have various outages: we started with a stabilisation schedule, but in the afternoon we received new restrictions from Ukrenergo and we are also shutting power down urgently,” Serhiy Kovalenko wrote on Facebook.

“Despite the bad weather, energy companies are now trying their best to complete the restoration before the even greater cold. And although there have been fewer power outages now, I’d like everyone to understand: most likely, Ukrainians will have to live in the mode of power outages at least until the end of March.”

According to the CEO, if there are no new attacks on the power grid, under the current conditions of power generation, the deficit can be evenly distributed throughout the country, which means that blackouts will be everywhere, but less long.

Ukrainian people’s health cannot be held hostage, says WHO

Monday 21 November 2022 20:25 , Aisha Rimi

The World Health Organisation has called for the creation of a “humanitarian health corridor” in Ukraine.

Speaking at a WHO press briefing in Kyiv, the regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, reported on the continuing health and energy impacts brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He called for the corridor to allow Ukrainians access to healthcare and humanitarian aid, adding that “access to health care cannot be held hostage”.

Dr Kluge expressed particular concern for the 17,000 HIV patients in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region who could soon run out of critical antiretroviral drugs.

He said: “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine.

“The devastating energy crisis, the deepening mental health emergency, constraints on humanitarian access and the risk of viral infections will make this winter a formidable test for the Ukrainian health system and the Ukrainian people, but also for the world and its commitment to support Ukraine.

“The country is facing a therma-crisis on top of a perma-crisis brought on by the war and the pandemic.

“Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is either damaged or destroyed. This is already having knock-on effects on the health system and on people’s health.”

 (EPA) © Provided by The Independent (EPA)

Cold and dark: Kyiv readies for 'worst winter of our lives'

Monday 21 November 2022 20:08 , Aisha Rimi

When the power is out, as it so often is, the high-rise apartment overlooking Ukraine’s war-torn capital feels like a deathtrap. No lights, no water, no way to cook food. And no elevator by which to escape from the 21st floor should a Russian missile strike. Even when electricity comes back, it’s never on for long.

“Russian strikes are plunging Ukraine into the Stone Age,” says Anastasia Pyrozhenko. In a recent 24-hour spell, her 26-story high-rise only had power for half an hour. She says the “military living conditions” have driven her and husband from their apartment.

“Our building is the highest in the area and is a great target for Russian missiles, so we left our apartment for our parents’ place and are preparing for the worst winter of our lives,” said the 25-year-old.

Read the full story:

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Cold and dark: Kyiv readies for 'worst winter of our lives'

No nuclear safety concerns at Zaporizhzhia after shelling, IAEA confirms

Monday 21 November 2022 19:34 , Aisha Rimi

There are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine despite shelling at the weekend that caused widespread damage, the UN atomic watchdog said after its experts toured the site.

“They were able to confirm that “despite the severity of the shelling” key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement issued on Monday evening.

Ukraine’s alleged war crimes under observation, says US

Monday 21 November 2022 19:11 , Liam James

The United States is monitoring allegations that Ukraine executed Russian prisoners of war, Washington’s war crime envoy said after videos circulating on social media that Moscow claimed as evidence that Ukrainian troops had shot a group of Russians who had surrendered.

“We are obviously tracking that quite closely,” Beth Van Schaack, the US ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, told reporters during a telephone briefing after the UN said it was investigating the footage.

“It’s really important to emphasise that the laws of war apply to all parties equally: both the aggressor state and the defender state and this is in equal measure,” she said, adding that “all parties to the conflict must abide by international law or face the consequences.”

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has reportedly said Ukraine will investigate the incident. The country’s commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said the videos appeared to show “a staged capture” where Russian forces were not truly surrendering.

Ms Van Schaack said the scale of criminality exhibited by Russian forces was “enormous” compared to the allegations against Ukrainian troops, and noted that the two sides responded differently when allegations of atrocities surface.

“Russia inevitably responds with propaganda, denial, mis- and dis-information, whereas Ukrainian authorities have generally acknowledged abuses and have denounced them and have pledged to investigate them,” she said.

Russia will refuse oil shipments to price cap countries, says deputy PM

Monday 21 November 2022 18:41 , Liam James

Russia will not ship oil or oil products to countries imposing a price cap on its oil exports and may also cut crude production, deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.

He reiterated that Russia remained a reliable oil supplier and that the introduction of a price cap on Russian oil would trigger lower supply.

The G7 and Australia have agreed to ban imports of Russian oil. However, the group will allow domestic companies to facilitate shipments of Russian oil to other countries if sold under a certain price, in a measure set to take effect on 5 December.

France condemns shelling of Ukraine nuclear plants

Monday 21 November 2022 18:15 , Aisha Rimi

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine and said other nuclear plants at Rovno and Khmelnitski, as well as the Nova Kakhovka dam had also been targeted.

Mr Macron, in a statement after a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also said Mr Zelensky had thanked France for its continuous support for the Ukrainian army via the delivery of supplies, a €200 million purchasing fund for Ukraine and the French contribution to European peace efforts.

Russia has destroyed 800 cultural objects, says Ukraine’s culture minister

Monday 21 November 2022 17:45 , Aisha Rimi

Russian forces have completely destroyed or partially destroyed about 800 cultural objects, said the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Speaking on Ukrainian TV he said: “We are currently working actively, in particular with UNESCO, to strengthen these facilities ahead of winter, to obtain, in particular, generators.

“It is important for us now to get through the winter so that the museums are warm and have electricity. And that, as a result, cultural life in the country continues.”

He added that Russia’s war is also a war for the very right to be Ukrainian and the existence of Ukrainian culture.

“This war is against our very identity, against our people. We see not only Bucha, but also in many other liberated areas of Kharkiv and Kherson regions, Ukrainians were killed just for the right to be Ukrainians,” he said.

One person killed after Russian shelling in Kherson

Monday 21 November 2022 17:07 , Aisha Rimi

Four people have been injured as a result of Russian shelling in Kherson.

They were taken to a regional hospital where one person died, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, wrote on Telegram.

He added that Russian shelling of the village of Antonivka injured a woman who was also taken to the Kherson regional hospital.

Luxembourg to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine

Monday 21 November 2022 16:43 , Aisha Rimi

Luxembourg has said it will send additional high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) to Ukraine.

The Minister of Defense of Luxembourg François Bausch wrote this on Twitter:“The Army of Luxembourg and the Defense Forces of Luxembourg support the Armed Forces of Ukraine by sending additional High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). These will strengthen Ukraine’s in exercising its right to self-defence.

“Luxembourg will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

France announces €100m aid package for Moldova

Monday 21 November 2022 16:16 , Aisha Rimi

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced an additional international aid package worth more than €100m for Moldova.

The eastern European country has suffered from massive blackouts, heavy refugee flows, and security threats as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Speaking at a donor conference for Moldova in Paris, he said much of that aid would have to be focused on helping Moldova deal with an energy crisis that is the consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 (AP) © Provided by The Independent (AP)

Several countries seek aid for Moldova as it feels impact of the war in Ukraine

Monday 21 November 2022 15:33 , Aisha Rimi

Diplomats are raising money and other support for Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, as it braces the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moldova has suffered from massive blackouts, heavy refugee flows and security threats from the war.

Monday’s international aid conference in Paris is aimed at “concrete and immediate assistance” for the land-locked former Soviet republic, according to the French foreign ministry.

Two previous conferences for Moldova this year raised hundreds of millions of euros, but as the war drags on, its needs are growing.

The ministry said: “This international support is all the more important as Moldova is currently facing an unprecedented energy crisis which, with the approach of winter, poses a risk of a humanitarian crisis for the Moldovan population.”

Broad blackouts temporarily hit more than half a dozen Moldovan cities last week as the Russian military pounded infrastructure targets across Ukraine.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, second right, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, second left, Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, left, and Romania’s Foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu attend a conference on Monday (AP) © Provided by The Independent French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, second right, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, second left, Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, left, and Romania’s Foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu attend a conference on Monday (AP)

Moldova’s Soviet-era energy systems remain interconnected with Ukraine, which is why the Russian missile barrage triggered the automatic shutdown of a supply line.

Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s foreign minister and minister for European integration, said at the Paris conference on Monday that “the objective of today is to continue moving forward with ensuring peace, stability in our part of Europe”.

“Ukraine is facing this brutal Russian aggression but this aggression is posing a problem for everyone in Europe and that of course applies (to) Moldova,” he added.

“Moldova is severely affected by this war economically, when it comes to the security of energy supplies.”

Earlier this month, the European Union pledged 250 million euro (around £217 million) to help Moldova after Russia halved its natural gas supply.

Moldova relied heavily on Russian energy before the war, and has increasingly been looking to forge closer ties with the West.

President Zelensky and wife attend ‘Heavenly Hundred’ commemoration ceremony in Kyiv

Monday 21 November 2022 15:09 , Aisha Rimi

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena attended a commemoration ceremony in Kyiv earlier today.

They laid candles at a monument to the so-called “Heavenly Hundred” for the people killed during the Ukrainian pro-EU mass demonstrations in 2014, marking the ninth anniversary of the start of the uprising.

 (via REUTERS) © Provided by The Independent (via REUTERS)  (via REUTERS) © Provided by The Independent (via REUTERS)

Four ‘torture sites' discovered in Kherson city

Monday 21 November 2022 14:46 , Aisha Rimi

Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office has said its officers have found torture chambers in four buildings in the city of Kherson.

In a post on Facebook, the Prosecutor General’s Office said they had “Inspected four premises” where Russian troops “unlawfully detained people” and “brutally tortured them”.

The investigation found that Russian forces had set up “pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in pre-trial detention centres and a police station while they occupied the city.

The statement continued: “Parts of rubber batons, a wooden bat, a device used by the Russians to torture civilians with electric shocks, an incandescent lamp, and bullets from the walls were recovered.

“People in cells and basements were subjected to various methods of torture, physical and psychological violence.”

All the torture victims are being identified and a pre-trial investigation is ongoing as part of the criminal proceedings over the violation of the laws and customs of war, the Prosecutor General’s Office the statement added.

Nuclear plants need protection from Russian sabotage, says Zelensky

Monday 21 November 2022 13:51 , Aisha Rimi

President Zelensky has urged NATO members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from Russian sabotage, a day after the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant was rocked by heavy shelling.

“All our nations are interested in not having any dangerous incidents at our nuclear facilities,” President Zelensky said in a video address to NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid.

“We all need guaranteed protection from Russian sabotage at nuclear facilities,” he added.

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by The Independent (AFP via Getty Images)

The Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine was shelled on Saturday and Sunday, raising concern about the potential for a serious accident just 500 km (300 miles) from Chornobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

President Zelensky also called for new EU sanctions against Moscow over what he said was its “policy of genocide” as Russian forces bomb crucial civil infrastructure. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians in Ukraine but acknowledges a campaign of strikes against electric power and other infrastructure.

Russia’s ‘General Armageddon’ under pressure to deliver after Russia’s retreat in Kherson

Monday 21 November 2022 13:18 , Aisha Rimi

A Russian commander who argued in favour of Moscow’s forces to retreat from the Ukrainian city of Kherson this month is now under growing pressure to prove it was worth it.

Sergei Surovikin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media for his reputed ruthlessness, on 9 November recommended Moscow’s troops leave Kherson and the west bank of the River Dnipro where they were dangerously exposed.

He argued the withdrawal, completed two days later, would allow Moscow to save equipment and redeploy forces there – estimated by the United States at 30,000 strong – to offensives elsewhere.

Some of those troops have since been moved from southern to eastern Ukraine, where fierce fighting is raging, and the Hero of Russia recipient is under pressure on the cusp of winter to show his bet was the right one.

Vladimir Solovyov, one of Russia’s most famous ultra-nationalist political TV talk show hosts, said last week: “I appeal to the Hero of Russia Army General Surovikin: Comrade Army General, I ask you to complete the total destruction of energy infrastructure of the Nazi Ukrainian junta.”

The appointment of Surovikin on 8 October was the first time Russia had publicly named an overall commander for its forces in Ukraine.

In some Russian circles, his appointment was seen as setting up a potential fall guy while insulating Putin and, to a lesser extent, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, from direct criticism.

 (AP) © Provided by The Independent (AP)

Russian shelling on civilian infrastructure in Kherson leaves people injured

Monday 21 November 2022 12:47 , Aisha Rimi

“Kherson city is shelled again, civilian infrastructure is struck again,” posted Yuriy Sobolevskyi, the first deputy chairman of the Kherson Regional Council on Facebook.

He added the civilians are receiving medical help.

Top Russian official warns of possible nuclear accident at Zaporizhzhia

Monday 21 November 2022 12:25 , Aisha Rimi

The head of Russia’s state-run atomic energy agency, Rosatom, has warned there was a risk of a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, following renewed shelling over the weekend.

Moscow and Kyiv have traded accusations of shelling the facility for months since Russian forces took control of it in March, shortly after invading Ukraine. Renewed shelling on Sunday triggered fresh fears of a possible disaster at the site.

“The plant is at risk of a nuclear accident. We were in negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all night,” Interfax quoted Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev as saying.

Rosatom has controlled the facility through a subsidiary since October when President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia to formally seize the plant and transfer Ukrainian staff to a Russian entity. Kyiv says the transfer of assets amounts to theft.

The IAEA has called for the creation of a security zone around the plant, something Mr Likhachev said would only be possible if it was approved by the United States.

“I think the large distance between Washington and Zaporizhzhia should not be an argument for the United States to delay the decision on a security zone,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

The Rosatom head also said it appeared Kyiv was willing to “accept” a “small nuclear accident” at the nuclear power station.

“This will be a precedent that will forever change the course of history. Therefore everything must be done so that no one has in their minds to violate the security of the nuclear power plant,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Zelensky vows Ukraine ‘will endure’ in speech marking annual Maidan celebration

Monday 21 November 2022 12:07 , Andy Gregory

Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed that Ukraine “will endure” in a speech marking the nation’s annual Day of Dignity and Freedom, which celebrates the Maidan and Orange Revolution protests.

The president hailed the contributions made by Ukrainians - from soldiers, firefighters and medics to teachers giving online lessons, villagers cooking for the military, tailors sewing uniforms and farmers ploughing their fields despite the risk.

He hailed their defiance despite frequent missile strikes, widescale destruction, shortages and rolling blackouts as winter sets in, almost exactly nine months since Russia’s invasion.

“We can be left without money. Without gasoline. Without hot water. Without light. But not without freedom,” Mr Zelensky said, from the presidential palace in Kyiv.

“A lot” has changed since the previous year, he said, remarking: “Craters appeared on our land. There are roadblocks and anti-tank hedgehogs in our cities and villages. It may be dark on our streets. It may be cold in our homes.

“There are many changes, but they have not changed the most important thing. Because the most important thing is not outside, but inside. And it remains unchanged. And that’s why we will hold out. We will endure.”

He said that in the future Ukrainians would gather on Kyiv’s Independence Square, which was central to the events of 2013/14 and 2004, “where we will celebrate the Victory Day of Ukraine ... in a peaceful Kyiv, in a peaceful Ukraine.”

Polish minister to propose stationing German Patriots near Ukrainian border

Monday 21 November 2022 11:25 , Andy Gregory

Warsaw could deploy additional Patriot missile launchers near its border with Ukraine, following an offer from Germany in response to the stray missile which killed two people in Poland last week.

“During today’s conversation with the German side, I will propose that the system be stationed at the border with Ukraine,” defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak said.

Ground-based air defence systems such as Raytheon’s Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.

Rapper Kanye West claims during a well-known conspiracy theorist’s show that he likes Hitler .
Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has claimed during a commercial break on U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show that he likes the figure of Hitler after numerous accusations against him for anti-Semitism. During the program, Jones has asked West about the controversial actions of the American artist, who lost his contract with Adidas […]During the program, Jones has asked West about the controversial actions of the American artist, who lost his contract with Adidas for comments that the company called "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous". In this sense, the presenter has assured that Ye "is neither Hitler nor a Nazi", after which the rapper has taken the floor.

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