Russia-Ukraine war live: Russia confirms Ukrainian troops have crossed Dnipro River | World news

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Russia says Ukrainian forces have crossed the River Dnipro but face ‘hell fire’ and death

Ukrainian troops are trying to push back Russian forces along the Dnipro River in southern Kherson region, the military said on Wednesday, calling for operational “silence” along what it described as a “fairly fluid” frontline.

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had secured a foothold on the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the vast river, for the first time confirming an advance that could open a new line of attack towards occupied Crimea.

A Russian-installed official, Vladimir Saldo, said Moscow’s military had pinned down Ukrainian forces who crossed on to the river’s eastern bank and was raining “hell fire” on them.

“Our additional forces have now been brought in. The enemy is trapped in (the settlement of) Krynki and a fiery hell has been arranged for him: bombs, rockets, heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells, and drones,” Saldo said.

“They (the Ukrainians) are sitting in basements and run from one basement to another at night. In the last two or three days alone, total enemy losses have totalled about a hundred fighters.”

A Ukrainian advance on the Russian-held side of the Dnipro, a formidable natural barrier, would be a big setback for Russia’s occupation troops on the western side of a 1,000 km frontline.

These reports have not yet been independently verified.

Key events

Russian missile kills two emergency workers in southern Ukraine as they put out fire, say officials

A Russian missile killed two emergency workers in southern Ukraine on Wednesday as they put out a fire from an attack only minutes earlier, Ukrainian officials said (this is an update from an earlier post at 11.48).

At least seven other people were injured in the strikes in the Zaporizhzhia region, in which Russian forces fired three missiles in about half an hour, the regional governor, Yuriy Malashko, said.

He said a civilian facility had been hit but gave no details, and said that homes and cars nearby had been damaged.

Rescue workers had rushed to the scene after the first strikes but another attack followed, the interior minister, Ihor Klymenko, wrote on Telegram.

“Employees of the State Emergency Service were already at the scene in a matter of minutes. Then the [Russian] invaders struck again,” he said, adding that the two men killed were aged 31 and 34.

He said the injured included three emergency workers and four civilians. These claims are yet to be independently verified.

Nato to modernise surveillance jets in face of Russia threat

Nato has announced it will buy six Boeing aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of AWACS surveillance planes, bolstering the alliance’s capabilities to track the threat from Russia, AFP reports.

“The production of the six new Boeing E-7A Wedgetail aircraft is set to begin in the coming years, with the first aircraft expected to be ready for operational duty by 2031,” Nato said.

Nato said the joint acquisition by its members represented one of the alliance’s “biggest-ever capability purchases”, but did not give the overall cost.

The jets will be operated centrally by the alliance, likely out of its Geilenkirchen airbase in Germany, with intelligence shared among the 31 members.

“Equipped with a powerful radar, the aircraft can detect hostile aircraft, missiles and ships at great distances and can direct Nato fighter jets to their targets,” the alliance said.

❝Surveillance and control aircraft are crucial for NATO’s collective defence and I welcome Allies’ commitment to investing in high-end capabilities❞

@jensstoltenberg

Tap the image for info on NATO’s next generation command and control aircraft, Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail

— NATO (@NATO) November 15, 2023

Hungary seeks review of the EU’s policy towards Ukraine

Hungary has sought a review of the EU’s policy towards Ukraine, disagreeing with Germany, Lithuania, Finland and Ireland that backed bringing Kyiv closer to the bloc more quickly and granting it more aid.

Hungary is the main stumbling block to a decision by EU leaders next month to start formal membership talks with Ukraine once it meets all conditions, and assign €50bn in aid for Kyiv from the bloc’s budget through 2027.

Those decisions require unanimity of the 27 countries in the bloc.

But Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán – who has complained that Ukraine had curbed the rights of Hungarian minority – has since said the bloc’s strategy of sending money and military aid to Ukraine has failed, and that he opposed starting membership negotiations with Kyiv.

“We need a period of reflection and a strategic discussion on the policy of the European Union towards Ukraine,” Hungary’s European affairs minister, János Bóka, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Until such discussion, Budapest would not support any EU decisions to advance Ukraine’s accession process or further aid for Kyiv, he said.

Janos Boka talking to media before the start of an EU general affairs ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
János Bóka talking to media before the start of an EU general affairs ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine have met the delegation of the monitoring mission of the European Peace Facility.

In a Telegram post, the ministry said they discussed the ways in which EU experts monitor aid provided by EU countries, namely weapons, military equipment and “military property”.

Russia fired three missiles at Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region on Wednesday morning, killing one person and injuring at least seven others, the governor said.

Houses and cars near the strike sites were damaged by a blast wave and debris in an attack that lasted about half an hour and hit a civilian facility, the governor, Yuriy Malashko, said, Reuters reports.

“As of this moment, we know of one person killed and seven injured, including women,” he wrote on Telegram.

These claims have not yet been independently verified.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has met with Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and discussed increasing ammunition production in the EU and the resilience of “critical infrastructure”.

The German defence minister said on Tuesday that the EU will miss its target of supplying Ukraine with 1m artillery shells and missiles by next March.

Thank you @NATO SG @jensstoltenberg for the good exchange on EU-NATO cooperation.

We are providing vital support to Ukraine in its fight against the Russian agression.

We are working on increased ammunition production in the EU & the resilience of our critical infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/hXVOxeQCty

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 15, 2023

A leading western journalist who has long been considered one of Germany’s top independent experts on Russia received at least €600,000 (£522,000) in undisclosed offshore payments from companies linked to an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, leaked files have revealed.

Hubert Seipel, an award-winning film-maker and author, was paid money in instalments, which documents suggest was to support his work on two books he wrote that chart Putin’s rise to power and offer portrayals described by many as sympathetic to the Russian president.

The case is one of the first linking an influential western journalist with significant payments in what could be seen by some as attempts by pro-Putin actors to secure positive coverage in the international media.

Read the full story here:

Russia says Ukrainian forces have crossed the River Dnipro but face ‘hell fire’ and death

Ukrainian troops are trying to push back Russian forces along the Dnipro River in southern Kherson region, the military said on Wednesday, calling for operational “silence” along what it described as a “fairly fluid” frontline.

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had secured a foothold on the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the vast river, for the first time confirming an advance that could open a new line of attack towards occupied Crimea.

A Russian-installed official, Vladimir Saldo, said Moscow’s military had pinned down Ukrainian forces who crossed on to the river’s eastern bank and was raining “hell fire” on them.

“Our additional forces have now been brought in. The enemy is trapped in (the settlement of) Krynki and a fiery hell has been arranged for him: bombs, rockets, heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells, and drones,” Saldo said.

“They (the Ukrainians) are sitting in basements and run from one basement to another at night. In the last two or three days alone, total enemy losses have totalled about a hundred fighters.”

A Ukrainian advance on the Russian-held side of the Dnipro, a formidable natural barrier, would be a big setback for Russia’s occupation troops on the western side of a 1,000 km frontline.

These reports have not yet been independently verified.

Here are the latest images coming across the wires from Ukraine:

Aftermath of a Russian missile strike in Selydove.
Aftermath of a Russian missile strike in Selydove. Photograph: Alina Smutko/Reuters
Ukrainian military medics treat a wounded Ukrainian serviceman at a stabilisation point near Bakhmut, Donetsk region.
Ukrainian military medics treat a wounded soldier at a stabilisation point near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. Photograph: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainian soldier in a trench at his infantry position.
Ukrainian soldier in a trench. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu/Getty Images

Most people in non-western countries want Russia’s war on Ukraine to end as soon as possible even if it means Kyiv ceding territory, according to a global poll published by the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“There remains a clear preference in China, India, and Turkey (and obviously Russia) that the war should end as soon as possible, even if Ukraine has to relinquish control of some of its territory. Our new poll shows that this is also the prevailing view in Brazil, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa,” according to the thinktank’s report.

“But this does not mean people in those countries think the war in Ukraine is an occasion to push against the western dominance of the world; this argument remains popular solely in Russia and nowhere else.”

The report is based on a public opinion poll of adults from September and October 2023, across 11 European countries, and 10 non-European countries. There was a total of 25,266 respondents.

“Majorities in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey believe the US and Russia are at war,” the report said.

“People in the US and Europe are joined only by those in India and Brazil in having a prevailing view that the US is not at war with Russia (though there are countries in Europe where the opposite view prevails).”

In case you missed it, today’s Today in Focus episode looks at whether Putin has the upper hand in Ukraine:

This summer, hopes were high that Ukraine could use western weapons to claim back big cities, liberate hundreds of miles of territory and maybe even cut off Russian forces inside the country. That has not happened.

Instead the war’s progress has slowed to an agonising pace. Drones mean both sides have impressive intelligence of what their enemies are doing and breakthroughs are hard to come by. And the world’s attention being on the Middle East is a dangerous situation for Ukraine – will it lose the financial support of its western backers, such as the US?

The possible re-election of Donald Trump, who is thought to be even less keen on financing Ukrainian efforts, is looming. But, Luke Harding tells Michael Safi, morale is still surprisingly high in Ukraine. And counting them out now would be a mistake.

The Russian military has pinned down Ukrainian forces who crossed on to the eastern bank of the River Dnipro in southern Ukraine, Vladimir Saldo, a Russian-installed official, said on Wednesday.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had secured a foothold on the east bank of the Dnipro in the Kherson region.

Ukrainian state railway restricts deliveries to Odesa ‘due to repairs’

Ukraine’s state railways said on Wednesday it had restricted grain deliveries to Odesa, one of the country’s key Black Sea ports, due to repairs.

“Ukrzaliznytsia has started repairing the railway infrastructure on its network, which hinders the movement of freight trains towards the ports of Odesa region,” Valeriy Tkachov, deputy director of the commercial department at the railways, said on Facebook.

The company did not say when the restrictions would be lifted.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday the country’s exports through an alternative Black Sea shipping corridor had reached almost 4m metric tons since the route started operating in August.

Grain and other food products dominate the cargoes through the route, which runs along Ukraine’s south-west Black Sea coast, into Romanian territorial waters and onwards to Turkey.

Ukraine has traditionally used its deep-water Black Sea ports in the Odesa region to export food, metals and other commodities.

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