The day of the war at a glance: Ukrainian police control Cherson – grain agreement on the brink

The day of the war at a glance
Ukrainian police control Cherson – grain agreement on the brink

Ukraine has welcomed the Russian withdrawal from large parts of the Kherson region. According to British assessments, it is one of the biggest Russian defeats in this war so far. And the retreat continues. Apparently, the occupation administration next wants to clear the town of Nowa Kachowka near the dam of the same name. The 261st day of the war at a glance.

Ukrainian police officers in Kherson

The Ukrainian police returned to Kherson after the withdrawal of Russian troops. The head of Ukraine’s National Police, Ihor Klymenko, said in a Facebook post that about 200 officers are deployed in the city, setting up checkpoints and documenting evidence of possible war crimes. Police teams also worked to identify and neutralize duds. According to Ukrainian information, national television and radio programs will also be broadcast again in the liberated city.

Russia had largely captured the Kherson region shortly after the start of its war of aggression in late February. In September, the Kremlin annexed Cherson, along with the Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, in violation of international law. Finally, under pressure from Ukrainian counter-offensives, Moscow announced last Wednesday that it would be withdrawing its troops from all parts of Cherson northwest of the Dnipro River, including the region’s capital.

Occupiers want to evacuate the dam city

After withdrawing from the right bank of the Dnipro River, the Russian occupiers also announced that they would evacuate the dam town of Nowa Kakhovka on the other side of the river. The administration of Kakhovka is withdrawing to a safe place together with the citizens of the city, local crew chief Pavel Filipchuk said, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. It is feared that the dam could be destroyed by shelling and the area could be flooded. For weeks, Russians and Ukrainians have been accusing each other of planning such a provocation. According to local reports, Ukrainian units had already advanced to the small town of Beryslav near the dam.

Russian administration relocated

The occupiers have now moved their regional administrative center to the part of the region south of the Dnipro that they still control. A large part of the Russian administration has already been relocated to the city of Henichesk, Russia’s state news agencies reported.

British: Biggest Russian defeat of war

International observers rate the withdrawal as one of the biggest defeats for the Russian army in this war. According to British assessments, the recapture of the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson by Ukrainian troops means considerable damage to the image of Russia. “The withdrawal is a public acknowledgment of the difficulties faced by Russian forces on the west bank of the Dnipro River,” the Ministry of Defense commented in London.

The British Ministry doubted that Russia had evacuated troops and material in the shortest possible time as claimed. Rather, it is likely that the withdrawal had already been initiated on October 22, when the Russian occupation administration asked the civilian population to leave the city. Since then, Russia has probably brought military equipment and armed forces in civilian clothes together with the 80,000 officially evacuated civilians from the city. The British ministry further said that Russia is still trying to evacuate units from other parts of the Kherson Oblast to defensive positions across the Dnipro.

Cheering in Kherson

In Kherson, residents cheered their liberation. The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, showed photos from the city on Telegram. The residents then happily greet the Ukrainian troops. People had been waiting for this for eight months, writes Tymoshenko.

According to the United States, Kyiv alone decides on negotiations

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukraine alone should decide on the timing and subject of possible negotiations with Russia. According to the State Department, Blinken reiterated this US position at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Cambodia. Blinken said security, humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine would continue “as long as necessary”.

Kuleba: Complete Hunger Games

Kuleba called on the Southeast Asian community to urge Russia to continue the agreement on grain exports across the Black Sea, which expires in a week. “I call on all Asean members to take every possible measure to prevent Russia from playing hunger games with the world,” Kuleba told journalists in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The deal to export Ukrainian grain was signed in July brokered by the UN and Turkey and expires on November 19.

UN backs Russian claim on exports

The United Nations called for obstacles to the export of fertilizers from Russia to be removed. “The world cannot afford that global problems with the availability of fertilizers lead to global food shortages,” the United Nations said after talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and his delegation in Geneva.

The grain agreement consists of two agreements: in addition to Ukrainian exports, it was also about Russian food and fertilizers being exported despite Western sanctions. But that turned out to be difficult: Although the sanctions are not aimed directly at these exports, their existence makes it difficult for Russian actors to call at European ports, process payments and get insurance for their ships. Specifically, Vershinin demanded that Russia’s state-owned Rosselkhoz Bank be exempted from Western sanctions and reconnected to the Swift international payment system.

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