Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


European Commission has carried out more than 1,300 medevac flights from Ukraine

The European Commission has carried out 1,321 medevac flights from Ukraine to neighboring Western countries as Russia’s months long assault continues.

“Pre-planned flights for groups of Medevac patients have been taking place twice per week since midAugust, using a medicalized plane offered by Norway,” the EU wrote in a release.

Here’s a look at the EU’s medevac operation:

Ukraine deploys homemade weapons and transport to combat Russia

Homemade rocket launchers and modified buggies are just some of the weapons Ukrainian forces are using to combat Russia.

Ukrainian soldier with call-sign Ryba, which means “fish” in English, stands on the vehicle with a homemade four-tube multiple rocket launcher n Kryvyi Rih on September 28, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images

Workers assembly a buggy in a workshop in Kryvyi Rih on September 29, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. – About thirty buggies are already used by the army on the Northern and Southern fronts and ten more are about to be finished.

Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images

Sergiy Bondarenko, a member of a territorial defense unit, speaks next to a heavy machine gun which will be transformed into an anti-drone system in a workshop in Kryvyi Rig on October 2, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images

A workers assembles a buggy in a workshop in Kryvyi Rih on September 29, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

– Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

USAID announces $55 million to help Ukraine prepare for winter

Maria Pshenychnykh, 83, sits in the kitchen of her war-damaged home near Kharkiv on May 18, 2022 in Vilkhivka, Ukraine, which had until recently been occupied by Russian forces. Seniors in the city have been relying on humanitarian aid, as their monthly government pension payments were suspended due to the fighting. In recent weeks Ukrainian forces have advanced towards the Russian border after Russia’s offensive on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city stalled.

John Moore | Getty Images

USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced a $55 million investment in Ukraine’s heating infrastructure to help the country prepare for winter as Russia’s war marches on.

“This assistance will support repairs and maintenance of pipes and other equipment necessary to deliver heating to homes, hospitals, schools and businesses across Ukraine,” USAID wrote in a release, adding that the funds will “directly benefit up to seven million Ukrainians in 19 regions.”

USAID will also provide generators and alternative fuel sources to hospitals, centers for internally-displaced persons and shelters for vulnerable citizens.

— Amanda Macias

USAID Administrator Samantha Power arrives in Kyiv to discuss humanitarian aid

US Agency for International Development Administrator, Samantha Power (L), speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on November 4, 2021.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

USAID Administrator Samantha Power arrived in Kyiv to discuss humanitarian aid with Ukrainian government officials.

At the train station, Power was seen with Bridget Brink, the newest U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

“It is a critical moment for the Ukrainian people as they defend their freedom from brutal attack, liberate occupied land, prepare for winter and strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law,” Power added.

— Amanda Macias

Sweden says investigation into Russian pipeline leaks strengthens suspicion of ‘gross sabotage’

Sweden’s national security service on Thursday said a crime scene investigation into the gas leaks from two underwater pipelines connecting Russia to Germany “strengthened the suspicions of gross sabotage.”

Sweden’s Security Police said the investigation found there had been detonations at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, which caused “extensive damage” to the pipelines.  

It added that “certain seizures have been made,” without offering further details, adding that these would now be reviewed and analyzed.

Read more on the story here

— Sam Meredith

Ukraine has liberated more than 154 square miles of territory in Kherson

Ukraine’s armed forces have liberated more than 400 square kilometers (154 square miles) of territory in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, and “are advancing further,” according to a military spokeswoman.

“Our successes are quite convincing. We do not name the directions, but more than 400 square kilometers of Kherson region have already been liberated from the occupiers. And we are moving forward,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern command unit said on Thursday, according to comments reported by news agency Ukrinform.

Humeniuk’s comments come after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have hailed Ukraine’s advances in Kherson, one of four regions that Russia claimed to have “annexed” last week.

— Holly Ellyatt

Kremlin says Russia will not be invited to join pipeline investigation

Russia said it has been informed that there are no plans to invite it to join an investigation into the recent Nord Stream gas leaks, Reuters reported Thursday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia considers it impossible to conduct an investigation without Moscow’s participation.

Russia and Europe’s energy ties have deteriorated over the summer, with gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline (the only one in use) stopping and starting over the summer. The pipelines were physically damaged last month, with leaks at both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines occurring under suspicious circumstances.

The damage prompted an international outcry with the EU vowing a “robust” response to attacks on its energy infrastructure.

Russia denied it had sabotaged the pipelines.

Climate scientists described the shocking images of gas spewing to the surface of the Baltic Sea as a “reckless release” of greenhouse gas emissions that, if deliberate, “amounts to an environmental crime.”

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

On Thursday, Sweden’s Security Police said its own preliminary investigation had “strengthened the suspicions of gross sabotage” to the pipelines, which they said showed “extensive damage.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian forces shell Zaporizhzhia twice, residents told to shelter

Ukrainian firefighters push out a fire after a strike in Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022.

Marina Moiseyenko | Afp | Getty Images

Russian forces have shelled the southern city of Zaporizhzhia several times today with residential buildings being hit in the early hours of the morning.

Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, said on Telegram this morning that residential buildings had been struck with two people killed in the attacks and others wounded and trapped under the rubble.

Ukrainian firefighters clear debris after a strike on Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022.

Marina Moiseyenko | Afp | Getty Images

Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, slammed the attacks, calling the Russian forces “crazy cowards” for launching rocket attacks on apartment buildings. “Russian terrorists are able to fight only with civilians,” he wrote on Telegram.

Both officials posted footage and images of the destruction following the rocket attacks showing the same buildings as the Getty images above.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia has few ‘high quality forces’ available to stabilize Kherson front, UK says

A damaged car, which was carjacked by Russian soldiers, pictured in front of a damaged hospital building on Sept. 27, 2022, in Vysokopillia, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia has “few additional, high quality rapidly deployable forces available” to stabilize the front in Kherson in southern Ukraine, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defense, and Moscow likely aims to deploy mobilized reservists to the sector.

Reflecting on Ukraine’s push to reclaim territory in Kherson, the ministry said that Ukrainian units have advanced southward, pushing the front line forward by up to an additional 12.5 miles and “primarily making gains along the east bank of the Inhulets [river] and west bank of the Dnipro [river], but not yet threatening the main Russian defensive positions.”

Russian forces have typically broken contact and withdrawn, the ministry noted, adding that Russian commanders are likely to see the growing threat to the Nova Kakhovka area (a town on the south bank of the Dnipro river) as “one of their most pressing concerns” given that the damaged river crossing there remains one of the few routes available for them to resupply forces in Kherson.

The U.K. ministry said Russia faces a dilemma given the fact that the “withdrawal of combat forces across the Dnipro makes defence of the rest of Kherson Oblast more tenable; but the political imperative will be to remain and defend.”

— Holly Ellyatt

More settlements liberated in ‘annexed’ region Luhansk

Ukraine’s armed forces are making progress in liberating settlements in Luhansk, an eastern region that Russia claims to have “annexed.”

After announcing that the “de-occupation of Luhansk” had begun Wednesday, the Ukrainian head of the Luhansk regional military administration Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday evening on Telegram that Ukrainian troops had “begun to liberate the occupied settlements of Luhansk region: six small settlements have been liberated as of now, but there may be more by the morning.”

Haidai refrained from naming the settlements that had been liberated.

“We are not naming the villages yet, because the Russians then out of malice start shelling them powerfully,” he noted, adding: “the de-occupation continues … there should be good news every day.”

Ukrainian forces have made swift and significant progress after recapturing the strategically important town of Lyman, which was used by occupying Russian forces as a logistics hub, in Donetsk before pushing toward neighboring Luhansk.

A Ukrainian army press officer shows the debris of Russian air strike aircraft Su-34 at a collection point of destroyed Russian armored vehicles at an animal feed plant in the recently retaken town of Lyman in the Donetsk region, on Oct. 5, 2022.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s gains in both eastern regions which make up the larger Donbas (which contains two pro-Russian, separatist “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk), come after Russia announced last week that it had “annexed” Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

There has been renewed vigor in Ukraine’s counteroffensives in the east and south since the “annexations,” which Ukraine and its allies call illegal and illegitimate, and its forces have made gains around Kherson too. Kyiv has vowed to fight until it reclaims all its lost territory.

— Holly Ellyatt

‘You’ve already lost’ the war, Zelenskyy tells Russia

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses for a pictures with Ukrainian servicemen as he visits the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukraine’s armed forces, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on Sept. 14, 2022.

Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told Russia’s leadership that it cannot win the war.

“You’ve already lost. Lost because even now, on the 224th day of the full-scale war, you are forced to explain to your people the purpose of all this — this war, deceitful mobilization, self-destruction of your nation’s every prospect,” he said in Russian in his nightly address.

Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian troops for their successes in reclaiming dozens of settlements in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine and said “there will be more” gains to come.

“Ukrainians know what they fight for. And more and more Russian citizens realize that they must die simply because one single man does not want to stop the war.”

This photograph, taken on Oct. 5, 2022, shows destroyed Russian armored vehicles gathered at a collection point in an animal feed plant in the recently retaken town of Lyman in the Donetsk region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | Afp | Getty Images

Zelenskyy gave more detail on Ukraine’s successes on the battlefield Wednesday, stating on Telegram that the settlements of Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka in Kherson had been “liberated … and stabilized.”

Ukraine’s latest advances in regions like Kherson and Donetsk come after Russia announced last week that it was “annexing” such regions, a move signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Ukraine has said it will never recognize the results of sham referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine and its counteroffensives are proving that Russia’s hold on occupied territory is shaky.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian-installed official says Ukrainian troops have made ‘breakthroughs’ in Kherson

Ukrainian soldiers wave a national flag as they ride on a personnel armoured carrier on a road near Lyman, Donetsk region on October 4, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian-installed official conceded that Kyiv’s forces were making gains around Kherson, one of four regions that Moscow “annexed” last week.

“It’s tense, let’s put it that way,” Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed head of Ukraine’s Kherson region, said on state television, according to a Reuters report.

Last week that Moscow was “annexing” four regions in Ukraine: Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv and its allies condemned the move, calling it illegitimate and illegal.

— Amanda Macias

Ukrainian defense minister shares video showing reclaimed land from Russian forces

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov shared a video on Twitter of Ukrainian advances on the battlefield against Russian troops.

“While the Russian parliament is intoxicated from the futile attempts at annexation, our soldiers continue moving forward,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

“This is the best answer to any and all referenda, decrees, treaties and pathetic speeches,” he added.

In the past few weeks, Ukrainian forces have reclaimed more occupied land from Russia, despite the Kremlin’s announcement that it was annexing four regions in Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

Russia ready to supply gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Kremlin says

Nord Stream 2 logo displayed on a phone screen and Russian flag displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this multiple exposure illustration photo taken in Krakow in Krakow, Poland on February 22, 2022.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow is ready to begin supplying gas via the Nord Stream 2 line if Europe removes restrictions.

“The infrastructure is ready,” Novak told reporters. “If the necessary legal decisions are made by European colleagues regarding its certification and removal of restrictions, I think Russia could ensure supplies through this line of the gas pipeline in a short time,” Novak said referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Earlier this month, the Nord Stream pipelines that run under the Baltic Sea began leaking. Novak said that Russia was investigating those leaks and described the damage to the pipeline as “sabotage.”

Russia has accused the U.S. and its allies of damaging the pipeline. The Biden administration said Russia’s accusations are “absurd.”

— Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy speaks with NATO chief on joining the military alliance

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on August 17 August 2022.

Francois Walschaerts | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Kyiv’s admittance into the NATO alliance.

“I’m in constant contact with our strategic partners. Had a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Coordinated further steps on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.

Last week, Zelenskyy submitted an “accelerated” application for his country to join the 30-member defensive alliance.

— Amanda Macias

Russia’s defense ministry concedes it’s under pressure from Ukraine’s advances

Wreckage of a car marked with a Russian military symbol “Z” at a Russian military base, which Ukrainian forces destroyed by HIMARS during a counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, on Sept. 26, 2022 in Balakliia, Ukraine. Balakliia was under Russian occupation for half a year. On Sept. 10, Ukraine’s armed forces liberated the city.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said it continues to hold positions in the regions of Kherson in southern Ukraine despite advances from Ukrainian forces.

The MOD acknowledged that its units have been able to maintain their positions toward the south of the country despite “repelling superior enemy forces’ attacks.” 

In its latest update on Telegram, Russia’s MOD said its forces had conducted attacks on Ukrainian units in Kharkiv, Donetsk (in the east) and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south, claiming to have killed several hundred Ukrainian troops and destroyed a variety of weaponry in its various attacks.

Nonetheless, it acknowledged that in the Kherson region, where Ukraine has reported a number of significant advances in recent days, it was under pressure with Russian units maintaining their positions in the Andriivka-Kyrvyi-Rih direction (in the south) despite attacks from “superior” Ukrainian forces. It’s unclear whether the ministry was referring to the quality or size of the Ukrainian units it described.

CNBC was unable to verify the details in the report.

— Holly Ellyatt

The liberation of Luhansk region has begun, top Ukrainian official says

A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier transports troops toward a pontoon bridge crossing of the Oskil River on September 30, 2022 in Kupiansk, Ukraine. Ukraine has recaptured thousands of square miles of its northeast Kharkiv region from Russian forces in recent weeks.

Scott Peterson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukraine’s forces are making gains in the Luhansk region in the east of the country, according to a prominent Ukrainian official.

If verified, the advances will mark further progress for Ukraine as it fights to reclaim territory that Russia claims to have annexed.

“Well, now it’s official. The de-occupation of Luhansk region has begun,” Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhiy Haidai said on Telegram Wednesday in comments translated by news agency Ukrinform.

Several settlements have already been liberated from the Russian army, and there the Armed Forces of Ukraine are already raising the Ukrainian flag there,” Haidai said without specifying where.

Haidai said that the de-occupation of the region would continue, saying: “I thank our Armed Forces for wonderful news. Let’s help them, don’t get tired, we believe in our victory. Luhansk region is Ukraine, it has been and will be so. Carry on.”

Ukraine’s counteroffensives in southern and eastern parts of the country have made headlines with the country’s armed forces making rapid advances and reclaiming dozens of settlements around Kherson in the south and Donetsk and Kharkiv in the east and northeast.

If Haidai’s comments are verified it will confirm that Ukraine is now pushing into Luhansk from Donetsk, both of which are regions where Russia was seen to have a strong foothold and where two pro-Russian, self-proclaimed “republics” have now been incorporated into the Russian Federation (as have Kherson and Zaporizhzhia).

Ukraine and its allies completely reject the annexation of Ukrainian territory, saying they will never recognize the illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory.

— Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:


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Jorge Oliveira