Ukraine’s Zelenskyy urges European unity; Russian reservists suffer heavy losses

‘We share your pain’: Putin meets with mothers of Russian soldiers

President Vladimir Putin met on Friday with the mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, telling them that he and his country shared their pain.

Sitting with the group of women around a table with tea and cake, Putin said he understood that nothing could replace the loss of a son.

President Vladimir Putin met with the mothers of Russian soldiers, telling them he shared in their pain.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the entire leadership of the country, we share your pain,” he said, according to a recorded television clip seen by Reuters.

“We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son — especially for a mother. We share this pain,” he added.

The clip did not immediately show the mothers’ response to Putin’s comments.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers have been sent to fight in Ukraine this year, including around 300,000 reservists who were called up in September in a “partial” mobilization.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian strikes throw millions into hardship, UN rights boss says

At least 77 civilians have died and millions have been plunged into extreme hardship since Russia started pounding Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in October, the UN human rights chief said.

“Millions are being plunged into extreme hardship and appalling conditions of life by these strikes,” said Volker Turk in a statement, according to Reuters.

“Taken as a whole, this raises serious problems under international humanitarian law, which requires a concrete and direct military advantage for each object attacked,” he added.

Turk also noted that an early analysis of videos purporting to show Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners of war indicated they were “highly likely to be authentic.”

—Karen Gilchrist

Russia steps up shelling on Kherson

Russian forces extended their shelling of the southern city of Kherson, killing seven people and injuring at least 21 more in the latest round of strikes, according to one official.

Shelling from Russian positions across the Dnieper River has become a regular occurrence since the city was liberated from Russian occupation two weeks ago.

The governor of the Kherson region, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said a residential area was hit by Russian artillery and antiaircraft fire around 5 pm local time Thursday, causing a high-rise building to set on fire. A children’s playground was also hit, he said.

—Karen Gilchrist

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy calls on Europeans to remain united

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday urged Europeans to stay united in the face of Russia’s war.

Speaking via video link to a conference in Lithuania, Zelenskyy described the task as the region’s number one mission.

“There is no split, there is no schism among Europeans and we have to preserve this. This is our mission number one this year,” he said.

Russian reservists experiencing heavy casualties, UK says

The UK defense ministry said Russian reservists, two months after being mobilized by Putin, have “highly likely” experienced heavy casualties after being asked to dig trenches in the east of Ukraine.

“The Kremlin will likely be concerned that an increasing number of reservists’ families are prepared to risk arrest by protesting against the conditions their relatives are serving under,” it said in its daily update Friday.

Supporters of Putin increasingly using ‘genocidal rhetoric’

Prominent supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin are increasingly using “genocidal rhetoric” when discussing and demonizing Ukrainians, analysts note, with some pro-war commentators cheering the concept of the “liquidation” of the modern state of Ukraine.

Read the full story here.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on a screen at Red Square as he addresses a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine — Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — in central Moscow on Sept. 30, 2022.

Alexander Nemenov Afp | Getty Images

About 70% of Kyiv remains without power due to Russian shelling, Ukraine says

Local residents walk near a fallen electricity pylon and an apartment building destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 25, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko Reuters

The head of Kyiv’s regional government reiterated that approximately 70% of the regional government remains without electricity.

Oleksiy Kuleba also said that the death toll from recent Russian airstrikes rose to seven, according to an NBC News translation.

Rockets rained down on Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after officials said a newborn became one of the youngest victims of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.

— Amanda Macias

50 mass grave sites found in recently liberated Ukrainian cities, Kyiv says

This photograph taken on September 25, 2022, shows empty graves after exhumation of bodies in the mass grave created during the Russian occupation in Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | Afp | Getty Images

The Ukrainian government said investigators found 50 separate locations of mass graves in the recently liberated areas of Mykolaiv and Kherson.

“In the liberated territories of the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, 50 locations of probable burials have been examined,” the government wrote on the Telegram messaging app, according to an NBC News translation.

“Search teams identified the bodies of about 200 victims,” ​​the message added.

The Kremlin has previously denied claims that its forces have used mass graves in areas that were once heavily occupied.

— Amanda Macias

Backlog of 79 ships waiting to transport crops from Ukraine

Ships, including those carrying grain from Ukraine and awaiting inspections, are seen anchored off the Istanbul coastline on November 02, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

The organization overseeing the export of Ukrainian crops said there is a backlog of 79 vessels waiting to be loaded with cargo.

The UN-led Joint Coordination Center also said that about 110 loaded vessels are waiting for inspection in Turkish territorial waters.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal brokered in July between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations, eased Russia’s naval blockade and saw the reopening of three key Ukrainian ports.

Since the deal was signed, more than 490 ships carrying 11.8 million metric tons of grain and other food products have left for destinations around the world.

Kyiv has previously blamed Moscow for holding up inspections and delaying vessel movements.

— Amanda Macias

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