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Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Missile strikes hit major Ukrainian cities, including capital Kyiv

A series of missile strikes hit major Ukrainian cities on Monday morning, with the capital Kyiv and cities to the northeast and south being targeted, according to regional officials.

Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that part of the capital had been “cut off” by the strikes, which he said had hit critical infrastructure facilities. “There is no water supply in some areas,” he said.

In his latest post he said engineers were working to restore electricity supply after damage to an energy facility that powers around 350,000 apartments in Kyiv. Local authorities have called on the city’s residents to stay in bomb shelters until the air raid alert ends.

An advisor to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the wave of missile strikes as “massive.”

Elsewhere, the Mayor of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, Igor Terekhov, said there had been two “arrivals” in the city that had hit critical infrastructure facilities in the city this morning.

Other strikes were reported in the city of Zaporizhzhia in the south of Ukraine, with the Secretary of the City Council Anatolii Kurtiev posting on Telegram that Russian forces had “attacked a critical infrastructure facility” causing power outages in the city. “Information about the victims and the extent of the damage is being clarified,” he said.

The wave of missile strikes comes after Russia accused Ukraine on Saturday of carrying out a drone attack against its Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Crimea. Ukraine has not said whether it was responsible for the attack. 

— Holly Ellyatt

Wheat prices rise almost 6% after Russia pulls out of grain export deal

Global wheat prices have started to rise following Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain export deal last weekend.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade jumped 5.8% to $8.77-1/2 a bushel around midnight London time, according to Reuters, after earlier hitting a high of $8.93 a bushel. Corn and soybean prices also rose.

The increases come after Russia announced Saturday that it was suspending its involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative that was brokered in July and which allowed vital agricultural products to be exported from several Ukrainian ports.

Russia announced Saturday that it was withdrawing from the deal for an indefinite period after it accused Ukraine of a “massive” drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in Crimea.

Ukraine has not said whether it was responsible for the attack. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s withdrawal from the initiative was “rather predictable” and the global food crisis would worsen.

An aerial view of Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni which departed from the port of Odesa Monday, arriving at the Black Sea entrance of the Bosporus Strait, in Istanbul, Turkey, on August 3, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Moscow’s move was “an absolutely transparent intention of Russia to return the threat of large-scale famine to Africa and Asia,” Zelenskyy said, adding that “access to food has actually worsened for more than 7 million consumers.”

The UN and Turkey, which helped Ukraine and Russia to reach the grain deal, have agreed a plan with Ukraine to help move 16 vessels (12 outbound and 4 inbound) that are stuck within the maritime corridor used to export grains.

The organization overseeing grain exports, the Joint Coordination Centre, said in a statement Sunday that “in order to continue fulfilling the Initiative, it was proposed that the Turkish and United Nations delegations provide tomorrow 10 inspection teams aiming to inspect 40 outbound vessels. This inspection plan has been accepted by the delegation of Ukraine. The Russian Federation delegation has been informed.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Mulitple buildings destroyed in Donetsk, police say

More than 30 buildings have been destroyed in the Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling, Ukraine’s National Police said Monday.

Police in the Donetsk region said the destruction had occurred as a result of 24 attacks on the civilian population and that “there are killed and wounded.”

Sixteen settlements came under fire, including the towns of Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Lyman and other villages, with 22 residential buildings destroyed as well as city council premises, utility buildings, garages and cars, the police said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described in his nightly address how Ukrainian forces had repelled a “brutal” Russian assault in the Donetsk region. Bakhmut and Avdiivka have seen intense fighting in recent weeks.

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine repels ‘brutal assault’ by Russian troops in Donetsk region

Howitzers of the 53rd Mechanized Brigade fire towards Russian points in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on October 28, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Ukrainian forces had repelled a “brutal” offensive by Russian troops in the eastern Donetsk region.

The president said a military unit from Chop in western Ukraine had fought off the offensive but did not say where fighting had took place. In recent weeks, however, intense fighting has centered around Avdiivka and the strategically-important town of Bakhmut.

“Today they stopped the enemy’s brutal assault” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. “The Russian attack was repulsed,” he said. He also alluded to the fact that Russian soldiers had been taken prisoner and could be used in future prisoner exchanges.

On Saturday, Russia announced it was suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal struck in July to enable agricultural shipments from Ukraine.

Zelenskyy said 218 vessels were now “effectively blocked” as a result of the collapse of the initiative and that Moscow was “putting the world on the brink of a severe food crisis.”

— Holly Ellyatt

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