Ukrainian electricity supplies are under control despite Russian attacks on power-generating infrastructure and there is no need to panic, the energy ministry said on Saturday, a day after the government stated that almost half of Ukraine’s energy system had been crippled, and authorities in Kyiv warned that the capital could face a “complete shutdown” of the power grid as winter sets in.
TRAIN RIDE TO KHERSON
* Jubilant Ukrainians rolled into Kherson by train on Saturday for the first time in more than eight months as residents of the newly liberated southern city greeted them on the platform with flowers and national flags. * Citing damage done by Russian forces, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Saturday that evacuations of people who want to leave Kherson and the surrounding areas would soon begin.
* Around 60 Russian soldiers were killed in a long-range Ukrainian artillery attack this week, Kyiv said on Saturday, the second time in four days that Ukraine claimed to have inflicted major casualties in a single incident. The Russian defense ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
* Five people were wounded in a Russian strike on a humanitarian station where bread was being distributed in the town of Bilozerka, just west of Kherson city, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
* Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield reports.
FUNERAL IN POLAND
* One of the men killed by a missile that hit a Polish village this week was buried on Saturday, the first of two funerals this weekend following a blast that raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spiral into a wider conflict. Locals said the dead man had worked hard to shelter Ukrainian refugees in the early days of the war.
DIPLOMACY, WAR AIMS
* Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his first visit to Kyiv on Saturday, pledging to continue the firm support for Ukraine that was a focus of his predecessors, and providing a new air defense package to help shoot down Russian drones.
* New Zealand said Defence Minister Peeni Henare has visited Kyiv to reaffirm the Pacific nation’s support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion.
* Russia’s surge in missile strikes in Ukraine is partly designed to exhaust Kyiv’s supplies of air defenses and finally achieve dominance of the skies above the country, a senior Pentagon official said on Saturday.
* Peace in Ukraine will only be possible if the country’s 1991 borders are restored, a senior aide to Zelenskiy said on Saturday.
* Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has offered a preview of “a possible world of tyranny and turmoil,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday in a speech to a security forum in Canada. (Compiled by Simon Cameron-Moore and Frances Kerry)