Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, November 19:
- Hundreds of people were detained or went missing in Ukraine’s Kherson region while it was under Russian control, and dozens may have been tortured, Yale University researchers have concluded in a report. Russia has denied its forces committed abuses.
- Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine executed more than 10 Russian prisoners of war. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which has promised to investigate any alleged abuses by its forces.
- Ukrainian forces repelled about 100 attacks in the eastern Donetsk region in the past 24 hours, with no letup in the fighting, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
- Ukraine’s military said Russian forces fired artillery on the towns of Bakhmut, and nearby Soledar and Bilohorivka in the east. Russian fire also hit areas near Avdiivka and in Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine.
- Millions of Ukrainians in more than a dozen provinces are experiencing severe power disruptions as temperatures plunge.
- Russia’s defence ministry said it was only targeting military-linked facilities.
- Following Ukraine’s recapture of part of the Kherson region, Russia said it was strengthening positions in Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
- Zelenskyy dismissed the idea of a “short truce” with Russia, saying it would only make things worse.
- Russia said it hoped to clinch a prisoner swap with the United States to return convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death”, in an exchange that would likely include US basketball star Brittney Griner.
- Russia is open to higher-level talks with the US, a top diplomat said on Friday, but the Kremlin dismissed the idea of a summit between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden as “out of the question” for now.
- Former Moldovan President Igor Dodon, who faces a series of criminal charges, was released from house arrest and promised to take part in protests against the current pro-Western leader of the ex-Soviet state, sandwiched between Ukraine and EU member Romania.
- A senior UN official welcomed the extension by four months of a deal aimed at easing global food shortages by helping Ukraine export its agricultural products from Black Sea ports, but said there was still work to be done.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the idea of creating a Turkish “gas hub” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call.
- Russia’s energy exports to China have increased in value by 64 percent this year, and by 10 percent in volume as Moscow redirects shipments towards “friendly” nations, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES