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In The News

Russia Also Takes Aim At Civilians Indirectly, 30% Of Power Stations Destroyed

Blackouts and water shortages will cause major suffering, especially as winter arrives.

Russia Also Takes Aim At Civilians Indirectly, 30% Of Power Stations Destroyed

Kyiv Attacked with Suicide Drones

Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

Russian attacks have continued into Tuesday on Ukraine’s energy and water facilities. Parts of Kyiv and other cities were left without power and water. In a video released on Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky said that 30% of Ukraine’s power stations had been destroyed in the past eight days, causing massive blackouts across the country.

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Zelensky noted that Moscow was continuing to target civilians both directly and indirectly through air strikes aimed at energy supplies as winter approaches. It’s “another kind of Russian terrorist attacks: targeting energy & critical infrastructure,” the Ukrainian president said.

In the city of Zhytomyr, in northwest Ukraine, the mayor said there was no water and hospitals were working on back-up power. The Troyeschyna area on the left bank of Kyiv was also left without electricity and water.

Infrastructure in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia was also hit. The power station there was supplied with backup power from a nearby coal-fired power plant after its main 750-kilovolt (kV) power line was cut again.

Russian Training Flight Crashes Into Apartment, 13 Killed

At least 13 people were killed after a Russian warplane crashed into an apartment building in the Russian port city of Yeysk. The Russian defense ministry said that the Su-34 bomber came down when one of its engines caught fire during takeoff for a training mission.

Looming Threats On Spanish Front Page

The front page of Spanish daily El Periodica de España focuses on the “nuclear threat and drones that mark a new turning point in the war.”

Prisoner Swap Frees 108 Ukrainian Women

In a prisoner swap, Russia has exchanged 108 Ukrainian women held as prisoners of war for 110 Russian captives held by Ukraine, according to officials on both sides. Of the Ukrainian women, 37 had been captured after surrendering at the siege of the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol last May.

Most of the Russians that were freed are sailors from merchant ships held in Ukraine, while others include members of pro-Russian separatist military units from the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian presidency's chief of staff, confirmed on social media that 108 women had been released in the "first all-female exchange”, and added that they included mothers and daughters who had been held captive together.

Two More Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant Officials Kidnapped By Russian Forces

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest such facility, continues to be under the control of the Russian military, and the site of ongoing tensions and intrigue. On Tuesday, there was no word of the whereabouts of Oleh Kostyukov, the plant’s head of the information technology service, and Oleh Osheka, the assistant director general, after Russian forces arrested the two men.

This comes a week after the Deputy Director General of Zaporizhzhya, Valeriy Martyniuk, was kidnapped.

Ukraine’s Energoatom believes that by dong so, Russia is trying to force the top management of the nuclear power plant to cooperate and connect the plant to the Russian energy network of Rosatom.

U.S. Secretary Blinken: Ukraine War Marks End Of Post-Cold War World

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Ron Przysucha / Public Domain

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the war in Ukraine had brought the “post-Cold War world to an end,” with technology now at the heart of the competition between world powers.

During a press conference at Stanford University, Blinken said, “We are at an inflection point. The post-Cold War world has come to an end, and there is an intense competition underway to shape what comes next. And at the heart of that competition is technology. Technology will in many ways retool our economies. It will reform our militaries. It will reshape the lives of people across the planet. And so it’s profoundly a source of national strength.”

The U.S. Secretary of State also commented on report that Moscow is resorting to drones provided by Iran to hit targets across Ukraine, which he called a “sign of increased desperation.”

600+ Bodies Exhumed So Far As Grim Discoveries Continue Across Ukraine

In a nationwide TV address, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky said that more than 600 bodies had already been exhumed in the Kharkiv region alone, as Ukrainian forces keep discovering mass graves left by the retreating Russian army in regained territories.

Monastyrsky highlighted the challenges faced in the identification process, saying that despite the presence of mobile laboratories, ”this work could take weeks, maybe months.”

Last month, Ukraine forces found 447 bodies in a mass grave dug in a forest in Izium, in the Kharkiv region.

Authorities continue to make similarly grim discoveries across Ukraine: In Lyman, in Donetsk region, troops have recovered the bodies of five children killed by Russian shelling.

What Is The Union State?

This overlooked treaty from the mid-1990s reveals that Vladimir Putin’s ambitions go far beyond Ukraine, with the aim of building a kind of USSR 2.0.

Originally signed with Belarus, Putin’s vision for the union doesn’t stop there as he has been quietly but diligently building the formations of a new Russian empire for decades.

And just in the past few weeks, Russia has announced that the occupied territories of Ukraine that have been annexed into Russia — as well as their armed militias — would also become part of the Union State. Read the Livy Bereg story here.

Exxon Mobil Corp Exits Russia Following Expropriation

Exxon Mobil Corp has left Russia after President Vladimir Putin expropriated its properties following seven months of discussions over an orderly transfer of its 30% stake in a major oil project.

The U.S.-based energy company said it "safely exited" Russia after the government earlier this month terminated its interests in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, the largest in the country. This comes after Putin seized Exxon shares earlier this month, in the oil production joint venture and transferred them to a government-controlled company.

Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last February as well as Putin’s constant threats of using nuclear weapons, BP, TotalEnergies, Equinor and Shell have all transferred properties to Russian partners or even left operations behind.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

What Zelensky Won't Say Out Loud: Ukraine Is Running Short On Troops

Ukraine has a recruitment problem, with some units at only 70% of their intended strength. But President Zelensky is unwilling to talk about mass mobilization. The result is a parallel reality, with more recruitment coming from rural areas and lower classes, and some urbanites feeling victory is not too far, and their sacrifice is not needed.

photo of Zelensky and a Ukrainian soldier

Zelensky and a Ukrainian soldier.

Rustem Khalilov, Mykhailo Krygel & Olga Kyrylenko

KYIV — Walking through the center of Kyiv in the fall of 2023 can make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. The atmosphere in the city seems to transport you to either a carefree past or a promising future.

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You'll find bustling cafes filled with people enjoying oat milk lattes, business lunches, and people zipping around on scooters.

Amongst these images of ‘normal life’, the "Field of Memory" on Maidan Square, adorned with thousands of flags bearing the names or call signs of fallen soldiers, serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing war. Lights and billboards of the Armed Forces of Ukraine beckon citizens to "join their ranks." But these often go ignored.

Military chaplain Andriy Zelinskyi has diagnosed this situation as "discursive incompatibility."

“An entirely self-contained and substantial illusion of an alternative reality has emerged,” he says. “A reality that acts as an escape from the pain, wounds, and losses of war. This alternative reality poses a significant threat to the unity needed to effectively resist Russia.”

One segment of society has been in the trenches for a year and a half, witnessing the daily horrors of destruction, injury, and the loss of comrades. Meanwhile, another segment lives on in cities like Kyiv, Lviv, or Odesa, offering donations, or just thinking about contributing, while attempting to distance themselves from the war as much as possible.

The government has also played a role in creating and maintaining this alternative reality. In its public communication, full-scale mobilization is a taboo. An honest conversation about mobilization as a guarantee for survival and eventual victory seems "out of place" when elections are looming.

Periodically, cracks in this alternative reality emerge. For instance, a publication in TIME magazine highlighted that in some military branches, personnel shortages were more critical than those of weapons and ammunition. The article was dismissed by Ukrainian authorities as nonsense.

In the meantime, without waiting for the transition to full-scale mobilization, some military units are taking matters into their own hands, actively seeking and motivating individuals who are willing to don a military uniform and bear arms.

Following the challenging defense of Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia, it became clear that the Ukrainian military was in dire need of reinforcements.

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