Iran plans to send a batch of more than 200 combat drones to the Russian Federation in early November, Ukraine’s ministry of defence said in a statement.
According to the ministry of defence’s intel, the drones will include Shahed-136, Mohajer-6 and Arash-2 combat drones and “will be delivered via the Caspian Sea to the port of Astrakhan”. The drones will arrive in a disassembled state, and Russian forces will reassemble and repaint them with applied Russian markings, in particular “Geranium-2”.
The discovery of Iranian kamikaze drones last month stirred huge outcry over Iran’s involvement in the conflict. Since 13 September, Ukrainian defence forces have shot down more than 300 Iranian combat drones, the ministry of defence said.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, described Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure as “genocide”.
Kyiv is preparing for a hard winter ahead, with Russia continuing to target Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure. In case of emergency, Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Ukraine, is getting ready to open around 1,000 public points of heating for city residents.
In an interview with Sky News, Boris Johnson said that he does not think Vladimir Putin will use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
Doing so “would immediately tender Russia’s resignation from the club of civilised nations”, Johnson said. It would be a “total disaster” for Russia, which would be put into a “cryogenic economic freeze” and Putin would “lose a lot of the middle ground of global tacit acquiescence that he’s had”.
Emmanuel Macron, president of France, had a phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy this morning, where he confirmed France’s military support for Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy met today with Kadri Simson, European Union commissioner for energy affairs, where they discussed how Ukraine was forced to stop exporting electricity to Europe – a practice the country began after accession – “due to the strikes of missiles and kamikaze drones by the Russian Federation”.
“I am sure that we will restore everything, and in a calmer time, when the situation in our energy system will be stabilized, we will continue exporting electricity to Europe,” Zelenskiy said.
Zelenskiy told Simson that Russian forces have “seriously damaged” about 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, in particular thermal power plants, thermal power plants and hydroelectric power plants.
Mykolaiv oblast was hit hard last night after four Russian missiles struck the city, killing an elderly woman who had been sheltering from the bombings in her bathroom, said Vitaly Kim, the governor of Mykolaiv oblast.
The missiles partially destroyed the buildings of educational institutions and completely destroyed a two-storey building, the governor said. Private houses were damaged, and a fire broke out in a five-storey residential building.
The blast wave and debris knocked out the OSB plates at a nearby medical facility, which construction crews had put in front of the windows after a previous shelling, Kim said.
The UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has been giving evidence to the international relations and defence committee in the UK’s parliament. He has addressed why he thinks Russia’s plans for a swift invasion failed, and future Nato deployments. He told lawmakers:
The Russians have demonstrated their failures by having lots of numbers. They could boast about how many BMPs and tanks they had, but they had no proper integrated air defence, no proper communications, no proper protective armour on their actual armoured vehicles that the javelins just took them apart. And for all of their mass, they couldn’t proceed.
On the way that the war in Ukraine has changed Nato planning, Wallace said:
For those you who remember, in the cold war, we each had our locations assigned, we all knew which part of the German border we deployed to. In fact, it went down to the detail that pilots even knew targets for a sort of D-Day.
[Of the news plans] I don’t expect us to have that much granularity, but it means that Nato is going to be very clear and indicating how its overall military plan is constructed, and what role [the UK has] in it.
General Cavoli is the new Supreme Allied Commander Europe. And he is busy writing and authoring those plans as we speak. But of course by then, we’ll probably have two new members, Sweden and Finland, which means an elongated Russian border that we haven’t been used to, which will change potentially how Britain sits in Nato insofar as the high north and its role there.
Reuters is reporting that the Ukrainian government has accepted the resignation of Yuriy Vitrenko as chief executive of the state energy company Naftogaz.
In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, Naftogaz said Vitrenko would remain in the role until 3 November, but gave no further details.
“By a decision dated 1 November, 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the resignation of the chairman of the board of Naftogaz of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko,” Naftogaz said in the statement, posted under a photograph of Vitrenko.
“Yuriy Vitrenko will continue to hold the position of head of the national company until 3 November inclusive,” it said, promising a more detailed communication on his last day in the role.
Approached by Reuters for comment, neither Vitrenko or the Ukrainian government were willing to provide further details.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, following a telephone call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said France would help Ukraine get through the winter and would help repair water and energy infrastructure damaged by Russian strikes.
France will also help boost Ukraine’s anti-air defences, Macron said he and Zelenskiy had agreed to hold an international conference in Paris on 13 December to support Ukraine civilians in winter.
A bilateral conference on 12 December will also aim at raising support for Ukraine from French companies, Reuters reports Macron said in a statement.
Macron has also previously promised to hold a conference in France in November in support of Ukraine’s neighbour Moldova.
Kyiv continues to recover from yesterday’s barrage of Russian missile strikes on hydroelectric plants and other critical energy and water infrastructure. Crews were able to restore water and lights to the 270,000 homes in Kyiv today, but Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko warned on Telegram that it might be a while longer before crews will be able to restore full electricity – they must wait for the stabilisation of the energy system. “I ask Kyiv residents to save electricity, especially during peak morning and evening hours,” Klitschko said. “It is very important. Because the deficit in the energy system of Ukraine is significant.”
With Russia continuously targeting Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure, Ukrainians are looking ahead toward what will likely be a cold and difficult winter and asking for donations of autonomous electricity and heat sources.
One week after Russian authorities relocated 70,000 civilians from the right bank of the Dnipro River to the left bank, Russian authorities are moving 70,000 civilians from the left bank to be “temporarily resettled deep into the Kherson region, as well as to other regions of the Russian Federation”, said Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-appointed governor of the Kherson oblast. This is concerning, as it’s considered a war crime under the Geneva conventions for an occupying force to move civilians from an occupied territory, and there have been reports from other occupied territories of Ukrainians being relocated into Russian territories with no return in mind. However, Saldo said the reason behind the relocation was “possible damage to the dam of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, which could cause flooding of the left bank of the Dnieper downstream”.
The general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces believe that about 650 Russian soldiers were killed in the country in the last day.
One person was killed and two were injured last night in Bakhmut, while “the shelling of Torskyi and Zarichnyi in the Lymansk community does not stop”, said Donetsk oblast governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. “It is dangerous to stay in Donetsk region,” he warned. “Evacuate in time.”
Ukraine’s ministry of defence has intel that Iran plans on sending a batch of more than 200 combat drones to the Russian federation in early November, even though Iuriy Ihnat, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s air force command, said there has been a marked decrease in Russia’s use of Iranian kamikaze drones in recent days.
A grandmother tells a story of how her 14-year-old grandson went to get humanitarian aid from the Russians in the Kherson oblast – the only way for locals to get food at the time. Instead of helping him, she said, they shot him dead.
Iuriy Ihnat, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s air force command, said there has been a marked decrease in Russia’s use of Iranian kamikaze drones in recent days – with only five deployed in Monday’s devastating attack on the country’s energy infrastructure.
Ihnat said Ukraine’s air defence systems shot down another six drones overnight. Three were destroyed in the east and another three in the Poltava region, he added. The Kremlin has purchased 2,500 drones and so far deployed around 400 of them, with 300 intercepted.
The reason for the decrease was unclear but could be down to the weather – they need clear conditions to fly – and the rate at which they can be assembled, he suggested.
Ihnat said Ukraine was bracing itself for attacks from Iranian ballistic missiles, which Moscow appears to have purchased from Tehran to make up for a dwindling supply of its own short-range Iskander rocket. He says it was “pretty much impossible” for Kyiv to shoot down Iranian weapons “with what we have currently”. It is expecting attacks to be launched from the north and Belarus, he added.