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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Nov. 11

Ukrainian National Guard soldiers move an anti-aircraft gun after firing it at Russian positions in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, Nov. 11, 2022.
Ukrainian National Guard soldiers move an anti-aircraft gun after firing it at Russian positions in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, Nov. 11, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia's war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

10 p.m.: While much of the world's focus was on Kherson on Saturday, CNN reports fierce fighting continues in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, where there are high numbers of newly mobilized Russian troops, according to a Ukrainian official.

Roman Vlasenko, head of Severodonetsk district military administration, told Ukrainian television that there were three major front lines running north-south in Luhansk.

Vlasenko said that Ukrainian forces were making some progress around the town of Svatove, and further north.

He said that "active hostilities" are ongoing along the entire frontline in the Luhansk region.

Ukrainian forces were advancing west and south of Svatove and Russian ammunition depots were being destroyed, he said.

There was a high concentration of new Russian troops in the towns of Kreminna, Rubizhne, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, Vlasenko said.

All four towns and cities are south of Svatove and were captured by the Russians in the spring and summer after intense conflict and widespread destruction.

Ukrainian forces are now within a few miles of all four places, he said.

9:21 p.m.:

8:37 p.m.: The head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Friday that his organization has started training civilians in Russian regions bordering Ukraine to form a militia and build fortifications, Agence France-Presse reported.

Prigozhin said Wagner's main aim was to start building fortifications and training schools in the Belgorod and Kursk regions, which have regularly come under fire in recent months in attacks blamed by Moscow on the Ukrainian army.

Prigozhin in September disclosed for the first time that he founded the Wagner group in 2014 to fight in Ukraine and acknowledged its presence in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

This came after he and the Kremlin had long denied the group existed. Serving as a mercenary remains illegal for Russians.

7:41 p.m.:

7 p.m.: The Dutch government on Friday said it would release a consignment of 20,000 metric tons of Russian fertilizer that had been stuck in Rotterdam port by sanctions, following a request from the United Nations, Reuters reported.

The shipment is to be sent to Malawi via the World Food Program, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Although grain and fertilizer do not fall under European Union sanctions "the fertilizer in question was frozen because a sanctioned individual is involved with the Russian company that owns it," the statement said.

6:10 p.m.: EU foreign ministers on Monday will discuss new sanctions on Iran over its deadly crackdown on protests and support for Russia in Ukraine, member state Lithuania said, Agence France-Presse reported.

"We will be suggesting additional (Iranian) listings that could be added ... to the sanctions list," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Friday during a visit to Berlin.

"It would have two parts — for Iranian participation in the war on Russia's side in Ukraine, but also for the human rights abuses that are happening in the cities of Iran."

A European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that about 30 names were set to be added to the sanctions list.

5 p.m.: Russia banned entry on Friday to 200 U.S. citizens, including President Joe Biden's siblings and several senators, in response to Washington's sanctions over the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.

Among the 200 U.S. nationals listed are Biden's sister Valerie and brothers James and Francis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, as well as U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

U.S. writer and Russia expert Anne Applebaum, Matthew Kaminski, editor-in-chief of Politico, and Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have also been blacklisted.

Russia has already barred more than 1,000 US citizens from entering the country, including Hollywood actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn.

4:15 p.m.: Senior United Nations officials met with a Russian delegation in Geneva on Friday to discuss Moscow's grievances about the Black Sea grains export initiative and address the need for unimpeded food and fertilizer exports, a U.N. spokesperson said.

Moscow has indicated that it could quit the deal, set to expire on November 19, if progress is not made on its concerns.

U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths, who heads talks on Ukrainian exports, and senior U.N. trade official Rebeca Grynspan, met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin at the U.N. office in Geneva, the international body said.

In a statement following talks, the U.N. said the officials continued consultations on the July deal, adding that the discussions included updates on progress made in facilitating the unimpeded export of food and fertilizers from Russia to global markets.

3:27 pm.: The European Union’s executive commission has slashed its forecast for economic growth next year.

The Associated Press reports that the EU predicts the 19 countries that use the euro currency will slide into recession over the winter as peak inflation hangs on for longer than expected and high fuel and heating costs erode consumer purchasing power.

The European Commission’s autumn forecast released Friday predicts falling economic output in both the last three months of this year and the first months of 2023. It says high energy prices, a rising cost of living, higher interest rates and overall uncertainty “are expected to tip the EU, the euro area and most member states into recession in the last quarter of the year.”

2:29 pm.: Significant new damage to the major Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine can be seen following Russia's withdrawal from nearby Kherson city, U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar said on Friday.

Maxar said images taken on Friday showed several bridges that cross the Dnipro River had also been damaged.

"Satellite images this morning ... reveal significant new damage to several bridges and the Nova Kakhovka dam in the aftermath of the Russian retreat from Kherson across the Dnipro River," Maxar said in a statement.

It said sections of the northern extent of the dam and sluice gates had been "deliberately destroyed." Earlier this week According to a Russian official quoted by Reuters, Russia blamed Ukraine of shelling the Kharkovka dam. There is no evidence to back up these claims.

Both sides have repeatedly accused each other of planning to breach the dam using explosives, which would flood much of the area downstream and would likely cause major destruction around Kherson.

1:50 p.m.: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has carried out a joint safeguards and nuclear security expert mission to a nuclear research facility in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv and found it had been heavily damaged by shelling during the current military conflict in the country, but without any indication of radiological release or diversion of declared nuclear material, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today, according to an IAEA statement.

“Although radiation levels were normal, the extent of damage to this nuclear research facility is dramatic and shocking, even worse than expected,” IAEA chief Grossi said of damage to the Kharkiv Institute of Technology (KIPT).

1:20 p.m.: Ukraine said on Friday it was building a reinforced concrete wall and other fortifications on its border with Belarus, a close Kremlin ally that Moscow used as a staging ground for its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Kyrylo Tymoshenko said a 3 km barbed-wire-topped wall had been raised in the region of Volyn on the border with Belarus, which Kyiv says remains a threat. There were also sandbags and trenches, he said.

"That is not the end of it, but we are not going to disclose details," the official said.

1:15 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday said special units of the armed forces were already in the southern city of Kherson following Russia's withdrawal and described the moment as historic.

"Today is a historic day. We are in the process of taking Kherson back," he said in a video address. Other Ukrainian forces were stationed on the approaches to the city, he added.

11:50 a.m.: In his address at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said the global climate crisis posed an existential threat to the planet and promised that the United States was doing its part to combat it.

"The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security, and the very life of the planet," Biden said, before outlining steps the United States, the world’s second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, was taking.

"I can stand here as president of the United States of America and say with confidence, the United States of America will meet our emissions targets by 2030," he said.

His remarks have been met with skepticism as many countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, are also calling for increased supply of fossil fuels in the near-term to help bring down consumer energy prices that have spiked since Russia’s war on Ukraine.

11:45 a.m.: In a phone call Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy briefed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the latest developments in Kherson.

According to Reuters, the two condemned the Russian armed forces' attacks on civilian infrastructure and discussed ways of strengthening the Ukrainian energy sector, with Scholz saying Germany would continue to support Ukraine with energy infrastructure and air defense.

They also called for a continuation of the grain agreement allowing for Ukrainian agricultural produce to be exported in order to improve the global food security situation.

Scholz will attend the G-20 summit of the world's leading developed and emerging economies in Bali, Indonesia next week. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending.

9:50 a.m.: Ukrainian troops were greeted by joyous residents in the city of Kherson on Friday after a Russian pullout from the only regional capital it has captured since February 24. The New York Times reports. Ukrainian residents in Kherson cheered the arriving Ukrainian soldiers. “We were waiting for you for so long!” a woman yelled. “We are so happy,” A Ukrainian woman yelled.

On Thursday, Ukraine’s military said it had advanced into 260 square kilometers of land in the last 24 hours and reclaimed 12 towns and villages.

“The enemy is regrouping and taking measures to partially withdraw troops to the left bank of the Dnipro,” the military said in a statement, referring to the river’s eastern bank, where the Russian military has been building a fallback line of defenses.

Ukrainian officials said that Moscow’s announcement of a withdrawal from the capital of the Kherson region could be a trap meant to lure their forces into brutal urban combat.

9:45 a.m.: Russia said it had completed the pullout across the Dnipro River without losing a single soldier, but Ukrainians painted a picture of a chaotic retreat, with Russian troops ditching their uniforms or drowning while trying to escape, The Washington Post reports.

Video footage circulating on the internet showed dozens of Ukrainians cheering and chanting victory slogans in Kherson's central square, where the apparent first Ukrainian troops to arrive snapped selfies in the crowd.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that the retreat would take “days and maybe even weeks.” Ukraine’s defense minister had also expressed skepticism that Russia could withdraw so quickly.

Ukraine's defense intelligence agency said Kherson was returning to Ukrainian control and ordered any remaining Russian troops to surrender to Ukrainian forces entering the city.

8:50 a.m.: In a video address Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking in English, paid tribute to Veterans Day, observed in the U.S. annually on November 11, offering “special thanks to the many American veterans who have volunteered to fight in Ukraine.”

8:45 a.m.: Nations across the world pay respect with solemn ceremonies for their fallen soldiers in World War I. Russia's war in Ukraine showed again that peace is all too often elusive. Casualties since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 are estimated around 200,000. The Washington Post reports, death and destruction in Ukraine are reminiscent of the horrors of wars past. In a tribute U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “As we honor the war dead of the past, we also remember Ukraine’s fight for freedom today.”

5:24 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said in its latest Ukraine assessment that it does not believe the fighting in Ukraine will halt or enter a stalemate due to winter weather.

Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations on the Svatove-Kreminna line, the assessment said, while Russian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and in western Donetsk.

4:15 a.m.: The United States will allow some energy-related transactions with several Russian entities including Sberbank, VTB Bank and Alfa-Bank to continue through May 14, the Treasury Department said Thursday, Reuters reported.

Treasury said in a notice on its website that it was extending a general license that was set to expire next month. Russia's central bank is also on the list of entities.

The move comes weeks before the Group of Seven's Dec. 5 price cap on Russian oil is set to take effect.

3:16 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said that Russia has been attacking Ukraine's electric power infrastructure.

The strikes have resulted in widespread damage to transmission stations and power plants, the update said. Scheduled and emergency blackouts have become routine in parts of Ukraine, particularly Kyiv.

Continued degradation of networks by Russian strikes will almost certainly have consequences for interlinked water and heating systems, that will be most significantly felt by the civilian population during winter, as demand increases, the update said.

2:08 a.m.: A Wall Street Journal reporter in Ukraine shares several videos.

1:12 a.m.: South Korea's defense ministry said on Friday negotiations to sell artillery shells with the United States as the end user are ongoing, after The Wall Street Journal reported Seoul had agreed to sell weapons that would be destined for Ukraine, Reuters reported.

South Korea's position of not providing lethal aid to Ukraine is unchanged, the defense ministry said in a statement.

12:02 a.m.: Senior U.N. and Russian officials planned to meet in Geneva on Friday for talks on extending the deal that returned Ukrainian grain to world markets and was supposed to eliminate obstacles for Russian exports of grain and fertilizer, The Associated Press reported.

The agreement expires Nov. 19, and Ukraine and Western nations are pressing for it to be extended. However, Russia's government has said it is undecided, expressing dissatisfaction with how the deal has worked for its side.

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and U.N. trade chief Rebeca Grynspan, who has been in charge of the Russian side of the agreement, were to meet with a Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, the U.N. said Thursday.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.