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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Nov. 13

A Kherson resident kisses a Ukrainian soldier in central Kherson, Ukraine, Nov. 13, 2022. The Russian retreat from Kherson marked a triumphant milestone in Ukraine's pushback against Moscow's invasion almost nine months ago.
A Kherson resident kisses a Ukrainian soldier in central Kherson, Ukraine, Nov. 13, 2022. The Russian retreat from Kherson marked a triumphant milestone in Ukraine's pushback against Moscow's invasion almost nine months ago.

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

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

11:36 p.m.: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the U.S. will impose sanctions on 14 individuals and 28 entities that have helped Russia procure weapons and other technologies for its invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Yellen, who was attending the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, told reporters that, "This is part of our larger effort to disrupt Russia's war effort and deny equipment it needs through sanctions and export controls."

10:34 p.m.:

9:26 p.m.:

8:38 p.m.: Ukraine has the momentum in its war with Russia but Moscow is a long way from giving up, British defense minister Ben Wallace said, according to Reuters.

"Ukraine has momentum ... It's not big step momentum, but nevertheless, the direction of travel is with the Ukrainians," Wallace told Times Radio before cautioning that it would be foolish to see Russia's withdrawal from Kherson as the end of the war.

"No one is underestimating Russia. Russia is a long way from giving up,” he added.

7:27 p.m.:

6:37 p.m.: Locals in the Ukrainian city of Kherson took to the streets on November 12 after Ukrainian forces restored control of the area. Emotional people welcomed the soldiers and waved Ukrainian flags. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this video.

5:54 p.m.:

5:10 p.m.: The U.S. will announce an additional package of military support to Ukraine in the next few weeks, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a press conference aboard Air Force One. “We remain solid in providing security assistance. You know there is one assistance package that we have just announced, there will be another in the next few weeks,” he said.

4 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that investigators in Kherson have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found," Zelenskyy said.

3:50 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said people in the liberated city of Kherson are working around the clock to restore normalcy in the city. “The frontline has no weekends. Rescuers and sappers have no weekends. Doctors helping the wounded have no weekends.

Doctors helping our children have no weekends as well. Ukrainian energy workers fighting against Iranian drones have no rest. All our transport workers… truck drivers ensuring both the defense and the rear, Ukrzaliznytsia and all public companies,” he said.

And while Ukrainians are celebrating their victory, in the city of Kherson Zelenskyy warned of continuing Russian missile, air and artillery strikes on the five regions of Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk.

He said, intense fighting is ongoing in the Donetsk region. “The level of Russian attacks is not decreasing. The level of resilience and bravery of our fighters is the highest. We do not allow our defense to be breached,” he added.

3:15 p.m.: Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported that from Nov. 7 to Nov. 13, Ukrainian troops liberated 179 towns and villages in southern Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts and 4,500 square kilometers of formerly Russian-occupied territories.

According to the report, The Kiv Independent writes, Russia keeps shelling the positions of Ukrainian military units and conducts aerial reconnaissance. It “continues to strike critical infrastructure, and the territories of regions rear.”

1:45 p.m.: Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of Moldova’s capital Chisinau, protesting against skyrocketing inflation amidst a winter energy crisis. The protesters called for an early election and the resignation of Moldova’s pro-Western President Maia Sand Moldova has taken a distinctly Western-oriented path over the last year, but over the past two months, protests initiated by the populist Shor Party have rocked the country.

The Shor Party’s leader, Ilan Shor, is a Moldovan oligarch currently in exile in Israel. The U.S. says he is working with Russian interests to create political unrest in Moldova, Europe's poorest country, The Associated Press reports.

12:15 p.m.: Russia forces are establishing their position on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, across from Kherson. RFE/RL, their station there could impede Ukrainian advances over the damaged Antonivskyi bridge that connects the two banks of the Dnipro River.

In an interview with RFE/RL, Roman Konstenko, a colonel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Kyiv’s main intelligence service, said about Russian withdrawal was organized prior to Kremlin’s announcement. “From a military perspective, they've retreated competently by covering their withdrawal and leaving large areas mined for any advancing Ukrainian forces."

12:10 p.m.: According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russia is gathering troops and building fortifications around Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The Kyiv Independent wrote in a tweet.

11:10 a.m.: A video allegedly showing the sledgehammer execution of a former Russian mercenary, who switched sides to back Ukraine, circulated on Russian social media on Sunday, with pro-Russian bloggers saying it was revenge for his supposed treachery, Reuters reports.

In an unverified video distributed on Telegram channels which Russian media said were linked to the Wagner mercenary group, the man identified himself as Yevgenny Nuzhin, 55, and said he had changed sides to "fight against the Russians."

In the footage, Nuzhin, shown with his head taped to a brick wall, gave his name, date of birth and said that he had changed sides on Sept. 4.

11 a.m.: Despite the lack of water, power or internet in Kherson after the Russian pullout, a climate of euphoria reverberated throughout the liberated city. CNN describes the glee and joy of Ukrainian residents there, singing the national anthem, planting Ukrainian flags on top of buildings including the cinema. “We feel free, we are not slaves, we are Ukrainians,” resident Olga told CNN.

10:15 a.m.: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said some sanctions on Russia could extend after the end of with war in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Yellen said that any eventual peace agreement would involve a review of the sanctions the United States and its allies have imposed on Russia's economy, according to the Journal.

"I suppose in the context of some peace agreement, adjustment of sanctions is possible and could be appropriate," Yellen said in an interview in Indonesia, where she is attending the G-20 summit.

10 a.m.: While Kherson is left without electricity and water after the Russian withdrawal, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke with his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis and Canadian Melanie Joly on helping Ukraine overcome the energy crisis it faces after Russian strikes destroyed its infrastructure.

Kuleba stressed the need for urgent EU macro-financial aid. He also discussed with Landsbergis the path toward a special tribunal for the crime of aggression.

9:40 a.m.: After the Russian withdrawal from Kherson, Putin’s influence seems to be eroding according to the Institute of War. As Russian Pro-war ideologues criticize his commitment and ability to deliver a victory in Ukraine, Putin, writes The Washington Post, introduced a harsh new amendment striping Russians from their citizenship if they criticize the war in Ukraine.

8:45 a.m.: During a visit to Hanoi on Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Vietnam to take a "clear position" on the war in Ukraine, The Associated Press reports.

Vietnam, unlike the vast majority of U.N. members, has so far not condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and abstained in votes on the issue in the General Assembly.

Scholz said he would like to see the government in Hanoi take a "clear position" on the issue after talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The chancellor also made reference to China, which is in dispute with smaller neighbors over islands and sea areas in the South China Sea.

"The Russian war of aggression is a breach of international law with a dangerous precedent effect. Small countries can no longer be safe from the behavior of their larger, more powerful neighbors," Scholz said.

8:35 a.m.: Ukrainian railways, celebrating the liberation of the southern city of Kherson, on Sunday offered symbolic tickets to the cities that remain under Russian control, promising that tickets can be used after they are liberated, Reuters reported.

Jubilant residents welcomed Ukrainian troops in Kherson on Friday after Russian forces withdrew from the only regional capital they had captured since its invasion began in February.

Local residents celebrate after Russia's retreat from Kherson, in central Kherson, Ukraine, Nov. 12, 2022.
Local residents celebrate after Russia's retreat from Kherson, in central Kherson, Ukraine, Nov. 12, 2022.

"Today you can order tickets for the first three trains from Kyiv to five cities: already de-occupied Kherson, as well as Mariupol, Donetsk, Luhansk and Simferopol," the railway operator said on telegram messaging apps.

"The ticket can be purchased, kept as a symbol of faith in the Armed Forces and the liberation of Ukraine from the occupiers," it said. "As soon as traffic is restored, railway officials will send a message with the date and location."

Ticket prices started at 1,000 hryvnias ($27.40).

8:30 a.m.: Utility companies in Kherson are working to restore critical infrastructure damaged and mined by fleeing Russian forces. Most homes in the southern Ukrainian city are still without electricity and water, regional officials said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The governor of Kherson region, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said the authorities had decided to maintain a curfew from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. restricting people from leaving or entering the city as a security measure.

"The enemy mined all critical infrastructure objects," Yanushevych told Ukrainian TV.

"We are trying to meet within a few days and (then) open the city," he said, adding that he hoped mobile phone operators could resume service soon.

5:16 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said Russia is restarting a Soviet-era program giving Russian students mandatory military training. The training, which had been discontinued in 1993, includes contingencies for a chemical or nuclear attack, first aid and experience handling and firing Kalashnikov rifles. It goes into effect in September, officials said.

Along with boosting the number of potential military recruits, the update said, the initiative is likely to be part of a wider project to instil an ideology of patriotism and trust in public institutions in the Russian population.

4:26 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said bomb squads are clearing booby traps and mines from the reclaimed city of Kherson, The New York Times reported. In his nightly address Sunday, he urged Ukrainians to be alert and to watch for suspicious objects.

3:33 a.m.: Ukrainian authorities are rebuilding and restoring services in Kherson, the head of the regional military administration said Saturday, CNN reported.

Military administrations have arrived, and Ukraine's National Police said in a statement Saturday that about 200 officers are working in the city.

"Roadblocks have been set up around and in the territory of Kherson. The regional police continue to record the crimes of the Russian occupiers," the statement reads.

Mines are the main threat, police said, and 10 groups of explosive technicians are working on the detection and disposal of explosive objects.

Police urged "local residents to follow the established rules, to move carefully around the city and not to touch suspicious objects. If you find any, be sure to report to the law enforcement officers."

Residents who have left Kherson are advised "not to rush to return until stabilization measures are completed," police said.

2:07 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said in its latest Ukraine assessment that Ukrainian forces continued to liberate settlements on the western bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.

Russian forces, meanwhile, continued offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Vuhledar.

Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson City, the assessment said, is igniting an ideological fracture between pro-war figures and Russian President Vladimir Putin, eroding confidence in Putin’s commitment to and ability to deliver on his war promises.

12:02 a.m.: The United Nations refugee agency announced Friday it has launched a global funding campaign to help people forcibly displaced by war and persecution survive the bitterly cold winter ahead, according to Lisa Schlein, reporting for VOA.

The UNHCR's campaign aims to raise $700 million this year to help families who are living under perilous conditions in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and across the Middle East, so they can cope with freezing temperatures.

UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado said the many people who have been forced to flee their homes will be facing an extremely harsh winter. She said it will be difficult for them to provide for their daily needs given the steep rise in the cost of food, fuel, and other basic commodities. She added they also will struggle with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and threats posed by the climate crisis.

Some information came from Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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