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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Sept. 11

A woman carries her belogings out of a residential building destroyed by a strike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sept. 11, 2022.
A woman carries her belogings out of a residential building destroyed by a strike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sept. 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.

10:56 p.m.: Russian classical pianist Polina Osetinskaya had another concert canceled in her home country after she spoke out against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Osetinskaya did not perform as scheduled at a musical festival in Irkutsk in Eastern Siberia on Friday, her second concert canceled within a week.

Tatyana Mezentseva, who oversaw the Irkutsk musical festival, told media that the pianist did not perform for health reasons, a common excuse given by organizers to explain the cancellation of concerts by anti-war artists.

Osetinskaya immediately took to social media to publicly criticize Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine, saying in an Instagram post that it was a "dark day" in the nation’s history.

9:05 p.m.: "Thousands" of people have fled the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, the scene of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, toward Russia in 24 hours, the governor of the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, said, according to Reuters.

"It was not the easiest night, it was not the easiest morning. Over the past 24 hours, thousands of people have crossed the border," Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a video address, published on his Telegram channel.

At the beginning of the month, the Ukrainian army first announced a counter-offensive in the south, before making a surprise and lightning breakthrough over the past week from the Russian lines in the northeast, in the Kharkiv region.

Most of the people who crossed the border in the Belgorod region went to stay with their relatives residing in Russia, Gladkov said, according to Reuters.

“Today, 1,342 people are in 27 temporary accommodation places set up in the region,” he said.

8:07 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked the 200th day of Russia’s war in his country and thanked Ukraine’s military.

“Today is 200 days of our resistance. Our struggle. Our people’s war. For freedom, for independence, for the right to be. In these 200 days, we have achieved a lot, but the most important, and therefore the most difficult, is ahead. And I want to dedicate this address to those who are ahead. Who are having the hardest time now, as they are doing the most important thing,” Zelenskyy said.

“These are all defenders of Ukraine. All those who have been courageously standing for 200 days, being the exact reason why Ukraine stands. Strong, and that is why we are free. Unbreakable, and that is why we are independent. Our fighters, who heroically restrained the enemy, and now they do not restrain themselves. And they drive the occupiers out in the north, south and east. In all directions but moving in only one direction - forward and towards victory,” he said.

7:04 p.m.:

6:09 p.m.: Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, met with Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman and CEO of Google and former executive chairman and technology advisor of Alphabet, the official website of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported.

Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also took part in the meeting.

Schmidt has previously worked with the U.S. Department of Defense on innovation issues, and his family has established philanthropic foundations in the areas of sustainable development and responsible use of natural resources.

Yermak and Schmidt discussed technological solutions that could help Ukraine accelerate the de-occupation of territories, restore its territorial integrity and return to a safe and peaceful life, the president’s website said.

5:33 p.m.: President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Ukrainian troops had recaptured the strategic city of Izium in the east of the country from Russian forces as part of a large-scale counter-offensive, Agence France-Presse reported.

In an address to the nation marking 200 days since the beginning of the Russia's invasion, Zelensky thanked Ukrainian forces who "liberated hundreds of our cities and villages ... and most recently Balaklia, Izyum and Kupiansk," naming three important hubs recently captured by Kyiv's army.

4:26 p.m.:

3:41 p.m.: Russia is being blamed for power outages and lack of water supplies in Ukraine on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Power blackouts and cuts in water supplies hit several areas of Ukraine's northeastern region of Kharkiv as Russian attacks hit infrastructure sites, the region's governor said.

"The (Russian) occupiers have struck critical infrastructure in the city and region of Kharkiv," Olegh Synehubov wrote on Telegram.

"In several population centers there are no electrical or water supplies. Fires have broken out where these strikes occurred and emergency crews ... are containing the blazes."

In the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk, Russian forces hit the energy infrastructure knocking out power supplies to several towns, the region's governor said.

"All services are in operation. We will restore everything as quickly as possible," Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.
"The Russians are unable to reconcile themselves to defeats on the battlefield," he added.

3:15 p.m.: With few students and even fewer teachers, Russia struggles to set up "Potemkin" schools in occupied Ukraine. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty takes a look at the situation.

2:55 p.m.:

2:37 p.m.: French President Emmanuel Macron told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to remove weapons and troops stationed next to a Ukrainian nuclear plant amid growing international concerns about a potential catastrophe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Operations at the plant were fully stopped on Sunday as a safety measure.

During the call on Sunday, Putin tried to put the blame on Ukraine, claiming it was firing on the plant, according to a Kremlin readout of their interaction.

Macron, however, told Putin that the main risk of a nuclear catastrophe emanates from the presence of Russian troops and weapons at the plant.

He called on the Russian leader to remove the troops along with heavy and light weapons stationed nearby, the French statement said.

The two leaders expressed readiness for a "nonpoliticized interaction" on the matter with the participation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Kremlin statement said.

Macron also urged the Putin to fulfill a UN-brokered deal on Ukrainian grain exports to ensure they reached the nations most in need.

2:09 p.m.: As a Russian retreat in the Kharkiv region continues, a senior Ukrainian official has said that more than 40 settlements have now been liberated, according to CNN.

Roman Semenukha, Deputy Head of the Kharkiv region military administration, told Ukrainian television: “We can officially announce the liberation of more than 40 settlements. The situation is changing incredibly quickly and there are many, many more such [de-occupied] settlements.”

Semenukha said the 40 referred only to those places where the situation was completely under control, and there were more where the Ukrainian flag had been raised.

“The situation is dynamically positive. And indeed the situation is changing,” he said.

Semenukha said it was wrong to suggest the Russians were simply leaving. “There are fierce, fierce battles in many areas of the front and everything is very, very difficult. If we are talking about the military component, then you just have to be patient,” he said.

12:47 p.m.: On Sunday, Russian nationalists called angrily for President Vladimir Putin to make immediate changes to ensure an ultimate victory in the Ukraine war, a day after Moscow was forced to abandon its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The swift fall of Izium in Kharkiv province was Russia's worst military defeat since its troops were forced back from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in March.

In a voice message posted on Telegram, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin ally whose troops have been at the forefront of the campaign in Ukraine, dismissed the loss of Izium, a critical supply hub.

But he conceded the campaign was not going to plan.

"If today or tomorrow changes are not made in the conduct of the special military operation, I will be forced to go to the country's leadership to explain to them the situation on the ground," said Kadyrov.

Moscow's almost total silence on the defeat, or any explanation for what had taken place in northeastern Ukraine, provoked significant anger among some pro-war commentators and Russian nationalists on social media.

Armored fighting vehicles abandoned by Russian soldiers are seen during a counteroffensive operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout released on Sept. 11, 2022.
Armored fighting vehicles abandoned by Russian soldiers are seen during a counteroffensive operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout released on Sept. 11, 2022.

12:09 p.m.: Russia's retreat from the city of Izium, southeast of Kharkiv, marked the Russian forces' worst defeat since they were pushed back from the capital Kyiv in March, when thousands of Russian soldiers left behind ammunition and equipment as they fled, Reuters reported.

Ukraine defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said the country needed to secure the retaken territory from a possible Russian counterattack on stretched Ukrainian supply lines. He told the Financial Times Ukrainian forces could be encircled by fresh Russian troops if they advanced too far.

However, Reznikov also said the offensive had gone far "better than expected,” describing it as a "snowball rolling down a hill."

"It's a sign that Russia can be defeated," he said.

Britain's defense ministry said on Sunday fighting continued around Izium and the city of Kupiansk, the sole rail hub supplying Russia's front line across northeastern Ukraine, which has been recaptured by Ukrainian forces.

11 a.m.: Assertions by Russian President Vladimir Putin that only a fraction of grain exported from Ukraine was going to poor countries are untrue, the British Defense Ministry said and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Without providing proof, Putin said on September 7 only two of 87 ships, carrying 60,000 metric tons of products, had gone to poor countries.

Quoting UN figures, the British Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter on Sunday around 30 percent of grains exported under the deal has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

The ministry accused Russia of pursuing a deliberate misinformation strategy to deflect blame for food-insecurity issues, discredit Ukraine, and minimize opposition to its invasion.

In related news, France's transport minister said on Sunday he would sign an agreement with Romania to increase Ukrainian grain exports to developing countries including to the Mediterranean.

9:58 a.m.: As the war in Ukraine marks 200 days, the country has reclaimed broad swaths of the south and east in a long-anticipated counteroffensive that has dealt a huge setback to Russia. The Associated Press has a report.

9:16 a.m.:

8:54 a.m.: Ukrainian forces kept pushing north in the Kharkiv region and advancing to its south and east, Ukraine's army chief said on Sunday, a day after their rapid gains made Russia abandon its main bastion in the area.

Reuters also reported President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed Ukraine's advance in the northeast Kharkiv province as a potential breakthrough in the six-month-old war, saying this winter could bring more rapid gains of territory if Kyiv can get more powerful weapons.

"In the Kharkiv direction, we began to advance not only to the south and east, but also to the north. There are 50 kilometers to go to the state border (with Russia)," Ukraine's chief commander General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram.

He said the country's armed forces have regained control of more than 3,000 square kilometers since the beginning of this month.

In Moscow, Russia's defense ministry said on Sunday that Russian forces were hitting Ukrainian army positions in the Kharkiv region with precision strikes delivered by airborne troops, missiles and artillery.

7:57 a.m.: The last operating reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is Europe’s largest, was shut down Sunday to reduce the threat of a radiation disaster amid the continuing shelling. The move became possible after the plant was reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid.

Reuters reported Energoatom, the state agency in charge of the plant, said on Sunday operations at the Russian-held facility have been fully stopped as a safety measure.

The plant "is completely stopped" after the agency disconnected the number 6 power unit from the grid at 0041 GMT, it said in a statement. "Preparations are underway for its cooling and transfer to a cold state."

Energoatom said on Saturday it restored to operational capacity a communications line to the power system, which it said had been damaged by Russian shelling, allowing the plant to be powered by Ukraine's energy system.

5:30 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said Ukrainian forces have continued to make significant gains in the Kharkiv region. Russia, the update said, has likely withdrawn units from the area, but fighting continues around the strategically important cities of Kupiansk and Izium.

4:19 a.m.: Municipal deputies in the Moscow district of Lomonosovsky have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to resign, saying "everything went wrong" since the start of his second term and they believe a change of power is necessary for the sake of the country.

The deputies posted their protocol decision on the Lomonosovsky district's website, including a 30-minute video of their meeting Thursday, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

3:14 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday met with the head of Turkish defense firm Baykar and praised the company’s contributions to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Zelenskyy met with Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Baykar, whose Bayraktar TB2 drones have been used to destroy Russian artillery systems and armored vehicles since Russia began its full-scale invasion in February.

The focus of the meeting was Ukraine's further cooperation with the company to strengthen the defense capabilities of the Ukrainian army, the president's press service said.

Zelenskyy and Bayraktar also discussed the details of the construction of a Baykar factory in Ukraine, Zelenskyy said in an online post after the meeting.

1:37 a.m.: The Joint Coordination Centre authorized four more vessels to take grain out of Ukraine. They are: Win Sino from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to India, carrying 43,500 metric tons of sunflower oil; S-Brilliant from Chornomorsk to Vlissingen, The Netherlands, carrying 40,220 metric tons of rapeseed; Oris Sofi from Odesa to Salaata, Lebanon, and Mersin, Turkey, carrying 6,000 metric tons of sunflower oil, and Ahmet Can from Chornomorsk to Turkey carrying 2,800 metric tons of wheat bran pellets.

12:02 a.m.: Russians began voting Friday in the country's first election since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Voters are casting ballots to elect more than 31,000 officials, legislators and local council members across the country's 82 regions.

Many opposition politicians have been barred from running in the three-day vote that takes place both at polling stations and online.

Previous use of online voting in last year's parliamentary election has drawn allegations of vote fraud from the Kremlin's political foes. Opposition members also were critical of the voting being extended to three days instead of one day in the past, arguing that the new rules make it more challenging to monitor the election.

While some prominent Russian opposition politicians have been jailed or barred from running in the vote, over a 100 independent candidates are running for municipal councils in Moscow.

Municipal councils, the lowest level of local governance with little real powers, have become important battlegrounds for opposition politicians cut off from competing in national races.

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

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