Russia-Ukraine war live: Kherson looted ahead of expected battle for city; Russian conscripts receiving ‘little or no training’ – as it happened


Russian troops taking vehicles, art and even religious artefacts from Kherson; UK says Russia struggling to train new recruits. This blog is now closed

  • Russian troops loot Kherson as lines redrawn ahead of final battle for city

A summary of today’s developments

  • Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has said that the country did supply Russia with drones, but added that it took place before Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Kyiv. The drones have been used in attacks on civilian infrastructure, notably targeting power stations and dams.
  • President Zelenskiy dismissed talk of limited Iranian supplies to Russia, saying Kiev had downed 11 drones on Friday alone. He said: “If Iran continues to lie about the obvious, it means the world will make even more efforts to investigate the terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes and what Russia pays Iran for such cooperation.”
  • Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, said Iran “should realise that the consequences of complicity in the crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine will be much larger than the benefits of Russia’s support”.
  • Russian troops have been looting Kherson ahead of a potential withdrawal. The things taken range from art and cultural exhibits to ambulances and tractors.
  • Putin has said civilians still living in the Russian-annexed province of Kherson must be “evacuated” from the conflict zone, amid suggestions that Russian forces may be preparing to abandon the west bank of the Dnipro River.
  • There is increasing speculation that Moscow would attempt to hold the city of Kherson itself – the largest urban area under Russian occupation – at any cost.
  • A 24-hour curfew was imposed in Kherson city.
  • Russian troops are allegedly searching for residents in Kherson who are refusing to evacuate, before its forces potentially withdraw from the west bank of the Dnieper River.
  • External power has been restored to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant two days after it was disconnected from the power grid after Russian shelling damaged high voltage lines, the UN nuclear watchdog said.

Other developments from the conflict

  • The Nato general secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, has said he does not believe Russia will use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
  • The 300,000 troops Putin conscripted as part of the mobilisation drive are providing “little additional offensive combat capability” as the Russian military is struggling to train them, UK intelligence has reported.
  • Scheduled power cuts will take place today in seven oblasts, regions of Ukraine, and major cities including its capital, Kyiv. Other areas affected are Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy and Poltava.
  • About 500 power generators have been sent to Ukraine by 17 EU countries to help with the energy problems caused by Russian attacks.
  • There has been an assassination attempt on a judge who sentenced two Britons to death in Russian-controlled Ukraine. Alexander Nikulin, who said that Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner should be shot by a firing squad, was shot in Vuhlehirsk, in Donetsk, on Friday night. The local supreme court justice is in a serious condition in hospital.
  • The Ukrainian foreign ministry has claimed its forces have killed another 600 Russian soldiers in the last 24 hours.
  • At least 112,000 Russians have emigrated to Georgia this year, border crossing statistics show. Reuters reported that the first large wave of 43,000 arrived after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. The second wave came after Putin announced a nationwide mobilisation drive in late September.

External power has been restored to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant two days after it was disconnected from the power grid after Russian shelling damaged high voltage lines, the UN nuclear watchdog said.

Both the plant’s external power lines were repaired and reconnection started on Friday afternoon, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said.

Grossi reiterated his call for the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the plant to prevent a nuclear accident, adding: “We can’t afford to lose any more time. We must act before it is too late.”

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