October 11, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 12:57 a.m. ET, October 12, 2022
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10:25 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Ukrainian officials say about half of incoming Russian missiles and drones are being destroyed

From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych 

Ukrainian military and government officials say roughly half of Russian missiles and drones being fired at Ukrainian territory are being neutralized by air defenses, but reiterate the need for more defense systems.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Russian attacks continued Tuesday on energy facilities, with 33 missile strikes so far.  

Ukraine's Air Force Command announced that the same number had been destroyed as of 1:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET), saying that 20 cruise missiles and 13 "kamikaze drones" were destroyed.

"In total, 33 aerial targets were destroyed by the forces and means of the Air Force," it said. 

Air Force Command said Russians were using a mixture of cruise missiles — including 16 high-precision X-101/X-555 weapons fired from aircraft and 12 Kalibr-type sea-based cruise missiles — as well as Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones.

The Russians appear to have fired somewhat fewer missiles at Ukraine Tuesday than Monday, when the Ukrainians say 84 missiles were launched, 43 of which were shot down. In addition, the Ukrainians claim they shot down 26 Shahed drones on Monday.

The Ukrainian military said that on Tuesday the "bulk" of the Iranian-made attack drones were shot down. 

Air Force Command spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said air defenses were mainly reliant on Soviet-era equipment such as the BUK M1 and S-300 missile systems. 

"This equipment does not last forever, there may be losses in combat operations," he said, noting that "the manufacturer of this [equipment] is Russia, so we will have to say goodbye to them sooner or later."

A call for more military assistance: Ihnat repeated the appeal voiced by many Ukrainian officials for better air defense weapons, saying that "we need a lot, because the territory of Ukraine is very large. ... We have been promised modern air defense complexes for a long time." He said Germany has promised "one IRIS T battery, which is made specifically for Ukraine" and Norwegian partners "will supply two NASAMS batteries."

He also claimed that Russia had few high-precision missiles left, leading to more reliance on less accurate systems. 

10:05 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Kremlin spokesperson claims US is "de facto" involved in Ukraine conflict

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the United States is “de facto" involved in the Ukraine conflict, a day after US President Joe Biden pledged to continue security assistance.

During a regular telephone call with journalists, Peskov said US involvement can be “seen with the naked eye.”

“The United States is already de facto mired in this conflict,” he said. 

“We hear statements from the current US administration about their plans to continue delivering weapons, and to further drag out this conflict, making it as painful as possible for the Ukrainian side,” Peskov claimed.

Some context: Peskov’s comments come after Biden condemned Monday’s attacks on Ukrainian cities and continued to pledge US security assistance “including advanced air defense systems.”

The White House did not specify which air defense systems Biden discussed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but the United States previously committed to providing Ukraine with National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS). NASAMS would be capable of engaging Russian cruise missiles.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated similar comments to Peskov in an interview with Russian state media.

“It seems to me that Americans de facto have been participating in this war for a long time, they are not only arming Zelensky and his regime, they are providing intelligence from military and commercial satellites, which are now used in military plans,” Lavrov said. 

“In the West itself, they are already beginning to understand that they are going further than they intended,” he said. 

9:39 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

NATO plays key support role for Ukraine, secretary general says

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on October 11.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on October 11. (Olivier Matthys/AP)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged that the alliance would meet to “step up and support” Ukraine this week. 

“NATO is not party to the conflict. But our support is playing a key role,” he said during a news conference Tuesday.

On Wednesday, NATO defense ministers will invite their Ukrainian counterpart to “discuss advanced air defense systems and other capabilities to Ukraine, and I look forward to further deliveries,” Stoltenberg said.  

“Ukraine has the momentum, and continues to have significant gains, while Russia is increasingly resorting to horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure. President Putin is failing in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg added.

Referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats of a nuclear strike, Stoltenberg said that “Russia knows that the nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” 

“We are closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces; we have not seen any changes in Russia’s posture, but we remain vigilant,” he said.  

The secretary general called again for Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine.

He also addressed Belarus' joint military deployments with Russia indirectly by saying that Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko should "stop the complicity of Belarus in this illegal conflict.” 

Stoltenberg additionally said NATO had enhanced the protection of critical infrastructure following what he has called the "sabotage" of the Nord Stream pipelines, doubling its presence in the Baltic and North Seas to over 30 ships and increasing intelligence-sharing.

“Any attack [on] allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” he said.

9:15 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Official at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant kidnapped by Russian forces, Ukrainian company says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

A general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukriaine on September 11.
A general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukriaine on September 11. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine's state nuclear energy company Energoatom said that a deputy director general at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been kidnapped.

In a post on its Telegram channel, Energoatom said that "Russian terrorists kidnapped Deputy Director General for Human Resources of Zaporizhzhia NPP Valeriy Martyniuk, [and are] holding him at an unknown location." 

Energoatom said the Russians wanted the plant's personnel files "to force Ukrainian staff to work for Rosatom [Russia's nuclear operator] as soon as possible."

"We appeal to the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and the entire world community to take all possible measures for the immediate release of Valeriy Martyniuk from the captivity of the Russian occupiers," Energoatom said.

Earlier this month, the director general of the plant was detained, but was later released and is now in Ukrainian-held territory.

The Defense Intelligence department at Ukraine's Ministry of Defense claims that Russian forces at the plant are forcing employees to sign contracts with the Russian nuclear operator, Rosatom.

The department said that "representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the occupation administration continue the pressure on the employees of the station....The occupiers apply so-called 'filtering measures' to some of the personnel and their families. Employees are required to officially obtain Russian passports and sign contracts with Rosatom."

It also said that occupying forces continue to keep all six units of the plant in a "cold state." The power supply for the plant, including security systems, is being provided by an external power line.

8:56 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Russia declares Meta a terrorist organization 

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

The Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service has added the US multinational tech company Meta to its registry of organizations involved in terrorism and extremism. 

The parent company of Facebook and Instagram has been banned in Russia, says Rosfinmonitoring. 

That ban now requires banks to freeze funds for companies on that list and suspend services to their accounts.

On March 21, the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow recognized Meta as an extremist organization, claiming that Meta’s management allowed users from Ukraine to call for violence against the Russian military.

The court denied the appeal by the American company. The March court decision did not apply to the WhatsApp messenger, also owned by Meta, since it does not publicly disseminate information.

8:38 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Putin will meet head of UN nuclear watchdog in St. Peterburg, Russia

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova 

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in St. Petersburg Tuesday, the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a regular call with journalists.

The two will discuss the security issues at the “Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” according to Peskov.

CNN has asked the IAEA for more information.

Some background: Last week, Grossi had said he will travel to Moscow to discuss nuclear safety and the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, after he met with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky in Kyiv. While he had not specified dates of travel or who he would be meeting at the time of his comments, he had said that he believed the conversations would be at a "very high level."

"My work is to prevent a nuclear accident, and this is what I am doing," Grossi told reporters at a press conference in Kyiv.

The staff at the plant are working in "unbearable circumstances," but that the IAEA staff will continue their rotation at the plant, he added, saying there have been indications that there are mines in the perimeter of the plant, but not inside the plant itself.

8:40 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Ukraine says it intercepted 18 cruise missiles Tuesday morning

From CNN’s Victoria Butenko in Kyiv and Jo Shelley in London

President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on a call with US President Joe Biden on October 10.
President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on a call with US President Joe Biden on October 10. (President of Ukraine)

Ukraine says it intercepted 18 cruise missiles on Tuesday morning, in two waves of attacks. 

The Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said it “shot down” four missiles around 9 a.m. local time, and a further 14 between 9.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. 

President Volodymyr Zelensky is appealing to Ukraine’s allies for more air defense equipment.

“Air defense is currently the number 1 priority in our defense cooperation,” he said on Twitter late Monday after a call with US President Joe Biden. 

Zelensky met with Ukraine’s Defense Minister, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and other government and military officials on Tuesday.

“Those present … emphasized the urgent need to provide the [Ukrainian] army with modern air defense and missile defense systems,” his office said. 

9:11 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

G7 leaders will discuss new Ukraine assistance and energy issues in Tuesday's meeting, officials say 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

France's President Emmanuel Macron, second right, participates in a video conference with G7 leaders on the situation in Ukraine, at the Hotel Marigny in Paris, France, on October 11.
France's President Emmanuel Macron, second right, participates in a video conference with G7 leaders on the situation in Ukraine, at the Hotel Marigny in Paris, France, on October 11. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into today’s G7 meeting, officials said they expected two areas of primary focus for the group of leaders: determining where they can bolster support for Ukraine’s air defenses and the uncertain energy situation as winter approaches.  

The meeting, which is underway now, had been in the works ahead of Monday’s bombardments in Kyiv and other cities but the meeting assumed a new urgency as Russia targeted civilian targets.  

Officials have been working on a joint statement from the G7 to release when the meeting concludes, but it wasn’t clear that it would include major new joint announcements on sanctions, security assistance or energy independence from Russia. One European official said major deliverables weren’t expected to come out of the meeting. 

Instead, the leaders hope to again demonstrate Western unity as they hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who officials expect will continue to call for better air defenses and more sanctions on Russia.  

On Monday, Zelensky had separate phone conversations with six of the seven leaders of the G7 — US President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, the UK’s Liz Truss, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Italy’s Mario Draghi. 

Biden also spoke with German Chancellor Scholz, the G7 president, this weekend, partly to prepare for today's call. While the White House didn’t mention the nuclear threat from Russia in its readout, the topic did arise in the conversation. 

8:32 a.m. ET, October 11, 2022

Former Russian foreign minister says "terror is the only thing left" for Putin

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London

Rescuers at the aftermath of a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine, on October 11.
Rescuers at the aftermath of a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine, on October 11. (Albert Koshelev/Ukrinform/Abaca/Sipa USA/AP)

Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told CNN Tuesday that “terror is the only thing left” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, “like for any miserable terrorist in the world.”

Putin has launched missiles attacks at Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday because he “is desperate, because he made miscalculations,” Kozyrev told CNN's John Berman.

Kozyrev detailed what he thinks are Putin"s “three major miscalculations.”

“One, that Ukraine could be defeated in two, three days. Second, that the United States and the West will not come to the rescue to help Ukrainians. And third, that he brought the war back home when he announced this mobilization.”

“He’s desperate and he returns to what he’s doing: intimidation, that is, threatening nuclear weapons — which he will not use — and terror actions in Ukraine and in Russia,” he said.

Kozyrev explained why he doesn't think Putin will use nuclear weapons.

“He is human being, so he does not want to commit suicide with strategic nuclear weapons,” Kozyrev added.