November 3, 2022 Russia Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Hafsa Khalil, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Matt Meyer and Seán Federico O'Murchú, CNN

Updated 3:02 a.m. ET, November 4, 2022
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6:28 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

7 grain ships leave Ukrainian ports after revival of Black Sea corridor

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Jomana Karadsheh

Seven ships carrying food left Ukrainian ports on Thursday following the revival of the Black Sea grain deal, according to Oleksandr Kubrakov, the Ukrainian minister of Infrastructure.

Kubrakov tweeted: "7 vessels carried out grain from 🇺🇦 ports in the morning. No matter what, 🇺🇦 continues to support the world in overcoming food crisis."

Shipments of grain from Ukraine had been in jeopardy after Russian suspended its participation in the initiative at the weekend. It resumed its role on Wednesday.  

Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure said the ships are loaded with 290,000 metric tons of Ukrainian agricultural products, and had left the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny. 

The vessels are headed to Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Oman, and three to China.

The Russian Federation delegation resumed work at the Joint Coordination Centre Thursday and joined vessel inspections, the United Nations Secretariat said. On Wednesday, inspections on five outbound vessels were conducted by United Nations and Turkish inspectors.

Some context: In July, following months of negotiations, ministers from both Ukraine and Russia signed the grain deal brokered by the UN and Turkey. Russia pledged to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds — some of Ukraine’s most important exports.

According to Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry on Thursday, the country has exported more than 10 million metric tons of grain on 430 ships since August 1.

6:13 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Blackouts in Kyiv leave hospitals without running water

From CNN's Salma Abdelaziz in Kyiv, Ukraine

A hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, that has been left without water.
A hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, that has been left without water. (CNN)

Medical facilities across Ukraine have been setting up generators to cope with the routine Russian bombardment that has been degrading the country's power grid. But when Russia targeted Ukraine's electrical facilities on Monday, it interrupted another essential utility: water.

For the first time since the start of Russia's invasion in February, four of the Ukrainian capital's biggest hospitals were left without running water for most of a day. 

The Kyiv Regional Clinical Center was among the facilities impacted. Doctors and nurses scrambled to transfer the most urgent cases to functioning hospitals. Surgeries were canceled and life-saving treatments like dialysis were postponed, leaving lives in the balance.

“We need to be prepared for the worst scenario. Russia is even talking about nuclear weapons so we must be prepared for the most difficult challenges,” Vice Governor of the Kyiv Region Vitaliy Vlasyuk told CNN. 

Russian forces have pounded Ukraine's critical infrastructure for weeks, severely damaging its electrical grid and forcing many towns and cities across the country to impose scheduled hours-long blackouts. 

Hospitals had so far been spared because they rely on back-up generator power during outages. But Monday’s attacks were so severe that the city's water pumps stopped working, leaving some 1,500 patients across the city in limbo.  

"We are ready for emergency situations every day, and we are prepared for power cuts, but the lack of water was absolutely catastrophic for us," said Daryna Melnyk, the medical director at the Kyiv Regional Clinical Hospital.

The hospital had over 50 surgeries scheduled that day, but with staff unable to clean their surgical tools without running water, the hospital's sterilization rooms fell quiet and those awaiting non-emergency procedures told to go home.  

“Russia wants to deprive us of critical components of social life. If our people are not killed by bombs, they may be deprived of water, electricity and medical care,” Melnyk said.

Kyiv’s water system back to functional, but hospital staff are already preparing evacuation plans for the next time that Russia strikes. 

6:14 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Emergency power outages across Ukraine amid Russian attacks on infrastructure

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv, Ukraine

A car drives on a dark street on November 2, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
A car drives on a dark street on November 2, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ed Ram/Getty Images)

Emergency power outages and restrictions to limit electricity use were put in place across Ukraine on Thursday, according to national energy company Ukrenergo, amid Russia's attacks against critical infrastructure.

“In Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kirovohrad regions, the schedules of emergency power outages are still in use. Power supply restrictions are applied to all categories of consumers,” Ukrenergo said in a Facebook post. 
"For consumers in the city of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Poltava regions, hourly power outage schedules are in use."

Ukrenergo added that the restrictions were in place to balance Ukraine’s power system, following repeated attacks on its grids by Russian missiles and drones.  

Some background: Ukraine has faced a wide assault on critical infrastructure and power sources since early October.

This week alone, attacks on critical infrastructure in the regions of Kyiv, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia have left millions without electricity and water intermittently. 

3:44 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Kryvyi Rih energy and water infrastructure hit overnight, says Ukrainian official 

From CNN’s Olga Voitovych

Russian forces have attacked energy and water infrastructure facilities in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, according to a local military official.

"In the evening and overnight the enemy made another attack on the energy infrastructure of the region. Four enemy drones were destroyed over the region by our air defense, but there are hits," said Oleksandr Vilkul, head of the city’s military administration, in a post on Telegram.
"There were two strikes in Kryvyi Rih. One hit on the energy infrastructure facility (drone), another one - on the water infrastructure facility (missile). The destruction is significant."

Vikul said there were no casualties, adding that water supply had been restored across the city but work on restoring electricity was ongoing.  

Ukraine has been facing a wide assault on critical infrastructure and power sources since early October.

3:20 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant disconnected from Ukraine's power grid again due to shelling

From CNN’s Josh Pennington

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is seen on October 14.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is seen on October 14. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has again been disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid due to Russian shelling that damaged the remaining high voltage lines, state nuclear firm Energoatom said in a statement Thursday. 

“Yesterday the last two high-voltage power lines connecting the Zaporizhzhia NPP with the Ukrainian power grid were damaged by Russian shelling. At 11:04 pm (local time), the station switched to full blackout mode,” the statement read. 
“All 20 diesel generators were switched on. Currently, the power supply scheme for ZNPP is optimized for its own needs: 9 diesel generators have been left in operation.”

The nuclear plant has been disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid as a result of Russian shelling on several occasions in recent months, according to Ukrainian authorities. 

Some background: The plant sits in the Russian-occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region and is the largest in Europe. It has been held by Russian forces for some eight months but is operated by its Ukrainian staff.

In a separate statement, the secretary of the Zaporizhzhia city council Anatoliy Kurtiev confirmed the region is once again experiencing scheduled rolling blackouts, as the result of damage to energy facilities overnight.

2:58 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

In newly liberated villages, Ukrainian investigators uncover horrific claims of Russian sexual violence

From  Mick Krever, Clarissa Ward and Scott McWhinnie

Tatiana, age 56, recalls the shame she felt after she says she was raped by a Russian soldier.
Tatiana, age 56, recalls the shame she felt after she says she was raped by a Russian soldier. (Mick Krever/CNN)

Day after day, in town after town, a police officer and prosecutor go door to door in Ukraine’s Kherson region.

Treading muddy streets, past homes damaged by artillery strikes, they look for those left behind. The two men form a specialist unit that’s traveled from the capital, Kyiv.

A mother and daughter come out to their yard. “We are looking for sexual crimes,” the prosecutor, Oleksandr Kleshchenko, says.

Until early October, this area of the country was occupied by Russian troops. Burnt-out cars litter the fields. The letter ‘Z’ — a symbol used by Russian forces — marks the walls.

The scars of war run deep here. Russia has used sexual violence as a “weapon of war” — a deliberate “military strategy” — in its conquest of Ukraine, United Nations investigators have said. They have even relayed allegations of Russian soldiers carrying Viagra.

Russian authorities have denied accusations of war crimes in Ukraine.

In two weeks of work in the Kherson region, the team from Kyiv has documented six allegations of sexual assault. The real number is almost certainly much higher, they say.

Tatiana, age 56, says she is one of the victims. CNN is withholding her last name and that of her village to protect her identity.

Walking over broken glass, she shows us into her brother’s house, where she says two Russian soldiers forced their way through her door on August 26.

“They walked around those rooms,” she says. “One stayed there, and the other one, who raped me, came in here. He came in, walked a little bit around the room and here in this place, he started groping me.”

“I told him, ‘No, no, I am not of the age that I can give you something, look for younger girls.’”
He pinned her against the wardrobe, she says, and tore at her clothes. “I was crying, begging him to stop, but with no success,” she says. “The only thought I had was to stay alive.”

Read more here.

12:00 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Zelensky: Kremlin demanding security guarantees from Ukraine shows Russian aggression has failed

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Wednesday Nov. 2.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Wednesday Nov. 2. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia demanding security guarantees from Kyiv demonstrates the failure of Moscow's invasion after eight months of fighting.

In his nightly address on Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader said: "252 days ago, Russia demanded security guarantees from the United States of America. After eight months of Russia's so-called 'special operation,' the Kremlin is demanding security guarantees from Ukraine. These are indeed striking changes." 

"It shows both the failure of Russian aggression and how strong we are when we remain united," Zelensky added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russia resumed its participation in the UN-brokered grain deal that it had left days earlier, saying it had received written security guarantees from Ukraine on demilitarizing the maritime corridor.

In televised comments, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "having received the necessary guarantees from the Ukrainian side that the humanitarian route will not be used for military purposes, Russia resumes the implementation of the grain deal." 
9:57 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Ukraine claims it hit significant Russian military systems in Kherson

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva

Ukrainian officials say the military struck an important target in Kherson, as pro-Russian authorities press civilians to leave the southern region.

Serhii Khlan, member of the Kherson Regional Council, said Ukrainian forces hit Russian air defense systems close to the stadium in Kherson city. Those systems have also been used to shell Mykolaiv, sometimes with devastating effect.

Khlan posted a photograph purportedly showing the "remains of the equipment."

Khlan said there had also been further hits in the area of the Antonivskyi bridge, where Russian forces and the pro-Russian administration have been operating ferries and pontoon bridges to resupply the west bank, where thousands of Russian troops remain.

He said that in the city of Kakhovka — on the east bank of the river Dnipro — the three streets closest to the river were being forcibly evacuated. He said the Russians "in the city are digging in, setting up concrete trenches."

Khlan said the Russians "are digging in on the east bank, preparing for defense, thinking that this make our offensive impossible. But the resistance movement and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to fight."

Khlan repeated what other Ukrainian officials have asserted: that the Russian-backed authorities have left the city of Kherson — which is on the west bank — to set up office in the city of Skadovsk, much closer to Crimea. 

"As for the urgent and mandatory "evacuation" called for by the Russians, our people are not going to go anywhere. If the locals did not have the opportunity to go to the de-occupied [Ukrainian-held] territory or decided to stay at home, they definitely do not want to go to Russia," Khlan said.
12:39 a.m. ET, November 3, 2022

First on CNN: US accuses North Korea of trying to hide shipments of ammunition to Russia

From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Katie Bo Lillis

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby speaks from the White House in Washington, DC, on October 26.
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby speaks from the White House in Washington, DC, on October 26. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The US is accusing North Korea of secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells for the Ukraine war by concealing where they are being transported to, according to newly declassified intelligence.

US officials believe that the surreptitious North Korean shipments — along with drones and other weaponry that Russia has acquired from Iran — are further evidence that even Moscow’s conventional artillery arsenals have dwindled during eight months of combat. North Korea is trying to hide the shipments by making it appear as if the ammunition is being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa, the intelligence says.

The recent intelligence comes about two months after the US intelligence community said that it believed Russia was in the process of buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the battlefield, CNN and other outlets reported at the time.

“In September, the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) publicly denied that it intended to provide ammunition to Russia,” the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said in a statement to CNN. “However, our information indicates that the DPRK is covertly supplying Russia’s war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells, while obfuscating the real destination of the arms shipments by trying to make it appear as though they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.”

Officials did not provide evidence to support the new allegations. The declassified intelligence also did not provide details about how many weapons are part of the shipments, or how they would be paid for.

Read more here.