November 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Matt Meyer and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0325 GMT (1125 HKT) November 7, 2022
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4:26 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Electricity and water temporarily cut off in Russian-occupied Kherson

From CNN's Olga Voitovych, Dennis Lapin and Chris Liakos

Electricity and water have been temporarily cut off in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian local officials and Russian-appointed local authorities.

The Russian-backed Kherson region administration announced the outages on Telegram Sunday.

It added that “three reinforced concrete columns of high-voltage power lines were damaged" after what it claimed was “a terrorist attack organized by the Ukrainian side.”

The Russian-backed Kherson region administration said that “power and water supply will be restored throughout the Kherson region in the very near future,” asking citizens to remain calm.

CNN cannot independently confirm or verify details of the claimed attack or who was behind it. Russia and Ukraine are accusing each other regarding the incident.

What Ukrainian officials are saying: Yuriy Sobolevskyi, a local Ukrainian leader, confirmed roughly 10 settlements of the Kherson region were left without electricity and water, including the whole city.

“A high-voltage power line was damaged. The occupiers have already 'reported' about the attack. However, they did not specify that the attack was carried out by them. Eyewitness testimonies confirm this,” Sobolevskyi said in a Telegram post.

More context: The fighting in the Kherson region has escalated in recent weeks. Russian-backed authorities have started evacuating residents, evacuations the Ukrainian side calls “forced."

Last month, a resident described the situation in the city as tense, with people “emotionally exhausted,” the streets empty from mid-afternoon onwards and Russian soldiers often seen in civilian clothes.

4:23 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Zelensky claims Russia will use Iranian missiles for possible attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia intends to use Iranian missiles for possible attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, especially the country’s energy sector.

Already, more than 4.5 million customers are without power in Kyiv and six other regions because of Russian strikes, Zelensky said in his nightly address Sunday.

“We also understand that the terrorist state is concentrating forces and means for a possible repetition of mass attacks on our infrastructure. First of all, energy,” Zelensky said. “In particular, for this, Russia needs Iranian missiles,” the Ukrainian president said, adding Ukraine is “preparing to respond.” 

He also said that on Sunday, Russians “used Iranian attack drones again,” but he stopped short of providing any further details.

“The whole world will know that the Iranian regime helps Russia prolong this war,” Zelensky said.

“If it was not for the Iranian supply of weapons to the aggressor, we would be closer to peace now,” he continued. “And this means closer to a complete solution to the food crisis.” 

Some background: Iran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including missiles and more attack drones, to Russia, officials from a western country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program told CNN.

The shipment is being closely monitored because it would be the first instance of Iran sending advanced precision guided missiles to Russia, which could give the Kremlin a substantial boost on the battlefield.

Iranian drones have played a significant role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February

2:54 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Czech foreign minister calls for special tribunal against Russian leaders over alleged war crimes in Ukraine

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Jonny Hallam

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky called for the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute Russia’s top leadership for alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.

“Any political leadership of a country must be held accountable when it starts a war,” Lipavsky said in a tweet Sunday. 

The foreign minister also emphasized that “a tough attitude is needed” to establish international security, and rules must apply “at the international level.” 

“We cannot talk about peace. Russia only understands strength. I cannot imagine being a member of a government that does not support Ukraine,” he continued.

Lipavsky also stated “the Parliament of the Czech Republic takes Russia's actions as acts of terror.” 

“If someone fires a rocket at an intersection during rush hour, it's not a mistake, it's pure terrorism. Russia wants to instill fear and terror,” the foreign minister tweeted. 

Some context: In September, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan said that after visiting Ukraine three times to investigate atrocities, he believes war crimes have been committed.

"One has seen a variety of destruction, of suffering, and that fortifies my determination. And my previous finding that there are reasonable grounds to believe the crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed," Khan told members of the United Nations Security Council.

During his update to the Security Council, Khan spoke candidly of the brutal horrors he had seen in Ukraine.

1:26 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

New EU aid package could total €18 billion for Ukraine, European Commission chief tells Zelensky

From CNN’s Allegra Goodwin

The European Commission will soon consider a significant financial aid package of up to €1.5 billion a month for Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met Sunday to discuss the potential aid package, sanctions on Iran and other topics, Zelensky tweeted.

The two leaders agree on “the importance of continuing the grain initiative for world food security” and discussed “increasing sanctions & opposing actions of Iran, which supports aggression,” the Ukrainian president wrote.

According to a statement from the European Commission, “President von der Leyen informed President Zelensky that she would this week propose a substantial financial package from the EU of up to EUR 1.5 billion a month, totalling up to EUR 18 billion, which would contribute significantly to cover Ukraine's financing needs for 2023.”

12:18 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Russia is faking withdrawal from Kherson to lure Kyiv's forces into a fight, Ukrainian military official says

From CNN's Mariya Knight 

A Ukrainian artillery battery attached to the 59th Mechanized Brigade, fires towards Russian forces in Kherson Oblast on Saturday.
A Ukrainian artillery battery attached to the 59th Mechanized Brigade, fires towards Russian forces in Kherson Oblast on Saturday. (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Russians are creating the illusion of retreat from Kherson to lure Ukrainian forces into street fighting in the key southern city, Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s military, said Saturday. 

“Russian troops are trying hard to convince everyone they are retreating but at the same time we are seeing objective evidence that they are staying,” Humeniuk said in an interview with Ukrainian media.

“There are military units that were based there, and a lot of military equipment is stationed there, and their battle positions are set there as well. The battle positions that were set on the left bank will be used for the support of the battle positions on the right bank.” 

CNN has not independently verified Humeniuk’s claims.

“We understand that Russians are trying to create an illusion of not being there in order to lure Ukrainian forces into the nearby settlements, and the settlements are usually where tough street fighting takes place,” she said.

“This is why we know, we see and we foresee what kind of narrative they are trying to feed us, and we are building up our own strategy accordingly,” Humeniuk noted.  

According to Humeniuk, Russians are moving their elite units and officers to the left bank of Dnieper River, leaving the ones on the right bank no way to escape or evacuate. “They are leaving the units on the right bank to fight until their last breath,” she said. 

Some background: It's been difficult to determine the exact situation on the ground in Kherson this week.

A senior Moscow-appointed official remarked Thursday that Russian troops would "most likely" fall back from positions in the southern city. Ukrainian officials have suggested from the start that the statement could be a trap.

Russia has been evacuating citizens from the city. Moscow portrays the move as vital for public safety. Kyiv has likened the evacuations to forced relocation.

Last month, a resident described the situation in Kherson as tense, with people “emotionally exhausted,” the streets empty from mid-afternoon onwards and Russian soldiers often seen in civilian clothes.

12:05 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid, UN watchdog says

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside Enerhodar, in the Zaporizhzhia region, on October 14.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside Enerhodar, in the Zaporizhzhia region, on October 14. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters/FILE)

External power has been restored to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant two days after it lost all access to off-site electricity due to shelling, the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said Saturday.

In a statement, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi reported "both external power lines used for electricity supplies from the grid were repaired, and reconnection started on Friday afternoon."

“Power supply to all six units of the Zaporizhzhia NPP had been re-established, and the eight operating emergency diesel generators turned off and put into standby mode,” Grossi said, citing information he had received from the team of IAEA experts present at the plant. 

Some background: The Zaporizhzhia NPP has lost external power several times since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in February, forcing it to rely on diesel generators until off-site electricity became available again.

The UN nuclear watchdog chief said Saturday that “the repeated power outages all too clearly demonstrate the extremely serious nuclear safety and security situation this major nuclear power plant is facing.”

He acknowledged that “so far, the brave staff of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant have always managed to maintain the safe operation of the six units.”  

“But it can’t go on like this,” he emphasized. “I have repeatedly called for the urgent establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to prevent a nuclear accident. We can’t afford to lose any more time. We must act before it is too late.” 
9:39 a.m. ET, November 6, 2022

DPR judge "in serious condition" after alleged assassination attempt, pro-Russia separatists say

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

A Russia-appointed judge in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been hospitalized in “serious condition” after getting shot in an alleged assassination attempt Friday, according to the separatist group’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

“Doctors are fighting for his life,” the ministry said in a statement. 

The judge, Alexander Nikulin, worked in a self-proclaimed Supreme Court of DPR and sentenced three foreign fighters in June: Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun. The trio have since been released in a prisoner swap. 

The separatist group said it is working on identifying suspects, but blamed Ukraine for the alleged assassination attempt. 

"The Ukrainian regime continues to display its dastardly terrorist methods. Last night, November 4, an assassination attempt was made with the use of firearms on the judge of the Supreme Court of the DPR Alexander Nikulin in Uglegorsk,” the leader of the self-proclaimed republic, Denis Pushilin, said on Telegram.

8:29 a.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Zelensky says Iran is lying about the extent of its drone supply to Russia

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Saturday Nov. 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Saturday Nov. 5. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Iran's claim about sending a "limited" number of drones to Russia a lie in his nightly address Saturday.

He also disputed the timeline presented by Tehran.

“Today there were messages from Iran, from official representatives. There they decided to admit that they did supply drones for Russian terror. But even in this confession, they lied,” Zelensky said. “We shoot down at least 10 Iranian drones every day, and the Iranian regime claims that it allegedly gave little — and even before the start of the full-scale invasion.” 

Zelensky said that if “Iran continues lying about the obvious,” even more efforts will be made to investigate “the terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes and what Russia is paying Iran for such cooperation.” 

What Iran said: Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said during a press conference Saturday that Tehran had provided a limited number of the weapons before Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Some Western countries have accused Iran of helping the war in Ukraine by providing drones and missiles to Russia," Amirabdollahian said. "The part regarding missiles is completely wrong. The part about drones is correct, we did provide a limited number of drones to Russia in the months before the start of the war in Ukraine.” 

8:29 a.m. ET, November 6, 2022

This map shows the latest state of control in Ukraine

The map below reflects the current front lines in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, a Ukrainian military official said some of the fiercest battles in the conflict are taking place in the eastern Luhansk region, especially in the Svatove-Kreminna area, north of Russian-occupied Severodonetsk.