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November 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news
By Kathleen Magramo and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Russian soldiers in Donetsk complain about being sent into an "incomprehensible battle"
From CNN's Josh Pennington and Tim Lister
In a letter purportedly sent from the front lines to a regional governor in Russia, the men of the 155th Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet Marines say they were thrown into an "incomprehensible battle" in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.
The letter, published by a prominent Russian military blog on Monday, was sent to the Governor of Primorsky Krai.
"Once again we were thrown into an incomprehensible battle by General Muradov and his brother-in-law, his countryman Akhmedov, so that Muradov could earn bonuses to make him look good in the eyes of Gerasimov [Russia's Chief of the General Staff]," it said.
"As a result of the "carefully" planned offensive by the "great commanders" we lost about 300 men, dead and wounded, with some MIA over the past 4 days," the letter said. "We lost 50 percent of our equipment. That's our brigade alone. The district command together with Akhmedov are hiding these facts and skewing the official casualty statistics for fear of being held accountable."
In the letter, they asked the governor, Oleg Kozhemyako, "For how long will such mediocrities as Muradov and Akhmedov be allowed to continue to plan the military actions just to keep up appearances and gain awards at the cost of so many people's lives?"
CNN cannot verify how many soldiers signed the letter nor their ranks, but Kozhemyako confirmed he had received a letter from the soldiers of the unit.
Russian forces suffering heavy losses in Donetsk region, Zelensky says
From CNN's Josh Pennington and Tim Lister
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the intense combat in parts of Donetsk region "the epicenter of the biggest madness of the occupiers."
"They are dying in hundreds every day," Zelensky said. "The ground in front of the Ukrainian positions is literally littered with the bodies of the occupiers."
Then speaking in Russian, Zelensky said that some soldiers in the Pavlivka area had complained to the governor of their region, Primorsky Krai, in the Russian Far East, as CNN reported earlier Monday.
In response, Zelensky added, the governor — Oleg Kozhemyako — had said that the losses were "not that big."
In a Telegram post Monday, Kozhemyako said, "We contacted our Marine commanders on the front lines. These are guys who have been in combat since the beginning of the operation."
He said they had told him, "We are attacking hard, yes there are losses, but far from that."
Kozhemyako said the combat commander had emphasized that the losses of the [Primorsky] troops were considerably exaggerated.
Zelensky says Russia must be forced into genuine peace negotiations
From CNN's Tim Lister
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia must be forced into genuine peace negotiations.
Speaking about the opening of COP27, the global climate conference underway in Egypt, Zelensky said:
"Anyone who seriously considers the climate agenda must also seriously consider the need to immediately stop Russian aggression, restore our territorial integrity and force Russia to engage in genuine peace negotiations."
Zelensky said that Russia had repeatedly shown itself unwilling to engage in such negotiations.
"The kind of negotiations that we have repeatedly suggested and to which we have always received crazy Russian responses with new terrorist attacks, shelling or blackmail," he said.
People in parts of northern Ukrainian near border urged to relocate as Russian shelling increases
From CNN's Tim Lister
The senior military official in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv is urging people to move away from border areas amid a spike in attacks by Russian forces using mortars and artillery.
The regional capital city of Chernihiv lies about halfway between Kyiv and the Russian border.
Viacheslav Chaus, the head of Chernihiv regional military administration, said on Facebook that the region had endured 234 hits in the past week alone, compared to 87 in the previous week.
Chaus said he had instructed the heads of district administrations to intensify efforts to work with local governments and residents of border settlements on possible options for relocation from potentially vulnerable areas.
"We already have the practice of such resettlement in [the border area of] Novhorod-Siversky district," he said.
Chernihiv is a long way from the main theaters of combat in Donbas and Kherson, but it has seen persistent shelling from Russian mortars and artillery and occasional air strikes.
On Monday, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that the settlement of Hai in Chernihiv came under fire. Several settlements were hit at the weekend.
US officials urge Ukraine to signal it is still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia
From CNN's Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood and Oren Liebermann
Senior US officials have in recent weeks been urging Ukraine to signal it is still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia, amid concerns that public support for the country's war effort could wane with no end to the conflict in sight and neither side willing to begin peace talks, sources familiar with the discussions tell CNN.
The discussions are not aimed at encouraging the Ukrainians to negotiate now – rather, the US wants Kyiv to convey more clearly that it wants to find a resolution to the conflict and that Ukraine has the moral high ground, sources said.
Officials including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan began more urgently pressing the Ukrainians to shift their rhetoric after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree in early October ruling out any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That decree came in response to Russia's self-declared annexation of territories in eastern Ukraine following sham referendums there.
"We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia," Zelensky said last month.
Sullivan discussed the issue directly with Zelensky during a trip to Kyiv last week, the sources said. He expressed the US' view that categorically ruling out any talks with Putin plays into the Russian leader's hand by fueling the Kremlin narrative that the Ukrainians are refusing to talk.
On Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is "open to" negotiation with Ukraine but "at the moment we do not see such an opportunity, because Kyiv turned into a law [their decision] not to continue any negotiations."
The Washington Post first reported that the US is urging Ukraine to appear open to talks.
The advice to the Ukrainians is also coming ahead on the eve of what could be a tough winter for Europe, which has already been experiencing soaring energy costs tied to Russia's invasion and warnings has warned of potential blackouts and gas rationing stemming from the energy crunch.
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CNN's Alex Marquardt contributed to this report
Ukrainian agency names US citizen killed in the war
From CNN's Julia Kesaieva
Ukraine's International Legion has named the US citizen killed during combat in eastern Ukraine.
In a statement sent to CNN, the Legion said: "Our brother in arms, Timothy Griffin, has taken part in the counteroffensive on the eastern front with his unit and was killed in action. While conducting operations, the unit came under attack."
Griffin is believed to be the sixth American who has died in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February.
In war-ravaged Irpin, the long process of rebuilding has begun
From CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Maddie Araujo and Christian Streib
The signs of devastation are all around when you arrive in Irpin, near Kyiv.
The city saw some of the heaviest fighting when Russia tried to close in on the Ukrainian capital at the beginning of the war.
But it soon becomes clear that residents are busy putting the pieces back together. A CNN team bumped into resident Olexander, who showed pictures of what his apartment building looked like eight months ago, with nearly every single window blown out. “Everything is operating now,” he said, including heating.
In this suburb, it’s a race against winter as temperatures start to drop and rolling blackouts continue.
Resident Tetyana said she spent 10 days hiding in her basement during the occupation. Somehow, her phone connection was working when her friend called to say Russian tanks were just minutes away from her building. It was time to evacuate.
“It was a miracle that Mykhailyna managed to reach us,” she said, referring to the call. “I took my parents. We had a car. And that was the only chance to leave.”
Tetyana’s apartment was badly damaged, but she, too, is proud that it has since been repaired, allowing her to move back in.
At the UNICEF site, a different kind of rebuilding is taking place. Aid workers are focused on helping kids and parents navigate unspeakable trauma.
Psychologist Ksenia Lebedev said the lingering trauma manifests in all kinds of ways, from speech impairment to self-harm.
Healing comes through play, arts and crafts and therapy.
Kateryna Chyzh, the volunteer animator, said she notices children gradually come out of their shells and connecting again.
And even the aid workers themselves find it healing. “It usually inspires me, too,” Kateryna said, “I experienced the occupation in Bucha, so now in this environment, I am more relaxed and I like it very much.”
Ukrainian power company says Kyiv and Kharkiv regions are the most vulnerable to power outages
From CNN's Tim Lister
Ukraine's state energy company Ukrenergo says that power supplies are most vulnerable in the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions after a campaign of Russian missile attacks against power infrastructure.
Ukrenergo's CEO, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, said on Ukrainian television Monday that the situation was tough after five massive missile strikes and a number of smaller attacks.
"Repair teams are working 24/7 in order to fix the damage caused in the past weeks. The most difficult situation is in the Kyiv region and Kharkiv region," Kudrytskyi said. "So this is where the scheduled outages, hourly outages as we call them, are in place and additional emergency outages take place on top of them from time to time in order to balance the energy system in these regions."
"We are working on improving the situation within the grid in Kyiv city and Kyiv region as well as in the north region, consisting of Kharkiv region, Sumy region and Poltava region," he added.
Kudrytskyi said that if there was no more shelling, there should be improvements in a few more days.
He said power engineers would do everything possible to avoid a total blackout.