November 8, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:55 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
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6:22 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

US support will continue "until Ukraine wins this war" and Russia withdraws its troops, UN ambassador tells CNN

From CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Madalena Araujo, and Mick Krever in Kyiv

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on June 8, in Washington, DC.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on June 8, in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has said that American support for Ukraine is “unwavering” and will continue until the nation "wins this war.”

“We have been unified from day one, and we have not seen any cracks in that unity,” Thomas-Greenfield told CNN during an unannounced trip to the capital, Kyiv. “Europe is unified. NATO is unified. We’ve had bipartisan support in the United States for support for Ukraine.”

“Our support is unwavering, and we will continue to be unified until Ukraine wins this war and Russia takes their troops out of Ukraine.”

When asked about reports that US officials have urged Ukraine to signal that they are still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia, amid concerns that public support for the country's war effort could wane, Thomas-Greenfield demurred.

“We’ve been clear,” she said. “No negotiations in which Ukraine is not in the driver’s seat. No negotiations about Ukraine without Ukraine.”

The international community, she said, “wants justice for the people of Ukraine.”

“Any negotiations that take place have to take place with Ukraine in the driver’s seat. They have to determine that, when they are ready for those negotiations, with the backing and support of the international community, following the charter that Russia has violated.”

6:15 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine puts climate transition at risk, says Polish president  

From CNN’s Eve Brennan in London

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaking at the COP27 UN climate summit on November 8 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaking at the COP27 UN climate summit on November 8 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (Peter Dejong/AP)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is putting the climate at risk, said Poland’s President Andrzej Duda in an address at COP27, the United Nations climate summit, on Tuesday.  

"The consequence[s] of Russia's aggression are crisis and huge costs which put at risk timely implementation of climate transition as well as timely attainment of the intended goals,” said Duda at the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

“It has also generated additional emissions exceeding the level of those produced by a number of developing countries within the scope of one year," he added.

"We must strive to ensure that the Russian aggression is promptly and permanently repealed by increasing support for Ukraine and enhancing pressure on Russia, and stepping up our efforts to become independent of Russian fossil fuels," said Duda. "Let us not be climate hypocrites. Since it's easy for the leaders of the rich north to boast with their achievements," he said.

"The world, however, has the right to ask where we have moved our production. For if we have moved it into non-European countries, then we should not forget that our responsibility has not disappeared."

Over the next two weeks, negotiators from nearly 200 countries will prod each other to raise their clean energy ambitions at the 27th annual UN climate summit, which is focused on loss and damage.

Low-emitting countries inundated with floods or watching their islands sink into the ocean are demanding that developed, high-emissions countries pay up for this damage. 

5:36 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Cold snap in Ukraine prompts "additional restrictions" on electricity usage

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mick Krever in Kyiv

The sun sets over the west of Kyiv on November 7 as electricity and heating outages across Ukraine continue.
The sun sets over the west of Kyiv on November 7 as electricity and heating outages across Ukraine continue. (Ed Ram/Getty Images)

A drop in temperatures in Ukraine this week has prompted the national electric utility, Ukrenergo, to introduce further energy restrictions.

“Additional restrictions on consumption are necessary because due to the cold snap, electricity consumption is increasing, which leads to an increase in the load on equipment and a shortage of electricity in the power system,” said Ukrenergo in a statement.

The emergency power cuts that have been a daily occurrence for weeks continued Tuesday, with outages planned for the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv and Poltava regions, as well as the capital, Kyiv.

“Repair and restoration works continue around the clock,” Ukrenergo said. “Please do not forget about the need to consume electricity sparingly! This will allow [us] to apply fewer restrictions aimed at preventing outages, and will also allow power engineers to focus on repairs of damaged facilities, on which the power supply of entire regions depends.”
5:17 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Ukrainian officials say bottom line for any settlement with Russia must be "restoration" of occupied land

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mick Krever in Kyiv

Responding to various media reports about a push for negotiation with Russia, Ukrainian officials on Tuesday said that an essential condition for any settlement of the war is the restoration of Ukrainian occupied territory.

“The main condition of the [Ukrainian] President of is restoration of [Ukrainian] territorial integrity,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said on Twitter.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asked on Twitter: “What do you mean by the word ‘negotiations’? Russian ultimatums are well-known: ‘we came with tanks, admit defeat and [the loss of territory].’ This is unacceptable. So what to talk about? Or you just hide the word ‘surrender’ behind the word ‘settlement?’”

Some background: The pair spoke out following reports that senior US officials have in recent weeks been urging Ukraine to signal that they are still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia. The push comes 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. 

4:59 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Russian spy service says it disrupted a Ukrainian "sabotage and reconnaissance group"

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mick Krever in Kyiv

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claims to have disrupted a Ukrainian "sabotage and reconnaissance group" in the occupied southern Kherson region, and detained nine Ukrainian citizens.

The FSB said on Tuesday that it had "revealed and prevented the activities of an SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] sabotage and reconnaissance group in Kherson region, whose tasks included committing terrorist acts against high-ranking members of the military and civil administration of Kherson region."

The FSB claimed to have discovered explosives, detonators and small arms.

"As a result of investigative actions 9 Ukrainian citizens have been identified and detained," the FSB said. "The defendants were placed in custody as a preventive measure."

The Ukrainian government has not commented on the claimed arrests.

3:22 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Russia is no longer organizing "evacuations" from parts of occupied Kherson, says Moscow-backed official

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Mick Krever

Residents evacuated from Kherson arrive in Oleshky, Kherson region, Ukraine, on October 25.
Residents evacuated from Kherson arrive in Oleshky, Kherson region, Ukraine, on October 25. (EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Monday was the last day of Russia's “organized evacuation” offer for civilians from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the occupied portion of Ukraine’s Kherson region, according to a Russian-backed official.

“Most residents who decided to stay in Kherson are only now beginning to realize the gravity of the situation and my warnings,” Kirill Stremousov, the Russia-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region military administration, said on Telegram.

His comments come as an intense battle for the southern city of Kherson appears to be looming, with Ukrainian forces edging closer to the regional capital as part of a push to retake territory seized by Russian forces shortly after their invasion began in February.

Anyone who leaves the Kherson region will be given “a one-time payment of 100,000 rubles” (about $1,600) “and a housing certificate,” Stremousov added.

Some context: Evacuation offers like this have sparked concerns that Ukrainian citizens may be forced to go to Russian territory against their will. 

A Kherson city resident told CNN over the weekend they viewed the idea of getting on an “evacuation bus” to Crimea as a “one-way ticket.” CNN is not identifying the resident for their safety.

Reports emerged early in the war of tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians being forcibly sent to so-called “filtration centers” before being moved to Russia. Moscow denounced the claims as lies, alleging that Ukraine has hindered its efforts to “evacuate” people to Russia.

Kherson is one of four regions Russia has said it will annex from Ukraine in violation of international law. 

2:27 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

North Korea denies sending arms to Russia

From CNN's Jake Kwon, Kylie Atwood and Katie Bo Lillis

North Korea on Tuesday denied dealing arms to Russia following US accusations that Pyongyang is secretly supplying Moscow with weapons for use in the Ukraine war.

The United States was attempting "to tarnish the image" of North Korea "in the international arena," according to a statement by the vice director of military foreign affairs at North Korea’s Defense Ministry published by state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"We have never had 'arms dealings' with Russia… we have no plan to do so in the future," the statement said.

Some background: Last week, declassified US intelligence said North Korea is secretly supplying Russia with a significant number of artillery shells for use in Ukraine and 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.

US officials believe the alleged 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.

The report follows a US statement in September that North Korea intends to supply weapons to Russia including rockets and artillery shells, which Pyongyang promptly denied.

3:13 a.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Russian soldiers in Donetsk complain about being sent into an "incomprehensible battle"

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Tim Lister

Ukrainian servicemen fire a mortar on a front line near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on November 6, 2022.
Ukrainian servicemen fire a mortar on a front line near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on November 6, 2022. (Iryna Rybakova/Ukrainian Armed Forces/Reuters)

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% 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.

7:32 p.m. ET, November 7, 2022

US citizen recently died in Ukraine, State Department says

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

A US citizen recently died in Ukraine, the US State Department said Monday, the latest known American to die in the country since Russia’s invasion in February.

While the State Department did not name the individual, the International Legion of the Defense of Ukraine identified Timothy Griffin as a US citizen killed during combat in Eastern Ukraine.

Griffin had “taken part in the counteroffensive on the eastern front with his unit and was killed in action,” Ukraine’s International Legion of Defense said in a statement that called Griffin “our brother in arms.”

Both the State Department and Ukraine’s International Legion said they were in touch with family of the deceased and asked the public to respect their privacy.

At least five other Americans are known to have been killed in the country fighting alongside Ukrainian forces during the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Read more here.