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All critical infrastructure in the city of Kherson was destroyed while under Russian occupation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Monday after visiting the city.
“This is what the Russian flag means — complete devastation. There is no electricity, no communication, no internet, no television. The occupiers destroyed everything themselves — on purpose. This is their special operation. Before the winter, the Russian occupiers destroyed absolutely all critical infrastructure. Absolutely all important facilities in the city and the region are mined,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president added that efforts are being made to return life to normal in Kherson.
Earlier on Monday, officials said they were working to repair damaged bridges and restore Kherson’s electricity supply.
Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev spoke out against his country’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday after his win against compatriot Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy.
Rublev, who is ranked seventh in the world, completed a comeback against Medvedev. After the match, he signed the camera lens with the words: "Peace Peace Peace All We Need."
In his interview after the match, Rublev said the gesture wasn't planned.
“I think it’s important, especially in our time, like I was saying many times, to have a peace. We have internet. We have easy life. We can fly, travel, do sports, take care of the family. No one wants to suffer or struggle. I think it was already many, many years ago. I don’t think that we need to. Many countries are suffering, and that’s it."
This is not the first time that Rublev has spoken out against Russia’s invasion.
In February, shortly after the conflict began, he wrote, “No war please” on a camera after a win at an ATP tournament in Dubai.
The ATP Finals is the season-ending event for the premier men’s tennis tour in the world. It is competed in by the eight highest-ranked singles players and eight highest-ranked doubles pairs in the world. The event concludes Sunday.
As Russian forces have retreated in Ukraine's south, the Biden administration has announced a slew of new military aid packages for Ukraine — but all were missing a piece of weaponry that Ukraine's military has long sought: the multi-use Gray Eagle drone, armed with Hellfire missiles.
According to two officials, the US has been looking into modifications that can be made to the deadly drone. Changes that would make the potential of losing any — with their sensitive onboard technology — less of a danger and possibly increase the likelihood of Ukraine receiving them.
"There are specific and very technical tweaks and neutering that can be done to these that may make it possible in the nearer term," a congressional official said. "But those things take time and are fairly complex."
A US official confirmed that the Army is leading the efforts to study what changes are possible to the drone, which is made by General Atomics and referred to in the Army as the MQ-1C.
"When you're talking drones, this is about as good as you can get," says Seth Jones, the director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "These are really sophisticated drones."
Without any changes, however, the Gray Eagle, which can carry four Hellfire missiles and fly at 25,000 feet for almost 30 hours, would likely not be on upcoming lists of military aid allocated to Ukraine.
Read more about this here.
The Commander of Ukrainian forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, says he has reiterated to his US counterpart, General Mark Milley, that Ukraine's "goal is to liberate the entire Ukrainian land from Russian occupation."
Zaluzhnyi said he had told General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the "Ukrainian military will not accept any negotiations, agreements or compromise decisions. There is only one condition for negotiations – Russia must leave all the occupied territories."
Zaluzhnyi said he had told Milley that the situation at the front is stable and controlled.
"We closely monitor the actions of the enemy on the border with the Republic of Belarus and build a reliable shield to protect Ukraine from the north," he said on his Telegram channel.
"Defense forces, despite the fierce resistance of the occupation troops, continue offensive actions in the Kharkiv sector."
Zaluzhnyi said Russian forces were actively attacking along several fronts in the Donetsk region, but were unsuccessful.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that Russia is becoming a “pariah state,” the UK’s PA news agency reported.
In comments made to reporters traveling with him to the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia — the first since Russia invaded Ukraine in February — Sunak said it was “telling” that Putin would not attend the event, PA reported.
“It's telling that Putin is not there. Russia is becoming a pariah state and he's not there to take responsibility for what he's doing,” Sunak told reporters, according to PA.
When asked how he planned to interact with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the G20, Sunak said he was going to “take the opportunity to unequivocally condemn the Russian state and Putin for their abhorrent and illegal war.”
The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti says that Ukrainian forces are "conducting intense artillery fire on the area of the town of Oleshky" in Kherson.
Oleshky is on the east bank of the river Dnipro, eight kilometers (five miles) from Kherson city, which is on the opposite bank and was recently recaptured by Ukrainian forces.
A RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reported that explosions were heard in the town, including "the sounds of firing from a large-caliber machine gun."
“They are attacking day and night continuously, you see, the forest is burning on the outskirts,” an employee of a gas station told RIA Novosti.
Cellular communication does not work in the town while shops and the market are closed, the agency reported.
A spokesperson of the Odesa Regional Administration Serhiy Bratchuk said there had been strikes against Russian military facilities in Hola Prystan and Hornostayivka, two towns on the opposite bank of the river from Kherson city. Bratchuk said there had been casualties.
The Ukrainian General Staff — in its evening update — said that further upstream the Russians had shelled a number of settlements within a few miles of the river's banks.
There are also reports of heavy fighting in the Donetsk region, where the General Staff says that Russian forces were conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.
Ukraine's state railway service, Ukrzaliznytsia, has begun repairing damaged rail tracks & infrastructure on the Kherson line, according to the Infrastructure minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov. It expects to restore rail services to Kherson within 10 days.
"We’re launching a direct railway connection between Kyiv & Mykolaiv [north of Kherson]", Kubbrakov said on Twitter. "The first train will leave this evening."
Russia said on Monday that it was imposing entry bans on an additional 100 Canadian citizens, including American-Canadian actor Jim Carrey, in response to Canada’s sanctions on Moscow.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it has added more Canadians to its “black list,” which contains hundreds of Western officials and notable individuals.
"In response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's continued practice of imposing sanctions against the Russian leadership, politicians and parliamentarians, business representatives, experts and journalists, cultural figures, as well as anyone whom the Canadian 'russophobic' authorities consider objectionable, entry is closed to 100 citizens of Canada on the basis of reciprocity," the statement read.
Moscow in March added Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the travel ban.