November 17, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Eliza Mackintosh, Jack Guy, Aditi Sangal and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 2:32 a.m. ET, November 18, 2022
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9:19 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Some US weapons and ammunition for Ukraine are low in supply

From CNN's Jim Sciutto, Jeremy Herb, Katie Bo Lillis and Oren Liebermann

The US is running low on some high-end weapons systems and ammunition available to transfer to Ukraine, three US officials with direct knowledge tell CNN.

The strain on weapons stockpiles – and the ability of the US industrial base to keep up with demand – is one of the key challenges facing the Biden administration as the US continues to send billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine to support its fight against Russia. One of the officials said the stockpiles of certain systems are “dwindling” after nearly nine months of sending supplies to Kyiv during the high-intensity war, as there’s “finite amount” of excess stocks which the US has available to send.

Among the weapons systems where there’s particular concern about US stockpiles meeting Ukrainian demands are 155mm artillery ammunition and Stinger anti-aircraft shoulder-fired missiles, the sources said.

Some sources also raised concerns about US production of additional weapons systems, including HARMs anti-radiation missiles, GMLRS surface-to-surface missiles and the portable Javelin anti-tank missiles – although the US has moved to ramp up production for those and other systems.

For the first time in two decades, the US is not directly involved in a conflict after withdrawing from Afghanistan and transitioning to an advisory role in Iraq. Without the need to produce weapons and ammunition for a war, the US has not manufactured the quantities of material needed to sustain an enduring, high-intensity conflict.

Multiple officials underscored that the US would never put at risk its own readiness, and every shipment is measured against its impact on US strategic reserves and war plans.

10:21 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Investigators found 11 detention centers and evidence of "torture" in Kherson, minister says

From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv, and Katharina Krebs and Jo Shelley in London

In newly liberated parts of the Kherson region, Ukrainian war crimes investigators have found 11 detention centers and evidence of “torture” used in four of them, said Ukraine's internal affairs minister Wednesday evening. 

"Eleven places of detention have been discovered, of which torture was used in four places," Denys Monastyrskyi told Ukrainian TV.

After Russian forces retreated across the Dnipro river last week, Ukrainian forces reclaimed much of the Kherson region, including the regional capital.

The police and Ukrainian security services were working to gather evidence, “recording every fact of torture, finding witnesses, as well as exhuming the bodies of the dead,” Monastyrskyi said. 

While he did not specify locations, he said 63 bodies had been found so far.

CNN cannot independently verify Monastyrskyi’s claims.

Russia has previously denied allegations of war crimes and claimed its forces do not target civilians, despite extensive evidence gathered by international human rights experts, criminal investigators and international media in multiple locations. 

On Tuesday, Alexander Malkevich, a member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, an advisory body largely packed with pro-government loyalists, said that Kyiv was planning to accuse the Russian military of crimes in Kherson, in an interview on Russian state-owned Sputnik radio.

10:21 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Ukrainian electricity company says 40% of consumers are without power as temperatures drop

From Julia Kesaieva in Kyiv

As Russia launches more missile attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, one of the country's electricity suppliers says the situation is "very difficult" but under control.

The CEO of DTEK, Dmytro Sakharuk, told Ukrainian television that "on average in the country, about 40% of consumers are left without electricity as of now."

DTEK Group is a leading private investor in Ukraine's energy sector.

Sakharuk said the "Russians have caused very serious damage to transmission facilities — these are substations that transmit electricity from one district to another, through which many regions in the center and west are supplied." 

He said one of the company's thermal power plants had been hit, and the damage had shut it down.

"All over the country, there are emergency shutdown schedules. Some areas are very significantly limited. And this will continue until the restoration work begins," he added.
"Partially the restoration works have already begun, partially the debris of the destroyed equipment needs to be removed and the territory de-mined."

He warned about the prospect for days-long power outages.

"Now we must be prepared for the fact that there may be no electricity for days," he said. "Now we are going to talk not about scheduled power outages, but about scheduled power supply. And, unfortunately, the number of hours during which these power supplies will be turned on will be very short, 2-3 hours maximum."

Sakharuk's comments came as temperatures dropped across Ukraine, and Kyiv saw its first snowfall of the winter. 

8:58 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Russia launched "up to 18 cruise missiles" at Ukraine on Thursday morning, Ukraine says

From CNN's Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

Four KH-101 cruise missiles and five Iranian-made drones were shot down amid a wave of missile attacks by Russia on Thursday, the Ukrainian Air Force says.

"Russia again struck with strategic aircraft Tu-95M from the area of Volgodonsk of Rostov region," the Air Force Command said. "In total, nine missile-carrying bombers launched up to 18 cruise missiles of Kh-101/Kh-555 type."

The targets included an enterprise in Dnipropetrovsk region and a gas production facility, it noted. The Kremlin has stepped up attacks on Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure in the last several weeks.

The four cruise missiles brought down were destroyed by Air Command "Center" and all five Iranian-made Shahed UAVs that attacked Ukraine from the territory of Belarus were destroyed in the central region, it added.

In the south, the Air Force said, air defenses destroyed two Kh-59 guided missiles.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian air defenses have destroyed about two-thirds of incoming missiles, and a higher proportion of Iranian drones.

8:30 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Dutch court says Moscow had control of Russian-backed separatists when MH17 was shot down

A Dutch court said Moscow had control of the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in 2014, killing all 298 people onboard.

Hendrik Steenhuis, the presiding judge, is reading the coutr's verdict in the trial of three Russians and one Ukrainian separatist who are accused of mass murder for their roles in the downing of the jet.

The court also found that a Russian-made Buk missile was used to bring down MH17.

7:58 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Dutch court finds MH17 flight was shot down by Russian-made missile

Presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis, fourth from right, speaks during the verdict session of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 trial at the high security court at Schiphol airport, Netherlands, on November 17.
Presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis, fourth from right, speaks during the verdict session of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 trial at the high security court at Schiphol airport, Netherlands, on November 17. (AP)

A Dutch court has found that a Russian-made Buk missile was used to bring down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people onboard.

A judge at the court is reading its verdict in the trial of three Russians and one Ukrainian separatist who are accused of mass murder for their roles in the downing of the jet.

7:28 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

Gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine "destroyed" by "massive shelling," says state-owned energy firm

From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva and Jo Shelley

Several gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine were destroyed and others damaged after “massive shelling” on Thursday, according to Ukraine’s state-owned energy firm Naftogaz.

“We are currently aware of several destroyed facilities, other ones have suffered damage of varying degrees,” said Naftogaz chairman Oleksii Chernyshov in a statement.

Experts were on site to assess the consequences of the attack, he added.

Some context: Russian shelling and missile strikes continued to target civilian infrastructure in various parts of Ukraine overnight, including gas and electricity facilities, according to Ukrainian officials.

Air raid sirens sounded across the country, with strikes reported in the city of Dnipro, in central Ukraine; Izium, in the northern Kharkiv region; Vilniansk in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region; and the southern Odesa region.

7:05 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

At least four dead in Zaporizhzhia region after overnight strike, says Ukrainian official

From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva and Jo Shelley

Aftermath of a Russian missile strike on Vilniansk in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia on November 17.
Aftermath of a Russian missile strike on Vilniansk in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia on November 17. (Ukraine State Emergency Service/Telegram)

A Russian missile strike on Vilniansk in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region killed at least four people overnight, Oleksandr Starukh, head of the regional administration, said on Telegram.

Starukh said three missiles had hit Vilniansk, sharing photos of a residential building which had been destroyed. 

“Currently, four victims have been found under the rubble. Their identities are being established,” he said.

Pictures posted by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service showed dozens of rescuers working at the scene.

Some context: Russian shelling and missile strikes continued to target civilian infrastructure in various parts of Ukraine overnight, including gas and electricity facilities, according to Ukrainian officials.

Air raid sirens sounded across the country, with strikes reported in the city of Dnipro, in central Ukraine; Izium, in the northern Kharkiv region; and the southern Odesa region.

Russia's renewed barrage comes after Moscow's forces fired around 100 missiles on at least a dozen cities and districts Tuesday, according to Ukrainian officials and a CNN analysis of the strikes.

The attacks appeared to be the largest since October 10, when Russia stepped up its campaign to destroy electricity, water and gas infrastructure across Ukraine. 

6:24 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022

World leaders welcome extension of Black Sea grain deal

From CNN’s Jo Shelley in London

A crew member prepares a grain analysis for a control made by members of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) onboard the Barbados-flagged ship "Nord Vind" coming from Ukraine loaded with grain and anchored in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 11.
A crew member prepares a grain analysis for a control made by members of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) onboard the Barbados-flagged ship "Nord Vind" coming from Ukraine loaded with grain and anchored in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 11. (Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was among a number of world leaders that welcomed an agreement to extend the Black Sea grain deal on Thursday, after Moscow had threatened to pull out sparking concerns for global food supplies.

“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine,” Guterres said in a statement on Twitter. “The initiative demonstrates the importance of discreet diplomacy in finding multilateral solutions.”

European Council President Charles Michel said the agreement was “good news for a world that badly needs access to grain and fertilisers.”

The grain deal was brokered in July by the United Nations and Turkey to allow Ukraine to resume the export of grain and other agricultural products after Russia began a full-scale assault on the country in February. It was due to expire on November 19.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that the agreement on the extension had been reached after Turkey hosted discussions between the UN, Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan said that more than 11 million tonnes of grain and other products had been shipped from Ukrainian ports so far under the deal.

The 120-day extension is less than the year-long extension Ukraine says it asked for.