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We will not yield a single centimetre of land: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his forces would not yield “a single centimetre” of land in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk. The focal points of the conflict in the industrial region are around the towns of Bakhmut, Soledar and Avdiivka, which have seen the heaviest fighting since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February.

Ukrainian forces have been on the offensive in recent months while Russia is regrouping to defend areas of Ukraine it still occupies, having called up hundreds of thousands of reservists over the past month.

“The activity of the occupiers remains at an extremely high level – dozens of attacks every day,” President Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address late on Tuesday.

⚡️ Zelensky: Fierce fighting continues in Donetsk Oblast.

In his daily evening address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that while there is a lot less news from the front, “it does not mean less intense fighting.”

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) November 8, 2022

The region is one of four that Russia said it annexed in September. Fighting had been going on there between the Ukrainian military and Russian proxy forces since 2014, the same year Russia annexed Crimea in the south.

Battles in the south

According to Russian-installed officials in the Kherson region, Ukrainian forces had tried to advance on three fronts, including Snihurivka.

Vitaly Kim, the Ukrainian governor of the Mykolaiv region, suggested that Ukrainian forces had already pushed the Russians out of the area.

NEW: #Iranian state-run outlet Nour News Agency reported that #Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev arrived in #Tehran on November 8, likely to discuss the potential sale of Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia.

— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) November 9, 2022

“Russian troops are complaining that they have already been thrown out of there,” he said in a statement on his Telegram channel.

LIVE: 259th day of Russian aggression against Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his forces would not yield “a single centimetre” in battles for the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk while…

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However, the statements on both sides are still not verified.

Russian looting

Kyiv-based military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said on Tuesday that 21 Russian conscripts had surrendered to Ukrainian forces around the city of Svatove in the Luhansk region.

“These poor mobilised men – really poor, they had nothing to eat or drink in three days – of course, they decided to surrender,” Zhdanov said on his YouTube channel.

On Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian military accused Russian troops of looting and destroying infrastructure in the southern region of Kherson. A showdown has been looming for weeks in Kherson city, the only regional capital Russia has captured since its invasion.

In Kherson, Russians are trying to find residents who refused to evacuate to temporarily controlled territory. The Russians are looting the city and destroying infrastructure.

— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) November 5, 2022

“A convoy of trucks passed over the dam of the Kakhova hydroelectric station loaded with home appliances and building materials,” the military said.

Russian forces were also dismantling mobile phone towers and taking equipment. They also “blew up a power line and took equipment from a solar power station,” Ukraine’s military stated.

In Kherson city, Russian troops removed exhibits, furniture and equipment from a museum devoted to the painter Oleksii Shovkunenko.

Russians looted the Kherson Art Museum and took it to Crimea.

“We call it looting” the museum said in a statement.

More than 10 thousand works of art, including paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky, Mykola Pymonenko and Serhiy Vasylkivsky were stolen.

— News of Ukraine (@uasupport999) November 5, 2022

Kherson is one of four partially occupied Ukrainian provinces that Russia says it annexed and it is arguably the most important. It controls both the only land route to the Crimea peninsula and the mouth of the Dnipro, the river that bisects Ukraine.

Power cuts

President Zelenskyy also said in his address that about four million people were without power in 14 regions plus the country’s capital Kyiv. Scheduled hourly power outages would affect the whole of the country on Wednesday, Ukraine’s electrical grid operator Ukrenergo said.

Russian forces targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones in recent weeks as winter approaches when temperatures around the country drop to below freezing.

Night-time walking in Ukraine's capital Kyiv during power cuts

— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 4, 2022

The U.N. General Assembly is due to vote next week on a draft resolution recognising that Russia must be responsible for reparation in Ukraine. The text has been put forward by Ukraine, Canada, Guatemala and the Netherlands.

Three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly denounced Russia’s invasion in a vote in March, and in October condemned its self-proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine.

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