Biden to raise concerns about Xi’s relationship with Putin ahead of G-20 summit
The U.S. government has introduced some of its most sweeping export controls yet aiming to cut China off from advanced semiconductors. Analysts said the move could hobble China’s domestic chip industry.
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President Joe Biden is expected to discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week in a face-to-face meeting.
The meeting between the two leaders, the first since Biden ascended to the U.S. presidency, will take place ahead of the G-20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
“I think the president will be honest and direct with President Xi about how we see the situation in Ukraine with Russia’s war of aggression,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters on a call.
“This is a topic that the president and President Xi have spoken about several times before. They spoke about it extensively in March in their video call and then they spoke about it again in July, so it’s part of an ongoing conversation between the two of them,” added the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
— Amanda Macias
Putin will not attend G-20 summit, Zelenskyy to address via video conference
Russian President Vladimir Putin seen during the plenary session of the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) Summit, on October 14, 2022 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G-20 summit in Bali, an Indonesian government official told reporters, according to reports in the Associated Press and Reuters.
“The Indonesian government respects the decision of the Russian government [for President Putin not to attend the summit], which President Putin himself previously explained to President Joko Widodo in a very friendly telephone conversation,” Luhut Pandjaitan, chief of support for the G-20 summit, told reporters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to lead the Russian delegation to the summit.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has yet to leave his war-weary country, is expected to address the summit via video conference.
— Amanda Macias
Russia says withdrawal from Kherson has started, as Ukraine counts solid advances
Russia has claimed that it has ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the west bank of the Dnieper river in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson to begin, while Ukraine remains skeptical about the move, despite already recording a 4-mile advance in the region.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense issued a military update Thursday in which it said units of Russian troops “are maneuvering to prepared positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River, in strict accordance with the approved plan” that was announced by Moscow’s top military officials on Wednesday.
Ukraine said it was skeptical that the withdrawal had actually begun, with one official saying departing Russian troops were laying land mines in Kherson city in a bid to turn it into a “city of death,” as well as blowing up bridges across the Dnieper River to slow Ukrainian forces’ advance.
Serhiy Khlan, a member of the Kherson Regional Council, said that the Russians were moving their equipment to the left bank of the Dnieper River and that Ukraine’s forces were destroying it.
Ukraine’s army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram Thursday that Kyiv could not yet confirm whether Russia was indeed pulling out of the region, but said Ukrainian troops had advanced four miles in the past 24 hours and recaptured 12 settlements.
A woman that lives in a village on the border of Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblast greets a Ukrainian military member on July 25, 2022 in Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine.
Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Since Oct.1, Ukraine’s forces had advanced 22.6 miles in the Kherson region and had recaptured 41 settlements, Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram Thursday. He attributed Russia’s withdrawal from a chunk of Kherson, that was announced yesterday, to Ukraine destroying the logistics routes and support system, leaving Russian units “no other option than to flee.”
“Currently, we cannot confirm or deny the information about the so-called withdrawal of Russian occupation troops from Kherson. We continue the offensive operation according to our plan,” he said.
One video posted on Twitter showed a destroyed bridge as Ukrainian personnel moved across the Inhulets river (a tributary of the Dnieper) in the Kherson region, as they headed south towards Kherson city.
— Holly Ellyatt
Pro-war Putin fans are dumbfounded at the Kherson withdrawal
Pro-Putin commentators have described the retreat from Kherson as a humiliating defeat for Moscow.
Putin supporter and former advisor Sergei Markov likened the withdrawal to a defeat on the scale of the collapse of the Soviet Union, warning that “the political consequences of this huge defeat will be really big.”
Meanwhile, pro-Kremlin journalist and politician Andrey Medvedev said on Telegram: “What now to say about Kherson? Yes, I’m not happy either, like many of you. Yes, I also thought that there would be a different solution. That a fortified area would be made from the city.”
“You can turn the city into a large fortification, while having difficulties with logistics. You can even defend it,” he said, reacting to the announcement by top Russian officials Wednesday thatRrussian troops would be withdrawn from a significant part of the southern Ukrainian region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches with binoculars the Tsentr-2019 military exercise at the Donguz range near Orenburg city on September 20, 2019.
Alexey Nikolsky | Afp | Getty Images
The withdrawal was announced soon after news emerged from the region that the Russian-installed deputy governor of Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, had been killed in a car crash.
Medvedev said that both events represented a serious propaganda blow for Russia: “The departure from Kherson, especially against the backdrop of the tragic death of Kirill Stemnousov, is a serious information blow to us. And now the West and Kyiv will begin to unwind [it] as an unconditional victory for Ukraine,” he said, adding that people wanted an explanation for the withdrawal.
Read more on the story here: Putin supporters left reeling by yet another Russian ‘surrender’ in Ukraine
Ukraine attacks Russian troops in Kherson, saying Moscow didn’t ask for a ‘green corridor’
Russian forces’ imminent withdrawal from the west bank of the Dnipro River that separates the Kherson region is already ripe for intensified attacks with Ukraine reporting that it is destroying Russian units in the area.
Russia reportedly didn’t ask the Ukrainian side to create a “green corridor,” or safe route, to withdraw its troops from Kherson, according to a Ukrainian defense official quoted by the Ukrinform news agency.
Sergei Khlan, a member of the Kherson Regional Council, said on Facebook Thursday that the Russians were moving their equipment to the left bank of the Dnipro River, and Ukraine’s forces were destroying it.
Ukrainian Armed Forces’ military mobility continue toward Kherson front in Ukraine on November 9, 2022. Ukrainian army continue to support its units in Kherson as Russia-Ukraine war continues.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Separately, Ukraine’s southern command unit said today that its forces had attacked “two strongholds of the Russian occupiers, a column of enemy equipment and an ammunition depot” on Thursday as enemy forces build up in the area.
“As a result of the attacks, the Ukrainian defenders eliminated 125 occupiers, three enemy tanks, five units of armored vehicles and an ammunition depot in the Berislav district,” it added. Berislav lies up river from Kherson, on the same western bank of the river — the bank from which Russian forces are set to withdraw.
The southern command unit repeated claims that Russia was laying land mines and leaving road blocks, presumedly in a bid to obstruct Ukrainian forces looking to advance and re-occupy the area.
Russia’s defense ministry said Thursday that it was preparing to withdraw to the eastern bank of the river.
— Holly Ellyatt
Russians want to leave behind a ‘city of death,’ Ukrainian official says
A top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that Russian forces, set to withdraw from the city of Kherson and the west bank of the Dnipro river, are mining and destroying the city.
Russia “wants to turn Kherson into a ‘city of death’,” Mikhailo Podolyak said on Twitter Thursday, adding that Russia was laying mines in “everything they can,” including apartments and sewers.
He said artillery shelling of the west bank of the river “plans to turn the city into ruins.” Those comments come after another Ukrainian official said yesterday that Russian forces were blowing up several bridges.
Damaged parts of Velyka Oleksandrivka town, in the Kherson region, on Oct. 24, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Podolyak said Russian forces “came, robbed, celebrated, killed ‘witnesses,’ left ruins and left.”
CNBC was unable to verify the information in Podolyak’s tweet but defense analysis by the U.K. Thursday suggested Russian forces have destroyed multiple bridges in the Kherson area, across the Dnipro river, and have “likely laid mines to slow and delay advancing Ukrainian forces.”
— Holly Ellyatt
Russian withdrawal from Kherson will be challenging, UK says
Russia’s withdrawal from part of the southern Kherson region is likely to pose challenges for both the Russians — as they leave the area around Kherson city and cross the Dnipro river to the east bank — as well as for Ukrainian troops as they try to reoccupy the area, the U.K. said Thursday.
“Russia’s ability to sustain its forces on the west bank of the Dnipro river had been placed under pressure by Ukrainian strikes on Russia’s resupply routes. In retreating, Russian forces have destroyed multiple bridges and likely laid mines to slow and delay advancing Ukrainian forces,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Twitter.
“With limited crossing points, Russian forces will be vulnerable in crossing the Dnipro River. It is likely that the withdrawal will take place over several days with defensive positions and artillery fires covering withdrawing forces.”
Ukrainian soldiers from the 63 Brigade at a military exercise simulating an attack in the trenches for the counteroffensive to recapture Kherson, on Nov. 9, 2022.
Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
The ministry said the loss of Kherson’s west bank will likely prevent Russia from achieving its strategic aspiration of a land bridge from Russia to Odesa, a Ukrainian port along the country’s southern coast.
— Holly Ellyatt
Putin humiliated further after ‘surrender’ of Kherson
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a press conference at the Rus Sanatorium, Oct. 31, 2022, in Sochi, Russia.
Contributor | Getty Images
As Russia’s military commanders announced another significant withdrawal from another tentatively occupied part of Ukraine on Wednesday, the retreat means further humiliation for President Putin.
Putin kept a low profile on Wednesday as Russia announced it was withdrawing its troops from the city of Kherson and the entire west bank of the Dnipro river that bisects the Kherson region, as it could no longer supply its troops there and said it was worried about its military personnel.
On Sept. 30, Putin hailed the annexation of Kherson, following a fake referendum in the region, saying residents there were “becoming our citizens forever.”
Six weeks later — during which time Russia has instigated a forced evacuation of residents in Kherson to Russian territory — and Putin’s words ring hollow.
As news of the withdrawal emerged yesterday, one of Putin’s former advisors Sergei Markov wrote on his Telegram account that “the surrender of Kherson is the largest geopolitical defeat of Russia since the collapse of the USSR” and warned that “the political consequences of this huge defeat will be really big.”
— Holly Ellyatt
UN officials to meet Russians Friday on Ukraine grain deal
The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying Ukrainian grain, is seen in the Black Sea off Kilyos, near Istanbul, Turkey August 2, 2022.
Yoruk Isik | Reuters
Senior United Nations officials planned to meet members of a high-level Russian delegation in Geneva on Friday to discuss the Ukraine grain deal, a U.N. spokesperson said.
“They will continue ongoing consultations in support of the efforts by the Secretary-General António Guterres on the full implementation of the two agreements signed on 22 July in Istanbul,” the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.
Zelenskyy warns against premature celebrations in his nightly address
Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked European nations to stop buying Russian oil.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy struck a more serious and restrained note in his nightly address, despite the “joy in the informational space” following Russia’s decision to withdraw troops from Kherson.
“Maybe this doesn’t sound like what everyone expects right now, maybe it doesn’t sound like what’s in the news [today],” he said. “But you need to understand: no one just moves anywhere if they feel strong. The enemy does not give us gifts, does not make ‘gestures of goodwill’. We choose all of this.”
Instead, Zelenskyy explained, Ukraine moves “very carefully, without emotions, without unnecessary risk,” both in the interests of liberating the entire territory of Ukraine and minimizing loss of life on and off the battlefield.
That also means remaining silent on details of upcoming operations, he noted, and letting the victories speak for themselves when they come.
“This is how we will secure the liberation of Kherson, Kakhovka, Donetsk, and our other cities,” he said. “But this will be the result of our efforts, our defense operations. Those that are currently ongoing, those that we are still planning.”
— Rocio Fabbro
Zelenskyy signs new decree into law, forms four new military administrations in Kherson
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy established four new military administrations in the Kherson region, following Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s announcement that Russia will transfer troops to the east bank of the Dnipro river, away from Kherson city.
“The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, signed the Decree on the formation of four military administrations in the Kherson region. Dolmativska, Holoprystanska, Kakhovska and Khrestivska,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said in a Telegram post.
Military administrations are temporary local governments, which stem from a 2015 law that ensures that the Ukrainian constitution and laws continue to be upheld. The Presidential Decree comes into effect immediately.
Ukraine continues its advance on Kherson as Russia withdraws its troops. Ukrainian officials are skeptical about Russia’s announcement. Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Zelenkyy’s, stated in a tweet that he sees “no signs that Russia is leaving Kherson without a fight.”
— Rocio Fabbro
Russian statement on peace talks ‘another smoke screen,’ Ukraine Foreign Ministry says
Ukrainian servicemen attend a rehearsal of an official ceremony to hand over tanks, armoured personnel carriers and military vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as the country celebrates Army Day in Kyiv, Ukraine December 6, 2021.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters
The spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleg Nikolenko, delivered a blistering response to Russia’s recent announcement that it is ready to engage in negotiations with Ukraine.
“The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia is another smoke screen,” he said in a statement. “Russian officials start to mention the talks every time Russian troops are defeated on the battlefield. Moscow is not interested in restoring peace in Ukraine.”
“Simulating a readiness for dialogue, the Russian Federation is trying to buy time to regroup its units, prepare newly mobilized Russians, solve the issue of lack of weapons, eliminate the shortcomings of logistics, and then resort to new waves of aggression with new forces,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a news briefing that Russia is ready to negotiate and has never refused to do so, reported Russian state-owned news agency TASS. The announcement followed news that Russia would withdraw troops from the west bank of the Dnipro River.
According to Nikolenko, the feeling is similar to that of 2014 and 2015, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Despite statements coming from the Russian Federation indicating an openness to peace talks, Nikolenko sees Russia’s actions as directly contrary to those ends.
“Those who are really interested in peace negotiations do not destroy cities and villages, do not kill civilians, do not destroy energy infrastructure, do not abuse the residents of temporarily occupied territories, do not interfere with food supplies,” he said.
Ukraine has repeatedly assured allies that it is still open to negotiations, under its own terms.
“Let me remind you that Ukraine has repeatedly offered negotiations,” Nikolenko said. “But we always received either a contemptuous reaction and a demand to obey the Kremlin’s ultimatums, or another act of genocide against Ukrainians.”
— Rocio Fabbro
Russia orders troop withdrawal from Kherson, west bank of Dnipro
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered the withdrawal of troops from the west bank of the Dnipro river, marking the beginning of de-occupation of Ukraine’s Kherson region.
Shoigu agreed with the Russian General Sergey Surovikin’s proposal to organize defense on the east side of the Dnipro, reported Russian state-owned news agency RIA. Surovikin claimed that Kherson and surrounding areas could not be fully supplied or sustained under current conditions, as Ukraine continues its advances towards the region.
According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian retreat may have already begun. Several settlements in the region have already been vacated by Russian forces, Serhii Khlan, deputy head of the Kherson Regional Council, said in a news conference.
“Occupiers are now undermining absolutely all the bridges on the right bank of the Kherson region. By doing this, the occupiers are preparing a retreat for themselves and trying to slow down the onslaught of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Khlan said. The most critical task for Russian forces as they withdraw, noted Khlan, is to “strengthen the points they are already making” along the Dnipro, in Kherson and in the direction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam.
“Therefore, we can say that the de-occupation of the Kherson region has already actively begun,” he added.
The withdrawal marks yet another major military setback for Russia. Kherson city is a key city in southern Ukraine and the only regional capital captured by Russia since the launch of its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
— Rocio Fabbro