Here is the situation as it stands on Friday, November 18:
- Russia pounded gas production facilities and a main missile factory in new missile raids on critical infrastructure in Ukraine, Kyiv officials said.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said blackouts have affected 10 million Ukrainians as the winter cold sets in. He called Russia a “terrorist state” for taking out energy infrastructure.
- The Kremlin said the attacks on civilian infrastructure were a result of Ukraine failing to negotiate to end the nearly nine-month war.
- Investigators in Ukraine’s recently liberated southern region of Kherson uncovered 63 bodies with signs of torture after Russian forces left, Ukraine’s interior minister said. A Ukrainian human rights investigator released a video of what he said was a Russian torture chamber.
- Under rainy skies, Ukrainian-controlled Kherson’s central square was a frenetic melee of humanitarian aid queues and patriotic celebration tinged with uncertainty. Hundreds of residents switched the Russian SIM cards in their phones for local ones.
- Dutch judges convicted three men of murder for their role in the 2014 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine, and sentenced them to life in prison. A fourth man was acquitted.
- Russia rejected what it called a “scandalous” ruling and said the proceedings had not been impartial.
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the Dutch court’s ruling. Thirty-eight Australians were among the 298 passengers and crew killed in the incident.
- A deal aimed at easing global food shortages by facilitating Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports was extended by 120 days.
- The Kremlin said it had been given assurances by the United Nations that work will be finalised on removing barriers to Russia’s exports of agricultural products and fertilisers.
- The Kremlin accused Kyiv of shifting the goalposts regarding possible peace talks with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Ukraine changed its position several times during the course of the nine-month conflict and could not be relied on.
- Russia is not considering using nuclear weapons, the Kremlin said. President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will defend its territory with all available means, including its nuclear weapons, if attacked. Russian officials say the West has repeatedly misinterpreted Kremlin statements.
- US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns and Putin’s spy chief discussed “sensitive” questions when they met this week in Turkey, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
- The UN nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors passed its third resolution calling on Russia to end all actions at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, diplomats said.
- The US government plans to issue guidance in the coming days on a Russian oil price cap taking effect on December 5.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies