Russia-Ukraine War Update: What We Know on Day 232 of Invasion


The UN General Assembly on Wednesday passed an overwhelming vote condemning Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, with 35 countries abstaining, including China, India, South Africa and Pakistan. The resolution “denounces organizations that have conducted so-called referendums within the borders of Ukraine recognized internationally by the Russian Federation” and “an attempt to annex illegally” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last month. A Russian nuclear attack will “almost certainly” trigger a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies and potentially NATO, a senior NATO official said. Moscow’s use of nuclear weapons would have “unprecedented consequences” for Russia, Reuters quoted the official. The Biden administration has warned that for the first time the US must contain its two major nuclear weapons states. Washington’s new National Security Strategy (NSS) describes China as its most capable long-term competitor, while Russia points out its nuclear posture against Ukraine as the most immediate and destructive threat. The strategic blueprint said that “Russia’s conventional military power will weaken, which will increase Moscow’s reliance on nuclear weapons in its military plans.” Putin will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a “very interesting” meeting in Kazakhstan on Thursday, the Kremlin said. Ukrainian troops boasted on Wednesday that they had secured territory near the strategically important southern city of Kherson. Five settlements in the Berislav region in the northeast of Kherson region, Novovasylivka, Novogrygorivka, Nova Kamyanka, Tryfonivka and Chervone, were reported to have been captured by the Russians on that day. NATO allies have provided new air defense systems after Russia’s recent missile strikes across Russia. Ukrainian Defense Minister Olexi Rezhnikov praised the first introduction of Germany’s four Iris-T defense systems and the “rapid” delivery of the US’s sophisticated state-of-the-art surface-to-air missile system (Nasams). France has promised radar and air defense systems in the coming weeks, Canada has pledged to provide shells and winter clothing, and Britain has pledged to donate Amram anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down cruise missiles. According to the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), external power has been restored to the Zaporizia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Rafael Grossi has previously warned that offsite power losses at Europe’s largest facility are “deeply concerned”. Ukrainians are cutting power consumption during peak hours to avoid power outages. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has appealed to citizens and businesses to cut electricity consumption by 25% from 5pm to 10pm. “This is essential and our contribution to victory. Ultimately, it is up to each of us how we will spend this winter.” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told reporters on Wednesday that the commission would put out a proposal that would include a joint gas purchase by 2023. By leveraging the collective purchasing power of the block, she said the EU would “make the EU “price each other in the market”. Putin said Russia is ready to resume gas supply through one of its Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which remains operational. Speaking at the Russian Energy Week international forum, he said it was in the EU courts on whether it wanted to get gas supplied through pipelines, a representative of Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly supplier Gazprom said about giving up Russian gas to Europe. He warned of the consequences: gas in Germany’s cellars could last between two and two and a half months, while Alexei Miller said there was “no guarantee” that Europe would survive the winter based on current gas storage capacity. It will be sufficient, he added.
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