Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 286 of the invasion

Four people die in Russian strikes; majority of missiles shot down

  • Russia and Ukraine said they had exchanged 60 prisoners of war on each side in the latest of a series of such swaps. Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the returned soldiers included dozens who had held out in the besieged Azovstal steelworks in city of Mariupol. Russia’s defence ministry said the freed Russian soldiers would be flown to Moscow to receive medical care and psychological support.

  • A drone attack has set an oil storage tank on fire at an airfield in Kursk, the Russian region’s governor, Roman Starovoyt, has said. Video footage posted on social media showed a large explosion lighting up the night sky followed by a substantial fire at the airfield 175 miles (280km) from the Ukrainian border.

  • Shelling by Ukrainian forces killed at least six civilians in the Russian-controlled city on Tuesday, according to the Russian-installed head of the separatist-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Alexei Kulemzin. The head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said Ukrainian shelling had killed a deputy in the self-proclaimed republic’s People’s Council, Maria Pirogova.

  • Russia has launched strikes overnight on Zaporizhzhia region, according to Oleksandr Starukh, the head of Zaporizhzhia’s regional military administration, who posted photographs on Telegram in the early hours of Tuesday. The strikes damaged critical infrastructure and residential buildings, he said. At this stage there were no injuries or fatalities.

  • Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said that Ukraine was continuing to shell the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, deliberately creating the threat of a possible nuclear catastrophe. Shoigu said Russian forces were taking “all measures” to ensure the safety of the power plant, Europe’s largest, in the face of what he called “nuclear terrorism” from Kyiv.

  • Russia’s defence ministry has said it has deployed mobile coastal defence missile systems on a northern Kuril island, part of a strategically located chain of islands that stretch between Japan and the Russian Kamchatka peninsula. Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a territorial row that dates to the end of the second world war, when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

  • At least four people were killed on Monday, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, amid Russian strikes during which 60 of 70 missiles were shot down. The strikes targeted Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, the air force said. Energy workers had already begun work on restoring power, said Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president. Officials said airstrikes destroyed homes in the south, knocked out power in the north and killed at least two people.

  • Russia’s defence ministry said Ukrainian drones attacked two airbases at Ryazan and Saratov in south-central Russia, killing three servicemen and wounding four, with two aircraft damaged. Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for what would represent the deepest strikes inside the Russian heartland since Moscow invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

  • Russian and Ukrainian authorities confirmed the exchange of 120 people in a prisoner swap on Tuesday. According to the Russian defence ministry, 60 servicemen were returned from “Kyiv-controlled territory”. Ukraine received 60 prisoners in return, said Andrii Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, said.

  • The Kremlins spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said he agreed with comments by the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, about the need for lasting peace in Ukraine, but that Moscow does not see the prospect of talks “at the moment”. He added that in order for talks to happen with potential partners, Russia would need to fulfil the goals of its “special military operation”.

  • A Ukrainian presidential adviser has said that Iran has so far not delivered ballistic missiles to Russia and may not do so, as a result of diplomatic pressure and Iran’s own internal political turmoil. Mikhailo Podolyak told the Guardian that Russian forces currently had enough of its own cruise missiles in its stockpile for “two or three” more mass strikes against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure like the salvo fired on Monday.

  • A US national who was arrested by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine in the summer has been released and is residing without documents in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. Suedi Murekezi, 35, told the Guardian he had been unable to leave Donetsk after spending more than four months in different prisons and basements in Russian-occupied Ukraine because he did not have any identity papers.

  • Senior EU officials have vowed to ensure Ukraine gets €18bn in financial aid, after Hungary vetoed the release of the funds. Earlier Viktor Orbán’s government was accused of “holding hostage” funds for Ukrainian hospitals and “cynical obstructionism” after Hungary confirmed on Tuesday that it would block €18bn of aid for Ukraine. The move by the Orbán government is widely seen as an attempt to gain leverage in separate disputes over Hungary’s access to €13bn EU funds.

  • Ukrainian embassies have received more “bloody packages”, according to its foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, in what Kyiv has described as a “campaign of terror and intimidation”. Over the past week, Ukraine said its diplomatic missions in countries across Europe had been targeted with packages soaked in liquid with a distinctive smell and containing animals’ eyes.

  • The Russian state-owned bank VTB said it was hit by an “unprecedented cyber-attack from abroad”, which it said was the largest cyber-attack in its history. In a statement, it said it was repelling the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, and that an analysis indicated it was a “planned and large-scale” attack.

  • The number of Russian-affiliated oil tankers “going dark” to avoid being tracked in the south Pacific has doubled in recent months in a sign of clandestine means being deployed to avoid sanctions. By switching off their tracker systems on the high seas, the ships can quietly transfer oil on to tankers without links to Russia so as to avoid their oil exports being flagged.

  • The Latvian broadcasting regulator cancelled the licence of Russian independent television station TV Rain on Tuesday, the regulator’s chairman said. “In connection with the threat to the national security and public order, [the regulator] has made a decision this morning to annul the broadcast licence of TV Rain”, Ivars Abolins said on Twitter, adding the broadcasts will cease on Thursday.

  • Canadian-made parts were found in “kamikaze” Iranian drones used by Russia to attack Ukraine, according to an investigative project from the NGO Statewatch. It said components from 30 European and American companies, including antenna parts from Tallysman Wireless, a Canadian manufacturer, were used in Shahed 136 drones.

  • The White House has said the latest Russian strikes against Ukraine are a reminder of Vladimir Putin’s brutality. John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, also told reporters that an oil price cap would not have any long-term impact on global oil prices, Reuters reported.

  • Moldovan police on Monday found fragments of a missile in a northern region near the border with Ukraine, state information portal Prima Sursa quoted the police as saying after Russia carried out missile strikes.

  • Russia’s recent mobilisation increased its military threat in Ukraine, with better-trained soldiers arriving at the frontline, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces said. But Russia was using a lot of old equipment because it had no other way of replenishing supplies, and the Russians had made only slow progress around Bakhmut, one of the main battle zones in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

  • Vladimir Putin has driven across the Kerch Bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula that was damaged by a truck bomb in October. The Russian president spoke to workers and a senior government official, Reuters reported.

  • India gave a list of its products to Moscow for access to Russian markets, foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said, as his country seeks to narrow a growing trade deficit with Russia at a time when Moscow faces acute shortages of some crucial materials after western sanctions.

  • The Kremlin has warned the new western price cap on Russian oil will destabilise global energy markets, but claimed it would not affect its invasion of Ukraine. Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was preparing its response to the move by the G7 and allies.

  • The Chinese foreign ministry has said it will continue energy cooperation with Russia after the G7, EU and Australia imposed the price cap. China, which said it would continue on the basis of respect and mutual benefit, has increased its purchases of Russia’s Urals oil blends this year.

  • Olaf Scholz has warned the west to avoid creating a new cold war by dividing the world into blocs. Writing in an opinion piece for Foreign Affairs magazine, the German chancellor called for every effort to be made to build new partnerships.


Léonie Chao-Fong, Tom Ambrose and Helen Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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