Ukraine war: Zelenskyy visits Kherson; Russian soldier arrested; Biden-Xi summit

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Kherson's central square on Monday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Kherson's central square on Monday.   -   Copyright  Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

1. 'Beginning of the end of the war,' says Zelenskyy during Kherson visit

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made his first visit to Kherson since the southern Ukraine city was recaptured from Russian forces on Friday.

Zelenskyy hailed Moscow's withdrawal as the “beginning of the end of the war” but also acknowledged the heavy price Ukrainian soldiers have paid during the counter-offensive.

"It is impossible to kill Ukraine," said Volodymyr Zelensky during a surprise visit on Monday.

"The price of this war is high," he added. "We are going step by step in all the temporarily occupied territories of our country."

Russia has reiterated that the region of Kherson belongs to Moscow even though its forces were forced to withdraw last week after eight months of occupation.

Kherson is one of four regions in southeastern Ukraine that Russia "annexed" in September. Moscow's forces still control about 70% of the wider Kherson region.

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2. Moscow troops destroyed a key power plant in Kherson during withdrawal, Ukrainian authorities say

Ukraine's state-run energy company Ukrenergo said Monday that Russia destroyed a key power plant in Kherson before its troops withdrew from the city and the right bank of the Dnipro river in southern Ukraine last week.

"The power plant that provided electricity for the entire right bank in the Kherson region and a significant part of the Mykolayiv region is practically destroyed," Ukrenergo chairman Volodymyr Kudrytsky wrote on Facebook.

This was one of the "consequences of the occupiers' helplessness (and) fear before they fled," Kudrytsky added.

"Most of the liberated Kherson region has been without electricity since 6 November," he said. "We are doing our best to provide people with electricity as soon as possible."

Ukraine "has sent the list of equipment needed in Kherson region to our international partners," he said, adding that "Poland and France have already responded".

The Russian army has carried out several waves of massive missile and kamikaze drone strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure in recent weeks.

AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
The Ukrainian flag hangs from a car's rear-view mirror in Kherson, 14 November 2022AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

3. Ukraine detains Russian soldier 'disguised as civilian'

The Ukrainian security service said that it had arrested a Russian soldier in Kherson who was "disguised as a civilian".

"Security service officers arrested a Russian serviceman in liberated Kherson, a statement read on Monday.

"The man was disguised as a civilian and tried to pass himself off as a 'local'," it added.

It comes amid fears that Russian soldiers were still present and hidden in the city amid Zelenskyy's visit.

Russia has carried out several waves of missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in recent weeks.

On Monday, Russian forces claimed a rare success and stated that they had taken control of Pavlivka, a town in eastern Ukraine.

In the region of Lugansk, heavy fighting has also continued. The Ukrainian army says it has now recaptured the village of Makiivka, 50 km northeast of the strategic Russian-controlled city of Severodonetsk.

"The coming months will be difficult" for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday.

"We must not make the mistake of underestimating Russia," he told reporters in The Hague.

4. Russian ideologist Dugin reiterates support for Putin

A Russian ultranationalist ideologue has assured that he remains loyal to President Vladimir Putin despite Moscow's retreat from Kherson.

Alexander Dugin is considered one of the most zealous supporters of the invasion of Ukraine and has long promoted the idea of "neo-Eurasianism".

"The West has started spreading a fake saying that I -- and Russian patriots -- were turning away from Putin since the surrender of Kherson and allegedly demanding his departure," Dugin wrote on Telegram over the weekend.

"Suffering the loss of Kherson is one thing, but our relationship with the Commander-in-Chief is another," he added. "We are loyal to Putin and will support the military operation and Russia until the end."

Dugin had earlier posted an online message that appeared to criticise the Kremlin, stating that the "limit had been reached" with Kherson.

The US-based Institute for The Study of War has claimed that the Kherson retreat was causing "an ideological rift between pro-war figures and Vladimir Putin".

But Dugin dismissed the claims and called on Russian society to mobilise "spiritually and ideologically".

In August, Dugin's daughter -- Daria -- was killed in a bomb attack near Moscow that Russia has blamed on Ukrainian services.

5. Biden and Xi condemn nuclear weapons threat at G20 summit

US president Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war “should never be fought”.

The White House said the two leaders had agreed to "oppose" any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Beijing refused to condemn the Russian invasion outright, although the Chinese foreign ministry said it was "very concerned" about the war.

The long-awaited meeting at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, is Biden's first in-person meeting with Xi.

“As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said to open the meeting.

Earlier on Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States will impose new sanctions on a network of individuals and companies that have been working to procure military technologies for Russia's war in Ukraine.

Yellen told reporters that the sanctions would target 14 individuals and 28 entities, without providing further details.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden met face-to-face for the first time on Monday.AP Photo/Alex Brandon

6. Jailed Zambian student found dead in Ukraine

A 23-year-old Zambian student who was serving a prison sentence in Russia has been found dead in Ukraine.

The Zambian government has demanded an explanation from Moscow over the death of Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda.

Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo said Nyirenda had died "on the frontline of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine" on September 22.

"The Zambian government has requested the Russian authorities to urgently provide information on the circumstances under which a Zambian citizen, serving a prison sentence in Moscow, could have been recruited to fight in Ukraine," a statement read.

Nyirenda was convicted of breaking Russian law in April 2020, according to the Zambian government.

The nuclear engineering student had been sentenced to nine years and six months in prison, which he served at a medium-security prison on the outskirts of Moscow.

The boss of the Wagner paramilitary group, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been accused of sending thousands of Russian prisoners to the Ukraine war in exchange for amnesty and a salary.

The Zambian Foreign Minister said he was "deeply saddened by the untimely death of Mr Nyirenda", adding that his body had been taken to the Russian border town of Rostov for repatriation.

In April, another Zambian student -- identified as 21-year-old Tionge (Rebecca) Ziba -- was arrested in Russia for allegedly "rehabilitating Nazism" by twerking in front of a war memorial.

She faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 3 million roubles (€47,800) if found guilty of "desecrating a symbol of Russian military glory".