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Ukraine updates: Russian strikes cause power, water cuts

October 31, 2022

People in Kyiv and other areas were in the dark and facing water cuts following a wave of Russian missile strikes. Meanwhile, the US has accused Moscow of "extortion" over its grain deal suspension. DW has the latest.

People fill containers with water from public water pumps in Kyiv, Ukraine
People in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities faced major water cuts following Russian missile strikesImage: Sam Mednick/AP/picture alliance

Ukrainians across the country faced blackouts and major cuts to water access on Monday after Russian forces fired missiles at targets across the country.

Ukrainian officials said that the country had been hit by "more than 50" Russian cruise missiles.

Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said the strikes caused power cuts in "hundreds" of areas across seven Ukrainian regions, including in the capital Kyiv.

Directly after the attacks, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that 80% of consumers in the city were without water have been left without water.

By Monday afternoon, the situation had improved slightly, Klitschko said, but 40% of the capital remained without water and 270,000 homes still didn't have power.

People in Kyiv carried empty jugs and waited in long lines at public fountains and other areas to fill up on water.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: "Instead of fighting on the battlefield, Russia fights civilians."

He later said that Ukraine's energy infrastructure is being repaired with equipment sent from 12 countries.

 Smoke rises on the outskirts of the city during a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine
On Monday, dark smoke rose over Kyiv after Russian missile strikes hit the outskirts of the cityImage: Gleb Garanich/REUTERS

Earlier in October, a similar barrage of missile strikes hit several targets across the country after an explosion on the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to Russia.

On Saturday, Moscow accused Kyiv of striking Russia's Black Sea Fleet in a drone attack off the coast of Crimea, and halted participation in a deal that allowed safe passage of ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

Ukraine denied having carried out the attack.

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on Monday, October 31:

UK warns of 'severe consequences' if Russia uses nuclear weapons

Britain criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin's nuclear rhetoric concerning the war in Ukraine as "irresponsible talk."

"No other country is talking about nuclear use. No country is threatening Russia or President Putin," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told British lawmakers.

"He should be clear that for the UK and our allies, any use, at all, of nuclear weapons would change the nature of the conflict. There would be severe consequences for Russia."

In recent weeks, Putin and other Russian officials have said Russia could use nuclear weapons to protect its territorial integrity. The remarks have been interpreted by European and US officials as threats to use them to defend parts of Ukraine that Russia has illegally annexed.

Putin has since said that Russia doesn't plan on using nuclear weapons, but has instead said Ukraine could be capable of creating and detonating a "dirty bomb." 

The UK's top diplomat on Monday said it was an "absurd claim."

Russia accuses West of attempts to 'recruit' Russian diplomats

Moscow has summoned the Dutch ambassador to "protest strongly" against a bid by the West to "recruit" the Russian embassy's military attache,

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that ambassador Gilles Beschoor Plug was summoned over the incident which they said took place on October 20 and involved "a representative of the British intelligence services."

"Such provocative actions are unacceptable... and hinder the normal operation of Russian establishments abroad," the ministry added.

Moldova meanwhile declared a Russian embassy employee in the capital Chisinau persona non grata on Monday, but did not identify the employee.

Turkey urges Russia to reconsider stance on grain deal

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has told Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu that Moscow should re-evaluate its participation in the UN brokered Ukraine grain export deal.

On Saturday Russia suspended implementation of the deal which allowed more than 9 million tons of grain to be shipped from Ukraine.

Russia blamed a drone attack in Crimea's Bay of Sevastopol for the halt.

"It is expected that the decision to suspend the grain export initiative, which needs to be held separately from the conditions of the conflict and is completely a humanitarian activity, is re-evaluated," Akar said, according to the Turkey's defense ministry.

Russia meanwhile said that it was "unacceptable" for shipping to pass through a Black Sea security corridor.

"The movement of ships along the security corridor is unacceptable, since the Ukrainian leadership and the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine use it to conduct military operations against the Russian Federation," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

'Please stay with Ukraine,' urges Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, appealed for European countries to continue their support of Ukraine in an interview with DW.

With governments around Europe facing mounting public pressure over rising inflation and energy costs, Klitschko urged for EU leaders to maintain the vital aid Ukraine has been receiving.

"Please stay with Ukraine. It's very important for us. Because we are fighting and defending not just our homes and our country. We are defending every one of you in Europe," the mayor of the Ukrainian capital told DW.

Klitschko also said he believes Moscow is deliberately targeting civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine due to setbacks on the front lines.

"The Russians change tactic. They didn't succeed on the front line and right now they try to destroy critical infrastructure," he said.

 People check their phones as they shelter inside a metro station after a shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine
People in the Ukrainian capital sheltered inside metro stations, checking for updates as the city came under renewed shelling on MondayImage: ANDRII NESTERENKO/EFE/EPA

Germany registers record amount of gas stored

German gas storage facilities now hold a record amount of gas, according to data published by Europe's gas storage operators.

239,64 terawatt hours were registered in German gas storage on October 24, exceeding the 239.62 terawatt hours recorded in November 10, 2019.

In addition, German gas stores are 98.52% full.

Power cut in 'hundreds of settlements' — Ukrainian PM Smyhal

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Smyhal said in a Telegram post that power had been cut in "hundreds of settlements" following Russia's latest bombardment.

"Missiles and drones hit ten regions, where 18 sites were damaged, most of them energy-related," Shmyhal said, noting, "hundreds of settlements in seven regions of Ukraine were cut off."

Russian missile falls on Moldovan village — authorities

A Russian missile shоt down by Ukrainian air defense systems fell on a village in Moldova, the Interior Ministry in Chisinau said.

Moldova's Interior Ministry said the missile fell on the northern village of Naslavcea, which lies near the country's border with Ukraine.

"So far there are no reported victims, but the windows of several houses in Naslavcea were destroyed," the ministry said.

On October 10, Chisinau said that Russian cruise missiles targeting Ukraine had entered its airspace.

Moldova is engaged in a territorial dispute with the breakaway Trans-Dniester region, which is administered by Russian-backed separatists. Alongside Ukraine, Moldova was conferred EU candidate status in June.

Last week, the United States sanctioned a number of Moldovan and Russian officials over an alleged pro-Moscow political influence campaign and interference in Chisinau's institutions.

A significant number of Ukrainians have fled the conflict in their country and into Moldova.

Turkey and UN resume Black Sea ship inspections — UN spokesperson

Turkish and UN teams restarted vessels inspections under the Black Sea grain exports deal, a UN spokesperson for the initiative told the Reuters news agency.

The UN has said it agreed with Ukraine and Turkey on a movement plan for 16 vessels on Monday. Twelve of the vessels are outbound from Ukrainian ports and four are inbound.

The organization also plans to inspect 40 ships anchored near Istanbul.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov confirmed the movement of the 12 outgoing vessels in a tweet.

"Today 12 ships left Ukrainian ports. UN and Turkish delegations provide 10 inspection teams to inspect 40 ships aiming to fulfill the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This inspection plan has been accepted by the Ukrainian delegation. The Russian delegation has been informed," Kubrakov said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was "determined" to maintain the functioning of the grain deal.

"Although Russia acts hesitantly," Erdogan said, "we will resolutely continue our efforts to serve humanity."

Meanwhile, France's agriculture minister announced that Paris was working towards establishing a land route for Ukrainian crops.

Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau told French station RMC Radio, "We are looking to see whether, if it cannot pass through the Black Sea, if it can instead pass through overland routes."

Fesneau added that France is eyeing land routes through Romania and Poland in particular, stressing the need to develop a grain transit system that did not depend on goodwill from Moscow.

On Saturday, Russia halted its participation in a UN-brokered initiative for the free passage of Ukrainian grain for what it called an "indefinite term," citing an alleged Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet off of Crimea.

Officials react to Russian withdrawal from Black Sea grain deal

A German government spokesperson said accused Russia of "using hunger as a weapon" in withdrawing from the Black Sea grain deal, and urged it to resume its participation.

A spokesperson for Germany's Foreign Ministry said that it is important that grain is transported by sea, and that Berlin would continue to push for this.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that a suspension of the deal would not benefit any parties involved.

Akar added that he would call Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu later on Monday.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that a resumption of the deal was now "hardly feasible."

He said that the grain initiative would be "much more risky" without Russian involvement, and that it would be "dangerous and without guarantees."

Peskov blamed Kyiv for undermining the deal, adding that Moscow was unable to guarantee the safety of ships. Russia accuses Ukraine of a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet off of Crimea, an accusation Kyiv has rejected.

Record amount of grain shipped out of Ukraine — Odesa authorities

A spokesperson for Odesa's military administration said 354,500 tonnes had been shipped out of Ukrainian ports on Monday morning.

This is the most grain carried on outgoing ships in a single day since the Black Sea deal was brokered by the UN and Turkey.

Ukraine exported 345,000 tons of grain on September 27, the second-largest amount since the deal went into effect.

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Russia's invasion has caused vast damage to Ukrainian infrastructure. DW takes a look at the cost of reconstruction, which Ukraine's Western allies have dubbed a Ukrainian "Marshall Plan."

sdi/ar (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)