Power has been restored in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson after a two-day blackout, an official posted in Moscow said on Tuesday. The city, occupied by the Russian army since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, had been without water and electricity since Sunday. Follow our live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
10:51: Power restored in the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson
Power has been restored in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson after a two-day blackout, an official posted in Moscow said on Tuesday. The city, occupied by the Russian army since the start of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine on February 24, had been without water and electricity since Sunday.
9:55 a.m.: White House not denying report Biden adviser Sullivan in talks with Moscow
The United States reserves the right to hold senior-level talks with Russia about risk reduction, the White House said Monday in not denying a report that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has spoken with Moscow.
Sullivan, speaking Monday at an event at the Economic Club of New York, did not say he himself had engaged in direct talks but noted that he repeatedly said “we have channels to communicate with the Russian Federation at higher levels.”
“We have done so when it has been necessary to clarify potential misunderstandings and try to reduce the risk and reduce the risk of catastrophes such as the potential use of nuclear weapons,” he said.
The White House, which has been careful not to make diplomatic moves regarding Ukraine without Ukrainian involvement, did not deny the talks.
“We reserve the right to speak directly at the senior level on issues that affect the United States. That has happened over the past few months. Our conversations have only focused on … risk reduction and the relationship between the United States and Russia,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
She said US support for Ukraine will be “unwavering and unwavering”.
08:54: Sweden’s prime minister will meet Turkey’s Erdogan regarding NATO membership
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will apply Turkeys approval for his country’s bid to join NATO during talks on Tuesday in Ankara with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has stalled the process and accused Sweden of harboring militants.
Together with Finland, Sweden applied to join NATO in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkey had protested security concerns related to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other groups, and the Nordic states’ ban on arms exports.
The three sides signed a memorandum in June that lifted Turkey’s veto and committed Sweden and Finland to addressing their remaining concerns.
Erdogan was due to host Kristersson at the presidential palace on Tuesday afternoon, with a press conference scheduled for 15:30 GMT.
Foreign Minister Tobias Billström told Sveriges Radio on Saturday for his country new government would distance itself from the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia in its bid to win Turkey’s support for its membership in the Western defense alliance.
Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the PKK, which launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984 and has been designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the US.
Sweden, together with the USA and several other NATO countries, has supported the YPG in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey has promised to block Sweden’s application if it does not cease.
07:51: Ukrainian military says attacks in Kherson region kill more than 30 Russian personnel
The Ukrainian The military reported hits on a Russian anti-aircraft facility and an ammunition dump, and the destruction of Russian armor in the Beryslav district of the Kherson region, in a statement early Tuesday.
It said 32 Russian servicemen were killed.
07:35: Ukraine’s military says Russian forces prepare for ‘street fighting’ in Kherson
Ukraine accused Russia of looting empty homes in the southern city of Kherson and occupying them with troops in civilian clothes to prepare for street fighting in what both sides predict will be one of the most important battles of the war.
Ukraine’s military said Russian forces, “disguised in civilian clothes, are occupying the premises of civilians and strengthen positions inside to conduct street battles”.
Russian forces were “involved in looting and theft from residents and from infrastructure sites and removing equipment, food and vehicles for the Russian Federation,” the military said in an update late Monday.
Reuters sought comment from Russian authorities on the Ukrainian allegations. Moscow denies abusing civilians.
In recent days, Russia has ordered civilians to leave Kherson in anticipation of a Ukrainian attack to recapture the city, which was the first to be taken by Moscow’s forces after their invasion in February.
Kherson, with a pre-war population of nearly 300,000, has been left cold and dark after power and water were cut off to the surrounding area for the past 48 hours, both sides said.
Russian-installed officials blamed Ukrainian “sabotage”, while Ukrainian officials said the Russians had dismantled 1.5 kilometers of power lines.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)