Live Update: Russia’s “Special Operation” in Ukraine; Day 578

Russia, wary of NATO’s eastward expansion, began a military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022 after the Western-leaning Kiev government turned a deaf ear to Moscow’s calls for its neighbor to maintain its neutrality. In the middle of the mayhem, Moscow and Kiev are trying to hammer out a peaceful solution to the conflict. Follow the latest about the Russia-Ukraine conflict here:

Zelensky says US Abrams tanks have arrived in Ukraine

US Abrams tanks have arrived in Ukraine and are “getting prepared to reinforce our brigades,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated Monday.

“Good news from Minister [of Defense Rustem] Umerov. ‘Abrams’ are already in Ukraine and are getting prepared to reinforce our brigades. I am grateful to our allies for fulfilling the agreements! We are looking for new contracts and expanding the geography of supply,” Zelensky said in a Telegram statement.

Zelensky also commented on Russia’s overnight attack on Odesa, saying “air defense coverage of Odesa region is a priority in all my negotiations concerning air defense.”

Ukraine claims Russian Black Sea Fleet’s commander killed in Sevastopol attack

Ukraine has claimed that the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Feet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, has been killed in the Ukrainian attack in Sevastopol on Friday.

“After the hit of the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers were killed, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said in an update Monday, adding that more than 100 other Russian servicemen were wounded.

Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters, is one of the largest cities on the Crimean peninsula and was illegally annexed by Moscow’s forces in 2014.

Moscow has announced that one serviceman is missing as a result of Ukraine’s attack on Sevastopol.

2 people have now been confirmed dead in Odesa

Two people have been confirmed dead following Russia’s overnight attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa, according to Oleh Kiper, the head of the Odesa regional military administration.

One victim was found under the rubble of a warehouse where grain was stored, Kiper said in a social media post. The body of another individual working in the warehouse was found earlier.

Our sincere condolences to the families and friends,” Kiper added.

One injury has been reported so far.

Ukraine’s defense ministry says Russia’s attack on Odesa was “pathetic attempt at retaliation”

Russia’s overnight attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa was a “pathetic attempt at retaliation” the Ukraine Defense Ministry said Monday on social media.

The ministry contended that the Kremlin was responding to Ukrainian attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol on Friday.

Ukraine’s military alleged that Russia’s attack on Odesa was a violation of international humanitarian law, as it targeted both troops and civilian infrastructure, including the power supply.

Ukraine’s energy minister announced Monday that about 1,000 consumers were without electricity. A “large-scale repair campaign” is under way, according to the ministry, and engineers continue to prepare the power system for the winter heating season.

Ukrainian drones attack border regions and Crimea: Russian officials

Ukrainian drones targeted Russian border regions and the occupied Crimean peninsula overnight, Russian officials said Monday.

Here’s where the attacks took place:

Bryansk: Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the region in western Russia, said air defenses “shot down two aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles,” over Surazhsky district. There were no casualties or damage, he added.

Kursk: Gov. Roman Starovoit said several homes and an administrative building were damaged in the western border region’s central district following Ukrainian drone attacks. No casualties were reported, he added.

Crimea and the Black Sea: Russia’s defense ministry announced it destroyed four drones over the northwestern part of the Black Sea and over Crimea overnight. It comes after Kyiv launched one of its most ambitious attacks yet on the peninsula Friday, targeting Russia’s Black Sea headquarters.

Russian strikes caused “significant damage” to Odesa port: Ukrainian military

The southern port of Odesa sustained “significant damage” in Russian strikes overnight, Ukrainian military officials stated Monday, as more details emerged of Moscow’s latest attack on Ukraine’s grain export infrastructure.

In a Telegram post, the Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine said Russia launched two Oniks supersonic missiles, 12 Kalibr cruise missies and 19 attack drones at Odesa overnight.

Air defenses intercepted all of the drones and 11 of the Kalibr missiles, but “unfortunately, the enemy hit the port infrastructure,” it said.

The attacks also caused a fire at a defunct hotel, the post added.

Russia has repeatedly attacked Odesa in recent months, targeting Ukrainian grain infrastructure following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.

In a Telegram post earlier Monday, Oleh Kiper, head of the region’s military administration, stated at least one civilian was injured in the overnight attacks.

Poland is creating routes for Ukrainian grain to reach countries in need: President

Poland has prepared transit corridors that will allow Ukrainian grain shipments to move through its territory and reach the countries most in need, President Andrzej Duda said Sunday.

The comments are notable because the Polish government has joined Hungary and Slovakia in extending a ban on cheap Ukrainian grain imports, which they say have undercut local farmers.

Speaking Sunday, Duda stated Poland will however still help shipments reach their final destination.

During a speech at a Ukraine recovery summit on Friday, Duda said the grain dispute with Ukraine will not have a serious impact on the relations between the two countries, as they have a “historic dimension,” according to state news agency PAP.

“We are trying to help Ukraine and those countries that require this help. I believe that it is the right decision that the Polish government has maintained the ban on the sale of Ukrainian grain on the Polish market,” Duda said in an interview with Polish television channel TVP1 on Sunday.

“However, we must do everything to ensure that transit is as great as possible,” Duda added, according to a statement by his office.

Kyiv and Warsaw have publicly feuded this week over the grain issue and the question of supplying weapons.

In remarks on Thursday, Duda also tried to clarify statements by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who had said that Poland will stop weapons deliveries to Ukraine, after President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that “some of our friends in Europe, play out solidarity in a political theater.”

After a week of tense back and forth between Kyiv and Warsaw, Morawiecki shot back at Zelensky on Friday, saying he should never “insult Poles again.”

Russian attacks kill at least 2 in Kherson

Russian attacks Sunday killed at least two people and wounded at least nine others in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, Ukrainian authorities confirmed.

“The enemy dropped two aerial bombs on the city (of Kherson),” Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the region’s military administration, said in a Telegram post.

One strike hit an industrial area and the other hit civilian infrastructure, an official snoted.

A 49-year-old woman working as a security guard was among those wounded in the bombings, Prokudin continued.

A total of six people were injured in Kherson city, Roman Mrochko, the head of the Kherson city military administration, said in a Telegram post.

More have been wounded elsewhere in the region: Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said earlier Sunday that two people had been killed and three were injured in attacks near the city of Beryslav.

A 53-year-old man also died as a result of a Russian artillery strike on Zaporizhzhia on Sunday, according to Yurii Malashko, the head of the region’s military administration.

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