The Ukraine war has led to the largest displacement of people in decades. North Korea to secretly supply artillery pieces to Russia, US says. According to a report, top Russian military officials discussed the use of nuclear weapons. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.
More on the course of the war in Ukraine
12:38 a.m .: According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the largest displacement of people in decades. “About 14 million people have been displaced from their homes since February 24,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said on Wednesday (local time) in New York. And the situation does not improve before a supposedly harsh winter.
“The destruction of civilian infrastructure caused by attacks, which continues as we speak, quickly makes humanitarian aid seem like a drop in the ocean,” continued Italian Grandi. Humanitarian aid must be expanded further, the “senseless” war must be ended.
Because of the war damage to electricity and heat supply, the Ukrainian government had recently asked those who had fled abroad not to return until next spring. According to the UNHCR, more than seven million people from Ukraine have sought protection abroad – around one million of them in Germany.
Thursday, November 3, 12:15 a.m.: The former ambassador of Ukraine in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, has rejected calls from Germany for ceasefire talks with Russia. With a view to the sermon of the Council President of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Annette Kurschus, who spoke out in favor of corresponding negotiations on Reformation Day, Melnyk told the editorial network Germany (RND): “It was an underground speech that left me speechless .”
In his first interview after returning to Kyiv, Melnyk said: “How can she be so clueless and heartless? That would cement the murderous occupation regime of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and hand over millions of Ukrainians to his henchmen.”
It is far too early for Ukraine to hold talks with Moscow. “And certainly not with Putin, who is a cynical war criminal. His army loses on the battlefield. His revenge is that he shells Kyiv and other cities almost every day and destroys our civilian infrastructure.” The only thing that can save Ukraine from this situation is the rapid delivery of more modern weapons. “Then there comes a moment when Russia will be forced to negotiate seriously.”
Melnyk renewed his demand for main battle tanks from Germany to drive back the occupying Russian forces. The ex-ambassador announced that he would continue to interfere in German Ukraine policy. “I’m afraid I have to do this,” he said. “Germany could and should do much more to help us Ukrainians in this exceptional situation of a war of annihilation.”
11:34 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised the resumption of the grain agreement as a significant diplomatic result. “The Russian blackmail has led to nothing,” said Zelenskyj in his evening video address on Wednesday. In particular, he highlighted the work of the mediators UN and Turkey and other partners. “Once again, everyone has seen that in our region there is only one threat to global food security, and that is the Russian Federation and nobody else,” he stressed.
The Kremlin claims that Russia demanded security guarantees from Ukraine for its return to the grain deal, Zelenskyy said. “We should think about what they’re saying for a moment.”
Even before the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Russia had demanded security guarantees from the US, he said. Now, after more than eight months of war, the Kremlin is demanding security guarantees from Ukraine. “These are really noticeable changes,” Zelenskyj said. “This shows both the failure of Russian aggression and how strong you and I are if we remain united.”
10:36 p.m .: The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, wants to gain more and more influence in the Kremlin, it has been reported several times. Now, US and European officials have told CNN more insights into the Kremlin’s internal dynamics. “It’s like a real ‘House of Cards’, only in the Kremlin,” a source familiar with the US intelligence services compared to the US series of the same name. This is about power struggles in the White House. The source added, “Everyone stabs each other in the back.”
Prigozhin, who is a close ally of the president and is also known as “Putin’s cook,” recently tightened the noose around the Kremlin boss. A US official reports that Prigozhin directly confronted Putin with the fact that the war in Ukraine is being badly managed by the top generals currently responsible. The Kremlin and Prigozhin dispute this account. Most recently, however, a leading general, Alexander Lapin, was relieved of his position. The Wagner group, which Prigozhin leads, is also an increasingly important part of Russia’s battlefield array given Russia’s shortage of manpower.
In particular, Prigozhin used the chaos to strengthen his own power at the expense of the Russian defense apparatus, according to American and Western intelligence officials. On Telegram, Prigozhin increasingly criticizes the Ministry of Defence. Sections of his digital fanbase and influential Russian military bloggers are even suggesting he replaces Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
8:29 p.m .: The Ukrainian government estimates the number of missing people in the war against Russia at around 7,000. However, precise information is impossible because of the fighting, said Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar on Wednesday, according to the Unian agency. The figures were usually transmitted late and imprecisely.
Maljar called on the population not to spread any personal information about missing relatives on the Internet – especially when it comes to soldiers. “The enemy uses this information. Do not post a photo of a missing person in uniform with personal information. This person could be hiding in civilian clothes in the temporarily occupied areas, and that could expose him. It could also make the exchange of prisoners more difficult.” The Deputy Defense Minister appealed to contact special coordination offices if necessary.
5.30 p.m .: Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has not ruled out a new exit from the grain agreement with Ukraine, should there be violations from a Russian perspective. “Russia reserves the right to withdraw from these agreements in the event that the guarantees are violated by Ukraine,” Putin told a video conference with the National Security Council on Wednesday. Even if the agreement is withdrawn, Russia is prepared to allow grain deliveries intended for poorer countries to pass through the agreed corridor.
Russia had previously informed about the resumption of the grain agreement. Ukraine has given written security guarantees to use the Black Sea ports and humanitarian corridor for food exports and not for hostilities, it said. On Saturday, Russia suspended the deal after a drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014.
4:47 p.m .: The US government accuses North Korea of secretly supporting Russia in the war against Ukraine with military equipment. North Korea is trying to cover up deliveries of artillery shells via other countries such as the Middle East, National Security Council communications director John Kirby said on Wednesday. “We will continue to monitor whether the deliveries actually arrive.”
It is a “considerable number”. However, the US government does not assume that these deliveries could influence the course of the war, Kirby continued. The deliveries not only show how willing North Korea is to support Russia. It is also a sign of Russia’s shortage of military equipment, Kirby said. “I’ve discussed in the past that there were indications that the Russians would reach out to North Korea,” he said.
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