November 3, 2022 Russia Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Hafsa Khalil, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Matt Meyer and Seán Federico O'Murchú, CNN

Updated 3:02 a.m. ET, November 4, 2022
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5:44 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Putin is counting on winter to help his forces batter Ukraine, EU's top diplomat says

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it’s a "moral duty" of the G7 nations to help Ukraine, with a potentially punishing winter on the way.

"The winter is coming. Putin is waiting for the 'General Winter' to come and support the Russian army," Borrell said after a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in the German town of Muenster. 

He blamed Russia for destroying Ukraine "systematically” by bombing and destroying civilian infrastructure after Moscow’s army was unable to win on the battlefield.

“Millions of Ukrainians no longer have access to electricity, and what Putin is willing to do is to put the country in the darkness in the wintertime,” Borrell said.  

“(We have to) continue supporting (them), providing arms to defend themselves, to bring economic and financial support, and reaching out (to) the whole world in order to explain which are the causes and the consequences of this war,” he added.

This week's meeting of the G7, which is short for Group of Seven, brought together leaders from some of the world’s largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

4:55 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

UK and its allies take aim at Russian oil to punish Moscow for war in Ukraine

 From CNN's Gayle Harrington in London

Britain introduced legislation Thursday which would prevent countries from using the United Kingdom’s services to transport Russian oil unless it is bought at or below a price cap to be introduced from Dec. 5, according to a statement from the UK Treasury. 

The U.S. government, the G7 and the European Union also plan to impose the price cap on Dec. 5 as part of coordinated sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the statement said, adding that the level of the price cap will be set by the coalition at a later date.

The statement said that the new legislation would include insurance, brokerage and shipping and follows the decision made by the G7 finance ministers in September.

The coalition committed to the price cap as a way of curbing "Putin's ability to fund his war in Ukraine through inflated global oil prices, while ensuring that third countries can continue to secure affordable oil,” according to the statement. 

"This new measure continues to turn the screws on Putin's war machine, making it even tougher for him to profiteer from his illegal war," the UK's Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said in the statement.

Remember: The G7 is shorthand for Group of Seven, an organization of leaders from some of the world’s largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

6:13 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

NATO chief: Iran supplying drones, and potentially ballistic missiles, to Russia is unacceptable

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London, with previous reporting from Kylie Atwood

A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, on October 17.
A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, on October 17. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The NATO secretary general Thursday condemned any Iranian coordination with Russia on weapons for Moscow's war in Ukraine.

"We also see Iran offering drones and considering ballistic missile deliveries to Russia," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference. 

"This is unacceptable. No country should provide support to Moscow in this illegal war," he said. 

Iran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia, officials from a Western country that closely monitors Iran's weapons program told CNN on Tuesday.

The shipment is being closely monitored because it would be the first instance of Iran sending advanced precision-guided missiles to Russia, which could give the Kremlin a substantial boost on the battlefield.

The last shipment of weapons from Iran to Russia included about 450 drones, officials said, which the Russians have already used to deadly effect in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said last week that they have shot down more than 300 Iranian drones. 

What Tehran is saying: Iran's government has repeatedly denied sending weapons to Russia.

Last month, the Iranian government quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying Tehran “has not and will not” provide any weapon to be used in the Ukraine war.

More context: Drones have played a significant role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Their use has increased since the summer when the US and Kyiv say Moscow first acquired drones from Iran. In recent weeks, these Iranian drones have been used to target critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.

6:49 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Russia aims to fully resume traffic on damaged Crimea bridge by late next month, deputy PM says

From CNN’s Uliana Pavlova

Workers restore the damaged parts of Kerch Bridge that links Crimea to Russia on October 13.
Workers restore the damaged parts of Kerch Bridge that links Crimea to Russia on October 13. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia is aiming to resume traffic by late December in both lanes of the Crimean bridge that was severely damaged by an explosion last month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said Thursday.

"We plan to launch traffic on both lanes on the right side of the bridge — on Dec. 5 on one lane, and on Dec. 20 on the other — completely," Khusnullin said during a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other members of the government.

Putin, during Thursday's meeting, thanked everyone involved in the restoration of the bridge.

Some context: A huge blast on Oct. 8 severely damaged the structure connecting annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland, causing parts of Europe’s longest bridge to collapse.

Moscow swiftly blamed Ukrainian special forces for carrying out the attack, though Kyiv has not taken credit.

1:52 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

UNICEF says its delivery of generators will help 12,000 people in Kherson access essential services

From CNN's Jennifer Hauser

UNICEF said it has provided 29 power generators to the Kherson region, which will help restore electricity, water and heating to the southern area of Ukraine and benefit about 12,000 residents.

The United Nations agency said 15 generators were delivered to ensure health care facilities can function in the Novovorontsovska, Velyko Oleksandrivska and Vysokopillia communities.

"Access to healthcare and water is a basic right, so children’s access to critical services should be restored as soon as possible. We are committed to delivering the supplies and services needed to make this happen," UNICEF Ukraine Representative Murat Sahin said in a news release.

An additional 14 generators were also delivered to local authorities to support water utilities in those areas for residents and emergency services, UNICEF said.

“We are working to restore de-occupied territories and there is no possibility to repair all the water pipelines and the power transmission lines before the winter season starts. Power generators will help to satisfy the acute needs before the winter and this is a substantial assistance to the local population,” said the head of Kherson regional military administration, Yaroslav Yanushevych, according to the news release.

2:48 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

US embassy officials meet with Brittney Griner for the first time since August

From CNN's Sam Fossum

US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted in a court building in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia, on August 4.
US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted in a court building in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia, on August 4. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/Reuters)

US embassy officials met with detained American Brittney Griner in Russia on Thursday, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

"We are told she's doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. As we have said before, the US government made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful, wrongful detentions of American citizens Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan," Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One.

"I can also tell you that in the subsequent weeks, despite a lack of good faith negotiation by the Russians, the US government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with Russians through all available channels. This continues to be a top priority," she added.

US embassy officials last had face-to-face contact with Griner in August.

Some background: Griner, a US basketball star, was taken into custody just days before Russia invaded Ukraine – when authorities accused her of trying to smuggle less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

Her case has prompted concern she is being used as a political pawn amid the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Last month, a judge in Russia denied an appeal of her verdict, upholding her conviction and reducing her nine-year prison sentence only slightly.

US officials have tried to secure the release of Griner and Whelan, another American imprisoned in Russia, by proposing a prisoner swap with Russia.

2:44 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Ukrainian foreign minister addresses energy infrastructure, weapons support with G7 ministers

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Jennifer Hauser

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends the security council meeting "Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine" at UN headquarters in New York on September 22.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends the security council meeting "Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine" at UN headquarters in New York on September 22. (Lev Radin/Sipa USA/AP)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he was able to virtually address a meeting of G7 foreign ministers Thursday despite a blackout disrupting the connection. 

Energy infrastructure, new weapons support to Ukraine, sanctions and accountability for crimes of aggression against Ukraine were some of the main topics discussed at the meeting, Kuleba said in a tweet

The foreign minister also posted a photo of himself seated at his desk, holding up what he claimed was part of an Iranian-made drone which recently hit Kyiv. 

"Iran must cease supplying Russia with weapons used to kill Ukrainians or face an even stiffer global pressure and consequences," Kuleba emphasized in the tweet. 

Iran has repeatedly denied it is sending weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine.

Remember: The G7 is shorthand for Group of Seven, an organization of leaders from some of the world’s largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

12:34 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

UN official: Invasion of Ukraine drove the "fastest, largest displacement" of refugees in decades

From CNN’s Richard Roth, Jennifer Hauser and Olga Voitovych

53 year-old Svetlana Lisak is seen with her dog in front of the Ukrainian flag at the shelter under her own house in Stepnohirsk, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine on November 1. People in the region living in towns where natural gas and drinking water services are not provided and electricity is frequently cut off, have been living in shelters under their homes for months for security reasons.
53 year-old Svetlana Lisak is seen with her dog in front of the Ukrainian flag at the shelter under her own house in Stepnohirsk, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine on November 1. People in the region living in towns where natural gas and drinking water services are not provided and electricity is frequently cut off, have been living in shelters under their homes for months for security reasons. (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The United Nations is expressing growing concern about the harsh winter Ukrainians may face after attacks on energy infrastructure and the large number of people displaced by the war.

"The Russian invasion of Ukraine has driven the fastest, largest displacement witnessed in decades. Some 14 million people have been forced from their homes since 24 February," Filippo Grandi, the UN's high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement Wednesday.

"Ukrainians are about to face one of the world’s harshest winters in extremely difficult circumstances. Humanitarian organizations have dramatically scaled up their response, but much more must be done, starting with an end to this senseless war," Grandi wrote to the UN Security Council.

"Unfortunately, we see the opposite: and the destruction caused by strikes at civilian infrastructure, which happens as we speak, is quickly making the humanitarian response look like a drop in the ocean of needs," Grandi added.

Strikes continue: Overnight Wednesday, Russian attacks hit energy and water infrastructure in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, according to the head of the city’s military administration Oleksandr Vilkul. 

12:08 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

UN chief welcomes revival of Black Sea grain deal as food shipments leave ports

From CNN’s Samantha Beech in New York

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media press at Security Council stakeout at UN Headquarters in New York on November 3, 2022. He hailed the resumption of Black Sea Grain Initiative, praised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, praised the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities in Ethiopia and addressed the climate emergency ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP27. (Photo by
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media press at Security Council stakeout at UN Headquarters in New York on November 3, 2022. He hailed the resumption of Black Sea Grain Initiative, praised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, praised the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities in Ethiopia and addressed the climate emergency ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP27. (Photo by (Lev Radin/Sipa USA/AP)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the revival of the Black Sea grain corridor this week, saying the ships departing Ukrainian ports provide “hopeful news in a world churning in turmoil.”

Seven vessels carrying food left Ukraine's ports Thursday after Russia agreed to rejoin the Black Sea grain deal. Shipments of grain from Ukraine had been in jeopardy after Russian suspended its participation in the initiative last weekend. It resumed its role on Wednesday.

“Over the past few days I believe the world has come to understand and appreciate the importance of the Black Sea grain initiative,” Guterres told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York. “For stemming the food crisis, for easing prices and pressures for people around the world, for reducing the risks of hunger, poverty and instability, the Black Sea grain initiative is making a difference.”

Guterres said the initiative has reached a new milestone with 10 million metric tons of grain and other food products being shipped through the Black Sea corridor in three months.

“Despite all the obstacles we have seen, the beacon of hope in the Black Sea is still shining and the initiative is working,” he said. “It is our collective responsibility to keep it working smoothly.”

More background: In July, following months of negotiations, ministers from both Ukraine and Russia signed the grain deal brokered by the UN and Turkey. Russia pledged to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds — some of Ukraine’s most important exports. The shipments are viewed as critical to addressing the global food shortage.

The UN chief said Thursday that he is grateful for Turkey's diplomatic efforts in establishing and helping reopen the vital food supply line.