Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
Zelensky says "fierce battles" rage in eastern Ukraine, with Russian forces suffering large-scale losses
From CNN's Julia Kesaieva in Kyiv
Amid fierce fighting in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the "situation is complicated along the entire frontline."
In his daily video address, Zelensky said "fierce positional battles continue in some areas, and the situation is especially difficult in Donetsk region. The occupiers' activity there remains at an extremely high level — dozens of attacks every day."
He said Russian forces "suffer extremely large-scale losses, but their order has not changed — to reach the administrative borders of Donetsk region. We do not surrender a single centimeter of our land there. And I thank all our heroes who hold positions in Donbas."
In the southern Kherson region, Zelensky said Ukrainian units were acting "carefully, thoroughly and in the interests of liberating our entire territory. We are strengthening our positions, breaking Russian logistics, consistently destroying the potential of the occupiers to keep the south of our country in occupation."
Zelensky said work continued to restore normal life in the liberated areas. In two districts of Kharkiv region, he said, "more than a thousand households have their gas and electricity supply restored."
Across the country, repair work continued on energy facilities,
"As of this evening, about 4 million Ukrainians in 14 regions and the city of Kyiv are cut off from electricity supply. But the majority of them are under stabilization power cut off schedules, not emergency ones." The schedules implement twelve hours of power cuts a day.
To address the energy crisis, Zelensky said that imports of goods necessary during the heating season will be exempt from VAT and import duties. "This should simplify and reduce the cost of supplying generators, batteries, transformers and other similar equipment for energy and heat supply to Ukraine."
US support of Ukraine will be "unwavering and unflinching" no matter election results, official says
From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Michael Conte
A top State Department official said the Biden administration is “confident” that US support for Ukraine will be “unwavering and unflinching” no matter the results of the midterm elections in the US.
“We’ve had… certain congressional voices offering other views, but Congress represents many, many different opinions, and I think we have seen the vast majority of members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been clear about their, about our enduring support for Ukraine,” said Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried in an audio briefing with reporters.
Donfried also said she believes the European Union is committed to economically supporting Ukraine.
At UN climate summit, Zelensky says world needs peace for effective climate policy
From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu in Paris
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky stressed on Tuesday that the international community needs peace to have joint and effective actions to respond to the climate crisis, in a virtual address to the UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt.
“We must stop those who, with their insane and illegal war, are destroying the world’s ability to work united for a common goal,” Zelensky said in a pre-recorded video message.
“There can be no effective climate policy without peace on earth because in fact nations are thinking only about how to protect themselves here and now from the threats created in particular by the Russian aggression,” he added.
He pointed at the potential danger of a nuclear accident at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, where shelling continues in the area. The power plant has lost external electricity power several times since the war first broke out, forcing it to temporarily switch to diesel generators.
“Who will care, for example, about the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere if part of Europe or the Middle East and possibly Northern Africa, God forbid, are covered by a radiation cloud after an accident in Zaporizhzhia?” Zelensky said.
“We must ensure that suffering doesn’t multiply because the world doesn’t have time to respond to climate challenges. But to do this we need joint [and] effective actions and for that we need peace,” he added.
Kyiv residents express skepticism toward any negotiation with Russia
From Svitlana Vlasova in Kyiv
Many residents of Ukraine's capital city said the idea of a negotiated end to Russia’s invasion can only be possible once Russia withdraws from Ukrainian territory.
Senior US officials have in recent weeks been urging Ukraine to signal that they are still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia, amid concerns that public support for the country's war effort could wane with no end to the conflict in sight and neither side willing to begin peace talks, sources familiar with the discussions tell CNN.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out talks with Russia so long as President Vladimir Putin is in charge. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia is “open to” negotiation with Ukraine, but that the moment was not right for talks.
CNN took to the streets of Kyiv Tuesday to get a sense of residents’ openness to negotiation with Russia.
Daryna Chupat is a 20-year-old student who said the mood in Ukraine is "victory or death."
“We have to push back to our borders, or at least to try to do so,” he told CNN. “There is an opinion that Ukraine will 100% win only when Russia falls. It seems like a great idea to me because any agreement with Russia is nothing but empty words. Any of their guarantees are not actually guarantees at all. “
Zoya Popova, 70-year-old retiree, said she agreed with Zelensky that the only acceptable outcome was a total withdrawal of Russian troops.
“We can’t talk to them, because Ukraine’s losses are enormous,” she said. “We can’t even count these losses yet, and we won’t be able to do this until all the territory of Ukraine is liberated.”
“After all the cessations, a trial in The Hague must take place. After that, we can discuss any kind of peace,” she said.
Valentyna Polischuk is a 53-year-old saleswoman, said "all the ways to achieve a peace are good, including negotiations, but they should take into account our demands.”
She said that while Crimea was a “complicated issue,” the Russia-claimed regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson “are ours.”
“If our conditions are accepted – even though it’s difficult for the Russians, they can find a way, and do so – if they leave, the war will be over,” she said.
Ukraine should talk to Russia, she said, but if negotiations aren’t successful, “we have to ask assistance from our allies, defend ourselves, and push them out of here.”
Vlad, a 31-year-old who provided only his first name because he’s serving in the military. said the "only way" for negotiations to start is “when we get regain all our borders."
Negotiations, he said, are impossible, “because their attitude to us is not human.”
“How can we negotiate with them if in few years they can go to war against us again? What we should discuss with them is not the war, but the fact that we’ll not give our territories under any conditions,” he added.
“These talks can be launched only after we get back our borders as they were in 1991,” including Crimea and all of Donetsk and Luhansk, he said. “Other kinds of negotiations with them make no sense, because the only thing Russia wants is to restore the Soviet Union.”
CNN's Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood and Oren Liebermann contributed reporting to this post.
Ukrainians say forces make progress in Luhansk despite substantial Russian defenses
From Olga Voitovych
The senior Ukrainian official for the easternLuhansk region says troops continue to advance despite a "huge number" of Russian reserves arriving in the area.
Serhiy Hayday, head of Luhansk region military administration, said on Ukrainian television that the armed forces were advancing, but "it should be taken into account that there are certain specifics of the Luhansk region: the Russian occupation troops managed to bring a huge number of reserves there, managed to build defensive structures, mined a very large area, so the advance is quite cautious."
Ukrainian troops began to probe into the Luhansk region in September after a rapid advance across Kharkiv region.
Hayday added: "They [the Russians] are trying to make some incomprehensible counter-offensive actions. There are a very large number of freshly mobilized. "
He predicted the Russians would take heavy casualties as the fighting in the area around Svatove and Kreminna continued.
Hayday said that civilians remained in recently liberated settlements despite official efforts to persuade them to move, amid constant shelling from the Russian side.
"People stay in some liberated settlements, no matter how we are trying to persuade them. They sometimes agree to leave when they see that their neighbor’s house was hit. Fear prevails over stubbornness," he said.
US diplomat to Ukraine: America's support will not wane
From CNN's Kylie Atwood
US Ambassador to the United Nation Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s message to Ukrainians on Election Day in the US is that America’s support will not wane, despite growing questions about lawmakers willingness to sustain massive US support to the country as it continues facing Russian bombardments.
“There is clear bipartisan support for support the United States is providing to Ukraine and we will be there as long as it takes,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday morning. “The message coming out of the left the elections will be the same message that we've had going in, there is strong bipartisan support to support the people of Ukraine in their time of need, and that support will continue as long as necessary.”
Thomas-Greenfield will meet with Ukrainian farmers, crime scene experts who are collecting evidence of atrocities in the country, and Ukrainian President Zelensky.
“I know she's looking forward to personally conveying our ironclad commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, core concepts of the UN Charter,” the official said of her meeting with Zelensky.
The US diplomat is visiting the country after senior US officials have been urging Ukraine in recent weeks to signal that they are still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia, amid concerns that public support for the country's war effort could wane with no end to the conflict in sight and neither side willing to begin peace talks, sources familiar with the discussions tell CNN.
The official would not wade into details about any conversations Thomas-Greenfield could have with Ukrainian officials about appearing open to diplomatic discussions to bring an end to the war.
“The important thing here to understand is that any decisions with regard to conducting negotiations with regards to ending this war, those decisions are going to be determined in Kyiv and not anywhere else,” the official said.
The official explained that Thomas-Greenfield’s visit to the Ukrainian capital will focus on three priorities: holding Russia accountable for the atrocities its forces have committed, addressing the unprecedented global food security crisis and ensuring Ukraine can prepare for winter ahead in the face of continued attacks by Russian forces on its critical infrastructure.
German investigators search bank in connection with alleged money laundering by Russian oligarch
From CNN's Inke Kapeller in Berlin and Stephanie Halasz in London
German investigators are searching branches of a Swiss bank in Germany in connection with money laundering allegations surrounding a Russian oligarch.
Officers from the German Criminal Police Office began searching branches in Frankfurt and Munich earlier today, a spokesperson for the General Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt told CNN.
German media is naming the bank branches in question as those of UBS, the Swiss bank. The prosecutor’s office did not name the bank.
That spokesperson said the bank itself is not the target, but says authorities hope to secure evidence relating to money laundering allegations against the Russian national. While the BKA will not name him, the prosecutor’s office spokesman confirmed it was the same individual whose properties were previously searched for similar allegations. German investigators have previously targeted an Uzbek-born Russian national, Alisher Usmanov, in these searches.
German law enforcement does not as a rule name people under investigation. German media is naming Usmanov as the target of Tuesday’s searches.
A UBS spokesperson tells CNN: “We confirm that the offices of UBS Europe SE in Frankfurt and Munich are currently being searched by the public prosecutor. We are cooperating fully with the authorities ”
CNN has reached out to Usmanov’s representative and the German Criminal Police Office for comment.
A spokesperson for Usmanov denied the allegations to Reuters, describing them as unfounded, false and defamatory. Usmanov has not been charged with any wrongdoing in Germany so far.
Previous allegations by the BKA targeting the Russian have included transfer of funds for tax evasion purposes. The BKA has said in a previous press release that “multi-digit millions” of Euros were transferred, allegedly to avoid paying tax.
“The citizen of the Russian Federation is suspected of having arranged several transactions of funds in the years 2017 to 2022 in order to conceal their origin according to a Criminal Police (BKA) press release published on September 27. It is suspected that the transferred sums of money originate from criminal acts, in particular from tax evasion offenses. According to the current state of the investigation, the transaction volume of the transferred sums of money is said to be in the multi-digit millions,“ BKA states in its press release.
A yacht linked to Usmanov, sitting in Bremen harbor during the ongoing investigation, as well as one property connected to him in the upmarket area of Lake Tegernsee, were previously searched by the BKA in September. In September, a spokesperson for Usmanov denied any wrongdoing by the Russian businessman, saying he is a “lawful and diligent taxpayer and has always paid his taxes currently and on time.”
"They are desperate": Ukrainian farmers under pressure as grain deal set to expire, US envoy says
From CNN's Jennifer Hansler in Washington
Ukrainian farmers are growing increasingly "desperate" as the UN-brokered grain deal draws closer to expiring, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Tuesday.
“They certainly are under pressure, but also they are desperate. They need the confidence of the market to plant,” Thomas-Greenfield said in remarks following a visit to a grain facility in Kyiv.
“So there's a sense of desperation as well that I heard from them and I will take that message back to my colleagues in the Security Council, to the Secretary General, and I know that he knows it.”
The agreement, brokered by the UN, put in place a procedure that guaranteed the safety of ships carrying Ukrainian grain, fertilizer and other foodstuffs through a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.
Under the deal, all vessels coming to and from Ukraine’s ports are inspected and monitored by international teams made up of officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.
However the deal is due to expire this month and there are fears that Russia, which already suspended its participation in the deal once, will not agree to its renewal.
Thomas-Greenfield described her visit to the facility, which was not named due to security reasons, as short but “extraordinarily enlightening.”
“We have heard that Ukraine is the breadbasket of the world. And I'm here seeing Ukraine as the breadbasket of the world, seeing wheat being delivered, being processed, being produced into flour, hearing directly from farmers that they need this grain deal that the Secretary General has been so committed to negotiating,” she said. “This just shows how important this grain is, but it also is showing the impact that this unjust war started by Russia is having on the world's markets."
Thomas-Greenfield was joined on the tour by US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink.