Uncertainty surrounds whether Putin will virtually attend G20 — and how Western nations would react
From CNN's MJ Lee
US National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday would not comment on the possibility of any European nations declining to participate in the G20 summit in order to send a message to Russia, saying that was not a move that he had heard about directly from his European counterparts.
“I will look forward to the opportunity to hear their thinking before I comment on it,” Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One en route to Indonesia.
Sullivan added that Russian President Vladimir Putin virtually participating in the G20 was a “hypothetical” at this point, so he couldn’t comment on what, if any reaction, Biden would have if that were to come to fruition.
At the ASEAN summit that President Biden just participated in in Cambodia, Sullivan said that US officials did not have any substantive conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
2:32 p.m. ET, November 13, 2022
Russian Ministry of Defense says its forces captured a village in the Donetsk region
From CNN's Katharina Krebs
Russian troops have captured the settlement of Mayorsk in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, according to the daily briefing of the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday.
"As a result of successful offensive operations by Russian troops, the village of Mayorsk has been completely liberated in the Donetsk direction," Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, said.
Vladimir Leontiev, the Russian-installed official in Nova Kakhovka, made the allegations on Russian state television Sunday, saying he believes repairs will take at least a year.
"We are not talking about a framework of few months, of course. It will take a year or more, it should be assessed by experts," said Leontiev about the dam in Kherson region.
"But, despite significant damage, the station continues to operate. Obviously, in such a situation, under such shelling, it will probably have to be conserved,” he added.
Ukraine has not said it shelled the plant. CNN cannot independently verify Russia's claim.
Leontiev claimed other infrastructure facilities were also damaged as a result of strikes by Ukraine's forces. Among them are the Kakhovka Main Canal, the North Crimean Canal and others.
Some background: Pro-Russian officials in the annexed Kherson region claim that the evacuation of civilians and the retreat of Russian troops there is due to the threat of flooding. The Moscow-installed leaders say it could be devastating if the Ukrainian military hit the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam.
Ukraine has accused Russia itself of damaging critical infrastructure in the region, and of creating hysteria to justify the forced relocation of people from Kherson.
11:36 a.m. ET, November 13, 2022
Kherson is now on the frontline of the war in Ukraine after Russian pullback, CNN reports
From CNN's Nic Robertson
CNN’s Nic Robertson provided an update from the liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson Sunday morning. Robertson and his team witnessed the emotional liberation on Saturday.
“Kherson is now a frontline city,” Robertson said, with Russian forces just across the Dnipro River.
This is not the end of the struggle against Russian occupation in the country, he said.
“Last night and in the early hours of this morning you could hear outgoing fire towards the Russian forces,” Robertson reported.
“It is unclear what form the battle may take around here. It is a strategic river, I don’t think there is any likelihood that the Russian soldiers will come across,” Robertson said.
Ukrainian authorities now have to work on restoring electricity, water and basic services, he added. “There is even a glimmer a few moments ago of a possible” return of 3G phone services coming back.
There is a curfew from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. local time every day, according to Robertson.
Security issues remain the city, with a threat of collaborators with the Russians.
Weather conditions are becoming more tough, with sub-zero temperatures at night. There is no heating in the city. Ukrainian authorities have said that those who find it too hard to live in Kherson can move to other parts of the country — they do have freedom of movement now.
11:43 a.m. ET, November 13, 2022
A Ukrainian couple is making sure women fighting on the frontlines in the war have uniforms that fit
From CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Maddie Araujo and Christian Streib
Andrii Kolesnyk and Kseniia Drahanyuk both beam with excitement as they crouch over a box.
They are about to unpack Ukraine’s first ever military uniform for pregnant women, which they recently commissioned after a pregnant sniper got in touch.
“She received men’s uniform, men’s underwear,” he said. “Everything that (was) designed for men.”
It soon became clear that servicewomen needed a lot more than uniforms. Everything from smaller boots to lighter plates for bulletproof vests to hygiene products is in demand.
So, the couple turned to private company donations, charity funds and crowdfunding to purchase goods independently of the military. Some customized gear, such as women’s fatigues, is produced under their own brand by a factory in Kharkiv in the country’s east — including the new pregnancy uniform.
Other items, including body armor plates, helmets and boots, come from companies as far afield as Sweden, Macedonia and Turkey. But Kolesnyk and Drahanyuk say they are struggling with the procurement of winter items like sleeping bags and thermal clothing that will be important for comfort as winter sets in.
Kolesnyk said they have distributed equipment worth $1 million so far and helped at least 3,000 women. If they’re on the frontline shooting rockets they might as well do it “in minimum comfort,” he tells CNN.
“We are doing this to help our government,” Kolesnyk said, not to compete with it. Their hub is overflowing with cardboard boxes full of kit, all paid for from crowdfunding and grants.
A physical disability prevents Kolesnyk from joining his sister, father and brother-in-law on the frontline, a fact that saddens him.
“For a man, it’s hard to understand that you can’t go there, and your sister is there. So, I’m trying to do my best here to help not only my family, but the whole army,” he said.
Twenty-one-year-old Roksolana, who gave only her first name for security reasons, walks in to pick up a uniform and other gear before heading out on her next assignment. An art school graduate, she joined the army in March and is now part of an intelligence unit.
“It’s so valuable to have these people who understand that we are tired of wearing clothes that are three sizes too big,” she said. “We had no helmets, we had old flak jackets, wore tracksuits and sneakers. Now we feel that we are humans.”
She giggles as she laces up her new boots with impeccable long fingernails. Before they hug goodbye, Drahanyuk hands Roksolana a copy of “The Choice,” the best-selling memoir by Holocaust survivor and psychologist Edith Eger. The aim is that this can be a tool to help process trauma. Zemlyachki has also formed partnerships with military psychologists to whom women in combat can reach out.
At least 430 children killed as a result of Russia's invasion, Ukraine's prosecutor general says
From CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko
At least 430 children have been killed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a further 1,260 children have been wounded, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general.
In a statement Sunday, the prosecutor general’s office said it was still working on establishing the number of children killed or injured in frontline areas, recently liberated places and parts of Ukraine still occupied by Russian forces.
The eastern Donetsk region, where fighting has been particularly fierce, has seen the highest number of child victims. It is followed by Kharkiv, Kyiv and Mykolaiv, according to the prosecutor general.
At least 332 schools and educational institutions in Ukraine have been destroyed since February as the war rages, with a further 2,719 damaged.
10:45 a.m. ET, November 13, 2022
What it's like to be in Kherson right now: full of hope but also uncertainty
For much of the journey through smaller towns and settlements, our team of CNN journalists was forced to drive through diversions and fields; bridges over canals were blown up, and roads were full of craters and littered with anti-tank mines.
Trenches and checkpoints were empty, quickly abandoned by Russians who on Friday announced they had withdrawn from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the strategic southern region of Kherson, leaving the regional capital of the same name and surrounding areas to the Ukrainians.
The outskirts of the city, which had been occupied by Russian forces since March 3, were deserted, with no military presence except for a Ukrainian checkpoint around 5 miles outside of the city center, where half a dozen soldiers waved CNN’s crew in.
Once the scene of large protests against Russian plans to transform the region into a breakaway pro-Russian republic, the streets of Kherson are now filled with jubilant residents wrapped in Ukrainian flags or with painted faces, singing and shouting.
The military presence is still limited, but huge cheers erupt from crowds on the street every time a truck full of soldiers drives past, with Ukrainian soldiers being offered soup, bread, flowers, hugs and kisses by elated passersby.
After living under Russian occupation, every person we’ve spoken to has had experiences that terrified them. Earlier today, a teenager told CNN he had been taken and beaten by Russian soldiers who believed he was a spy. Residents told us they are emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed by what this newfound freedom means.
With the Russian forces gone, everyone wants you to understand what they’ve been through, how euphoric they feel right now and how much they’re grateful to the countries who have helped them.
But Ukrainians are under no illusion that Kherson’s freedom spells the end of their country’s ordeal or the difficulties that winter will bring.
Everyone we have spoken to is aware that there are tougher days to come, that the Russians across the river could shell them here. It is also unclear whether all Russian troops have left Kherson and the wider region. Behind this euphoria, there’s still that uncertainty.
8:37 a.m. ET, November 13, 2022
Ukrainian foreign minister: There is “not a single indication that Russia is sincerely seeking negotiations”
From CNN’s Jake Kwon in Hong Kong
Russia is not "sincerely seeking negotiations,” Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Saturday, following the retreat of Russian forces from the western half of Kherson.
“As of now, everything we've seen, is the attempt of Russia to use negotiations … as a smokescreen for its continued aggression on the ground,” Kuleba said in a press conference during his visit to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh. Kuleba is visiting the Cambodian city to sign an amity and cooperation treaty with ASEAN on behalf of Ukraine.
“If you hear someone in the evening in Moscow speaking about negotiations, make no mistake, there will be a missile attack in the morning,” Kuleba added.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did not request a meeting with him, Kuleba said, adding that if such request were made, Ukraine “will thoroughly consider his request, taking into account all aspects and reality on the ground.”
Kuleba urged Russia to “approach talks in good faith,” adding that “every war ends with diplomacy.”
Lavrov arrived in Phnom Penh on Saturday, according to Russia’s foreign ministry.
Kuleba also urged ASEAN countries to “take every measure possible” to keep open the grain corridor, a UN and Turkey-brokered safe corridor to export Ukrainian agricultural products through the Black Sea.