Russia, US fail to agree on Asean statement; Moscow forces mass near Melitopol

Russia, US fail to agree on Asean statement; Moscow forces mass near Melitopol
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the opening of the East Asia summit during the The Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 13 November 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mick Tsikas)

Differences on the situation in Ukraine led to Russia and the US failing to agree on language for a joint statement following an 18-nation summit in Cambodia, making it unlikely the Group of 20 nations will reach a consensus in Indonesia this week.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the US and its allies, saying on Sunday they “insisted on absolutely unacceptable language regarding the situation in Ukraine.” He said the US had succeeded in dividing the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and accused Nato of stepping up activity in the region.

Russia refuses to describe its invasion of Ukraine as a war, instead calling it a “special military operation.”

Key developments

On the ground

Russian forces are amassing near Melitopol, a city about 200km east of Kherson, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its regular update on Facebook. Those troops are fortifying the city along its perimeter, banning civilians from coming near its airport.

Meanwhile, Russia’s military presence is declining near Kakhovka on the left bank of Dnieper river, with local residents reporting only minimal numbers of Russian troops in the towns. Ukrainian forces have taken back 179 towns and villages in a more than 4,500km2 area along the right bank over the past week, according to the military’s southern command.

Authorities urged residents of Kherson and the rest of the liberated region to continue evacuating to safety as the threat of Russian attacks persists, Yaroslav Yanushevych, the Ukrainian governor of the region, said on Telegram. Russian forces shelled civilian areas in Kurakhove and a hospital in Toretsk in the Donetsk region, without fatalities, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

Ukraine limits power supplies

Ukraine introduced emergency limits on Sunday on electricity supply in seven regions and the capital, Kyiv, utility company Ukrenergo said on Telegram. Power cuts have been caused by fallout from Russian attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure and the need to repair electric lines.



Putin files law change to punish criticism of army

Russian President Vladimir Putin filed an amendment to the bill on citizenship that was approved by the parliament in the first reading. Tass newswire reported that the amendment, if passed, would allow the removal of acquired citizenship from those who discredit the Russian army, call for the violation of the territorial integrity of Russia or participate in the activities of undesirable non-government organisations. Tass cited Vasily Piskarev, head of the State Duma commission for investigating foreign interference in Russia’s internal affairs.

Ukraine closes Kherson for entry and exit, official says

Authorities prohibited entry and exit from Kherson and introduced a curfew from 5pm-8am amid “stabilisation measures” in the newly liberated city, Yaroslav Yanushevych, the Ukrainian governor of the region, said on TV.

Russian forces have left mines in all objects of critical infrastructure in Kherson, he said, adding that authorities sought to open up the city within the next several days.

Zelensky says Ukraine expanding control over Kherson region

Ukrainian forces regained control of more than 60 settlements in the Kherson region as of Saturday evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message.

He warned residents to be aware of the risk of unexploded ordnance and booby traps, saying that police had cleared more than 2,000 pieces in the region, including mines and undetonated shells. Departing Russian forces destroyed a broad range of infrastructure, including water, electricity, central heating and communications, he said.



Putin, Raisi discuss deepening Iran-Russia ties

Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi discussed further increasing political and economic cooperation, including on transport and logistics, during a phone call, according to a Kremlin statement.

Separately, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency alleged on Telegram that an agreement had been reached this summer to supply Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia.

Georgian leader says more than 700,000 Russians fled via her country

Some 710,000-720,000 Russians have left the country via Georgia since Putin announced a mobilisation of reservists, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili said in an interview with Radio France Inter.

About 600,000 have moved on to neighbouring countries and European Union states, while those who have remained in Georgia are mainly young, middle class and highly educated, she said.

“Putin is making all the wrong calculations and taking all the wrong decisions,” Zourabishvili said. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Only the most foolish, wayward and idiotic would ever believe the bile that the evil Putin, Lavrov and Kremlin utter. Shame, they are offended by the US calling it for what it is. Masters of lies, misinformation, deception and propaganda – besides being murderous monsters and merchants of death. After 9 months of brutal war, murder and destruction, these diabolical psychopaths still believe that their unjustified and brutal war on Ukraine is a special military operation to get rid of Nazis and protect the Russian population in Ukraine. Using the same twisted and pathetic logic, then Hitler also launched a special military operation – not a war or invasion – in order to get rid of communism and create lebensraum. To hell with them – they can keep company with the beastly Stalin and Hitler – they are one and the same. GOD bless and save Ukraine 🙏🙏

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