The moment has come for Russia to completely withdraw from Ukraine’s sovereign territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky told a meeting for Group of 20 countries, which include Russia, and asked for the world’s support in pursuing what he presented as Kyiv’s “formula for peace.” The alternative, he said, would mean allowing Russia to “build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilization,” according to a transcript from Ukraine’s presidential office.
Speaking via video link to G-20 delegates who had gathered in Indonesia, Zelensky likened the liberation of Kherson — where he visited Monday days after Russian troops withdrew — to the Normandy landings of 1944 that set the stage for the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two. “It was not yet a final point in the fight against evil, but it already determined the entire further course of events. This is exactly what we are feeling now,” he said, referring to the city’s recapture.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
1. Key developments
- In his G-20 address, Zelensky demanded the full withdrawal of Russian forces from all of Ukrain as a necessary condition for any “real” end to hostilities, alongside nine other demands he made for Moscow, including guarantees for food and energy security, and granting freedom to Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians.
- Most G-20 countries are expected to sign a strong condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a senior Biden administration official said Tuesday morning on condition of anonymity. “It’s going to be a very strong statement,” the official added, “really isolating Russia, making clear that their war is causing immense consequences and suffering around the world.” The official would not address which countries have signed onto that language or whether China was among those siding with Russia in arguing against such a condemnation.
- Western leaders are unfairly trying to blame the conflict on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, referring to the summit’s draft joint declaration. “The West added there the phrase that many delegations condemned Russia — we added that there were also alternative points of view,” he told reporters at the summit, which he attended in place of President Vladimir Putin. Moscow’s top diplomat, who blamed the conflict on the West, accused Ukraine of derailing the negotiation process and demanded to see evidence that its allies were interested in “disciplining” Zelensky.
- U.S. prisoners in Russia were a point of discussion when CIA Director William J. Burns met with Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, on Monday in Ankara, Turkey. The Russian ambassador in Washington is expected to meet with White House officials on the same issue on Tuesday. These meetings come less than a week after Brittney Griner, the WNBA star detained in Russia, began her move to a penal colony.
2. Battleground updates
- Russia is redeploying some troops to the Henichesk area of Kherson, Britain’s Defense Ministry said. “It is well positioned to coordinate action against potential Ukrainian threats. … Above all, it is currently out of range of Ukrainian artillery systems which have inflicted heavy damage” on the Kremlin’s forces, the ministry said.
- The U.S. Army awarded over half a billion dollars’ worth of contracts to Lockheed Martin to produce Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, known as GMLRS, to replenish the U.S. arsenal, the Pentagon said. The surface-to-surface missile system, which has a range of approximately 50 miles, has been a centerpiece of the advanced military assistance that the United States has been giving to Ukraine.
- A senior U.S. official claimed to be unaware “at this stage” of any Ukrainian operation crossing the Dnieper River, the war’s new front line after Kherson’s liberation. Speaking on the condition of anonymity under terms set by the Pentagon, the official could not say with absolute certainty, however, that every last Russian had left the western side of the Dnieper, citing media reports that indicated some small bands of troops loyal to Moscow might have stayed behind.
- Russia “intensified offensive operations” in the eastern Donetsk region and unsuccessfully tried to seize territory in the northeastern part of the Kharkiv region, according to the Institute for the Study of War. The think tank said late Monday that the Kremlin was claiming gains in Donetsk in an effort to take attention away from its pullback in Kherson.
3. Global impact
- A 23-year-old Zambian student serving a prison sentence in Russia died in Ukraine, Zambia’s foreign ministry announced. The southern African nation’s foreign minister demanded an explanation from Moscow for how Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda came to be recruited from a medium-security prison near Moscow, where he was serving an almost ten-year prison sentence, to fight on the Ukrainian front line. Russia’s deputy foreign minister told journalists that officials are currently investigating the circumstances of Nyirenda’s September death, the state-run Tass news agency reported.
- The United States imposed a new round of sanctions against Russia targeting military supply chains. “The United States will continue to crack down on Russia’s attempts to evade international sanctions to fund its war machine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a Monday statement. Zelensky said he was “grateful” for the sanctions, adding that there should be “punishment for complicity in terror.”
- Recovery and rebuilding in Ukraine could cause up to 49 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, Ukraine’s minister of environmental protection, Ruslan Strilets, said at COP27, the BBC reported. He added that Ukraine plans to collect evidence and seek compensation from Russia. The war has already led to 33 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency plans to send missions to power plants in Rivne, Chernobyl, Khmelnytskyi and South Ukraine. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been “relatively quiet recently, with reduced shelling,” IAEA Director Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a Monday statement.
4. From our correspondents
Prosecutors do not plan criminal charges against Rudy Giuliani over Ukraine: Justice Department officials do not plan criminal charges against the former New York mayor in connection with his dealings in Ukraine while serving as a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, according to a letter made public Monday.
The decision was disclosed in a one-paragraph letter, filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, indicating that the investigation into Giuliani’s interactions with Ukrainian individuals was done and “that based on information currently available to the Government, criminal charges are not forthcoming.”
Giuliani has repeatedly said he did not commit any violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Shayna Jacobs reports. The investigation into the matter resulted in an April 28, 2021, seizure of devices at his Manhattan home and offices. His engagements in Ukraine during Donald Trump’s presidency were a prominent theme in Trump’s first impeachment proceeding. Giuliani was said to be making contacts there in an effort to dig up incriminating information about Joe Biden and his son Hunter before the 2020 election.
Matt Viser and Natalia Abbakumova contributed reporting.