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Three vessels will depart Ukraine’s ports under Black Sea Grain Initiative

An aerial view of Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni, carrying a cargo of 26,527 tons of corn, leaves from Istanbul, Turkiye and passes surroundings of Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge to reach Lebanon after inspections are completed by Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the United Nations (UN) of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) complete inspection on August 03, 2022.

Ali Atmaka | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The organization overseeing the export of agricultural products said three vessels carrying wheat, flour and soybeans left Ukrainian ports.

The amount of grain and other foodstuffs exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative so far exceeds 11.1 million metric tons.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal brokered in July among Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, eased Russia’s naval blockade and saw three key Ukrainian ports reopen.

The deal between the signatories is set to expire in about four months.

— Amanda Macias

2 Russians, 1 Ukrainian convicted of murders in 2014 downing of MH17

A Dutch court on Thursday convicted two Russians and a pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatist in absentia of the murders of 298 people who died in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine and sentenced them to life imprisonment. One Russian was acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said that evidence presented by prosecutors at a trial that lasted more than two years proved that the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Moscow Ukrainian fighters on July 17, 2014. The crash scattered wreckage and bodies over farmland and fields of sunflowers.

Against the geopolitical upheaval caused by Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine, the court also held that Moscow had overall control of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, from where it said the attack was launched.

None of the defendants appeared for the trial that began in March 2020 and if they are convicted, it’s unlikely they will serve any sentence anytime soon. Prosecutors had sought life sentences for all four. Prosecutors and the suspects have two weeks to file an appeal.

— Associated Press

Russian strikes on Ukraine spotlight Moldova’s energy woes

A power station on the outskirts of Chisinau, Moldova, on Oct. 31, 2022.

Aurel Obreja | AP

Massive blackouts that temporarily hit more than a half-dozen cities across Moldova this week highlighted the impact Russia’s war in Ukraine is having on Europe’s poorest country.

The power outages happened Tuesday as the Russian military pounded infrastructure targets across Ukraine, which borders Moldova. Less than a week earlier, the European Union pledged 250 million euros (nearly $260 million) to help the former Soviet republic tackle a severe energy crisis after Russia halved its natural gas supply.

Moldova became a candidate for EU membership in June, on the same day neighboring Ukraine did.

“Every deadly bomb dropped on Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure has direct consequences for the people of our country,” Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said after Russia’s latest missile strikes caused the electricity to go out across the border.

— Associated Press

Six missiles shot down over Odesa

The Black Sea Ukrainian city of Odesa on May 19, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s air defense forces shot down six missiles over the southern region of Odesa region during another missile attack on the country Thursday.

“A missile attack was launched on Odesa region. The enemy launched Kalibr [missiles] from the Black Sea and used tactical aircraft, two Su-30 fired six air-based missiles,” Odesa City Council said a Telegram post, adding that six missiles had been destroyed by air defense forces over the sea.

One missile struck a logistics facility, the council said, with one civilian injured in the attack. “The blast wave damaged the buildings of the surrounding enterprises,” it said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Missiles, drones shot down over Kyiv and bodies pulled from wreckage in Vilniansk

Here’s an update on those reports of shelling in several regions including the cities of Kyiv and Dnipro on Thursday:

Kyiv’s military administration said four Russian missiles and five Shahed drones had been shot down over the city today. The head of military administration said air defense forces had “shot down several enemy objects targeting our critical infrastructure” but said “there are no hits in the region.”  

“However, we have hits in other regions of Ukraine, which also affects our energy system. The situation with electricity in the region remains difficult. According to the decision of Ukrenergo, emergency power outages continue in the Kyiv region.  The duration of shutdowns depends on the security situation and the speed of infrastructure restoration,” Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram.

In the Zaporizhzhia region, rescue workers are also clearing debris following rocket attacks this morning that saw a residential building hit in the city of Vilniansk. The bodies of four dead people have been removed from the rubble, the emergency services said, and that there may be others in the building. “Four families — at least 8 people — lived in the house,” the emergency services said on Facebook.

In the city of Dnipro in central Ukraine, 14 people, including one child, have been hospitalized after shelling this morning. One Twitter user posted a video showing damaged residential buildings, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

Tymoshenko posted a video of damaged buildings in Dnipro with air raid sirens sounding in the area. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video from Dnipro showing a blast on a busy road in the city. One of his advisors tweeted that Ukraine was experiencing a “missile sky” again.

— Holly Ellyatt

Mixed feelings in Poland about missile incident

Polish people have mixed feelings about Tuesday’s missile strike that killed two citizens in a village near the border with Ukraine.

Some citizens have said they are now more concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; while others noted that Tuesday’s event was an unfortunate accident that could have happened earlier.

“Yes, I am more concerned now … we are very close to it,” a young female Polish worker told CNBC Thursday morning. “I just hope this [war] ends very soon,” she added.

A man working at a hotel next to the Presidential Palace in Warsaw said: “There is a constant fear since February 24 [when Russia started its invasion of Ukraine]. I do not want an escalation.”

The same citizen is hoping there will be increased protection across the Polish border. Germany reportedly announced it will send more airspace surveillance to Poland.

A woman offers Polish donuts to U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne at the old town March 07, 2022 in Przemysl, Poland.

Omar Marques | Getty Images

Poland, a NATO member since 1999, has seen one of the biggest military built-ups among the alliance’s members. Data released by NATO back in July showed there are 122,500 Polish troops and 11,600 troops from other NATO allies stationed in the country. The United States leads NATO’s battlegroup in Poland.

A 39-year-old Polish salesman told CNBC he is not more worried now than he was at the start of the week, arguing “it’s war and these things happen.”

— Silvia Amaro

Russia launches more missile strikes on Ukraine, energy network under attack

Ukraine has been hit by more Russian shelling Thursday morning with missile attacks being reported in the Kyiv region, as well as Odesa and Dnipro city in the south.

The region surrounding Kyiv was coming under fire, the head of the regional military administryion Oleksiy Kuleba warned Thursday, as he noted that “since the very morning, the enemy has been massively attacking Ukraine.”

“Kyiv region – air defense works. The danger has not passed. We have information about the flight of rockets … over the region,” he said.

Burned balconies and broken load-bearing structures of a residential building are seen after a massive Russian attack on Kyiv on November 15, 2022.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President, said Russian forces had shelled Dnipro this morning with several hits on two infrastructure facilities reported. One person was injured in the blasts, preliminary information said.

Elsewhere, the head of Odesa RMA Maksym Marchenko, said that Russia had launched a missile attack on an infrastructure facility in the southern port region.  “There is a threat of a massive missile attack on the entire territory of Ukraine.  I ask the residents of the region to stay in shelters,” he said.

Russia’s almost relentless attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure are seen as a central part of its war strategy, aiming to deprive Ukrainians of water, heat and power as winter weather sets in.

— Holly Ellyatt

UN Secretary General says Black Sea grain deal extended

The Malta flagged bulk carrier Zante en-route to Belgium transits the Bosphorus carrying 47,270 metric tons of rapeseed from Ukraine after being held at the entrance of the Bosphorus due to Russia pulling out of the Black Sea Grain agreement on November 02, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris Mcgrath | Getty Images

The United Nations Secretary General said on Thursday he welcomed an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.

— Reuters

Kyiv looks to ‘crush’ Russia as Moscow rains blows on Ukraine

The head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said Thursday that Ukraine is looking to “crush” Russia and is withstandingextremely difficult blows from the enemy.”

“The enemy thinks that he will weaken our defense with strikes on energy and will be able to hit us in the back. This is a naive tactic of cowardly losers that we are ready for,” Yermak said in a statement on Telegram.

“Ukraine has already withstood extremely difficult blows from the enemy, which did not have the results that these Russian cowards were counting on. We continue to move forward,” Yermak said. “They won’t succeed. We will crush them,” he added.

Ukraine experienced a massive attack on its energy infrastructure on Tuesday with Kyiv claiming that Russia targeted it with around 100 cruise missiles, damaging energy infrastructure in several regions.

Ukraine’s national energy company, and Energy Minister German Galushchenko, called the Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy system the most massive attack in the country’s history, and since the war started.

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said Thursday that Russia’s relentless attacks on Ukraine’s energy sector, which has left millions without power, are “drawing deeply upon Russia’s reserves of conventional cruise missiles” with the degrading of Ukraine’s national infrastructure becoming a key element of Russia’s strategic approach to the campaign.

It said Tuesday’s strikes were “likely the largest number of strikes that Russia has conducted in a single day since the first week of the invasion.”

“Ukraine is facing a significant decrease in the power available from its national grid. This will impact upon civilian access to communications, heating and water supplies.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine says its forces were not to blame for Poland missile strike

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he had “no doubt” that Ukraine was not to blame for a missile strike that hit a Polish village on Tuesday evening, killing two people.

Zelenskyy said on Ukrainian TV Wednesday that his top military commanders had assured him that “it was not our missile and not our missile strike” that was the cause of the incident, which provoked an international furor and fears that a wider conflict between NATO and Russia could erupt.

“I have no doubt in [Tuesday’s] report to me personally — from the Commander of the Air Force to Commander-in-Chief [Valery] Zaluzhny — that it was not our missile and not our missile strike,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Kherson, Ukraine November 14, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

He reiterated calls from Kyiv to provide it with access the site of the explosion, near the village of Przewodow in southeastern Poland and just 4 miles from the Ukrainian border, and for Ukraine to be part of a joint investigation being led by Poland and the U.S.

“I believe that we have the right to this. Is it possible not to announce the final conclusions until the investigation is completed? I think it is fair. If someone says that this is our rocket, should we be in a joint investigative group? I think we should, it is only fair.”

NATO’s initial assessment of the incident, which Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the press on Wednesday, essentially exonerated Ukraine, finding that while it appeared that a Ukrainian air defense missile had caused the blast in Poland, the incident had happened while Ukraine was defending itself against a barrage of Russian cruise missiles.

— Holly Ellyatt

More than 60 tortured bodies exhumed in recently liberated Kherson region, Ukraine says

Workers clean debris off of the street in front of a destroyed storage complex in the recently recaptured village of Archangelske in Kherson, Ukraine on 26 Oct. 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi said that 63 bodies of tortured residents were recovered in the recently liberated Kherson region. 

“The bodies of those who were tortured there are being exhumed. So far, 63 bodies have been discovered in the entire territory of Kherson region, but we must understand that the search has only begun,” he said, according to an NBC translation.

Russia has previously said that its forces have not committed war crimes in Ukraine, which would include the torture and killing of civilians.

— Amanda Macias

Putin ‘will try to freeze the country into submission,’ U.S. Ambassador to U.N. says

New US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks after meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations on February 25, 2021 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations blamed Russia for the death of two citizens inside Poland’s territory.

“While we still don’t know all of the facts, we do know one thing: This tragedy would never have happened but for Russia’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure,” Linda Thomas Greenfield said before the U.N. Security Council.

“The UN charter is clear – Ukraine has every right to defend itself against this barrage. Defend its sovereignty. Defend its territorial integrity,” she added.

Thomas Greenfield said that Russia on Tuesday carried out “the widest scale missile attack since the beginning of the war.”

“Now, millions of Ukrainians are without heat or electricity. We extend our solidarity with the Ukrainian people for the fallout of this attack, and our deepest condolences for those lives lost,” Thomas Greenfield said, adding that this was a “deliberate tactic by Putin.”

“He seems to have decided that if he can’t seize Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze the country into submission. It is hard to overstate how horrific these attacks are,” she said.

— Amanda Macias

Pentagon calls Russia’s deliberate targeting of Ukraine’s civilian power grid a war crime

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (R) participate in a news briefing at the Pentagon May 23, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

The Pentagon slammed Russia’s deliberate bombing of Ukraine’s civilian energy sector, adding that more than a quarter of Ukrainians are without power throughout the country.

“While assessments are ongoing yesterday’s strikes looked like they launched at least 60 missiles and they may have launched upwards of 90 or even perhaps 100,” U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters during a press conference alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“It was likely the largest wave of missiles that we’ve seen since the beginning of the war,” Milley said, adding that “the deliberate targeting of the civilian power grid, causing excessive collateral damage and unnecessary suffering on the civilian population is a war crime.”

— Amanda Macias

Ukrainian official says Kyiv wants a ‘joint study’ and to see evidence on Poland missile strike

Ukraine asked to see the evidence upon which NATO based its assessment that a missile strike on Poland that killed two people was likely caused by Ukraine’s air defenses trying to defend itself against a barrage of Russian missile attacks.

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted, however, that the strike was not a deliberate attack and that Ukraine was not to blame.

“Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said at a press briefing.

After NATO’s comments, Oleksii Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, tweeted that Kyiv favored a “joint study” into the incident, and wanted to see the evidence held by its allies that suggested it was involved.

Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov addresses the media in Kyiv, Ukraine February 23, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Danilov said on Twitter that Ukraine was “ready to hand over the evidence of the Russian trail that we have” but Kyiv was still awaiting “information from our partners, on the basis of which a conclusion was made that it is a Ukrainian air defense missile.”

He added that Ukraine had requested that defense ministry and border guard officials are granted immediate access to the site of the explosion.

— Holly Ellyatt

NATO says Poland blast likely caused by Ukrainian missile, but doesn’t blame Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a closing press conference during the second of two days of defence ministers’ meetings at NATO headquarters on October 13, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium.

Omar Havana | Getty Images

NATO said there was no indication that the missile strike that hit a Polish border village on Tuesday night was deliberate, saying that Russia was ultimately to blame as it continues to bombard Ukraine with missiles.

The military alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the missile incident took place “as Russia launched a massive wave of rocket attacks across Ukraine.”

While the investigation was ongoing into the indicent, he said “there was no indication this was the result of a deliberate attack” and no indication it was a result of “offensive military actions against NATO.”

Preliminary analysis, as previously reported, suggests that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to intercept a Russian missile.

“Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its war against Ukraine,” he said.

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

Read More: Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

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