© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (not seen), as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi
(Reuters) – Ukraine promised to create shelters with heat and water and encouraged citizens to conserve energy as a harsh winter loomed amid relentless Russian strikes that have left its power structure in tatters.
* The head of Ukraine’s national power grid operator said the damage dealt to power-generating facilities by Russian missile attacks was “colossal” but he dismissed the need to evacuate civilians.
* Special “invincibility centres” will be set up around Ukraine to provide electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone connections and pharmacy service, free of charge and around the clock, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
* The Kremlin said no substantive progress had been made towards creating a security zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
* There were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-held reactor complex despite shelling at the weekend that caused widespread damage, the U.N. atomic watchdog said after its experts visited the site.
* Russia and Ukraine blame each other for repeated shelling in the immediate area of the facility. CONFLICT
* Battles raged in the east, where Russia has sent some of the forces it moved following its withdrawal from around the city of Kherson in the south. Russia is pressing an offensive of its own along a stretch of frontline west of the city of Donetsk, held by its proxies since 2014.
* “The enemy does not stop shelling the positions of our troops and settlements near the contact line (in the Donetsk region),” the Ukrainian military said.
* Russian missiles hit a maternity hospital in the Zaporizhzhia region killing a baby, the regional governor said on the Telegram messaging service.
* Russian air defences repelled two drone attacks in Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, including one targeting a thermal power station near Sevastopol, the home port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the regional governor said.
* Russian shelling hit a humanitarian aid distribution centre in Orihiv, a town in southeastern Ukraine, killing a volunteer and wounding two women, the regional governor said.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts. Russia denies targeting civilians.
FOREIGN RESPONSE, AID
* The Group of Seven nations should soon announce the price cap on Russian oil exports and the coalition will probably adjust the level a few times a year, a senior U.S. Treasury official said.
* Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany must be ready for the situation in Ukraine to escalate but that his recent trip to China was worthwhile if only for spelling out the German and Chinese joint stance against using nuclear weapons.
* Disbursement of $4.5 billion in U.S. economic aid for Ukraine will begin in coming weeks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.