The New York Times update on Russia's aggression war on Ukraine
October 31, 2022
Editor/Writer, Briefings Team
Welcome to the Russia-Ukraine War Briefing, your guide to the latest news and analysis about the conflict.
No water, no power
Most of Kyiv was without water today after Russia targeted critical civilian infrastructure with dozens of cruise missiles. Power was also knocked out in the capital and in other Ukrainian cities, officials said.
Residents of Kyiv were directed to use wells and emergency water distribution sites, where they lined up with plastic jugs to carry water home. By the evening, water service had been restored to half of those affected.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said an energy facility that provides power to many parts of the city had been damaged. Traffic lights across the capital were out in the morning, and cellular service was spotty.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a Telegram post that 18 targets had been hit in 10 Ukrainian regions, most of which were part of the electricity grid. Russia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it had taken aim at “the military control and energy systems of Ukraine.” Ukraine’s Air Force said it had shot down 44 out of the more than 50 Russian missiles.
It was the third time this month that Ukrainians went back to work on Monday under a barrage of missiles. Facing setbacks on the battlefield, Russia is seeking to inflict pain on civilians by making Ukraine’s towns and cities unlivable as the war heads into winter.
“Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure are terrorism and an attempt to freeze millions of civilians,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, tweeted. “They want to leave people with no light, water and sewage — in winter, in the cold.”
Among those lined up for water in Kyiv was Maksym Khaurat, 31. He had already been enduring rolling blackouts, a lack of heat in his apartment and a failing internet connection, but the loss of water was different.
Like many other residents, he returned to Kyiv this summer after taking refuge farther to the west earlier in the war. The capital had been enjoying a return to something like normalcy, in stark contrast to the disruptions of the last few weeks.
“I am angry,” Khaurat said. “Angry at that man in Russia. I hate him.”
But, he added, “however bad this winter may be, it will be better than living under Russia.”
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Ukraine gains the upper hand
For most of the war, Russia dominated when it came to artillery, able to lob munitions at Ukrainian cities, towns and military targets from positions well beyond the reach of Ukrainian weapons.
But in recent months, the tide has turned in the country’s south, our Kyiv bureau chief, Andrew Kramer, reports.
Ukraine now has an edge in both range and in precision-guided rockets and artillery shells, commanders and military analysts say. Its soldiers are also taking out Russian armored vehicles with drones and other weapons provided by the U.S. and its allies.
The contrast with the battlefield over the summer could not be starker. Back then, in the Donetsk region, Russia fired roughly 10 artillery rounds for every shell from Ukrainian batteries. In Kherson now, Ukrainian commanders say the sides are firing about equal numbers of shells, but Ukraine’s strikes are longer in range and more precise because of the satellite-guided rockets and artillery rounds provided by the West.
This firepower has tipped the balance in the south, raising expectations that a long-anticipated assault on the city of Kherson is drawing near. The question remains just how long the Russian forces can, or will, hold out in Kherson.