(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin ordered all of Russia to support the war effort in Ukraine on Wednesday, as the Russian-appointed administration of Kherson prepared to evacuate the only regional capital Moscow has captured during its invasion.
ON THE GROUND
* A Russian missile strike hit a major thermal power station in the city of Burshtyn in western Ukraine, the region’s governor said, the latest in a wave of attacks on critical infrastructure ahead of winter.
* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who said this week that 30% of Ukrainian power stations had been hit by strikes, met senior officials to discuss security at such facilities and the possibility of a breakdown in the energy system.
* In a package of moves apparently intended to counter battlefield defeats by Ukrainian troops, Putin announced a new special coordinating council to work with Russia’s regions to boost Moscow’s war effort.
* He also declared martial law in four partially occupied regions of Ukraine that Russia claims as its own and restricted movement in and out of regions near Ukraine.
* The situation in areas Russia claims to have annexed was “tense”, with Moscow’s troops in some areas under continuous attack, said Sergei Surovikin, a Russian general appointed this month to take charge of its forces.
* Russian-installed authorities in the region of Kherson plan to evacuate around 50,000-60,000 people over the next six days.
* A Russian lawmaker urged state institutions to stop using WhatsApp messenger and the industry ministry sought to promote domestically produced software as Russia tries to wean itself off Western technology.
* Israel offered to help Ukrainians develop alerts for civilians under air attack, signalling a softening in its policy of non-military intervention after Kyiv appealed for counter-measures against Iranian-made drones used by Russia.
* European Union governments have provisionally agreed to impose sanctions on eight people and entities over the alleged use of Iranian-made drones in Russian strikes on Ukraine.
* The EU Commission head called Russia’s attacks on power stations and other infrastructure in Ukraine “acts of pure terror” that amount to war crimes.
* The United States, Britain and France plan to raise alleged Iranian arms transfers to Russia at a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, diplomats said.
“Today, we had three Russian shells come in and one house was completely destroyed,” said 61-year-old farmer Vladimir Dinachenko, who lives near the front line in southern Ukraine. “But three is a good day. One day we had 36 … We’re tired of this. We hope it will end in a couple of weeks.”