Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 652

<span>Photograph: Reuters</span>
Photograph: Reuters
  • The human rights commissioner of Ukraine’s parliament has said that the officially confirmed number of Ukrainian children deported by Russia now stands at over 19,540. Speaking at a human rights conference in Kyiv, Dmytro Lubinets said “this is against the background of the Russian Federation continuing to deport more and more groups of Ukrainian children from our state every day”. In March, the international criminal court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, in relation to the forced deportation of children.

  • Four occupied regions of Ukraine that were “annexed” by the Russian Federation in late 2022 are expected to participate in Russia’s presidential election next year, after the date was set for 17 March. Russia’s Federation council confirmed the date this morning, with Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, saying a decision will be made by 12 December on whether occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will take part.

  • Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has not yet announced whether he will run, however the 71-year-old is widely anticipated to secure a fifth term and remain in power until at least 2030. Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in an online statement urged his supporters to vote for anyone but Putin, saying “Putin views this election as a referendum on approval of his actions. A referendum on approval of the war. Let’s disrupt his plans and make it happen so that no one on 17 March is interested in the rigged result, but that all of Russia saw and understood.”

  • The UK’s government has said it has levelled “appropriate sanctions” after summoning the Russian ambassador following accusations that groups linked to the Russian FSB had been hacking prominent British figures as part of attempts to “meddle in British politics”. UK deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said Russia was “behind sustained hostile cyber operations aimed at interfering in parts of the UK democratic processes. This has included members of parliament, civils servants, thinktanks, journalists and NGOs”. The former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Sir Richard Dearlove, has confirmed he was one of the figures targeted.

  • Republicans in the US Senate have blocked a supplemental funding bill that included financial aid for Ukraine. The vote increases the likelihood that Congress will fail to approve more funding for Ukraine before the end of the year, as the White House has warned that Kyiv is desperately in need of more aid.

  • Before the vote, President Joe Biden pleaded with Republicans, warning that a victory for Russia over Ukraine would leave Moscow in position to attack Nato allies and could draw US troops into a war. “If [Russian President] Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there,” Biden said. Putin would attack a Nato ally, he predicted, and then “we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today: American troops fighting Russian troops,” Biden said. “We can’t let Putin win,” he said. Russia’s ambassador to the US has described Biden’s words as “unacceptable”.

  • A driver was killed and grain infrastructure damaged by a Russian drone attack on Ukrainian grain infrastructure near the Danube River, the governor of Odesa region said on Thursday. Ukraine’s air force said 18 Shaheds were launched at the southern Odesa and Khmelnytskyi regions in western Ukraine. Fifteen were shot down.

  • A former Ukrainian MP regarded by Kyiv as a traitor has been shot dead in a park in suburban Moscow, in an attack attributed to Ukraine’s SBU security service. Illia Kyva was a pro-Russian member of Ukraine’s parliament before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, but fled to Russia a month before the start of the war and frequently criticised Ukrainian authorities online and on Russian state TV talkshows.

  • European leaders are scrambling to rescue a plan to begin European Union accession negotiations for Ukraine, as Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, vows to block the decision at a summit of EU leaders next week. Orbán, widely seen as the EU’s most pro-Russian leader, has said repeatedly that he will not support Ukraine’s path to accession at this point. On Monday, he sent a letter to Michel demanding to take the issue off the agenda at the leaders’ meeting next Thursday and Friday.

  • A Russian-backed politician who served as a proxy lawmaker in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region was killed in a car bombing attack Wednesday, investigators said. Oleg Popov, who served as a deputy in the pro-Moscow Luhansk regional parliament, was killed after the “detonation of an unidentified device in a car”, Russia’s Investigative Committee said, without providing detail.

  • The US has charged four Russian soldiers with war crimes after they allegedly abducted and tortured an American citizen last year who was living in southern Ukraine, according to court documents unsealed on Wednesday. The US justice department said the accused Russians kidnapped the American in April 2022 from his home in the village of Mylove, in Kherson province, where he lived with his Ukrainian wife.