40% of power infrastructure damaged, IAEA begins inspections, Putin “ends mobilization”

2 November 2022, 02:45 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022.

•  Russia has damaged nearly 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

That’s according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who revealed the figure during a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson. According to the president, a wide range of energy generation and distribution facilities were affected: thermal power plants, combined power and heating plants, and hydroelectric power stations.

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•  Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a 2019 law stripping MPs of parliamentary immunity is constitutional.

The court reviewed the law following an appeal by 50 MPs. “Having come to the conclusion that the constitutional procedure for considering, adopting, and enacting the law was not violated, the Constitutional Court recognized the disputed Law as consistent with the Ukrainian Constitution,” the court said.

•  The IAEA begins inspections at two Ukrainian nuclear facilities to dispel myths of ‘dirty bombs’.

The inspectors are expected to finish their work and present a report later this week, the IAEA said. A similar inspection last month found no evidence of irregular activity. Russia has consistently alleged that Ukraine is developing nuclear weapons, despite the utter lack of evidence for such a claim.

•  Meanwhile, power supply to the fourth reactor of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant was again interrupted, this time due to a landmine explosion, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi revealed.

•  The UN has declared that Russian assertions that Ukraine targeted ships involved in the grain initiative during an attack on Sevastopol Bay to be false.

“On the night of Oct. 29, when the alleged attack took place, there was not a single ship in the corridor, and not a single ship reported the incident over the weekend,” said UN Deputy Secretary General Martin Griffiths. Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, told Russian TV channel Dozhd that it’s absurd to suggest that convoys of civilian grain ships could have anything to do with an attack on Russia’s naval base in occupied Crimea, hundreds of kilometers away.

•  Putin announces the end of mobilization in Russia.

No decree was issued to that effect, but the Russian dictator stated that the process had completed at a press event on Oct. 31. “But it has been completed; it’s done,” he said. The announced end to mobilization may not mean that mobilization is over – but the order may lessen pressure on Russia’ autumn conscription intake, held twice annually.

•  Chechen warlord Kadyrov expands recruitment in order to ensure mobilized Chechens stay under his control.

Despite the announced end of mobilization, Ramzan Kadyrov warned that it is possible that Chechens will continue to receive draft notices. In response, he’s stepped up recruitment for military formations personally controlled by him. "Now the call-ups will begin, and if he (the soldier) is already enlisted in some regiment or battalion, he will not have to go to the (Russian) army, he will be among his own, Chechens,” Kadyrov said.

•  Yuriy Vitrenko has been ousted as head of Naftogaz.

Vitrenko was appointed by Zelenskyy in April 2021. While a reason for the dismissal has not been made clear by the government, rumors among Ukraine’s political class have said that the move may have something to do with the current Minister of Regional Development, Oleksiy Chernyshov – who may soon see his ministry dissolved and merged with the Ministry of Infrastructure. In return, he’s said to be the frontrunner for the post of Naftogaz head.

•  The volume of non-performing loans in Ukrainian banks has increased by more than UAH 30 billion in the last month.

That’s about $809 million, according to Ukraine’s central bank, which noted that the share of NPLs grew to 33.6% in October, compared to 30.8% in September. The growth of problem loans is directly related to the consequences of Russian aggression, the NBU said. However, the level of NPLs will not increase rapidly, as banks are allowed to conduct flexible restructurings to support debtors, the NBU said.

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