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Live: ‘Massive attack’ by Russia on Ukraine energy facilities

Ukraine on Monday accused Russia of another "massive attack" on the country's energy infrastructure, after officials announced power and water supply cuts in Kyiv. Meanwhile, Russia's suspension over the weekend of its participation in the UN-brokered deal to move Ukrainian grain threatens to deepen a global food crisis. Follow FRANCE 24 for live updates. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

10:07am: Erdogan says Turkey to continue grain deal efforts after Russia hesitates

Turkey will continue its efforts for the Black Sea grain export deal despite Russian hesitancy, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday after Russia suspended its participation in the initiative at the weekend.

"Even if Russia behaves hesitantly because it didn't receive the same benefits, we will continue decisively our efforts to serve humanity," Erdogan said in a speech.

Separately, a UN spokesperson said the first of 40 planned ship inspections on Monday had been completed in Istanbul waters with a team of just UN and Turkish members, rather than the previous four-member teams including Russians and Ukrainians before Moscow's suspension.

9:47am: Record agricultural volumes leave Ukraine ports on Monday

A record volume of 354,500 tonnes of agricultural products was carried on vessels leaving Ukrainian ports on Monday as part of the Black Sea grain deal, a spokesperson for Odesa's military administration said.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, withdrew from the Black Sea deal on Saturday for an "indefinite term" because it said it could not "guarantee safety of civilian ships" travelling under the pact after an attack on its vessels.

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9:42am: Twelve vessels leave Ukrainian ports under Black Sea grain deal, Kyiv says

Twelve vessels embarked from Ukrainian ports on Monday under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minster Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, halted its role in the Black Sea deal on Saturday for an "indefinite term" because it could said it could not "guarantee safety of civilian ships" travelling under the pact after an attack on its Black Sea fleet.

"Today 12 ships left Ukrainian ports. @UN & Turkish delegations provide 10 inspection teams to inspect 40 ships aiming to fulfil the #BlackSeaGrainInitiative. This inspection plan has been accepted by the Ukrainian delegation. The Russian delegation has been informed," Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.

9:32am: Ukraine says targeted by 'more than 50' missiles from Russia

Ukraine said it was targeted by "more than 50" cruise missiles from Russia on Monday morning, resulting in power cuts across several regions.

"From 7am on October 31, Russian occupiers carried out several waves of missile attacks against critical infrastructure in Ukraine," the Ukrainian army said on Telegram, adding that "more than 50 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles were launched" from Russia.

8:38am: 'Massive attack' by Russia on Ukraine energy facilities

Ukraine on Monday accused Russia of another "massive attack" on the country's energy infrastructure, after officials announced power and water supply cuts in the capital.

"Russian terrorists have again launched a massive attack against electricity installations in a number of Ukrainian regions," said the deputy head of Ukraine's presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

8:33am: France working on land route for Ukrainian crops

France is working towards allowing Ukraine to export food supplies via land routes rather than by the Black Sea through Poland or Romania, the French farming minister said on Monday, after Russia withdrew from a crucial export deal amid its war with Ukraine.

"We are looking to see whether, if it cannot pass through the Black Sea, if it can instead pass through overland routes, (…) in particular by looking at land routes through Romania and Poland," Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau told RMC Radio.

"We will continue to work towards a system which does not put us in the hands and the good will, or in this case the bad will, of Vladimir Putin," said Fesneau, referring to the Russian president.

On Saturday, Russia suspended its participation in the UN grain deal for an "indefinite term", after what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea.

7:57am: Power out in Kyiv after Russia strikes

Russian strikes early Monday knocked out electricity and water in parts of Kyiv, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital said.

"An area of Kyiv is without electricity and certain areas without water following Russian strikes," Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging service.

7:21am: Series of blasts heard in Kyiv, Reuters witnesses say

A series of blasts were heard in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Monday morning, according to Reuters witnesses in the city, while regional authorities in northern, eastern and central Ukraine also reported missile strikes.

Russia has stepped up missile attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks after blaming Kyiv for the explosion which damaged the Crimea bridge.

Smoke could be seen rising above Kyiv after about 10 explosions, witnesses said.

6:35am: US, China discuss relations, war in Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the rivalry between the two superpowers and Russia's war in Ukraine in a call Sunday, the State Department said.

The top diplomats talked about the need to "responsibly manage the competition between our two countries," Blinken said in a tweet.

They also discussed the need for Beijing and Washington to keep open lines of communications as well as the war in Ukraine, the US State Department said.

"The Secretary discussed the need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-PRC relationship," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, adding Blinken "raised Russia's war against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability."

5:50am: World food supplies at risk as Russia withdraws from grain export deal

Russia’s weekend backtrack from a UN-brokered deal to export Black Sea grains is likely to hit shipments to import-dependent countries, deepening a global food crisis and sparking gains in prices.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat booked for delivery to Africa and the Middle East are at risk following Russia’s withdrawal, while Ukrainian corn exports to Europe will take a hit, two Singapore-based traders said.

Russia on Saturday suspended participation in the UN grain deal for an “indefinite term”, after what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea.

Earlier this year global wheat prices jumped to an all-time high and corn hit a 10-year top as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added fuel to a rally set off by adverse weather and Covid-19 supply disruptions.

Australia, a key wheat supplier to Asia, is unlikely to be able to fill any supply gap, with shipping slots booked right up to February, traders said.

2:57am: Putin to hold talks with Armenia, Azerbaijan leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin will host talks with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan Monday, a month after the worst clashes erupted between the Caucasus foes since they went to war in 2020.

The summit with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev also comes eight months into Putin's Ukraine offensive that has made some of Russia's allies nervous. The trio will meet on Putin's initiative in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Kremlin said they will focus on discussing the implementation of agreements reached in talks under Russia's mediation last year and "further steps to strengthen stability and security" in the region.

Putin will also hold talks with each leader alone, Moscow said.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)

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