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Russia's war on Ukraine latest news: almost half Ukraine's energy system reported badly damaged

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Successive waves of Russian missile strikes have badly damaged almost half of Ukraine's energy system, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said, as heavy fighting raged in areas in the east and south of the country.


* Russia's defence ministry said Ukraine had executed more than 10 Russian prisoners of war. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which has repeatedly accused Russia of war crimes - accusations which Moscow denies.

* Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said two civilians were killed and six were wounded in Ukrainian shelling on Nova Kakhovka on Thursday which continued all day on Friday. The town lies next to a huge dam which both sides have accused each other of planning to destroy.

* Russia's defence ministry said its strikes in Ukraine on Thursday were aimed at military and energy infrastructure, Russian news agencies reported.

* About 10 million people are without power, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday evening, in a country with a pre-war population of about 44 million.

* A Reuters witness heard explosions in the centre of Kherson city on Friday morning and saw black smoke rising from behind buildings.

* Ukraine's military said Russian forces had fired artillery on the towns of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar in the Donetsk region. Russian fire had also hit Balakliya in northeastern Kharkiv region and Nikopol on the opposite bank of the Kakhovka reservoir from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, it said.

Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield reports.


* European Union trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis offered Ukraine the 27-nation bloc's "unwavering support" and condemned Russia's "brutal war" on its neighbour during a visit to Kyiv.

* Russia said it hoped to clinch a prisoner swap with the United States to return convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death", in an exchange that would likely include U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner.

* Russia is open to more high-level talks with the United States, a top diplomat said on Friday, but the Kremlin dismissed the idea of a summit between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden as "out of the question" for now.


* A senior U.N. official welcomed the extension by four months of a deal aimed at easing global food shortages by helping Ukraine export its agricultural products from Black Sea ports, but said there was still work to be done.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the idea of creating a Turkish "gas hub" with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call, the Kremlin said on Friday.

* Russia's energy exports to China have increased in value by 64% this year, and by 10% in volume as Moscow redirects shipments towards "friendly" nations, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.


"The Gulag, created in 1933, and the current prison system(in Russia) are identical except for the name," Olga Romanova, a representative of the prison rights group Russia Behind Bars, on the conditions Griner can expect in the IK-2 colony in Yavas. Russia's prison service has not responded to questions from Reuters about conditions in such institutions. (Compiled by Philippa Fletcher)

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