Day 250: grain deal to work despite Russia withdrawing, Russia conducts more strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure

Another massive missile attack on Ukraine: air defenses shoot down 80 per cent of Russian rockets

On the morning of October 31, Russia delivered another missile strike on Ukraine. Ukraine’s air defenses intercepted 44 out of more than 50 enemy rockets. “At 7:00 a.m. on October 31, the Russian forces launched several waves of missile attacks on critical infrastructure facilities in Ukraine,” the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

“More than 50 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles were launched from the Tu-95/Tu-160 strategic aviation missile-carrying aircraft north of the Caspian Sea and the Volgodonsk area (Rostov region).”

“Ukraine’s Air Force destroyed 44 cruise missiles, of which 18 were shot down by the Air Command ‘Center’, 12 – by the Air Command ‘South’, nine – by the Air Command ‘East’, and five by the Air Command ‘West’,” the message reads.

An outstanding response by Ukraine’s air defenses is a result of acquired experience that comes with intelligence reports and a little bit of luck, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force Command Yuriy Ihnat told RBC Ukraine.  

“We had 100 per cent results before, when [Ukraine’s Air Force] intercepted four out of four [missiles], or seven out of eight, or nine out of 12. But we haven’t scored such a high percentage previously in massive missile strikes. We had a 50-55 per cent [result]. This time it’s around 80 per cent. That’s an unprecedented, satisfactory result. [The Air Force] deployed anti-aircraft means, fire support teams, and air defense systems. That’s a result of their work,” Ihnat said.

A result demonstrated on October 31 does not reject the need to reinforce the air defenses. Modern air defenses need to replace the Soviet systems, Ihnat said. 

“Do we need more air defense systems? We need to completely replace our air defenses. We have Soviet systems both in terms of technical composition and the missiles,” he added.

Ukraine faced with severe consequences of attack: 18 facilities damaged, 13 people injured

Missiles and drones that Russia fired on Ukraine on Monday hit 10 regions and damaged 18 facilities, most of which are energy-related, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Thirteen people were injured in Monday’s strikes across Ukraine, head of the National Police Ihor Klymenko said on television.

Following the attack, hundreds of towns and villages in seven regions lost power. “The consequences could have been much worse. Thanks to heroic and professional work [by the Ukrainian forces], the air defense systems shot down 44 missiles out of more than 50 fired on our land. I thank the service members that protect the sky above us,” the Prime Minister said. 

The Russian missiles did not get to targets in Kyiv, but hit some targets in Kyiv region. In Kyiv, about 350,000 apartments lost electricity, and 80 per cent of the residents were left without water.

Shmyhal thanked energy workers who work at full capacity to repair the damage. Local emergency power cuts were implemented in Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovska and Kharkiv regions throughout the day.

Russia fails to block grain corridor from Ukraine

On Monday, October 31, 12 ships carrying 354.5 tons of agricultural products left the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi despite Russia’s earlier claims on withdrawal from the grain deal after what it called a “terrorist act” against Russian warships in the Sevastopol Bay. The ships carried grain destined to feed the countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure said.

One of the ships, bulk carrier Ikaria Angels left with grain for Ethiopia that is on the brink of starvation.

Four inbound vessels were granted passage to the Ukrainian ports following inspections by the Joint Coordination Center that includes representatives of Russia. 

The UN and Turkey agreed on a plan to move vessels under the grain deal on Monday. They continue to negotiate with Russia to broker a full-fledged implementation of the deal, Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure said.

UN and Turkey claim ready to deploy 10 inspection teams to inspect 40 ships even if Russia continues to blockade the work. The inspection plan was accepted by Ukraine. The Russian delegation was notified accordingly. No feedback reports were provided.

Podcast Explaining Ukraine. Blackouts in Ukraine after Russia targets energy infrastructure. – Weekly, Oct 23-30

4-8 hours of blackouts per day: Ukrainians are facing rolling electricity outages after Russian missiles have hit civilian infrastructure in the previous weeks. Russia’s warships are damaged in Sevastopol by drone strikes; in response, Russia withdraws from the grain agreement, which could result in a new global food crisis. Learn more from the weekly digest of our Explaining Ukraine podcast. Hosts: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher and journalist, chief editor of, and Tetyana Ogarkova, Ukrainian scholar and journalist, in charge of international outreach at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre. UkraineWorld is brought to you by Internews Ukraine.

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure takes a hit. Ukraine in Flames #233

Russia has been waging a war of annihilation against Ukraine for over eight months — and the Ukrainian army heroically deals with it. Now, the aggressor’s strategy also includes energy war. Russia’s attacking energy infrastructure across the country not only pushes Ukraine to compromise with Russia but also causes maximum damage to the country’s economy. However, the aggressor’s plan led to exactly the opposite: Ukrainians became even more united to resist the enemy, saving electricity to prevent total blackouts. Now, Ukraine has enough electricity to meet the users’ needs but the equipment which is used for distribution, was deliberately destroyed by Russia, on the eve of winter, the help of Western partners in this sphere is a wieściom of survival for Ukrainian civilians.

DTEK Group press secretary Antosha Antonina, the President of DiXi Group Olena Pavlenko, and former MP, now part of International Center for Ukrainian Victory, Victoria Voytsitska discuss the destruction and disruption caused to Ukraine’s energy sector by Russia’s bombings.

Ukraine energy situation critical: Part 2. Ukraine in Flames #235

Human tragedy: Internally displaced people. Ukraine in Flames #234