Ukraine Live Briefing: ‘Brutal shellings’ rock port city and kill one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a parade marking Navy Day in St. Petersburg on July 31. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a parade marking Navy Day in St. Petersburg on July 31. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The key Black Sea port of Mykolaiv suffered on Sunday “one of the most brutal shellings” since the war began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, as dozens of Russian rockets destroyed homes, schools and infrastructure. Among those killed in the city was one of Ukraine’s richest business executives, who founded an agriculture company that helped facilitate the country’s grain exports.

Here’s the latest on Russia’s war in Ukraine and its ripple effects around the world.

Key developments

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will soon deploy new hypersonic missiles in Ukraine. At the country’s annual Navy Day parade, he claimed that the Zircon missiles “have no equivalent in the world.” Their development has been underway for years. Russia said earlier this year it had used a type of hypersonic missile — which fly at five times the speed of sound — against Ukraine.
  • Putin also signed a new naval doctrine outlining Russia’s determination to boost its naval strength in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, which border Ukraine. Among the perceived threats to Russia listed in the 55-page doctrine were the “advance” of NATO military infrastructure to Russia’s borders.
  • A drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet headquarters, in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, sent a defiant message on Navy Day, an important military holiday. The attack forced the cancellation of celebrations in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. Ukraine denied responsibility for the attack, but said Russian military outposts in Crimea are legitimate targets.
  • Zelensky issued a mandatory evacuation order for civilians still living in the war-torn eastern region of Donetsk, saying many were refusing to leave. “There are hundreds of thousands of people, tens of thousands of children … many people refuse to leave … but it really needs to be done,” he said in his nightly address. Russian forces have seized large areas of Donetsk but observers say its offensive has slowed.
  • The agriculture magnate Oleksiy Vadatursky was killed along with his wife in Mykolaiv on Sunday, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said. Vadatursky owned the Nibulon agricultural company, which has built storage facilities for grain. Zelensky said Vadatursky’s death was “a great loss for all of Ukraine.”

Battlefield updates

  • Russia says it has invited representatives of the United Nations and the Red Cross to investigate the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners of war — many of whom were members of the Azov Regiment who surrendered in Mariupol — at a detention center in Olenivka, in a Russian-occupied sector of Donetsk. Kyiv insists Russia was behind the deaths while Russian-backed separatists allege more than 50 prisoners of war were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine requested access to the POWs from the Olenivka facility on Friday. As of Saturday, its request had not been granted, ICRC said on Twitter. Granting the ICRC access is required under the Geneva Conventions, the committee said.
  • Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies showed damaged sections of the center. In before and after shots, Maxar said the pictures showed “one part of a building within the prison compound can be seen with extensive damage on today’s imagery, reportedly part of a destroyed barracks at the prison.”
  • Russian-backed forces fired up to 50 shells in residential areas of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk, the region’s governor said on Telegram on Sunday. Valentyn Reznichenko said two other districts were set on fire, and gas and water pipelines are damaged.

Global impact

  • Grain shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports could restart as early as Monday, a spokesperson for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said. Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement brokered by the U.N. and Turkey last week to allow grain exports to resume.

From our correspondents on the ground

‘Horrific’ video apparently showing castration of Ukrainian fighter condemned. Amnesty International and the European Union have backed Kyiv in calling for an investigation into footage circulating online that appears to show pro-Russian forces castrating and executing a captive Ukrainian fighter, write The Washington Post’s Dalton Bennett and Ellen Francis.

Ukrainian officials pledged to identify the perpetrators after gruesome videos recently surfaced on pro-Russian Telegram channels showing a group of men, one of them seen wearing pro-Russian symbols, castrating and executing a prisoner dressed in military fatigues with Ukrainian military insignia.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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