Zelenskyy, Kyiv mayor clash amid snow, outages; Russian official says troops need more docs, equipment: Ukraine live updates

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The Russian military could be preparing to abandon the besieged Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which it has occupied since March, says a senior Ukraine energy official.
Petro Kotin, president of Ukraine's nuclear energy operator Energoatom, told Ukrainian television program TSN that the Russians could transfer control of the plant to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although he didn't give a timeline.
"It looks like they're grabbing and stealing what they can find," Kotin said.
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The area around the Zaporizhia plant, Europe's largest, has been plagued by rocket attacks for months and has been offline for most of the time. The Director-General of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi, has repeatedly warned that a nuclear catastrophe could result if fighting in the region does not cease.
Russian attacks last week severed essential power supplies from all four of Ukraine's nuclear power plants, forcing operators to conduct high-risk operations.
"We must do everything in our power to prevent any nuclear accident at any of these nuclear facilities, which would only add to the terrible suffering we are already witnessing in Ukraine," Grossi said.
Other Developments
►Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is raising funds to replace Ukrainian ambulances destroyed by Russian shelling, arrived in Kyiv and began investigating the damage to the area. "The depravity of Russian destruction knows no bounds," Kelly tweeted.
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►Russian TV star Vladimir Solovyov called on his country to introduce the death penalty for soldiers leaving their posts in Ukraine. He also got angry on national television when online commentators urged him to go to the front lines.
►Europe is united in the desire to stop Russia from posing a security threat and a sovereign Ukraine is crucial, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban, who has opposed sanctions against Russia, said last week he would back NATO bids for Sweden and Finland next year.
►Repair teams across Ukraine scrambled to restore heating, electricity and water supplies, which had been badly damaged amid heavy Russian missile shelling in recent days.
Zelenskyy, mayor of Kyiv, bickers amid snow, cold and power outage
Snow has blanketed much of Ukraine with freezing temperatures as workers at a utility scramble to repair a national power system that has been targeted by repeated Russian missile and drone strikes. Ukraine's power grid operator Ukrenergo said on Sunday that power generators are covering about 80% of demand, up from 75% the previous day. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Sunday dismissed complaints from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that too many Kyiv residents were still without electricity and that insufficient centers had been set up across the city for the capital's residents to stock up on food, could stock up on water, battery power and other essentials.
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"Today, when everyone has to work together, some political dances begin," Kitscho wrote on Instagram. “In Kyiv we are doing everything we can for the life support of the capital and for the comfort of its residents. Under difficult conditions.”
Russian leader admits military needs more doctors and equipment
A prominent Russian nationalist says the Russian military does not have enough doctors. Leonid Slutsky, leader of the populist Liberal Democratic Party, made a rare public admission of troubles within the military at a meeting with mothers of soldiers mobilized to fight in Ukraine.
"There are not enough doctors in the military units, everyone says so," said Slutsky, chairman of the foreign relations committee in the lower house of parliament, at the meeting in St. Petersburg. "I can't say they don't exist at all, but they're practically not seen there."
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Slutsky stressed that the world is watching Russia, and "if we don't have socks, shorts, doctors, intelligence, communications, or simply care for our children, questions will arise that will be very difficult to answer."
Olga Suyetina said her son told her the troops were under-equipped.
"There are no scopes, nothing, we have to crowdfund them," she said. "They left Kharkiv, there was none, there was not even polyethylene to cover the shelters."
Ukraine adds companies amid missile strikes
Despite the impact of Russian missiles, new shops are opening across Ukraine. 15,000 companies were registered in April, and the number reached 23,000 in August, the government said. More shops open than closed.
On October 2, a Vivat bookstore opened in Kyiv, attracting 1,200 visitors. Amid airstrikes, customers waited in line for up to 40 minutes to buy books. Vivat made headlines in April when it held a book launch in a Kharkiv air raid shelter.
"By opening a bookstore in Kyiv, we wanted to show that the publishing house is alive," said Vivat employee Yuliia Orlova.
Recently liberated Cherson hit by Russian shelling
Thousands of Chersonese are fleeing the southern Ukrainian city, whose liberation was celebrated weeks earlier. Kherson Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said Sunday that Russian forces shelled the region 54 times over the past day, killing one and wounding two, including a child. Yanushevych told Telegram that Russia "deliberately" targeted civilian infrastructure and civilians. Residential buildings, a garage and an educational facility were hit in Kherson, while eight surrounding villages came under fire, says Yanushevych.
"The Russians continue to use terrorist tactics," the governor said.
Putin meets with military mothers ahead of Russia's Mother's Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a group of mothers whose children serve in the Russian military in Ukraine or have been killed in action. Speaking to mothers two days before Russia's Mother's Day, Putin said he speaks frequently to troops on the frontlines and that morale is good. And he paid tribute to soldiers whose lives were lost.
"I can't bring myself to tell you some standard, formal things related to expressing condolences," he said, addressing the mothers of the deceased. "But I want you to know that I, personally and the entire leadership of the country, share your pain. We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son, the loss of a child.”
Contribution: The Associated Press
This file photo taken on September 11, 2022 shows the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live updates from Ukraine: Zelenskyy, Mayor of Kyiv, clashes over energy issues
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Sixth and current President of Ukraine

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