Bosnia Banking – FK Leotar Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:00:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bosnia Banking – FK Leotar 32 32 bne IntelliNews – Six dead in widespread flooding in Western Balkans Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:00:09 +0000

Six deaths have been reported in floods in parts of Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

Flooding, caused by heavy rains over the weekend, has caused chaos in affected areas, blocking roads and forcing the closure of schools and businesses. Flooding is expected to become more frequent in the region as the climate crisis continues.

Three deaths have so far been reported in Montenegro, two in Albania and one in Serbia.


The most affected part of Albania is the northern Shkodra region, although flooding has also been reported in other parts of the country. This includes Tirana and Albania’s second city, Durres, where roads were closed for several hours.

Two people, a father and his son, died when their car fell into a river in the village of Dedaj.

The latest update from the Ministry of Defense on November 21 indicates that the situation remains “problematic” due to “intense rainfall in the country”, particularly in the districts of Shkodra and Lezha.

More than 240 members of the armed forces, with 25 vehicles and special flood equipment are concentrated in the two districts, in addition to other operational forces, according to the update.

50 families were evacuated in the municipality of Shkodra and three families from the village of Gruemire after their houses were flooded.

“Since yesterday [November 19]even from Friday morning we had rains all over Albania, high intensity rains which were also accompanied by thunderstorms in some cities and regions of Albania, there was a strong wind which created problems by uprooting traffic signs and creating other problems of fallen trees and rocks,” Infrastructure and Energy Minister Belinda Balluku, a government minister, said on November 20. statement said.

The weather should improve in the afternoon of November 21, but the rain will not stop until November 23.

Despite the disruptions, Balluku noted that for energy “we need more rain.” Albania generates almost all of its electricity from hydroelectricity, and dry weather early in the year forced it to carry out expensive electricity imports in the summer and early fall.


Heavy rains since November 18 have caused flooding in several parts of Kosovo, particularly in the north of the country.

Disruptions to drinking water supplies have been reported, along with damage to businesses and farmland.

“Precipitation above 30 l/m² in 12 hours causes flooding, problems in all agricultural production activities, traffic problems, risk of landslides. Possibility of bodily injury and property damage,” said a statement from the Hydrometeorological Institute of Kosovo posted on Facebook on November 20. Rain is expected to continue for most of November 21.

Defense Minister Armend Mehaj wrote in an update on Facebook the authorities are constantly monitoring the situation on the ground.

“After heavy rains which also caused flooding in many parts of the country, our official authorities are continuously monitoring the situation on the ground,” Mehaj wrote.

“The KSF [Kosovo Security Force]as always, in any emergency situation, is fully prepared, with all its available capabilities, to fulfill the legal duty of military support of the civil authorities and our citizens without distinction.


Floods are reported in northern and central Montenegro, where they have caused the closure of some roads. The MINA news agency reported that the level of the Moraca River rose by more than four meters in just 10 hours.

Three people drowned on November 20 when their car plunged into the Zeta River near Podgorica. Their bodies were recovered.


Serbian army and police have been deployed in the regions of Novi Pazar and Tutin in southwestern Serbia after rivers overflowed. Heavy flooding was reported in Novi Pazar and Tutin.

A two-year-old boy reportedly drowned near the town of Tutin.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has ordered the armed forces to work alongside the police, a government statement said on November 20.

Vucic said the state “will do everything to ensure that the citizens of Novi Pazar and Tutin and their property are protected”, and that it “will help eliminate the consequences of the climate catastrophe”.

The risk of flooding increases

Southeastern Europe has been identified as one of the world’s ‘warming hotspots’ which will become more and more vulnerable to heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather events as global temperatures rise.

The Western Balkan region periodically suffers from flooding caused by heavy rainfall. The most serious crisis in recent years took place in the spring of 2014, when dozens of people died in catastrophic floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

More recently there was heavy flooding in several southeastern European countries from Albania to Bulgaria in January 2021. This led to the ‘rivers of garbage’ reported that high waters picked up plastic bottles and other debris from river banks that gathered behind hydroelectric dams. One year ago, heavy rains caused flooding and power outages in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Bosnian Elektroprivreda HZHB to borrow 7 million euros from local banks Mon, 21 Nov 2022 11:11:00 +0000

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November 21 (SeeNews) – Bosnian electricity company Elektroprivreda HZHB [SAJ:JPEMR] said it would borrow two short loans worth a total of 14 million marka ($7.3 million/7.2 million euros) from two local lenders – Raiffeisen Bank BiH [SAJ:RFSN] and ASA Banka Nasa i Snazna.

The electricity utility selected Raiffeisen Bank for a 10 million mark loan in a public tender that attracted three bids, the company said in a statement posted on Bosnia’s e-Procurement portal on Friday.

ASA Banka Nasa i Snazna was selected as the top bidder for a 4 million mark loan in a tender that had only one other bid.

Both loans have a one-year maturity. Elektroprivreda HZHB did not disclose the purpose of the loans.

The company’s shares last traded on the Sarajevo Stock Exchange on November 7, when they closed down 9.68% at 28 marka.

Elektroprivreda HZHB, the smallest of Bosnia’s three state-owned electricity companies, is based in the country’s Federation entity.

The largest electricity utility is Elektroprivreda BiH, also based in the Federation, which together with the entity of the Serbian Republic forms Bosnia and Herzegovina. Elektroprivreda RS is the electricity company of the Republic of Serbia.

(1 euro = 1.95583 marks)

Raiffeisen Bank dd Bosna i Hercegovina is one of the largest banks in SEE, for more reference see The top 100 banks

The Bosnian Hidroelektrane na Drini will further increase the capital of Hidroelektrane Bistrica Mon, 14 Nov 2022 08:22:00 +0000

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November 14 (SeeNews) – Bosnian hydroelectric producer Hidroelektrane na Drini [BANJ:HEDR-R-A] said he planned to increase the share capital of his 100% unit Hidroelektrane Bistrica by an additional 10 million marka (5.3 million dollars / 5.1 million euros), shortly after deciding to increase it by 30 million marka.

The planned capital increase aims to secure additional financing for the construction of three hydroelectric power plants (HPPs) on the Bistrica River, Hidroelektrane na Drini said in a Banja Luka stock exchange filing on Friday.

Hidroelektrane na Drini shareholders will vote on the proposed increase on November 28.

The hydroelectric producer received the green light from shareholders on October 25 to increase the capital of Hidroelektrane Bistrica by 30 million marks.

The equity of Hidroelektrane Bistrica amounted to 15.8 million marks at the end of 2021.

In December 2021, Hidroelektrane Bistrica launched the construction of three hydropower plants with an installed capacity of 39 MW on the Bistrica River, a project worth 103 million euros ($106.3 million). The three plants should produce 152 GWh of electricity per year. They will be built by China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation.

Shares of Hidroelektrane na Drini last traded on the Banja Luka stock exchange on November 7, when they closed at 0.29 marka.

(1 euro = 1.95583 marks)

Slovenian NLB nearly doubles 9-month after-tax profit Fri, 11 Nov 2022 12:38:00 +0000

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), November 11 (SeeNews) – Slovenian banking group NLB, parent company of Nova Ljubljanska Banka [LJE:NLBR]said its consolidated after-tax profit nearly doubled to 377.8 million euros ($389.4 million) in the first nine months of 2022, from 205.5 million euros in the same period of Last year.

NLB Group’s net operating profit increased 13% year-on-year to 563.7 million euros in January-September, while net interest income increased 17% to 353.1 million euros, NLB Group said in an interim financial report on Thursday.

“NLB Group’s business results over the first nine months are excellent and do not yet show the level of stress the market expects. We are confident that they should translate into added value for our shareholders with the payment expected dividend, first as the second tranche of a total amount of 50 million euros, i.e. 2.50 euros per share [this will amount to promised 100 million euro in dividends in 2022] should be paid after the December General Assembly and then with all subsequent payments,” said CEO Blaz Brodnjak.

The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio decreased to 2.7% at the end of September 2022, against 3.7% a year earlier, while the group’s assets amounted to 23.498 billion euros at the end of September, against 21.297 billion euros a year earlier.

“After entering the Slovenian market with NLB Lease&Go in spring 2020, leasing operations have grown to such an extent that a new leasing company has recently been established in North Macedonia, and all regulatory approvals for the purchase of a leasing entity in Serbia have been All this gives us confidence that leasing will again become an important part of the Group It is expected that in its mature phase, leasing will contribute for more than one billion euros in total group assets, through organic business and potentially also inorganic growth,” said Supervisory Board Chairman Primoz Karpe.

Elsewhere in South Eastern Europe, the group is active in Bosnia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro.

($ = 0.97017 euro)

Nova Ljubljanska Banka dd is one of the largest banks in SEE, for more reference see The top 100 banks

National Bank Holding Corporation announces an 8.7% increase in its quarterly dividend Tue, 08 Nov 2022 21:10:00 +0000

/EIN News/ — DENVER, Nov. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — National Bank Holding Corporation (NYSE: NBHC) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a cash dividend to shareholders. The quarterly cash dividend will increase by 8.7%, from twenty-three cents ($0.23) to twenty-five cents ($0.25) per common share. The dividend will be payable on December 15, 2022 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 25, 2022.

“Our strong organic growth, coupled with our fortified capital position, has enabled us to achieve a 14% increase in our quarterly dividend over the past 12 months. We are very pleased to translate our strong results into attractive returns for shareholders,” said President and CEO Tim Laney.

About National Bank Holding Corporation

National Bank Holding Corporation is a bank holding company created to build a leading community banking franchise that delivers high quality customer service and is committed to stakeholder results. Through its banking subsidiaries, NBH Bank and Bank of Jackson Hole Trust, National Bank Holding Corporation operates a network of 98 banking centers, serving individuals, small, medium and large businesses, as well as government and non-profit. Its banking centers are located in its central footprint of Colorado, the greater Kansas City area, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, New Mexico and Idaho. Its comprehensive residential mortgage banking group primarily serves the bank’s core footprint. Its trust business is operated in its primary footprint under the Bank of Jackson Hole Trust charter. NBH Bank operates under a single state charter through the following brand names as divisions of NBH Bank: in Colorado, Community Banks of Colorado and Community Banks Mortgage; in Kansas and Missouri, Bank Midwest and Bank Midwest Mortgage; in Texas, Utah and New Mexico, Hillcrest Bank and Hillcrest Bank Mortgage; and in Wyoming, Bank of Jackson Hole and Bank of Jackson Hole Mortgage. For recently acquired banking centers in Idaho, NBH Bank will operate as Bright Bank until integration. Additional information about National Bank Holding Corporation can be found at

For more information, visit:,,, or Or connect with one of our brands on LinkedIn.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements contain words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “may”, “will”, “should, “could”, “may”, “predict”, “seek”, “potential”, “will”, “estimate”, “target”, “plan”, “project”, “continue”, “in progress”, ” expect”, “intend” or similar expressions that relate to the Company’s strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements involve certain important risks, uncertainties and other factors, each of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in such statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the “risk factors” referenced in our most recent Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC), and other risks and uncertainties from time to time in our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SECOND. The Company cannot guarantee that any objective, plan or expectation set forth in the forward-looking statements will be achieved and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law.


Analysts/Institutional Investors:
Aldis Birkans, 720-554-6640
Financial director


Jody Soper, 303-784-5925
Marketing Director

Source: National Bank Holding Corporation

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Endava publishes a report on the state of industry payments; Data shows organizations are rethinking conventional business processes and practices Wed, 02 Nov 2022 12:58:00 +0000

LONDON–()–Endava (NYSE: DAVA), a global provider of digital transformation, agile development and intelligent automation services, today released its 2022 Global Payments Study. The report covers current business-to-business (B2B) payments standards globally, the challenges of operating a manual process, the benefits of digitization, and what payments could look like in the future.

“Over the past two years, companies have begun to question their reliance on the legacy systems they were supposed to be tied to and wondered how they could improve their day-to-day processes,” said Scott Harkey, vice -Executive President, Financial Services and Payments, Endava. “Our data reveals a payments landscape where organizations are no longer content with the status quo and are using modernization initiatives to increase efficiency.”

Key insights from the report include:

  • Checks and cash are no longer the dominant methods they once were, accounting for around a fifth of combined global payment volume.

  • Paper-based methods accounted for less than one-third of payment volume for all study regions.

  • North America lags APAC, MEA, Latin America, and Europe in payments modernity. North America scores lower due to relatively high check volume (16%).

  • Organizations often rely on multiple tools to make payments. Bill payment portals provided by banks are the most widely adopted, but many also use electronic payment software.

  • Top priorities for businesses in the coming year are strengthening security, digitizing payments and improving the use of analytics.

The future of payments

To help anticipate the future of B2B payments, Endava asked respondents about their organization’s key initiatives and how they plan to change the current volume of payment methods in the future. The highest priority initiative was strengthening security, consistent with the high number of organizations citing fraud as a major challenge in domestic and international payments.

Digitizing payments was the second priority initiative for responding organizations. To do this, organizations plan to aggressively increase the use of methods such as digital wallets, real-time payments (RTP), cards, virtual cards and Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) and reduce dated paper methods like checks and cash. Of those currently using them, a significant percentage of organizations also plan to increase the use of cryptocurrency in the future. However, many organizations have identified crypto (as a means of paying vendors) as not applicable to their business.

Outlook by industry

Looking at the study by industry, Endava’s data shows that retailers were more likely to have issues with payment errors, data management, late payments and compliance. These issues often stem from inconsistencies in how payments are processed. Compared to the average, companies in the mobility industry suffer from the management of customer requests, disparate technologies, fraud and payment errors.

Insurers and non-banking financial organizations have more quantifiable challenges than companies in other sectors. These include unpaid days past due, lack of visibility into payments, duplicate invoices, and reliance on paper-based processes. Many of these issues are more directly related to billing.

Geographic trends

North America:

  • Endava experts say RTP and digital wallets are ripe for growth in North America.

  • On the consumer side, Americans have mostly moved away from cash and checks for their C2B and P2P payments, but this modernization has yet to be applied to businesses.

  • Younger generations, who are much more likely to expect a digital payment experience, can bring about a shift in these antiquated habits when they take on roles as small business owners and finance professionals.


  • Endava’s research shows that bank-to-bank next-day transfers account for a greater volume of payments in the EU than in any other region.

  • Cash and checks represent a lower volume in the EU compared to other regions.

  • These payment methods are rare in Europe because digital alternatives for transferring money are easy to use and ubiquitous.

Middle East and Africa

  • Parts of the MEA region have some of the highest RTP payment volumes of all locations included in the study.

  • Saudi Arabia quickly adopted the use of real-time payments despite only introducing the service in 2019.

  • The percentage of cash transactions among surveyed MEA organizations is high, as is the use of alternative methods, which may include cash on delivery, a popular payment option in both countries.

To learn more about geographic and industry-specific trends in regions such as North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, download the report on:

Data Summary

The data for this study comes from a 2022 survey of more than 1,000 organizations of all sizes and verticals (excluding banking institutions). Respondents were at the senior management level and above and possessed intimate knowledge and decision-making ability about their organization’s funding and payment strategy and processes.


Endava reinvents the relationship between man and technology. Leveraging next-generation technologies, our agile, multidisciplinary teams deliver a combination of product and technology strategies, intelligent experiences, and world-class engineering to help customers become experience-driven digital businesses. helping them on their journey from idea generation to developing and deploying products, platforms and solutions. Endava collaborates with its customers, integrating seamlessly with their teams, catalyzing ideation and delivering robust solutions.

Endava serves its customers in Payments and Financial Services, TMT, Consumer Products, Retail, Mobility and Healthcare. As of June 30, 2022, 11,853 Endavans were serving customers from locations in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe and delivery locations in Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Uruguay.

]]> Calendar of events in Bosnia November 3 Wed, 02 Nov 2022 07:33:00 +0000

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November 2 (SeeNews) – Below is a calendar of corporate, economic and political events taking place in or related to Bosnia and Herzegovina through November 28. New or modified entries are marked


Thursday November 3 – The Bosnian Statistical Office will publish tourism figures for September;

Wednesday, November 16 – The Bosnian Federation Bureau of Statistics will release Net Salary data for September;

Wednesday November 16 – The Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will publish employment figures for September;

*Friday, November 18 – The Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will release the Consumer Price Index for October;

*Friday 18 November – The Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will release the Producer Price Index (PPI) for October;

*Friday, November 18 – The Statistical Office of Bosnia will publish data on average salaries for September;

*Monday, November 21 – Statistical Office of Bosnia will release October trade data;

* Monday November 21 – The Bosnian Statistical Office will publish the unemployment rate for September;

*Monday November 21 – The Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will release trade figures for October;

* Monday, November 21 – Day of the Dayton Peace Agreement in the entity of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia, closure of banks and the Banja Luka Stock Exchange;

*Tuesday, November 22 – The Statistical Institute of the Republika Srpska will release industrial production data for October;

*Tuesday, November 22 – The Statistical Institute of the Republika Srpska will release October trade data;

*Tuesday November 22 – The Statistical Institute of the Republika Srpska will release the Consumer Price Index for October;

*Tuesday, November 22 – The Statistical Institute of the Republika Srpska will publish building permits data for October;

*Tuesday, November 22 – The Institute of Statistics of the Republika Srpska will release data on average wages for October;

*Thursday, November 24 – The Statistical Office of Bosnia will release the Consumer Price Index for October;

*Thursday November 24 – The Bosnian Statistical Office will release the Producer Price Index for October;

*Thursday, November 24 – Statistical Office of Bosnia will release building permit data for October;

*Friday, November 25 – State Day in the entity of the Bosnian Federation, closure of banks and the Sarajevo Stock Exchange;

*Monday, November 28 – The Institute of Statistics of the Republika Srpska will release October tourism data;

*Monday, November 28 – Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will publish building permits data for October;

* Monday, November 28 – The Statistical Office of the Federation of Bosnia will release the Industrial Production Index for October.

NSC net sales turn negative in September Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:08:00 +0000

Net sales of domestic savings certificates turned negative in September, the third month of the current 2022-2023 fiscal year, amid rising cost of living and tougher government measures on the purchase of NSC .

According to Bangladesh Bank data, net sales of NSC turned negative by Tk 70.63 crore in September against a positive growth of Tk 2,826 crore in the same month last year.

The net figure turned negative as the government paid more principal and interest than its NSC sales.

The government may want to avoid a high interest charge given the current economic crisis in the country, BB officials said.

Earlier in December 2021, NSC net sales turned negative at Tk 435.96 crore.

In the first quarter (July-September) of FY23, NSC’s net sales fell to Tk 330.57 crore from Tk 8,558 crore in the same period last year. Net sales of savings certificates were only Tk 393 crore in July and Tk 8.08 crore in August.

In order to bridge the fiscal 23 budget shortfall, the government has set a target to raise Tk 35,000 crore through the sale of NSC in the fiscal year.

The budget size for FY23 is Tk 6,78,064 crore and the initial budget for FY22 was Tk 6,03,681 crore.

Market experts said the main reason for the drastic drop in net investment in NSCs was the rising cost of living which eroded people’s ability to save.

Also, government policy in this regard has been quite discouraging lately, they said.

As the government reduced the interest rate, made it compulsory to present various documents, people became reluctant to invest in savings certificates, they said.

Central bank and commercial bank officials said NSC sales have dropped significantly in recent months due to declining profit margins on NSCs alongside different types of government-imposed restrictions.

On September 21, 2021, the government reduced interest rates on all types of cash certificates from 1 to 2%.

In addition, the introduction of a maximum limit and the requirement to include national identification documents when buying cash vouchers were other reasons for the sharp drop, as people did not want to reveal their income and identity when purchasing cash vouchers, officials said. .

The Bangladesh Bank has also recently made it mandatory to submit proof of previous year’s tax returns for investment in savings certificates worth more than Tk 5 lakh.

Lower sales of savings certificates are likely to boost government bank borrowing to fill the budget gap, officials said.

To reduce the cost of interest, the government now prefers to borrow from banks because interest on savings tools is higher than interest on bank loans, they said.

Government borrowing from the Bangladesh Bank soared to Tk 72,700 crore at the end of September, according to BB data.

Bankers said the country’s banking sector was facing a liquidity crunch due to slow growth in deposits against strong growth in loans and increased purchases of dollars from the central bank to cope with the foreign currency crisis.

The government aims to borrow Tk 1,06,334 crore from the banking system in FY23.

In June 2022, net sales of NSC amounted to Tk 1,749.63 crore compared to Tk 4,573.56 crore in the same month of 2021. In FY22, the total investment in certificates of savings amounted to Tk 1.08 crore.

The government spent Tk 40,002 crore to pay interest for the period.

Deposits in national currency for the first time higher than those in foreign currencies Fri, 28 Oct 2022 13:30:08 +0000

The value of household deposits in national currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is for the first time higher than that of foreign currency deposits, indicating the growth of confidence in the national currency and the recovery of savings in Bosnia and Herzegovina .

According to the latest available data from the CBBH, total household deposits with commercial banks in BiH amounted to BAM 14.22 billion at the end of September 2022.

On an annual basis, household deposits, at the end of September, registered a decrease of BAM 271.8 million or 1.9%, which is mainly a consequence of the withdrawal of deposits and the uncertainty due to the war. in Ukraine in the period from March to May , followed by the regrowth of deposits. A change in preference in terms of liquidity is observed, with citizens significantly increasing their holdings of highly liquid deposits available in the short term (transaction deposits are up by 10.7%), while a drop of 13.8% is recorded on time and savings deposits.

By maturity structure, term and savings deposits at the end of September 2022 amounted to BAM 4.70 billion, or 33.1% of total household deposits, including short term deposits. Term deposits accounted for 356 million BAM (7.6%), while long term deposits accounted for 4.35 billion BAM (92.4%). Transaction accounts and demand deposits amounted to BAM 9.52 billion and accounted for 66.9% of total household deposits, of which transaction accounts amounted to BAM 5.72 billion, while demand deposits amounted to BAM 3.80 billion.

Regarding the monetary structure, a significant change has occurred recently, reflected in total local currency deposits exceeding total foreign currency deposits. Deposits in local currency reached the amount of BAM 7.29 billion representing 51.3% of the share, while deposits in euros and in BAM with monetary indexation on the euro amounted to BAM 6.26 billion. BAM i.e. 44.0%. Savings in other foreign currencies were quite modest, amounting to BAM 674 million or 4.7% of the share.

Most citizens believe that saving is important, but few are able to save regularly on a monthly level, especially on these days when inflation reduces purchasing power. Citizens of BiH save in order to build up reserves for more difficult times that may arise, and a proportion of them save in order to finance larger purchases or holidays.

Local depository institutions are a safe place for local depositors, and public regulatory institutions carefully monitor their operations to ensure that household savings are managed in a regulated and safe manner.

Household deposits are the main source of funding for local banks and account for by far the largest share of 49.6% of total deposits in commercial banks, with all institutions concerned paying great attention to their protection, said the CBBH.

Ukraine claims progress in recapturing towns as Kherson counteroffensive continues Sat, 22 Oct 2022 00:25:01 +0000

KYIV – Ukrainian officials say “infamous” Russian missile strikes on civilian energy sites caused power outages across the country, leaving more than a million homes without electricity, while Russian authorities ordered residents to leave Kherson “immediately” ahead of an expected effort by Kyiv forces to retake the crucial southern city.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the latest developments on the ongoing Russian invasion, Kyiv counter-offensive, Western military aid, global reaction, Russian protests and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on telegram on October 22 that Russia carried out a “massive attack” against Ukraine overnight and that “the aggressor continues to terrorize our country”.

“At night, the enemy launched a massive attack: 36 rockets, most of which were shot down… These are despicable strikes on critical objects. Typical terrorist tactics,” he wrote. “The world can and must stop this terror.”

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office, said the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces had shot down 18 missiles.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a number of missiles were shot down as they approached the capital.

“Several rockets flying towards Kyiv were shot down in the area by air defense forces. Thanks to our defenders!” said Klitschko.

There was no immediate word on deaths related to the missile attacks, but officials said several people were injured.

It was not possible to verify the reports on both sides.

Faced with continued Russian strikes, Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba again urged Ukraine’s Western allies to speed up the delivery of modern air defense systems.

“We intercepted some, others hit targets. Air defense saves lives. [Western] capitals, there should not be a single minute delay in the decision on Ukraine’s air defense systems,” kuleba said.

Local officials said power plants were hit in Odessa, Kirovohrad and Lutsk regions, while other regions reported power problems.

“A new rocket attack by terrorists who are fighting against infrastructure and civilians,” wrote the chief of staff of the Ukrainian president, Andriy Yermak, on the Telegram application.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told a government meeting that from October 10 to 20, Russian strikes damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy facilities.

“The Russian military has identified our energy sector as one of the main targets of its attacks,” Shmyhal said Oct. 21.

“Russian propagandists and officials speak openly about the purpose of all these attacks: Ukraine, according to them, should be left without water, without light, without heating,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russian-appointed authorities in the occupied and illegally seized region of southern Kherson on October 22 ordered some 60,000 residents of the region’s main eponymous city to leave “immediately” in the face of the counter-offensive. advance of Kyiv.

“Due to the tense situation at the front, the increased danger of heavy shelling of the city and the threat of terrorist attacks, all civilians must immediately leave the city and cross to the left bank of the Dnieper,” the statement said. region supported by Russia. authorities said on social media.

Officials based in Russia are moving people out of the strategic city in what they call an evacuation but Ukrainian officials call deportations.

The order came despite a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry on Oct. 22 that its forces had prevented an attempt by Ukraine to breach its Line of Control at Kherson.

“All attacks were repelled, the enemy was pushed back to their initial positions,” the Defense Ministry said, adding that the Ukrainian offensive was launched towards the settlements of Piatykhatky, Suhanove, Sablukivka and Bezvodne, on the west bank of the Dnieper.

The ministry statement said Russian forces also repelled attacks in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

The city of Kherson, which had a population of 280,000 before the war, was one of the first urban areas occupied by Russia at the start of the invasion.

Zelenskiy’s office said 88 settlements in the southern Kherson region and 551 settlements in the northeast Kharkiv region have been “vacated”, while the counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces in the Kherson region continues.

Ukraine attempts to push Russian forces in Kherson east across the Dnieper. Russian soldiers on the west bank, where the city of Kherson is located, are said to be about to be cut off from supply lines and reinforcements.

Natalya Humenyuk, spokeswoman for the Southern Ukraine Operational Command, said the Ukrainian army struck the Antonivskiy Bridge over the Dnieper in the city of Kherson during a nighttime curfew put in place by the authorities Russians to avoid civilian casualties.

“We are not attacking civilians and settlements,” Humenyuk told Ukrainian television.

The Ukrainian strikes rendered the Antonivskiy Bridge unusable, prompting Russian authorities to set up ferry crossings and pontoon bridges to move civilians and transport supplies.

Russia has sent thousands of newly mobilized soldiers to strengthen the defense of Kherson, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said October 21.

On October 21, Zelenskiy again urged the West to warn Russia not to blow up a dam at the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper, as this could flood settlements towards Kherson.

Zelenskiy said Russian forces had placed explosives inside the dam, which holds a huge reservoir, and planned to blow it up.

“Now everyone in the world must act strongly and quickly to prevent another Russian terrorist attack. To destroy the dam would mean a full-scale disaster,” he said in his evening speech.

With reporting from Reuters, AFP, AP and the BBC