Breaking news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

70% of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv remain without electricity after strikes

Fire and rescue workers visit a building hit by a rocket in central Kiev on November 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

The mayor of Kyiv said 70% of the capital remains without electricity and energy workers are working all night to restore power after rocket attacks on the city on Wednesday.

The water supply has already been restored on the left bank of the city. On the right, we plan to restore it in the first half of Thursday, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in the telegram on Thursday morning.

“70% of the capital is still without power. Energy companies strive to return it as soon as possible. However, they point out that this will depend on restoring balance in Ukraine’s energy system, since Kyiv is part of the national energy system,” he said.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said on Facebook that three apartment buildings were hit and ten people were killed. Not only was Kyiv attacked yesterday, but President Zelenskyy told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that 70 Russian missiles had been targeted at energy and civilian infrastructure.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian missile attacks are a “crime against humanity,” says Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the UN Security Council to act against Russia, saying it was responsible for a “crime against humanity” as Ukraine continued to suffer relentless missile attacks on its energy infrastructure.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Kherson, Ukraine, November 14, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Millions of civilians in Ukraine live without electricity, water or heating as Russia continues to bomb the country’s power plants as winter sets in. Ten people died yesterday as a result of further bombing, a Ukrainian official said.

“Today is only one day, but we received 70 rockets. This is the Russian formula of terror. It’s all against our energy infrastructure,” Zelenskyi told the council via video link, adding that “hospitals, schools, transportation, neighborhoods all suffered.”

“If we have the temperature below zero and millions of people continue to be left without power, without heat, without water, it is a blatant crime against humanity,” he said.

Ukraine is awaiting a “very determined response” from the world to Wednesday’s airstrikes, Zelenskyy added, urging the council to “take concrete steps to protect humanity and life.”

The UN Security Council’s authority to act is limited, however, as Russia is one of five permanent members and has the power to veto any measure or resolution.

Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya.

Michael M Santiago | Getty Images

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, responded by claiming that Russia was “waging strikes against infrastructure in response to the rampant flow of arms into Ukraine and reckless calls to defeat Russia.”

He also claimed that “the weakening of the military capacity of the Ukrainian army, which threatens the security and territorial integrity of Russia, is one of the goals of this special military operation and will be carried out by military means until the Kiev regime takes a realistic decision position.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Energy official says situation at damaged nuclear plant is ‘precarious’, calls for urgent safety measures

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), points to a map of a Ukrainian power plant during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2022.

Leonhard Foeger | Reuters

For the second time this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a statement about the “precarious” situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. The plant was damaged by heavy shelling over the weekend and was forced to go into “full blackout mode” on Wednesday due to ongoing Russian missile attacks.

“The latest incident at the ZNPP underscores the increasingly precarious and challenging nuclear security situation at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which comes just days after repeated shelling,” said Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

Grossi also underscored the need for external power supply to nuclear sites as one of the seven essential pillars for nuclear security during armed conflict that Grossi outlined earlier this year. The facility is currently operating as if the external power supply had failed and relies on diesel generators.

“Reactors require power for cooling and other critical nuclear safety functions even when they are in shutdown mode and are no longer producing power,” the IAEA said in a statement. “In the event of an external power failure, they have backup diesel generators that can provide backup power for a limited period of time, at least 10 days in the case of the ZNPP.”

Grossi met a Russian delegation led by Alexey Likhachev, director general of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, in Istanbul on Wednesday. The two consulted on “operational aspects related to security at the ZNPP and the need to urgently establish nuclear security and a security protection zone around the facility.”

– Rocio Fabbro

US says Russian attack on major power plant risks nuclear incident

Fire and rescue workers visit a building hit by a rocket in central Kiev on November 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

Russia’s missile attacks on civilian targets have no military purpose but are designed to increase the suffering and deaths of Ukrainians, the US National Security Council said on Wednesday.

“As Russia fights on the battlefield, it increasingly turns to horrific attacks on the Ukrainian people, with punitive strikes damaging energy grid infrastructure, and is doing so on purpose as winter approaches,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

Recently, Russian strikes have also increased concerns about a possible nuclear incident. Shelling over the weekend damaged Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhia, and Wednesday’s strikes plunged several power plants into blackouts.

“It also shows that Russia is willing to increase the risk of a nuclear security incident that could not only further harm Ukraine but also affect the entire region,” Watson said.

The NSC statement follows US President Joe Biden’s approval to allocate an additional $400 million in defense capabilities to Ukraine.

– Rocio Fabbro

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