Russia intensified its efforts to use the cold weather against Ukraine on Thursday, launching its most ferocious strike in weeks while it was below zero.
The extensive assault included a volley of missiles and drones that exploded, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and was labelled “senseless savagery.” According to preliminary reports, at least seven people were injured nationwide and at least two people were murdered close to the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander of the Ukrainian military, said that his troops shot down 54 of 69 missiles aimed at energy installations; nonetheless, officials reported that 18 houses and 10 pieces of crucial infrastructure in 10 different locations were still destroyed. According to the mayor of Lviv, a western city removed from the front lines, around 90% of the city is still without electricity.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated in a Telegram post that “Russia is trying to deprive Ukrainians of light before the New Year,” adding that emergency blackouts “may be necessary in some locations.”
Since October, Moscow has attacked Ukraine’s power and water supply practically weekly in an effort to erode the nation’s will and drive it to negotiate a settlement on the Kremlin’s terms as its ground forces struggle to hold territory and advance.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told The Guardian that the U.K. will give Ukraine assistance worth roughly $2.8 billion in 2023 in addition to offering military expertise to help Ukraine strengthen its air defences and win the ground battle.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told reporters two days after reiterating Italy’s unequivocal support during a phone chat with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: “I hope that sooner or later Russia recognises the great error it is making. We’ll defend Ukraine till then.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, stated most areas of the country were without electricity as a result of the most recent Russian offensive, particularly in and around Kyiv, as well as in Lviv, Odessa, Kherson, and other provinces.
He also emphasised that his office and the cabinet of ministers had continued to perform their tasks despite the outages.
According to Zelenskyy, “We are working to make sure that our defenders have more possibilities, weaponry, and drones.
He swore that the Ukrainians would expel the invaders and that Russia would ultimately face legal consequences for the suffering it has inflicted on its neighbour.
Each missile simply serves to reinforce the need for a courtroom trial, Zelenskyy said. And that is what will actually occur.
After one of Ukraine’s air defence missiles unintentionally touched down in Belarusian territory early on Thursday, Belarus’ foreign ministry expressed “strong protest” to that country.
Later, according to the ministry, the missile was shot down over the western Brest region by the nation’s air defences and fell onto a field. There were no casualty reports.
Russia’s close ally Belarus served as a staging area for its invasion on February 24.
The incident resembles another recent occurrence of a misdirected missile entering another country in several ways. Two people were killed when what seemed to be a Russian missile hit Poland in the middle of November, sparking worries that the NATO member nation had been attacked. Further investigation led Polish authorities to conclude that the missile was most likely accidentally launched by Ukrainian air defences and landed in Poland.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, oversaw the commissioning of new warships on Thursday as part of his strategy to strengthen the military, which suffered the humiliating loss of the Moskva missile cruiser in April. A corvette, a minesweeper, and the nuclear submarine Generalissimus Suvorov were among the new ships.
Putin, using his preferred term for Russia’s 10-month-old war in Ukraine, said, “We will speed up and increase the volume of construction of ships of various projects, equip them with the most cutting-edge weapons and conduct the operational and combat training using the experience received during the special military operation.
The Moskva, the Black Sea fleet’s flagship and named after the Russian capital, was sunk by what Ukraine said were its anti-ship missiles. The Kremlin stated that the ship sank due to a fire that ignited weapons.