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The Russian-Ukrainian War at a Glance: What We Know About Day 297 of the Invasion | Russia

  • Russia sacked more than 70 missiles over Ukraine Friday in one of its biggest attacks since the start of the war, knocking out power in the second-largest city and forcing Kyiv to implement emergency blackouts across the country, Ukrainian officials said. Three people were killed when a building was hit in central Kryvyi Rih and another died in a shelling in Kherson in the south, they said. Russian-installed officials in occupied eastern Ukraine said 12 people had died in the Ukrainian shelling.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Russia still has enough missiles for several more massive strikes and he again urged Western allies to provide Kyiv with more and better air defense systems. “No matter what rocket worshipers in Moscow are counting on, it still won’t change the balance of power in this war,” he said in an evening speech.

  • The mass strikes appeared to be a continuation of the Kremlin’s attempt to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Ukrenergo said energy consumption reduced by 50% following the attacks. The company said Russia had hit thermal power plants, hydroelectric power plants and substations of major grids. Ukrenergo said it would take longer to repair the national grid and restore power than it did after previous Russian missile attacks, with priority given to “critical infrastructures”.

  • Energy infrastructure was affected across the country, leading to complete blackouts in the eastern and central regions of Ukraine, in Kharkiv. and Poltava. Nine power stations in the country were damaged by Friday’s strikes, Ukraine’s Energy Minister, Herman Halushchenko, said. The mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, said the missile strikes caused “colossal” damage to infrastructure and left the city without electricity, heating and water. A senior Ukrainian presidential official said emergency power cuts were made in all the countries.

  • Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said late Friday that only a third of its residents had both heat and water and 40% electricity.. The metro system – a crucial transport artery – remained closed, he added.

  • The Kyiv city administration said the Ukrainian capital withstood “one of the biggest rocket attacks” launched by Russian forces since their invasion of Ukraine nearly 10 months ago. The administration said that the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces shot down 37 of “about 40” who entered the airspace of the city. There were water disruptions in every district, Klitschko said.

  • At least eight people were killed and 23 injured by Ukrainian shelling in Ukraine’s Russian-held Luhansk region, Russian news agency Tass reported on Friday, citing an unidentified emergency service source. The shelling destroyed a building in the village of Lantrativka and some people were trapped under the rubble, Tass said. Lugansk ‘people’s militia’ leader also claimed there were civilian casualties following the Ukrainian bombardments on the city of Svatove Friday morning.

  • The White House said the next security assistance package for Ukraine was coming and it was should include more air defense capabilities for the country. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned this week that if the United States delivered sophisticated Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, those systems and any accompanying crews would be a legitimate target for the Russian military. Washington rejected the threat.

  • EU states should buy weapons jointly to replenish stocks after supplying Ukraine, the bloc’s defense agency says, warning the US may not always be able to protect Europe threats. “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine demonstrates our capability shortcomings,” said Jiří Šedivý, director general of the European Defense Agency. The agency was in talks with European arms companies on increasing production, he said, as well as with countries about partnering up to buy equipment and ammunition.

  • European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she welcomed EU leaders’ agreement to the ninth package of sanctions against Russia. EU leaders agreed on Thursday to provide 18 billion euros in funding to Ukraine next year as well as to a new set of sanctions, which will appoint nearly 200 more people and prevent investment in Russia’s mining industry, among other measures. The Kremlin said he would study the last package EU sanctions and then formulate its response.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Friday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Kremlin said Putin gave “fundamental assessments” of the conflict in Ukraine during the call, at Modi’s request. Indian leader’s office was quoted as saying that he reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way forward in the conflict.

  • Putin will travel to Belarus for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday. The duo will discuss Russian-Belarusian integration “as well as current topics on the international and regional agenda”, says the Kremlin. Putin and Lukashenko will hold a one-on-one meeting during which they “will prioritize security issues and exchange views on the situation in the region and in the world”, the Belarusian state news agency said. Belta, not to mention Ukraine.

  • Senior Ukrainian officials have said Putin is preparing for another major offensive in the new year, despite a series of humiliating battlefield setbacks for Russia in recent months. In an interview with the Guardian, Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said that while Ukraine was now able to successfully defend itself against Russian missile attacks targeting key infrastructure, including the energy grid, there was evidence that the Kremlin was preparing a new large-scale offensive.

    Reuters contributed to this report

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