Russian strikes hit targets across Ukraine early Thursday, including Kiev, the port of Odesa on the Black Sea and the second largest city, Kharkiv, knocking out power to several areas, regional officials said. The attacks hit a wide arc of targets including cities stretching from Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia and Rivne in the west to Dnipro and Poltava in central Ukraine.
Ukraine’s air force said Russia has fired 81 missiles along with eight Shahed drones. It claimed to have shot down 34 cruise missiles and four of the drones.
Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said explosions had been reported in the southwestern part of the city and that emergency services were on the way. Two people were injured. “After the missile attack, due to emergency power cuts, 40% of the capital’s consumers are currently without heating. The water supply is working normally,” he said on Telegram.
Maksym Kozytskyithe governor of Lvivreported five people had been killed in a strike on Zolochiv district. Oleh Synyehubovgovernor of Kharkivsaid two women in their 70s had been injured by a strike on Pisochy.
Strikes cut off Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from the power grid, company Enersaid the goat. “Today, the last communication line between the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Ukrainian power system has been shut down. Fuel for operation remains for 10 days, the company said in a statement. Last August, fires caused by shelling broke the last remaining power line to the plant, which temporarily disconnected it from the grid for the first time in nearly 40 years of operation, then it took two weeks for power to be restored.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine, he says will not meet Vladimir Putin until Russia leaves Ukraine. The president of Ukraine appeared on CNN Wednesday night in a pre-recorded interview. Asked by Wolf Blitzer what it would take to get him to meet Putin, Zelenskiy said: “We have no circumstances to talk to the President of the Russian Federation because he does not keep his word” and “Russia should leave our territory”. And after that we are happy to join the diplomatic tools. To do that, we can find any format with our partners soon after that.”
The city of Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s east, could fall in the next few days, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “What we are seeing is that Russia is throwing more troops, more forces and what Russia lacks in quality they are trying to make up for in quantity. They have suffered heavy losses, but at the same time we cannot rule out that Bakhmut may eventually fall in the coming days,” he said on Wednesday.
The founder of mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has led the Russian assault on Bakhmut, said on Wednesday that Russian forces are now in full control of the eastern part of the city. The claims have not been independently verified. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its Wednesday morning report: “The enemy, despite significant losses, continues to storm the city of Bakhmut.”
Russia is unlikely to gain significantly more territory this year, according to US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. She told that at a hearing in the Senate on Wednesday the military will probably not be able to continue its current level of combateven with the possible capture of Bakhmut.
The Pentagon has been accused of blocks US intelligence sharing with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The Defense Department is said to be adamantly opposed to using the Hague-based ICC as a way to hold Russian forces accountable for widespread war crimes on the grounds that the precedent could eventually be reversed against American soldiers.
Zelenskiy has invited USA Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, visits Ukraine as doubts about support for Kiev’s war effort simmer in Congress, especially among conservatives. Zelenskiy suggested the visit in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
The US obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing aircraft owned by the Russian oil company Rosneft, which is worth more than $25 million (£21 million), the US Department of Justice said. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York authorized the seizure, based on violations of export controls and sanctions against Russia, the department said.
During a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters it was “critical” that an agreement allowing safe passage for ships carrying grain from Ukraine across the Black Sea is renewed, with Ukraine traditionally be one of the world’s largest exporters of grain. A senior UN trade official will meet with Russian representatives to discuss extending the agreement.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Wednesday that he had proposed that the bloc spend 1 billion euros (£890 million) for joint procurement of munitions for Ukraine and to replenish their own stocks. “I propose to mobilize another 1 billion euros,” Reuters reported him as telling the media after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Stockholm.