Kyiv warns of long blackouts after Russian attack – DW – 12/17/2022
War-torn Ukraine scrambled on Saturday to restore power to its critical infrastructure and heating systems after a fresh wave of Russian airstrikes compromised power grids in major cities.
Ukraine’s national power provider, Ukrenergo, said its systems have lost more than 50% of their capacity after Russian strikes on Friday targeted “backbone networks and generation facilities.”
Russia fired 74 missiles on Friday, 60 of which were shot down by anti-aircraft defenses, according to the Ukrainian military.
Ukrenergo went on to warn that the extent of damage in the north, south and center of the country meant it could take longer to restore supplies than after previous attacks.
Meanwhile, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said only a third of the capital’s residents had running heating or water.
As of early Saturday morning, the capital city’s metro and water systems were back in service. Heating was restored to half the city, while electricity was restored to two thirds.
Emergency crews pulled the body of a young child from the rubble of an apartment building in the central city of Kryvyi Rih that was hit by a Russian missile.
Local authorities said four people were killed and 13 injured, four of them children.
Here are the other top headlines from the war in Ukraine on December 17.
Zelenskyy: Ukraine urgently needs air defense systems
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his demand for the handover of air defense systems in the wake of Friday’s missile bombardment by Russia in Kyiv and 14 other regions.
In a video message late Saturday, Zelenskky urged the West to “increase the pressure” on Russia, adding that Kyiv urgently needs anti-aircraft missiles.
Kyiv has repeatedly called for the advanced Patriot air defense system despite misgivings from NATO.
According to media reports, the US now wants to send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, but there has been no formal confirmation.
Russia: Attacks Disrupted Foreign Arms Supplies to Ukraine
Russia says it achieved its goals during Friday’s wave of missile attacks on Ukraine by halting the movement of foreign weapons and ammunition.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that Ukraine’s “military command systems, military-industrial complex and its supporting energy facilities” had been “hit with a massive attack using high-precision weapons.”
“As a result of the attack, the transfer of arms and ammunition of foreign production was interrupted, the advance of reserves to the areas of hostilities was blocked, and Ukrainian defense enterprises for the production and repair of weapons were stopped.”
Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov also said Ukrainian forces destroyed Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage groups and a foreign mercenary camp in eastern Donetsk.
However, Ukrainian military figures said their troops had prevented Russian soldiers from breaking through their defense line.
Report: Russian oligarchs file lawsuits to fight EU sanctions
Russian oligarchs and businessmen have filed 61 lawsuits at the European Court of Justice against the sanctions imposed by the EU for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This was reported by the German tabloid picture on Saturday.
Grigory Berezkin and Gennady Timchenko, Kremlin oligarchs, are seeking compensation for “non-material damage” they allegedly suffered due to sanctions, according to the report, citing documents available on the court’s website.
To be sure, Berezkin is only seeking a token payment of €1 ($1.05), arguing that he does not support the government of the Russian Federation. He claims that his reputation has been seriously affected and that “there is no material link between him and Russia’s policy in Ukraine,” according to his file.
Timchenko, on the other hand, is seeking one million euros in compensation.
Other high-profile plaintiffs include the former owner of the English soccer club Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, and Mikhail Fridman, founder and manager of the large financial group Alfa Group.
Putin discusses plans for Ukraine with military commanders
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his armed forces commanders for proposals on how they think Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should proceed, according to Russian news agency reports.
He sought out his strategies during a visit to the headquarters of Russia’s joint task force on military operations in Ukraine.
“We will listen to the commanders in each operational direction, and I would like to hear their proposals on our immediate and medium-term actions,” Putin was quoted as saying by TASS.
Since October, Russia has changed its military strategy in Ukraine and has launched an airstrike on energy-related infrastructure facilities after suffering a series of defeats on the ground. Meanwhile, Ukraine has admitted that its air forces are not as sophisticated as Russia’s and has sought support from other European nations.
Moldova hails deal to reduce gas dependency on Russia
Moldova said it has reached a short-term power deal with a domestic supplier to help reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas.
Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said the Moldovagaz state gas company would buy 100 million cubic meters of gas from national supplier Energocom this month.
“Since last year we promised to make reserves and find an alternative to stop depending on a single source. I did it,” Spinu wrote.
It would be the first time that Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.5 million people, does not consume any of the gas it has bought from Russia, he wrote on his Telegram channel.
It was not clear where Energocom was buying the alternative supply, but the company stores gas at facilities in Ukraine and Romania.
Moldova is currently sending gas bought from Russian state giant Gazprom to the breakaway Kremlin-loyal region of Transdniestria on the left bank of the Dniester river in exchange for electricity.
mm, mk/jcg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)