World

UKRAINE UPDATE: 6 DECEMBER 2022

Moscow confirms attacks on two of its air bases; Russian missiles strike Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Odesa infrastructure

Moscow confirms attacks on two of its air bases; Russian missiles strike Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Odesa infrastructure
Kyiv citizens shelter in the Metro on 5 December 2022 as Russia launches another missile attack on the Ukrainian capital. (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

Moscow confirmed attacks against two of its airfields deep inside its borders, accusing Ukraine of what could be the furthest strikes into Russian territory since the start of the war.

Ukraine didn’t claim responsibility for the attacks, which Russia said killed three people. Kyiv said its forces had shot down most of a barrage of 70 missiles targeting its energy infrastructure. Russia said it hit 17 sites.

Utility teams were already repairing damage after the Russian salvo triggered blackouts, Ukraine’s grid operator said, while Moldova said it found a fallen rocket near its border with Ukraine and warned of new outages.

A price cap and a European Union ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil into the bloc also came into force.

Key developments

On the ground

Russian missiles hit Ukrainian energy infrastructure, according to the nation’s energy grid.

“Powerful explosions” also hit the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine overnight, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram.

Ukrainian troops repelled attacks near 13 settlements in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions over the past day, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. According to its statement, Russia shelled more than 20 settlements along the right bank of the Dnipro River on the Kherson axis.

Moscow confirms attacks on airfields deep in Russia

The Defence Ministry in Moscow said Ukraine attacked two airfields hundreds of kilometres inside Russian territory. Kyiv used Soviet-era drones to hit the airfield in Ryazan and Saratov regions, the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine didn’t respond to the accusation, although presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said “if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return”.

Both bases are used by Russian long-range aircraft to bomb Ukraine. The ministry said three people were killed and two planes suffered damage. Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reports on the incidents had been sent to Putin.

Russian missile barrage countered, says Ukraine

Ukraine used military aviation, air defence systems and mobile units to counter the attack, which included 38 cruise missiles launched from strategic bombers inside Russian territory and 22 Kalibr missiles launched from ships in the Black Sea, the air force said on Facebook.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal added that the electricity grid continued functioning even as Russian missiles hit infrastructure sites in the Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Odesa regions. Emergency power cuts had to be implemented in some regions in order to keep the system balanced, he said on Telegram.

 

 

 

Ukrainian Railways asks bondholders for time

Ukrainian Railways approached its debt holders with a request to defer payments on $895-million of its dollar bonds due in 2024 and 2026.

The state-owned company is seeking to hold coupon payments and extend the maturity on the 2024 notes by two years, citing “unprecedented economic and operating uncertainty” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The request mirrors Ukraine’s successful effort to win bondholders’ consent for a similar request, as well as attempts from fellow Ukrainian companies, including poultry producer MHP and state oil and gas company Naftogaz.

Putin drives on damaged Crimea bridge

Putin drove a Mercedes across the Kremlin’s flagship bridge to the occupied Crimea peninsula, which is still being repaired after a suspected truck bomb seriously damaged the span in October.

“We’re driving across the right side,” the Russian president said in footage broadcast on state TV. “The left side, as far as I understand, is in working condition but it needs to be fully restored. It was slightly damaged, it needs to be returned to ideal condition,” he told Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who was in the passenger seat.

Russia blamed Ukraine for the 8 October explosion that hit a fuel train and caused the partial collapse of the road link running from the Russian mainland to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. Ukrainian officials didn’t claim responsibility, but the country’s postal service quickly announced a new stamp commemorating the blast.

Blackouts in some Ukrainian regions after salvo 

Power supply and other critical services that operate on electricity have been cut off in some Ukrainian regions, including preventively, the nation’s grid operator and local officials said.

The attacks triggered emergency blackouts in the northern Sumy region and the Mykolayiv region in the south. The city of Odesa lost power and water, the water utility said on Telegram.

Russian missiles hit energy infrastructure sites in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram, warning of possible large-scale power cuts. The city Zhytomyr also suffered a blackout on Monday.

Moldova finds fallen missile, prepares for new blackouts

Moldova discovered a fallen missile in a village close to the Ukrainian border after Russia launched a new barrage of missiles against Ukrainian infrastructure, the government said in a statement on Telegram.

The area in the town of Briceni was secured by police, and the government has raised the level of alert, it said. Moldovan energy company Moldoelectrica also warned of a new interruption of power supply due to the attacks against its neighbour.

“This once again proves that Russian missile terror poses a huge threat not only to Ukraine, but also to the security of neighbouring countries,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said on Facebook.

“Ukraine should get modern anti-missile and anti-aircraft defence systems as soon as possible, which save people’s lives, protect critical infrastructure and prevent further missile attacks from the Russian Federation.”

Russian missiles hit Ukraine energy facilities, grid operator says

Missiles hit Ukrainian energy infrastructure sites in Russia’s eighth massive missile barrage since the start of its invasion, national power grid operator Ukrenergo said on Facebook, without naming the locations of damaged facilities.

The hits triggered emergency power cuts.

Putin using Ukraine to put Europe on its knees, Albanian PM says 

A key motivation for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was to sow turmoil more broadly in Europe, and he’s now seeking to make the entire continent suffer, according to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Rama described Ukraine as “the tool to fulfil the ambition of Vladimir Putin to put Europe on his knees”.

“It’s not about Ukraine, it’s about Europe,” Rama said in an interview.

“And the bet is very, very clear to me… to make Europe suffer economically and financially to the point that something under the rug starts to fire up and create instability and chaos within the European countries.”

Kyiv official slams Macron’s Russia stance

After a state visit to Washington, French President Emmanuel Macron told French TV that Russia would need security guarantees as part of future negotiations to end the war, stoking fresh criticism in the Ukrainian capital.

In the coming weeks, allies need to help Ukraine resist, avoid nuclear escalation and prepare for dialogue, Macron said in the interview.

“One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that Nato comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” he said. “That topic will be part of the topics for peace.”

Macron is constantly fighting the perception that he is soft on Putin — especially in eastern Europe — as he has sought to maintain dialogue with the Russian president while supporting Ukraine.

 

 

EU aims to strengthen measures against Russia

In addition to sanctions on Russia’s drone sector, the EU is considering restrictions on other technologies and components used by Moscow for military purposes, as well as measures further targeting services, investments and Russia’s media and financial sectors.

The new package would also add about 180 individuals and entities to the bloc’s sanctions list, and the bloc aims to approve it before its leaders meet in Brussels next week.

Moscow has been using drones to attack Ukraine’s energy and civilian infrastructure in recent weeks.

Read more: EU eyes Russia’s drone sector in ninth sanctions package

Zelensky urges Ukrainians to stay strong

“Russia still has missiles and an advantage in artillery. But we have something that the occupier does not have and will not have. We defend our home, and that gives us the strongest motivation possible,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address.

“We fight for freedom, and that always multiplies any force.”

No sign Putin wants meaningful talks, Blinken says 

Putin would have to be “interested in meaningful diplomacy” for talks on a Ukraine war settlement to make sense, said Blinken. “What we’ve seen, at least recently, is exactly the contrary,” he added.

Russia has mobilised more forces, illegally annexed large areas of Ukrainian territory and is now “weaponising winter” by attacking civilian infrastructure, Blinken said on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.

“Unless and until Putin demonstrates that he’s actually interested in meaningful diplomacy, it’s unlikely to go anywhere,” he said. DM

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