Russia unleashed another wave of rocket, drone and missile strikes across Ukraine on Thursday morning. The latest strikes mark the sixth mass attack since early October, which Ukrainian authorities say are aimed at destroying the country’s energy system.
Winter’s first snow fell in Kyiv while authorities said they were working to restore power nationwide after Russia earlier this week unleashed what Ukraine said was the heaviest bombardment of civilian infrastructure of the war.
The Donetsk region experienced the heaviest fighting of the war so far. Russian forces were reinforced by troops pulled from Kherson city in the south which Ukraine recaptured last week. Russian forces fired artillery on the towns of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar, among others, the Ukrainian military said.
About 10 million people were without power, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a Thursday evening video address. Authorities in some places had ordered forced emergency blackouts, he said.
A deal brokered by the UN and Turkey in July aimed at easing global food shortages was extended for four months on Thursday, though Russia said its own demands were yet to be fully addressed.
Strikes on critical infrastructure in Odesa and Dnipro were confirmed by the presidential administration and the regional heads. Three people were reportedly injured in Odesa region, while another 14 people were injured in the strike on Dnipro city, according to its mayor, Borys Filatov.
Two people were killed in a missile attack overnight on the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia, according to local officials. Three were wounded in an attack on the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, they added.
Investigators in recaptured territory in the area uncovered 63 bodies bearing signs of torture after Russian forces left, Ukraine‘s interior minister was quoted as saying. Russia denies its troops target civilians or have committed atrocities. Mass burial sites have been found in other parts previously occupied by Russian troops, including some with civilian bodies showing signs of torture.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense said the barrage of missiles that struck Ukraine on Tuesday was probably the largest number of strikes that Russia had conducted in a day since the first week of its invasion.
The US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the US had “seen nothing so far that contradicts” Poland’s preliminary assessment that Ukrainian air defenses were to blame for Tuesday’s missile incident. US president Joe Biden disputed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s comment that the missiles that landed in Poland on Tuesday were not of Ukrainian origin, saying this is not what evidence suggested.
The Kremlin said it could not imagine engaging in “public” negotiations with Ukraine. In a call with reporters, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused Kyiv of changing its position regarding possible Russia-Ukraine peace talks, adding that the war would continue regardless of dropping temperatures.
Ukrainian forces control about 1% of territory in the eastern region of Luhansk, according to the Russian-installed head of the area. The Moscow-backed administrator, Leonid Pasechnik, was cited as saying that Ukraine controlled the village of Belogorovka and two other settlements in the region.
A member of Russia’s armed forces who took part in the invasion of Ukraine has requested political asylum after landing in Madrid, the Guardian learned.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said he believed neither Russia nor the US planned to use nuclear weapons. Erdoğan’s comments came after US central intelligence agency (CIA) director William Burns and Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, met this week in Ankara in what was the first known high-level, face-to-face US-Russian contact since the war began in February.
A Dutch court has found three men guilty of the murder of 298 people on board flight MH17, which was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile when it was flying over eastern Ukraine in 2014.