(Bloomberg) — Russia launched over 60 missiles at Ukraine in the first large-scale attack since Dec. 5, causing cuts to power and water supplies in several areas. A strike on a residential building killed two people in Kryvih Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s home town.
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The attacks come a day after a top Ukrainian army commander warned there’s “no doubt” Russian forces will attempt to seize Kyiv as soon as January after failing in the spring, potentially from Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Minsk on Monday for talks with his Belarusian counterpart.
European Union member states reached a deal on a ninth package of sanctions on Russia, targeting Moscow’s access to drones, additional banks as well as officials responsible for allegedly abducting children from Ukraine.
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)
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Belarus Announces Putin to Make First Visit in Years to War Ally
On the Ground
Friday’s missile barrage was the ninth by Russia since early October focused primarily on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Russian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in the east, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its latest update. The city of Kherson was hit on Thursday by artillery fire, with Russian shells hitting residential areas and killing a woman and a child and injuring two people, according to the local military administration. Recent Russian activity on the front line around Svatove in Luhansk has focused on “positional warfare” largely abandoned by modern Western militaries in recent decades, the UK Defense Ministry said.
(All times CET)
Ukraine Restoring Power After Russian Attack (4:51 pm)
Ukraine is gradually restoring power after the Russian missile barrage caused widespread blackouts, according to regional governors.
People in the northeastern Sumy region regained access to electricity, while the areas that suffered the most in the Kharkiv and Poltava regions were also resuming service.
Ukraine Shot Down 60 of 76 Missiles, Zaluzhni Says (1:30 pm)
Russia launched 76 missiles from the Caspian and Black seas at Ukrainian critical infrastructure, including 72 cruise missiles, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram.
Ukrainian air defense shot down 60 of the rockets, he said.
At Least 9 Energy Facilities Hit on Friday (12:41 pm)
Russia’s missile attack early Friday damaged at least nine Ukrainian energy facilities, including power generation and substations, energy minister Herman Halushchenko said. About 50% of Ukraine’s households were left without power, and output was affected in neighboring Moldova, he added.
The damage has also led to shortages in Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operations, he added. Ukraine operates three NPPs. After an earlier attack, on Nov. 23, they were disconnected from the grid.
Russia Aimed 40 Missiles at Kyiv Area Alone (11:51 pm)
Of the more than 60 Russian missiles fired on Friday, 40 were aimed at the Kyiv area, including 37 shot down by air defense forces, military administration spokesman Mykhailo Shamanov said in a television interview.
“This was one of the most massive attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion,” he said. Parts of the capital have been cut off from water and electricity supplies.
Since early October, Moscow has focused regular, devastating attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in an attempt to weaken the nation’s resolve.
Russia Extends Interest Rate Pause (11:50 am)
Russia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged for a second meeting, capping a year that included a steep monetary easing cycle that more than reversed an emergency hike after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Read more: Russia Extends Rate Pause in Year of Wartime Policy Pivots
Policymakers kept their benchmark at 7.5%, in line with the unanimous forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The central bank provided no guidance in its statement. Governor Elvira Nabiullina will hold a news conference at 3 pm Moscow time.
IFC Provides $2 Billion to Meet Needs of Ukraine’s Private Sector (11:49 am)
The International Financial Corp., an arm of the World Bank, announced a $2 billion aid package to support Ukraine’s private sector. Many Ukrainian companies need financing to continue operations after extensive damage from Russia’s invasion, which is approaching the 10-month mark.
During the war and initial reconstruction stage, the IFC program will focus on ensuring access to critical goods and services with emergency liquidity support for agribusiness and trade finance, including for fuel imports.
Power Cuts in Several Regions After Missile Strikes (10:30 am)
Emergency power cuts are happening across Ukraine after missiles hit energy facilities in several regions, including Kyiv, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s staff, said on national television.
Temporary disruptions in water and heating supplies are anticipated, with several hours before services are restored, he said.
Bridget Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, said on Twitter that the first shipment of emergency repair equipment had already arrived after the latest strikes.
Latest Russian Barrage Was More Than 60 Missiles (10:18 am)
Russia launched more than 60 missiles of different types early Friday from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, including Kha-101, Kalibr, S-300 from on Ukraine, Air Defense spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said in a television interview.
Russia used Tupolev Tu-95 rocket carriers from the Engels air base for the first time in the almost 10-month old conflict, he said. The turboprop-powered bombers have been in service since the 1950s.
Ukrainian air defense worked well, Ihnat said, adding that the final outcome was not yet clear. He called Friday’s barrage, Russia’s ninth major strike on infrastructure targets since early October, “a typical morning in the country in war” and said Ukraine needs more air defense systems.
Energy Minister Reports Damage in Ukraine’s East and South (9:24 am)
Friday’s latest wave of Russian missile strikes damaged energy infrastructure in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions, said energy minister Herman Halushchenko.
Power generation has dropped in the affected areas, and “temporary power cuts are possible,” he said.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, and part of the surrounding region are without power from early-morning strikes and automatic cuts, the regional governor said. Local train operations have been halted. Power outages were also seen in Poltava and Kivorohrad, among others.
Putin to Visit Belarus For Talks With Lukashenko (8:23 am)
Vladimir Putin will travel to Belarus on Monday in his first visit in more than three years to his ally in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Alexander Lukashenko will host Putin in Minsk for talks on security issues and “joint measures to respond to emerging challenges,” according to a statement on the Belarusian leader’s website Friday.
The visit comes as Russia recently moved thousands of additional troops into Belarus, and Ukrainian officials have warned of a possible new attack on Kyiv from the north.
Russia Launches Another Large Missile Attack (8 am)
All Ukraine’s regions faced air-raid alarms early Friday as Russia launched its ninth large-scale missile attack since early October. Dozens of missiles may have been launched, Vitaliy Kim, governor of Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region, said on Telegram. There were reports about air-defense working in several regions.
Three strikes were made on “crucial infrastructure” in the Kharkiv region, governor By Synyehubov said on Telegram. Strikes were also reported in the Kryvyi Rih region in central Ukraine, including a three-story residential building, where two deaths and at least eight injuries, including two children, were reported. Explosions were heard in three districts of Kyiv.
Russia has pounded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and other civilian facilities for more than two months. leading to widespread blackouts and water outages for millions of people. The Kremlin air campaign has consisted of eight large-scale strikes so far, and Friday’s barrage appears to be a ninth.
EU States Back Russia Sanctions on Drone Imports, Banks (10:45 pm)
European Union member states reached a deal on a ninth package of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, targeting Moscow’s access to drones, additional banks as well as officials responsible for allegedly abducting children from Ukraine.
The measures were agreed by the bloc’s ambassadors Thursday evening and affected more than 100 individuals and dozens of entities, according to people familiar with the matter. The EU also agreed to ban direct exports of drone engines to Russia or third countries, such as Iran, which could then supply drones to Russia.
US to Expand Training in Germany for Ukrainian Forces (9:28 pm)
The Pentagon’s spokesman confirmed that the US will significantly expand its training in Germany for Ukrainian forces.
About 500 Ukrainian troops would be trained a month, “basically at battalion level,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters.
The expanded instructions will include “joint maneuvers” and “combined arms operations training,” he said. The US already has trained 3,100 Ukrainian troops, according to the Associated Press.
US Sanctions Potanin, Russia’s Richest Tycoon (4:31 pm)
The US sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest tycoon and the president and biggest shareholder of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, but left his company untouched as it tries to maintain stability in the metals market.
The action was part of a broader sanctions package the Treasury Department rolled out, targeting some 40 people linked to Russia’s government.
Read the full story.
Ukrainian Army Chief Says Russia May Attempt to Take Kyiv Again (4:26 pm)
There is “no doubt” Russia will make another attempt to capture Ukraine’s capital after being repelled soon after its Feb. 24 invasion, Ukraine’s army commander-in-chief told The Economist.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi told the magazine that the Kremlin is accumulating resources for another attack, which may start from the Donbas in the east, Belarus to the north, or from the south.
Ukraine needs help from its partners in the form of 300 tanks, 600 to 700 infantry fighting vehicles and 500 Howitzers to be able to restore the borders as they were before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasions, he said.
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