Russian President Vladimir Putin set the stage for a protracted war in Ukraine, telling officials it “may be a lengthy process,” while downplaying speculation that a new round of mobilization could take place in Russia.
He also reiterated Moscow’s claim that the war is Ukraine’s fault and that it started in 2014 as a result of what he described as a “coup,” when then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian government were ousted.
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko warned a nightmare scenario could befall the capital if Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure continue.
“Kyiv might lose power, water, and heat supply. The apocalypse might happen, like in Hollywood films, when it’s not possible to live in homes considering the low temperature,” he told Reuters.
‘Fierce confrontation’ continues around Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday night that intense fighting continues in the area around Bakhmut in Donetsk.
“First of all, regarding the Donetsk region, Bakhmut districts and other hottest spots. A very fierce confrontation is ongoing there, every meter counts. I thank all our guys who destroy the enemy right there – every day, every night, every hour,” Zelenskyy posted on Telegram Wednesday after meeting with the military’s leadership. On Tuesday, Zelenskyy visited troops on the front line in Donetsk.
He said fighting in the neighboring Luhansk region, as well as the northeastern Kharkiv region, was discussed, as well as the acute crisis Ukraine’s energy system faces.
“We are constantly increasing the generation and supply of electricity – we are adding more volume almost every day,” Zelenskyy said, although the country’s armed forces warned Thursday that “the threat of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy system and critical infrastructure remains.”
The General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces noted on Facebook that while other regions in Ukraine are coming under attack, Russian forces continue to concentrate their assaults on Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
“Over the past 24 hours, units of the defense forces have repelled attacks by Russian invaders outside the settlements of Ternova, Kharkiv Region; Stelmakhivka, Ploshchanka, Chervonopopivka and Bilohorivka, Luhansk region, and Bilohorivka, Berestove, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Kurdiumivka, Maiorsk, Marinka, and Novomykhailivka, Donetsk region,” the report said.
Russia launched seven missile strikes and 16 airstrikes, as well as more than 40 attacks using multiple launch rocket systems, the military update noted. CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information.
— Holly Ellyatt
Kyiv mayor says winter ‘apocalypse’ scenario is possible, but urges calm
Kyiv’s mayor on Wednesday warned of an “apocalypse” scenario for the Ukrainian capital this winter if Russian air strikes on infrastructure continue and said although there was no need for people to evacuate now, they should be ready to do so.
“Kyiv might lose power, water, and heat supply. The apocalypse might happen, like in Hollywood films, when it’s not possible to live in homes considering the low temperature,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko told Reuters in an interview.
“But we are fighting and doing everything we can to make sure that this does not happen,” the former world heavyweight boxing champion said, raising his booming voice to drive the point home.
According to Klitschko, 152 civilian residents of Kyiv have been killed and 678 buildings destroyed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, but the city faces fresh tribulations this winter as Russia regularly pounds Ukraine’s power grid with missiles.
EU eyes Russian officials, banks, industry for sanctions
The European Union proposed travel bans and asset freezes on almost 200 more Russian officials and military officers as part of a new round of sanctions aimed at ramping up pressure on Moscow over its war in Ukraine.
The proposals were made by the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission. They must still be debated and endorsed by the 27 member countries, a process that routinely results in the commission’s suggestions getting watered down.
The targets of the latest recommended sanctions include government ministers, lawmakers, regional governors and political parties.
“This list covers key figures in Russia’s brutal and deliberate missile strikes against civilians, in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children to Russia, and in the theft of Ukrainian agricultural products,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.
With a fresh raft of sanctions, the commission also intends to target the Russian defense industry and more Russian banks, and to impose export controls and restrictions on products like chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components that could be used by the armed forces.
— Associated Press
Putin says Russia’s war could be a ‘lengthy’ process, downplays the need to mobilize more troops
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his invasion of Ukraine could be “lengthy,” as the brutal conflict drags into its 10th month.
As Russia struggles to hold ground it gained this year in Ukraine, Putin downplayed the need to mobilize more troops. Considering another round of conscription “simply does not make sense,” Putin said, according to an NBC News translation of his remarks at a meeting of his human rights council.
Of the 300,000 reservists called up during Putin’s partial mobilization earlier this year, 150,000 are now in Ukraine, the Russian president said.
He added that “there is no mass withdrawal” from Russian positions in Ukraine.
— Jacob Pramuk
Ukrainians brace for a long winter ahead
Kyiv residents brace for a cold, dark winter as Russia continues its missile strikes that have caused widespread power outages across the country.
— Getty Images