Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 297 of the invasion

  • Russia fired more than 70 missiles at Ukraine on Friday in one of its biggest attacks since the start of the war, knocking out power in the second-biggest city and forcing Kyiv to implement emergency blackouts nationwide, Ukrainian officials said. Three people were killed when an apartment block was hit in central Kryvyi Rih and another died in shelling in Kherson in the south, they said. Russian-installed officials in occupied eastern Ukraine said 12 people had died by Ukrainian shelling.

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia still had enough missiles for several more massive strikes and he again urged western allies to supply Kyiv with more and better air defence systems. “Whatever the rocket worshippers from Moscow are counting on, it still won’t change the balance of power in this war,” he said in an evening address.

  • The mass strikes appeared to be a continuation of the Kremlin’s attempt to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo said energy consumption had fallen by 50% as a result of the attacks. The company said Russia had hit thermal power plants, hydroelectric plants and substations of main networks. Ukrenergo said it will take longer to repair the national grid and restore power than it did after previous Russian missile attacks, with priority given to “critical infrastructure facilities”.

  • Energy infrastructure was hit across the country, resulting in complete outages in Ukraine’s eastern and central regions of Kharkiv and Poltava. Nine power facilities in the country were damaged by Friday’s strikes, Ukraine’s energy minister, Herman Halushchenko, said. The mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, said the missile strikes caused “colossal” damage to infrastructure and left the city without power, heating and water. A senior Ukrainian presidential official said emergency power shutdowns were being brought in across the country.

  • Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said late on Friday that just a third of its residents had both heat and water and 40% electricity. The metro system – a crucial transport artery – remained shut down, he added.

  • The Kyiv city administration said Ukraine’s capital had withstood “one of the biggest rocket attacks” launched by Russian forces since they invaded Ukraine nearly 10 months ago. The administration said Ukrainian air defence forces shot down 37 of “about 40” that entered the city’s airspace. There were water disruptions in every district, Klitschko said.

  • At least eight people were killed and 23 injured by Ukrainian shelling in the Russian-controlled Luhansk region of Ukraine, Russia’s state Tass news agency reported on Friday, citing an unidentified source in the emergency services. The shelling destroyed a building in the village of Lantrativka and some people were trapped under rubble, Tass said. The head of the “people’s militia” in Luhansk also claimed there were civilian casualties as a result of Ukrainian shelling on the town of Svatove on Friday morning.

  • The White House has said the next security assistance package for Ukraine was coming and it was expected to include more air defence capabilities for the country. Russia’s foreign ministry warned this week that if the US delivered sophisticated Patriot air defence systems to Ukraine, such systems and any crews that accompany them would be a legitimate target for the Russian military. Washington rejected the threat.

  • EU states should buy arms jointly to replenish stocks after supplying Ukraine, said the bloc’s defence agency, warning the US may not always be able to shield Europe from threats. “The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine demonstrates our capability shortfalls,” said Jiří Šedivý, chief executive of the European Defence Agency. The agency was in talks with European arms firms about boosting production, he said, as well as with countries about clubbing together to buy equipment and ammunition.

  • The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she welcomes the agreement by EU leaders on the ninth package of sanctions against Russia. EU leaders agreed on Thursday to provide €18bn in financing to Ukraine next year as well as to a fresh package of sanctions, which will designate nearly 200 more people and bar investment in Russia’s mining industry, among other steps. The Kremlin said it would study the latest package of EU sanctions and then formulate its response.

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, on Friday. The Kremlin said Putin gave “fundamental assessments” of the conflict in Ukraine during the call, at Modi’s request. The Indian leader’s office was cited as saying that he had reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way forward in the conflict.

  • Putin will visit Belarus for talks with the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, on Monday. The pair will discuss Russian-Belarusian integration “as well as current topics on the international and regional agenda”, the Kremlin said. Putin and Lukashenko will hold a one-on-one meeting in which they will “give priority to security issues and exchange views on the situation in the region and the world”, Belarusian state-owned news agency Belta said, without mentioning Ukraine.

  • Senior Ukrainian officials say Putin is preparing for a major new offensive in the new year, despite a series of humiliating battlefield setbacks for Russia in recent months. In an interview with the Guardian, Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said that while Ukraine was now able to successfully defend itself against Russia’s missile attacks targeting key infrastructure, including the energy grid, evidence was emerging that the Kremlin was preparing a broad new offensive.

    Reuters contributed to this report

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