Aftermath of a Russian strike amid a wave of 36 missiles, February 16, 2023 (Serhii Lysak/Telegram)
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Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1608 GMT:
Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has said Warsaw will send 10 more German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine this week, bringing the total to 14.
Blaszczak made the announcement ahead of a meeting of European Union Defense Ministers in Stockholm on Tuesday.
UPDATE 1542 GMT:
Ukraine will participate in the European Union’s joint purchase of gas in global markets.
“Ukraine has indicated that on top of their own domestic production, they might need, for a secure winter, another 2 billion cubic meters,” said EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson .
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic held a video call with international gas suppliers on Wednesday. He said Europe is on course to expand its capacity for liquefied natural gas to 227 billion cubic metrs by 2024, an increase from the 178 bcm now, as countries swap Russian gas for other supplies.
Participating in the EU scheme could help Ukraine to stave off gas shortages. Of the 27.3 bcm of gas Ukraine used in 2021, domestic production accounted for about 19.8 bcm, imports were 2.6 bcm and 4.9 bcm of gas was taken from underground storage.
Initial estimates from state-owned energy firm Naftogaz suggest Ukrainian gas production was around 18 bcm in 2022.
Ukraine uses little gas to produce electricity, but relies on the fuel for heating and industry – sectors vulnerable should Russian strikes damage infrastructure.
Ukraine does not import gas directly from Russia, but Ukrainian pipelines still carry some Russian gas to Europe.
Russia has bombarded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent months, and on Thursday launched missile strikes across Ukraine, killing at least six civilians and forcing a nuclear power plant off the grid.
Kadri Simson said she would convene an emergency video call with Ukraine and EU energy ministers on Thursday to discuss the situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, after Kyiv said Russian attacks had severed the plant from the power grid and forced it onto emergency diesel power.
UPDATE 1358 GMT:
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been reconnected to Ukraine’s energy grid, says State company Ukrenergo.
Amid Russian strikes this morning, shelling knocked the plant off the grid (see 0615 GMT).
UPDATE 1138 GMT:
Russian shelling killed three people in Kherson city in southern Ukraine on Thursday.
The victims were at a public transport stop.
UPDATE 1131 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has commented on the Russian strikes.
It’s been a difficult night. A massive rocket attack across the country. Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia regions. Attacks on critical infrastructure and residential buildings. Unfortunately, there are injured and dead. My condolences to the families.
All services are working. The energy system is being restored. Restrictions were imposed in all regions.
The enemy fired 81 missiles in an attempt to intimidate Ukrainians again, returning to their miserable tactics. The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done.
We thank the guardians of our skies and everyone who helps to overcome the consequences of the occupiers’ sneaking attacks.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted:
Russia launched a massive missile and drone attack on Ukraine overnight, leading to loss of lives and damaging civilian infrastructure. No military objective, just Russian barbarism. The day will come when Putin and his associates are held accountable by a Special Tribunal.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 9, 2023
UPDATE 0742 GMT:
Ukraine’s air force says 34 Russian cruise missiles and four Iran-made attack drones have been downed.
It said “81 missiles of various types” were launched “from 10 Tu-95 strategic aircraft, 7 Tu-22M3 long-range aircraft, 8 Su-35 fighters, 6 MiG-31K aircraft, and 3 Kalibr KR carriers in the Black Sea”. Eight drones were launched.
The air force noted that the interception rate was relatively low, compared to other Russian waves of strikes, because the armed forces of Ukraine do not have means capable of destroying Kh-22 and Kh-47 ‘Kinzhal’ and S-300 [missiles].”
It said a total of 21 Kh-22, Kh-47, and S-300 missiles were fired.
UPDATE 0731 GMT:
Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytsky says three men and two women were killed by a Russian missile strike on a residential area in the Zolochiv district about 4 a.m.
Fire destroyed three residential buildings, three cars, a garage, and several outbuildings.
⚡️ The head of the Lviv Regional Military Administration posted the video of the consequences of the [russian] missile crash in the Zolochiv district.
👉 Follow @Flash_news_ua pic.twitter.com/0UBG7u9rwC
— FLASH (@Flash_news_ua) March 9, 2023
Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said two women in their 70s were injured and “critical infrastructure objects” hit amid S-300 missile strikes.
Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Command, said Russia struck energy infrastructure in the Kirovohrad, Odesa, Vinnytsia and Kryvyi Rih regions with Iran-made Shahed attack drones, Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missiles, Kh-101 air-launched cruise missiles, and Kh-59 and Kalibr cruise missiles.
Humeniuk said at least 15 missiles were shot down.
Kyiv region military head Serhiy Popko echoed that Russia used drones and “almost all types” of cruise missiles. While most were downed, a Russian nuclear-capable hypersonic air-to-surface Kinzhal missile hit an infrastructure site.
UPDATE 0715 GMT:
The US Defense Department is blocking the Biden Administration from sharing evidence with the International Criminal Court in The Hague about Russian war crimes in Ukraine, say “current and former officials briefed on the matter”.
The Pentagon is withholding the US intelligence because it fears provision would set a precedent enabling the ICC to prosecute Americans.
The evidence includes materal relevant to the investigation of ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, such as decisions by Russian officials to deliberately target civilian infrastructure and to abduct thousands of Ukrainian children from occupied territory.
The rest of the Administration, including intelligence agencies and the State and Justice Departments, favors the presentation of the evidence to the ICC, officials said. But President Joe Biden has not yet acted to resolve the dispute.
The US is not a signatory to the Court. However, in December, Congress modified legal restrictions on American assistance.
The National Security Council convened a Cabinet-level “principals committee” meeting on February 3 to settle the issue. However, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin maintained his objection.
Sen. Lindsey Graham confirmed:
DOD opposed the legislative change — it passed overwhelmingly — and they are now trying to undermine the letter and spirit of the law.
It seems to me that DOD is the problem child here, and the sooner we can get the information into the hands of the ICC, the better off the world will be.
UPDATE 0644 GMT:
Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party has withdrawn “foreign agents” legislation that sparked mass protests in the capital Tbilisi.
A joint statement by Georgian Dream and the Power of the People public movement announced the withdrawal: “The bill was labeled falsely as a ‘Russian law’, and its adoption in the first reading was presented in the eyes of a part of the public as a departure from the European course.”
Blaming a “lie machine” for the protests, the initiators of the bill said they would carry out “explanatory work” on the bill “when the emotional background subsides” to establish “why it was important to ensure the transparency of foreign influence in our country”.
In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had expressed support for the mass protests in Georgia. The demonstrators challenged the legislation which, in the guise of declaring “foreign agents”, threatened to punish dissent and civil society.
Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation:
There is no Ukrainian who would not wish success to our friendly Georgia. Democratic success. European success.
We want to be in the European Union and we will be there. We want Georgia to be in the European Union, and I am sure it will be there.
We want Moldova to be in the European Union, and I am sure it will be there. All free nations of Europe deserve this.
On Wednesday, hundreds of riot police fired water cannon and tear gas on demonstrators for the second consecutive night in Tbilisi. More than 60 protesters were arrested outside the Parliament building.
The rallies are against a bill requiring any organization receiving more than 20% of their funding from overseas to register as “foreign agents” or face substantial fines.
The legislation, supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party, is similar to a 2012 law in Russia that has been used to suppress western-funded NGOs and media and to threaten Russian activists with prison.
Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili has endorsed the “will of the people” opposing the measure, and says the country is a victim of Russian aggression. The European Union says implementation will threaten Georgian accession to the bloc.
UPDATE 0615 GMT:
Shelling has again cut power to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom said, “Fuel for operation remains for 10 days.”
The fifth and sixth reactors have been shut down.
International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi appealed again for a protection zone around the nuclear plant, saying he was “astonished by the complacency”.
He told the IAEA Board of Governors, “Each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out.”
In August, fires caused by shelling shut down the remaining power line to the Zaporizhzhia complex, temporarily disconnecting it from the electricity for the first time in almost 40 years of operations.
Backup power was provided by 18 diesel fuel generators. The grid link was restored two weeks later.
Russian forces occupied the facility in the first days of Vladimir Putin’s invasion and converted it into a military base, shelling Ukrainian towns and cities across the Dnipro River.
UPDATE 0608 GMT:
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko updates, “After the missile attack, due to emergency power outages, 40% of the capital’s consumers are currently without heating. Water supply works normally.”
It is currently 4°C (39°F) in the capital.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia is carrying out another wave of missile strikes across Ukraine, targeting energy infrastructure and other civilian sites.
The strikes are the 18th wave since October 10, but the first in almost three weeks as Russia faces diminishing stocks of missiles and Iran-supplied attack drones.
The first explosions in the capital Kyiv were reported about 6 a.m. (0400 GMT). Mayor Vitaly Klitchko said two people have been wounded in the Svyatoshinsky district.
An explosion is reported at a thermal electricity generation plant. Klitschko says power has been cut for 15% of the residents, and the CEO of Ukrainian power company Yasno, Serhii Kovalenko, said, “Emergency blackouts are used due to the enemy attack. This is a preventive step.”
Smoke rising from Kyiv thermo-electric power station this morning after Russian missiles struck at cities across Ukraine, from Dnipro to Lviv. pic.twitter.com/zAjNDVqOme
— Maxim Tucker (@MaxRTucker) March 9, 2023
The governor of the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, Maksym Marchenko, said, “As a result of a mass missile strike, an energy infrastructure site was hit in the region as well as residences….Fortunately, there are no casualties. Electricity restrictions are in effect.”
In the northeast, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov said, “The enemy made about 15 strikes on the city and region. Infrastructure was again among the targets. Information on casualties is being clarified.”
Strikes are also reported in the Sumy region in the north; Dnipro city in south-central Ukraine; and the towns of Lutsk and Rivne in the west; and the Poltava, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, and Kirovohrad regions.