Russian rocket attacks contiue….
The selling of the Russian military ‘draft’…..
Here’s what we know:
Russian shelling has killed at least 10 civilians and wounded dozens more over the past 24 hours, a Ukrainian official says.
After losing Kherson, Russia bombards the city from afar.
Putin holds a highly choreographed meeting with mothers of Russian servicemen.
Ukraine says its nuclear power plants are back online.
Ukraine’s allies struggle to agree on a plan to curb Russia’s oil revenue.
Merkel says she lacked the power to influence Putin ahead of his invasion of Ukraine.
As a dark winter descends on Ukraine, Europe tries to help keep the lights on….
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Efforts to restore water and power supplies across Ukraine are continuing, but two-thirds of the capital, Kyiv, remained without heat and half of households still had no electricity by early Friday, according to the city’s mayor. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that 15 regions were struggling to resolve water supply problems, with the situation in the capital among the “most difficult.” Ukraine’s four working nuclear power plants have been reconnected to the national grid after losing off-site power earlier this week, International Atomic Energy Agency Director Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement Friday.
- Strong winds, rain and freezing temperatures are hampering repair work on infrastructure hit in the recent strikes, Ukraine’s main power grid operator Ukrenergo said Friday on Facebook. The country’s finance minister told Reuters that the attacks on infrastructure, which Zelensky has described as “energy terror,” are also raising Ukraine’s reconstruction bill. An assessment released in late summer, before the Kremlin intensified air attacks, pegged Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction costs at $349 billion.
- Zelensky urged European nations Friday to remain united over the issue of imposing a price cap on Russian oil. “It’s not helping Ukraine to stand against Russia; this is helping Europe to stand against Russian aggression,” he told a conference in Lithuania via a live video link, according to Reuters news agency. European Union member states have thus far failed to agree on a price cap level, with proposals in the range of $65 to $70 per barrel seen as too high by some and too low by others.
- The Dutch parent company of Yandex, Russia’s foremost technology firm, often called “Russia’s Google,” said it is exploring divesting most of the company and developing some services — including tech for self-driving cars, cloud computing and education technology — outside Russia. Yandex N.V., the parent company, cited “the current geopolitical environment” in a statement Friday announcing the decision to review options to restructure the group. Yandex operates in 15 countries.
- Russia attacked the suburbs of Zaporizhzhia city overnight, with rockets hitting a hospital and service station, Oleksandr Starukh, head of the regional military administration, said Friday on Telegram. No casualties were reported.
- Ten people were killed in Russian shelling in the southern region of Kherson on Thursday, according to the regional governor. Yaroslav Yanushevych wrote on Telegram early Friday that 54 others were injured in the attacks.
- German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Thursday that Patriot air defense units bound for Poland were for the defense of NATO and could not be sent on to Ukraine, which is not part of the alliance, Reuters reported. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter that he had asked Germany to send Ukraine the missile launchers.
- Russia and Ukraine said they exchanged 50 prisoners of war each. The Ukrainian side of the swap included troops captured in Mariupol, others at the Azovstal steel plant where fighters made a last stand, and some taken prisoner at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and at Snake Island, where the defiance of defenders became a symbolic moment for Ukraine early in the war, Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential office of Ukraine, said Thursday on Twitter….
The selling of the Russian military ‘draft’…..
At a highly-choreographed event days ahead of Russia’s Mother’s Day, President Vladimir V. Putin met on Friday with mothers of servicemen fighting in Ukraine and said that he shares their pain in an apparent attempt to contain a growing outcry over the Kremlin’s handling of the war.
The televised event at Mr. Putin’s residence outside Moscow came amid intensifying public criticism over the conditions recent Russian conscripts have been forced to bear, including being thrown into combat ill-equipped and ill-prepared. Some of the 17 women who attended said they had lost their sons on the battlefield….
Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February with the apparent hope that the government in Kyiv would quickly collapse. As the initial plan failed, and with Russian forces struggling to hold hundreds of miles of front lines, the Kremlin was forced to declare a mobilization of recruits, which it suspendedearlier this month after a public backlash on a scale unseen since the start of the invasion.
For many apolitical Russians, the war had finally reached their homes, taking away their husbands and sons. In some cases, relatives had to supply the ill-equipped mobilized men with everything from socks to drones. Many couldn’t reach their loved ones for weeks, anxiously waiting for news.
On Sunday, Ms. Tsukanova’s organization held a news conferencein Moscow where many soldiers’ relatives had a chance to tell their stories.
“They have humiliated, deceived and bullied us, so women, we have nothing to be afraid of,” said Ms. Tsukanova, whose son was drafted into the army before the September mobilization and forced to serve at the border with Ukraine with little prior training….