War in Ukraine: what to remember from Friday, December 16

Ukraine suffered, Friday, December 16, new Russian missile strikes. These have caused water cuts in the capital, kyiv, and power cuts across the country, in accordance with the strategy put in place by Moscow, which targets Ukrainian infrastructure. Here’s what to remember from the day.

Massive bombardments on several cities cause power cuts

A total of 74 missiles, mostly cruise missiles, were fired by Russia on Friday, 60 of which were shot down by air defense, according to the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that kyiv and 14 regions had been affected by power or water cuts. Three people died following a Russian strike which hit a residential building in Kryvyi Rig (south), according to the regional governor.

Bundled up in their coats, sitting on the ground or on the steps of the escalators, some residents of the capital spent several hours sheltered in the metro while the city was the target of Russian fire. The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitchko, specified that only a third of the inhabitants had water and heating, and 40% electricity. With this new wave of Russian bombing, “it may take longer than before to restore electricity”alerted the national electricity operator Ukrenergo on Facebook.

European diplomacy condemns the attacks

The head of European diplomacy condemned, on Friday, the missile launches carried out by Russia against Ukraine. “These cruel and inhuman attacks are aimed at increasing suffering and depriving the Ukrainian population, but also hospitals, emergency services and other essential services of electricity, heating and water”, Josep Borrell said in a statement. “They constitute war crimes and are barbaric. All those responsible will be held to account”he continued, denouncing a “another example of the blind terror of the Kremlin”. In a press release, the Quai d’Orsay also condemned “with the greatest firmness” these strikes. “These acts constitute war crimes and in no way weaken France’s determination to support Ukraine and fight against impunity.”

The European Union also on Friday banned the export of drone engines to Russia and to “all third countries” able to provide it with these elements in order to deprive the Kremlin of these weapons used against Ukraine. This measure is one of the provisions of the 9th package of sanctions approved Thursday evening, during a European summit in Brussels, which entered into force on Friday with its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Brussels also prevents EU nationals from occupying “positions in the governing bodies of all legal persons, entities or entities owned or controlled by the Russian state and located in Russia”.

kyiv accused of firing on the Luhansk region

Russian occupation authorities in the Ukrainian region of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine accused Ukrainian forces of artillery fire on two localities, killing 11 and wounding 17 on Friday morning. “Early in the morning today, nationalist artillery fire targeted the town of Stakhanov and the village of Lanratovka in the Troitsky district”said Russian regional leader Leonid Passechnik.

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Moscow is preparing “a long war”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Moscow is preparing for a long war against Ukraine. “We must not underestimate Russia. She is preparing for a long war”he told AFP. “We see that they are mobilizing more forces, that they are ready to take a lot of losses as well, that they are trying to get access to more weapons and ammunition,” he added, believing that the allies of the Alliance must continue to supply arms to Ukraine, until President Putin realizes that he “cannot win on the battlefield”.

The Charlemagne Prize awarded to the Ukrainian people and their president

The 2023 edition of the Charlemagne Prize returns to the people of Ukraine and their president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the selection committee announced. “The Ukrainian people are victims of a Russian war of aggression of indescribable brutality which violates international law”wrote the organizers on their website (content in English). “Under the leadership of its President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian people not only defend the sovereignty of their country and the lives of its citizens, but also Europe and European values.” This distinction, awarded each year in Aix-la-Chapelle, former capital of the Carolingian Empire, was created in 1949 to promote European integration, after the destruction of the Second World War.

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