Ukraine Latest: Energy Infrastructure Is Focus of US Envoy Visit

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(Bloomberg) -- Geoffrey Pyatt, assistant US secretary of State for Energy Resources, is leading a delegation to Kyiv on a visit intended to further efforts to repair and strengthen Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the US Embassy said in a statement.

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Russia launched more than 60 missiles at Ukraine in the first large-scale attack since Dec. 5, causing cuts to power and water supplies in several areas. A strike on a residential building killed two people in Kryvih Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s home town.

The attacks come a day after a top Ukrainian army commander warned there’s “no doubt” Russian forces will attempt to seize Kyiv as soon as January after failing last spring, potentially from Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Minsk on Monday for talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko.

European Union member states reached a deal on a ninth package of sanctions on Russia, targeting Moscow’s access to drones, additional banks as well as officials responsible for allegedly abducting children from Ukraine.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • EU Nations Back Russia Sanctions on Drone Imports, Banks

  • Croat Lawmakers Fail to Override Veto on Ukraine Troop Training

  • Russian Missile Barrage Knocks Out Power to Ukrainian Cities

  • A Million Shells and More: Pentagon Revs Up Ukraine Weapons Aid

  • Belarus Announces Putin to Make First Visit in Years to War Ally

  • Russia, US Step Up Efforts for Whelan Swap After Griner Release

On the Ground

Friday’s missile barrage was the ninth by Russia since early October focused primarily on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Russian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in the east, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its latest update. Russian troops shelled more than 30 settlements on the right bank of the Dnipro River and are bolstering their defenses on the border of the Kherson region, it added.

(All times CET)

Top US Diplomat’s Visit Focuses on Restoring Grid

US Ambassador Bridget Brink welcomed Pyatt in a Friday tweet, saying “Even as Russia tries to bring this war into every home, unified US support and close coordination with our Ukrainian partners will help stabilize the grid and keep the power on across the country.”

The visit occurs as the US delivers delivers the first tranche of emergency electricity grid equipment following Secretary Antony Blinken’s announcement of $53 million for Ukraine on Nov. 29.

State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted that the first shipment had arrived “to help restore energy infrastructure after Russia’s vile, ongoing attacks intended to inflict suffering on civilians.”

Ukraine Restoring Power After Russian Attack (4:51 p.m.)

Ukraine is gradually restoring power after the Russian missile barrage caused widespread blackouts, according to regional governors.

People in the northeastern Sumy region regained access to electricity, while the areas that suffered the most in the Kharkiv and Poltava regions were also resuming service.

Ukraine Shot Down 60 of 76 Missiles, Zaluzhni Says (1:30 p.m.)

Russia launched 76 missiles from the Caspian and Black seas at Ukrainian critical infrastructure, including 72 cruise missiles, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram.

Ukrainian air defense shot down 60 of the rockets, he said.

At Least 9 Energy Facilities Hit on Friday (12:41 p.m.)

Russia’s missile attack early Friday damaged at least nine Ukrainian energy facilities, including power generation and substations, energy minister Herman Halushchenko said. About 50% of Ukraine’s households were left without power, and output was affected in neighboring Moldova, he added.

The damage has also led to shortages in Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operations, he added. Ukraine operates three NPPs. After an earlier attack, on Nov. 23, they were disconnected from the grid.

Russia Aimed 40 Missiles at Kyiv Area Alone (11:51 p.m.)

Of the more than 60 Russian missiles fired on Friday, 40 were aimed at the Kyiv area, including 37 shot down by air defense forces, military administration spokesman Mykhailo Shamanov said on in a television interview.

“This was one of the most massive attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion,” he said. Parts of the capital have been cut off from water and electricity supplies.

Since early October, Moscow has focused regular, devastating attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in an attempt to weaken the nation’s resolve.

Power Cuts in Several Regions After Missile Strikes (10:30 a.m.)

Emergency power cuts are happening across Ukraine after missiles hit energy facilities in several regions, including Kyiv, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s staff, said on national television.

Temporary disruptions in water and heating supplies are anticipated, with several hours before services are restored, he said.

Bridget Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, said on Twitter that the first shipment emergency repair equipment has already arrived after the latest strikes.

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