Friday Dec 16, 2022
Russia pounded Ukraine with missiles on Friday, hitting critical infrastructure across the country and knocking out power as people took cover in shelters, Ukrainian officials said.
Explosions were heard in the eastern city of Kharkiv and local officials said critical infrastructure had been hit. Local officials in the Black Sea region of Odesa said critical infrastructure had also been hit there.
Kharkiv, the central city of Poltava and parts of the capital Kyiv were left without electricity and the northern Sumy region suffered power outages, regional officials said.
Reuters witnesses heard explosions in Kyiv. It was not immediately clear if any were caused by missiles getting through air defences.
There was no immediate word of casualties and it was not clear what critical infrastructure had been hit.
"Do not ignore air raid alerts, remain in shelters," Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office said on the Telegram messaging app.
As many as 60 Russian missiles had been spotted heading for Ukraine, said Vitaly Kim, who is the governor of the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine.
Russia has carried out several waves of attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure since October, causing power outages across the country.
The governor of the northern region of Sumy said there were power outages in his region because of Friday's missile strikes.
Global economic powers pledged to beef up Kyiv's military capabilities with a focus on air defence, as Russian missiles, artillery and drones hammered targets in Ukraine with no end in sight to Europe's biggest conflict since World War Two.
The Group of Seven promised to "meet Ukraine's urgent requirements" after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed for modern tanks, artillery and long-range weapons to counter Russia's devastating invasion.
Zelenskiy also urged G7 leaders gathered at a virtual meeting to support his idea of convening a special Global Peace Summit dedicated to bringing peace to his country.
The summit would be focused on the implementation of Kyiv's 10-point peace plan that insists on, among other things, Russia's withdrawal of all its troops from Ukraine and no territorial concessions on Kyiv's part.
British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said on Monday he would be "open minded" about supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles to target launch sites for Russian drones that have hit infrastructure if Russia carried on targeting civilian areas.
US President Joe Biden told Zelenskiy on Sunday that Washington's priority was to boost Ukraine's air defences. The United States also shipped the first batch of power equipment to Ukraine under an aid package agreed last month.