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Russia Strikes Ukraine Targeting Energy Networks

Ukraine has been hit by more Russian shelling Thursday morning, with missile attacks being reported in the Kyiv region as well as in Odesa, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro city.

November 17, 2022
25 minutes
minute read

Latest round of shelling comes as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

The region surrounding Kyiv is coming under fire, Oleksiy Kuleba, the head of the regional military administration, warned on Thursday. He noted that the enemy has been attacking Ukraine massively since the morning.

On Wednesday, NATO presented preliminary findings that suggested Ukraine's forces were behind a missile hit on a Polish village that killed two people. However, Ukraine has rejected these findings. This has caused a rift between Ukraine and its NATO allies.

President Zelenskyy said he was certain that Ukraine was not responsible for the missile strike, and asked again that Ukraine be included in the joint U.S. - Polish investigation.

The United Nations announced on Thursday that the Black Sea grain deal has been extended. This deal has facilitated the export of millions of tons of agricultural exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, helping to alleviate a global food crisis.

Ukraine's air defense forces shot down six missiles during a missile attack on the country Thursday. The attack took place in the southern region of Odesa.

The Odesa City Council has reported that a missile attack was launched on the Odesa region. The enemy is said to have launched Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea, and used tactical aircraft. Two Su-30 aircraft reportedly fired six air-based missiles. The Council added that six missiles were destroyed by air defense forces over the sea.

One missile hit a logistics facility, the council said, injuring one civilian. The resulting blast wave damaged nearby buildings, it said.

Here's the latest on the reports of shelling in several regions, including Kyiv and Dnipro, on Thursday:

The Kyiv military administration announced that four Russian missiles and five Shahed drones had been shot down over the city today. The head of the military administration said that air defense forces had "shot down several enemy objects targeting our critical infrastructure," but that "there are no hits in the region."

According to Oleksiy Kuleba, the situation with electricity in Ukraine remains difficult. Emergency power outages are continuing in the Kyiv region, and the duration of the outages depends on the security situation and the speed of infrastructure restoration.

Rescue workers are clearing debris in the Zaporizhzhia region following rocket attacks this morning that hit a residential building in the city of Vilniansk. The emergency services said four dead bodies have been removed from the rubble, and there may be more people in the building. “Four families - at least 8 people - lived in the house,” the emergency services said on Facebook.

14 people, including one child, have been hospitalized in Dnipro, Ukraine after shelling this morning. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, posted a video on Twitter showing damaged residential buildings.

Tymoshenko posted a video of damaged buildings in Dnipro with air raid sirens sounding in the area. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video from Dnipro showing a blast on a busy road in the city. One of his advisors tweeted that Ukraine was experiencing a "missile sky" again.

Polish people are divided in their opinions about Tuesday’s missile strike that killed two citizens in a village near the border with Ukraine. Some people feel that the strike was justified, while others believe that it was a tragic mistake that could have been avoided.

Some citizens have said they are now more concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in light of Tuesday’s events. Others have noted that the accident was unfortunate, but could have happened earlier.

A young Polish worker told CNBC Thursday morning that she is more concerned now than she was before, because the possibility of war is very close. She said she just hopes it will end very soon.

A man working at a hotel next to the Presidential Palace in Warsaw said that there has been a constant feeling of fear since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine in February. He said that he does not want things to escalate any further.

A concerned citizen is hoping for increased protection along the Polish border. Germany has reportedly announced that it will send more airspace surveillance to Poland.

Poland, a NATO member since 1999, has seen a significant increase in its military presence in recent years. According to data released by NATO in July, there are now 122,500 Polish troops and 11,600 troops from other NATO allies stationed in the country. The United States leads NATO's battlegroup in Poland.

A 39-year-old Polish salesman told CNBC that he is not more worried now than he was at the start of the week. He argued that "it's war and these things happen."

Ukraine has been hit by more Russian shelling Thursday morning, with missile attacks being reported in the Kyiv region as well as in Odesa and Dnipro city in the south. This latest round of shelling comes as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

The region surrounding Kyiv is coming under fire, the head of the regional military administration Oleksiy Kuleba warned Thursday. He noted that “since the very morning, the enemy has been massively attacking Ukraine.”

“Kyiv region - air defense works. The danger has not passed. We have information about the flight of rockets ... over the region,” he said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President, said Russian forces had shelled Dnipro this morning. Two infrastructure facilities were hit, and one person was injured in the blasts, preliminary information said.

Elsewhere, the head of Odesa RMA Maksym Marchenko said that Russia had launched a missile attack on an infrastructure facility in the southern port region. He urged residents of the region to stay in shelters, saying there was a threat of a massive missile attack on the entire territory of Ukraine.

Russia's attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure are seen as a central part of its war strategy, aiming to deprive Ukrainians of water, heat and power as winter weather sets in.

The United Nations Secretary General said on Thursday that he was pleased to see all parties agree to extend the Black Sea grain deal. This will make it easier for Ukraine to export agricultural goods from its southern Black Sea ports.

Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said on Thursday that Ukraine is looking to “crush” Russia and is withstanding “extremely difficult blows from the enemy.”

"The enemy is mistaken if they think they can weaken our defense by attacking our energy resources," Yermak said in a statement on Telegram. "This is a cowardly tactic that we are prepared for."

Yermak stated that Ukraine has already withstood difficult blows from the enemy, which did not have the results that the Russian cowards were hoping for. He added that they will not succeed and Ukraine will crush them.

On Tuesday, Ukraine experienced a massive attack on its energy infrastructure. Kyiv claims that Russia was behind the attack, which involved around 100 cruise missiles. This caused damage to energy infrastructure in several regions.

Ukraine's national energy company and Energy Minister German Galushchenko have called the Russian attack on Ukraine's energy system the most massive attack in the country's history. This comes as the war between the two countries continues to escalate.

The U.K.'s Ministry of Defence said Thursday that Russia's relentless attacks on Ukraine's energy sector are drawing deeply upon Russia's reserves of conventional cruise missiles, with the degrading of Ukraine's national infrastructure becoming a key element of Russia's strategic approach to the campaign. This has left millions without power.

The Pentagon said Tuesday's airstrikes in Syria were "likely the largest number of strikes that Russia has conducted in a single day since the first week of the invasion."

Ukraine is facing a significant decrease in the power available from its national grid. This will impact civilian access to communications, heating and water supplies.

President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has stated that he is certain that Ukraine is not responsible for the missile strike that occurred in a Polish village on Tuesday evening, which resulted in the death of two people.

Zelenskyy said on Ukrainian TV Wednesday that his top military commanders had assured him that the cause of the incident was not a missile strike by Ukraine. This has caused an international furor and fears that a wider conflict between NATO and Russia could erupt.

I am confident that the report I received from the Commander of the Air Force and the Commander-in-Chief on Tuesday was accurate, and that the missile strike was not carried out by our forces.

He reiterated calls from Kyiv for access to the site of the explosion near the village of Przewodow in southeastern Poland, just 4 miles from the Ukrainian border. He also called for Ukraine to be part of a joint investigation being led by Poland and the U.S.I believe that we have the right to a fair and impartial investigation. I think it is only fair that the final conclusions be announced only after the investigation is completed. If someone says that this is our rocket, I think we should be in a joint investigative group in order to ensure that everyone gets a fair hearing.

NATO's initial assessment of the incident found that while it appeared that a Ukrainian air defense missile had caused the blast in Poland, the incident had actually happened while Ukraine was defending itself against a barrage of Russian cruise missiles. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the press on Wednesday and said that this exonerated Ukraine from any responsibility.

The Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs has announced that 63 bodies of tortured residents have been found in the recently liberated Kherson region. This is a tragic discovery, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice.

"The bodies of those who were tortured and killed at the site are being exhumed. So far, 63 bodies have been discovered in the entire territory of Kherson region, but we must understand that the search has only begun," he said, according to an NBC translation.

Russia has denied that its forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine, which would include the torture and killing of civilians.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Russia for the death of two citizens inside Poland’s territory.

Linda Thomas Greenfield, speaking before the U.N. Security Council, said that while we still don't know all of the facts, we do know one thing: This tragedy would never have happened but for Russia's needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.

"The UN charter is clear - Ukraine has every right to defend itself against this barrage. Defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity is a key priority for the country."

Thomas Greenfield said that Russia on Tuesday carried out "the widest scale missile attack since the beginning of the war." This is a significant escalation of the conflict, and it is sure to increase tensions between the two countries.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the suffering caused by the recent attack in Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people during this difficult time. We stand in solidarity with them and condemn this act of aggression. We call on all parties to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"He seems to have decided that if he can't seize Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze the country into submission. These attacks are absolutely horrific, and it's hard to overstate their impact."

The Pentagon has condemned Russia's bombing of Ukraine's civilian energy sector, which has left more than a quarter of Ukrainians without power.

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters during a press conference alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that while assessments are ongoing, yesterday's strikes appear to have launched at least 60 missiles, and it is possible that as many as 90 or 100 missiles were launched.

"This was likely the largest wave of missiles we've seen since the beginning of the war," Milley said. "The deliberate targeting of the civilian power grid is a war crime, causing excessive collateral damage and unnecessary suffering on the civilian population."

Ukraine has asked to see the evidence upon which NATO based its assessment that a missile strike on Poland that killed two people was likely caused by Ukraine’s air defenses trying to defend itself against a barrage of Russian missile attacks.

NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that the strike was not a deliberate attack and that Ukraine was not to blame.

Stoltenberg made it clear that Russia, not Ukraine, is responsible for the ongoing illegal war against Ukraine. He said this at a press briefing.

After NATO's comments, Oleksii Danilov, the head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, tweeted that Kyiv favored a "joint study" into the incident, and wanted to see the evidence held by its allies that suggested it was involved. Danilov's comments come after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had "no reason to doubt" that Russia was behind the recent cyberattack on Ukraine.

Danilov said on Twitter that Ukraine was "ready to hand over the evidence of the Russian trail that we have" but Kyiv was still awaiting "information from our partners, on the basis of which a conclusion was made that it is a Ukrainian air defense missile."

He said that Ukraine had requested that defense ministry and border guard officials be given immediate access to the site of the explosion.

NATO said there was no indication that the missile strike that hit a Polish border village on Tuesday night was deliberate. They said that Russia was ultimately to blame as it continues to bombard Ukraine with missiles.

The Secretary General of the military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the missile incident occurred as Russia was launching a large number of rocket attacks across Ukraine.

During the investigation into the incident, the official said that there was no indication that it was the result of a deliberate attack, and that there was no indication that it was the result of offensive military action against NATO.

Preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to intercept a Russian missile. This is in line with previous reports.

"I want to be clear that this is not Ukraine's fault. Russia is ultimately responsible for the ongoing war against Ukraine," he said.

NATO has blamed Russia for a missile strike that hit a Polish military base, while Moscow has denied any involvement in the latest attacks.

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