War in Ukraine

Live: EU lawmakers label Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ as power cuts hit Ukraine, Moldova

Issued on: 23/11/2022 – 08:40Modified: 23/11/2022 – 15:06

Ukrainian service members inspect a crater at a site of a Russian missile strike in Lviv, Ukraine, November 16, 2022. © Reuters

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The European Parliament declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” on Wednesday, accusing its forces of carrying out atrocities in Ukraine. The symbolic move came as Russian strikes targeted energy infrastructure in Kyiv and other regions of western Ukraine, leaving millions without electricity and causing widespread power cuts in neighbouring Moldova. Earlier in the day, Russian missiles hit a maternity ward in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, killing a newborn baby. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).


2:48pm: Half of Moldova without power after Russian strikes on Ukraine

The Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have caused blackouts across half of neighbouring Moldova, says the deputy prime minister of

“Massive blackout in Moldova after today’s Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” Andrei Spinu, who also serves as infrastructure minister, said on Twitter.

“Moldelectrica, TSO (transmission system operator), is working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity.”

Power outages were also reported in the breakaway Russian-backed region of Transdniestria, the local interior ministry said in a statement.

Massive blackout in 🇲🇩 after today’s Russian attack on 🇺🇦 energy infrastructure. Moldelectrica, 🇲🇩 TSO, is working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity.

— Andrei Spînu 🇲🇩🇪🇺 (@AndreiSpinu)

2:11pm: Russia launches new missile strikes in western Ukraine

Russia has launched new missile strikes on western Ukraine, hitting at least one critical infrastructure target in Kyiv as explosions echoed across the capital. Three people were killed and six injured in Kyiv, according to city officials.

The western city of Lviv was left completely without power, according to its mayor. “The whole city is without power. We are waiting for additional information from energy experts,” said Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi on social media, warning that there may also be interruptions to the city’s water supply. 

1:36pm: Russia strikes ‘critical infrastructure’ in Kyiv, says mayor

Air sirens were heard across Kyiv as Russian strikes hit the Ukraine capital, damaging energy infrastructure, in the latest in a series of systematic attacks that has caused nationwide blackouts as winter sets in.

“The enemy is launching missile strikes on critical infrastructure in Kyiv city. Stay in shelters until the air alert ends,” Kyiv city administration said on social media, with mayor Vitali Klitschko saying infrastructure had been hit.

1:19pm: EU parliament declares Russia ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

The Parliament has recognised as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, accusing its forces of carrying out atrocities during its war on Ukraine.

The move by the European legislators is a symbolic political step with no legal consequences, but MEPs urged the governments of the 27-nation EU to follow their lead. 

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror,” a resolution approved by EU lawmakers said. 

12:23am: Ukraine says seized ‘pro-Russian literature’ from monasteries

Ukraine’s security service said it seized “pro-Russian literature” and cash and interrogated dozens during raids of several Orthodox monasteries that spurred a backlash from the Kremlin.

The Ukrainian security service on Tuesday conducted raids at several locations including the 11th century Pechersk Lavra monastery in the capital Kyiv, a UNESCO Heritage site, over suspected links to Russian agents.

After searches in more than 350 church-linked facilities, the SBU said Wednesday it had turned up “pro-Russian literature, which was being used in seminary and parish schools, including for ‘Russian world’ propaganda”.

10:46am: Moldova accuses Russia of energy blackmail, ‘ready for any scenario’

said on Wednesday Russia had sent no signals that it would stop supplying it with gas next month but that it was ready for any scenario because Moscow was using energy resources as “a tool of blackmail”.

State-run Russian gas company accused Ukraine on Tuesday of keeping gas supplies destined for Moldova, and that it could from November 28 start reducing gas supplies to Moldova that pass through Ukraine.

Ukraine, which has been invaded by Russia, has denied withholding Russian gas meant for Moldova. Chisinau, which is dependent on Russia for its gas, said on Wednesday it would pay for any gas deliveries.

10:37am: UK to send helicopters to Ukraine for ‘first’ time

is to send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since Russia’s invasion, said the British defence ministry.

Ten crews of Ukrainian service personnel and engineers underwent a six-week training programme in the UK, as part of the “first helicopter capability the UK has donated to Ukraine”, the ministry said.

In addition to the three former British military Sea King helicopters, the first of which has already arrived, the UK will also supply an additional 10,000 artillery rounds.

10:10am: Pope says Ukrainians suffering ‘martyrdom of aggression’; recalls 1930s famine

said on Wednesday that Ukrainians today were suffering from the “martyrdom of aggression” and compared the war to the “terrible genocide” of the 1930s, when Soviet leader Josef Stalin inflicted famine on the people there.

He was speaking at the end of his general audience before thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

10:05am: IAEA, Rosatom heads meet in Istanbul to discuss Zaporizhzhia nuclear station

The heads of the and Russia’s state-run nuclear energy agency Rosatom met in Istanbul to discuss the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power in southern Ukraine, Rosatom and the IAEA said in statements.

The two sides agreed to continue cooperation and dialogue over the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Rosatom as saying. Renewed shelling last weekend – which Moscow and Kyiv blamed on each other – raised fresh fears of a possible nuclear disaster at the site.

9:14am: Britain says Russia has nearly exhausted current stock of Iran-made weapons

Russia has likely launched a number of Iranian-manufactured un-crewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against Ukraine since September, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday.

It’s also likely that Russia has nearly exhausted its current stock of -made weapons and will seek resupply, the ministry said in its daily intelligence update posted on Twitter.

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 23 November 2022

Find out more about the UK government’s response:

🇺🇦 🇺🇦

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ)

The Russian attacks have been a combination of UAVs and traditional reusable armed systems, it added.

9:02am: Zelensky accuses Russia of ‘terror and murder’ after maternity strike

President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of bringing “terror and murder” to Ukraine after a strike on a maternity ward killed a newborn baby in the southern Zaporizhzhia region.

“The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what it wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve,” Zelensky said on social media.

“Instead, it will only be held to account for all the evil it has brought to our country,” he added.

8:37am: Newborn killed in Russian strike on maternity ward in Zaporizhzhia region

A newborn baby was killed following a Russian strike that hit a maternity ward in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, which Moscow claims to have annexed, according to Ukrainian emergency services.

Overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday, “in the city of Vilniansk in Zaporizhzhia region, as a result of a rocket attack on the territory of the local hospital, the two-storey building of the maternity ward was destroyed,” rescuers said on social media.

The emergency services distributed a video of rescuers working to free a man trapped waist-deep in the rubble of what appears to be the destroyed maternity ward.

8:10am: Russian foreign ministry slams Kyiv’s ‘godless’ raid on Orthodox monastery

The Russian foreign ministry criticised Ukraine as “godless”, “wild” and “immoral” on Wednesday for raiding an old Orthodox Christian Monastery in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s SBU security service and police raided the 1,000-year-old Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex – or Kyiv Monastery of the Caves – early on Tuesday as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services,” the SBU said.

The site is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that falls under the Moscow Patriarchate.

Russia’s Orthodox Church said on Tuesday the search was an “act of intimidation”.

4:20am: ‘Dangerous rhetoric’ stoking nuclear tensions: UN chief

UN chief has warned against “dangerous rhetoric” stoking tensions among nuclear-armed rivals.

“Growing divisions are threatening global peace and security, provoking new confrontations and making it all the more difficult to resolve old conflicts,” Guterres told a meeting of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations in Morocco.

“Dangerous rhetoric is raising nuclear tensions,” he warned as Russia’s war in Ukraine neared its tenth month with no end in sight, fanning nuclear fears.

1:16am: ‘Invincibility centres’ to help provide heat and water, says Zelensky

needing basic services if knocks out power stations and other facilities this winter can turn to special “invincibility centres,” said President .

Thousands of centres spread across the country will offer electricity, heat, water, internet service, mobile phone connections and a pharmacy, free of charge and around the clock.

“If massive Russian strikes happen again and it’s clear power will not be restored for hours, the ‘invincibility centres’ will go into action with all key services,” Zelensky said in a nightly video address.

Russian attacks have knocked out power for long periods to up to 10 million consumers at a time. Ukraine’s national power grid operator said on Tuesday the damage was colossal.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)


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