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Live: Ukrainian businesses hit hard by Russian strikes but vow to carry on

Issued on: 25/11/2022 – 08:09

File photo of restaurant workers using lights from their mobile phones at work in Kyiv, Ukraine taken November 17, 2022. © John Leicester, AP

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Power cuts due to massive Russian strikes on Kyiv this week have hit the Ukrainian economy hard, but business owners are not giving up even as a brutal winter sets in, said FRANCE 24’s correspondent in the Ukrainian capital. Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has called for more Western support to help increasing reconstruction costs following the latest Russian attacks on infrastructure. Follow our coverage of the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).


5:03pm: Half of Kyiv still without power following Russian strikes

Nearly half of Kyiv residents were still without electricity on Friday as engineers battled to restore services two days after strikes hammered the country’s energy grid.

Millions of Ukrainians have endured the cold without power since Russia fired dozens of missiles and launched drone attacks at water and electricity facilities on Wednesday.

“Yes, this is a difficult situation and yes, it can happen again,” presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said on television.

“But can cope.”

5:02pm: Putin tells soldiers’ mothers that Russia ‘will achieve’ goals in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin on Friday told a group of mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine that Russia will achieve the goals of its military campaign in the country. 

“We must achieve our goals and we will achieve them in the end,” Putin said during the televised meeting at his residence near Moscow. He also denounced what he called attempts by “the enemy… in the information sphere” to “devalue, (and) compromise” Moscow’s tactics in Ukraine. 

2:59pm: EU to resume talks on Russian oil price cap

European government representatives will resume talks over the level of a price cap on Russian oil on Friday evening, a diplomat told Reuters. The diplomat, who declined to be identified, said it was not clear at present how much positions have converged.

On Thursday, European Union governments remained split over the level at which to cap Russian oil prices to curb Moscow’s ability to pay for its war in Ukraine without causing a global oil supply shock.

1:42pm: Putin meets mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin met mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine on Friday and told them not to believe everything they see on TV or read on the internet since there were many “fakes” circulating.

In a pre-recorded meeting broadcast on state television, Putin also said Russia’s leaders understood and shared the pain of those who had lost loved ones fighting in Ukraine. He vowed he would not forget the incomparable suffering of mothers who had lost sons in the nine-month-old conflict. Russia still calls the war in Ukraine a “special military operation”.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers have been sent to fight in Ukraine, including some of the more than 300,000 reservists who were called up as part of a mobilisation announced by Putin in September.

The mothers listened to Putin’s remarks but their own comments to the president were not immediately shown in the recorded clip.

11:36am: UN rights boss says Russian strikes plunge millions into hardship

The UN human rights chief said on Thursday that Russian strikes on critical infrastructure in Ukraine since October had killed at least 77 civilians and were plunging millions of people into extreme hardship.

“Millions are being plunged into extreme hardship and appalling conditions of life by these strikes,” said Volker Turk in a statement. “Taken as a whole, this raises serious problems under international humanitarian law, which requires a concrete and direct military advantage for each object attacked.”

In the same statement, he said the UN’s preliminary analysis of videos that appeared to show Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners of war indicated they were “highly likely to be authentic”.

10:45am: NATO chief says up to member states to decide Patriot deployment 

The decision whether to send Patriot air defence units to Ukraine lies with the specific nations, said Secretary-General when asked about Poland’s demands for Germany to pass on Patriot units to Kyiv.

A minor spat between NATO members Poland and Germany occurred this week after Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak revealed that he asked Germany to send Patriot missile launchers offered to Poland to Ukraine instead. The announcement followed Russia’s latest massive strikes on western Ukraine.

Germany however made it clear that the air defence units it offered to Poland were intended for use on NATO territory.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Stoltenberg said the decisions over specific systems are national decisions, adding that end user agreements and other arrangements sometimes meant that consultations with other allies were required.

The Patriot system is produced by US company Raytheon.


9:50am: Zelensky says Europe must avoid division

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday called on Europeans to remain united against Russia’s war as he addressed a conference in Lithuania.

“There is no split, there is no schism among Europeans and we have to preserve this. This is our mission number one this year,” Zelensky said via video link.

7:39am: Power cuts cause ‘huge headaches’ for business owners

Reporting from Kyiv, FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg says this week’s massive Russian strikes in western Ukraine have crippled the country’s economy. But business leaders are determined to wage an economic resistance.

File photo of restaurant workers using lights from their mobile phones at work in Kyiv, Ukraine taken November 17, 2022. © John Leicester, AP


7:12am: More than 15,000 missing due to the war in Ukraine, says intergovernmental organisation

More than 15,000 people have gone missing during the war in Ukraine, an official in the Kyiv office of the Hague-based International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said.

The ICMP’s programme director for Europe, Matthew Holliday, said it was unclear how many people had been forcibly transferred, were being held in detention in Russia, were alive and separated from family members, or had died and been buried in makeshift graves.

6:01am: Ukraine finance minister says reconstruction costs rising

Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has said more Western support is needed to help it meet its growing reconstruction costs following this week’s escalation of Russian missile attacks. 

The in August estimated it would take $105 billion to repair Ukraine’s physical infrastructure but Marchenko said the figure was rising.

Marchenko added current Western support meant “we’ll have approximately $3 to 3.5 billion a month vs $5 billion this year,” which should be enough to keep the government running.

Some senior European officials have estimated it is likely to cost more than one trillion euros to rebuild Ukraine after the war, which on Thursday entered its tenth month.

1:06am: UK foreign minister to pledge further winter support on Ukraine visit

foreign minister James Cleverly will pledge millions of pounds in further support for Kyiv during a visit to to ensure the country has the practical help it needs through the winter, his office said.

Cleverly, who is set to meet President and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the trip, also condemned Russia for its “brutal attacks” on civilians, hospitals and energy infrastructure. 

“The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine,” said Cleverly, as he set out 3 million pounds to help rebuild vital infrastructure and committed another 5 million for a Ukraine-led initiative to ship grain to countries at risk of famine.


(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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