Russia-Ukraine war live: ‘massive’ blackout reported in Moldova and Kyiv’s critical infrastructure hit after new Russian strikes

‘Massive’ blackout in Moldova after Russian attack, says deputy PMAndrei Spînu, Moldova’s deputy prime minister, has reported “massive” power outages in his country following Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Moldelectrica, the state-owned energy firm, is working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity, he added.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) November 23, 2022
Key eventsShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featureThe International Rescue Committee has condemned an overnight Russian rocket attack that struck a hospital maternity ward in southern Ukraine, killing a newborn baby. In a statement, the IRC’s vice president for emergencies, Bob Kitchen, said this morning’s attack on the town of Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, was part of a “dangerous global trend of increasing attacks on health in conflict”.He said:The tragic images of rescuers working at the site of a maternity ward we saw this morning illustrate that women and children continue to pay the highest price for this war.
No child should be born under a barrage of missile strikes. No child should die buried in rubble remaining from hospitals, where their mothers seek safety and protection.Rescuers moving concrete blocks at the site of a maternity ward destroyed by shelling in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region. Photograph: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine Handout/EPAHealth facilities are protected under international law and should be “safe havens in times of crisis and conflict”, he added.Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, has shared an image of 36 of his country’s servicemen who have returned after being held captive in Russia. Among those who were returned in a prisoner-of-war exchange with Russia were fighters at the Azovstal steelworks of the southern port city of Mariupol, he added.Returned 36 our citizens from the Russian captivity, one civilian and 35 military personnel.
Among them are Mariupol and “Azovstal” defenders, as well as national guards captured at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in early days of the invasion. pic.twitter.com/q8eX5NCICz— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) November 23, 2022
Here are some of the images we have received from the aftermath of the Russian missile strikes across Ukraine today. Rescuers work at a site of a residential building destroyed by a Russian missile attack in the town of Vyshhorod, near Kyiv. Photograph: ReutersA firefighter walks in front of destroyed cars after Russian rocket attack in Kyiv. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/APFirefighters work to extinguish a fire after a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/APKyiv without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks in Kyiv. Photograph: ReutersUkraine’s state-run nuclear energy firm, Energoatom, has said power units of three Ukrainian nuclear power plants were switched off after Russian missile strikes across the country.In a statement, it said “due to a decrease in frequency in the energy system of Ukraine” emergency protection was activated at the Rivne, Pivdennoukrainsk and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plants.Energoatom added:Currently, they (power units) work in project mode, without generation into the domestic energy system.European parliament under cyberattack by pro-Kremlin group, says officialThe president of the European parliament, Roberta Metsola, has confirmed that it came under “sophisticated cyberattacks, hours after MEPs voted to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility for the denial of service attack on the European parliament’s website, she said.She added that IT experts were “pushing back” against the cyberattack and protecting their systems. She added:My response: #SlavaUkrainiThe @Europarl_EN is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility.Our IT experts are pushing back against it & protecting our systems. This, after we proclaimed Russia as a State-sponsor of terrorism. My response: #SlavaUkraini— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) November 23, 2022
Andrew SparrowBoris Johnson’s claim that Germany wanted Ukraine to quickly “fold” after Russia’s invasion has been dismissed as “utter nonsense” by Berlin.PA media reports:The former prime minister, who was in office when Vladimir Putin’s troops invaded in February, said Germany wanted Ukraine to quickly lose, rather than have a lengthy war, for “all sorts of sound economic reasons”.
But German government spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, on Wednesday sharply refuted his comment.
“We know that the very entertaining former prime minister always has a unique relationship with the truth; this case is no exception,” he said, according to German media.
Berlin swiftly decided to send arms to Ukraine after Moscow launched its invasion, chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesperson said, noting the “facts speak against [Johnson’s] claims”.
Switching to English, Hebestreit added: “This is utter nonsense.”
Germany’s ambassador to the UK tweeted the official’s rejection of Mr Johnson’s claim, which will not have helped UK-German relations.
Johnson earlier told US broadcaster CNN: “The Germans, for all sorts of sound economic reasons, really didn’t want it to … I’ll tell you a terrible thing – the German view was at one stage that if it were going to happen, which would be a disaster, then it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly and for Ukraine to fold.
“I couldn’t support that. I thought that was a disastrous way of looking at it, but I could understand why they thought and felt as they did.”
The ex-PM also said France was in denial “right up until the last moment” when Russian forces crossed the border.
“This thing was a huge shock. We could see the Russian battalion tactical groups amassing but different countries had very different perspectives,” he said.
“Be in no doubt that the French were in denial right up until the last moment.”This is from Miguel Berger, the German ambassador to the UK.”We know that the very entertaining former Prime Minister always has a unique relationship with the truth. This case is also no exception.”?? Government spokesperson @RegSprecher rejects @BorisJohnson’s claims about Germany’s position regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine.— Miguel Berger (@GermanAmbUK) November 23, 2022
For more live updates from the UK, do follow my colleague Andy Sparrow’s UK politics blog.Updated at 11.24 ESTSummary of the day so farIt’s 6pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:
Dozens of Russian missiles were reportedly launched against Ukraine on Wednesday morning, with explosions heard in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Air raid alerts were heard across all over the country as Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, urged people to stay in shelters.
At least three people have been killed – including a 17-year-old girl – and six injured after a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, according officials. Three people have died and at least 11 injured from the strikes, mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Oleksii Kuleba, head of the regional military administration, said the entire Kyiv region was without electricity after Moscow’s airstrikes targeted critical infrastructure.
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, has said the entire western Ukrainian city is “without light” following Russian strikes. Sadovyi warned that there would be “interruptions” with the city’s water supply and that he was awaiting additional information from energy experts.
Ukraine’s nuclear energy firm, Energoatom, reported that a number of units were shut down at the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. “Everything is fine with the station. There is nowhere to generate electricity,” a spokesperson said.
Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure caused blackouts across half of neighbouring Moldova, the deputy prime minister of Moldova said. Moldelectrica, the state-owned energy firm, is working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity, Andrei Spînu, said. Moldova’s foreign affairs minister, Nicu Popescu, said he has asked for Russia’s ambassador to be summoned.
A newborn baby was killed after an overnight Russian rocket attack struck a hospital maternity ward in southern Ukraine. Ukraine’s state emergency service said that a woman with her two-day-old baby and a doctor had been in the facility in the town of Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, that was destroyed.
A Ukrainian security official has said suspected Russian citizens, cash and documents were seized in a raid on a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv and other Orthodox sites. The raid, which took place on Tuesday, was part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, said.
The European parliament was hit by a cyber-attack, officials said, hours after it voted to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. In a non-binding resolution approved by a large majority of MEPs, the European parliament urged the EU’s 27 member states to make the same designation “with all the negative consequences this implies”. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, welcomed the declaration.
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog met a Russian delegation in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss safety at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the watchdog said. The Zaporizhzhia plant, which Russia seized shortly after its invasion, was again rocked by shelling at the weekend, leading to renewed calls from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create a protection zone around it to prevent a nuclear disaster.
The UK is sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has announced. Three Sea King helicopters will be provided, with the first already in Ukraine, according to PA Media. Wallace also said an extra 10,000 artillery rounds were being sent to help Ukraine secure the territory it has recaptured from the invading forces in recent weeks.
Russia has probably launched a number of Iranian manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against Ukraine since September, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said. It’s also likely that Russia has nearly exhausted its current stock of Iran-made weapons and will seek resupply, the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.
Good afternoon from London, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong still here with all the latest developments from the Russia-Ukraine war. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter or via email.Updated at 11.24 ESTEU parliament ‘hit by cyber attack’ after declaring Russia a sponsor of terrorismThe European parliament was hit by a cyberattack, officials said, hours after it voted to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.Jaume Duch, a spokesperson for the EU parliament said its website was down due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack.?The availability of @Europarl_EN website is currently impacted from outside due to high levels of external network traffic.
This traffic is related to a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) event.
EP teams are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.— Jaume Duch (@jduch) November 23, 2022
Russia’s defence ministry said 35 prisoners of war who had been held captive in Ukraine were returned after talks.In a statement, it said:On November 23, as a result of the negotiation process, 35 Russian servicemen were returned from the territory controlled by the Kyiv regime, who were in mortal danger in captivity.The servicemen will be transported by air to Moscow “for treatment and rehabilitation at medical institutions of the Russian defence ministry”, it said.They will be given medical and psychological assistance, it added.Updated at 10.30 ESTA 17-year-old girl is among those killed in Russian airstrikes on Kyiv this afternoon, mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said.Three people have died and at least 11 injured from the strikes, he said.Updated at 10.24 ESTA top Ukrainian security official has said that suspected Russian citizens and cash documents were seized in a raid on a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv and other Orthodox sites early on Tuesday as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”.Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, said there was an ongoing investigation into what had been going on in the network of catacombs.The Pechersk Lavra monastic complex in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/APThe SBU website said the agency had found pro-Russian literature, over $100,000 in cash, and “dubious” Russian citizens.“We are not going to talk about money right now,” Danilov told the Guardian.There’s certain documents were found there. And certain citizens were found there … most likely citizens of the Russian federation. And now we’re trying to find out what they do in there and why they were there.Located south of the city centre, the sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex – or Kyiv Monastery of the Caves – is the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox church that falls under the Moscow patriarchate, as well as being a Ukrainian cultural treasure and a Unesco world heritage site.The raid on Pechersk Lavra was part of a broad sweep of the church’s property. The SBU said in all, about 850 people had their identities checked and 50 underwent “in-depth counterintelligence interviews”, including with the use of a polygraph. More than 350 church buildings were searched including two other monasteries and the headquarters of the Moscow patriarchate’s diocese in western Ukraine, the agency said.Read the full story by my colleagues Julian Borger and Lorenzo Tondo here:Updated at 10.17 ESTRescuers work at a site of a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv today.Rescuers work at a site of a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, November 23, 2022. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/ReutersMoldova’s foreign affairs minister, Nicu Popescu, says he has asked for Russia’s ambassador to be summoned after strikes on Ukraine left his country “in the dark, again”.Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have left Moldova in the dark, again.Massive blackouts across the country, including Chisinau and the @MoldovaMFA building.I instructed that Russia’s ambassador be summoned for explanations.— Nicu Popescu (@nicupopescu) November 23, 2022
Updated at 09.48 ESTEntire city of Lviv ‘without light’, says mayorAndriy Sadovyi, the mayor of Lviv, has said the entire western Ukrainian city is “without light”.Sadovyi warned that there would be “interruptions” with the city’s water supply and that he was awaiting additional information from energy experts.Updated at 08.56 ESTUkraine’s nuclear energy firm, Energoatom, has reported that a number of units were shut down at the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.An Energoatom spokesperson said:Everything is fine with the station. There is nowhere to generate electricity.At least three killed in Russian strike on Kyiv, says city officialAt least three people have been killed and six injured after a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, according to the city administration.Oleksii Kuleba, head of the regional military administration, said the entire Kyiv region was without electricity after Moscow’s air strikes targeted critical infrastructure.The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, also reported on Telegram that the city’s water supply had been cut off.Updated at 08.47 EST