Nov 23 (Reuters) – Russia unleashed a missile barrage across Ukraine on Wednesday, forcing shutdowns of nuclear power plants and killing civilians in Kyiv as Moscow pursued a campaign to plunge Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold with winter setting in.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was expected to brief the United Nations Security Council, a move that angered Russia, to speak about the damage to his country’s civilian infrastructure from the missile strikes.
* Russian missiles knocked out electricity in the Kyiv region and killed at least six people in the Ukrainian capital during attacks that caused blackouts across the country.
* Ukraine disconnected power units at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power station in the west of the country after massive Russian missile strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the regional governor said.
* Special “invincibility centres” will be set up around Ukraine to provide electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone connections and pharmacy service, free of charge and around the clock, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
* Battles raged in the east, where Russia has sent some of the forces it moved following its withdrawal from around the city of Kherson in the south. Russia is pressing an offensive of its own along a stretch of frontline west of the city of Donetsk, held by its proxies since 2014.
* The European Parliament’s website was unavailable for several hours on Wednesday due to a denial-of-service attack by “Pro-Kremlin” hackers, after its lawmakers designated Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, the institute’s president said.
* Around 50 Russian soldiers were killed and up to another 50 were injured when Ukrainian forces attacked an ammunition depot in the eastern Luhansk region, the Ukrainian military said on Wednesday.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts. Russia denies targeting civilians.
FOREIGN RESPONSE, AID
* The Group of Seven nations should soon announce the price cap on Russian oil exports and the coalition will probably adjust the level a few times a year, a senior U.S. Treasury official said.
* Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany must be ready for the situation in Ukraine to escalate but that his recent trip to China was worthwhile if only for spelling out the German and Chinese joint stance against using nuclear weapons.
* Disbursement of $4.5 billion in U.S. economic aid for Ukraine will begin in coming weeks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
* The United States has authorized an additional $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, which will include weapons, munitions and air defense equipment. The Biden administration has so far provided $19.7 billion in military assistance to Ukraine
Compiled by Lincoln Feast, Robert Birsel
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