Russian forces launched one of their largest aerial campaigns on Thursday, though Ukraine’s military said it was able to shoot down 65 missiles.

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that infrastructure in Kyiv, in the north-central part of the country, and Odesa, in the south, were damaged in a missile barrage and subsequently were experiencing emergency power outages.


“Today the enemy carried out another massive attack on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine,” Halushchenko said in a post on Facebook. “Unfortunately, there is some damage to generation facilities and power grids.”

Earlier this week, Halushchenko said that the power situation across the country remains “really difficult” and warned that New Year’s Eve could see “maximum damage to the energy system.”

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said they were able to shoot down 65 drones, composed of both Russian missiles and Iranian-made drones that have been provided to Russia.

“Russian terrorists have been saving one of the most massive missile attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion for the last days of the year. They dream that Ukrainians will celebrate the New Year in darkness and cold. But they cannot defeat the Ukrainian people,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Twitter. “Today, Ukraine’s Air defense forces shot down 54 Russian missiles and 11 Shahed-131/136 drones.”

For three months, Russia has launched waves of missile attacks at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in what U.S. and Western officials say is a strategy designed to weaponize the winter climate to demoralize the population. The strikes, which are launched on roughly a weekly basis, frequently result in parts of the country losing electricity, heat, and running water, and the ensuing damage is putting extraordinary strain on Ukraine’s energy grid.

The Western world has pledged more than a billion dollars to support Ukraine’s efforts to secure and rebuild its power grid.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said earlier this week United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should mediate a “peace” summit between his government and the Kremlin, and he’d like to see it happen by the end of February. However, he demanded that Moscow would need to face prosecution for war crimes in an international court before Ukraine would extend an invitation to the Kremlin.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Kuleba’s proposal, telling state media Ria Novosti that they “never followed conditions set by others. Only our own and common sense.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also claimed days ago that he’s ready to engage in talks to end the war and blamed Kyiv for not taking that step, saying in a state television interview that Russia is “prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process,” and he argued, “It’s not us who refuse talks, it’s them.”

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