The war shows no signs of slowing down with heavy missile attacks continuing overnight in the south and east of the country.
The latest wave of strikes comes after three Russian airbases experienced attacks this week. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attacks, some of which have been located hundreds of miles within Russia.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that Washington has neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia but said the U.S. is determined to ensure Kyiv has the equipment it needs to defend itself.
Pro-Russian official Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the separatist “Donetsk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine, told Russian state media Tuesday that Russian troops are in a position to advance in Donetsk, arguably the most hotly-contested region in the Ukraine war at the moment.
Fighting there has descended into bloody trench warfare with fierce battles over local settlements as Russian troops attempt to encircle and capture Bakhmut and Ukrainian forces try to hold them back.
Kyiv mayor says winter ‘apocalypse’ scenario is possible, but urges calm
Kyiv’s mayor on Wednesday warned of an “apocalypse” scenario for the Ukrainian capital this winter if Russian air strikes on infrastructure continue and said although there was no need for people to evacuate now, they should be ready to do so.
“Kyiv might lose power, water, and heat supply. The apocalypse might happen, like in Hollywood films, when it’s not possible to live in homes considering the low temperature,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko told Reuters in an interview.
“But we are fighting and doing everything we can to make sure that this does not happen,” the former world heavyweight boxing champion said, raising his booming voice to drive the point home.
According to Klitschko, 152 civilian residents of Kyiv have been killed and 678 buildings destroyed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, but the city faces fresh tribulations this winter as Russia regularly pounds Ukraine’s power grid with missiles.
EU eyes Russian officials, banks, industry for sanctions
The European Union proposed travel bans and asset freezes on almost 200 more Russian officials and military officers as part of a new round of sanctions aimed at ramping up pressure on Moscow over its war in Ukraine.
The proposals were made by the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission. They must still be debated and endorsed by the 27 member countries, a process that routinely results in the commission’s suggestions getting watered down.
The targets of the latest recommended sanctions include government ministers, lawmakers, regional governors and political parties.
“This list covers key figures in Russia’s brutal and deliberate missile strikes against civilians, in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children to Russia, and in the theft of Ukrainian agricultural products,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.
With a fresh raft of sanctions, the commission also intends to target the Russian defense industry and more Russian banks, and to impose export controls and restrictions on products like chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components that could be used by the armed forces.