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Ukraine updates: Kyiv, other cities hit by missiles

Published November 15, 2022last updated November 15, 2022

Dozens of missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and other cities, hitting critical infrastructure and knocking out power. This came after Zelenskyy delivered a video address at the G20 summit. DW has the latest.

https://p.dw.com/p/4JX41
Firefighters work to put out a fire following Russian missile strikes in Ukrainian capital city Kyiv
Firefighters work to put out a fire following Russian missile strikesImage: Oleksandr Gusev/REUTERS

Russian missiles struck multiple Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, hitting two residential buildings in capital Kyiv and damaging energy facilities in other cities.

The Russian strikes were the first major aerial attack since Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city of Kherson after Russian troops pulled back last week.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko wrote on social media: "According to preliminary information, two residential buildings were hit in the Pechersk district. Several missiles were shot down over Kyiv by air defence systems."

Klitschko added that half of the Ukrainian capital was without electricity and that there was at least one casualty in the latest attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later said some 85 missiles struck Ukrainian cities, mostly targeting the country's energy infrastructure. Zelenskyy's office said some seven million homes were without electricity as of Tuesday evening.

Missile strikes were also reported in the western city of Lviv and the northeasthern city of Kharkiv.

Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy asked residents to remain in shelters following "explosions in Lviv" while Kharkhiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said a "missile attack" struck his city and it was unclear if there were casualties.

Sadovy added that 80% of Lviv had no electricity and water and heating supplies were cut off.

Officials in other cities said Russian missiles struck critical infrastructure, damaging energy facilities and resulting in power outages.

The air raid sirens came hours after Zelenskyy delivered a video address to leaders of the G20 in Bali.

The head of Zelenskyy's office, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Twitter that "a new missile attack" was the Russian response to Zelenskyy's "powerful speech."

"Does anyone seriously think that the Kremlin really wants peace?" Yermak asked, adding, instead of peace, "It wants obedience." 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, "Russian missiles are killing people and ruining infrastructure across Ukraine right now. This is what Russia has to say on the issue of peace talks."

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on Tuesday, November 15.

Poland on alert after reports of Russian missiles crossing into NATO member

Poland's prime minister called for an emergency meeting on Tuesday citing a "crisis situation," after unconfirmed media reports that Russian missile strikes crossed into the NATO member, killing two.

Polish media reported that two people died after a projectile struck Przewodow, a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.

Russia's Defense Ministry meanwhile denied that Russian missiles crossed into Poland, describing the news as a "provocation," the Russian TASS news agency reported.

The Associated Press news agency cited a US intelligence official reiterating the news, but the Pentagon said it could not confirm the reports. The National Security Council also said it was verifying the news.

"We've seen these reports out of Poland and are working with the Polish government to gather more information," NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson tweeted. "We cannot confirm the reports or any of the details at this time. We will determine what happened and what the appropriate next steps would be."

NATO's collective defense means an attack on one member is considered an attack on all members of the alliance.

'Massive' power outages reported across Moldova

Moldova temporarily lost power on Tuesday as Russian missiles struck Ukraine.

One of the key power lines that supplies the small nation was affected following the strikes on Ukraine, Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu said in a statement.

Spinu said that downing of the line resulted in "massive" power outages across the country, noting that the key tranmission lines were not "damaged, but were automatically disconnected as a safety measure."

Spinu added that power had been restored in most areas in the evening but said the risk of the situation repeating itself remains high so long as Russia attacks Ukrainian critical infrastructure. 

US, UK condemn Russian missile strikes

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, condemned Russian missile strikes against Ukraine.

 "The United States strongly condemns Russia's latest missile attacks against Ukraine, which appear to have struck residential buildings in Kyiv and additional sites across the country," Sullivan said in a statement.

"These Russian strikes will serve to only deepen the concerns among the G20 about the destabilizing impact of Putin's war," Sullivan said.

He stressed that the US and Kyiv's allies would continue to support Ukraine, including with air defense systems. 

Britain's foreign minister, James Cleverly, also condemned the "the callous targeting of Ukrainian cities."

"Putin is losing on the battlefield and – as we saw today at the G20 – diplomatically too," Cleverly wrote on Twitter. 

Zelenskyy addresses the G20: 'Now is the time' to end Russia's war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told world leaders "now is the time" to end the Russian invasion in an address to the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday.

Ukraine is not a member of the group; however, Zelenskyy was one of several world leaders invited as guests as the conflict looms large over the meeting of the world's 20 biggest economies.

Among the attendees were US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Russia's delegate, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also heard Zelenskyy's speech.

"I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped," Zelenskyy said in a video address.

"Every day of delay means new deaths of Ukrainians, new threats to the world, and an insane increase in losses due to continuation of the Russian aggression — losses for everyone in the world," the Ukrainian leader added.

Zelenskyy also reiterated his commitment to Ukraine's territorial integrity, a condition he said Kyiv would not compromise on, and the Kyiv Security Compact, a proposed agreement in which Western powers would guarantee the security of Ukraine going forward.

Later in the speech, the Ukrainian president called for a special tribunal into Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Zelenskyy to G20: 'We will not allow Russia to wait it out'

Former President Poroshenko: Ukraine's army is its 'key diplomat for peace'

Ukraine should fight for every inch of land, former President Petro Poroshenko told DW News. 

Poroshenko said that while Ukraine wants peace, it should not give in to Russian aggression.

"Definitely we want a peace. And we have a key negotiator, the key diplomat for this peace. And the name of this negotiator, the name of this diplomat is Armed Forces of Ukraine."

Recently liberated Kherson was "the best example for this negotiation," he said. 

Poroshenko, leader of Ukraine's second-largest political party, said any peace deal which includes territorial concessions would be unacceptable to him and the Ukrainian people. 

"Please do not expect that we can reach a compromise with him. Imagine that a killer comes to your house. Kills your children, rapes your wife. Occupies the second floor of your house and then opens the door and proposes to you: peace."

"Putin is a maniac and I have had this experience for the five years of negotiation with Putin during my term."

Russian administrators leave Nova Kakhovka dam

Russian occupation officials said civil servants they installed at the Nova Kakhovka dam had left due to shelling.

The dam on the Dnieper River in the Kherson region provides a significant amount of energy to Ukrainians in the country's southeast. Ukraine has accused Russia of mining the dam and Russia has responded with allegations that Ukraine instead plots to destroy it.

But by Tuesday, the Russian-installed administration in Nova Kakhovka along with "Employees of the Nova Kakhovka city state administration and state and municipal institutions also left the city and were relocated to safe areas in the region."

Germany and Spain plan to train thousands of Ukrainian troops

Berlin and Madrid will train thousands of Ukrainian troops as part of an EU program to shore-up Ukrainian forces to push back against Russian aggression. The assistance provided by the Germans and the Spanish is the latest among a series of similar announcements from other EU countries.

The EU's military training mission aims to prepare 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, the largest such mission yet by the EU. The primary hub of operations will be in Poland with an auxiliary headquarters in Germany.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told a meeting of her EU counterparts in Brussels that Berlin will train 5,000 soldiers "in a wide range of skills" by the middle of next year.

US intelligence: Russia put off withdrawal from Kherson until after US midterms

Russia may have delayed its withdrawal from Kherson so as to not give US President Joe Biden a perceived win ahead of midterm elections, US intelligence suggests according to a report from CNN.

According to the report, senior Russian government officials discussed the timing of the withdrawal in the context of the American elections earlier this month. CNN reports the midterm election was a "pre-planned condition" of the Russian withdrawal.

At a press conference last Wednesday, Biden said, "I find it interesting they waited until after the election to make that judgement, which we knew for some time they were going to be doing, and it's evidence of the fact that they have some real problems — the Russian military."

Scholz: Growing consensus against Russian war in Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said a consensus is growing that regards Russia's war against Ukraine as unacceptable and that nuclear weapons must not be used.

"This is a consensus that is gaining ground here," he told journalists at the G20 summit in Bali.

Asked about a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Scholz said: "He stood near me and said a couple of sentences, that was the conversation."

Scholz also said he would continue to talk to Russia's President Vladimir Putin to find solutions to end the war against Ukraine.

Wagner head Prigozhin denies involvement in mercenary's death in Ukraine

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Kremlin-linked Russian mercenary firm Wagner, denied involvement in the execution of one of its fighters in Ukraine after a viral video showed him being brutally killed by his colleagues after he attempted to surrender to Ukraine.

In the video, the mercenary Yevgeny Nuzhin is struck in the head by a sledgehammer. Previously Prigozhin had praised the vigilante attack by his own forces as "magnificent work" and said, "A dog should have a dog's death."

Despite the video evidence and past statements, Prigozhin said in a new statement that Wagner had nothing to do with Nuzhin's execution and instead sought to redirect blame to American intelligence for the man's death.

The Russian prisoner rights advocacy group Gulagu.net said prior to his stint as a mercenary in Ukraine, Nuzhin had been incarcerated where he was recruited to the fight.

Russia looking into death of Zambian student in Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was looking into the details of the death of Zambian student Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, on the frontline in Ukraine.

The student had been studying nuclear engineering in Moscow when he was sentenced to nearly a decade in a penal colony in April 2020 for unknown reasons. On Monday, Zambia pressed Russian officials for an explanation after they were informed of Nyirenda's death as to how a citizen serving time in prison ended up on the battlefield killed in action in eastern Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, urged African nations to push Russia to not use citizens of African countries in Moscow's war against Ukraine.

"Africans shouldn't die for Putin's sick imperial ambitions," Nikolenko said.

Germany to establish maintenance hub for Ukraine weapons in Slovakia

Germany's Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Germany will establish a maintenance hub for weapons sent to Ukraine that need servicing in Slovakia.

"We have reached agreement, and work can start immediately," Lambrecht said as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting with EU defense ministers.

Borrell: EU should work together on military materiel

The EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told reporters as he arrived for a defense ministerial in Brussels that EU countries should work together to resupply their own stocks of military equipment and avoid competition amid ongoing arms deliveries to Kyiv.

"All together makes better prices, better quality and better time," Borrell said.

FIFA president calls for World Cup cease-fire

Gianni Infantino, the president of the world football body FIFA, called for a month-long cease-fire during the World Cup, which opens Sunday in Qatar. He said the beautiful game has the potential to bring people together.

At a lunch for leaders of the G20 in Bali, Infantino said, "My plea to all of you is to think of a temporary cease-fire for one month for the duration of the World Cup."

If a full cease-fire is not possible, Infantino called for "the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue."

"We are not naive to believe that football can solve the world's problems," he added, though he noted the World Cup was a "unique platform" that presented an "opportunity."

Russia has been suspended from participating in the World Cup following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine after several countries refused to play Russia in qualifying matches

Draft G20 declaration condemns war in Ukraine

A draft of the declaration to be released by G20 leaders has condemned the invasion of Ukraine, according to reporters familiar with the 16-page document.

"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy," the draft said. "There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions."

The group is also expected to declare that "the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons" is "inadmissible." Russian President Vladimir Putin has referenced the potential use of nuclear weapons in recent weeks. 

However, the draft communique stopped short explicitly condemning Russia over the invasion.

"Recognizing that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy," the document said.

Macron calls on China to pressure Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron urged China's Xi Jinping to pressure Russia to deescelate and negotiate peace to order to end its invasion of Ukraine. The two leaders met on Tuesday during the G20 summit.

Macron's office said he asked Xi to "pass messages to President Putin to avoid escalation and return seriously to the negotiating table."

Meanwhile, Xi did not mention the invasion outside the meeting but, in a statement given to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, he hailed the talks and called on Macron and European leaders to "uphold the spirit of independence and autonomy."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden also warned against the use of nuclear weapons.

Scholz: Use of nuclear weapons is a red line

Zelenskyy welcomes Chinese comments

On Monday, Biden and Xi met on the sidelines of the G20 summit where they agreed that "conflicts and wars produce no winner ... and ... confrontation between major countries must be avoided."

Although the word "nuclear," was not used, Zelenskyy said later on Monday night that "everyone understands to whom these words are addressed."

"It is important that the United States and China jointly highlighted that the threats of using nuclear weapons were unacceptable," the Ukrainian president said.

More on the war in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has made repeated references to nuclear war as the invasion of Ukraine drags on. DW asked experts: What might happen if a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on Ukraine?

Although Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not an official topic at the G20 meeting in Bali, its consequences are. From food security to skyrocketing inflation, DW looks at what's on the agenda for the summit.

rm, ar, zc/sms (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)