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Ukraine updates: Russian attacks cause power cuts in Kyiv

Published February 7, 2024last updated February 7, 2024

Russian missile strikes have left part of Ukraine's capital without electricity, after Moscow targeted several cities. Meanwhile, the US president says cutting aid to Kyiv plays into the Kremlin's hands. DW has more.

An explosion of a missile is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian missile strike
The Russian missile bombardment continued after dawn as Kyiv residents headed to work Image: Gleb Garanich/REUTERS
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko says some of the city has no power after Russia targeted several cities with missiles.

Kyiv and the rest of the country came under a massive Russian attack, with the air alerts continuing into the early morning rush hour.

In other news, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is set to visit the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden says Russian leader Vladimir Putin is gambling on lawmakers failing to renew funding for Ukraine. 

Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Wednesday, February 7:

Skip next section White House says US 'can and will' deliver more aid to Ukraine
February 7, 2024

White House says US 'can and will' deliver more aid to Ukraine

President Joe Biden's administration was confident the US Congress would approve new funding for Ukraine in its war with Russia, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday.

"We believe we still can and will deliver aid for Ukraine," Sullivan told reporters during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

A bipartisan Senate bill aimed at enhancing border security and providing aid to Ukraine and Israel looked doomed to fail on Wednesday after it faced opposition from Republicans influenced by former president Donald Trump.

"There is no alternative to the United States stepping up to the plate and providing a level of resources that allow Ukraine to have the artillery, the air defense systems, and the other capabilities they need," Sullivan said in Brussels.

Stoltenberg said he counted on "all allies to sustain their commitment" to Ukraine. 

"It is vital that the United States Congress agrees on continued support for Ukraine in the near future," he said. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to address the same issue in talks with Congressional leaders and Joe Biden in Washington later this week. 

Skip next section Kremlin confirms Tucker Carlson interview with Putin
February 7, 2024

Kremlin confirms Tucker Carlson interview with Putin

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin confirmed Wednesday.

Putin has heavily limited his contact with Western media since the start of the invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they decided to grant the interview to Carlson because "he has an attitude that is different from the others."

"It is in no way pro-Russian, it is not pro-Ukrainian, it is most likely pro-American," Peskov asserted. 

He rejected Carlson's suggestion that no Western journalists had "bothered" to interview Putin since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, despite repeatedly interviewing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"We receive many requests for an interview with the president," Peskov said.

The interview would likely be aired on Thursday on Carlson's website and on social media, with Carlson particularly active on X, formerly Twitter.

After more than a decade on air, Carlson was fired by US broadcaster FOX News last year. 

He hosted a show where, among other things, he discussed conspiracy theories about Russia and the January 6 Capitol riot. 

Skip next section Ukraine passes law to allow more mobilization
February 7, 2024

Ukraine passes law to allow more mobilization

The Ukrainian parliament has passed at first reading a bill that tightens army mobilization rules to allow Kyiv to draft more people as the war with Russia nears its third year.

"This is not the final decision. There will be a second reading, and changes will be made before it," one of the lawmakers, Oleksiy Honcharenko, said on the Telegram messaging app.

The highly-sensitive reforms has to be revised earlier this month after a draft sparked public outcry. 

Lawmakers and analysts said some parts of it violated the constitution and carried corruption risks.

A central provision in the legislation is a lowering teh mininum age for the draft from 27 to 25.

The new bill retains some provisions of the initial draft, including the introduction of electronic call-ups and tough penalties for individuals who flout mobilization rules.

The reforms are seen as vital for Ukraine to replenish its battlefield manpower.

Ukrainian troops open up about stalled counteroffensive

Skip next section Three dead in drone and missile attacks — Zelenskyy
February 7, 2024

Three dead in drone and missile attacks — Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says at least three people were killed in a heavy round of Russian missile and drone attacks across Ukraine. 

The president said there had been "another massive attack against our country," saying one person was killed in the southern city of Mykolaiv. 

Two others were killed in the capital, Kyiv, he said as more news emerged of the early morning attacks. 

"In Kyiv, more than 10 people were injured. As of now, we know of about two dead. There may be more people under the
rubble," Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukraine's army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said Russian forces launched 64 missiles and drones in several waves of the attack on Wednesday morning. 

Zaluzhnyi  said air defenses had downed some 29 missiles and 15 drones.

Skip next section Atomic energy chief visits Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant
February 7, 2024

Atomic energy chief visits Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is visiting Ukraine to assess conditions surrounding the Russian-occupied nuclear power facility. 

Grossi said the cooling capabilities of the plant were of particular concern after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam downstream, which had left the water supply very "fragile."

"What we are focusing on at the moment is the situation surrounding the cooling function of the power plant," Grossi told journalists ahead of a planned visit. 

The IAEA boss also wants to review the containment measures taken by the power plant management.

Grossi has said he wants to assess the situation of Ukrainian employees excluded from the plant because they had been denied contracts with the Russian nuclear company, Rosatom.

Russia captured the facility — Europe's largest nuclear power plant  in early March 2022, shortly after launching the full-scale invasion of its neighbor. 

Ukraine dam disaster creates ongoing water shortages

Reactors at the plant have been shut down since September 2022. The facility is currently not generating any electricity but it needs external power to ensure that the reactors are permanently kept cooled. 

Skip next section Power outages in Kyiv after Russian missile attacks
February 7, 2024

Power outages in Kyiv after Russian missile attacks

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says part of the Ukrainian capital is without electricity after a Russian missile attack damaged power lines.

Ukraine's Air Force said Russia launched strikes on a number of Ukrainian cities during Wednesday morning's rush hour, with several blasts heard in Kyiv as air defense systems were engaged to repel the attack.

 "As a result of an enemy attack, two high-voltage lines were damaged by missile fragments in the capital. Some consumers on the left bank are currently without electricity," Klitschko wrote on social media.

It was not immediately clear whether the attack caused any casualties or what the level of damage had been.

The governor of the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, Oleh Sinehubov, said Russian missiles had hit non-residential infrastructure in Kharkiv city, the region's administrative center and Ukraine's second-largest city.

Skip next section Biden warns Congress against helping Putin to win
February 7, 2024

Biden warns Congress against helping Putin to win

United States President Joe Biden has warned Congress lawmakers that they would be doing the bidding of the Kremlin if they fail to renew funding for Ukraine's fight against Russian invasion.

Biden blamed former US President Donald Trump for pressuring Republican lawmakers not to pass a $118 billion bill to fund Ukraine's military in return for strict US immigration curbs.

Biden warned that the "clock is ticking" for Ukraine, and claimed that Trump was playing politics with US national security.

"We can't walk away now. That's what Putin's betting on," Biden said. "Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing this bill is playing into his hands."

rc/kb (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)