November 23, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Sana Noor Haq, Aditi Sangal and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 2:16 a.m. ET, November 24, 2022
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7:31 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

European Parliament declares Russia to be “state sponsor of terrorism”

From CNN's Chris Liakos and Eve Brennan

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel delivers a speech during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on November 22.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel delivers a speech during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on November 22. (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

In a symbolic move Wednesday, lawmakers in the European Parliament recognised Russia “as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism,” calling on the European Union “to further isolate Russia internationally.”

The EU Parliament made the decision in light of “the deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law,” which “amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes," according to a press release.

“As the EU currently cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism, Parliament calls on the EU and its member states to put in place the proper legal framework and consider adding Russia to such a list,” the press release said.

The non-binding resolution was adopted with 494 votes in favour, 58 against with 44 abstentions, the press release added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision.

“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,” he tweeted.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also on Twitter thanked the European Parliament “for the clear stance.”

CNN has reached out to the Russian authorities for comment.

7:29 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Kyiv mayor says city faces “worst winter” since World War II

From CNN’s Stephanie Halasz

People walk along a snow-covered street on November 19, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
People walk along a snow-covered street on November 19, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is braced for the “worst winter since the Second World War,” according to the mayor of the city.

Vitali Klitschko told Germany’s Bild newspaper that his administration was working to avoid widespread power cuts, which could result in some areas having to be evacuated.

We must also prepare for the worst scenario," Klitschko said in an interview published Tuesday.

"That would be if there were widespread power cuts and the temperatures were even colder.

“Then parts of the city would have to be evacuated, but we don't want it to come to that!"

Ukrainian energy suppliers were forced to impose additional blackouts earlier this week after a recent onslaught of Russian strikes targeting critical infrastructure wiped out much of the country's power supply.

More than 10 million Ukrainians had no power following the attacks from Moscow's forces.

Russia has been accused of deliberately targeting Ukraine’s civilian power grid in an effort to leave the civilian population without electricity and heat — an act that would amount to a war crime. A senior US State Department official said Monday that a consistent pattern of Russian attacks on civilian elements in Ukraine was "deeply troubling."

8:57 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

UK defense ministry to send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London

UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace arrives in Downing Street, London, on November 1.
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace arrives in Downing Street, London, on November 1. (Jeff Gilbert/Shutterstock)

Britain is sending its first delivery of helicopters and additional artillery to Ukraine, the country's defense ministry announced Wednesday.

Sea King helicopters will be delivered for the first time “to provide key search and rescue capabilities,” while 10,000 artillery rounds will also be dispatched, according to the ministry's statement.

The support was announced by UK defense secretary Ben Wallace on a visit to Norway, where he will host a meeting of the Northern Group of defense ministers, the statement said.

The UK has held six weeks of training in the UK for 10 crews of Ukrainian military personnel on the Sea King helicopters, the defense ministry added.

“Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks,” Wallace said.

The news came after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his first visit to Kyiv over the weekend, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and announced a $60 million air defense package for the country.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included the wrong amount of the UK's air defense package announced this weekend.

6:19 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Newborn killed in missile strike on Ukrainian maternity hospital was two days old

From CNN’s Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital destroyed by a Russian missile attack in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23.
Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital destroyed by a Russian missile attack in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23. (Reuters)

The newborn baby who died in a missile strike on a maternity hospital in Vilnyansk in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region was two days old, said first lady Olena Zelenska.

“RF [Russian Federation] crimes are insane. This night, maternity hospital in Zaporizhzhia region became target. 2 days old boy died…” Zelenska tweeted in English.

Horrible pain. We will never forget and never forgive.“

President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier condemned the attack. "The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what he wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve," he said, referring to Russia.

The hospital was hit by an S-300 missile, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office.

“A baby was killed, a woman in labor and a doctor were wounded. Private houses also suffered from the enemy shelling," the prosecutor's office said.

The Prosecutor's General Office of Ukraine has started a pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings over violation of the laws and customs of war.
The Prosecutor's General Office of Ukraine has started a pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings over violation of the laws and customs of war. (Prosecutor's General Office of Ukraine)

It has started a pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings over violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with premeditated murder, according to a statement on Telegram.

Some context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified some 703 attacks on health care facilities in Ukraine since February, according to its latest data, amid ongoing assaults from Moscow targeting critical civilian infrastructure.

Relentless attacks on the health infrastructure in Ukraine has impacted multiple services, Dr. Jarno Habicht, the World Health Organization's representative in Ukraine, said on Monday. These include a devastating strike on a maternity and children's hospital in the southern city of Mariupol in March.

About one in five people in Ukraine has difficulty accessing medicine, according to Habicht. The problem is worse in Ukrainian regions occupied by Russia, with one in three people there not able to get the medicine they need, Habicht added.

It is a problem that will be exacerbated by heavy snowfall during Ukraine's harsh winter season, which poses a "formidable challenge" to the health system, the WHO official warned.

4:44 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Zelensky condemns Russian attack on maternity ward that killed newborn baby

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital destroyed by a Russian missile attack in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23.
Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital destroyed by a Russian missile attack in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23. (Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Russia's strike Wednesday on a maternity ward in southern Ukraine that killed a newborn baby.

The child's mother and a doctor were rescued from the rubble of the destroyed hospital in Vilnyansk, Zaporizhzhia region, following the rocket attack, according to Ukrainian authorities.

"The terrorist state continues to fight against civilians and civilian objects," Zelensky said, referring to Russia.

"The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what he wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve. Instead, he will only be held to account for all the evil he brought to our country."

Vilnyansk is a Ukrainian-controlled city. Parts of the wider Zaporizhzhia region are occupied by Russia, which claims it as Russian territory in violation of international law.

2:51 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

2 killed in Russian shelling of Kharkiv region

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Alex Stambaugh

Two people were killed in Russian shelling overnight in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, a senior Ukrainian official said Wednesday.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian President's office, said on Telegram that a residential building, a health clinic and a school were hit in the town of Kupiansk.

For months, Russian shelling and missile strikes have targeted civilian infrastructure in various parts of Ukraine, including Kharkiv, where occupying Russian troops have been pushed out by Ukraine's counteroffensive.

2:41 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Mother rescued after newborn baby killed in Russian strike on Ukraine maternity ward

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

The damage of the Russian strike on the maternity ward.
The damage of the Russian strike on the maternity ward. (Oleksandr Starukh/Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration)

A mother was rescued Wednesday from the rubble of a hospital in southern Ukraine after a Russian strike destroyed the facility, killing her newborn baby, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukraine's State Emergency Services said the woman had just given birth to the child at the maternity ward in the city of Vilnyansk, in the Zaporizhzhia region. A doctor was also rescued they said.

According to preliminary information, no one else is under the rubble, they added. 

Earlier, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration said on Telegram that Russian forces had "launched huge rockets at a small maternity ward at the Vilnyansk hospital."

Vilnyansk is a Ukrainian-controlled city. Parts of the wider Zaporizhzhia region are occupied by Russia, which claims it as Russian territory in violation of international law.

3:14 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Russians grow more critical as Putin's military operation drags on and sanctions take a toll

From CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, Claudia Otto and Ana Archen

November and December are known as the most depressing months in Moscow. The days are short and dark, and the weather is too cold and wet to be outdoors much but still too warm and rainy to enjoy the real Russian winter.

This year, the feeling of melancholy is increased by the sight of shuttered shops on many of the capital’s streets, as businesses face the economic fall-out from massive Western sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine, which Russian officials still call the “special military operation.”

“The mood in Moscow and the country is now extremely gloomy, quiet, intimidated, and hopeless,” said 34-year-old Lisa, who declined to give her last name and said she was a film producer. “The planning horizon is as low as ever. People have no idea what might happen tomorrow or in a year.”

While the shelves in most stores remain well stocked, Western products are becoming increasingly scarce and very expensive, further driving prices that are already hammering many Russian households.

“Familiar goods disappear, starting from toilet paper and Coca-Cola, ending with clothes,” said Lisa.

“Of course, you can get used to all this, this is not the worst thing at all,” she said.

But she also took a jab at Western governments and companies that have left the Russian market in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“I do not really know how this helps in resolving the conflict, because it affects ordinary people, not those who make decisions,” Lisa said.

Read the full story here.

3:05 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Newborn killed in Russian strikes on maternity ward in southern Ukraine

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23, in this still image from video.
Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 23, in this still image from video. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters)

A newborn baby was killed in Russian strikes on a maternity ward in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region overnight, according to a Ukrainian military official.

Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, said on Telegram Wednesday that Russian forces had "launched huge rockets at a small maternity ward at the Vilnyansk hospital" in the city of Vilnyansk.

"Our hearts are filled with grief, as a newborn baby was killed," he said.

Starukh said rescue teams have responded to the site of the attack.

Some context: Vilnyansk is a Ukrainian-controlled city. Parts of the wider Zaporizhzhia region are occupied by Russia, which claims it as Russian territory in violation of international law.