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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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.

3:33 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Kyiv outraged after Viktor Orban's scarf shows western Ukraine as part of Hungary

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Lindsay Isaac

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was seen wearing a scarf that appeared to show parts of western Ukraine in a map of Hungary at a football match between Greece and Hungary on November 20.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was seen wearing a scarf that appeared to show parts of western Ukraine in a map of Hungary at a football match between Greece and Hungary on November 20. Viktor Orban/Instagram

Ukraine is demanding an apology from Hungary after Prime Minister Viktor Orban was seen wearing a scarf that appeared to show parts of western Ukraine in a map of Hungary.

Orban was pictured on his Instagram wearing the scarf at a football match between Greece and Hungary on Sunday.

The Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine, Istvan Igyar, was summoned to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, where he was told the incident was "unacceptable," according to a statement from the ministry.

“The attention of the Hungarian diplomat was drawn to the fact that such actions do not contribute to the development of good neighborly relations between Ukraine and Hungary,” MFA spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said. “It was emphasized that Ukraine expects an apology for this incident and hopes that in the future the Hungarian side will refrain from steps that may be regarded as disrespect for the territorial integrity of our state.”

What was on the scarf: The map appeared to represent Greater Hungary as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was defeated in World War I. It also includes parts of Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia. 

A Romanian member of the European Parliament, Alin Mituta, called it an “irresponsible act” by Orban. 

“It's a revisionist gesture that puts Orban alongside [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, who also dreams of border changes. He should be sanctioned and isolated by EU leaders in the European Council,” Mituta said on Twitter.
2:41 a.m. ET, November 23, 2022

Russia will reduce gas supply to Europe through Ukraine

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Russian energy giant Gazprom said it will reduce natural gas supply to Europe as of next Monday by pinching flow to a pipeline that runs through Ukraine.

On its official Telegram account, the state-owned company said gas meant for Moldova is being held in Ukraine so it will reduce supply to the Sudzha pipeline to account for the difference. 

“The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom to the GIS Sudzha for transit to Moldova through the territory of Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova,” it said.
“While maintaining the transit imbalance through Ukraine for Moldovan consumers, on November 28, from 10:00, Gazprom will begin reducing gas supply to the Sudzha GIS for transit through Ukraine in the amount of the daily under delivery."

A wider trend: Europe has raced to replenish its stocks this year ahead of winter as Russia dramatically cut its flows of pipeline gas, including halting all shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in September.

But a bigger challenge could emerge in the spring when Europe tries to refill its stores with a much-reduced supply of Russian pipeline gas. Flows to Europe are just 20% of their pre-war levels, according to research firm Wood Mackenzie.

CNN's Anna Cooban contributed reporting to this post. 

8:03 p.m. ET, November 22, 2022

Russian strikes caused "colossal" damage to Ukraine's power facilities, official says

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

An attack last week by Russian forces on Ukraine’s power grid caused “colossal” damage, leaving no thermal or hydroelectric power plant in Ukraine intact, according to the head of the government-owned electricity transmission system operator. 

“This was the biggest attack, the biggest in history. Over 100 heavy missiles were launched. Their targets were Ukrainian energy system facilities, mainly, Ukrenergo substations and Ukrainian thermal power stations producing energy for Ukrainian consumers,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrenergo, said Tuesday.
“To understand the scale of these attacks, what we're dealing with, almost all thermal and power generation from large power plants suffered damage from missile strikes. There are almost no Ukrenergo hub substations that are intact. Practically every key substation has been hit at least once, and some three, five or eight times.”

Ukraine’s grid is currently “stabilized” with scheduled blackouts due to the war's massive damage to power stations, leaving them unable to provide enough electricity for the country. Kherson, located in southern Ukraine, remains the most “problematic” region for power, though local workers are concentrated on demining the grid in the wake of retreating Russian troops, he said. 

In the absence of new massive attacks the situation should be stable with four-hour outages a day planned, he added.

“As we see it, the role of the energy sector is to make the energy system work in a way that enables Ukrainians to remain in their country and spend the winter here. It is our everyday battle to make the energy system meet the electricity needs of Ukrainians,” he said.

Kherson authorities have urged residents to evacuate to areas of the country with more stable power supplies as the region is still without electricity.