Our live coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine has moved here.
November 24, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news
By Tara Subramaniam, Sophie Tanno and Ed Upright, CNN
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Western plans to introduce oil price caps would have "grave consequences" for energy markets, during a telephone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.
"Putin stressed that such actions go against the principles of market relations and are highly likely to lead to grave consequences for the global energy market," according to the Kremlin's readout of the call.
Putin's remarks come as energy ministers from the European Union held an extraordinary meeting Thursday aimed at containing the economic fallout from surging gas prices triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has stressed that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states.
It comes after the Polish defense minister said on Wednesday that Berlin should send Patriot missile air defense systems directly to Ukraine rather than Poland.
''It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies to stand by each other – even in difficult times – and especially Poland in its exposed position,'' Lambrecht told reporters in Berlin on Thursday.
''That is why we have offered to support air policing and Patriots. Patriot systems are part of NATO's integrated air defense of NATO, which is why it was possible to make this proposal to Poland,” the minister added.
''Proposals that deviate from that have to be discussed now with NATO and with our allies,'' Lambrecht concluded.
On Monday, Germany offered Poland assistance in providing anti-missile systems, including the Patriot missile defense system, to Poland to help Warsaw strengthen its air defense capacity following a deadly missile strike on Polish territory near the Ukrainian border on November 15.
Russia and Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange Thursday with 100 soldiers in total returning to their respective home countries.
According to Russian and Ukrainian officials, each side returned 50 captive soldiers following negotiations.
“On November 24, as a result of the negotiation process, 50 Russian servicemen were returned from the territory controlled by the Kyiv regime, who were in mortal danger in captivity,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.
The soldiers will be taken to Moscow for treatment and provided with the “necessary medical and psychological assistance,” it added.
According to the office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Yermak, two officers were among 50 returned soldiers who were captured in battles in Mariupol, Azovstal, Chernobyl power plant and Snake Island.
“We continue to work on the release of all our people from captivity. I am grateful for the work of the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War. We will return everyone,” he said in a statement.
Over the past two days, 86 Ukrainian service members have been returned and a total of 1,269 people have been released over the course of the Russian invasion, he added.
Ukrainian doctors resorted to performing surgery by torchlight during blackouts caused by the large-scale Russian missile strikes on Wednesday.
Dr. Borys Todurov, head of medical services at the Kyiv Heart Institute, posted a video on Instagram that he said showed doctors wearing headlamps as they performed heart surgery on a child.
The operation had been underway when the power went out, Dr. Todurov said. The hospital had “no water for several hours,” he added.
The director of the Mechnikova Hospital in the central Dnipropetrovsk region said “tens of patients in a critical condition were on surgery tables” when the lights went out. “Anaesthesiologists and surgeons put on headlights to save each of them,” Dr. Sergii Ryzhenko wrote on Facebook.
Dr. Ryzhenko posted a photo of two doctors he said were operating on a 23-year-old man. “Doctors Yaroslav Medvedyk and Kseniya Denysova, along with their colleagues, were performing a unique surgery when the electricity went down. It happened for the first time in 35 years of Yaroslav’s practice. The nerves were tense, but the patient… has made it,” he said.
The Ukrainian health ministry said on Facebook: “The lack of light will not stop us.”
Electricity was restored to all parts of Ukraine's power grid Thursday, but individual households are being connected "gradually," an official in the office of President Volodymr Zelensky said on Telegram.
“Electricity has been supplied to all regions of Ukraine,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko said. “The first to be supplied were critical infrastructure facilities. As of now, household consumers are gradually being connected to the grid.”
Nearly 3,000 miners have been rescued in Ukraine after power outages caused by Russian strikes on the country's energy infrastructure left them trapped underground overnight.
One in four houses in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv are without power following Wednesday's shelling, city authorities said on Telegram. Water supply in the city has been now restored, although systems are not working at full capacity.
Here are the latest developments:
- Unprecedented "blackout:" The barrage of Russian air strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure Wednesday caused a “blackout” in the country's power system, its energy minister told national television, marking the first time that all four of Ukraine’s nuclear plants were shut down at the same time.
- Death toll rises: The death toll from Russian missile attacks has risen to 10, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said on national TV. There are around 50 wounded civilians, he added.
- Fresh sanctions: The European Union is preparing a ninth package of sanctions against Russia, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.
- Rescue operation: Nearly 3,000 miners were rescued after power outages caused by Russian strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure left them trapped underground overnight. Rescue efforts in the central Dnipropetrovsk region concluded in the early hours of this morning.
The death toll from Wednesday afternoon’s Russian missile attacks has risen to 10, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said on national TV.
“Eight energy facilities were hit yesterday. Unfortunately, there is confirmed information about 10 dead and about 50 wounded civilians,” Andrii Kostin said.
The water supply has been returned to every district in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, mayor Vitalii Klitschko said on Telegram Thursday.
“Water supply has been restored in all districts of the capital,” he said. “But it will take some time for the water supply system to work at full capacity.”
Currently, some consumers may still have low water pressure in the system, especially those Kyiv residents who live on the upper floors of high-rise buildings,” Klitschko said.
Water in Kyiv was suspended Wednesday after shelling in the region, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a post on Telegram.
Klitschko asked residents to “stock up on water” while experts tried to “return water to the homes of Kyiv residents.”
The Kyiv regional administration said Wednesday the entire Kyiv region – meaning millions of people – was completely without electricity and water was also badly disrupted after Russian missiles targeted critical infrastructure.
Poland’s defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak said Wednesday the Patriot missile defense system that Germany offered Poland should go to Ukraine instead.
“After further missile attacks (from Russia), I turned to (Germany) to have the proposed (Poland) Patriot batteries transferred to (Ukraine) and deployed at the western border,” Blaszczak said on Twitter.
“This will protect (Ukraine) from further victims and blackout and will increase security at our eastern border.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasyl Zvarych, responded by thanking him on Twitter and added: "We need as many modern anti-missile systems as possible to keep the sky above Ukraine safe. Successful defense of (Ukraine) against Russia is a contribution to the security of Poland and the whole of Europe, because Russian terror does not respect borders.”
Germany’s offer to Poland came after a missile hit Polish territory and killed two people near the Ukrainian border on November 15. The leaders of Poland and NATO said that projectile was likely fired by Ukrainian forces defending their country against Russian strikes, and that the incident appeared to be an accident.
A longtime mainstay of US military operations: The Patriot air defense missile system – Patriot stands for “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept of Target” – is designed to counter and destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft and cruise missiles.
The battery includes missiles and launching stations, a radar set that detects and tracks targets, and an engagement control station, according to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.
The Patriot missile system has undergone several improvements and upgrades since it was first deployed in 1982.
Its first combat use was in the Gulf War, which was also the first time that an air defense system destroyed a hostile tactical ballistic missile.
CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this post.