December 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Jack Guy, Eliza Mackintosh and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Updated 1:06 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022
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1:11 p.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Russia says Ukraine launched drone attacks against 2 military air bases inside its territory

From Tim Lister and Darya Tarasova

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine used drones to attack two Russian military airfields on Monday morning.

In a statement carried on the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the ministry said the attacks were "in the Saratov and Ryazan regions" but had been intercepted by air defenses.

"On the morning of December 5, the Kiev regime, in order to disable Russian long-range aircraft, attempted to strike with Soviet-made jet unmanned aerial vehicles [drones] at the Diaghilevo military airfields in the Ryazan region and Engels in the Saratov region," the report said.

"The air defense of the Russian Aerospace Forces intercepted these Ukrainian drones flying at low altitude," the Ministry added. "Three Russian soldiers were killed, four more were injured in the attack."

"As a result of the fall and explosion at the Russian airfields of the wreckage of [the] jet drones, the skin of two aircraft was slightly damaged," it said.

Ukraine has not confirmed that it attacked either airfield. Recent satellite imagery shows a substantial number of Russian strategic bombers at the Engels airbase in Saratov.

12:00 p.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Ukrainian regions report power outages as government seeks more air defenses

From Olga Voitovych and Tim Lister

Members of the public pray at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv on December 4.
Members of the public pray at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv on December 4. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Several regions of Ukraine have reported interruptions to power and water supplies amid freezing temperatures after about 70 Russian missiles were fired at targets across the country.

The Ukrainian Air Force said the great majority of missiles were intercepted, but some appear to have reached their targets.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russia "tried to implement its criminal plan — to plunge Ukraine into darkness and cold. The enemy once again failed in its plan."

"The country's energy system is functioning and remains intact," Shmyhal added.

But he said there were "hits to power facilities in Kyiv region, Vinnytsia region and Odesa region. In some regions, emergency shutdowns were forced to balance the system and avoid accidents. Rescuers are already working to eliminate the consequences of the attack."

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that the missile attacks showed Ukraine still needed more air defenses.

"Russia has fired another barrage of missiles at our critical civilian infrastructure trying to deprive people of power, water, and heating amid freezing temperatures. The more war crimes Russia commits, the more weapons should be provided to Ukraine to end Russian terror sooner," Kuleba tweeted.

Impacted areas: Odesa appears to have been among the worst affected regions. Maksym Marchenko, head of Odesa regional state administration, said energy infrastructure was damaged and there were also hits to civilian buildings, wounding two people.

"Currently, there is no electricity supply in Odesa city and most communities of Odesa district. All services are on the ground and have already started to restore power supply," the official said.

One of Ukraine's major electricity providers, DTEK, said there were "emergency blackouts" in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions. These are in addition to scheduled power outages already in effect.

"We will resume the stabilization schedules as soon as the situation in the power system stabilizes," DTEK said.

Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv region military administration, said on Ukrainian television that "one energy infrastructure facility was hit in the Kyiv region. The attack was extremely dynamic, there were many targets. We will be able to give a clearer analysis of what happened within the next two hours. I can say that we do not see any critical consequences."

Kuleba added: "Emergency shutdowns continue in Kyiv region now. Currently, about 40% of subscribers are without power supply. This is an emergency shutdown. We are currently consulting on when we will be able to supply power to all consumers."

The Ivano-Frankivsk region also reported power cuts as a result of Russian missile attacks Monday, with the head of the region's state administration, Svitlana Onyshchuk, saying the regional power distribution company had reported that "due to massive shelling of the energy infrastructure facilities," NPC Ukrenergo had reduced electricity capacity in the Prykarpattia area by one-third. Prykarpattia is located near the Carpathian mountains in western Ukraine.

11:14 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

More than 60 Russian missiles intercepted on Monday, Ukrainian Air Force says

From Olga Voitovych

The Ukrainian Air Force said that more than 60 Russian missiles were intercepted on Monday.

In a statement on Telegram, the air force said that a "massive attack on critical infrastructure" had been repelled.

"In total, more than 70 missiles were launched. According to preliminary information, 38 cruise missiles (Kh-101 /Kh-555) were launched from eight strategic missile Tu-95M (bombers) from the Caspian Sea and Volgodonsk, Rostov region," it said.

"The enemy also struck with 22 'Kalibr' cruise missiles from the Black Sea Fleet ships," it noted. "In addition, Ukraine was attacked from the Black Sea by Tu-22m3 long-range bombers with three cruise missiles, as well as Su-35 fighters with six guided missiles."

In the past, Ukrainian air defenses have been able to take out about two thirds of the missiles fired in barrages by Russian forces. The last such wave was on Nov. 23.  

1:38 p.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Putin appears on repaired Kerch bridge, according to Russian state media

From Seb Shukla and Anna Chernova 

Vladimir Putin, second left, visits the Kerch Bridge, Crimea, on December 5.
Vladimir Putin, second left, visits the Kerch Bridge, Crimea, on December 5. (Kremlin)

President Vladimir Putin was filmed driving and walking on the Kerch Bridge, according to Russian state media and video. 

The bridge has been a major flashpoint in the war in Ukraine. On Oct. 8, a large explosion took place on the bridge that destroyed a large section. The bridge is the only land route that connects mainland Russia to illegally-annexed Crimea.

In one of the videos from state media, Putin is seen at the wheel of a Mercedes vehicle, sitting beside the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. In another, he is seen walking along a section of the bridge with a hood pulled up on his coat.

Five images released by the Kremlin website show Putin accompanied by the deputy prime minister. 

In the driving video, Khusnullin says to Putin that “metal was available for bridge parts, so the metal was brought over to build these structures, and within two weeks all the 1214 tonnes were assembled and brought here,” an apparent reference to the damaged that the Kerch Bridge sustain on Oct. 8.

Explosion causes a fire at the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, on October 8.
Explosion causes a fire at the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, on October 8. (Vera Katkova/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

In the video released by Russian state TV, President PO Putin is heard asking “how many people worked on the repairs.” Khunsnullin replies, “500 people, 3 floating cranes, 4 barges and 31 pieces of equipment around the clock.”

CCTV from the time when the bridge sustained damage in October showed a truck exploding and the Kremlin was quick to point the finger at Kyiv. Putin alleged that the act was an “sabotage” by Ukrainian special services.

In 2018, Putin symbolically drove a truck across the Kerch Bridge to mark its opening. It was greeted with much fanfare on Russian state TV at the time.

10:59 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Putin signs expanded anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia, the country's latest crackdown on human rights

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Anna Chernova

A general view of the building of the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, in Moscow on September 15, 2020.
A general view of the building of the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, in Moscow on September 15, 2020. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill banning so-called LGBTQ “propaganda” in Russia, in the latest crackdown on human rights in the country.

The new laws significantly broaden the scope of a 2013 law which banned the dissemination of LGBTQ-related information to minors. The new iteration extends the ban on promoting such information to adults as well.

The new laws make it illegal to promote or “praise” LGBTQ relationships, publicly express non-heterosexual orientations or suggest that they are “normal.”

The package of amendments signed by Putin include heavier penalties for anyone promoting “non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences,” as well as pedophilia and gender transition. Under the new law, it will be banned across the internet, media, books, audiovisual services, cinema, and advertising.

Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,370) for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles ($3,185) for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.”

These fines rise to up to 5 million rubles ($80,000) and 4 million rubles ($64,000) respectively for legal entities.

The law was approved by the Russia’s upper and lower houses in recent weeks.

More background: The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that the 2013 law is discriminatory, promotes homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court found that the law “served no legitimate public interest,” rejecting suggestions that public debate on LGBT issues could influence children to become homosexual, or that it threatened public morals.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination is still rife. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by watchdog ILGA-Europe.

Speaking before Putin signed the bill into the law on Monday, Tanya Lokshina, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said: “The 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law was an unabashed example of political homophobia, and the new draft legislation amplifies that in broader and harsher ways.”

10:30 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Zelensky claims high success rate in destroying Russian missiles

From Olga Voitovych and Victoria Butenko

Parts of a Russian cruise missile shot down by the Ukrainian Air Defence Forces are seen in a field in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, on December 5.
Parts of a Russian cruise missile shot down by the Ukrainian Air Defence Forces are seen in a field in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, on December 5. (Head of the National Police of Kyiv region Andrii Nebytov/Telegram/Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement Monday that Kyiv's air defenses have "intercepted most of the missiles."

"Power engineers have already started to restore electricity. Our people never give up," Zelensky added.

Earlier Monday, officials in three regions of Ukraine have claimed that most Russian missiles fired were intercepted.

The Kyiv City Military Administration said that 10 missiles had been identified flying over Kyiv. "Preliminary, nine of them were intercepted," it said.

In Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the military administration, said that "defenders from the Air Command 'East' shot down 15 Russian missiles."

And Dmytro Lunin, governor of Poltava region in central Ukraine, said on Telegram that "there have been no hits in Poltava. Air Defense has been excellent. Up to ten Russian missiles were intercepted."

10:04 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Ukraine says Russian stocks of precision missiles at "critical levels" but attacks are still a "serious test"

From CNN's Tim Lister

Ukraine's Defense Intelligence (DI) says that while Russian missile stocks may have fallen to "critical levels," it still has enough to inflict heavy damage on Ukrainian infrastructure.

Andrii Yusov, the DI spokesperson, told Ukrainian television Monday that attacks during the day were "another terrorist attack on peaceful, civilian infrastructure, primarily energy infrastructure."

Yusov said that "regarding high-precision weapons in Russia, by many indicators the stockpiles of missiles have fallen to critical levels."

"The Russians cannot afford regular massive [missile attacks) now, but this does not reduce the damage to infrastructure and losses for Ukraine. This is a serious test for us. There are a lot of S300 missiles left, so the frontline cities can be hit more," the official said.

As for reports of explosions at or near airfields in the Russian cities of Ryazan and Engels, Yusov said they "can neither confirm nor deny. When terrorists have something burning, it can only be positive."

9:50 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Missile debris was found in Moldova, about 3 kilometers from the Ukrainian border

From CNN's Victoria Butenko

Debris from a missile has been found in Moldova, in a town called Briceni about 3km from the Ukrainian border.
Debris from a missile has been found in Moldova, in a town called Briceni about 3km from the Ukrainian border. (Moldova Interior Ministry)

Debris from a missile has been found in Moldova, in a town called Briceni about 3 kilometers (almost 2 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

The Moldovan Interior Ministry said on Facebook:

“A short time ago, near the city of Briceni, in an orchard, a rocket was discovered. The explosive object was discovered by a border police patrol, which, due to today's Russian bombings, have intensified their attention”.

It is not immediately clear from the images what type the rocket is. CNN is working on confirming the type of missile.

The Moldovan Interior Ministry added in their statement “the area where the rocket was discovered has been isolated by police patrol and border police. The specialized services of the interior ministry” are on the scene.

8:27 a.m. ET, December 5, 2022

2 Ukrainian cities report no water or electricity 

From CNN's Victoria Butenko and Olga Voitovych

The Ukrainian cities of Odesa and Kryvyi Rih reported that they are without water or electricity. 

In Odesa: The water supply company Infoksvodokanal, said, "all pumping station and reserve lines are without power – thus consumers don’t have water."

In Kryvyi Rih: “Part of the city is without electricity, some boiler houses and pumping stations are off,” said Oleksandr Vilkul the head of city military administration.