December 28, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Amy Woodyatt, Laura Smith-Spark, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Leinz Vales and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 1:36 a.m. ET, December 29, 2022
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2:21 a.m. ET, December 28, 2022

Nearly 7,000 Ukrainian civilians killed since Russia's invasion began, UN agency says

From CNN's Irene Nasser

At least 6,884 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russia’s invasion of the country began in February, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

The figures, compiled up to Dec. 26, include 429 children, according to OHCHR, which added it believed the actual numbers were higher.

Nearly 11,000 people have been injured, it said.

CNN cannot independently verify the OCHR figures.

9:10 p.m. ET, December 27, 2022

At least 1 killed in Russian shelling of southern Ukrainian town, official says

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Yulia Kesaleva

At least one man was killed and five other people were injured following Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian town of Oleshky, on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, across from Kherson, Oleshky Mayor Yevhen Ryshchuk said via Facebook.

“As a result of the shelling of the town of Oleshky by the (Russian) occupiers the windows in the high-rise apartment building were shuttered. Unfortunately, five people were wounded and one person was killed,” Ryshchuk said.

The mayor also said that aside from a high-rise building, kiosks on the town’s market were damaged by the shelling. 

9:09 p.m. ET, December 27, 2022

Kherson hospital hit by Russian shelling, Ukrainian official says

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Yulia Kesaleva

A hospital maternity ward in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson was hit by Russian shelling, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the office of the president of Ukraine said Tuesday. 

“They shelled the place where two children were born today. Before the attack, doctors managed to complete a cesarean section. There are five women in the institution after childbirth. Miraculously, no one was injured,” Timoshenko said via the Telegram messaging platform.

Other impacted areas: Russian shelling also damaged the civilian infrastructure of the Antonivka settlement in the Kherson region and Kherson city, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said via Facebook, adding that there are casualties among civilians.

Meanwhile, the threat of air and missile strikes on critical infrastructure facilities remains on the whole territory of Ukraine, as Russia's offensive took place in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions, trying to improve the tactical situation in the direction of Lyman, Ukraine’s Armed Forces said.

3:29 a.m. ET, December 28, 2022

Ukraine's power outages decreasing as parts of electric grid are restored, prime minister says

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Yulia Kesaleva

People walk down a dark street in Kyiv, Ukraine, during an energy black out on December 26.
People walk down a dark street in Kyiv, Ukraine, during an energy black out on December 26. (Sergei Chuzavkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

The number of outages across Ukraine is decreasing as more parts of the electric grid are restored and consumption is reduced due to favorable weather conditions, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Tuesday.

In the event of no Russian shelling, the New Year holiday will pass without emergency shutdowns, Shmyhal said during a cabinet meeting in Kyiv, according to a government statement. 

“The number of emergency outages is decreasing. This became possible thanks to the heroic work of our power engineers to restore damaged equipment, reduce consumption on weekends and the absence of frosty weather. Today, on December 27, after emergency restoration works, two units of thermal power plants were reconnected to the grid,” Shmyhal said.

More consumers are seeing power restored at least partially as the infrastructure is being restored, the prime minister said. 

Ukraine also believes Russia is preparing to continue attacks on the country’s energy system, according to Shmyhal, who emphasized that his country is "in a daily state of readiness for new massive shelling."

9:07 p.m. ET, December 27, 2022

Putin bans Russian oil exports to countries that imposed price caps, Kremlin says

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Tuesday banning oil supplies to countries that have introduced price caps on Russian oil and petroleum products, according to the decree published on the Kremlin’s website — a move that may prove to be largely symbolic.

Earlier this month, Western countries implemented a price cap on Russian crude oil at $60 a barrel, a policy aimed at Moscow’s remaining oil customers. It’s enforced by the companies that provide shipping, insurance and other services for Russian oil. Europe also banned the import of Russian crude by sea.

The United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia all agreed to the price cap. The United States and Canada banned the import of Russia’s oil and the European Union this month banned imports by sea.

Given those countries’ widespread bans, the Kremlin’s new policy may not pack much punch. The oil market was largely unfazed by Russia’s decree, with the benchmark Brent oil price rising less than 2% Tuesday. US oil topped $80 a barrel while Brent traded at around $86.

Read more here.

9:06 p.m. ET, December 27, 2022

Russia's foreign minister calls on West for maximum restraint "to minimize nuclear risks"

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that the West must show restraint in nuclear questions, in an interview with state news agency TASS on Tuesday. 

"We continue to call on the West to exercise maximum restraint in this extremely sensitive area. In order to minimize nuclear risks, it is important in practice to remain committed to the postulate of the inadmissibility of nuclear war, confirmed by the countries of the nuclear ‘five’ in a joint statement dated January 3, 2022,” he said. 
“In accordance with the logic set out in the document any military confrontation between the nuclear powers must be prevented, as it is fraught with catastrophe.
"In particular, it emphasizes that Russia stands for the formation of a renewed, more stable architecture of international security based on ensuring predictability and global strategic stability, as well as observing the principles of equality, indivisible security and mutual consideration of the interests of the parties."

In the same interview, Lavrov said significant ideas from Washington regarding full-fledged diplomatic contacts between Russia and the United States have not been received. 

"Now it is difficult to say something about the implementation of full-fledged bilateral contacts through the foreign ministries," he told TASS. 

"There were no significant ideas from the Americans on this issue.

“We, at various levels, including the highest, have repeatedly stressed that we are not shying away from a constructive dialogue.”

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin floated the possibility that Russia may formally change its military doctrine of not being the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, days after he warned of the “increasing” threat of nuclear war.

7:47 p.m. ET, December 27, 2022

Despite Putin's claims, Ukraine peace talks look unlikely in near future

From CNN's Rob Picheta

As a year dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine draws to a close, Vladimir Putin has made a point of suggesting he is open to peace talks despite evidence to the contrary, with comments that have been roundly dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a ruse at a time when the prospect of negotiations in the near future appears extremely remote.

Days after saying he wanted an end to his war, the Russian President on Sunday repeated his claim that he was ready to “negotiate with everyone involved in this process about acceptable solutions,” state news agency TASS reported.

His remark came amid Russia’s tireless bombardment of Ukraine’s energy grid with rockets and missiles, which has sought to wipe out the country’s power as it enters its cold winter months, and follows a 10-month invasion in which Putin has repeatedly attempted to denigrate Ukraine’s sovereignty.

His comments were rejected by Ukraine and the US and are unlikely to be seen as more than a sideshow by the West.

That doesn’t mean Ukraine is not open to peace talks. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Associated Press on Monday that Kyiv wants UN-brokered discussions to start by February, but only after Russia faces a war crimes tribunal.

But the simple calculus remains unchanged; a conflict that many experts thought would be over within days or weeks has instead become a grueling war that Ukraine may be able to win, so any deal that diminishes the country’s borders or represents some form of victory for Putin would be unacceptable to Kyiv.

Read more here.