February 10, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Leinz Vales, Adrienne Vogt and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 7:59 PM ET, Fri February 10, 2023
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5:02 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Power output of 2 Ukrainian nuclear plants reduced as a precaution after shelling, UN nuclear watchdog says

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv and CNN's Niamh Kennedy and Lauren Kent

The cooling towers of the Rivne nuclear power plant are seen March 25, 2022, in Varash.
The cooling towers of the Rivne nuclear power plant are seen March 25, 2022, in Varash. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it was informed by Ukraine's energy regulator on Friday that the power output at two nuclear power plants was reduced as a precaution after sustained Russian shelling.

The IAEA said in a statement that the power plants in Rivne and in southern Ukraine "had reduced power output as a precautionary measure due to renewed shelling of the country’s energy infrastructure." 

The shelling of a third plant — the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant in western Ukraine — caused one of the plant's reactor units to "shut down," continued the statement. The UN watchdog added that its own support and assistance missions present on the ground had confirmed that "all nuclear safety systems at Khmelnytskyi worked as expected."

Talks with Russia: IAEA chief Rafael Grossi held talks with senior Russian officials in Moscow this week. According to the IAEA, the talks were part of the lengthy efforts to "agree and implement a much-needed nuclear safety and security protection zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP)."

The UN watchdog said it has been unable to rotate its team of experts present in the plant in southern Ukraine due to "increased military activity."

After meeting on Thursday with the head of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, and an intergovernmental group of the Russian Federation, Grossi met representatives from the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday, according to the statement.

As the meetings wrapped, Grossi said he remained hopeful that the safety zone will be established while acknowledging it should've been done earlier. He also raised the idea of the zone during recent talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, according to the IAEA statement. 

“The situation around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant remains volatile and unpredictable, as it is an active combat zone. The postponement of the planned rotation demonstrates all too clearly the need for urgent measures to protect the plant and the people working there,” Grossi stressed. 

3:53 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Ukraine warns of drone attack threat in Kyiv region

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv 

Ukrainian authorities have warned of a drone attack threat in the Kyiv region.

"We urge residents to stay in safe places until the air raid alarm ends," the region’s military administration said on Telegram Friday night.

Air raid alarms sounded Friday night across several regions of Ukraine as Russia escalated attacks on the country. 

3:29 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Ukrainian and Russian officials report series of explosions in Russian-occupied city of Melitopol

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Lauren Kent 

The Russian-occupied city of Melitopol was hit with a series of explosions on Friday night, according to both Ukrainian and pro-Russian officials. 

Ukrainian forces have repeatedly struck Melitopol in the last several weeks in an effort to reclaim land in the south of the country and underline the importance of longer-range weaponry.

Vladimir Rogov, a member of the region's pro-Russian military-civilian administration, said on Telegram that "a series of explosions were heard in the city for the second time this evening," adding that the Russian Armed Forces air defense system was working to combat the attacks. 

Rogov claimed the Armed Forces of Ukraine were striking the city with heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. He said that "fragments of downed rockets" hit private residential houses.

"There is damage, and fire broke out at the site of the shelling by the Ukrainian armed forces of the residential area of the city. There are casualties," Rogov said. "Information on casualties and destruction is being clarified."

Meanwhile, Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, said in a Telegram post on Friday that the southern city was shuddering from powerful explosions.

"The power of incoming hits is such that the windows are shaking," he said.

3:05 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Ukrainian air defense systems are defending Dnipro against a Russian attack, official says

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Ukrainian air defense systems are defending the central city of Dnipro against a Russian attack, the region’s military administration said on Telegram on Friday.

"Explosions in Dnipro city — air defense is working," said Serhii Lysak, the head of the Dnipropetrovskk region military administration.

2:51 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Russia carried out drone attacks in 3 Ukrainian regions, authorities say

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Russia attacked the Mykolaiv, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk regions of Ukraine using drones on Friday, regional officials said.

Vitalii Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv region military administration, said in a Telegram post that there were drones flying in the area. He also suggested three drones had been downed by Ukrainian forces in Mykolaiv. 

In the Odesa region, air defense units shot down four Iranian Shahed-136 drones "that were trying to hit energy infrastructure facilities," according to Maksym Marchenko, head of the regional military administration.

"I am grateful to the air defense units that are always on guard over our skies and have once again demonstrated their professionalism," Marchenko said in a Telegram post.

Meanwhile, Mykola Lukashuk, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk region council, said on Telegram that unmanned aerial vehicles had been spotted in the region.

Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian Military general staff update said Russia carried out two attacks using Iranian Shahed-136 drones.

3:11 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Biden to visit Poland near one-year anniversary of war in Ukraine

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden gives remarks at the White House on Friday in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden gives remarks at the White House on Friday in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will visit Poland this month to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, returning to the region as the war enters a volatile new phase without a clear path to peace.

The president is planning to visit Poland from February 20 to 22. The White House said he would meet Poland's President Duda and other leaders from the region. He'll deliver remarks ahead of the official anniversary on February 24. 

Biden’s aides have been planning for several weeks how they will mark the anniversary of the invasion, including potentially a major address. They hope to emphasize the resilience of the Ukrainian people while stressing the importance of unity in the uncertain months ahead.

The US president hopes to reiterate American support for Ukraine on his upcoming trip to the region, a top White House official said, including making clear additional assistance would be forthcoming.

“He wants to talk about the importance of the international community's resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year,” said John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council.  

Preparing for an offensive: Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is currently preparing for an expected Russian offensive in the spring, appealing to Western governments for additional assistance and weaponry — including fighter jets and tanks — to help sustain the fight. He visited London, Paris and Brussels this week to deliver his requests in person, a rare trip outside his country that lent his appeals new urgency.

Some background: Polish President Andrzej Duda said allied relations are “stronger than ever” after the White House's announcement.

Biden last visited Poland, a key NATO ally, in April, traveling near the Ukraine border to visit with US and Polish troops. He also met with refugees fleeing Ukraine after the invasion.

In a speech delivered from the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Biden said for the first time that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” edging toward calling for regime change in Moscow.

1:45 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

US State Department condemns Russian attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

A US State Department spokesperson condemned the latest Russian attacks against Ukraine, which damaged energy infrastructure in several regions of the country.

The strikes are “yet another reminder that Russia seeks the full destruction of Ukraine,” principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a phone briefing.

According to Patel, Russia launched a barrage of ballistic missiles and Iranian-made drones against not just transformer stations, but thermal generation stations and hydroelectric stations as well.

“These strikes against entire power plants that heat millions of homes and light thousands of city blocks, offices, hospitals and schools — these are essential structures that make a cold winter survivable for millions,” he said.

“This is a deliberate targeting of infrastructure that keeps Ukrainians alive in winter. Today is yet another reminder that Russia seeks the full destruction of Ukraine,” he said. “They literally want to bring darkness to Ukraine.”

“There is right and there is wrong, and Russia is wrong,” Patel added.

2:35 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Russian strikes damaged energy infrastructure in multiple parts of Ukraine, authorities say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv 

Damage is seen in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on February 10.
Damage is seen in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on February 10. (Zaporizhzhia City Council Secretary Anatoliy Kurtiev)

Russian strikes on Friday damaged Ukraine's energy infrastructure in several parts of Ukraine, authorities say.

Strikes hit high-voltage infrastructure in western, central and eastern Ukraine, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said, reporting damage in Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv during a government meeting.

"Zaporizhzhia suffered one of the largest air attacks since the beginning of the war. Kharkiv also came under a large-scale attack overnight," said Shmyhal.

"Ukraine has temporarily lost 44% of its nuclear generation, 75% of its thermal power plant capacity and 33% of its combined heat and power plants," Shmyhal said, adding that repairs are underway, and there are enough energy resources and generators for Ukraine to make it through the winter.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office reported damage at a power supply facility in the western city of Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine. There were no casualties and fires resulting from the attack have been extinguished, according to regional authorities. 

Ukrainian air defense forces also shot down one cruise missile in the Khmelnytskyi district, the head of the region's military administration, Serhiy Hamaliy, said in a Telegram post

A critical infrastructure facility in the Shepetivka district was also hit around 4:00 am local time (9:00 pm ET), Hamaliy said.

"Most of Khmelnytskyi city, as well as the Khmelnytskyi, Starokostiantynivka, and Krasylivka territorial communities, are without power supply," Hamaliy added.

12:22 p.m. ET, February 10, 2023

It's nighttime in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky returned to Kyiv on Friday after his unannounced trip to western Europe, where he called for more modern tanks, long-range missiles and fighter jets.

Zelensky reacted to the latest nationwide Russian missile attacks, saying in a video on his Telegram channel that “this is terror that can and must be stopped. Stopped by the world.”

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Ukraine claims to shoot down 61 Russian cruise missiles: Ukraine’s Air Force Command said it has shot down 61 out of 71 missiles launched by Russia on Friday, as air raid sirens blared across the country earlier amid a series of attacks.
  • Power interruptions across Ukraine after Russian missile strikes: Russian attacks on Ukraine's electricity infrastructure overnight are causing disruptions across the country, the state energy company said Friday. Russian forces struck Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia city and the northeastern Kharkiv region with dozens of missiles overnight into Friday, according to the Ukrainian Air Force.
  • Moldova summons Russian ambassador over missile over its territory: Moldova's Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu has instructed authorities to urgently summon the Russian ambassador, after the Ukrainian and Moldovan governments alleged a Russian cruise missile crossed the territory of Moldova.
  • Putin will address Federal Assembly ahead of invasion anniversary: Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver an address to the Federal Assembly on February 21, three days before the one-year anniversary of his invasion of Ukraine.
  • Ukraine asks Netherlands for F-16s: The Ukrainian government has officially asked the Netherlands for American-made F-16 fighter jets. Though Ukrainian officials have for some time been voicing their desire for Western fighter aircraft, they had not yet officially submitted a request.
  • Modified drones to inflict maximum damage: Iran appears to be modifying the attack drones that it’s providing to Russia so that the explosive warheads can inflict maximum damage on infrastructure targets inside Ukraine, according to a new investigative report obtained exclusively by CNN.