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Air alerts sound across Ukraine, south and north affected, 4 dead
Russia has been hitting Ukraine’s infrastructure since October
Moscow: Ukrainian drones attack air bases in Russia, 3 dead
$60 price cap for Russian oil goes into effect
By Pavel Polityuk
KYIV, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Ukraine said Russia had destroyed homes in the southeast and cut power to many areas with a fresh volley of missiles on Monday, while Moscow said drones Ukrainians had attacked two air bases deep in Russia hundreds of kilometers from the front. lines.
A new barrage of missiles had been planned in Ukraine for days and it came just as the emergency power cuts were due to end, with earlier damage repaired. The strikes have plunged parts of Ukraine back into freezing darkness with temperatures now firmly below zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).
At least four people were killed in the Russian missile attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, adding that most of the roughly 70 missiles had been shot down. Energy workers had already started working on restoring power, he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian drones attacked two airbases in Ryazan and Saratov in south-central Russia, killing three servicemen and injuring four, and two planes damaged by drone parts when they were slaughtered.
Ukraine has not directly claimed responsibility for the attacks. If it was behind them, it would be the deepest strikes into the heart of Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.
One of the targets, Engels air base near the city of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, is home to bombers belonging to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.
“The Kyiv regime, in order to disable Russian long-range aircraft, attempted to strike with Soviet-made unmanned aerial jet vehicles at the military airfields of Dyagilevo, in the Ryazan region, and Engels, in the Saratov region,” the Russian defense said. said the ministry.
He said the drones, flying at low altitude, were intercepted by air defenses and shot down. The deaths were reported at the Ryazan base, 185 km (115 miles) southeast of Moscow.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has called the drone strikes a terrorist act aimed at disrupting its long-range aviation.
Despite this, he said, Russia responded with a “massive attack on the military control system and related objects of the defense complex, communication centers, energy and military units of Ukraine with high-precision air and sea weapons,” in which she said all 17 designated targets had been hit.
Ukraine’s air force said it shot down more than 60 of more than 70 missiles fired by Russia on Monday – the latest weeks of attacks targeting its critical infrastructure that cut off electricity, heating and water in many parts of the country.
“Our guys are awesome,” Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential staff chief, wrote on Telegram.
Kyiv forces have also demonstrated a growing ability to hit Russian strategic targets well beyond the 1,100 km long front line in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Saratov is at least 600 km from the nearest Ukrainian territory. Russian commentators have said on social media that if Ukraine could strike this far inside Russia, it might also be able to strike Moscow.
Previous mysterious explosions have damaged weapons stores and fuel depots in areas near Ukraine and knocked out at least seven warplanes in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
President Vladimir Putin drove a Mercedes over the bridge linking southern Russia with Crimea on Monday, less than two months since it was also hit by an explosion.
Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for any of the explosions, saying only that they were the “karma” of the Russian invasion.
“If something is launched in the airspace of other countries, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to (their) starting point,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Monday.
MISSILE FRAGMENTS REACH MOLDOVA
Moscow has hit Ukraine’s energy infrastructure roughly every week since early October as it has been forced to withdraw from some battlefronts.
This time, Moldovan police reportedly found missile fragments on its soil near the border with Ukraine.
In the Zaporizhzhia region, at least two people were killed and several houses destroyed, said deputy head of the presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko.
Missiles also hit energy facilities in Kyiv and Vinnytsia regions in central Ukraine, Odessa in the south and Sumy in the north, officials said.
Forty percent of the Kyiv region had no electricity, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said, praising the work of Ukraine’s air defenses.
Ukraine had just reverted to scheduled blackouts from Monday rather than the emergency blackouts it has suffered since widespread Russian strikes on November 23, the worst of the attacks on energy infrastructure. which started at the beginning of October.
Russia said the blockades were designed to degrade the Ukrainian military. Ukraine says they clearly target civilians and therefore constitute a war crime.
WESTERN CAPS ON RUSSIAN OIL PRICES
A $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian maritime crude went into effect on Monday, the latest Western measure aimed at punishing Moscow for its invasion. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter.
The agreement allows Russian oil to be shipped to third countries using tankers from the G7 and European Union member states, insurance companies and credit institutions, only if the cargo is purchased at or below the cap of $60 per barrel.
Moscow said it would not comply with the measure even if it had to cut production. Ukraine wants the cap lower: Zelenskiy said $60 was too high to deter Russia’s assault.
A mix of Russian oil was selling for around $79 a barrel in Asian markets on Monday, nearly a third above the ceiling price, according to Refinitiv data and estimates from industry sources.
(Reporting by Nick Starkov and Reuters bureaus; Writing by Philippa Fletcher and Mark Heinrich; Editing by Peter Graff and Angus MacSwan)