Snow, Russian missiles stagger Ukraine; Biden rejects Zelenskyy claim on Polish missile strike: Ukraine live updates

Snow, Russian missiles stagger Ukraine; Biden rejects Zelenskyy claim on Polish missile strike: Ukraine live updates

Updated: 2 months, 11 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes, 27 seconds ago

Snow, Russian missiles stagger Ukraine; Biden rejects Zelenskyy claim on Polish missile strike: Ukraine live updatesplay

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President Joe Biden vows to support Ukraine amid 'barbaric' shelling

President Joe Biden vowed continued support of Ukraine against Russia as he met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Claire Hardwick, Associated Press

Another blistering round of Russian airstrikes ripped across Ukraine on Thursday, further damaging already battered energy infrastructure as Kyiv saw its first snow of the season.

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine and authorities said at least four people were killed in drone and missile strikes as air defense teams scrambled to shoot down Russia's aerial weaponry.

"Stay in shelters and safe places," Kyiv regional military leader Oleksiy Kuleba warned on Telegram. "Do not photograph the place, arrival and the work of air defense."

Thursday's attack fell short of the nationwide barrage of more than 100 missiles and drones that knocked out power to 10 million people Tuesday – described by Ukraine’s energy minister as the biggest barrage of the nearly 9-month-old war.

The latest assault added strain to a power system already dealing with rolling power outages as winter rolls into the nation of more than 40 million people. A light snow dusted the capital Thursday, where the temperature has been lingering at or below freezing.

"Russia is fighting against electricity and heat for people, blowing up power plants and other energy facilities," Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. "This is everyday life in Ukraine now because of Russian terror."

US, NATO INVESTIGATE DEADLY BLAST IN POLAND: Biden says missile unlikely to have been fired from Russia

Latest developments:

►The EU has provided about $1 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine with more on the way, crisis management Minister Janez Lenarčič said: "Right now, our main priority is to address the needs as winter approaches."

►After the restoration of peace, Ukraine will be able to replace dirty fossil fuels from Russia with clean energy and supply "green electricity" to EU countries, Zelenskyy said.

►A McDonald's restaurant in the western Ukraine city of Khmelnytski reopened but warned that it will close when air raid sirens blare so employees can flee to shelters, European Pravda reported.

President Joe Biden on Thursday disputed Ukraine's claim that its military did not fire the missile that slammed into a rural Polish border town, killing two people. 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his military and air force commanders assured him Ukraine was not responsible for Tuesday's blast and he "can't help but trust them." He called for Ukraine's participation in the investigation.

"I have no doubt that it was not our missile or not our missile strike," Zelenskyy said Wednesday.

Asked Thursday about Zelenskyy's comments, Biden said "that's not the evidence."

Hours after the strike, Biden had said it was "unlikely (from the lines) of trajectory that it was fired from Russia." On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin agreed with Polish officials who said it was "highly probable“ that a missile launched by Ukraine’s air system accidentally "fell in Polish territory."

Ukraine's battered energy and water infrastructure is the result of Russian missile strikes targeting military infrastructure and Kyiv's refusal to negotiate an end to the war, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed it is using high-accuracy weaponry to hit Ukraine's "military command and control system and related energy facilities." The aims of the strikes have been achieved, the the ministry said.

"The infrastructure facilities in question were directly or indirectly related to the military potential of Ukraine and the Ukrainian regime," Peskov said. "The unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to resolve the problem and to enter into negotiations... is worth talking about, too."

A Dutch court has convicted two Russians and a Ukrainian of the murders of 298 people who died in the 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine. One Russian was acquitted for lack of evidence. Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said that evidence presented by prosecutors, at a trial that saw 69 days in court spread over more than two years, proved that the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Moscow Ukrainian rebels on July 17, 2014. Russia claims that Ukrainian fighters were responsible for the missile strike.

A multi-nation agreement allowing shipment of grain from Ukraine ports was extended for 120 days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Thursday. The shipments are considered crucial for feeding million and for tamping down inflated global food prices. More than 11 million tons of grains and foodstuffs from 500 ships have been delivered over the past four months, he said.

"Following the decision made by the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, the agreement on the Black Sea corridor will be extended," Erdogan tweeted. "The significance and benefits of this agreement for the food supply and security of the world have become evident."

Contributing: The Associated Press

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