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Russia Steps Up Attacks On Kiev As Putin Heads To Belarus

Russia attacked Kyiv early on Monday, targeting critical infrastructure with self-exploding drones and cutting power supply in some areas in the latest attack on Ukraine’s capital. 

Ukraine’s air defense systems shot down 30 out of 35 drones coming from Russia, according to the Ukrainian Air Force.  

Russia has been targeting critical infrastructure, including power stations and transmission lines, in Kyiv and many other places in Ukraine in recent weeks, aiming to disrupt energy supply to most of Ukraine just as temperatures begin to plummet with the start of the winter. 

So far, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths from today’s early morning attack, according to the authorities in Kyiv and a Reuters witness. 

“As a result of the attack on the capital, critical infrastructure facilities were damaged,” Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post. 

The new drone attack came just hours after Klitschko said on Sunday that heating was fully restored to Kyiv after the previous Russian shelling targeting water and power infrastructure.  

Late last week, Russia attacked Ukrainian infrastructure with rockets, and the Ukrainian air defense destroyed 60 out of 76 rockets, the Ukrainian Air Force said.

Monday’s attack with “suicide” drones came just as Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Belarus to meet and talk with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a staunch ally. Speculation is ripe that Russia could pressure Belarus to take on a more prominent role in the invasion of Ukraine. Belarus is Ukraine’s neighbor to the north and is an ally of Putin. 

Belarus is Russia’s “number one ally,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, as quoted by Russian media. 

However, Putin’s spokesman denied reports that the goal of the Russian president’s trip to Belarus was to persuade Lukashenko to get involved in the invasion of Ukraine, dismissing the speculation as “absolutely stupid fabrications.” 

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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