Russian missile attack hits infrastructure in Kyiv

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KYIV, Jan 14 (Reuters) – A Russian missile attack hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv on Saturday morning and explosions rang out in the Dniprovskiy district of the Ukrainian capital, a senior presidential official and other officials said.

Reuters journalists heard a series of explosions in Kyiv before an air raid siren sounded in Kyiv. Officials told residents to take shelter.

“Missile attack on critical infrastructure facilities. Details are being checked,” said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office.

Kyiv’s military administration said an infrastructure facility had been hit, but did not say which.

“Explosions in Dniprovskiy district. All agencies heading to the site. Stay in your shelters!” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

He said the debris of a missile came down on a non-residential area in the Holosiivskiy district in the west of Kyiv.

Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s vital energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing sweeping blackouts and disruptions to central heating and running water as winter bites.

In Other Developments

* A Russian missile attack hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv on Saturday morning and explosions rang out in the Dniprovskiy district of the Ukrainian capital, a senior presidential official and other officials said.

BATTLE FOR SOLEDAR

* Russia said on Friday its forces had taken control of Soledar in eastern Ukraine, in what would be a rare success for Moscow after months of battlefield reverses, but Kyiv said its troops were still fighting in the town.

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces continued to fight in Soledar, a small salt-mining town, and other cities in the Donetsk region.

* Reuters could not verify the accounts.

ARMS

* Finland joined Poland in saying it could send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine as part of a Western coalition apparently being put together to supply them.

* France hopes to deliver “AMX 10-RC” light combat tanks to Ukraine in two months, said armed forces minister Sebastien Lecornu.

* Belarus may enter the conflict, a Russian foreign ministry official said. Russia used Belarus as a springboard to invade Ukraine in February, but the border area is now heavily waterlogged, making an imminent attack from there unlikely.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, after meeting U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday, stressed the importance of standing up to Russia’s invasion, saying that if a unilateral change to the status quo went unchallenged, the same would happen elsewhere, including in Asia – an apparent reference to China’s vow to reunite with self-ruled Taiwan, by force if necessary.

* Russia is becoming too dependent on oil revenues to support its budget as it ramps up military spending, economists said, warning that the government may have to raise taxes if crude prices fail to meet expectations this year.

* A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested confiscating property and assets of Russians who discredit the armed forces and oppose the war in Ukraine.

* At least four Chinese-owned supertankers are shipping Russian Urals crude to China, according to trading sources and tracking data, as Moscow seeks vessels for exports after a G7 oil price cap restricted the use of Western cargo services and insurance.

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