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18 minutes ago
Ukraine charges two Russian commanders with offenses related to attacking civilians for the first time
By lga Voitovych and Mick Krever
Ukrainian authorities have for the first time charged two high-ranking Russian military commanders with crimes related to attacks on Ukrainian civilians.
Colonel General Serhii Kobylash, commander of the Long-Range Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, and Admiral Igor Osipov, former commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, were indicted in absentia.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Tuesday that it had "compiled a high-quality evidence base against two representatives of the Russian high command, responsible for attacking civilian facilities in Ukraine."
The SBU said Kobylash and Osipov were being charged under two sections of the Ukrainian penal code: first with "planning, preparation, initiation and conduct of an aggressive war" and second with "invasion of the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine".
If caught and convicted, the two could face life in prison, the SBU said.
"During the investigation, SBU investigators found that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Serhii Kobylash has been following the instructions of Russia's top military and political leaders to destroy Ukrainian cities," the SBU said.
"Under his orders, the Russian invaders carry out massive missile attacks against residential buildings, hospitals and critical infrastructure in different regions of Ukraine."
The SBU accused Igor Osipov of ordering "systematic missile strikes from the Black Sea against densely populated Ukrainian settlements."
The Russian Defense Ministry has not reacted to the charges and CNN is unable to communicate directly with the defendants.
21 minutes ago
Hot weather eases Ukraine's electricity demand
By Olga Voitovych in Kyiv
Borodianka, northwest of the Ukrainian capital, came under heavy airstrikes and artillery shelling by Russian forces as they tried to seize Kyiv at the start of their invasion of Ukraine. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Borodianka, northwest of the Ukrainian capital, came under heavy airstrikes and artillery shelling by Russian forces as they tried to seize Kyiv at the start of their invasion of Ukraine.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Unusually hot weather in Ukraine is easing demand on the country's power grid, the country's state-owned electricity operator said on Tuesday.
“Due to the hot weather, energy consumption is going down in Ukraine,” Ukrenergo said on his official Facebook page.
“The power plants produce enough electricity to cover the load,” he added.
“In addition, due to the clear weather in the morning and afternoon hours, the electricity production from solar power plants is increased.”
Nonetheless, Ukrenergo said that the power restrictions should be implemented again on Tuesday afternoon as demand increased during the day, and urged Ukrainians to "consume electricity wisely."
"We do not forget about the enemy's goals to deprive the Ukrainians of light and we are ready to counter it and restore damage under any circumstances," the company said.
Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukraine's energy infrastructure, disrupting the country's electricity, water and heating supplies this winter.
28 minutes ago
Leading Russian military blogger casts doubt on official defense ministry death toll from Makiivka attack
By Mick Krever and Olly Racz
Members of the ministry of workers and emergencies remove rubble from a destroyed building that was allegedly a vocational school used as temporary housing for Russian soldiers, 63 of whom were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack, according to the statement the day before by the Russia's Defense Ministry, in the course of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict in Makiivka (Makeyevka), Russia-controlled Ukraine, January 3, 2023. (Credit: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)
A leading Russian military blogger, who just weeks ago received an award from President Vladimir Putin, has cast doubt on Moscow's official death toll from an attack on Russian headquarters in occupied eastern Ukraine.
Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the alias "WarGonzo," posted a five-minute video on his Telegram channel Tuesday morning discussing what he called the "Makiivka tragedy."
"Despite the official statement from the Defense Ministry, the exact number of victims is still unknown," Pegov said in the video.
"To the extent that we can trust our own sources who are working at the site where this tragedy occurred, they are still digging up the rubble at this time and unfortunately the toll of this tragedy, the HIMARS attack on the newly mobilized and serving military, including the National Guard, could be higher.”
In a rare admission, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday that 63 servicemen had been killed in Makiivka when Ukraine used HIMARS missiles to attack a building housing Russian soldiers.
The Ukrainian military claims around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and another 300 wounded, and says the exact number "is becoming clarified."
In any event, it would represent one of the deadliest single episodes of the war for Russian forces.
Putin personally awarded Pegov the "Order of Courage" in the Kremlin on December 20.
Pegov is not alone in casting doubts about the official Russian account.
Igor Girkin, a former official of the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic, suggested on Monday that the number of dead and injured could run into the hundreds.
"There are still no final figures on the number of victims as many people are still missing," said Girkin, who was found guilty by a Dutch court of mass murder for his role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern of Ukraine in 2014.
28 minutes ago
'It's like a constant bet': Ukrainian couple expect twins in wartime Kyiv
By Mariya Knight and Tim Lister
Kateryna and her husband Oleg endure what every Kyiv citizen owes: prolonged blackouts, hours without internet connection, and constant apprehension about the upcoming missile barrage.
But as 2023 begins, they are also preparing for the arrival of the twins.
Kateryna, who is 34 years old, is eight months pregnant.
CNN agreed to use only her and Oleg's names because they fear for her privacy.
The woman is not resting long before her children are born.
Air raid sirens go off almost every day, the noise of explosions all too familiar.
Their lives are shaped by scheduled power outages, as electricity is shared between regions to mitigate the impact of Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
"On New Year's Eve, I tried to take a nap," he told CNN from his home in suburban Kyiv.
“But I woke up to the sound of the explosions, and they continued through the night.
The sirens were on for much of the night, until 4:30 a.m.,” she said.
Residents find it difficult to distinguish between the sound of operating air defenses and the impact of cruise missiles and Russian drones.
“I don't care about the blackouts,” Kateryna said, “but we do care about the next wave of Russian missiles.
Will it be us?
It's like a constant bet."
33 minutes ago
Zelensky says Russia plans protracted strike with Iranian-made drones
By Mariya Knight
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Wednesday. (Leah Millis/Reuters)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Wednesday.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russia is planning a protracted campaign of strikes with Iranian-made Shahed drones to exhaust Ukraine.
“We have information that Russia is planning a prolonged attack with (drones) Shaheds.
His bet may be on exhaustion,” Zelensky said in his late-night speech on Monday.
"On the depletion of our people, our air defense, our energy sector."
Zelensky said that Ukraine's main task is to ensure that Russia's drone plans fail.
He said that more than 80 such drones have been shot down over Ukraine since the beginning of 2023.
"This number may increase in the near future. Because these weeks the nights can be quite restless.
"Now is the time when everyone involved in the protection of the sky should be especially vigilant."
war in ukraine