Air raid alarms sounded across Ukraine yesterday as Russia renewed attacks on civilian infrastructure in several cities, including the capital of Kyiv.
Ukraine’s energy ministry said on Wednesday that most of the country’s population had been left without electricity due to massive Russian shelling, with strikes hitting residential areas, schools, and hospitals, along with energy and transport infrastructure. Power was still out in 70% of Kyiv as of this morning.
According to Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, at least 3 people were reported dead following yesterday’s attacks, including a 17-year-old girl.
Ukrainian officials reported downing 51 missiles and 5 kamikaze drones out of 67 missiles fired at targets across Ukraine, including 30 fired at the capital of Kyiv, of which 20 were destroyed.
At an emergency UN Security Council meeting last night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the UN to take action against Russia, calling the ongoing targeting of civilian infrastructure “’the Russian formula of terror.”
Speaking at the meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Putin of “weaponizing winter to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people.” She went on to warn that Russia would continue in its attempts “to freeze the country into submission.”
Source: Radio Poland, Radio Gdańsk, Reuters, PAP
The European Parliament on Wednesday designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, arguing Moscow’s military strikes on civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and shelters violated international law.
Yesterday’s vote was largely symbolic, as the European Union as a whole does not have a legal framework in place to enact the measure. The resulting resolution calls for changes in EU policy to enable the bloc to declare states, not just individuals, as sponsors of terrorism.
The parliaments of four EU member states – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland – have already designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to the European Parliamentary Research Service.
The resolution also called for the “swift” adoption of a ninth package of sanctions, further restrictions on EU engagement with Russia and Russian participation in international organizations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council, and a ban on Russian state-affiliated institutions in the EU accused of spreading propaganda around the world.
EU MEPs also called on the European Council to include the Russian paramilitary organization “the Wagner Group,” the 141st Special Motorized Regiment, also known as the “Kadyrovites,” and other Russian-funded armed groups, militias, and proxies, on the EU’s terrorist list.
Polish MEPs from various political groups in the EP – ECR, EPP, Socialists and Democrats, Renew Europe, and Greens – all voted in favor of the resolution, which was adopted by 494 votes in favor, 58 against, and 44 abstentions.
Shortly after the vote, the website of the European Parliament was forced offline for two hours due to a “DDoS” or “dedicated denial-of-service” attack.
European Parliament President Roberta Masola claimed via tweet that “a pro-Kremlin group ha[d] claimed responsibility” for the attack, followed by “My response: “SlavaUkraini (Glory to Ukraine).”
Source: Radio Poland, Radio Gdańsk, Reuters, europarl.europa.eu, euractiv.com
Sopot police officers are looking for a deaf 79-year-old woman named Helena Gryglewska, who has been missing since noon yesterday.
Ms. Gryglewska reportedly left the house around noon to do some shopping, and her family has been unable to contact her since. She is 160cm tall or 5’2” and was wearing a black coat, dark trousers, and white shoes when she left. She was also carrying a black handbag and a dark shopping bag.
Anyone with information about Ms. Gryglewska is asked to contact the police immediately by dialing 112.
The 2022 World Cup continues to surprise commentators and fans alike, starting with a shocking 2-1 victory of 23rd-ranked Japan against 11th-ranked Germany yesterday in Qatar.
Germany’s surprise loss was followed by a record-breaking match between Spain and Costa Rica, in which the 7-0 final score and complete domination throughout the match surprised even diehard Spanish fans.
Victory by at least six goals has happened only 20 times in the over 90-year history of the World Cup, the last time in a match between North Korea and Portugal in 2010. Spain also scored its 100th World Cup goal, putting it in the company of fellow football powerhouses Brazil (229), Germany (227), Argentina (138), Italy (128), and France (124).
Rounding out the night, despite a disappointing 1-0 loss to Belgium, Canada “can take heart in their performance,” according to commentators, with the Canadian team coming out fighting in their first World Cup showing since 1986.
Source: PAP, aljazeera.com, qatar2022.qa
Today will be cold and cloudy, with little chance of snow and a light breeze coming in from the south. Temperatures will remain close to freezing with a high of 0°C, or 32°F, dropping slightly to -1°C or 30°F overnight. Similar cold, cloudy weather is expected for tomorrow, with a potential for more snow over the weekend.