Russian drone attack knocks out Kyiv’s power supply; ruble plummets

Kremlin denies reports of Belarus joining conflict

On Monday, the Kremlin rejected claims that President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belarus was a sign of Minsk’s involvement in the war.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the reports “baseless” and “stupid” hours before Putin’s arrival in the Belarusian capital, RIA Novosti reported.

Putin’s visit on Monday afternoon marked his first visit to the former Soviet ally in more than three years, as Belarus’ defense ministry said it had completed a series of checks on the military readiness of its armed forces.

—Karen Gilchrist

Zelensky asks West for weapons systems

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called on Western leaders to meet in Latvia to provide Kyiv with a wide range of weapons systems in its ongoing war with Russia, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky appears on a screen as he speaks via video link during the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) plenary meeting in Riga, Latvia, Dec. 19, 2022.

Henry Nichols | AFP | Getty Images

“I ask you to increase the possibility of supplying our country with air defense systems and help our partners to expedite decisions about it,” Zelensky asked in remarks via video link from a meeting of leaders in Riga.

Western allies including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden will hold a British-led meeting in the Baltic states on Monday.

—Karen Gilchrist

Belarus says military inspections completed ahead of Putin visit

Belarus’ defense ministry said on Monday it had completed a series of checks on the military readiness of its armed forces, signaling a possible shift to a more active role in the conflict, Reuters reported.

Russian ally Belarus, which served as a staging point for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, has been conducting a series of military exercises in recent weeks.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Minsk on Monday, concerns grew that he might pressure his former Soviet allies to join a new offensive against Ukraine.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian ruble falls to six-month low

this russian ruble It fell to more than six-month lows against the dollar on Monday as low oil prices and growing sanctions concerns threatened the country’s export earnings.

By around 9:00 GMT on Monday, the ruble was down 2.4% at 66.22 per dollar. The drop marked the ruble’s lowest level since May 30.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian drone attack causes ‘pretty serious’ damage

A Russian drone strike caused “pretty serious” damage in the Kyiv region on Monday, Governor Oleksiy Kubela said, according to Reuters.

Three parts of the region were without power after Russia launched 35 kamikaze drones into Ukraine early Monday, the governor said.

The attack, which destroyed critical infrastructure, marked Moscow’s third airstrike on the Ukrainian capital in six days, according to Reuters.

—Karen Gilchrist

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