KYIV, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Ukraine said Russia had launched a new round of missile attacks on Monday as the West tried to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its invasion by imposing a price cap on Russian seaborne oil.
Air alerts sounded across Ukraine and officials urged civilians to take shelter from what they said was the latest in waves of Russian missile strikes since its Feb. 24 invasion.
“Missiles have already been launched,” air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said. There was no immediate word of any damage or casualties but officials were quoted by Ukrainian media as saying that explosions could be heard overhead in some areas as aid defense systems went into action.
Russian forces have increasingly targeted Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks as they faced setbacks on the battlefield, causing major power outages as winter sets in.
“Don’t ignore the alarm,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff.
Ukraine had only just returned to scheduled power outages from Monday rather than the emergency blackouts it has suffered since widespread Russian strikes on Nov. 23, the worst of the attacks on energy infrastructure that began in early October.
Russia has said the attacks are designed to degrade Ukraine’s military. Ukraine says they are clearly aimed at civilians and thus constitute a war crime.
A $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil came into force on Monday. The Group of Seven G7 nations and Australia agreed to it on Friday after European Union member Poland which wanted it even lower dropped its objections. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter.
The agreement allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G7 and EU tankers, insurance companies and credit institutions, only if the cargo is bought at or below the $60 per barrel cap.
Moscow has said it will not abide by the measure even if it has to cut production while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said $60 was too high to stop Russia’s assault.
Both sides reported casualties from attacks overnight, on an industrial enterprise and another location in southern Ukraine and on state-run accommodation in Russian-held territory in the east. Reuters was not immediately able to verify those reports.
Reporting at Nick Starkov and Reuters bureaus; Writing by Himani Sarkar and Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Robert Birsel and Peter Graff
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