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Ukraine war live updates: Russia warns U.S. of ‘unpredictable consequences’ if it sends Patriot missile systems to Ukraine

Russia warns U.S. against sending Patriot missile systems to Ukraine

Russia has warned the U.S. that if it sends Patriot missile systems to Ukraine it will consider the move a provocation that could lead to “unpredictable consequences.”

The Biden administration is finalizing plans to send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, three Defense officials told NBC News earlier this week. The surface-to-air defense system would help Ukraine repel Russian aerial attacks and President Zelenskyy has long called for such weaponry to help Ukraine defend itself against repeated missile attacks.

The Russian embassy in Washington warned in a statement on Telegram Wednesday that sending the Patriot missile system would be considered “provocative.”

“An information campaign has been launched in the United States on a possible future shipment of modern air defense systems to Kiev. It is said that President Biden may soon take such a decision.” the statement from the Russian embassy noted.

“If this is confirmed, we will witness yet another provocative step by the administration, which can lead to unpredictable consequences.”

Patriot Missile

Getty Images

The embassy claimed that, even without delivery of the Patriot systems, “the United States is increasingly drawn into the conflict in the post-Soviet republic, saying that the “weapons flow” to Ukraine was increasing and that the U.S. was helping Ukraine in terms of intelligence and military training.

The Kremlin said Wednesday that it would consider Patriot missile defense systems as a legitimate target for Russian strikes if they are sent to Ukraine.

— Holly Ellyatt

‘Russia is destroying city after city,’ Zelenskyy says

A Russian soldier walks amid the rubble in Mariupol’s eastern side where fierce fighting between Russia/pro-Russia forces and Ukraine on March 15, 2022.

Maximilian Clarke | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces are destroying “everything in front of them.”

“There is no calm on the front line. There is nothing easy and simple. Every day and every meter is fought for extremely hard,” Zelenskyy said in a nightly address on his Telegram channel.

“Russia is destroying city after city in Donbas – like Mariupol, like Volnovakha, like Bakhmut,” he added..

Zelenskyy also thanked Ukrainian forces for “repelling another attack by Iranian drones this morning.”

— Amanda Macias

Russia says no ‘Christmas ceasefire,’ as Ukraine downs drones

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia November 25, 2022. 

Alexander Shcherbak | Sputnik | Reuters

Moscow said no “Christmas ceasefire” was on the cards after nearly 10 months of war in Ukraine, where the first major drone attack on the capital Kyiv in weeks damaged two buildings but was largely repelled by air defenses.

The two sides are not currently engaged in talks to end the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions more and turned cities to rubble since Russia invaded its neighbour on Feb. 24.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week Russia should start withdrawing from his country by Christmas as a step to end Europe’s biggest conflict since World War Two. Moscow rejected the proposal outright, saying Ukraine must accept the loss of territory to Russia before any progress can be made.

— Reuters

Nearly 7 million children at risk as Russian attacks on energy infrastructure cause widespread blackouts

Refugee children fleeing Ukraine are given blankets by Slovakian rescue workers to keep warm at the Velke Slemence border crossing on March 09, 2022 in Velke Slemence, Slovakia.

Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

The U.N. warned that nearly 7 million children in Ukraine are don’t have regular access to electricity, heat or water, raising their risks as temperatures drop.

“Millions of children are facing a bleak winter huddled in the cold and the dark, with little idea of how or when respite may arrive,” UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell said in a statement.

In addition to the freezing temperatures, the lack of adequate electricity interrupts their education with schools damaged or destroyed and so many children relying on remote learning, UNICEF said.

“Beyond the immediate threats the freezing conditions bring, children are also deprived of the ability to learn or stay connected with friends and family, putting both their physical and their mental health at desperate risk,” she added.

In October, Russian forces intensified attacks on energy infrastructure and were successful in destroying nearly half of Ukraine’s power production.

— Amanda Macias

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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