6:30am: Blasts heard in central Kyiv
The mayor of Kyiv is reporting multiple explosions in the Ukrainian capital, the first such blasts in weeks.
Vitaly Klitschko wrote in a post on Telegram that there were explosions in a central district of the capital that is home to many government agencies and buildings. He said municipal teams were in place and more details were expected.
In a separate post, Klitschko said air-defence systems had shot down 10 Iranian-made Shahed drones aiming for Kyiv.
1:42am: US finding grid equipment for Ukraine at home and abroad
As Washington sends Ukraine US-sourced power equipment to help the country’s grid recover from Russian attacks, it is also scouring for those supplies worldwide, US officials said on Tuesday.
The Biden administration this week shipped the first portion of $53 million in power equipment aid it announced last month. The open market value is likely to be higher because utilities and manufacturers provided many items at cost and paid transportation costs.
“They were really quite forthcoming,” an energy department official said about the suppliers, but noted that not all US equipment is compatible with Ukraine’s grid.
9:41pm, December 13: Zelensky says swath of Ukraine contaminated with mines
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday called for long-term help in clearing the nation of mines and other unexploded ordinance, which he said now cover an area roughly the size of Cambodia.
In a video address to New Zealand’s parliament, Zelensky described Russia’s nearly year-old invasion as an “ecocide” that would have lasting impact and implored Wellington and others to step up aid.
“As of now, 174,000 square kilometres (67,000 square miles) of Ukrainian territory are contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance,” Zelensky told lawmakers.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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