Russian forces attempted to advance in eastern Ukraine and targeted Kherson in the south with tank, mortar, and artillery fire, according to the Ukrainian military, as Western allies attempted to bolster Ukraine and its neighbors against Moscow.
Raytheon was awarded a $1.2 billion contract in Washington for six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) for Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.
Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, stated on Wednesday that his country required Patriot missile defense systems manufactured in the United States to protect its civilian infrastructure, which has been under heavy attack by Russia since the beginning of winter.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has focused "his ire and his fire" on Ukraine's civilian population and warned that Russia's strategy to divide Ukraine's supporters would fail.
"Heat, water, and electricity...these are the new objectives of President Putin. He strikes them with force. This treatment of the Ukrainian people is barbaric "Blinken stated at a Bucharest news conference following a two-day NATO meeting.
Allies pledged assistance to Moldova, Georgia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and ministers said.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, stated that the outcome demonstrated that NATO "absolutely has no interest in a political and diplomatic solution in Ukraine."
Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago in what it calls a "special military operation" to eliminate nationalists it deems dangerous. Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of engaging in an unprovoked imperialist land grab.
After two letter bombs were sent to the Ukrainian ambassador in Madrid and an arms company in Spain that manufactures rocket launchers donated to Ukraine, Ukraine ordered all of its embassies abroad to increase security. The Spanish police stated that they are investigating a possible link between the two bombs, one of which injured a security officer at an embassy.
In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, the site of the heaviest fighting, Russian forces attempted to make further advances and shelled several towns, including Bakhmut and nearby Soledar and Opytne, according to a statement released Wednesday evening by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
On the southern front, it was reported that Russian forces established defensive positions and opened fire with tanks, mortars, and artillery on Ukrainian positions and the regional capital of Kherson, which Russian forces had abandoned in early November.
The military reported additional battleground activity in northeastern and central Ukraine.
"We are analyzing the intentions of the occupiers and preparing tougher countermeasures than are currently in place," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated in an address on Wednesday evening.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration of Ukraine, stated that electricity had been restored to 65 percent of Kherson's consumers.
Wednesday night, Zelenskiy reported that nearly six million customers in the majority of Ukraine's regions and Kyiv were without electricity.
Ukraine shoots down Iranian drones
Yuriy Ignat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, stated that defense forces had shot down 340 of the approximately 400 Iranian drones launched by Russia during the conflict.
"We haven't seen these Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles in about two weeks... the first batch has likely already run out," he told Ukraine's primary television station.
On the economic front, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths stated that a deal was near to resume Russian ammonia exports through a pipeline to a Ukrainian Black Sea port.
Griffiths stated at a Reuters NEXT event, "I believe we're quite close; we're inching closer this week."
A deal aimed at alleviating global food shortages by assisting Ukraine in exporting agricultural products from Black Sea ports was extended for four months on November 17; however, Russia stated that its demands had yet to be met. Initially mediated in July by the United Nations with the assistance of Turkey, the agreement was reached.