More than six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion into neighboring Ukraine, the two countries are engaged in a struggle for control of areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose forces began an offensive in August, has vowed to take back all Russian-occupied territory. But Putin in September announced a mobilization of reservists, which is expected to call up as many as 300,000 additional troops.
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Power restored in all regions, Ukraine grid operator says
All of Ukraine's regions are now connected to the European Union's energy system and all three nuclear power plants located in the Kyiv-controlled area are working, CEO of Ukrenergo grid operator Volodymyr Kudrytskyi announced.
"In one to two days, they will reach their normal planned capacity, and we expect to introduce planned rolling blackouts instead of emergency outages," Kudrytskyi said.
Power is slowly returning to all Ukrainian cities, but blackouts and emergency shutdowns continue. Power issues are the worst in Kyiv, Kirivigrad, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Poltava and Lviv, according to Kudrytskyi.
Kyiv's critical infrastructure receives electricity, the water supply is fully restored and heating is being restored, but 50% of residential houses remain without power. Only one-third of houses currently have heating, according to the mayor.
-ABC News' Will Gretsky
Putin says he has no regrets over launching war in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with more than a dozen mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, telling those who had lost sons that he and the entire leadership shared their suffering.
Putin said he has no regrets about launching what he calls Russia's "special military operation" against Ukraine.
-ABC News' Tanya Stukalova
Journalists and monitors are being silenced in Russia, Amnesty International says
Russian authorities have developed a sophisticated system to suppress any reporting of protests by journalists and independent monitors, according to a new report released by Amnesty International.
These restrictions have increased since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The report documented dozens of cases of unlawful obstruction of journalists and monitors during public protests, including arbitrary arrests, use of force, detentions and heavy fines.
“We can see that the Russian authorities are hellbent not only on preventing and severely penalizing any protest, however peaceful, but also on minimizing any public awareness of it,” said Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty International’s Russia researcher.
-ABC News' Guy Davies
European Parliament approves $18.7 billion loan to Ukraine
The European Parliament on Thursday approved a loan of 18 billion euros (about $18.7 billion) to help Ukraine "survive" Russia's ongoing invasion and "restore its critical infrastructure."
The move came one day after the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that "uses means of terrorism."
The loan would cover roughly half of the estimated 3 to 4 billion euros of monthly funding that Ukraine needs in 2023.
"The loan is conditional for Ukraine," the European Parliament said in a press release on Thursday. "It requires reforms to strengthen the country's institutions and prepare it both for reconstruction and its path towards EU membership."
Next, the loan must be unanimously approved by the European Council on Dec. 6, before the European Commission can tap the markets and disburse the support early next year.
Since the start of the war, the European Union and its member states have provided 19.7 billion euros to support Ukraine, a large part of which has come in the form of macro-financial assistance approved by the European Parliament in September and July.