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Ukrainians suffer in cold and dark as president pleads with UN to punish Russia by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seen on screen as he speaks during the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid, Spain November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo

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Written by Dan Belichuk and Simon Lewis

Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the UN Security Council to take action against Russia over air strikes on civilian infrastructure that have plunged Ukrainian cities back into darkness and cold as winter approaches.

Russia unleashed a missile barrage across Ukraine on Wednesday, killing 10 people, shutting down nuclear power plants, and cutting off water and electricity supplies in many places.

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“Today is only one day, but we received 70 missiles. This is the Russian formula for terrorism. All this is against our energy infrastructure,” Zelensky said via video link to the council chamber. “Hospitals, schools, transportation and residential neighborhoods have all suffered.”

He added that Ukraine was expecting a “very firm response” to the air strikes from the world on Wednesday.

The council is unlikely to take any action in response to the appeal because Russia is a member with veto power.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “was clearly using winter as a weapon to inflict enormous suffering on the Ukrainian people.”

She added that the Russian president “will try to freeze and subjugate the country.”

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Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, responded by complaining that the council’s rules had been broken for Zelensky’s video appearance, and dismissing what he called “reckless threats and warnings” by Ukraine and its supporters in the West.

Nebenzia said the damage to Ukrainian infrastructure was caused by missiles fired by Ukrainian air defense systems that hit civilian areas after being fired at Russian missiles, and called on the West to stop supplying Kyiv with air defense missiles.

She is alive

Kyiv was one of the main targets of the missile strikes on Wednesday. “Today we suffered three casualties in high-rise buildings. Unfortunately, ten people were killed,” Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky said. Reuters could not independently verify the news.

Explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital as Russian missiles fell and Ukrainian air defense missiles were launched in an attempt to intercept them.

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“Our little girl was sleeping. She’s two years old. She’s been sleeping and I’m covered. She’s alive, thank God,” said a man who gave his name as Fyodor, dragging a suitcase as he walked away from a burning apartment. The building that was hit in Kyiv.

The Kyiv governor said the entire Kyiv region, where more than 3 million people live, had lost electricity and running water. Much of Ukraine has experienced similar problems and some regions have implemented emergency blackouts to help conserve energy and make repairs.

Zelensky said electricity and other services have been restored in more areas. “Energy professionals, municipal workers and emergency crews are working around the clock,” he said in a video address.

The mayor said it was minus 3.4 degrees Celsius (26 Fahrenheit) in Kyiv early Thursday and 70% of the city remained in blackout.

Since October, Russia has admitted to targeting Ukraine’s civilian power grid far from the front lines, as the Ukrainian counter-offensive has retook territory from Russian forces in the east and south.

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Moscow says the aim of its missile strikes is to weaken Ukraine’s ability to fight and push it to negotiate. Kyiv says the attacks on infrastructure amount to war crimes, and are deliberately intended to harm civilians and break the national will.

That’s not going to happen, Zelensky vowed in a video title posted on the messaging app Telegram: “We will renew everything and get through all of this because we are an unbreakable people.”

The fight continues

Ground battles are still raging in the east, with Russia launching an offensive along a stretch of frontline west of the city of Donetsk, which has been held by Moscow’s proxies since 2014.

Ukraine’s General Staff said that Russian forces again attempted to advance towards their main targets in the Donetsk region – Pakhmut and Avdiivka. The Russian General Staff said that Russian forces bombed the two regions and used incendiary devices to set fire to Ukrainian positions with limited success.

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Among those fighting the Russians in Bakhmut is a unit of Chechen fighters, who hope a Ukraine victory will spark a political crisis in Russia and topple Chechnya’s powerful pro-Moscow leader.

We don’t fight just to fight. “We want freedom and independence for our countries,” said one of the fighters, using the nom de guerre Maga.

To the south, Russian forces have been digging in on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River and, according to the General Staff, have been shelling areas on the west bank including the town of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces recently recaptured.

Reuters could not immediately verify accounts of the battlefield.

Moscow says it is carrying out a “special military operation” to protect Russian speakers in what Putin calls an artificial state carved out of Russia. Ukraine and the West describe the invasion as an unjustified land grab.

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Western responses included billions of dollars in financial aid, advanced military hardware to Kiev, and waves of punitive sanctions against Russia.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.