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Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s strategy to plunge Ukraine into darkness by destroying its infrastructure would not weaken the country’s resolve to liberate all occupied land, describing the conflict as a “war of strength and resilience”.
Moscow has stepped up a bombing campaign against critical infrastructure since last month in a bid to force Kyiv to make concessions. On Wednesday, Russia launched 70 missiles against infrastructure targets, leaving about 80 per cent of the country in the dark and without water. All 15 of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors were taken offline because electricity became unstable.
Ukraine’s president insisted there would be no lasting resolution to the war unless Russian troops withdrew from all occupied territories.
“If you can’t get your land back entirely, the war is simply frozen. It’s a question of time before it resumes” — Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the Financial Times
Kyiv has been pushing back at perceived pressure to show its openness to a negotiated solution to the war. Some western allies fear that any attempt by Ukraine to take back Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, could lead to an escalation by Moscow and even the use of nuclear weapons.
Ukraine’s military aims have hardened as its forces have made advances against Russian troops in the south and east: it is seeking the return of territory occupied since February and land occupied in 2014.
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Five more stories in the news
1. Hungary rejects EU criticism over anti-corruption reforms Gergely Gulyás, the chief of staff to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has rejected claims from the European Commission that it has failed to carry out its promises of reform and insists it will still be able to access €7.5bn of EU funding.
“The commission’s concerns we have heard about are not factual — we have fulfilled all of our obligations” — Gergely Gulyás
2. Spain greenlights windfall tax on banks and energy groups The Socialist-led government last night pushed ahead with its plan to raise €7bn through windfall taxes on banks and energy companies as lawmakers approved the move despite the concerns of international institutions.
3. Twitter disbands Brussels office The social media company has disbanded the small but vital office, seen as a crucial conduit to European policymakers, sparking concerns among EU officials about whether Twitter will abide by the bloc’s stringent new rules on policing online content.
4. Britain’s nurses to strike in run-up to Christmas The Royal College of Nursing announced today that some of its members would walk out on December 15 and 20 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, threatening further disruption to healthcare at the busiest time of the year for hospitals that are already struggling to bring down record waiting lists.
5. UK limits use of Chinese surveillance on government sites The Cabinet Office has told central government departments to stop installing Chinese-made surveillance systems on “sensitive sites”, citing security risks. Oliver Dowden, the department’s minister, said a security review found that “in light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required”.
The days ahead
UK strikes London Underground workers are walking out again over pay and other conditions. Members of the University and College Union, which represents more than 120,000 academic and support staff, strike today and tomorrow, escalating a years-long dispute over pay and pensions. It will be the first time the action has occurred across all universities, rather than individual university branches. Train drivers affiliated to the Aslef union across 12 operating companies walk out tomorrow. (iNews, FT)
Economic indicators The GfK’s consumer climate survey is out in Germany and expected to point to rising albeit still low morale. The country is also due third-quarter gross domestic product figures. France will publish November consumer confidence figures, while Spain and Sweden will release their respective October producer price index data.
Black Friday One of the biggest days in the retail calendar kicks off, with analysts watching for signs of cutbacks in consumer spending.
World Cup Iran face off against Wales before Qatar play Senegal, followed by the Netherlands versus Ecuador and England versus the US.
What else we’re reading
How private equity securitised itself There’s a financial security loved by the PE industry: CFOs, or “collateralised fund obligations” — a variant of the “collateralised debt obligations” that wreaked havoc during the 2008 financial crisis, and involve bundling stakes in hundreds of buyout groups’ companies into investments with strong credit ratings.
Bahamas reels from FTX collapse Just seven months after moving to the Caribbean country, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange collapsed, shattering the credibility of the Bahamas as a jurisdiction that properly monitors digital asset businesses. And those in power have sought to distance themselves from the fallout.
Are we ready for the loneliness epidemic? Throughout human history, being alone meant mortal danger and was to be avoided at all costs. It is in recent decades that our risky experiment with loneliness has become almost mainstream. Now wealthier societies are becoming troubled by the affliction — and the young are suffering most, writes Federica Cocco.
Hope and despair on Calais’ migrant shore Some 33,000 people crossed the English Channel from France between January and September this year, but hundreds are estimated to have died or gone missing in the process. Why does the UK still exert such a pull?
Worsening health is an economic headwind As individuals, we often take our health for granted. The same is true of economies, and many are now waking up to the severe costs of adverse trends in wellbeing that are flatlining productivity, writes Andy Haldane, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts.
Are you stuck for political books this year? FT chief foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachman has laid out 15 of his must-read titles.
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