Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics (left) and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy shake hands in Kyiv on November 24.
KYIV — The leaders of Baltic allies Lithuanian and Latvia visited Kyiv on November 24, expressing continued support for the battle against the Russian invasion, while Ukraine struggled with disruptions to its electricity supply caused by Russian strikes and bad weather.
“At my first stop in Kyiv today, I paid respects to men and women who sacrificed their lives defending the most fundamental rights of a nation: to exist and to live in freedom,” Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte wrote on X, formerly Twitter, together with a photo of herself laying a wreath at a memorial dedicated to the Ukrainians fallen defending their country against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion.
“They gave their lives to also defend all of us,” Simonyte wrote. “The only way to achieve lasting and just peace is by helping Ukraine win as soon as possible, regain its full territorial integrity, serve international justice, and rebuild stronger.”
Lithuanian media on November 23 reported that Simonyte will spend four days in Ukraine, without elaborating on her schedule.
Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he met with Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, with talks focusing on Kyiv’s defensive needs and the potential for Ukraine joining Latvia as a member of the EU.
In a joint news conference with Rinkevics, the Ukrainian president said Kyiv needed “three major victories” that “will stimulate it to fight the Russian Federation.”
Zelenskiy said the “first victory” will be the decision of the U.S. Congress to provide assistance to Ukraine. The second will be the support of the European Union. In particular, he said, Ukraine should receive an aid package worth 50 billion euros ($55 billion).
The “third victory” is the opening of a dialogue on Ukraine’s future membership in the EU, Zelenskiy said.
Meanwhile, Russian shelling and drone strikes on civilian and energy infrastructure continued on November 24, regional authorities and the military said.
Russia used three Iranian-made drones and two Kh-59 guided missiles in the attack, Ukraine’s air defense said, adding that all drones had been shot down.
It did not give details about the areas that the attacks targeted.
In the western region of Khmelnitskiy, the deputy regional governor, Serhiy Tyuryn, said air defenses opened fire against incoming drones.
Tyuryn said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Meanwhile, in southern Ukraine, Russian shelling on the morning of November 24 destroyed a children’s library in Kherson city, but there were no casualties, regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram.
“Children’s library. Six in the morning. A direct hit by a projectile. The barbarians destroyed the Kherson library, which for years delighted the youngest visitors and their parents,” Prokudin wrote.
In Beryslav, in the same region, a civilian was wounded when a Russian drone dropped explosives on him, local authorities said.
Russian forces have repeatedly targeted Kherson from across the Dnieper River since they withdrew from the city one year ago in the face of the Ukrainian advances.
WATCH: RFE/RL traveled with a Ukrainian demining team as they tried to clear roads in territory retaken from Russian forces near Bakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
Ukraine’s Energy Ministry, meanwhile, said that Russian attacks and increasingly bad weather had left 635 settlements without electricity across Ukraine.
Strong winds left 158 settlements without electricity in the Lviv, Volyn, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. In the southern Dnipropetrovsk region, almost 46,000 people were temporarily left without power due to technical reasons, the Ministry said.
The state-owned Ukrenerho power grid operator said in a statement that it had “activated emergency assistance from neighboring Romania with a total volume of 1,200 megawatts per hour” to make up for the shortages.
In Russia, the Defense Ministry said on November 24 that its air defenses overnight shot down 16 Ukrainian drones over occupied Crimea and the Volgograd region.
“Air-defense systems on duty destroyed 16 UAVs, 13 of which over the Crimean Peninsula and three over the territory of the Volgograd region,” the ministry said on its Telegram channel, without providing details.
The claim could not be independently verified. Ukraine has not commented.