News Wrap: Russia launches large-scale attack across Ukraine

In our news wrap Thursday, Russia launched its biggest barrage in a month across Ukraine, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was hospitalized in Washington after a fall, the Senate confirmed President Biden's pick to lead the IRS, the FBI is investigating whether hackers accessed Congress members' data, and General Motors will offer buyouts to most of its white-collar workers in the U.S.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    In the day's other headlines: Russia launched its biggest barrage in a month all across Ukraine. The assault included 81 missiles, plus exploding drones, and killed at least six people. Hundreds of thousands more lost power.

    In this Eastern Ukrainian village, residents pick up the pieces of what's left after Russia's latest punishing bombardment.

    Olha Babashkina's home is still standing, but uninhabitable.

  • Olha Babashkina, Ukrainian Resident (through translator):

    They are destroying our city. Every day there is shelling. And here are the results. I go to bed and don't know if I will wake up the next day.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Today's wave of attack struck across Ukraine, civilians again in the crosshairs and dying, villages that had so far been spared the worst of the fighting now in ruins.

    In the capital, Kyiv, explosions reported at this electric power plant and in this residential neighborhood. Nearly half of the city was left without heat.

  • Liudmyla, Ukrainian Resident (through translator):

    I am fed up with it, can't withstand all this. How can they do this?

    Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, Russian Ministry of Defense (through translator): The goals are achieved. All assigned targets were hit.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Moscow says it launched a massive retaliatory strike in response to an attack last week in Russia's Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine.

    But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it terrorism and remained defiant. In a social media post,he said — quote — "We will all together ensure the invincibility of Ukraine. We are working. We will win."

    Ukrainian soldiers are mostly working to defend Bakhmut, the site of the longest battle since the beginning of the war. While most of Russia's strikes today were hundreds of miles from the front, they also struck Zaporizhzhia, home to Europe's largest nuclear plant. It lost power for several hours for the sixth time since the start of the war.

    So far, the U.N. atomic agency has failed to forge a deal with Moscow to create a safe zone that would prevent shelling. Director-General Rafael Grossi urged immediate action.

  • Rafael Grossi, Director General, IAEA:

    How can we sit here in this room this morning and allow this to happen? This cannot go on. I am astonished by the complacency.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    But more than a year into the war, there are no signs yet the fighting will stop. Russia says today's barrage was retaliation for attacks on Russian territory last week that it blamed on Ukraine.

    The streets of Israel were alive with protests again today against a plan to overhaul the courts. This time, demonstrators clashed with police in Tel Aviv and flooded major roads to the main international airport. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to be airlifted there to leave on a trip abroad.

    Meantime, three Islamic Jihad gunmen died in a shoot-out with the Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank. Police said the gunmen opened fire as security forces hunted suspects for attacks on Israeli soldiers.

    It came as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Austin said he urged everyone to de-escalate.

    Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Defense: The United States also remains firmly opposed to any acts that could trigger more insecurity, including settlement expansion and inflammatory rhetoric. And we're especially disturbed by violence by settlers against Palestinians.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Later, a crowded street in Tel Aviv erupted in chaos when a Palestinian attacker opened fire. Police said he shot and wounded three people before he was killed.

    Back in this country, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spent last night and today in a Washington hospital. His office said he suffered a concussion when he fell at a private dinner Wednesday night. McConnell is 81 years old. He's expected to be hospitalized under observation for a few days.

    The Senate has confirmed President Biden's choice of Danny Werfel to lead the IRS. Today's vote was 54-42, mostly down party lines. Werfel pledged not to expand audits of businesses and households making under $400,000 a year.

    The FBI is investigating whether hackers accessed personal data on members of Congress, plus staffers and their relatives. Officials announced it late Wednesday. Social Security numbers, names and addresses may have been exposed in a cyberattack on a health insurance marketplace.

    In economic news, General Motors announced buyout offers for its 58,000 white-collar workers in the U.S.

    And, on Wall Street, stocks dropped again on worries about interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 543 points, nearly 1.7 percent, to close below 32255. The Nasdaq fell 2 percent. The S&P 500 was down more than 1.8 percent.

    And still to come on the "PBS NewsHour": an American detained in Iran speaks out from behind bars; the former head of the National Institutes of Health discusses the White House plan to eradicate hepatitis C; and we look at ways to be a smarter shopper amid rising grocery bills.

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