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WAR IN EUROPE

Ukraine latest: US says 20,000 Russian fighters killed in battle over Bakhmut

Ukrainian servicemen on their position near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk area, Ukraine, 31 December 2022, prior to the New Year celebration. (Photo: EPA-EFE / George Ivanchenko)

Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties, including 20,000 killed, since December in the stalemated fight over Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, according to the US National Security Council. 

Meanwhile, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces said they have pushed back Russian troops from some positions in Bakhmut.

Russia targeted Ukrainian cities with cruise missiles in the early hours of Monday, but Ukraine’s army chief said most were intercepted. At least 34 people were reported hurt by a missile strike in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region. The barrage of attacks comes as Ukraine prepares for another ground offensive against Russian forces.

At least 34 people were reported hurt by a missile strike in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region. The barrage of attacks comes as Ukraine prepares for another ground offensive against Russian forces.

Ukraine pushed back Russian troops from some positions in the eastern city of Bakhmut, where fierce battles have raged for months, according to the commander of its ground forces.

Key developments

Zelensky holds talks with Canada’s Trudeau 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he discussed “long-term defence cooperation” with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a phone conversation.

Earlier, Zelensky said he spoke by phone with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and “discussed the importance of consolidating the countries of the Pacific region to support” Ukraine.

Russia says missiles targeted Ukraine’s defence production  

The attacks with long-range air- and sea-based missiles were aimed at Ukrainian factories producing ammunition, weapons and military equipment, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

“All the designated targets were hit,” according to the statement.

 

 

 

Ukraine reports ‘significant damage’ to power grid in two regions  

Russian missile attacks disrupted the power grid in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson regions, though there was no damage to electricity generation facilities, according to the Energy Ministry.

More than 18,000 residents of the southern city of Kherson and the surrounding region faced temporary power cuts, as well as an unspecified number of people in Dnipro city, the ministry said.

Ukraine calls for humanitarian corridors out of occupied areas  

Ukraine has urged Russia and the International Red Cross to open humanitarian corridors to allow Ukrainians to leave areas under Russian occupation, the minister for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, said on Telegram.

Russia was violating international law by keeping Ukrainian citizens who refuse to take Russian passports under the occupation from evacuating to areas under Ukrainian control, she said.

Blast derails Russian freight train in border region – Tass 

A blast caused by an explosive device derailed a freight train, which caught fire, in the Bryansk region near the border with Ukraine, state-run Tass news service reported.

No injuries were reported and most of the train’s cars were pulled back from the accident site, Tass said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

Ukraine gains ground in Bakhmut, says commander  

Ukrainian army counterattacks forced Russia to withdraw from some positions in Bakhmut, Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Telegram after visiting troops fighting in the eastern city and other areas on Sunday. The situation in the area remained difficult and intense, he said.

Despite big losses, Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group and other units continued attacks in Bakhmut, but had failed to break through Ukrainian defences and take the city under control, according to Syrskyi.

Missile strike in Dnipropetrovsk region injures 34 

A cruise missile that hit Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region injured 34 people including five children, the regional governor’s office said on Telegram.

Earlier, the regional governor’s office reported that a factory in Pavlohrad and 44 residential buildings including 19 high-rise apartment blocks, and also shops and schools, were damaged in the explosion.

Ukraine says 15 of 18 missiles shot down  

Four Russian strategic aircraft launched a total of 18 Kha-101 and Kha-555 cruise missiles at Ukraine at about 2.30am, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram. Ukraine shot down 15 of them. Two Tu-95 planes flew from Russia’s Murmansk region and two Tu-160 from the Caspian Sea area, he said.

Russian missiles target Kyiv, major cities  

Authorities in Kyiv said air defence systems were working after Russian missile strikes set off air sirens early in the morning in the capital and across the country.

Local media reported that explosions were also heard in the central city of Dnipro, which has about one million residents. A Russian missile on Friday struck an apartment building in Uman, south of Kyiv, killing 23 civilians. Two others were killed in Dnipro. DM

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