Russia-Ukraine conflict dwell: Kherson residents informed to evacuate as bombardment intensifies; Bakhmut ‘lined with blood’, says Zelenskiy | Ukraine

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Kherson residents urged to evacuate as Russian bombardment intensifies

Ukrainian officers are urging residents to evacuate from the town of Kherson as Russian forces stepped up mortar and artillery assaults on the just lately liberated southern Ukrainian metropolis.

Some residents who lived by the Russian occupation are reluctant to go away regardless of the bombardment, in accordance with an area official who has been concerned within the evacuation.

Kherson metropolis council member, Dmytro Poddubniy, informed CNN:

I’m telling these folks that Kherson is one of the vital harmful cities at once. So I ask them to assume that they’re going on trip for a few weeks. It might be simpler for them to determine to maneuver this manner. However nonetheless, a number of individuals are staying in the town.

One Kherson resident, Inna Balyoha, informed the information channel she was afraid her aged and sick mom wouldn’t have the opportunity to endure the journey.

She mentioned:

She may be very weak. She is going to not attain one other metropolis. Many stay in Kherson beneath shelling as a result of of their mother and father.

Authorities have urged Kherson residents to evacuate to safer areas as Russian shelling has change into “increasingly more frequent and large-scale”.

Ukrainian officials are urging residents to evacuate from the city of Kherson as Russian forces stepped up mortar and artillery attacks on the recently liberated southern Ukrainian city.

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Some residents who lived through the Russian occupation are reluctant to leave despite the bombardment, according to a local official who has been involved in the evacuation.

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Kherson city council member, Dmytro Poddubniy, told CNN:

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I’m telling these people that Kherson is one of the most dangerous cities right now. So I ask them to imagine that they are going on vacation for a couple of weeks. It may be easier for them to decide to move this way. But still, a lot of people are staying in the city.

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One Kherson resident, Inna Balyoha, told the news channel she was afraid her elderly and sick mother would not be able to endure the journey.

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She said:

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She is very weak. She will not reach another city. Many remain in Kherson under shelling because of their parents.

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Authorities have urged Kherson residents to evacuate to safer regions as Russian shelling has become “more and more frequent and large-scale”.

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It’s 6pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:

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  • Russian forces have stepped up mortar and artillery attacks on Kherson city in southern Ukraine. Russian troops fired 33 rockets at civilian targets in a series of aerial and artillery bombardments in Kherson over the course of 24 hours, Ukraine’s armed forces said Wednesday morning.

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  • A maternity wing of a hospital in Kherson city was shelled by Russian forces late on Tuesday, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s office. No one was hurt and the staff and patients had been moved to a shelter, he added. Ukraine’s healthcare minister, Viktor Liashko, said Russian forces bombed the hospital just moments after a baby was born.

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  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “only a few” civilians remain in the embattled frontline city of Bakhmut in the eastern province of Donetsk. In a Telegram post, Ukraine’s leader said “there is no place that is not covered with blood” in the Ukrainian-held city, where his troops are waging a battle that has come to symbolise the grinding brutality of the war.

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  • Ukraine has bought 1,400 drones, mostly for reconnaissance, and plans to develop combat models that can attack the exploding drones Russia has used during its invasion, according to the Ukrainian government minister in charge of technology. To date, Ukraine has been coy about claiming that explosions reported within the borders of the Russian Federation have been down to military and drone activity.

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  • The Kremlin has insisted any proposals to end the conflict in Ukraine must take into account what it calls “today’s realities” of four Ukrainian regions Moscow has unilaterally declared part of Russia. In a regular briefing with reporters, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan, which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.

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  • One of President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin aides has visited the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in a part of southern Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed. Sergei Kiriyenko, a Kremlin official responsible for overseeing Russia’s domestic politics and a former head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation, discussed the safety of the plant, according to a Russian-installed “official”.

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  • Authorities in the city of Odesa have begun dismantling a monument to Catherine the Great, the Russian empress who founded the city in the late 18th century. Last month, the local parliament voted to dismantle the statue, as well as another to the Tsarist general Alexander Suvorov.

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  • Russian soldiers mobilised to fight in Ukraine will be able to store their frozen sperm in a cryobank for free, a leading Russian lawyer has said. Demographers have warned that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and its “partial” military mobilisation could further deepen Russia’s demographic crisis.

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  • The mother of an Australian man from Victoria killed fighting in Ukraine has remembered her son as a defender of freedom who was driven by empathy. The Australian department of foreign affairs and Trade (Dfat) confirmed on Wednesday that Sage O’Donnell from Melbourne had died.

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  • The United Nations high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) has released a count of the number of civilian casualties in Russia’s war on Ukraine so far, saying that 6,884 people are known to have died in Ukraine, including 429 children, between 24 February 2022 to 26 December 2022. The actual figure is likely to be “considerably higher”, it added.

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  • Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has signed a decree that bans the supply of oil and oil products to nations participating in an imposed cap from 1 February 2023 for five months. The Group of Seven major powers, the European Union and Australia agreed this month to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil effective from 5 December.

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Good afternoon from London, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong still here with all the latest from Ukraine. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter or via email.

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “only a few” civilians remain in the embattled frontline city of Bakhmut in the eastern province of Donetsk.

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In a post on Telegram, Ukraine’s leader said “there is no place that is not covered with blood” in the Ukrainian-held city, where his troops are waging a battle that has come to symbolise the grinding brutality of the war.

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Zelenskiy said:

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Last year, 70,000 people lived there. Now only a few civilians are left there. There is no place that is not covered with blood. There is no hour when the terrible roar of artillery does not sound. Still, Bakhmut stands.

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Bakhmut, which had a pre-war inhabitants of 70,000-80,000, is a ghost city now largely in ruins.

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Russian soldiers mobilised to fight in Ukraine will be able to store their frozen sperm in a cryobank for free, a leading Russian lawyer has said.

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The Russian Union of Lawyers head, Igor Trunov, told the state-owned news agency Tass the health ministry had agreed to his appeal to offer free cryobank services to the 300,000 soldiers conscripted in September.

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According to the lawyer, his organisation has already been contacted by several couples whose husbands will soon depart for Ukraine. The health ministry has not yet commented on Trunov’s remarks.

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Demographers have warned that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and its “partial” military mobilisation could further deepen Russia’s demographic crisis.

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Russia’s population has been in near-constant decline for decades. The coronavirus pandemic led to the country’s largest natural population decline since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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The war in Ukraine, which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of young Russian men while also sparking an unprecedented exodus of educated professionals, is expected to hasten the demographic crash for Russia.

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The independent demographer Alexei Raksha has described the current demographic situation as “the perfect storm”.

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Russian forces have stepped up mortar and artillery attacks on Kherson city in southern Ukraine, forcing hundreds of civilians to flee the recently liberated city amid relentless shelling by Moscow’s troops.

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Russian troops fired 33 rockets at civilian targets in a series of aerial and artillery bombardments in Kherson over the course of 24 hours, Ukraine’s armed forces said this morning.

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A maternity wing of a hospital in the city was shelled by Russian forces late on Tuesday, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s office. No one was hurt and the staff and patients had been moved to a shelter, he added.

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At least 10 people were killed and 58 were wounded by a Russian strike in Kherson on Saturday, authorities said.

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Russian forces were forced to withdraw from Kherson city last month, but its residents have faced relentless Russian shelling from the east bank of the Dnieper River.

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About 400 people have fled Kherson since Christmas Day, the BBC reported, after a sharp increase in the intensity of the Russian bombardment of the city.

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The Kremlin has dismissed President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan, and insisted any proposals to end the conflict in Ukraine must take into account what it calls “today’s realities” of four Ukrainian regions Moscow has unilaterally declared part of Russia.

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In a regular briefing with reporters, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said:

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n

There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia. Plans that do not take these realities into account cannot be peaceful.

n

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Russia illegally annexed four Ukrainian regions – Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk – in September after holding Kremlin-orchestrated fake referendums. Russia does not fully control any of the four regions.

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Kyiv and its western allies have said they would never recognise Russia’s claims on Ukraine’s territory.

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President Zelenskiy has been promoting his 10-point peace plan, first announced in November, which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.

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Zelenskiy’s foreign minister, Dmtryo Kuleba, said on Monday that Ukraine was aiming to hold a peace summit by the end of February – preferably at the UN with its secretary general, António Guterres, as a possible mediator.

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Hello, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong taking over from Martin Belam to bring you all the latest news from the Russia-Ukraine war. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter or via email.

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The Kyiv Post has reported that the French armed forces minister, Sébastien Lecornu, has arrived in Kyiv. It is his first visit to Ukraine since being appointed in May 2022.

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France24 reporter Andrew Hilliar has said Lecornu is expected to visit a memorial to the war dead today, and that the trip comes on the back of the promise by France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, to increase his nation’s military support for Ukraine.

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Hilliar reports that Lecornu is under pressure to announce further assistance, with some in Ukraine still angry at Macron’s comments during the course of the war, where he has seemed more vocal than most European leaders to suggest that Ukraine should be prepared to make concessions in return for peace.

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Ukraine has bought 1,400 drones, mostly for reconnaissance, and plans to develop combat models that can attack the exploding drones Russia has used during its invasion, according to the Ukrainian government minister in charge of technology.

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Associated Press reports that in an interview with the minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian official said:

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The next stage, now that we are more or less equipped with reconnaissance drones, is strike drones. These are both exploding drones and drones that fly up to 3 to 10km and hit targets. I can say already that the situation regarding drones will change drastically in February or March.

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To date, Ukraine has been coy about claiming that explosions reported within the borders of the Russian Federation have been down to military and drone activity.

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In the last few moments, authorities in Kyiv and Mykolaiv have declared air raid alerts, according to posts on Telegram.

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The European Union delegation to Ukraine has announced that it will support “more than 700,000 Ukrainians in the winter” during the war. In a press statement released on Wednesday, the office of the international organisation for migration (IOM) in Ukraine says it is “stepping up efforts to help internally displaced and war-affected people survive the cold weather”.

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The statement claims that:

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IOM’s winter preparedness support, made possible by EU funding, includes repairs to collective centres for displaced people, improvements to water, drainage and heating systems, repairs to damaged houses, and the provision of warm blankets, bedding, mattresses and hygiene items. The programme also provides solid fuel and cash assistance to help people have flexible winter livelihoods. This funding will also enable IOM to ensure the availability of critical assets to ensure that aid continues to reach war-affected populations, and to support partner organisations responding to urgent needs on the ground.

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Claudia Amaral, head of the European Commission’s directorate-general for civil protection and humanitarian aid in Ukraine, is quoted as saying:

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Vulnerable sections of the population of Ukraine are going through the hardest winter. As the attacks continue, leaving millions without reliable access to electricity, heating and water, our humanitarian partners, including IOM, continue to work to meet the most urgent needs.

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The United Nations high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) has released a count of the number of civilian casualties in Russia’s war on Ukraine so far, saying that 6,884 people are known to have died in Ukraine, including 429 children, between 24 February 2022 to 26 December 2022.

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The agency says the actual figure is likely to be “considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.”

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments as they happen.

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The UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) says that since the start of the war, at least 6,884 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, including 429 children. However, the agency believes that the actual figures are “considerably higher”.

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We’ll have more on this story shortly.

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In the meantime, here are the key recent developments:

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  • Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has signed a decree that bans the supply of oil and oil products to nations participating in an imposed cap from 1 February 2023 for five months. The Group of Seven major powers, the European Union and Australia agreed this month to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil effective from 5 December.

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  • Ukrainian forces appear to have edged closer to recapturing the key-Russian controlled city of Kreminna in Luhansk province. The regional governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said fighters in part of the city controlled by Russian command were forced to retreat to Rubizhne, a town a few miles to the south-east, as a result of Ukrainian military pressure.

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  • Heavy fighting continues in the east and south of the country amid no sign of imminent peace talks. Recapturing Kreminna and nearby Svatove could open the way for Kyiv to launch an offensive on Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities Ukraine lost in the summer. The Guardian could not independently confirm the battlefield developments.

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  • Russian troops continued to focus their efforts on capturing the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, Britain’s defence ministry said in its daily military briefing on Tuesday.

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  • Russia’s military has moved many of its warplanes from Engels airbase to other locations after strikes on the crucial airbase, according to a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force. Three Russian servicemen were killed on Monday after a Ukrainian drone attack on the airbase, which lies deep inside Russian territory, according to Russia’s defence ministry.

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  • Putin’s comments that he was “ready to negotiate with all parties” involved in the conflict in Ukraine are part of a deliberate information campaign aimed at misleading the west into making concessions, according to analysts. The US thinktank Institute for the Study of War said the Russian president did not offer to negotiate with Ukraine on Saturday, contrary to some reporting.

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  • The bodies of 42 Ukrainian servicemen who died while fighting have been returned to Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian government. Work on bringing back the bodies of Ukraine’s fighters “does not stop for a day”, Oleh Kotenko, the commissioner for missing persons, said.

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  • Vladimir Putin met his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, twice in the past 24 hours to “finalise many issues”, Belarusian state-owned Belta news agency reported. The meetings took place in St Petersburg, over breakfast on Tuesday at the Russian Museum, as well as at an informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) yesterday evening, it reported.

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  • A Russian sausage tycoon who reportedly criticised the war in Ukraine has died after falling from the third-floor window of a luxury hotel in India. The body of Pavel Antov, 65, was discovered just two days after his friend and another local Russian politician, Vladimir Bidenov, was found dead in the same hotel after an apparent heart attack.

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Key occasions

Daniel Boffey

Daniel Boffey

The key to Igor Pedin’s survival had been his invisibility, the 61-year-old had mentioned.

Along with his canine, Zhu-Zhu, the previous ship’s prepare dinner banked on being ignored by the trigger-happy Russian troopers and their killing machines when he took step one of a 140-mile journey from his residence within the besieged Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol on 23 April, earlier than stealing out into the badlands of Russian-occupied territories in the direction of the relative security in the town of Zaporizhzhia.

Such have been the dangers that troopers at one checkpoint had beseeched Pedin to show again however then stuffed cigarettes in his pockets for good luck.

He did survive, in opposition to the chances, however the outstanding story has made Pedin extra seen than he may ever have imagined.

Learn the complete story right here:

Pedin and his dog Zhu-Zhu: Pedin said it was ’better to die on the road than stay in a place that had been thrown into the stone age’.
Pedin and his canine Zhu-Zhu: Pedin mentioned it was ’higher to die on the highway than keep in a spot that had been thrown into the stone age’. {Photograph}: Kaupo Kikkas

Kherson residents urged to evacuate as Russian bombardment intensifies

Ukrainian officers are urging residents to evacuate from the town of Kherson as Russian forces stepped up mortar and artillery assaults on the just lately liberated southern Ukrainian metropolis.

Some residents who lived by the Russian occupation are reluctant to go away regardless of the bombardment, in accordance with an area official who has been concerned within the evacuation.

Kherson metropolis council member, Dmytro Poddubniy, informed CNN:

I’m telling these folks that Kherson is one of the vital harmful cities at once. So I ask them to assume that they’re going on trip for a few weeks. It might be simpler for them to determine to maneuver this manner. However nonetheless, a number of individuals are staying in the town.

One Kherson resident, Inna Balyoha, informed the information channel she was afraid her aged and sick mom wouldn’t have the opportunity to endure the journey.

She mentioned:

She may be very weak. She is going to not attain one other metropolis. Many stay in Kherson beneath shelling as a result of of their mother and father.

Authorities have urged Kherson residents to evacuate to safer areas as Russian shelling has change into “increasingly more frequent and large-scale”.

A Crimean human rights activist has been sentenced to seven years in jail after a Moscow-installed court docket within the Russian-annexed peninsula discovered her responsible of carrying an explosive machine, in a trial rights activists have described as “trumped-up” and “unlawful”.

Iryna Danilovich was sentenced to seven years in a common regime colony by a court docket in Russian-controlled Feodosia, Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, the Kyiv-based organisation Institute of Mass Data (IMI) mentioned.

#russian occupiers in #Crimea sentenced🇺🇦citizen journalist Iryna Danilovych to 7 years in jail.That is nothing however weak point&revenge for her energetic place.We name on our companions to sentence this absurd "verdict"& ⬆️stress on🇷🇺to launch🇺🇦political prisoners&restore justice. pic.twitter.com/8RKQeIPZmY

— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) December 28, 2022

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#russian occupiers in #Crimea sentenced🇺🇦citizen journalist Iryna Danilovych to 7 years in jail.That is nothing however weak point&revenge for her energetic place.We name on our companions to sentence this absurd “verdict”& ⬆️stress on🇷🇺to launch🇺🇦political prisoners&restore justice. pic.twitter.com/8RKQeIPZmY

— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) December 28, 2022

The Crimean human rights activist, nurse and citizen journalist was detained by Russian authorities in late April whereas on her method from work. Her household informed CNN on the time balaclava-clad officers from the Russian particular police unit searched her home within the village of Vladislavovka, close to Feodosiya, and took the household’s laptops and telephones.

Her case was a part of a string of disappearances of activists, journalists and peculiar residents reported during the last decade in Russian-occupied Crimea.

The Committee to Shield Journalists (CJP) known as on Russian authorities in Crimea to reveal any data regarding Danilovich’s whereabouts when she first went lacking.

In an announcement, Gulnoza Mentioned, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia programme coordinator, mentioned:

Iryna Danilovich’s alarming disappearance prompts fears of yet one more clampdown on unbiased reporting in Russian-occupied Crimea, which is already an especially restrictive atmosphere for the press.

Russia’s safety service (FSB) accused Danilovich of creating an explosive machine and preserving it on her individual, IMI mentioned.

She was additionally fined 50,000 rubles (£570) on the fees of unlawful storage and manufacture of explosives beneath Half 1 of Artwork. 222.1 of the Felony Code of the Russian Federation, it mentioned.

Volodymyr Chekryhin, deputy head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, mentioned that the case in opposition to Danylovich was grossly falsified, beginning with Russian FSB officers successfully kidnapping her.

He mentioned:

The complete so-called ‘investigation’ in opposition to her was comprised of unlawful strategies: having been kidnapped, Iryna was saved within the basement of the FSB workplace and confronted with numerous types of stress and intimidation, even torture – she was crushed and strangled.

The “so-called trial utterly disadvantaged Iryna Danilovich of her proper to a truthful trial and was a cynical pageant”, he added.

Listed here are among the newest photographs we’ve got acquired from the frontline metropolis of Bakhmut in southern Ukraine.

A humanitarian aid van arrives to the district to supply food to local people in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
A humanitarian support van arrives to the district to provide meals to native folks in Bakhmut, Ukraine. {Photograph}: Anadolu Company/Getty Photos
Sveta and Elena Geraskina, her mother, after picking food at a volunteer centre in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
Sveta and Elena Geraskina, her mom, after selecting meals at a volunteer centre in Bakhmut, Ukraine. {Photograph}: Anadolu Company/Getty Photos

Ukraine has secured the discharge of 1,456 prisoners of conflict since Russia invaded in February, in accordance with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Talking in an annual tackle to the Ukrainian parliament, Zelenskiy additionally informed lawmakers he had participated in 850 worldwide occasions for the reason that conflict started.

Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a Ukrainian MP, wrote on his Telegram:

At this time, the parliament gathered for its final assembly of the yr. The president’s tackle to the Verkhovna Rada about Ukraine’s inner and exterior scenario was heard on the assembly.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, cupboard ministers, overseas diplomats, navy personnel and members of the family of fallen troopers have been additionally current on the closed-door parliamentary session, he added.

Abstract of the day to this point

It’s 6pm in Kyiv. Right here’s the place we stand:

  • Russian forces have stepped up mortar and artillery assaults on Kherson metropolis in southern Ukraine. Russian troops fired 33 rockets at civilian targets in a collection of aerial and artillery bombardments in Kherson over the course of 24 hours, Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned Wednesday morning.

  • A maternity wing of a hospital in Kherson metropolis was shelled by Russian forces late on Tuesday, in accordance with Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s workplace. Nobody was harm and the employees and sufferers had been moved to a shelter, he added. Ukraine’s healthcare minister, Viktor Liashko, mentioned Russian forces bombed the hospital simply moments after a child was born.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned “solely a number of” civilians stay within the embattled frontline metropolis of Bakhmut within the japanese province of Donetsk. In a Telegram submit, Ukraine’s chief mentioned “there isn’t a place that is just not lined with blood” within the Ukrainian-held metropolis, the place his troops are waging a battle that has come to symbolise the grinding brutality of the conflict.

  • Ukraine has purchased 1,400 drones, principally for reconnaissance, and plans to develop fight fashions that may assault the exploding drones Russia has used throughout its invasion, in accordance with the Ukrainian authorities minister in command of know-how. To this point, Ukraine has been coy about claiming that explosions reported inside the borders of the Russian Federation have been right down to navy and drone exercise.

  • The Kremlin has insisted any proposals to finish the battle in Ukraine should have in mind what it calls “at present’s realities” of 4 Ukrainian areas Moscow has unilaterally declared a part of Russia. In an everyday briefing with reporters, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan, which incorporates the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the discharge of all prisoners, a tribunal for these answerable for the aggression and safety ensures for Ukraine.

  • Certainly one of President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin aides has visited the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant in an element of southern Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed. Sergei Kiriyenko, a Kremlin official answerable for overseeing Russia’s home politics and a former head of Russia’s state nuclear company, mentioned the protection of the plant, in accordance with a Russian-installed “official”.

  • Authorities in the town of Odesa have begun dismantling a monument to Catherine the Nice, the Russian empress who based the town within the late 18th century. Final month, the native parliament voted to dismantle the statue, as nicely as one other to the Tsarist common Alexander Suvorov.

  • Russian troopers mobilised to combat in Ukraine will have the opportunity to retailer their frozen sperm in a cryobank at no cost, a number one Russian lawyer has mentioned. Demographers have warned that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and its “partial” navy mobilisation may additional deepen Russia’s demographic disaster.

  • The mom of an Australian man from Victoria killed preventing in Ukraine has remembered her son as a defender of freedom who was pushed by empathy. The Australian division of overseas affairs and Commerce (Dfat) confirmed on Wednesday that Sage O’Donnell from Melbourne had died.

  • The United Nations excessive commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) has launched a depend of the variety of civilian casualties in Russia’s conflict on Ukraine to this point, saying that 6,884 individuals are recognized to have died in Ukraine, together with 429 youngsters, between 24 February 2022 to 26 December 2022. The precise determine is seemingly to be “significantly greater”, it added.

  • Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has signed a decree that bans the provision of oil and oil merchandise to nations taking part in an imposed cap from 1 February 2023 for 5 months. The Group of Seven main powers, the European Union and Australia agreed this month to a $60-per-barrel worth cap on Russian seaborne crude oil efficient from 5 December.

Good afternoon from London, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong nonetheless right here with all the newest from Ukraine. Be at liberty to get in contact on Twitter or by way of e-mail.

The defence ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria held talks in Moscow at present, Russian state media reported.

State-owned information company Ria cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying:

Methods of resolving the Syrian disaster and the drawback of refugees as nicely as joint efforts to fight extremist teams in Syria have been mentioned.

Zelenskiy: No place in Bakhmut ‘not lined with blood’

Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned “solely a number of” civilians stay within the embattled frontline metropolis of Bakhmut within the japanese province of Donetsk.

In a submit on Telegram, Ukraine’s chief mentioned “there isn’t a place that is just not lined with blood” within the Ukrainian-held metropolis, the place his troops are waging a battle that has come to symbolise the grinding brutality of the conflict.

Zelenskiy mentioned:

Final yr, 70,000 folks lived there. Now solely a number of civilians are left there. There isn’t a place that is just not lined with blood. There isn’t a hour when the horrible roar of artillery doesn’t sound. Nonetheless, Bakhmut stands.

A volunteer moves school materials from a school bombed by the Russian army in Bakhmut.
A volunteer strikes college supplies from a college bombed by the Russian military in Bakhmut. {Photograph}: Anadolu Company/Getty Photos

Bakhmut, which had a pre-war inhabitants of 70,000-80,000, is a ghost city now largely in ruins.

The deterioration of diplomatic relations between Russia and Lithuania has continued, with the expulsion at present of a Lithuanian from their embassy in Moscow. An announcement from the Russian overseas ministry mentioned:

On 28 December, Chargé d’Affaires of Lithuania in Russia, Jurgita Cibulskiene was summoned to the Russian International Ministry. The Lithuanian aspect was strongly protested in reference to the unjustified expulsion on 1 December this yr [of an] worker of the Russian Embassy in Vilnius. As a response, certainly one of the diplomats of the Lithuanian embassy was declared “persona non grata”, and should go away the territory of the Russian Federation inside 5 days.

Reuters reported that ship insurers have mentioned they’re cancelling conflict danger cowl throughout Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, after an exit from the area by reinsurers within the face of steep losses.

Reinsurers, which insure the insurers, sometimes renew their 12-month contracts with insurance coverage purchasers on 1 January, giving them the primary alternative to cut back publicity for the reason that conflict in Ukraine began.

The strikes by the insurers will make it tougher for ship-owners or charterers to seek out insurance coverage, improve costs and will imply some ships sail uninsured, business sources mentioned.

Ukraine’s first deputy minister of overseas affairs, Emine Dzheppar, has tweeted photographs of a maternity hospital in Kherson metropolis that was shelled by Russian forces yesterday.

Giving beginning beneath shelling. #russian terrorists shelled maternity hospital in #Kherson. Certainly one of the infants there was born proper earlier than the assault. #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/X2AF0re9oA

— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) December 27, 2022

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In line with Ukraine’s healthcare minister, Viktor Liashko, Russian forces bombed the hospital simply moments after a child was born.

Two infants have been born on the hospital the day of the assault, Liashko wrote on his Fb, including that one arrived simply “minutes” earlier than the shelling.

He added:

Luckily, no infants … no hospital employees have been harm this time.

It has not been attainable to independently confirm his claims.

The European Fee says it’s donating €14m (£12.3m) to purchase and transport college buses for Ukraine, as nicely as an extra 120 buses “to deliver Ukrainian youngsters safely to high school”.

About 5.7 million school-age youngsters in Ukraine have been affected by Russia’s conflict, which has additionally led to hundreds of faculties and instructional amenities broken or destroyed, the Fee mentioned.

We’re sending buses to deliver Ukrainian youngsters safely to high school.

120 have been donated by way of our solidarity marketing campaign by 🇪🇪🇫🇮🇦🇹🇩🇪🇱🇺.

We’re additionally donating €14 million to buy and transport college buses, bringing the overall to greater than 240 buses.

Extra are coming ↓

— European Fee 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) December 28, 2022

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We’re sending buses to deliver Ukrainian youngsters safely to high school.

120 have been donated by way of our solidarity marketing campaign by 🇪🇪🇫🇮🇦🇹🇩🇪🇱🇺.

We’re additionally donating €14 million to buy and transport college buses, bringing the overall to greater than 240 buses.

Extra are coming ↓

— European Fee 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) December 28, 2022

Shaun Walker

Shaun Walker

Authorities in the town of Odesa have begun dismantling a monument to Catherine the Nice, the Russian empress who based the town within the late 18th century.

📸 In line with Suspilne Odesa, the native authorities have begun dismantling the Catherine-the-Nice monument.

Pics: Suspilne Odesa pic.twitter.com/6RzBYiuJVw

— KyivPost (@KyivPost) December 28, 2022

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The monument was first erected in 1900 however was dismantled in 1920 after the Bolshevik takeover. It was restored and reopened in 2007.

After the 2014 Maidan revolution, Ukraine’s parliament handed a “decommunisation” regulation that meant statues to Lenin and different Soviet political figures needed to be eliminated (or, within the case of Odesa’s Lenin statue, reworked and reimagined as a statue to Darth Vader).

Since Russia’s February invasion, nevertheless, many in Ukraine have sought a extra overarching reevaluation of something Russian, and the monument to Catherine had been daubed with crimson paint a number of occasions.

Final month, the native parliament voted to dismantle the statue, as nicely as one other to the Tsarist common Alexander Suvorov. Authorities plan to retailer the monuments in a museum in the town.

France’s armed forces minister, Sébastien Lecornu, has tweeted a photograph of him visiting a memorial to the conflict useless in Kyiv as a part of his go to to Ukraine.

À mon arrivée à Kiev, j’ai déposé une gerbe sur le mur des Héros pour rendre hommage aux soldats ukrainiens tombés pour défendre leur pays. pic.twitter.com/Wg6ww0cSPc

— Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) December 28, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/SebLecornu/standing/1608086109912813568″,”id”:”1608086109912813568″,”hasMedia”:false,”function”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”supply”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f93f4a52-94dd-4040-ac2a-3d9b0376e088″}}”>

À mon arrivée à Kiev, j’ai déposé une gerbe sur le mur des Héros pour rendre hommage aux soldats ukrainiens tombés pour défendre leur pays. pic.twitter.com/Wg6ww0cSPc

— Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) December 28, 2022

Lecornu, who’s on his first go to to Ukraine since being appointed in Might, is predicted to satisfy with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, and armed forces officers.

Italy’s defence minister, Guido Crosetto, has struck a cautious tone on whether or not his nation would provide Ukraine with air defence techniques.

Talking in an interview with Il Messaggero newspaper, Crosetto mentioned the air defence techniques, which Ukraine’s president has requested, can be offered to Kyiv “if attainable”.

He added:

If we give air defence missiles to Ukraine, we should take them from our shares and we’ve got to try this with out depleting them, and being positive concerning the high quality.

Crosetto’s feedback got here after Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, on Tuesday.

In a tweet posted after the decision, Ukraine’s chief mentioned Meloni knowledgeable him that “the subject of offering air defence techniques to shield Ukrainian skies is being thought of”.

Thanked @GiorgiaMeloni for solidarity and complete assist for 🇺🇦. Recommended 🇮🇹 authorities's allocation of further €10 million in support. Mrs. Meloni knowledgeable that the subject of offering air protection techniques to shield 🇺🇦 skies is being thought of. We mentioned #PeaceFormula

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) December 27, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa/standing/1607762593682161667″,”id”:”1607762593682161667″,”hasMedia”:false,”function”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”supply”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”97c8dda7-1a9f-46f9-9ebd-aa3cccbd8c80″}}”>

Thanked @GiorgiaMeloni for solidarity and complete assist for 🇺🇦. Recommended 🇮🇹 authorities’s allocation of further €10 million in support. Mrs. Meloni knowledgeable that the subject of offering air protection techniques to shield 🇺🇦 skies is being thought of. We mentioned #PeaceFormula

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) December 27, 2022

A Swiss court docket has granted a six-month “keep of chapter” to the corporate behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was constructed to deliver Russian fuel to Germany however by no means opened after Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 AG, a Swiss-based firm owned by Russian state-owned fuel large Gazprom, constructed the fuel pipeline however the undertaking was halted in early February after Moscow formally recognised two breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine.

The corporate’s keep has now been prolonged to 10 July by a Swiss regional, Reuters cited a discover printed within the Swiss official gazette of commerce as saying.

Russian troopers preventing in Ukraine ‘can freeze sperm at no cost’

Pjotr Sauer

Pjotr Sauer

Russian troopers mobilised to combat in Ukraine will have the opportunity to retailer their frozen sperm in a cryobank at no cost, a number one Russian lawyer has mentioned.

The Russian Union of Attorneys head, Igor Trunov, informed the state-owned information company Tass the well being ministry had agreed to his enchantment to provide free cryobank companies to the 300,000 troopers conscripted in September.

In line with the lawyer, his organisation has already been contacted by a number of {couples} whose husbands will quickly depart for Ukraine. The well being ministry has not but commented on Trunov’s remarks.

Demographers have warned that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and its “partial” navy mobilisation may additional deepen Russia’s demographic disaster.

Russia’s inhabitants has been in near-constant decline for a long time. The coronavirus pandemic led to the nation’s largest pure inhabitants decline for the reason that fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The conflict in Ukraine, which has led to the deaths of tens of hundreds of younger Russian males whereas additionally sparking an unprecedented exodus of educated professionals, is predicted to hasten the demographic crash for Russia.

The unbiased demographer Alexei Raksha has described the present demographic scenario as “the proper storm”.

Earlier we reported air raid alerts blared throughout Ukraine, together with in Kyiv and Mykolaiv. Officers have sounded the all-clear nearly two hours later.

There have been no quick stories of any new Russian missile strikes. Ukrainian social media steered the nationwide alert could have been declared after Russian jets stationed in Belarus took off.

Maternity hospital shelled as Russia intensifies assaults on liberated Kherson

Russian forces have stepped up mortar and artillery assaults on Kherson metropolis in southern Ukraine, forcing a whole bunch of civilians to flee the just lately liberated metropolis amid relentless shelling by Moscow’s troops.

Russian troops fired 33 rockets at civilian targets in a collection of aerial and artillery bombardments in Kherson over the course of 24 hours, Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned this morning.

A maternity wing of a hospital in the town was shelled by Russian forces late on Tuesday, in accordance with Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s workplace. Nobody was harm and the employees and sufferers had been moved to a shelter, he added.

Not less than 10 folks have been killed and 58 have been wounded by a Russian strike in Kherson on Saturday, authorities mentioned.

Russian forces have been compelled to withdraw from Kherson metropolis final month, however its residents have confronted relentless Russian shelling from the east financial institution of the Dnieper River.

About 400 folks have fled Kherson since Christmas Day, the BBC reported, after a pointy improve within the depth of the Russian bombardment of the town.



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