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Russian forces maintain pounding crucial energy infrastructure in Ukrainian cities, killing extra civilians and leaving tens of hundreds of extra folks with out electrical energy, as its troops step up the tempo of their relentless assaults alongside your complete entrance line within the east.

UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk warned on December 15 that additional strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure might result in a severe deterioration of the humanitarian scenario and spark additional displacement.

Stay Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Stay Briefing provides you all the newest developments on Russia’s ongoing invasion, Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Western army support, world response, and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s protection of the struggle, click on right here.

The Basic Workers of the Ukrainian army mentioned on December 15 that Russian artillery fireplace was targeting Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk area, as Moscow is searching for to stabilize its tactical positions round Kupyansk within the japanese Kharkiv area and Zaporizhzhya within the southeast.

The not too long ago liberated southern metropolis of Kherson was left fully with out energy following Russian shelling that additionally killed at the very least two folks on December 15, in response to the top of the Kherson regional army administration, Yaroslav Yanushevych.

The knowledge was confirmed by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s workplace, who wrote on Telegram that heavy shelling of a crucial infrastructure facility within the metropolis’s Korabelniy district was nonetheless underneath method in early afternoon, and Russian shells had hit 100 meters from the regional administration constructing.

Russian forces additionally focused crucial infrastructure within the japanese metropolis of Kharkiv on December 15, inflicting a number of explosions, the mayor mentioned.

“Explosions in Kharkiv. The enemy is focusing on infrastructure amenities. I’m asking everybody to train utmost warning and keep in shelters if doable,” Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

In a speech to the Human Rights Council in Geneva following a visit to Ukraine final week, Turk mentioned on December 15 that Russian strikes have been exposing hundreds of thousands of individuals to “excessive hardship.”

“Extra strikes might result in an extra severe deterioration within the humanitarian scenario and spark extra displacement,” Turk mentioned. He known as the struggle an “unmitigated tragedy and catastrophe.”

Turk’s remarks got here as he formally introduced a report which discovered that Russian forces killed at the very least 441 civilians within the early days of the invasion. Moscow has denied focusing on civilians.

Turk mentioned accountability for such incidents was “sorely missing,” including that not a single member of Russia’s armed forces was recognized to have been held accountable by Moscow for finishing up, or failing to forestall, these killings.

As Moscow stored up the unabated stress on the entire entrance line and continued to focus on civilian areas, Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned on December 14 that Russia’s functionality to launch a “main offensive could also be restored” by the top of January or February.

“They positively nonetheless hope that they’ll have the ability to break by way of our traces and advance deeper into Ukraine,” Kuleba informed overseas journalists in a bomb shelter in Kyiv, in response to CNN.

Kuleba mentioned there are indicators that Russia nonetheless has its sights set on bigger parts of Ukraine and its enormous missile assaults have turned the “whole nation right into a entrance line.”

The most recent wave of assaults got here as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned Kyiv was doing all the things it might to acquire extra fashionable and highly effective antiaircraft methods and had made vital progress on the difficulty this week.

WATCH: Within the woods of japanese Ukraine, a workforce of volunteers are scraping the filth from a corpse and looking for something which may determine who it was.

Zelenskiy was talking after a number of media retailers quoted senior U.S. officers as saying an announcement on Washington’s plans to offer the Patriot missile-defense system to Ukraine might be made as quickly as December 15.

The Washington Submit on December 14 reported that the U.S. administration can be planning to ship gear that converts unguided aerial munitions into good bombs, permitting a excessive diploma of correct focusing on.

The onset of winter has additionally led to an abrupt worsening of dwelling circumstances within the southern Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol, which fell to the Russians earlier this 12 months following a months-long resistance put up by Ukrainian fighters.

WATCH: A Ukrainian army medic who was pregnant when she was captured by Russian troops in Mariupol has spoken of her almost six-month ordeal in captivity.

The town was nearly fully destroyed by heavy Russian bombardments, and hundreds of civilians have been reportedly killed.

Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, mentioned the dying price within the Russian-occupied metropolis has skyrocketed amid a scarcity of heating, meals, and medical provides.

“The incidence price is insane. A flu epidemic is spreading in Mariupol. Hospitals are overcrowded. The ambulance doesn’t even depart for these with a excessive temperature as a result of there isn’t a place to hospitalize folks for therapy,” Andryushenko informed RFE/RL.

“At first of November, the weekly dying price was about 150 folks. Final week it exceeded 250 deaths per week…. That’s 7-7.5 instances increased than it was earlier than the start of this part of the struggle,” he added.

Andryushchenko’s claims couldn’t be independently verified.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and CNN

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