Russian troops stepped up the tempo of their relentless assaults on Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk area, the Basic Workers of the Ukrainian navy stated on December 15, as Moscow continued to pound the whole entrance line within the east after a largely failed drone assault on Kyiv and a lethal bombardment on Kherson within the south.
The Basic Workers stated Russians are in search of to stabilize their tactical positions round Kupyansk within the japanese Harkov area and Zaporizhzhya within the southeast.
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“The enemy carried out 31 air strikes and eight missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of the Donetsk area, and in addition fired 61 rockets from a number of rocket methods,” the Basic Workers reported, including that the specter of air and missile strikes by Russian troops on civilian infrastructure stays excessive all through Ukraine.
A Moscow-installed official, in the meantime, stated Ukrainian forces staged their heaviest shelling assault in years within the nation’s Russian-controlled east on December 15.
Aleksei Kulemzin, the Russian-backed mayor of Donetsk metropolis, stated 40 rockets have been fired from BM-21 Grad a number of rocket launchers at civilians within the metropolis middle within the early hours.
Kulemzin’s declare couldn’t be independently verified.
On December 14, a swarm of Russian drones broken two administrative buildings in Kyiv however was largely repelled by the Ukrainian air-defense system, whereas a brand new spherical of Russian shelling of the not too long ago liberated metropolis of Kherson killed two folks — a lady and an 8-year-old boy.
As Moscow saved up the unabated strain 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 undoubtedly nonetheless hope that they’ll be capable of break by way of our traces and advance deeper into Ukraine,” Kuleba advised overseas journalists in a bomb shelter in Kyiv, in accordance with CNN.
Kuleba stated 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 newest wave of assaults got here as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated Kyiv was doing every thing it may to acquire extra trendy and highly effective antiaircraft methods and had made necessary progress on the problem this week.
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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 could possibly be made as quickly as December 15.
The Washington Publish on December 14 reported that the U.S. administration can also be planning to ship gear that converts unguided aerial munitions into sensible bombs, permitting a excessive diploma of correct concentrating on.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on December 14 stated no “Christmas cease-fire” was on the playing cards after almost 10 months of devastating warfare in Ukraine and warned that Russia would “undoubtedly” contemplate Patriot methods in Ukraine a professional goal for Russia.
Russia and Ukraine usually are not at the moment engaged in talks to finish the preventing that began with Moscow’s unprovoked invasion and killed tens of hundreds of individuals, displaced tens of millions extra, and decreased cities and cities to rubble.
“The Kremlin…is in search of to show the battle into a chronic armed confrontation,” Ukrainian Brigadier Basic Oleksiy Hromov advised a information briefing on December 15.
Hromov, who’s deputy chief of the primary operations division of the Basic Workers, additionally dismissed the opportunity of a truce over the vacation season.
The onset of winter has additionally led to an abrupt worsening of residing situations 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.
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The town was nearly utterly destroyed by heavy Russian bombardments, and hundreds of civilians have been reportedly killed.
Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, stated 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 go away for these with a excessive temperature as a result of there isn’t any place to hospitalize folks for remedy,” Andryushenko advised RFE/RL.
“Firstly of November, the weekly dying price was about 150 folks. Final week it exceeded 250 deaths per week…. That’s 7-7.5 instances larger than it was earlier than the start of this section of the warfare,” he added.
Andryushchenko’s claims couldn’t be independently verified.