Russian forces maintain pounding essential energy infrastructure in Ukrainian cities, killing extra civilians and leaving tens of hundreds of extra individuals with out electrical energy, as its troops step up the tempo of their relentless assaults alongside the whole entrance line within the east.
UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk warned on December 15 that additional strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure may result in a critical deterioration of the humanitarian scenario and spark additional displacement.
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The Normal Workers of the Ukrainian army mentioned on December 15 that Russian artillery fireplace was focused on Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk area, as Moscow is in search of to stabilize its tactical positions round Kupyansk within the japanese Kharkiv area and Zaporizhzhya within the southeast.
The just lately liberated southern metropolis of Kherson was left fully with out energy following Russian shelling that additionally killed no less than two individuals on December 15, in accordance with the top of the Kherson regional army administration, Yaroslav Yanushevych.
The data was confirmed by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s workplace, who wrote on Telegram that heavy shelling of a essential infrastructure facility within the metropolis’s Korabelniy district was nonetheless beneath means in early afternoon, and Russian shells had hit 100 meters from the regional administration constructing.
Russian forces additionally focused essential 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 thousands and thousands of individuals to “excessive hardship.”
“Further strikes may result in an additional critical deterioration within the humanitarian scenario and spark extra displacement,” Turk mentioned. He referred to as the warfare an “unmitigated tragedy and catastrophe.”
Turk’s remarks got here as he formally introduced a report which discovered that Russian forces killed no less than 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 identified to have been held accountable by Moscow for finishing up, or failing to stop, these killings.
As Moscow stored up the unabated stress on the entire entrance line and continued to focus on civilian areas, Ukrainian International 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 be capable of break via our strains and advance deeper into Ukraine,” Kuleba instructed international journalists in a bomb shelter in Kyiv, in accordance with CNN.
Kuleba mentioned there are indicators that Russia nonetheless has its sights set on bigger parts of Ukraine and its large missile assaults have turned the “complete nation right into a entrance line.”
The newest wave of assaults got here as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned Kyiv was doing all the pieces it may to acquire extra fashionable and highly effective antiaircraft programs and had made necessary progress on the problem this week.
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Zelenskiy was talking after a number of media shops 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 residing circumstances within the southern Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol, which fell to the Russians earlier this yr following a months-long resistance put up by Ukrainian fighters.
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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 loss of life fee within the Russian-occupied metropolis has skyrocketed amid an absence of heating, meals, and medical provides.
“The incidence fee 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 is no such thing as a place to hospitalize individuals for therapy,” Andryushenko instructed RFE/RL.
“In the beginning of November, the weekly loss of life fee was about 150 individuals. 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 warfare,” he added.
Andryushchenko’s claims couldn’t be independently verified.