Fierce fighting rages in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Russia says ‘avoid confrontation with nuclear powers’
Heavy fighting is underway in Ukraine’s east as Russian forces attempt to make advances after an ignominious retreat weeks ago. Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against military confrontation between nuclear-powered nations.
After beating a hasty retreat weeks ago, Russian forces are trying to gain ground in Ukraine’s Kherson while continuing their fierce onslaught in the war-ravaged country’s south, Kyiv said on Wednesday.
In the face of Russia’s aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) held a foreign ministers’ meeting, which pledged to help Ukraine and its neighbours -- Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Moscow condemned the outcome of the meeting, saying that it showed Nato was "absolutely not interested in a political and diplomatic solution in Ukraine".
Here are the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war:
Courtesy : India Today
In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, site of the heaviest fighting, Russian forces tried to make further advances and shelled several towns, including Bakhmut and nearby Soledar and Opytne, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a Wednesday night statement.
On the southern front, it said Russian forces took up defensive positions and trained tank, mortar and artillery fire on Ukrainian positions and on the regional capital of Kherson, abandoned by Russian troops earlier in November.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the West was pushing Ukraine to continue fighting against Russia. He also stated that it was vital to avoid any kind of military confrontation between nuclear powers.
"It is necessary to avoid any military clash between nuclear powers, even with the use of conventional weapons. The escalation may become uncontrollable," Lavrov said, as quoted by TASS news agency.
In more trouble for Moscow, Britain unveiled a fresh round of sanctions against 22 Russians who are allegedly involved in enlisting criminals to fight in Ukraine, reported the Guardian. The sanctions target a new set of officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, who is responsible for troop equipment supplies.
The action comes after Putin signed a decree allowing for the conscription of people convicted of serious crimes, including murder, robbery and drug trafficking.
The European Union has proposed to set up a UN-backed court to investigate possible war crimes Russia committed in Ukraine, and to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild the war-torn country. Ukraine has accused Russian military forces of abuses ranging from killings in Bucha to deadly attacks on civilian facilities and torturing civilians in recently liberated Kherson.
Ukrainian officials reported progress in restoring power nationwide, with the energy deficit reduced to 27 per cent. However, nearly six million people in a majority of Ukraine's regions and in Kyiv continue to have no electricity amid a harsh winter, Zelenskyy said on Wednesday night.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russian President Vladimir Putin had focused "his ire and his fire" on Ukraine's civilian population and warned Russia that its strategy would fail to divide Ukraine's supporters.
"Heat, water, electricity ... these are President Putin's new targets. He's hitting them hard. This brutalisation of Ukraine's people is barbaric," Blinken said.
On the economic front, a deal was close on resuming Russian ammonia exports through a pipeline to a Ukrainian Black Sea port, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said. "It's essential," he said, warning that if Russia's fertilizer exports were not resumed then it could spark a food availability problem in a year.