Russian missiles rain down on Ukraine towns

KVIV/MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) – Russian forces bombed several towns in Ukraine on Christmas Day as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready for talks, a position Washington criticized for continuing attacks by Russia. Rejected.

Ukraine’s high military command said Russia fired more than 10 rockets at the Kopyansk district of Kharkiv on Sunday, shelled more than 25 towns along the Kopyansk-Liman front line, and hit about 20 towns in Zaporozhye. Made, Ukraine’s high military command said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it killed around 60 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed several pieces of Ukrainian military equipment along the Kopyansk-Leman line of contact yesterday.

Reuters was not able to independently verify these reports.

Putin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – has sparked the biggest European conflict since World War II and the first confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. have done.

Despite Putin’s latest offer of talks, there is no end in sight to the 10-month-old conflict.

“We are ready to talk with everyone involved about an acceptable solution, but it’s up to them — we’re not those people,” Putin told state-run Russia 1 television in an interview broadcast Sunday. Those who are refusing to talk are.”

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Putin needs to come back to reality and admit that it is Russia that does not want negotiations.

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“Russia single-handedly invaded Ukraine and is killing civilians,” adviser Mykhailo Podoliak tweeted. “Russia does not want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”

Russian attacks on power stations have left millions without power, and Zelensky said Moscow aims to make the last few days of 2022 dark and difficult.

“Russia has lost everything it could this year. … I know that the darkness has not stopped us from leading the occupiers to new defeats,” he said in a video address on Christmas Eve. But we have to be prepared for any scenario.”

Ukraine traditionally celebrates Christmas on January 7, not December 25, like Russia. However, this year some Orthodox Ukrainians decided to celebrate the holiday on December 25, and Ukrainian officials, starting with Zelenskyi and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, issued Christmas greetings on Sunday.

The Kremlin says it will fight until all its regional goals are achieved, while Kyiv says it will not rest until every Russian soldier is expelled from the country. would have been

Asked if the geopolitical conflict with the West was reaching a dangerous level, Putin said on Sunday: “I don’t think it’s that dangerous.”

Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what he is presenting as an imperialist-style war of occupation.

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Belarus Missiles

The Russian-supplied Iskander tactical missile system, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and the S-400 air defense system have been deployed in Belarus, a senior Belarusian defense ministry official said on Sunday. Ready to perform your desired tasks.

“Our soldiers, personnel have completed their training at the joint combat training centers of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus,” Leonid Kasinsky, head of the ministry’s Main Directorate of Ideology, said in a video posted. On the Telegram messaging app.

“These types of weapons (Iskander and S-400 systems) are on combat duty today and are fully ready to serve their intended purpose,” Kasinski added.

It is unclear how many Iskander systems have been deployed in Belarus since Putin said in June that Moscow would supply Minsk with more air defense systems.

The news comes amid fears in Kyiv after Putin’s visit to Minsk on December 19 that he will press Belarus to join a new ground offensive and open a new front in his failed offensive.

Russian forces used Belarus as a launchpad for their botched attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in February, and military activity between Russia and Belarus has increased in recent months.

The Iskander-M, a mobile guided missile system codenamed “SS-26 Stone” by NATO, replaced the Soviet-era “Scud”. Guided missiles have a range of up to 500 km (300 mi) and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.

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The chain extends to Belarus’ neighbors: Ukraine and NATO member Poland, which have very tense relations with Minsk.

The S-400 system is a Russian mobile, surface-to-air missile (SAM) interception system capable of engaging aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles and has a terminal ballistic missile defense capability.

Ukrainian and Russian media reported Monday that explosions were heard at Russia’s Engels Air Base, hundreds of kilometers (miles) from Ukraine’s front lines.

The governor of Russia’s Saratov region, home to Engels Air Base, said law enforcement agencies were investigating information about an “incident at a military installation.”

“There was no emergency in the residential areas of the city of (Engles),” the region’s governor, Roman Basargin, said on the Telegram messaging app. “Civil infrastructure facilities were not damaged.”

The air base, near the city of Saratov, about 730 kilometers (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, was hit on Dec. 5 in what Russia said were Ukrainian drone strikes on two Russian air bases that day. Analysts say the attacks dealt a major blow to Moscow and raised questions about why its defenses failed.

Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for the attacks inside Russia, but has said such incidents are “karma” for the Russian invasion.

Reuters Bureau reporting; Written by Michael Perry; Edited by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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