Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war latest updates: ‘dozens’ of towns recaptured in east and south, says Zelenskiy | World news

[ad_1]

Ukraine progress continues in east and south – UK ministry of defence

The UK ministry of defence has published its daily intelligence update on the war, reporting that “Ukraine continues to make progress in offensive operations along both the north-eastern and southern fronts. In the north-east, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine has now consolidated a substantial area of territory east of the Oskil River.”

The other developments included in the report were:

  • Ukrainian formations have advanced up to 20km beyond the river into Russia’s defensive zone towards the supply node of the town of Svatove.

  • It is highly likely that Ukraine can now strike the key Svatove-Kremina road with most of its artillery systems, further straining Russia’s ability to resupply its units in the east.

  • Politically, Russian leaders will highly likely be concerned that leading Ukrainian units are now approaching the borders of Luhansk Oblast, which Russia claimed to have formally annexed last Friday.

Key events

That’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, for today – handing over to my colleague Martin Belam in London who will take you through the latest for the next while.

Ukraine progress continues in east and south – UK ministry of defence

The UK ministry of defence has published its daily intelligence update on the war, reporting that “Ukraine continues to make progress in offensive operations along both the north-eastern and southern fronts. In the north-east, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine has now consolidated a substantial area of territory east of the Oskil River.”

The other developments included in the report were:

  • Ukrainian formations have advanced up to 20km beyond the river into Russia’s defensive zone towards the supply node of the town of Svatove.

  • It is highly likely that Ukraine can now strike the key Svatove-Kremina road with most of its artillery systems, further straining Russia’s ability to resupply its units in the east.

  • Politically, Russian leaders will highly likely be concerned that leading Ukrainian units are now approaching the borders of Luhansk Oblast, which Russia claimed to have formally annexed last Friday.

There are major questions over the prospects of the “European Political Community” summit being launched in Prague on Thursday, AFP reports.

The one-day gathering , the brainchild of French President Emmanuel Macron, will bring together the 27 European Union leaders with those from the broader neighbourhood, including Britain, Turkey and Ukraine.

Brussels has billed the initiative as an invaluable “platform for political coordination” among the disparate grouping of 44 nations invited.

But there are deep disagreements, among some of those attending and scepticism that the one-day event will turn out to be much more than a glorified photo opportunity.

Russia was not invited and Zelenskiy will connect via video link from Kyiv. His prime minister will stand in for him at the talks.

“The ambition is to bring leaders together on an equal footing and to foster political dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest so that, together, we work on strengthening the security, stability and prosperity of Europe as a whole,” EU chief Charles Michel said in his invitation letter.

As speculation mounts ahead of Friday’s Nobel peace prize announcement, observers suggest the committee may sound the alarm over the war in Ukraine, AFP reports.

Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), suggested the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, saying they deserved to win the prestigious honour together.

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia on 29 February 29 2020.
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, in February 2020. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

“These are both champions of non-violent pro-democracy activities within their own countries,” he said.

“And both Navalny and Tikhanovskaya have also been very strong opponents of the war in Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, a price cap for Russian oil proposed as part of the European Union’s eighth round of sanctions against Russia will not apply to pipeline shipments, Hungary‘s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Hungary, which has been the most vocal critic of sanctions against Russia in the EU, largely relies on Russian crude shipments and Russian gas, both imported via pipelines.

Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto.
Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

OPEC expected to slash output

Major oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia are set to meet today, as reports say they are mulling an output cut of up to 2m barrels per day in a bid to prop up slumping prices.

If implemented, it will be the first such major cut since a landmark curb on production at the start of the Covid pandemic.

OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Photograph: Lisa Leutner/AP

Energy prices soared after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, pushing inflation to decades-high levels that have put pressure on economies across the world. But they have fallen in recent months on concerns over dwindling demand and a slowdown in the global economy.

The 13 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and their 10 allies headed by Russia will hold their first in-person meeting since March 2020 at the group’s headquarters in Vienna.

Here is the latest on nuclear concerns in the conflict:

The United States has no indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict, despite “nuclear sabre-rattling” by Putin, according to the White House press secretary.

An unnamed Western diplomat told Reuters that NATO has not warned alliance members of any Russian nuclear threat.

And the Kremlin said it did not want to take part in “nuclear rhetoric” spread by the West after a British media report that Russia was preparing to demonstrate its willingness to use nuclear weapons in its conflict with Ukraine.

US military aid to Ukraine boosts risk of clash – Russian envoy

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, says Washington’s decision to send more military aid to Ukraine poses a threat to Moscow’s interests and increases the risk of a military clash between Russia and the West.

“We perceive this as an immediate threat to the strategic interests of our country,” Antonov said on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday.

“The supply of military products by the US and its allies not only entails protracted bloodshed and new casualties, but also increases the danger of a direct military clash between Russia and Western countries.”

Energoatom may restart Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

In case you missed this earlier, Ukraine may restart the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, to ensure its safety, the president of the company that operates the plant told the Associated Press on Tuesday. The potential restart comes weeks after there were escalating fears of a radiation disaster at the Russian-occupied facility.

Energoatom, the Ukranian state nuclear company, shut down the plant’s six remaining reactors on 11 September amid fighting in the area. Russian military activity had cut off power supplies for safety systems, raising fears of a meltdown, the AP noted.

But Energoatom president Petro Kotin told the AP today that the company may restart two of the reactors in the coming days to “protect safety installations as winter approaches and temperatures drop”. Kotin said:

If you have low temperature, you will just freeze everything inside. The safety equipment will be damaged. So you need heating and the only heating is going to come from the working reactor.”

Even with the reactors shut down, damage to the systems or failures due to cold weather could still lead to catastrophe, the company’s president said, adding, “You have residual heat and you should constantly provide the coolant for these fuel assemblies. If you stop cooling, then you will have meltdown. And that is how it works … We, at the moment, are evaluating all the risks. And this depends on the weather. And actually, we don’t have much time to do that.”

Ukrainian advances this week

Ukraine has made major and rapid advances this week, with Zelensky saying in an address on Tuesday that “dozens” of towns have been recaptured. Here is a roundup of what has happened on the battlefield, via Reuters:

  • Ukrainian forces captured the town of Dudchany on the west bank of the Dnipro River in their major advance in Kherson region, according to the Russian-installed head of the administration of occupied areas in the province.

  • Russian military bloggers described a Ukrainian tank advance through dozens of kilometres of territory along the west bank of the Dnipro. Kyiv has maintained almost complete silence about the situation in Kherson.

  • In the east, Ukrainian forces were advancing after capturing Lyman, the main Russian bastion in the north of Donetsk province. The pro-Russian leader in Donetsk said forces were forming a new defensive line around the town of Kreminna.

  • Russia has meanwhile sacked the commander of its Western military district, news outlet RBC reported.

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be taking you through the latest for the next few hours.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, announced on Tuesday that dozens of regions in Ukraine have been liberated from Russian occupation. Ukrainian forces captured the town of Dudchany on the west bank of the Dnipro River in their major advance in Kherson region, according to the Russian-installed head of the administration of occupied areas in the province. In the east, Ukrainian forces were advancing after capturing Lyman, the main Russian bastion in the north of Donetsk province. The pro-Russian leader in Donetsk said forces were forming a new defensive line around the town of Kreminna.

In the meantime, here are the key recent developments.

  • Ukraine may restart the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, to ensure its safety, the president of the company that operates the plant told the Associated Press today. The potential restart comes weeks after there were escalating fears of a radiation disaster at the Russian-occupied facility.

  • Ukraine’s economy will shrink at a rate eight times that of Russia’s this year as a result of the war triggered by Moscow’s invasion in February, the World Bank has estimated.

  • Russia is at risk of losing control of the strategic towns critical to retaining the city of Kherson and eventually Crimea, western officials said, but they warned the fighting along the Dnieper river “will not be an easy rush into constrained territory”.

  • The upper house of Russia’s parliament voted on Tuesday to approve the incorporation of four occupied Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it seized from Kyiv since staging its latest invasion of Ukraine in February. In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, after a similar vote in the state Duma, Russia’s lower house. No lawmakers in the lower house voted against the bill either.

  • Russia, however, no longer has full control of any of the four provinces it claims to have annexed, after Ukrainian troops reportedly advanced dozens of kilometres in Kherson province. The Russian military has acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces had broken through in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its “superior tank units” had managed to “penetrate the depths of our defence” around the villages of Zoltaya Balka and Alexsandrovka.

  • Zelenskiy has signed a decree declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Vladimir Putin “impossible”. The decree formalised comments made by Zelenskiy on Friday after the Russian president proclaimed the four occupied regions of Ukraine were to become part of Russia.

  • Russia’s retreat from Lyman has sparked vociferous criticism of the handling of the war on Russian state television. Vladimir Solovyov, host of a primetime talkshow on state TV channel Russia 1 and one of the Kremlin’s biggest cheerleaders, said on air on Sunday: “We need to pull it together, make unpopular, but necessary decisions and act.”

  • The Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) will restore its network to oppose the partial mobilisation aimed at bolstering Russia’s forces in Ukraine, close Navalny ally Ivan Zhdanov said in a video published on social media. Russian authorities have designated Alexei Navalny’s organisations “extremist” after months of increasing repression against his supporters, putting FBK employees, volunteers and sympathisers at risk of prosecution and imprisonment.



[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *