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Russian missiles rain down on Ukraine on Christmas as Putin says he’s open to talks

KVIV/MOSCOW: Russian forces bombarded scores of cities in Ukraine on Christmas Day as Russian President Vladimir Putin stated he was open to negotiations, a stance Washington has dismissed as posturing due to continued Russian assaults.
Russia on Sunday launched greater than 10 rocket assaults on the Kupiansk district within the Kharkiv area, shelled greater than 25 cities alongside the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, and in Zaporizhzhia hit practically 20 cities, stated Ukraine’s high army command.
Russia’s defence ministry stated on Sunday that it had killed about 60 Ukrainian servicemen the day before today alongside the Kupiansk-Lyman line of contact and destroyed quite a few items of Ukrainian army gear.
Reuters was not in a position to independently confirm the studies.
Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “particular army operation” – has triggered the most important European battle since World Battle Two and confrontation between Moscow and the West because the 1962 Cuban Missile Disaster.
Regardless of Putin’s newest supply to barter, there isn’t any finish in sight to the 10-month battle.
“We’re prepared to barter with everybody concerned about acceptable options, however that’s as much as them – we aren’t those refusing to barter, they’re,” Putin advised Rossiya 1 state tv in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated Putin wanted to return to actuality and acknowledge it was Russia that didn’t need talks.
“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing residents,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted. “Russia does not need negotiations, however tries to keep away from accountability.”
Russian assaults on energy stations have left thousands and thousands with out electrical energy, and Zelenskiy stated Moscow would purpose to make the previous couple of days of 2022 darkish and tough.
“Russia has misplaced every little thing it may this yr. … I do know darkness is not going to stop us from main the occupiers to new defeats. However we have now to be prepared for any state of affairs,” he stated in a night video handle on Christmas Day.
Ukraine has historically not celebrated Christmas on Dec. 25, however Jan. 7, the identical as Russia. Nevertheless, this yr some Orthodox Ukrainians determined to have fun the vacation on Dec. 25 and Ukrainian officers, beginning with Zelenskiy and Ukraine’s prime minister, issued Christmas needs on Sunday.
The Kremlin says it would struggle till all its territorial goals are achieved, whereas Kyiv says it is not going to relaxation till each Russian soldier is ejected from the nation.
Requested if the geopolitical battle with the West was approaching a harmful degree, Putin on Sunday stated: “I do not assume it is so harmful.”
Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what they solid as an imperial-style struggle of occupation.
Russian-supplied Iskander tactical missile techniques, that are able to carrying nuclear warheads, and S-400 air defence techniques have been deployed to Belarus and are ready to carry out their meant duties, a senior Belarusian defence ministry official stated on Sunday.
“Our servicemen, crews have totally accomplished their coaching within the joint fight coaching centres of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus,” Leonid Kasinsky, head of the Principal Directorate of Ideology on the ministry, stated in a video posted on the Telegram messaging app.
“These kind of weapons (Iskander and S-400 techniques) are on fight obligation right this moment and they’re totally ready to carry out duties for his or her meant goal,” Kasinsky added.
It’s not clear how most of the Iskander techniques have been deployed to Belarus after Putin stated in June that Moscow would provide Minsk with them and the air defence techniques.
The information follows Putin’s go to to Minsk on Dec. 19 amid fears in Kyiv he would stress Belarus to affix a contemporary floor offensive and open a brand new entrance in his faltering invasion.
Russian forces used Belarus as a launch pad for his or her abortive assault on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in February, and there was a rising flurry of Russian and Belarusian army exercise in current months.
The Iskander-M, a cellular guided missile system code named “SS-26 Stone” by NATO, changed the Soviet-era “Scud”. The guided missiles have a variety of as much as 500 km (300 miles) and might carry typical or nuclear warheads.
That vary reaches deep into neighbours of Belarus: Ukraine and NATO member Poland, which has very strained relations with Minsk.
The S-400 system is a Russian cellular, surface-to-air missile (SAM) interception system able to partaking plane, UAVs, cruise missiles, and has a terminal ballistic missile defence functionality.
Blasts have been heard at Russia’s Engels air base, a whole lot of kilometres (miles) from the Ukraine frontlines, Ukrainian and Russian media reported on Monday.
Russia’s governor of Saratov area, residence to the Engels air-base, stated legislation enforcement companies have been checking details about “an incident at a army facility”.
“There have been no emergencies in residential areas of the (Engels) metropolis,” Roman Busargin, the governor of the area, stated on the Telegram messaging app. “Civil infrastructure amenities weren’t broken.”
The air base, close to town of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, was hit on Dec. 5 in what Russia stated have been Ukrainian drone assaults on two Russian air bases that day. The strikes dealt Moscow a significant reputational blow and raised questions on why its defences failed, analysts stated.
Ukraine has by no means publicly claimed accountability for assaults inside Russia, however has stated, nevertheless, that such incidents are “karma” for Russia’s invasion.

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