Photo used for illustrative purpose.
Russian forces have launched 71 cruise missiles, 35 S-300 missiles and seven Shahed drones since late Thursday, Ukraine’s military chief, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi said. Ukrainian forces downed 61 cruise missiles and five drones, he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has campaigned for more Western support against Russia's military ambitions, said: "This is terror that can and must be stopped.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s ground forces were focusing on Ukraine’s industrial east, especially the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces that make up the industrial Donbas region where recent fighting has been most intense, the Ukrainian military said. Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces there since 2014.
Kremlin is striving to secure areas it illegally annexed last September — the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions — and where it claims its rule is welcomed, according to Kyiv officials.
Moscow’s goals have narrowed since it launched its full-scale invasion on Feb.24 2022, military analysts say. At that time, the capital, Kyiv, and the installation of a puppet government were among its targets, but numerous battlefield setbacks, including yielding Donbas areas it had initially captured, have embarrassed Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremin is currently concentrating its efforts on gaining full control of the Donbas, Kyiv claims, and is pushing at key points on several fronts, though Russian progress is reportedly slow.
In the Donetsk region, local Ukrainian officials reported that the Russian military deployed additional troops and launched offensive operations. "There is a daily escalation and Russian attacks are becoming active throughout the region,” Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
In Luhansk province, the Russian army is trying to punch through Ukrainian defenses, according to regional Gov. Serhii Haidai.
"The situation is deteriorating, the enemy is constantly attacking, the Russians are bringing in a large amount of heavy equipment and aircraft,” Haidai said.
There has been little change in battlefield positions for weeks amid freezing winter conditions.
Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed head of the Donetsk region, said that Russian forces had secured positions on the southern outskirts of Vuhledar. He added that Ukraine has sent additional reinforcements to the city that slowed the Russian advance.
Pushilin’s claim couldn’t be independently verified.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Moscow once again targeted the power supply in "another attempt to destroy the Ukrainian energy system and deprive Ukrainians of light, heat, water.”
The barrage was broad, also taking aim at the capital, Kyiv, and Lviv, near Ukraine's Western border with Poland. It also struck critical infrastructure in Kharkiv,
Ukraine's second-largest city in the northeast. Seven people were wounded there, two of them seriously, regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said. Air raid sirens sounded across much of the country.
Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, said the bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating that 95% died from gunshot wounds.
President Zelensky said conditions in Mariupol, which has seen the worst fighting of the nearly eight-week long war, continued to worsen, though Reuters witnesses said a few dozen civilians managed to leave the city on Wednesday in a small bus convoy.
The Arab League (AL) says the foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan and Sudan met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Ahemd Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, also joined the meeting.
Zelensky announced the sacking of Ukraine's ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary and said new candidates were being readied for the positions. "This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice."
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) revealed that approximately 5.73 million employees have subscribed to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme since it went into effect on Jan.1, 2023, up until Sept.25, 2023.
Sheikh Hamdan inaugurated the third edition of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport and honoured the winners of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.
She added that immediately after the operation, she had severe bleeding and blood accumulation in the neck, after which she was admitted to intensive care for two days.