Ukraine Russia latest news – live: Putin warns risk of nuclear war ‘growing’ but says won’t strike first
Heavy smoke billows from Russia’s Kursk Airfield after drone attack
“We haven’t gone mad, we realise what nuclear weapons are”, Mr Putin said in a televised meeting of the Human Rights Council yesterday.
“We have these means in more advanced and modern form than any other nuclear country… but we aren’t about to run around the world brandishing this weapon like a razor,” the Russian president, who invaded Ukraine in February and called it a “special military operation”, said.
The Russian president had placed the Kremlin’s strategic nuclear forces on high alert during the initial stages of the invasion of Ukraine.
His comments on Wednesday came as heavy fighting has battered Ukraine’s this week, with the fierce battle expected to last much of winter in the war-hit country.
“The ruscists are razing Donbas to the ground. They say war is peace, and destruction is liberation,” said the Ukrainian defence ministry early today, sharing photos from Bakhmut where buildings have been charred by bombing.
Impossible to restore 100 per cent of Ukraine’s energy system, says Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky has said his administration will not be able reinstate Ukraine’s power grid to its full capacity — prior to the war — and people will have to continue living in shutdown schedules.
“We are constantly increasing the generation and supply of electricity – we are adding more volume almost every day. But we should not forget – and everyone should not forget – that it is now impossible to restore 100 per cent of the energy system as it was before the beginning of the Russian energy terror,” Mr Zelensky said.
“We need time. That is why shutdown schedules remain in most cities and districts,” he added.
Sharing the daily update, Mr Zelensky said that the biggest number of shutdowns last evening were seen in Kyiv and the region, Lviv region, Zhytomyr region, Khmelnytskyi region, Poltava region, Vinnytsia region and Zakarpattia.
“I thank all our energy workers, repairmen, businesses, utility workers and local authorities who are doing everything they can to make things easier for people,” he said.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 06:36
20 mobilised recruits desert Russian army in Donetsk, says Ukraine
Top Ukrainian military officials have said that more than a dozen of Moscow’s mobilised former convicts have deserted their army in Donetsk oblast.
“Around 20 mobilised former convicts deployed by Moscow deserted the Russian army in the Russian-occupied city of Yasinuvata in eastern Ukraine,” the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said today.
These convicts escaped Russian forces while being transported to combat positions. “Three of the escapees were killed by Ukrainian forces during a search operation,” the general staff said.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 06:34
Every meter of land counts in Donetsk’s Bakhmut, says Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed a “fierce confrontation” in Donetsk in several hotspots in the last 24 hours.
“The Donetsk region – today the Russian army carried out a very brutal, absolutely deliberate strike at Kurakhove. Precisely at civilians. At ordinary people. At the market, elevator, gas station, bus station, residential building. The list of the dead so far includes 10 people, there are many wounded,” he said in his nightly address.
He added: “…regarding the Donetsk region, Bakhmut districts and other hottest spots. A very fierce confrontation is ongoing there, every metre counts.
“Of course, due attention was paid to the Luhansk region and Kharkiv region at the Staff’s meeting, there were reports on the situation in general and on the borders,” he said.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 06:16
Ukraine struck Russian air bases with domestically modified Soviet-era drones – report
Ukraine demonstrated its adeptness to strike two Russian bases, penetrating hundreds of miles inside the country’s airspace, using domestically-modified Soviet-era drones, Politico reported.
Two people familiar with the operation said the drones used for attacks on Russia were modified Tu-141 surveillance aircraft left over from the Soviet era.
The capability displayed is over and above the military assistance Ukraine is getting from its allies at a time when Russia is forced to rely on cheap Iranian Shahed drones to pick away at Kyiv’s air defence systems.
Ukraine’s Western allies, including the US, have made efforts to modify or limit their weapons exports to the under-siege country in order to avoid the perception that they are directly involved in strikes on Russia.
“The key success factor was a surprise. Russia just did not expect anything of this sort,” one of the individuals, who works with the Ukrainian government, told the political affairs magazine.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 05:42
Putin has mobilised half of reservists called in autumn
Vladimir Putin has said he has already deployed 50 per cent of the reservists called in the first mobilisation round.
About 150,000 of the 300,000 reservists called up in September and October have been deployed and 77,000 of those in combat units, Mr Putin said last night.
The remaining 150,000 were still at training centres, he said.
Mr Putin has said he has no regrets about launching a war that has been recorded as the worst in Europe since the Second World War.
His remarks come despite the Kremlin facing significant retreats on the battlefield last month, including the loss of Kherson, the one Ukrainian provincial capital Russia captured.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 05:04
Zelensky and ‘the spirit of Ukraine’ named Time magazine’s person of the year
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is Time Magazine’s ‘person of the year’, decorating him with the accolade “for proving that courage can be as contagious as fear.”
The magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said the choice of Mr Zelensky — alongside “the spirit of Ukraine” — was “the most clear-cut in memory.”
“For proving that courage can be as contagious as fear, for stirring people and nations to come together in defence of freedom, for reminding the world of the fragility of democracy — and of peace — Volodymyr Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine are TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year,” Mr Felsenthal added.
“Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, the world marched to Volodymyr Zelensky’s beat in 2022,” he said.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 04:48
Risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has diminished, for now
The risk from Vladimir Putin of using nuclear weapons as part of his war in Ukraine has dipped in response to international pressure, German chancellor Olaf Scholz said today.
“Russia has stopped threatening to use nuclear weapons. As a reaction to the international community marking a red line,” Mr Scholz told Funke media in an interview marking his one year in top office.
The war in Europe was continuing with “undiminished brutality” though, for now, one thing had changed, he said.
Despite deep divisions, it was important that dialogue with the Kremlin continued, he added.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent a direct war between Russia and Nato. Such a conflict would have only losers all over the world,” he said, describing Germany as Ukraine’s biggest ally after the US in the ongoing conflict.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 04:41
Putin says war in Ukraine could last longer
“As for the duration of the special military operation, well, of course, this can be a long process,” the Russian president said.
Mr Putin’s troops invaded the neighbouring country in February.
In a televised meeting of his Human Rights Council that was dominated by the war, he said Russians would “defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal”, asserting that Russia was seen in the West as “a second-class country that has no right to exist at all”.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 04:24
Intense attacks on Bakhmut continue
Much of Ukraine’s eastern frontier continued to witness fierce fighting in the last 24 hours — with major offensives seen along the border lines extending from Marinka to Bakhmut, and further upwards near Siversk. These oblasts fall in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Visuals shared by the Ukrainian defence ministry showed heavy damage caused to civilian infrastructure and buildings engulfed in fire from strikes believed to be by Russia.
“Bakhmut. The ruscists are razing Donbas to the ground. They say war is peace, and destruction is liberation,” the ministry said in a tweet this morning.
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 04:09
Putin says won’t run around world brandishing nuclear weapon like a razor
Vladimir Putin has said Russians would “defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal” but does not mean that they will strike first with nuclear weapons.
He made the comments during a televised meeting of Russia’s Human Rights Council yesterday.
“We haven’t gone mad, we realise what nuclear weapons are”, Mr Putin stated. “We have these means in more advanced and modern form than any other nuclear country… but we aren’t about to run around the world brandishing this weapon like a razor.
“Such a threat is growing, it would be wrong to hide it”, he continued, adding that “we do not have nuclear weapons, including tactical ones, on the territory of other countries, but the Americans do – in Turkey, and in a number of other European countries.”
Arpan Rai8 December 2022 03:53