Russian forces on Wednesday stepped up their ongoing shelling of the recently liberated city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military said.
Russia fired 33 missiles at civilian targets in Kherson over a 24-hour period, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said at a meeting on Wednesday.
News of the latest attacks comes just days after seven people in Kherson were killed and at least 58 others injured in Russian missile strikes on December 24.
Meanwhile, fighting continued along the eastern front lines, as Ukrainian forces attempted to break through Russian defensive lines around the towns of Svatove and Kreminna in Lugansk, as well as the razed town of Bakhmut in Donetsk.
According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia has probably reinforced its positions in Kreminna because the city is logistically essential to Moscow and has become vulnerable in view of Ukrainian advances to the west.
Ukrainian officials confirmed that air raid sirens sounded across the country on Wednesday morning, despite no reports of missile strikes. The green light was given later.
Also on Wednesday, the Kremlin rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan, which called for the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In its rebuttal, the Kremlin doubled down on its position that Kyiv must accept Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
“There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia,” Kremlin spokesman said , Dmitry Peskov.
“Plans that ignore these realities cannot be peaceful.”
Despite the setback, Zelensky remained defiant during an appearance before parliament.
“Our national colors are today an international symbol of courage and indomitability around the world,” he told ministers.
However, Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov warned that the county is facing “increasing pressure from the enemy…both in terms of the number of men and the type and amount of equipment”.
As Ukraine grapples with its 11th consecutive month of war, Russia has announced its own defiance of ongoing Western sanctions aimed at crippling its military efforts.
As the ongoing conflict sends energy and food prices skyrocketing, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin admitted on Wednesday that the country’s economy has shrunk by more than 2% in less than a year. year.
His announcement came just a day after Putin lashed out at the unprecedented $60-a-barrel cap imposed on Russian oil on December 5, saying Moscow would not sell oil to countries imposing the restriction.
Given that Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, the disruption to its sales is expected to have widespread and unprecedented consequences for global energy supplies.
With post wires