Russian missiles rain down on Ukrainian cities as Putin says open to talks By Reuters


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© Reuters. Smoke rises from condo buildings broken by missile strikes, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, throughout heavy Christmas Day shelling on the entrance line in Bakhmut, Ukraine, December 25, 2022. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne

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By Pavel Polityuk and Man Faulconbridge

KVIV/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian forces shelled dozens of cities in Ukraine on Christmas Day as Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned he was open to negotiations, a stance Washington rejected as a consequence of Russian assaults proceed.

Russia launched greater than 10 rocket assaults on Kupyansk district in Kharkiv area on Sunday, shelled greater than 25 cities alongside the Kupyansk-Lyman entrance line and in Zaporizhzhia hit almost 20 cities, mentioned the Ukrainian army excessive command.

Putin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “particular operation” – sparked the deadliest European battle since World Conflict II and the most important confrontation between Moscow and the West because the disaster in the US. Cuban missiles in 1962. Regardless of Putin’s newest supply to barter, there isn’t a finish in sight to the 10-month battle.

“We’re prepared to barter with everybody concerned on acceptable options, however it relies on them – it isn’t us who refuse to barter, it is them,” Putin informed state tv Rossiya. 1 in an interview that aired on Sunday.

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned Putin wanted to return to phrases with actuality and acknowledge that it was Russia that didn’t need talks.

“Russia has single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing residents,” adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Russia doesn’t need negotiations, however tries to keep away from duty.”

Russian assaults on energy vegetation have left hundreds of thousands with out energy, and Zelenskiy mentioned Moscow will goal to make the final days of 2022 darkish and troublesome.

“Russia has misplaced every part it may this 12 months. … I do know that darkness is not going to stop us from main the occupiers to additional defeats. However we should be prepared for any situation,” he mentioned. in a night video handle on Christmas Day.

Ukraine has historically celebrated Christmas not on December 25, however on January 7, like Russia. Nevertheless, this 12 months some Orthodox Ukrainians have determined to have fun the vacation on December 25, and Ukrainian officers, beginning with Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian prime minister, issued Christmas greetings on Sunday.

The Kremlin says it is going to struggle till all of its territorial objectives are achieved, whereas Kyiv says it is not going to relaxation till all Russian troopers are expelled from the nation.

When requested if the geopolitical battle with the West was approaching a harmful stage, Putin replied on Sunday: “I do not assume it’s that harmful.”

Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what they current as an imperial-style warfare of occupation.

BELARUS MISSILES

Russian-supplied Iskander tactical missile programs able to carrying nuclear warheads and S-400 air protection programs have been deployed in Belarus and are prepared to hold out the deliberate duties, a senior Belarusian ministry official mentioned on Sunday. of the protection.

“Our servicemen, our crews have totally accomplished their coaching within the joint fight coaching facilities of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus,” mentioned Leonid Kasinsky, head of the Primary Ideology Directorate. to the ministry, in a video posted on the Telegram messaging app.

“A lot of these weapons (Iskander and S-400 programs) are in fight service at present and they’re totally ready to carry out duties for his or her supposed use,” Kasinsky added.

It’s unclear what number of Iskander programs have been deployed in Belarus after Putin mentioned in June that Moscow would provide them to Minsk together with the air protection programs.

The information follows Putin’s go to to Minsk on December 19 amid fears in Kyiv that he’ll strain Belarus to hitch a contemporary floor offensive and open a brand new entrance in its faltering invasion.

Russian forces used Belarus as a launching pad for his or her aborted assault on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, in February, and there was a rising upsurge in Russian and Belarusian army exercise in latest months.

The Iskander-M, a cellular guided missile system named “SS-26 Stone” by NATO, changed the Soviet-era “Scud”. Guided missiles have a variety of as much as 500 km (300 miles) and may carry standard or nuclear warheads.

This vary deeply reaches the neighbors of Belarus: Ukraine and Poland, a member of NATO, which maintains very tense relations with Minsk.

The S-400 system is a Russian cellular surface-to-air missile (SAM) interceptor system able to partaking plane, drones, cruise missiles and has terminal ballistic missile protection functionality.

Explosions have been heard at Russia’s Engels airbase, a whole lot of kilometers (miles) from the Ukrainian entrance strains, Ukrainian and Russian media reported on Monday.

There was no instant official affirmation and Reuters was unable to independently confirm the knowledge.

The air base, close to the town of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, was hit on December 5 in what Russia mentioned have been Ukrainian drone assaults on two Russian air bases. That day. The strikes dealt a serious blow to Moscow’s popularity and raised questions on why its defenses failed, analysts mentioned.

Ukraine has by no means publicly claimed duty for assaults inside Russia, however mentioned such incidents have been the “karma” of the Russian invasion.