Latest news on Russia and Ukraine live: Loud blasts rock Kyiv today as 30 Iranian drones shot down

Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine war would not continue if Vladimir Putin died

Kyiv has been rocked by several loud blasts early this morning amid an Iranian drone attack from Russian forces who appear to have replenished their stock of the aerial weapons.

Ukrainian forces have shot down at least nine drones so far this morning in Kyiv’s airspace, the capital region’s military administration said.

Air raid alerts continued to blare in the early hours, warning people to take shelter, as Russia resumed its tactic of using drones – which are much cheaper than missiles but also typically less effective – to bombard the neighbouring country.

“The enemy is attacking the capital with ‘Shahed’ barrage ammunition. Air defence is at work,” the Kyiv administration said on Telegram.

This comes as Russia visibly gears up to escalate the conflict, by committing more troops to a regional formation being assembled to conduct battalion tactical exercises in Belarus since October.

At least 9,000 Russian troops were reported to be entering the so-called “regional training” drills for protecting its borders in October.


Russia’s proxy Wagner troops threatened with execution if they deviate from military assault – MoD

Russia’s proxy military fighter group Wagner has devised a new offensive tactic to send convict conscripts in the raging war in Bakhmut likely to preserve its highly experienced forces, the British defence ministry said today.

“Russian military proxy group Wagner continues to take a major role in attritional combat around the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut. In recent months, it has developed offensive tactics to make use of the large number of poorly trained convicts it has recruited,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It added that Wagner’s individual fighters are “likely issued a smartphone or tablet which shows the individual’s designated axis of advance and assault objective superimposed on commercial satellite imagery.”

“At platoon level and above, commanders likely remain in cover and give orders over radios, informed by video feeds from small uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs),” the ministry’s intelligence report on the war said.

These individuals and sections are then “ordered to proceed on the pre planned route, often with fire-support, but less often alongside armoured vehicles.”

“Wagner operatives who deviate from their assault routes without authorisation are likely being threatened with summary execution,” the ministry said.

“These brutal tactics aim to conserve Wagner’s rare assets of experienced commanders and armoured vehicles, at the expense of the more readily available convict-recruits, which the organisation assesses as expendable,” the MoD said.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 06:20


Rishi Sunak to urge allies to stand firm behind Ukraine in Baltic trip

Rishi Sunak is going to urge fellow leaders to stand firm in their support for Ukraine during his Baltic trip as he pledges a new stream of defensive aid to guard against Russian aggression.

First jetting off to a meeting of northern European allies in Latvia, Mr Sunak will call on his counterparts to sustain or boost their current offers.

The prime minister will then travel to Estonia to meet British troops and sign a new technology digital partnership with the nation’s prime minister.

It comes as the UK has announced a fresh supply of hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition as part of its package of defensive aid for 2023, under a £250m contract.

Read the full story here:

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 06:03


Kyiv’s ‘critical infrastructure’ hit in Russian attack – Ukrainian authorities

The flurry of Russian attacks on Kyiv and its surrounding regions this morning have struck “critical infrastructure” in Kyiv and private houses, officials said,

The air defence systems also shot down about 15 drones directed at Kyiv, they added,

More than 20 drones targeted Kyiv in a renewed drone attack by Russian forces, its military administration said.

There are no deaths or injuries reported from the attack so far, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said, adding that the medics are deployed at the sites of the Russian attacks in the Solomyanskyi and Shevchenkivskyi districts of the capital.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 05:53


Putin flying to Belarus for talks with Lukashenko

Vladimir Putin is headed to Belarus today to hold talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukanshenko in a first trip to Minsk since 2019.

All talks between Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko were being held in Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine began.

The Russian president’s visit comes amid fears that he intends to bring Belarusian forces to join a fresh military offensive against Ukraine and reopen a new gateway.

Ukrainian joint forces commander Serhiy Nayev speculated that during these talks, “questions will be worked out for further aggression against Ukraine” and “the broader involvement of the Belarusian armed forces in the operation against Ukraine, in particular, in our opinion, also on the ground.”

Additionally, Russian soldiers training in regional formation in Belarus in October are set to start battalion tactical exercises, Moscow’s defence ministry said today.

“The final assessment of the combat capability and combat readiness of the units will be given by the command at the final stage of coordination – after the battalion tactical exercises have been conducted,” the ministry said, reported the Russian Interfax news agency.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 05:31


War raging in Bakhmut key focus – Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky says that he has examined the war situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which have been witnessing heavy fighting for over a month now with Russian forces concentrating a majority of their might to capture the separatist regions.

“The situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was examined in great detail. The Bakhmut direction is key,” he said.

The cities are still under Ukrainian control, he said, adding that the Russian soldiers are “doing everything so that not a single undamaged wall remains there.”

“The Zaporizhzhia region, the Kherson region, the south in general – we are gradually reducing the potential of the occupiers. Minus ammunition dumps, minus logistics of the Russian army,” he said in his nightly address.

Mr Zelensky reiterated that air defence is a constant priority of the Ukrainian army and asked Ukraine’s allies to provide them with “more modern air defence systems in sufficient numbers, you can deprive the terrorist state of its main instrument of terror.”

“This will be one of the most powerful steps that will bring the end of aggression closer. Russia will have to follow the path of cessation of aggression, when it can no longer follow the path of missile strikes,” he said.

The Ukrainian war-time president said that protection of the border with both Russia and Belarus is also a constant priority. We are preparing for all possible defence scenarios, he said.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 05:15


Russian soldiers sent to Belarus in October set to begin military exercises – report

Russian soldiers training in regional formation in Belarus in October are set to start battalion tactical exercises, Moscow’s defence ministry said today.

“The final assessment of the combat capability and combat readiness of the units will be given by the command at the final stage of coordination – after the battalion tactical exercises have been conducted,” the ministry said, reported the Russian Interfax news agency.

In October, 9,000 Russian troops were sent to Belarus as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect their borders, the Belarusian defence ministry had said.

It is not immediately clear when and where in Belarus the exercises will be conducted.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 05:13


Nine Iranian Shahed drones downed in Kyiv’s airspace

Ukrainian air defences took down nine Iranian-made Shahed drones in the early hours, Kyiv’s military administration said today on the Telegram messaging app.

“The enemy is attacking the capital with ‘Shahed’ barrage ammunition,” the administration said on the Telegram messaging app.

The air defences were operating “due to a Russian attack,” Kyiv oblast governor Oleksiy Kuleba immediately confirmed after air raid alerts were sounded.

Mr Kuleba asked the local residents to take shelter as the “drone attack continues”.

There are no immediate reports of casualties.

However, a fire broke out in Kyiv central district Shevchenkivskyi due to the attack.

Air raid siren have been blaring constantly since early hours for Kyiv and other regions around with another fresh alert sounded at 5.25am local time (0725 GMT).

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 04:29


Loud explosions heard in Kyiv

Several explosions have been reported in the early hours today in Kyiv and its surrounding region in the Ukrainian capital.

The region came under drone attack, governor of the Kyiv region Oleksiy Kuleba said.

“Just woke up at 4.30am here in central Kyiv to the sound of an explosion — unsure what it was. We’re in an air raid alert that began at 1.57am,” said Nolan Peterson, war reporter in Ukraine.

In a subsequent tweet, he said: “Seeing reports of another Russian attack using Iranian-made exploding drones. Ukrainian air defences working. Striking on early Monday morning has become Moscow’s modus operandi. Also — power is still on where I live.”

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 04:29


Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on Monday, 19 December.

Arpan Rai19 December 2022 03:35

Source link