LIVE. War in Ukraine: Russian troops say they carried out a “retaliatory” attack on Makiivka


Exchange of prisoners between the two camps

Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s chief of staff of the presidency, welcomed this Sunday’s prisoner exchange on Telegram. “We are bringing home 50 of our troops,” he wrote. They were caught especially in the battles in the Mariupol, Donetsk, Bakhmut, Kyiv or even Kherson regions.


Affected apartment buildings in Kramatorsk

“Eight apartment buildings were affected,” he said. He guarantees that there are no victims to be regretted.


Belarus, ready to get involved in the conflict?

There are growing fears that Belarus, a staunch backer of Moscow, could be used as a staging post to attack Ukraine from the north after increased military activity in the country and new transfers of Russian troops there, Reuters reports. An unofficial Telegram channel that monitors military activity in Belarus reported late on Saturday that some 1,400 to 1,600 Russian troops had arrived in the city of Vitebsk in northeastern Belarus from Russia over the past two days.


Russia turned the maternity hospital into a military hospital

Russia turned the maternity hospital in Antratsyt, in Luhansk Oblast, into a military hospital for its troops. “The occupiers have almost wiped civilian medical institutions off the map,” the local government said.


The first assessment is very heavy

Russia’s Defense Ministry says 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in a massive rocket attack on buildings in eastern Ukraine temporarily housing Ukrainian troops, Reuters reports. If the figures are correct, it would be the biggest loss of Ukrainian troops since the Russian invasion on February 24 last year.


The Russian army claims to have carried out the attack on Kramatorsk as “retaliation” against Makiïvka

“In response to the criminal attack of the Kyiv regime in the first minutes of January 2023… Russian troops carried out a retaliatory operation,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in its daily report, saying the attack hit two barracks. A Ukrainian attack on New Year’s Eve killed at least 89 soldiers in Makiivka, eastern Ukraine.


A victim in the attack on a power plant in the Donetsk region

One person died after the attack at the Starobesheve power station in Novyi Svit. The factory is one of two located in the part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region controlled by Russian forces that was hit by a rocket attack by the Ukrainian military this morning.


Two killed and nine injured in the last 24 hours

Despite the Russian ceasefire, according to the deputy head of the presidential administration of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko, one civilian was killed in the Kharkiv region (northeast) and another in the Donetsk region (east) and nine people were injured in three areas. After the end of the ceasefire, the Ukrainian General Staff recorded more than fifty Russian missile and rocket attacks on several parts of Ukraine during the night.


Limits on energy consumption imposed in Ukraine

Ukrenergo announced that energy consumption limits are now being imposed in all regions of Ukraine due to the colder weather. “If this limit is exceeded, an emergency power outage is enforced,” the company said. The restrictions will not take effect overnight.


When postal workers risk their lives for residents

The CNN channel went to see Anna Fesenko driving a little yellow and white “Ukrposhta” van. He comes to Siversk, Donestk region once a month. Thanks to him, residents were able to receive their pension. “I think we are the only link between them and the rest of the world,” he said.


Russia has strengthened its fortifications near Zaporizhia

According to the British Ministry of Defence, the Russian army “has strengthened its fortifications in the center of Zaporizhia Oblast in southern Ukraine, particularly between the towns of Vasylivka and Orikhiv”. For the British service, this strengthening of Russia’s defensive position shows that Moscow is concerned about a Ukrainian attack on two fronts: either in the northern Luhansk oblast, or in Zaporijjia.


Two thermal power plants were damaged in Russian-occupied areas

Two power plants in Ukraine’s Donetsk region controlled by Russian troops were damaged in rocket attacks by the Ukrainian military, Moscow-based officials and Russia’s TASS news agency said.

Factories in Zuhres and Novyi Svit were hit and several people injured, officials said on their Telegram channels. Two people could become trapped under the rubble of the damaged Starobesheve power plant in Novyi Svit, TASS reported.


Image of Russian attack during armistice

A plume of smoke rises from the Russian assault during the 36-hour truce for Orthodox Christmas as Russia’s offensive against Ukraine continues, from the town of Bakhmut on the Donbass frontier.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne


Russian troops were far from encircling Bakhmout

The Russian attack on Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, does not foreshadow the imminent siege of Bakhmut, contrary to Russian propagandists’ claims that Russia captured Soledar, says the Institute for the Study of War.


Wagner’s boss targets Bakhmout’s ‘underground city’

In the midst of the Battle of Bakhmout, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner that fought in the battle, details his goals on his press service Telegram channel.

“Bakhmut is actually a network of underground cities. Not only does it have the ability to accommodate large groups of people at depths of 80 to 100 meters, but tanks and infantry fighting vehicles can also move,” said Prigozhin, who is sanctioned in the West. He also cited other advantages of taking Bakhmout, calling it a “serious logistical hub” with unique defensive fortifications.


One died in a Russian attack near Kharkiv

Kharkiv Oblast Governor By Syniehubov wrote on Telegram that a 50-year-old man was killed after a Russian missile attack on the town of Merefa, about 30 kilometers from Kharkiv. “Even at Christmas, the enemy continues to terrorize the civilian population! “, added the Governor on Telegram.


Zelensky denounced Russian “lies”.

“The world can see once again today how wrong all the words spoken at the highest level in Moscow are,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late on Saturday. “They talk about a so-called ceasefire… but the reality is that Russian shells continue to hit Bakhmout and other Ukrainian positions,” he added.


Christmas underground, bombing still continues outside

Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Christmas yesterday in the midst of war, sometimes even in underground shelters, and the 36-hour ceasefire announced by Vladimir Putin ended. The truce, which was decided by Moscow starting Friday afternoon, ended at midnight, but Ukraine accused Russian soldiers of not respecting it. Journalists present in Chassiv Iar, in eastern Ukraine, had actually observed the continued bombing all morning. Russia in turn accused Ukraine of preventing its implementation by forcing it to retaliate.


London to convene a meeting of justice ministers in March to support the ICC investigation

Britain will host a meeting of justice ministers in March to discuss ways to support the International Criminal Court investigation, the British government said on Saturday. It must decide on allegations of war crimes committed in Ukraine.


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