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War in Ukraine, Day 301 | Zelensky back in Kyiv, Russia continues its strikes

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(Kyiv) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared a stunning new note upon returning to his country’s capital on Friday after his wartime visit to the United States, saying his forces were “working towards victory” as Russia warned that there would be no end to the war until it achieved its military objectives.

Mr. Zelensky posted on his Telegram account that he was in his office in Kyiv after his trip to the United States which secured a new military aid package of 1.8 billion and promised that “we overcome everything”. Ukraine’s president also thanked the Netherlands for pledging up to 2.5 billion euros (2.65 billion US dollars) for 2023 to help pay for military equipment and rebuild infrastructure reviews.

President Zelenksy’s return comes amid relentless Russian artillery, rocket and mortar fire as well as airstrikes on the eastern and southern fronts as well as elsewhere in Ukraine.


PHOTO FROM VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY’S TELEGRAM ACCOUNT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the war would end at the negotiating table once the “special military operation” had achieved “the goals that the Russian Federation has set itself”, adding that “significant progress had been made in the demilitarization of Ukraine”.

Kremlin spokesman says no Ukrainian peace plan can succeed without taking into account “today’s realities that cannot be ignored” — a reference to Moscow’s demand that Ukraine recognize sovereignty from Russia on the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014, in addition to other territorial gains.

At least five civilians have been killed and 18 others injured in Russian attacks on eight regions in southern and eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours, according to the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office.

In a regular Telegram update, Kyrylo Tymoshenko said Russian missiles destroyed a boarding school in the eastern town of Kramatorsk, home of the Ukrainian army’s local headquarters.


PHOTO OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK, REUTERS

A woman stands in front of a residential building hit by a Russian strike on December 23 in Kramatorsk.

A night under fire

The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired numerous rocket launchers, “more than 70 times” into Ukrainian territory overnight, as heavy fighting raged around the town of Bakhmut in the eastern region of Ukraine. Donetsk.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Bakhmut and Lyman in the neighboring Luhansk region as well as the front line between the Luhansk and Kharkiv regions suffered the brunt of the Russian strikes, but did not not specified to what extent.


PHOTO REUTERS

A Russian missile destroyed part of this residential building in Bakhmout on December 23.

No fewer than 61 Russian rocket, artillery and mortar rounds have been launched in the Kherson region over the past 24 hours.

Kherson regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych posted on Telegram that Russian forces attacked from entrenched positions on the right bank of the Dnieper, hitting educational institutions, residential buildings and private homes.

In the eastern regions of Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, the Ukrainian military claimed that Russia had launched six missile strikes and as many air attacks against civilian targets while Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground attacks on or near them. of 19 localities in the North and East.

Russian shelling also hit a hospital in the town of Volchansk in the northeastern Kharkiv region, injuring five people, according to local governor Oleh Syniehubov.

Mr Syniehubov posted on Telegram that four men and one woman were all in “moderate condition”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military said multiple explosions ripped through industrial buildings housing Russian troops in the occupied town of Tokmak in the southern region of Zaporizhia on Thursday evening, sparking a fire. The strategic communications center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not immediately report the victims or the identity of the perpetrators of the explosions.

Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian mayor of the southern town of Melitopol said a car used by Russian occupation forces had exploded, although it was unclear whether anyone was injured.

The information was shared a day after a car bomb killed the Russian-appointed leader of the village of Lyubymivka in neighboring Kherson region, according to Russian and Ukrainian reports. Ukrainian rebels have been operating behind Russian lines in occupied southern and eastern Ukraine for months, targeting Kremlin-installed officials, institutions and key infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit an arms factory in Tula, about 150 kilometers south of Moscow, on Friday and chair a meeting on the nuclear industry there. country’s armament.



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