Ukraine has in recent weeks expelled Russian troops from parts of occupied territory, including areas that Russia claims to have annexed.
Fighting is raging in eastern Ukraine, with the city of Bakhmut being the main target of Moscow’s artillery strikes, while Russian forces in Kherson and the Zaporizhzhia region remain on the defensive, Ukraine’s general staff said in its latest update on the battlefield.
In an effort to reduce the money available for Moscow’s war effort, the European Union has tentatively agreed to a price cap of $60 per barrel for Russian oil by sea, diplomats said. The measure must be approved by all EU governments by written procedure by Friday.
Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone call Friday that the western line on Ukraine was “destructive” and urged Berlin to reconsider its approach, the Kremlin said.
In Berlin’s reading of the call, Scholz’s spokesman said the chancellor had condemned Russian airstrikes against civilian infrastructure and called for a diplomatic solution to the war “including a withdrawal of Russian troops”.
Separately, the German government confirmed that it was preparing to deliver seven Gepard tanks to Ukraine, in addition to the 30 air defense tanks already being used to fight Russian forces.
Putin has said he does not regret launching what he calls a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” Ukraine. He sees the war as a turning point when Russia finally rose up against the arrogant West after decades of humiliation following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukraine and the West say Putin has no justification for what they see as an imperialist war of occupation in which thousands of civilians have died. Kiev says it will fight until the last Russian soldier is driven from its territory.
Three people were killed and seven injured in Russian shelling of the Kherson region in the past 24 hours, the regional governor said on Friday (Ukrainian time).
The regional capital of Kherson – recaptured by Ukrainian forces in mid-November – and other parts of the region were bombed 42 times in the same period, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich wrote on the messaging app Telegram.
Russian-installed authorities in the Kherson region said they would begin evacuating people with reduced mobility from the occupied city of Kakhovka as part of a wider movement of civilians on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River across the waters of the regional capital.
Meanwhile, Russian-installed officials in Donetsk said three people were killed on Friday after Ukrainian troops shelled the eastern Ukrainian city.
Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield reports.
It is a horrifying development that several Ukrainian embassies abroad have received “bloody packages” with animal eyes, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said Friday, after a series of letter bombs were sent to locations in Spain, including the Kyiv embassy in Madrid.
Attacks on infrastructure are likely to increase the cost of running Ukraine’s economy by up to $1 billion a month next year, and aid to the country should be “provided upfront,” IMF head Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters NEXT on Thursday. -conference. .
Ukraine and the West say the strategy to cut power and heat is deliberately designed to harm civilians, a war crime, something Moscow denies.