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Live updates: Official claims Russian troops ready to advance in Donetsk; U.S. responds to recent airbase strikes - CNBC

Live updates: Official claims Russian troops ready to advance in Donetsk; U.S. responds to recent airbase strikes - CNBC

Live updates: Official claims Russian troops ready to advance in Donetsk; U.S. responds to recent airbase strikes - CNBC
Dec 07, 2022 3 mins, 7 secs

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that Washington has neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia but said the U.S.

Pro-Russian official Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the separatist "Donetsk People's Republic" in eastern Ukraine, told Russian state media Tuesday that Russian troops are in a position to advance in Donetsk, arguably the most hotly-contested region in the Ukraine war at the moment.

The southern and eastern regions of Ukraine continue to bear the brunt of Russian missile attacks with strikes continuing overnight and into Wednesday, regional officials said.

Yaroslav Yanushevych, the head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration said that the southern region had been shelled 51 times over the past 24 hours, with two civilians killed during the strikes and another injured.

"Russian occupiers shelled the territory of Kherson region 51 times," Yanushevych said on Telegram, adding that Russia had employed "artillery, MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems), tanks and mortars" to do so.

He said on Telegram that two communities in the Zaporizhzhia district had been targeted with explosive-carrying drones and S-300 missiles.

The Dnipropetrovsk region toward eastern Ukraine was also shelled overniight with Valentyn Reznichenko, the head of the regional RMA stating that Nikopol city was particularly badly hit.

"Nikopol suffered the most. Up to a dozen private houses, farm buildings and gas pipelines were damaged in the city," he said on Telegram, adding that several shops, office buildings and a college had been "mutilated by Russian shells.".

The U.K.'s Ministry of Defence said Russia's decision to extend defensive positions along its international border with Ukraine, and deep inside the border region of Belgorod, reflects a misplaced belief that Ukraine could try to invade Russia.

said in its latest intelligence update that the recent beefing up of defenses in Belgorod could be due to Russian authorities wanting to promote a baseless idea that Ukraine could invade.

"Paucity in strategic assessment is one of the critical weaknesses in the central Russian government architecture: as highlighted by Russia's original decision to invade Ukraine," it noted, adding: "Impartial official analysis is almost certainly frequently undermined by a tendency toward group-think and politically expedient conclusions.".

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for any incidents within Russian territory, and at one point accused Russia of staging an attack to whip up anti-Ukrainian sentiment.

Any military activity by Belarus is being watched closely in Ukraine for signs that its forces could enter the war and assist its ally Russia.

Pro-Russian official Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the separatist "Donetsk People's Republic" in eastern Ukraine, has claimed that Russian forces in the region — arguably the most hotly-contested region in the Ukraine war at the moment — could soon be in a position to advance and capture Bakhmut.

He said units of the Russian state-sanctioned private military company, the Wagner Group, were working "in Bakhmut" and were seeing "certain successes," echoing comments by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who said on Tuesday that a number of settlements near Bakhmut had come under the control of the Russian armed forces.

The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said Wednesday morning that Russian forces continued to focus their efforts on "conducting offensive operations" in the area around Bakhmut.

Sweden and Finland abandoned their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied for membership in the alliance after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, amid concerns that Russia might target them next.

Blinken said that the Ukraine war "would end almost certainly with diplomacy" and that a "just and durable peace" was essential

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