WAR IN UKRAINE
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At least one person was killed by Russian bombs overnight in eastern Ukraine, according to local officials, with fighting continuing over the weekend despite Russian claims of an Orthodox Christmas truce. Follow our live blog to see how the day’s events unfold. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
9:42 am: Little respite in war-scarred eastern Ukraine as fighting continues
War-scarred cities in eastern Ukraine saw no significant let-up in the fighting overnight Saturday to Sunday.
“A lot of fighting is still ongoing, even if the lines are mostly static,” says FRANCE 24 reporter Luke Shrago. “The question people are asking is: ‘When exactly is the next offensive going to take place?’” he says.
Watch Luke Shrago’s latest update from the ground in Kharkiv here:
8:24 am: Ukraine shelling damages two power plants in Russia-controlled parts of Donetsk, say local officials
Two thermal power plants in a part of Ukraine‘s Donetsk region controlled by Russian forces were damaged in a rocket attack by the Ukrainian army, Moscow-installed officials and Russia’s state TASS news agency said on Sunday.
Early information suggested that the plants in Zuhres and Novyi Svit had been hit and that some people on the spot had sustained injuries, the officials said on their Telegram channels.
Two people might be trapped under debris at the damaged Starobesheve power plant in Novyi Svit, TASS reported. Citing officials, it said the strike was carried out using a multiple rocket launcher system.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.
3:03am: Moscow ends self-proclaimed ceasefire, vows to press ahead in Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin ordered on Friday a 36-hour ceasefire along the line of contact to observe Russia and Ukraine’s Orthodox Christmas, which fell on Saturday. Ukraine rejected the truce as a ploy to allow Russia to regroup its forces.
A 50-year-old man died in the northeastern region of Kharkiv as a result of Russia’s shelling, Oleh Sinehubov, the governor of the region said on the Telegram messaging app. The news came minutes after midnight in Moscow.
Most Ukrainian Orthodox Christians have traditionally celebrated Christmas on January 7, as have Orthodox Christians in Russia. But this year, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the country’s largest, allowed also for a December 25 celebration. Still, many observed the holiday on Saturday, flocking into churches and cathedrals.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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