Ukraine: Bridge in Melitopol shows signs of damage
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As Russian forces continue to push for marginal gains in small cities and towns such as Bakhmut in Donetsk, Ukrainian officials have claimed Vladimir Putin’s men have “already lost” the war. The British Ministry of Defence suggested the Russian soldiers were “unlikely to make operationally significant advances” from the front line as reports show they are focusing on consolidating positions in the Kharkiv-Luhansk region to stop further Ukrainian counter-offensives. Meanwhile, Ukrainian energy minister Herman Halushchenko said all nuclear power plants except Zaporizhia, which is under Russian occupation, were back to full operational delivery.
Ukraine energy back to full power after repairs
All nine power units of nuclear plants supplying the Ukrainian population with vital energy during a freezing winter are up and running for the first time since November 23, a Ukrainian official has said.
After eight waves of Russian missile attacks that began on October 10, Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said the power supply was operating at almost full throttle.
Following an explosion on the Crimea Bridge on October 8, Vladimir Putin signed off on a series of missile strikes across Ukraine by way of retaliation.
Intended to target the energy infrastructure of the nation, in effect weaponising migrants by plunging Ukrainian civilians hundreds of miles behind the front lines into the dark and freezing and forcing them to flee into Europe, the strikes had had a devastating effect on the population.
All thermal and hydroelectric power stations were damaged in the strikes while 40 percent of the high-voltage network facilities were damaged, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
But reports yesterday from Energoatom, which is the Ukrainian state energy provider, said the repair of power units across the country were nearing completion.
Except for the temporarily captured Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, all energy facilities are now operating at maximum capacity to meet the population’s needs and the country’s economy, the press service of Energoatom added.
Bakhmut in flames as two Ukrianian civilians killed
Russian shelling killed at least two people in the Donetsk region during the day and into Monday night, injuring a further 12 people and destroying scores of Ukrainian buildings, a Ukrainian official has said.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, Governor of Donetsk Oblast, said on Telegram that the Kurakhiv community to the west of the administrative city was “the most affected” by Russian attacks.
He reported that two people had been killed and 12 injured in the small city of Hirnyk, while nine high-rise buildings and a farm had been damaged.
In Bakhmut, which is at the epicentre of the fighting and is rumoured to be the territory Putin is most interested in capturing, a Youth centre and an apartment building were hit as Russian forces continued their vicious assault.
Aerial footage of Bakhmut taken by a drone showed parts of the city in ruins. It’s only source of light during the prolonged blackout is the flames caused by explosions.
Ukraine waiting until ‘ground is firmer’ to counter attack
Ukraine will resume its counter offensives of the summer when the “ground is firmer”, according to officials.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said his nation’s forces intend to stage counter attacks throughout the winter once the autumn rainy season has passed and the ground begins to freeze over.
Temperatures in the winter in southern Ukraine more often than not drop well below freezing and on December 3, US Director for National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines suggested such extremity would force Ukraine into having to wait until spring to stage further counter offensives.
But in a joint press conference with the Swedish minister of defence Paul Jonson, Reznikov intimated the Ukrainian forces had no plans to wait that long.
Voice of America National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin reported that an unnamed senior US military official also stated on December 12 that: “We know the Ukrainians can fight and fight well under these [winter] conditions.”
Russian transport bridge attacked
A highway bridge that transported military equipment from the east to Russian forces further north has been damaged.
In a late night explosion on Monday, a bridge that connected the city of Melitopol in the Zaporizhia Oblast to the village of Kostyantynivka was “tired”, according to the Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov.
Fedorov said it as one of the “strategically importance objects” of the war and the attack was carried out in the same light as the “fatigue” of the Crimea Bridge on October 8.
Officials have called the incident a “sabotage attack,” while a senior regional official, Vladimir Rogov, blamed the incident on Ukraine “terrorists”.
The blast in the region bordering Ukraine took place around 10pm local time, a statement by Zaporizhia’s administration said, adding that “several pillars of the bridge were damaged.” Traffic across the bridge was also halted following the incident.
In videos published online by Rogov, the bridge appears to be sagging down in the middle. In another video, a loud bang can be heard apparently showing the moment of the blast.
The bridge is part of a road linking Melitopol to the port city of Berdyansk located on the Azov Sea.
Zaporizhia Oblast was annexed by Russia alongside Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson on September 30.
Russia has “already lost” the war in Ukraine
Russia has “already lost” the war in Ukraine, a top Ukrainian official has said, as the British Ministry of Defence appeared to corroborate the claims.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak wrote on Twitter that Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation on September 21 had “only delayed defeat” in Ukraine and that the nation has “already lost”.
Russian military bloggers accused Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of conceding some form of defeat after altering the objectives of the “special military operation” by saying its aims were to recapture and hold onto that territory.
Nonetheless, the British MoD suggested Russian forces would be unable to fulfil those new objectives due to a “lack” of manpower.
The MoD said: “Russia’s strategy is currently unlikely to achieve its objectives: it is highly unlikely that the Russian military is currently able to generate an effective striking force capable of retaking these areas.”
“Russian ground forces are unlikely to make operationally significant advances within the next several month,” it added.
Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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