(NEW YORK) — More than 10 months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion into neighboring Ukraine, the two countries are engaged in a struggle for control of areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine.
Putin’s forces in November pulled out of key positions, retreating from Kherson as Ukrainian troops led a counteroffensive targeting the city. Russian drones have continued bombarding civilian targets throughout Ukraine, knocking out critical power infrastructure as winter sets in.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Jan 02, 10:32 AM EST
Russia says 63 killed in missile strike by Ukraine
Russia’s Defense Ministry has said 63 people were killed by a Ukrainian missile strike in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region.
According to the ministry, Ukraine launched launched six HIMARS missiles, provided by the U.S., at a building in the town of Makiivka, four of which hit the target.
“Families and friends of these servicemen will be fully assisted and supported,” the ministry said in a statement.
Ukraine claimed hundreds of Russians were killed in the attack.
Neither side’s claims could be independently verified.
Dec 31, 8:14 AM EST
1 dead, 7 injured after Russia launches missile strike against Kyiv
At least one person has been killed and seven people have been injured after Russia launched a barrage of missiles on Kyiv on New Year’s Eve.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported destruction across several districts with a luxury hotel, a bridge and police stations among the locations impacted.
It’s currently unclear how many locations have been destroyed as a result of direct hits and how many were from falling debris from intercepted rockets.
New Year’s Eve is one of Ukraine’s biggest holidays.
Dec 30, 10:28 AM EST
Putin expects China’s Xi to make state visit in spring
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he’s expecting Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a state visit to Russia in the spring of 2023.
Putin said he’s looking to deepen military cooperation between the two nations.
Putin said the visit would “demonstrate to the world the closeness of Russian-Chinese relations.”
Dec 29, 5:08 PM EST
Zelenskyy praises Air Force for ‘repelling’ Russian missile barrage
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is praising his country’s air defense, saying it “successfully repelled” a barrage of Russian missiles fired at Kyiv and other targets early Thursday.
Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian Air Force shot down 54 missiles and 11 attack drones.
“Our warriors all over Ukraine distinguished themselves and I thank all our Air Commands: Center, South, East and West,” Zelenskyy said.
He specifically cited the efforts of the 96th Kyiv, 160th Odesa and the 208th Kherson anti-aircraft missile brigades, saying their “results are the best today.”
Zelenskyy said several Russian missiles evaded Ukraine’s air defense and hit several infrastructure targets.
“Our power engineers and repair crews are doing everything to make Ukrainians feel the consequences of the terrorists’ strike as little as possible,” Zelenskyy said.
As of Thursday evening, he said there were power outages in most regions of Ukraine, including the capital city Kyiv as well as the Lviv, Odesa, Kherson, Vinnytsia and Zakarpattia regions.
“But this is nothing compared to what could have happened, if it was not for our heroic anti-aircraft troops and air defense,” Zelenskyy said.
Dec 29, 11:40 AM EST
Ukrainian missile shot down in Belarus: Defense ministry
Belarus’ defense ministry said its air defenses had downed a Ukrainian S-300 missile in a field on Thursday morning during one of Russia’s largest missile attacks against Ukraine since the start of the war.
The military commissar of the Brest region, Oleg Konovalov, played down the incident in a video message posted on social media by the state-run BelTA news agency, saying local residents had “absolutely nothing to worry about.”
“Unfortunately, these things happen,” Konovalov said.
He compared the incident to one in November when an S-300 believed to have strayed after being fired by Ukrainian air defenses landed in NATO member country Poland, and initial fears of an escalation in the war were rapidly defused.
Konovalov said the Ukrainian missile was shot down by the air defense forces around 10 a.m. local time Thursday. Fragments of the downed missile were found near the village of Gorbakha in the Brest region.
-ABC News’ William Gretsky
Dec 29, 10:32 AM EST
Russia continues ‘escalating’ missile campaign, US Embassy says
Moscow has been “cruelly” targeting Ukrainian civilians by launching attacks against utilities during the winter, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said on Thursday.
The rebuke came as Russia fired missiles at cities throughout the country on Thursday. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said 69 missiles were launched, fewer than the 100 missiles that officials had estimated earlier in the morning. Officials said 54 missiles were intercepted.
Two civilians were killed as a result of shelling in the Kharkiv area, according to the region’s governor.
“The Kremlin continues its escalating campaign of missile attacks, cruelly wielding cold & dark against” Ukrainians, U.S. Embassy officials said on Twitter. “Families are again hunkering down as critical infrastructure & other targets across the country are attacked.”
Air raid sirens started wailing before 6 a.m. local time across Ukraine, sending residents scrambling into underground shelters in several cities. Missiles landed in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv and Zhtomyr.
Ukraine’s defense systems intercepted some missiles, including 16 that were shot down near Kyiv, the capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Two homes in Kyiv were damaged by falling debris and three people were injured, he said.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said Russia had been “saving one of the most massive missile attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion for the last days of the year.”
“They dream that Ukrainians will celebrate the New Year in darkness and cold,” officials said. “But they cannot defeat the Ukrainian people.”
-ABC News’ Britt Clennett and Joe Simonetti
Dec 29, 2:29 AM EST
More than 100 Russian missiles fired at Ukraine
Russian forces early on Thursday launched a missile strike on Ukraine.
More than 100 rockets were fired in several waves, Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said on Twitter. Some rockets were reportedly fired from carriers in the sea, while others were reportedly fired by at least a dozen fighter aircraft.
Another presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Twitter that more than 120 missiles had been launched “by the ‘evil Russian world’ to destroy critical infrastructure & kill civilians en masse.”
At least one loud explosion was heard in Kyiv, where air raid sirens were ringing for several hours on Thursday morning.
Dec 28, 1:58 PM EST
Kremlin rejects Ukraine’s Feburary ‘peace summit’
Russia has rejected a proposal from Ukraine to hold a “peace summit” in February, according to a Kremlin official.
“There is no ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine for now, that’s for starters,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wenderday. “Besides, there can be no ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine, which disregards today’s realities on Russian territory, the entry of new regions, four of them, into Russia.”
Peskov was apparently referring to recent Ukrainian drone attacks inside Russia, including one this week at the Engels Air Force Base in southern Russia that killed three Russian soldiers.
-ABC News’ William Gretsky
Dec 27, 1:13 PM EST
Putin bans sending Russian oil to countries imposing a price cap
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Tuesday that not only rejects a price cap on the country’s oil but bans sending crude and other petroleum products to any country that has endorsed the price cap.
The Group of Seven countries, including the United States, agreed on Dec. 3 to impose a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Australia and the European Union also agreed to impose the price cap.
The decree Putin signed goes into effect on Feb. 1 and is valid until July 1, 2023.
The decree bans the supply of oil and oil products from Russia to those countries that place a price ceiling on contracts. The decree also forbids the supply of oil to other foreign buyers whose contracts use a price cap mechanism.
The decree includes a clause allowing Putin to overrule the ban in special cases to be determined by the Russian leader.
The price cap on Russian oil implemented by G-7 nations disallows the world’s second-largest oil exporter from selling crude at a price above $60 per barrel.
Since the outset of its war with Ukraine, Russia has sold its oil at discounted prices. As of Tuesday, Russian Urals crude was trading at $57 per barrel — an amount slightly less than the cap. But the price cap aims to ensure that Russian oil sales remain well below global oil prices, which stand at about $80 per barrel.
-ABC News’ William Gretsky
Dec 26, 7:40 AM EST
Ukraine strikes bomber base in Russia, killing three
A Ukrainian drone attack on the Engels Air Force Base in southern Russia killed three, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said.
A spokesman for Ukrainian Air Force confirmed the attack, saying, “If the Russians thought the war would not touch them they were wrong.”
Russian air defence reportedly shot down a Ukrainian drone flying at low altitude, but falling debris caused the casualties in the overnight attack.
The Engels base lies just over 300 miles northeast of Ukraine’s border with Russia. The facility has been repeatedly used by Russia to carry out missile strikes on targets in Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces had attacked another Russian air base on Dec. 5, killing three and damaging two strategic bombers.
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