Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, December 28.
- The front line in eastern Ukraine remains little changed despite an increase in fighting, with neither side making any major advances, said Britain’s defence ministry and Ukraine military analysts.
- The fighting was particularly fierce around the strategic eastern city of Bakhmut in Donetsk province and Svatove, further north in Luhansk province, according to Britain’s defence ministry.
- In Bakhmut, home to 70,000 people before the war and now in ruins, Reuters reporters saw fires burning in a large residential building, while debris littered the streets and most buildings had their windows blown out.
- Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said in a YouTube video that fighting had intensified with Russia deploying armoured vehicles and tanks.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his nightly video message on Monday, called the situation along the eastern front line in Donbas “difficult and painful”.
Battlefield reports could not be independently verified.
- Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that his nation wants a summit within two months at the United Nations to end the war, but he does not anticipate Russia taking part.
- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov threatened Kyiv with an ultimatum to accept the surrender of territory currently controlled by his country or that the Russian army would decide Ukraine’s fate.
- The United States and its NATO allies together with Ukraine want to defeat Russia “on the battlefield” in order to destroy it, Lavrov told the Russian news agency TASS, in remarks published on Monday.
- Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday reaffirmed her government’s “full support” for Ukraine in a call with Zelenskyy, her office said in a statement.
- Russia has announced it would ban oil sales to countries that abide by a price cap imposed this month by the West, while its forces were involved in heavy fighting around the bombed-out ghost town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies