Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, December 8:
- Russian shelling has killed at least six people and set buildings on fire in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kurakhove, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin says the fighting in Ukraine could last for a long time but there is no need to mobilise additional soldiers.
- Russian forces killed at least 441 civilians in the early days of the invasion, according to the United Nations human rights office.
- Belarus plans to move military equipment and forces in a “counterterrorism” exercise amid fears that Russia could attack Ukraine from Belarus.
- Russian forces have fired more than 1,000 rockets and missiles at Ukraine’s power grid, which is still working despite taking considerable damage, Interfax Ukraine news agency cited a senior official as saying.
- Uzbekistan’s energy minister says they will not agree to political conditions that would jeopardise its national interests after a Russian proposal for a “gas union” included the Central Asian country.
- Putin says the risk of a nuclear war is rising but insists Russia has not “gone mad” and sees its own nuclear arsenal as a purely defensive deterrent.
- The United States has denounced Putin’s comments as “loose talk” on nuclear weapons but says Moscow would not attack first.
- Political consultations between Turkey and Russia will be held in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday to discuss regional issues, the Turkish foreign ministry has said.
- The European Commission has proposed a ninth package of sanctions on Russia, including adding nearly 200 additional individuals and entities to the sanctions list.
- Western nations have slammed the environmental destruction brought about by Russia’s invasion at a high-stakes UN summit on biodiversity in Montreal.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies