G7 considers more air defence for Ukraine as fighting rages

KYIV: Russian missiles, artillery and drones hit targets in eastern and southern Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine said, as global economic powers pledge to strengthen their capabilities Kyiv’s military capabilities with a focus on air defense.
The G7 promised to “respond to Ukraine’s urgent requests” after the President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for modern tanks, artillery and long-range weapons to fend off the devastating Russian invasion.
Zelenskyy also called on G7 leaders to gather at a virtual meeting to support his idea of ​​convening a special Global Peace Summit to bring peace to his country.
The summit will focus on implementing Kyiv’s 10-point peace plan, which emphasizes Russia’s full withdrawal of troops from Ukraine and no territorial concessions from Kiev.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Monday said he would be “open” about supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles aimed at launching Russian drones that hit infrastructure if Russia continue to target civilian areas.
Our President Joe Biden told Zelenskyy on Sunday that Washington’s priority is to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.
Moscow has denied targeting civilians but the war has displaced millions and killed thousands of non-combatants.
Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said “unlivable conditions” are likely to cause another wave of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to pour into Europe over the winter.
In the most recent fighting, Russian artillery destroyed nearly 20 settlements around the ruined city to the east of the city. Bakhmutand there was a “massive shelling” of the southern city Kherson was liberated by Ukrainian forces last month, Ukrainian military and civilian officials said on Monday.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the latest battlefield accounts.
energy crisis
Zelenskyy also called on G7 leaders to help Ukraine get an extra 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the face of severe energy shortages as millions languish without electricity in sub-zero cold.
Sergey Kovalenko, head of YASNO, the company that supplies Kyiv with electricity, said on his Facebook page that the limit on electricity consumption in the capital remains significant.
Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Monday resumed suspended operations after Russia used an Iranian-made drone to attack two energy plants two days earlier. Grid operator Ukrenergo says electricity is gradually being restored to about 1.5 million people.
Separately, the European Union foreign ministers agreed to put an additional 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in a fund already used to pay for military assistance to Ukraine, after it had been approved. largely exhausted. More coins may be added in the future.
There are no peace talks and no sign of an end to the conflict, the largest in Europe since the Second World War, and described by Moscow as a “special military operation” against threats. security threats posed by neighboring countries. Ukraine and its Western allies call it a gratuitous imperialist occupation.
Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin as saying that Russia has not seen a “constructive” approach from the United States to the conflict in Ukraine.
heavy fighting
Against the background of the defeat of the Russian forces, the President Putin will not be hosting his annual televised year-end press conference this month, an event he has used to showcase his problem-solving leadership and stamina.
Ukraine says Russian forces are suffering heavy losses in a brutal deepening battle on the eastern front, where Moscow is fighting for full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, two of the country’s four territories. territory that the Kremlin claims to have annexed in a vote that was rejected by a majority. country is illegal.
A senior US military official said Russia is consuming so much ammunition that it is using 40-year-old bullets with a high failure rate.
The fighting is also taking a serious toll on the Ukrainian army.
“There are days when many people are seriously injured: four or five people have their limbs amputated at the same time,” Oleksii, a 35-year-old military doctor who declined to give his full name, told Reuters at a military hospital. in eastern Ukraine.
There are unverified reports on social media of an attack on the bridge behind the front lines in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, which is considered vital to the defense of Russia’s territory. which it holds in the south, including Crimea.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in the Zaporizhzhia region, shared a video on his Telegram channel of what he called the bridge and blamed Ukraine “terrorists” for the damage. Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol, also shared a video showing damage to what appeared to be a bridge.
Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.


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