Russia ‘cease-fire’ ends, strikes intensify – DW – 01/08/2023

Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that a 50-year-old man was killed in Russian shelling in the northeastern region of Kharkiv on Saturday evening.

The news came shortly after Moscow ended a self-declared 36-hour cease-fire for the Orthodox Christmas holiday at midnight Moscow time (2100 GMT).

Fighting continued in several regions of Ukraine during the “cease-fire,” which was rejected by Kyiv as hypocrisy and a pretext for giving a respite to Russian troops.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said that there were nine Russian missile strikes on the region overnight, seven of which hit the city of Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian officials also reported blasts in other locations in Donbas, the eastern region where the front line of the war is located.

Blasts were also heard in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, the administrative center of the Zaporizhzhia region, a local official said. There was no immediate report on damage or casualties.

Russia said Ukraine shelled positions along the front line on Saturday, forcing its troops to return fire despite the declared truce.

As the “cease-fire” ended, Moscow said it would push on with its attack, which it describes as a “special military operation,” until it was victorious over its neighbor.

“The tasks set by the president (Vladimir Putin) for the special military operation will still be fulfilled,” the Russian state TASS agency quoted Putin’s first deputy chief of staff, Sergei Kiriyenko, as saying.

“And there will definitely be a victory,” he added.

The statement comes as the war, seen by Ukraine and its allies as an unprovoked land grab by Moscow, is in its 11th month.

The fighting has killed thousands, displaced millions both internally and externally and reduced several Ukrainian cities and villages to rubble.

Saving lives on Ukraine’s front lines

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Here are other related developments concerning the war in Ukraine on January 8:

2 killed in strikes in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian officials said at least two people were killed during fighting in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said one person was killed in strikes on Bakhmut and eight others in the region were wounded.

Another person died during overnight attacks in the town of Merefa in the Kharkiv region.

Russian Defense Ministry earlier in the day claimed that more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a Russian strike in Kramatorsk city. The ministry said the strikes were carried out in retaliation for the Ukrainian attack on the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Makiivka.

Ukrainian officials are yet to comment on it.

Ukraine war sparks largest refugee crisis since World War II

The German representative for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said more than 7.9 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the war.

Katharina Lumpp said another 5.9 million people were internally displaced and the number of Ukrainians who had to flee the country makes it Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Lump added the US and Germany were top humanitarian donors to the crisis in Ukraine, with Germany having provided more than €1 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“With this money, we were able to assist refugees with safety and protection and support them in many ways,” Lump said.

Ukraine imposes sanctions on famous Russian artists

Ukraine has imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian artists and public figures, including internationally famous Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko.

The Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy published a list of more than 100 people sanctioned who will have their assets in Ukraine frozen.

The list also includes Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov and Russian filmmaker Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov, who is also an Oscar winner.

Ukrainian media reported that Zelenskyy revoked the citizenship of 13 clergy members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the end of December too.

Even though the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has traditionally had close ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, they completely cut ties with Moscow after the war.

Unilateral Russia cease-fire a failure: Zelenskyy

In a video message on Saturday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the truce declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed to bring any respite from fighting.

“The world could see once again how false statements from Moscow are at every level,” Zelenskyy said.

“They said something about a supposed cease-fire, but the reality is that Russian shells have again hit Bakhmut and other Ukrainian positions. Once again it has been confirmed: Only the expulsion of Russian occupiers from Ukrainian land and the elimination of all opportunities for Russia to exert pressure on Ukraine and all of Europe will mean the restoration of a cease-fire, security and peace,” he added.

Ukrainians don’t make much of ‘so-called cease-fire’

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Ukrainian shelling damages thermal power plants: Moscow-installed officials

Two thermal power plants in parts of the Donetsk region under Russian control have been damaged by Ukrainian shelling, according to officials responding to Moscow.

According to their Telegram monitoring channel, there were preliminary reports of injuries.

There has been no comment from Ukraine, which very rarely claims responsibility for attacks on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine or within Russia itself.

rm, tj/jcg (Reuters, dpa, AFP, AP)

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