Day 290 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Stoltenberg is afraid that the Conflict could turn into a Big War between NATO and Russia
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Heavy fighting continues in eastern and southern Ukraine
Heavy fighting continues in eastern and southern Ukraine. Russian forces attacked Ukraine last night with Iranian kamikaze drones, Ukrainian media reported. According to the command of the Air Force, the target of the attack was the southern regions of the country. Two-thirds of the drones were destroyed.
As a result of a Russian attack on the city of Nikopol, four people were injured, announced the chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk regional administration Valentin Reznichenko. The city was bombarded with heavy artillery.
11 high-rise and private houses, a kindergarten, an administrative building, a gas pipeline and power lines were damaged by the Russian projectiles.
Southern Ukraine has been hit hardest by Russian bombing this week, the country's authorities said. In the Odesa and Kherson regions, the power grid was "virtually destroyed" after the December 5 strikes and workers are still trying to restore power. Recovery is also difficult in Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.
The Ukrainian government adopted decisions to prepare the affected regions of the country for winter.
India-Russia Summit not to take place this year due to "scheduling issues"
The annual India-Russia summit in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slated to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to take place this year due to "scheduling issues" sources said.
"Reports of PM Modi not meeting Putin due to nuclear threat is baseless. The meeting is not taking place due to scheduling issues," ANI reported. The annual summit between the Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Several media reports speculated that the annual in-person summit had been canceled due to the Russian President alleged threats to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war.
"The meeting between New Delhi and Moscow is not taking place due to scheduling issues," the sources said adding that the decision has nothing to do with the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
Since 2000, India and Russia have maintained an annual summit mechanism. The last annual summit was held at the Hyderabad house in New Delhi in December 2021 in which Putin had attended in person and this year PM Modi was slated to travel to Moscow for the summit.
Due to COVID-19, in-person summits were not held in 2020.
In 2021 PM Modi, and Putin held their first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and also signed an agreement for the procurement of 6,01,427 assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31. The India-Russia 2+2 Dialogue marked the first 2+2 meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries.
In September this year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand when the two leaders met for a bilateral meeting, PM Modi told President Putin that this was "not an era of war." This statement by PM Modi also was cited in the G20 Summit in Indonesia's Bali.
In November this year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Moscow and held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in which Jaishankar raised concern about the consequences emanating from the Ukraine conflict that have affected energy and food security around the world.
Holding the press briefing with Lavrov, Jaishankar said he exchanged views on international issues with the Russian side, in which the Ukraine conflict was the dominant feature.
On November 17, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin was received in New Delhi by Vinay Kwatra, India's Foreign Secretary and held extensive foreign policy consultations with Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West). Following the talks India and Russia agreed to "deepen cooperation" on counter-terrorism issues and "enhance bilateral coordination" at the United Nations.
India and Russia has also held wide-ranging discussions on issues on the United Nations Security Council agenda and recent developments, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Vershinin congratulated India on its upcoming Presidency of the UN Security Council in December 2022
Stoltenberg: The Ukrainian conflict could lead to war between NATO and Russia
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that the Ukrainian conflict could lead to war between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance. He expressed this view on Friday during the talk show Lindmo on the Norwegian television channel NRK, which was quoted in the media around the world.
"I am afraid that the war in Ukraine will get out of control and turn into a big war between NATO and Russia. But I am sure that we will avoid that," said the Secretary-General.
Asked by the presenter about the responsibility that rests on his shoulders, Stoltenberg replied: "I feel that everything is very serious. This is a fateful moment for Europe and Norway. If something goes wrong, everything can develop in a terrible way." Speaking about aid to Kyiv, he claimed that only a strong Ukraine could ensure peace. "At some point talking becomes useless. What helps here is military support for Ukraine. Only a strong Ukraine leads to peace."
Times: US now allows Ukraine to strike Russian territory with drones
The Pentagon has already given tacit permission to Ukraine to carry out drone strikes inside Russia, the Times of London reports.
According to the newspaper, since the beginning of daily Russian missile attacks on civilians in October, the Pentagon has revised its assessment of the risks of the war in Ukraine.
This is a significant development in the nine-month war between Ukraine and Russia, and now Washington is likely to supply Kyiv with weapons with greater range, the Times writes.
According to the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, a source from the Pentagon said that the US is only insisting that the Ukrainian military use the American weapons provided to them by "observing the international laws of war and the Geneva Conventions". That is, Russian families should not become targets or no attempts should be made to liquidate specific individuals on Russian territory.
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