Day 304 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Killed and Injured after Russian Strikes in Kherson, Putin finally calls it “War”

World » UKRAINE | December 24, 2022, Saturday // 13:33
Bulgaria: Day 304 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Killed and Injured after Russian Strikes in Kherson, Putin finally calls it “War” @Euromaidan Press

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Five people were killed and 20 injured in a Russian strike in the center of Kherson

Five people were killed and 20 were injured today in Russian shelling in the center of Kherson, the deputy head of the presidential office in Kyiv Kyrylo Tymoshenko announced, as quoted by Ukrinform.

"In the morning, Saturday, on the eve of Christmas, in the center of the city. These are not military sites. This is not war according to the established rules. This is terror, this is murder for intimidation and for pleasure," said President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Over the past 24 hours, Russian troops shelled the areas of around 25 settlements along the Bakhmut direction with tanks, mortars, jet and barrel artillery. This was announced on Facebook by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukrinform reported.

In the last 24 hours, Russian forces launched 3 missile and 10 airstrikes against Ukrainian targets, particularly civilian infrastructure in the Donetsk region. 62 shellings were carried out with rocket systems for volley fire, which damaged civilian objects in the city of Kherson, and there were also victims among the civilian population.

Ukrainian units repelled Russian attacks in the Andreevka region of Luhansk region and near a number of settlements in Donetsk region, the statement said.

In 24 hours, Ukrainian aviation carried out 13 strikes on Russian positions, including an anti-aircraft missile complex, and shot down 9 drones of the Russian forces of various types, the general staff stated, quoted by UNIAN.

Zelensky criticized Russian "terror" after the shelling of Kherson

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Russian "terror" after shelling on the city of Kherson killed at least five people and wounded around 20.

AFP recalls that Kyiv took back the city in November.

"Kherson. In the morning, on Saturday, on the eve of Christmas, in the central part of the city," Zelensky said on Telegram and posted photos of the attack, calling it "murder for the purpose of intimidation and pleasure."

A senior Ukrainian official has called for the "liquidation" of Iranian arms factories

A senior official of the Ukrainian presidency has called for the "liquidation" of Iranian factories that produce drones and missiles, as well as the arrest of their suppliers. Kyiv accuses Tehran of planning to supply more weapons to Russia, Reuters reported.

On Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine's president, tweeted today that Iran was "brazenly humiliating the institution of international sanctions" and called for the destruction of Iran's weapons factories in response.

Kyiv accuses Tehran of supplying Moscow with 1,700 Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, which it says have been used against targets in Ukraine since September. Iran denies the allegations.

The US Congress approved the budget with $45 billion for Ukraine and record defense spending

The US Congress passed today the big bill for funding federal services, totaling 1.7 trillion dollars, world agencies reported. Of this amount, $45 billion is earmarked for aid to Kyiv.

The bill is for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2023. Its adoption allows to avoid paralysis in the work of federal institutions in the country.

In the House of Representatives today, 225 MPs voted in favor of the bill against 201. Yesterday, the text, numbering 4,000 pages, was also adopted in the Senate with 68 votes "in favor" and 29 votes "against". In the Senate, he was supported by 18 Republican senators, including the leader of the Republicans there, Mitch McConnell.

The legislation gives the Defense Department a record $858 billion, up from $740 billion last fiscal year.

Another $27 billion is for victims of natural disasters.

US: Putin to recognize reality after using the word "war"

The United States has mockingly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to face reality and withdraw his troops from Ukraine after he finally called the conflict in Ukraine a "war".

Since Putin ordered the invasion in February, Russia has officially spoken of a "special military operation" and imposed a law that criminalizes what authorities call misleading terminology.

But at a press conference yesterday, Putin himself used the word "war", saying he hoped it would end as soon as possible.

"Since February 24, the US and the rest of the world have known that Putin's 'special military operation' was an unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. Finally, after 300 days, Putin has called the war by its rightful name," a State Department spokesman said.

"As the next step in acknowledging reality, we call on him to end this war by withdrawing his forces from Ukraine."

The State Department said that whatever Putin's terminology, "Russia's aggression against its sovereign neighbor has resulted in death, destruction and displacement."

"The people of Ukraine undoubtedly find no comfort in Putin stating the obvious, nor do the tens of thousands of Russian families whose relatives died fighting in Putin's war."

Peskov: Putin does not receive "distorted" data about military actions in Ukraine

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected claims by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was receiving "distorted information" about the progress of the "special military operation" (SVO). Peskov's comment was quoted in an article published on the publication's website on Friday.

"The president, as before, receives information from various sources," the WSJ quoted the Russian president's press secretary as saying. "Any claims that he is receiving distorted information are false."

According to the WSJ, Putin receives a written briefing each morning on the progress of Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine, and the paper's sources say the information given to him is "carefully vetted to emphasize successes and downplay failures." According to the WSJ, the data coming from the battlefield about the course of the war is processed by FSB specialists, after which they forward it to the experts of the Russian Security Council. They, in turn, pass the information on to the Secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, who presents it to the Russian leader. The publication claims that as a result the data is often "several days late".

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