Shelling continues in much of southern and eastern Ukraine as Russian strikes kill at least five people in the Donetsk Oblast and Kherson endures all-night gunfire, local officials reported.
Residential homes were hit as Russian shelled the Kherson region 68 times in the last day, regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said.
Kyiv is accusing Russia of installing rocket launchers at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, with Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom saying that Grad rocket launchers have been placed close to one of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.
Energoatom said the move is “violating all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.” While all the nuclear reactors have been shut down, significantly reducing the risk of disaster, dangerous radiation leaks are still a threat.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and U.K. are set to impose more sanctions on Russia.
Washington to levy more sanctions on Russia, China: Reports
The U.S. is set to place more sanctions on Russia for its use of Iranian drones in Ukraine, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.
The sanctions are aimed at both Russia and China — as regards China, the penalties are related to human rights abuses and Beijing’s involvement in illegal fishing in the Pacific ocean, the Journal wrote.
Most of the sanctions will come under the Global Magnitsky Act, which was designed to go after human rights abusers and is named after a Russian lawyer who died in prison there while working to uncover crimes of corruption by high-ranking Russian officials.
— Natasha Turak
Russia likely received a resupply of Iranian drones, UK says
Renewed reports of Russian attacks on Ukraine by Iranian drones are surfacing after a few weeks, suggesting Russian forces ran out of the weapons but have been resupplied, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said.
“For the first time in three weeks, there have been reports of attacks by Iranian-provided one-way attack (OWA) uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs),” the ministry wrote in its daily intelligence update on Twitter.
“These events remain to be verified, but it is likely that Russia exhausted its previous stock of several hundred Shahed-131s and 136s and has now received a resupply.”
Ukraine’s military has reported shooting down several of these drones in the past few days, while the last such report before that was in mid-November.
“If verified,” the ministry wrote, “it is likely that Russia has recommenced attacks with newly delivered OWA UAV systems.”
— Natasha Turak
Ukraine claims Russia put rocket launchers at nuclear power plant
Russian forces have installed multiple rocket launchers at Ukraine’s shut-down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials claimed, raising fears Europe’s largest atomic power station could be used as a base to fire on Ukrainian territory and heightening radiation dangers.
Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom said in a statement that Russian forces occupying the plant have placed several Grad multiple rocket launchers near one of its six nuclear reactors. It said the offensive systems are located at new “protective structures” the Russians secretly built, “violating all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.”
The claim could not be independently verified.
The Soviet-built multiple rocket launchers are capable of firing rockets at ranges of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), and Energoatom said they could enable Russian forces to hit the opposite bank of the Dnieper River, where each side blames the other for almost daily shelling in the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets. The plant is in a southern Ukrainian region the Kremlin has illegally annexed.
— Associated Press
Zelenskyy says Ukraine is working with EU, U.S. to strengthen sanctions on Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country aims to bolster sanctions on Russia as Moscow shows no signs of ending its brutal war.
“We are actively working to support and strengthen the next sanctions against Russia – by European, American and other partners,” he said, according to a translation of his nightly address posted to messaging platform Telegram.
He noted that a proposed ninth European Union sanctions package is “in progress.”
Zelenskyy added that Ukraine is awaiting more steps its allies can take to crack down on efforts to circumvent sanctions in the financial and energy sectors.
— Jacob Pramuk