Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 319 of the invasion | Ukraine
Russian attacks were reported in at least seven regions in eastern and southern Ukraine, despite Moscow’s declaration of a 36-hour ceasefire from noon Friday to midnight Saturday for Orthodox Christmas. At least three people were killed.
Russian troops bombed the Kherson region 39 times on Friday, according to Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych. Residential buildings and a fire station building were set on fire in the liberated city of Kherson, where one first responder was killed. Seven civilians were also injured in the region.
Ukraine’s military said two were killed and 13 wounded in Russian shelling of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, during the supposed ceasefire. The two dead are a 66-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman.
Russian troops were “terrorizing” civilians in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, its governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said. No casualties were reported, but residential and commercial buildings continued to burn.
Russian forces bombed Ukrainian positions 14 times and attacked a settlement three times on the front line in eastern Luhansk province in the first three hours of the supposed ceasefire, Governor Serhiy Haidai said, according to Reuters. Explosions were heard from what Ukrainian troops on the front line described as a Russian missile attack. The Ukrainians fired at the tanks.
The Russian-appointed governor of the occupied Crimean city of Sevastopol has said air defenses shot down a drone in an apparent attack on the port where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based. Mikhail Razvozhaev claimed the incident happened early on Saturday.
The UK Ministry of Defense said fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued at a “routine level” over the Orthodox Christmas period. The ministry’s daily intelligence update stated that the fighting was concentrated in wooded terrain west of the city of Kremyna in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, where “fighting has shifted to dismounted infantry fighting, often at short range.”
The US has asked Italy to provide air defense systems to Ukraine as soon as possible. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that the request was made in a conversation between US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Francesco Talo, an adviser to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has praised the US for including tank-killing armored vehicles in the latest multibillion-dollar military aid package, saying they are “exactly what is needed”. The latest US military aid announced by the White House on Friday was the largest to date for Kiev and included Bradley armored vehicles for the first time.
Services have been held in Ukraine to mark the first Orthodox Christmas since the country was invaded by Russia last year. Metropolitan Epiphanius led a Christmas service at the Cathedral of the Holy Dormition at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in the Ukrainian capital.
Ukraine has updated the number of Russian troops it believes it has killed to 110,740. The general staff of the armed forces said in an update on Saturday that another 490 troops were killed on Friday.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report