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Putin lackey dismisses chance of ‘Christmas ceasefire’

Russia: Installation of a rocket into a silo in the Kaluga region

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Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov was challenged on the idea of pausing hostilities in Ukraine over Christmas during a press conference on Wednesday. Peskov made clear that a ceasefire was not part of Russia’s war plan. 

Peskov said: “No, no such offers have been received from anybody.

He added: “This topic is not on the agenda.”

It comes as Ukraine’s capital came under one of the biggest attacks of the war on Friday as Russia’s invading forces fired dozens of missiles across the country.

Ukrainian officials reported strikes in at least four cities, triggering widespread emergency power outages.

Gunfire from air defense systems and thudding explosions combined with the wail of air-raid sirens as the barrage targeted critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and Zaporhizhzhia.

The head of the Ukrainian armed forces said they intercepted 60 of 76 missiles launched.

Russian strikes on electricity and water systems have occurred intermittently since mid-October, increasing the suffering of the population as winter approaches.

More than half of the Russian missiles fired Friday targeted Ukraine’s capital. The city administration said Kyiv withstood “one of the biggest rocket attacks” it has faced since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 10 months ago.

Ukraine: Soldiers link arms as they exercise in the snow

Ukrainian air-defense forces shot down 37 of about 40 missiles that entered the city’s airspace, and one person was injured, it said.

Ukraine’s air force said Russian forces had fired cruise missiles from the Admiral Makarov frigate in the Black Sea, while Kh-22 cruise missiles were fired from long-range Tu-22M3 bombers over the Sea of Azov, and tactical aircraft-fired guided missiles.

Analysts have said Russian strikes targeting energy infrastructure are part of a strategy to try to freeze Ukrainians into submission after recent battlefield losses by Russian forces.

Officials and experts say that has only strengthened the resolve of Ukrainians to face up to Russia’s invasion, while Moscow tries to buy time for a possible offensive in coming months after the current battlefield stalemate.

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On Friday, a senior executive in Russia’s Wagner Group has been seriously injured after being blown up by a parcel bomb in the Central African Republic.

Dmitri Sytyi is considered the mercenary company’s top civilian leader in the Central African Republic where Russia’s Wagner has been present for a number of years.

Sytyi was rushed to a hospital in the CAR capital Bangui following the blast on Friday.

The pan-African weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique reports that the senior executive was the target of a parcel bomb attack at his office. 

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