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Russia steps up Kherson shelling, dismisses Zelenskiy’s peace plan

Russian forces crossed the Dnipro River to bombard Kherson, a recently liberated city in south Ukraine. The Kremlin demanded that Kyiv accept its annexation of a Ukrainian peace plan, but rejected it.

Russian forces were still threatening Kherson, having moved to the east bank after the city’s retaking last month in a major victory by Ukraine.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated that the shelling took place Wednesday at a hospital maternity wing. No one was hurt. Telegram user Tymoshenko stated that patients and staff were moved to a shelter.

Olha Prysidko, mother to a newborn, said that it was frightening. We reached the basement and the shelling continued.


Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Zelenskiy advised Ukrainians to embrace their loved ones and tell their friends how they feel. He also encouraged them to support their colleagues. Zelenskiy encouraged them to be happier with their children and to give thanks to their parents.

He stated, “We haven’t lost our humanity even though we have endured terrible months.” We won’t lose our humanity, even though we face difficult years.”


Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Kyiv and its Western allies condemn Russia’s actions as an imperialist-style land grab. Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as a “specially militarily executed operation” to demilitarize neighbor.

Russia has been under severe sanctions for its war against terror. This has led to the deaths of many thousands, forced millions from their homes, demolished cities, and a shakeup in the global economy. This has led to an increase in food and energy costs.

Gazprom data and Reuters calculations show that Russian gas exports via its pipelines to Europe fell to a post Soviet lowin 2020, when its largest customer cut its imports from Ukraine. A major pipeline was also damaged by mysterious explosions.


Talks to end war are impossible.

Zelenskiy is a strong advocate of a 10-point Peace Plan that envisages Russia respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdrawing all of its troops.

Moscow rejected it on Wednesday, 28 December, insisting that Kyiv agree to Russia annexed the four regions – Luhansk Donetsk Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the east.

Dmitry Peskov (a Kremlin spokesperson) stated that there cannot be a peace plan that doesn’t consider the “realities of today regarding Russian territory, and with the entry to Russia of four regional regions”.

According to the RIA news agency, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, stated that Zelenskiy’s plan to expel Russia from Ukraine and Crimea with Western aid and to get Moscow to compensate Kyiv is an “illusion”.

TASS reported that Lavrov stated that Russia will continue to improve its technological and combat capabilities in Ukraine. He said that Moscow’s mobilize troops had received “serious instruction”, and while many of them are on the ground, they don’t yet have the majority.

Zelenskiy encouraged the parliament to remain unites and thanked Ukrainians who helped the West “find its path again”.

He stated in an annual speech that “our national colors are today an internationally recognised symbol of courage, indomitability, for the whole world.”


According to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces (GSUAF), Russia has shelled more than 25 settlements in Zaporizhzhia/Khorasya. Access to the Russian-annexed Crimea can be made via the Kherson region, at the mouth of the Dnipro.

The fighting continued in Bakhmut, Ukraine’s eastern province.

According to the British defense ministry, Russia is likely to have strengthened the Kreminna Section because it is both vulnerable and logistically important.

Oleh Zhdanov (a Kyiv-based military analysts) noted that Kharkiv had been also under heavy attack, which resulted the destruction of a regional natural gas pipe.

Telegram reported that Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said two attacks had been made on Kharkiv “presumably” by Iranian Shahed drones. According to reports, five of these drones were shot down over Dnipro.

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