Russia Ukraine news – live: ‘Three dead’ in drone attack on Putin’s air base

‘We need to open our arms’: Glen Hansard busks with Ukrainians on Christmas Eve in Dublin

Russian forces bombarded scores of towns in Ukraine with missile attacks on Christmas Day as Vladimir Putin claimed he was ready to negotiate with all parties involved but that Kyiv and Western backers refused to engage.

On 25 December, Moscow launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region and shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, while nearly 20 towns were hit in Zaporizhzhia, according to Ukraine‘s top military command.

Russia’s defence ministry said it killed about 60 Ukrainian servicemen a day earlier along the Kupiansk-Lyman line of contact and destroyed numerous pieces of Ukrainian military equipment.

The fresh bombardment comes after Mr Putin claimed Russia was ready to negotiate, a stance Washington dismissed as posturing due to continued attacks.

“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Mr Putin told Rossiya 1 state television in an interview yesterday.

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In pics: Smoke rising from apartment buildings as Russia continues shelling on Christmas day

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Smoke rises from apartment buildings damaged from missile strikes, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, during intense shelling on Christmas Day at the frontline in Bakhmut, Ukraine

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Smoke rises from apartment buildings damaged from missile strikes, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, during intense shelling on Christmas Day at the frontline in Bakhmut, Ukraine

(REUTERS)

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The interior of apartment buildings damaged from missile strikes is pictured in Bakhmut on Christmas

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The interior of apartment buildings damaged from missile strikes is pictured in Bakhmut on Christmas

(REUTERS)

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Volodymyr, 61, and Nataliia Bolias, 51, walk past an industrial building that received a missile strike

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Volodymyr, 61, and Nataliia Bolias, 51, walk past an industrial building that received a missile strike

(REUTERS)

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 08:00

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Russia’s long-range air force to get new hypersonic missiles

Russia’s long-range air forces are to be refitted with new wing-borne hypersonic missiles, the Interfax news agency reported today, citing the force’s commanding officer.

“In the interests of long-range aviation, the development and supply of the entire range of aviation weapons, including new cruise hypersonic missiles, is being carried out,” Interfax cited the commander, Sergei Kobylash, as saying in an interview with the Russian defence ministry’s newspaper.

Russia’s fleet of long-range bombers are part of its nuclear triad, and are capable of launching both nuclear and conventional missiles.

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 07:30

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Three killed in second attack on Russia’s Engels base

Three Russian military personnel were killed early morning today by falling wreckage of a Ukrainian drone that was shot down as it was attacking a base in Russia’s Saratov region, Russian news agencies reported, citing the defence ministry.

It was the second attack on the base this month.“A Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region,” news agencies reported the Russian ministry as saying.

“As a result of the fall of the wreckage of the drone, three Russian servicemen of the technical staff who were at the airfield were fatally wounded.”

The base, near the city of Saratov, about 730 km southeast of Moscow and hundreds of kilometres from the front lines in Ukraine, was hit on 5 December in what Russia said was Ukrainian drone attacks on two Russian air bases that day.

The twin strikes dealt Russia a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defences failed, analysts said, as attention turned to the use of drones in the war between neighbours.

Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks in Russia, but has said, however, that such incidents are “karma” for Russia’s invasion.

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 07:00

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Russian troops work ‘round-the-clock’ on new air defence positions

Russian troops are working “round-the-clock” at new anti-aircraft missile system positions to defend against missile and air strikes by Ukraine, the Russian Interfax reported late citing the defence ministry.

Crews of the S-300V systems were “mastering new position areas” of the Russian long-range surface-to-air missile systems, the news agency reported, citing a ministry statement.

“The air defence units of the Western Military District continue to serve in the new position areas on combat duty around the clock,” the agency cited the ministry as saying.

The Western Military District, one of Russia’s five military districts, incorporates regions bordering Ukraine, including the Belgorod and Bryansk regions. It also covers the Kaliningrad exclave.

Citing a military commander, Interfax reported that the S-300V battery is capable of tracking a target at a distance of up to 204 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 06:30

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In pics: Ukrainian soldiers and civilians celebrate Christmas amid continued attacks from Russia

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Ukrainian service members have Christmas dinner at an unknown location in Ukraine

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Ukrainian service members have Christmas dinner at an unknown location in Ukraine

(Ukraine military handout via REUTERS)

(Getty Images)

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Lviv residents and guests of the city, despite the war, power outages and air alarms, celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar

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Lviv residents and guests of the city, despite the war, power outages and air alarms, celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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A worshipper holds candles during the Christmas Mass in the Ascension of the Lord Cathedral in Kherson

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A worshipper holds candles during the Christmas Mass in the Ascension of the Lord Cathedral in Kherson

(AFP via Getty Images)

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 06:07

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Putin says Russia willing to talk but Zelensky and West ‘refuse to negotiate’

Russia is ready to negotiate over the war in Ukraine but Kyiv and allies have refused to engage in talks, Vladimir Putin said on Sunday in a new interview.

“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” the Russian president told Rossiya 1 state television.

However, he accused Ukraine and the West of trying to pull “historical Russia” apart, signalling he still wants control of Russian-speaking territories invaded by his forces – a non-starter for any serious peace negotiations.

Guy Faulconbridge and Alastair Jamieson have more:

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 05:16

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Russian missiles rain down on Ukraine town on Christmas day

Russian forces bombarded scores of towns in Ukraine with missile attacks on Christmas Day.

On 25 December, Moscow launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region and shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, while nearly 20 towns were hit in Zaporizhzhia, said Ukraine‘s top military command.

Russia’s defence ministry said it killed about 60 Ukrainian servicemen a day earlier along the Kupiansk-Lyman line of contact and destroyed numerous pieces of Ukrainian military equipment.

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 04:45

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Good morning! Welcome to The Independent’s live blog covering all the latest updates from Ukraine on 26 December 2022. Stay tuned!

Stuti Mishra26 December 2022 04:16