Ukraine war latest: Belarus summons Ukrainian ambassador after … – Sky News

Russian forces continued intense attacks on Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine this morning; President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country had “no other option” than to win in his New Year’s message; watch Michael Clarke’s analysis of how the war played out in 2022 as you scroll.
These images show rescue teams and residents walking among the debris near a damaged hotel in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv amid Russian missile attacks last night.
In his New Year’s message, Vladimir Putin signalled that the war would continue and denounced the West for aggression.
Meanwhile President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country had “no other option” but to win as he delivered his New Year’s message.
France will stand by Ukraine until its victory, President Emmanuel Macron said in his New Year’s speech.
As thousands celebrated on the Champs Elysees last night, Mr Macron pledged continuing support for Ukraine in a televised New Year’s address.

“During the coming year, we will be unfailingly at your side,” he said. 
“We will help you until victory and we will be together to build a just and lasting peace. Count on France and count on Europe.”
 Russia handed over 140 Ukrainian service personnel to Ukraine yesterday in the latest prisoner exchange between the two sides in the 10-month-oldconflict.

The Kremlin’s defence ministry said 82 Russian soldiers had been released by Ukraine, while the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Russia had handed over 140 Ukrainians.
Some of the 132 Ukrainian men and eight women who were freed had been wounded or had fought to defend the Black Sea port city of Mariupol and on Snake Island, Mr Yermak said in a message on his Telegram page.
The two sides have exchanged hundreds of captured soldiers in several rounds of prisoner exchanges in recent months, despite a complete breakdown in broader diplomatic talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
Pope Francis appealed for peace as he alluded to war-torn countries, including Ukraine, in his New Year’s Day mass in St Peter’s Basilica today.
As mass began on the first day of the year, an occasion the Catholic Church dedicates to the theme of peace, the pontiff who has repeatedly decried the war in Ukraine and its devastation, recalled those who are victims of war.
“At the beginning of this year, we need hope, just as the Earth needs rain,” he said.
He also appealed for peace, alluding to war-torn countries including Ukraine, where Russia continued intense attacks on New Year’s Day.
“Let us pray to our Mother in a special way for her sons and daughters who are suffering and no longer have the strength to pray, and for our many brothers and sisters throughout the world who are victims of war, passing these holidays in darkness and cold, in poverty and fear, immersed in violence and indifference,” he said.
Francis also urged his listeners to work actively for peace, and not “waste time glued to a keyboard in front of a computer screen” but to “dirty our hands and to do some good”.
A kamikaze drone sent to Kyiv amid a wave of missile strikes on the capital last night was inscribed with the words ‘Happy New Year”,  the Kyiv Independent reports.
An image of one of the damaged weapons shows the inscription on the body of the drone.
For context: Russia continued intense attacks on Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine early on New Year’s Day, following a barrage of missiles yesterday.
Ukraine’s top command said in a report today that Russia had launched 31 missile and 12 air strikes across the country in the previous 24 hours.
City mayor Vitali Klitschko shared a picture on Telegram apparently showing where a fragment of a rocket had hit a car in the Shevchenkivskyi district of Kyiv.
The air raid sirens sounded minutes after the end of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s New Year address in which he praised those who had fought for their country since the invasion on 24 February.
Former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Michael Clarke, has been providing his analysis of the crisis in Ukraine which is now in its 10th month.
The defence and security expert told Sky News that on 2 March, Russian forces were making progress in the south as they were coming from the Russian-annexed region of Crimea.
In the same month, Russian forces tried and failed to seize Hostomel Airport, northwest of Kyiv.
Then, on 31 March the seizure of Kyiv had failed and Kherson was the only city that Russian forces had taken, Mr Clarke said.
By 3 July, the Russians had taken Severodonetsk after 100 days of attack and took Lysychansk in the eastern flank of the country.
“This was the high water mark of their advance in the Donbas,” Mr Clarke said.
And on 12 November, Ukrainian troops were able to retake the city of Kherson.
Mr Clarke added: “The Ukrainians didn’t have to fight for Kherson and Russians therefore pretend it was not really a defeat but it was a tremendous defeat. It was the only city of any importance that they had.”
The defence expert also said that Vladimir Putin was “appalled” by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and “never accepted that Ukraine could be an independent country”.
He said that the Russian leader “thought it was a catastrophe that the Soviet Union” had broken up and thought it was Ukraine that had “effectively broken up the Soviet Union”.
He said: “It was their demand for independence and that created the momentum to break up the rest. He never forgave them for that. 
“Never accepted that Ukraine could be an independent country, had his own view of Russian history. 
“There was a crisis in 2014 when Ukraine began to lean much too far he thought, to the European Union. And out of that crisis they occupied Crimea by force. 
“They occupied parts of the Donbas, about a third of it, with these separatist territories. And that gave him the beginnings of a war. In 2022, for a range of other reasons he thought the moment was right.”
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for an end to the war between Ukraine and Russia as he met with representatives of both countries yesterday.
Mr Lula da Silva, who will be sworn in today, said he had separately met with the speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, and Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.
The two were in Brazil to represent their countries at his inauguration and met both him and his future foreign relations minister, Mauro Vieira.
Ahead of his inauguration, Mr Lula da Silva told Ms Matvienko that Brazil wished for “peace and for the parties to find common ground to end the conflict”.
“In Brazil we have a tradition of defending the integrity of nations and we are going to talk to whoever is possible for peace,” Mr Lula da Silva said.
Victory for Russia over Ukraine is “inevitable”, Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu has said as he hailed Russian soldiers’ heroism in a New Year’s video message.
Moscow’s defence chief, who has been heavily criticised by pro-war voices in Russia for battlefield failures during the ten-month campaign, said the situation on the frontlines remained “difficult” and lambasted Ukraine and the West for trying to contain Russia.
He said: “We meet the New Year in a difficult military-political situation.
“At a time when there are those who are trying to erase our glorious history and great achievements, demolish monuments to the victors over fascism, put war criminals on a pedestal, cancel and desecrate everything Russian.”
With bloody fighting ongoing and Russia not having secured any territorial gains since the first months of the war, Mr Shoigu told Russian soldiers: “Victory, like the New Year, is inevitable.”
Mr Shoigu also praised the “immortal actions, selfless courage and heroism” shown by Russian troops fighting what he called “neo-Nazism and terrorism”.
Kyiv and the West have rejected Russia’s assertion it is fighting “Nazis” in Ukraine as a baseless pretext for President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to seize territory and topple Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a war of unprovoked aggression.
Vladimir Putin used his New Year’s address to the nation to take aim at the West and Ukraine last night.
Mr Putin, in a nine-minute video shown on TV, denounced the West for aggression and accused the countries of trying to use the conflict in Ukraine to undermine Russia.
“For years, the Western elites hypocritically assured all of us of their peaceful intentions, including the resolution of the most difficult conflict in the Donbas,” he said.
“In fact, they encouraged neo-Nazis in every possible way, who continued to conduct military, openly terrorist actions against civilians of the people’s republics of Donbas. 
“The West lied about peace, but was preparing for aggression, and today it admits it openly, no longer embarrassed. And they cynically use Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia.”
Russia has previously justified the conflict by saying that Ukraine persecuted Russian speakers in the eastern Donbas region, which had been partly under the control of Russian-backed separatists since 2014. 
Ukraine and the West says these accusations are untrue.
Boris Johnson said he was “more convinced than ever” that Vladimir Putin would lose the war in Ukraine in his New Year’s message.
In a short clip shared on Twitter, the former prime minister said he was “confident” things would get better in 2023, adding that the economy was already starting to turn around.
He made no mention of his departure from Downing Street but said he was convinced Russia’s president would be defeated in Ukraine.
“I’m more convinced than ever that Vladimir Putin is going to lose in Ukraine and the Ukrainians will achieve their destiny to be a free, sovereign and independent county,” Mr Johnson said.
Be the first to get Breaking News
Install the Sky News app for free Homepage © 2023 Sky UK


Leave a Comment