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Russia-Ukraine war live: one dead after Russian missile hits market; Bakhmut holding on despite everything, says Zelenskiy | Ukraine

Key events

At least one dead and several injured after a Russian missile strikes a market

A 60-year-old woman was killed and several other people were wounded in a Russian missile strike on a market in the village of Shevchenkove in eastern Ukraine on Monday, the regional governor said, according to Reuters.

Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, wrote on telegram:

According to confirmed information, unfortunately a 60-year-old woman died. All other victims were hospitalised. Doctors are helping them. Rescuer workers continue to clear the debris.

A building burns at a site of a market hit by Russian missiles, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, Ukraine January 9, 2023. Photograph: Kharkiv Region Governor Oleh Synehubov/Reuters

Ukraine is strengthening its forces in the eastern Donbas region and repelling constant attacks on Bakhmut and other towns there by the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Ukrainian authorities said on Monday.

Reinforcements had been sent to Soledar, a small town near Bakhmut were the situation was particularly difficult, authorities said, according to Reuters.

Ukraine’s military said in a statement:

The enemy again made a desperate attempt to storm the city of Soledar from different directions and threw the most professional units of the Wagnerites into battle.

A Ukrainian member of parliament has shared footage of a shelled local market in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. Kira Rudik said seven people were killed in the shelling, including a child.

Below is a photo of rescuers looking through the rubble in the aftermath of an attack on a local market in Shevchenkove village, in the Kharkiv region, Reuters reports.

Rescuers look through the rubble in the aftermath of an attack on a local market in Shevchenkove village, Kharkiv region, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in this image released January 9, 2023.
Rescuers look through the rubble in the aftermath of an attack on a local market in Shevchenkove village, Kharkiv region, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in this image released January 9, 2023. Photograph: Deputy Head Of Ukraine’S Presidential Office/Reuters
A firefighter works at a site of a market hit by Russian missiles, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, Ukraine January 9, 2023.
A firefighter works at a site of a market hit by Russian missiles, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, Ukraine January 9, 2023. Photograph: Kharkiv Region Governor Oleh Synehubov/Reuters

Soldiers, family and mourners gathered in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Sunday to pay tribute to a soldier killed fighting against Russian forces in Bakhmut, the strategic city under siege.

Fellow soldiers carried the coffin of 45-year-old Oleh Yurchenko, AP reports, while others knelt to the ground.

People kneel as Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko.
People kneel as Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

“He was the best Ukrainian, a kind father, a very responsible person,” said Yurii Zhukovskyi, a Ukrainian soldier, told AP news.

It is a very heavy loss, because these are the best people in Ukraine, and they are dying. It is a great pity. And no matter how many enemies are killed, we are sorry for [the death of] one such person.”

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko killed in a battlefield with Russian forces in Donetsk region.
Ukrainian servicemen stand guard the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko killed in a battlefield with Russian forces in Donetsk region. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Olesia Yurchenko, the fallen soldier’s 22-year-old daughter, said the familywas grieving his death but trying to live by his principles.

It is about everyone cherishing their virtues: hard work, kindness, honesty, loyalty to their country, their family,” she said. “Because this is what my father taught me. Not to give up, not to retreat.”

She added her father always said: “We still have to build the country … build Ukraine.”

Ukrainian forces are repelling constant attacks on the town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region and holding their positions in nearby Soledar in very difficult conditions, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

In his nightly video address, the president added Bakhmut was “holding on despite everything’.

Ukraine: Bakhmut ‘holding on’ despite Russian onslaught, says Zelenskiy

Summary

Welcome, if you’re joining us now, to our continuing live coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war – day 320 of the conflict. It is 10.04am in Kyiv. My name is Geneva Abdul. Here’s the latest:

  • Ukrainian forces are repelling constant attacks on the town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region and holding their positions in nearby Soledar in very difficult conditions, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday. “Bakhmut is holding on despite everything,” the president said.

  • Russia has claimed to have killed more than 600 Ukrainian troops in a “retaliatory strike” in the eastern town of Kramatorsk, but Ukraine’s armed forces rejected the claim. The mayor of the town, near the frontline city of Bakhmut, said there had been no deaths from strikes over the weekend, while a witness told Reuters on Sunday that buildings had been damaged but not destroyed and there were no obvious signs of casualties. The Russian claim seems suspicious for several reasons.

  • Zelenskiy denounced what he said was Russia’s failure to observe a 36-hour ceasefire it had declared for Orthodox Christmas by launching attacks on Ukrainian cities.

  • Demands for a special tribunal to investigate Russia for a “crime of aggression” against Ukraine have been backed by senior UK politicians from across the political divide in a move to show Vladimir Putin and his generals that they will be held to account.

  • The Russian government extended support to a legislative amendment that would classify maps that dispute the country’s official “territorial integrity” as punishable extremist materials, Reuters reported the state-owned Tass news agency as saying on Sunday.

  • About 50 Ukrainian soldiers who were released from Russian detention on Sunday as part of a prisoner swap posed for a photo on their release.

How Zelenskiy became Hollywood’s man of the hour

Isobel Koshiw

Isobel Koshiw

When Ben Stiller walked into the office of Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in June, he embraced the wartime leader telling him, “You’re my hero.”

Stiller is one in a line of stars from the entertainment world who made the long journey to Kyiv to meet Zelenskiy – himself a former actor and comedian. A journey that involves an overnight train journey from Poland as commercial flights – let alone private jets – cannot fly in Ukraine’s airspace for safety reasons.

Before Stiller came the actor Sean Penn, who has visited three times since the invasion, and is making a documentary about the war, in which Zelenskiy will no doubt feature.

Read more here:

Here are the latest photos to come out of Ukraine:

A man lights a candle in Lviv’s St George’s Cathedral on the Orthodox second day of Christmas, in Lviv, Ukraine, on 8 January 2023.
A man lights a candle in Lviv’s St George’s Cathedral on the Orthodox second day of Christmas, in Lviv, Ukraine, on 8 January 2023. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ukrainian soldier travelling in a truck as Russia-Ukraine war continues on the Bakhmut frontline in Donetsk.
Ukrainian soldier travelling in a truck as Russia-Ukraine war continues on the Bakhmut frontline in Donetsk. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Participants attend the Christmas Stars Festival outside Taras Shevchenko monument, on the Orthodox second day of Christmas, in Lviv, Ukraine, on 8 January 2023.
Participants attend the Christmas Stars Festival outside Taras Shevchenko monument, on the Orthodox second day of Christmas, in Lviv, Ukraine, on 8 January 2023. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Relatives, friends and comrades attend the funeral ceremony for a Ukrainian officer who was killed in a battle against Russian troops near Bachmut town in Donetsk region.
Relatives, friends and comrades attend the funeral ceremony for a Ukrainian officer who was killed in a battle against Russian troops near Bachmut town in Donetsk region. Photograph: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock
A Ukrainian serviceman stands in a trench at a frontline, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region.
A Ukrainian serviceman stands in a trench at a frontline, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region. Photograph: Reuters

Condoleezza Rice and Robert M. Gates rightly call for the US & “its allies to urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability…to deter a renewed Russian offensive and to enable Ukraine to push back Russian forces” https://t.co/lUtLuJ7H7O

— Anders Åslund (@anders_aslund) January 8, 2023

This OpEd ran in the Washington Post over the weekend. Condoleezza Rice – former secretary of state and Robert M Gates, former secretary of defense, write:

Both of us have dealt with Putin on a number of occasions, and we are convinced he believes time is on his side: that he can wear down the Ukrainians and that U.S. and European unity and support for Ukraine will eventually erode and fracture. To be sure, the Russian economy and people will suffer as the war continues, but Russians have endured far worse.

They argue the US and its allies needs to equip Ukraine sufficiently to drive Russian forces back.

Under current circumstances, any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready. That is unacceptable

The only way to avoid such a scenario is for the United States and its allies to urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability — sufficient to deter a renewed Russian offensive and to enable Ukraine to push back Russian forces in the east and south.

Emma Graham-Harrison

Emma Graham-Harrison

Russia and Belarus have expanded their joint military training exercises in Belarus, the country’s defence TV channel said on Sunday, as concern grows that Moscow is pressuring its closest ally to join the war in Ukraine.

Russia launches seven missile strikes, 31 air strikes and 73 attacks from salvo rocket launchers in last day

Reuters reporters have filed this update…

Ukrainian forces are repelling constant Russian attacks on Bakhmut and other towns in the eastern region of Donbas, Ukrainian authorities said on Monday, after denying Kremlin claims of 600 soldiers killed in a missile strike.

Russia launched seven missile strikes, 31 air strikes and 73 attacks from salvo rocket launchers in the past day, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in a daily report.

Ukrainian forces repelled attacks on 14 settlements, including Bakhmut, it added.

“Bakhmut is holding on despite everything,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in nightly video remarks on Sunday.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a nightly video address
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a nightly video address Photograph: Reuters

“And even though most of the town has been destroyed by Russian strikes, our soldiers are repelling constant Russian attempts to advance.”

The nearby town of Soledar was holding on, “even though there is even greater destruction and things are very difficult”, he added.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the battlefield reports.

Zelenskiy made a fresh denunciation of what he called Russia’s failure to observe a truce it had proclaimed for Orthodox Christmas by staging attacks on Ukrainian cities.

“Russians were shelling Kherson with incendiary ammunition immediately after Christmas,” he said, referring to the southern city abandoned by Russian forces in November.

“Strikes on Kramatorsk and other cities in Donbas – on civilian targets and at the very time when Moscow was reporting a supposed ‘silence’ for its army.”

On Sunday, Russia said a missile attack on Kramatorsk, northwest of Bakhmut, had killed 600 Ukrainian soldiers, but a Reuters reporter at the scene found no obvious signs of casualties.

A Reuters team visited two college dormitories that Moscow said had been temporarily housing Ukrainian personnel and which it had targeted as revenge for a New Year’s attack that killed scores of Russian soldiers and caused outcry in Russia.

A woman stands at the site of a missile strike that occurred during the night, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kramatorsk, Ukraine
A woman stands at the site of a missile strike that occurred during the night, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kramatorsk, Ukraine Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

But neither dormitory in the eastern city of Kramatorsk appeared to have been directly hit or seriously damaged. There were no obvious signs that soldiers had been living there and no sign of bodies or traces of blood.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a Ukrainian military spokesperson for the eastern region, described the claim of mass casualties as an attempt by the Russian defence ministry to show it had responded forcefully to Ukraine’s recent strikes on Russian soldiers.

“This is an information operation of the Russian defense ministry,” Cherevatyi told Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne News.

As Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine grinds towards the one-year mark, Russia’s military is under domestic pressure to deliver battlefield successes.

Hawkish voices have sought an escalation of the war effort after setbacks such as loss of captured territory and high rates of death and injury.

Some prominent Russian military bloggers have criticised the Russian defence ministry claims.

“Let’s talk about ‘fraud’,” wrote one prominent pro-war military blogger on the Telegram messaging app, who posts under the name of Military Informant and who has more than half a million subscribers.

“It is not clear to us who, and for what reason, decided that 600 Ukrainian soldiers died inside, all at once, if the building was not actually hit (even the light remained on).

“Instead of the real destruction of the enemy personnel, which would have been a worthy response, an exclusively media operation of retaliation was invented.”

Kherson airport in January 2023. The Kherson airport was recovered in early November by the Ukrainian army but still shows the extensive destruction suffered in during the beginning of the war in February
Kherson airport in January 2023. The Kherson airport was recovered in early November by the Ukrainian army but still shows the extensive destruction suffered in during the beginning of the war in February Photograph: Edgar Gutiérrez/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

The militaries of both Russia and Ukraine militaries have often overstated enemy losses, while minimising their own.

Ukraine’s top military officials said last week some 760 Russian troops had been killed or wounded in two attacks on Moscow-controlled parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. These reports could not be independently verified.

The Russian government has banned maps that dispute what it insists is the country’s official ‘territorial integrity’ as extremist materials, Reuters reports.

Russia’s government extended support to a legislative amendment that would classify maps that dispute the country’s official “territorial integrity” as punishable extremist materials, the state-owned TASS news agency reported on Sunday.

The amendment to Russia’s anti-extremism legislation stipulates that “cartographic and other documents and images that dispute the territorial integrity of Russia” will be classified as extremist materials, the agency reported.

Russia’s sweepingly ambiguous anti-extremism legislation — it applies to religious organisations, journalists and their materials, as well as the activity of businesses, among others – has allowed the Kremlin to tighten its grip on opponents.

The new amendment, TASS reports without citing sources, emerged after its authors pointed out that some maps distributed in Russia dispute the “territorial affiliation” of the Crimean Peninsula and the Kuril Islands.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 – a move rejected by Ukraine and many countries as illegal. Ukrainians and their government have since often objected to world maps showing Crimea as part of Russia’s territory.

Russia and Japan have not formally ended WWII hostilities because of their standoff over a group of islands just off Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. The Soviet Union seized those islands – known in Russia as the Kurils and in Japan as the Northern Territories – at the end of the war.

The Island of Kunashir, one of four islands known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan
The Island of Kunashir, one of four islands known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan Photograph: Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

The amendment must be proposed to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, and after a review go through three readings. It is then sent to the Federation Council, the upper house, and to President Vladimir Putin for signing.

Separately, Russian politicians began debating punishment for Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine and who, as the former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, “wish their fatherland to perish.”

Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev
Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev Photograph: SPUTNIK/Reuters

Medvedev, one of the most forthright allies of Putin, said that “in times of war,” there are special rules that allow to deal with traitors.

“In times of war, there have always been such special rules,” Medvedev said on the Telegram messaging app. “And quiet groups of impeccably inconspicuous people who effectively execute the rules.”

Medvedev’s rhetoric has become increasingly vitriolic since the war in Ukraine began, though his published views sometimes chime with thinking at the top levels of the Kremlin elite.

We mentioned in our earlier summary that 50 Ukrainian soldiers were released in a prisoner swap with Russia on Sunday. They (at least most of them) posed for a photograph…

Volodymyr Zelenskiy issued a fresh denunciation of what he said was Russia’s failure to observe the truce it had ordered for Orthodox Christmas by staging attacks on Ukrainian cities.

“Russians were shelling Kherson with incendiary ammunition immediately after Christmas,” the Ukrainian president said on Sunday, referring to a city in the south abandoned by Russian forces in November.

He said:

Strikes on Kramatorsk and other cities in Donbas – on civilian targets and at the very time when Moscow was reporting a supposed ‘silence’ for its army.

Russia said on Sunday that a missile attack on Kramatorsk, north-west of Bakhmut, had killed 600 Ukrainian soldiers. But a Reuters reporter at the scene found no obvious signs of casualties.

Ukraine ‘holding on’ in Bakhmut under heavy fire, says Zelenskiy

Ukrainian forces are repelling constant attacks on the town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region and holding their positions in nearby Soledar in very difficult conditions, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

In his nightly video address, the Ukrainian president said:

Bakhmut is holding on despite everything. And even though most of the town has been destroyed by Russian strikes, our soldiers are repelling constant Russian attempts to advance.

Soledar is holding on, even though there is even greater destruction and things are very difficult.

A Ukrainian soldier in his position as a tankman on the Bakhmut frontline
A Ukrainian soldier in his position as a tankman on the Bakhmut frontline. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Opening summary

Welcome back to our continuing live coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war – day 320 of the conflict. It is 7:30am in Kyiv. My name is Ben Doherty.

Ukrainian forces are repelling constant attacks on Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region and holding their positions in nearby Soledar in arduous conditions, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his Sunday night to the nation.

Bakhmut is holding on despite everything.

Even though most of the town has been destroyed by Russian strikes, our soldiers are repelling constant Russian attempts to advance.

More on this soon. In other recent developments:

  • Russia has claimed to have killed more than 600 Ukrainian troops in a “retaliatory strike” in the eastern town of Kramatorsk, but Ukraine’s armed forces rejected the claim. The mayor of the town, near the frontline city of Bakhmut, said there had been no deaths from strikes over the weekend, while a witness told Reuters on Sunday that buildings had been damaged but not destroyed and there were no obvious signs of casualties. The Russian claim seems suspicious for several reasons.

  • Zelenskiy denounced what he said was Russia’s failure to observe a 36-hour ceasefire it had declared for Orthodox Christmas by launching attacks on Ukrainian cities.

  • At least two people were killed during fighting in eastern Ukraine, officials said. Donetsk’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said one person was killed in strikes on Bakhmut and eight others in the region were wounded, Associated Press reported. Kyrylenko also said rocket attacks on Kramatorsk and Konstantynivka.

  • Russia and Belarus have expanded their joint military training exercises in Belarus, the country’s defence TV channel said on Sunday, as concern grows that Moscow is pressuring its closest ally to join the war in Ukraine. The two countries added weapons, soldiers and specialised equipment to the exercises, Reuters reported.

  • One person was killed in the attack on the Starobesheve power plant in Novyi Svit, Russia’s state news agency Tass said on Sunday. The thermal power plant was one of two – in part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region controlled by Russian forces – damaged in a rocket attack by the Ukrainian army, Moscow-installed officials said.

  • Demands for a special tribunal to investigate Russia for a “crime of aggression” against Ukraine have been backed by senior UK politicians from across the political divide in a move to show Vladimir Putin and his generals that they will be held to account.

  • The Russian government extended support to a legislative amendment that would classify maps that dispute the country’s official “territorial integrity” as punishable extremist materials, Reuters reported the state-owned Tass news agency as saying on Sunday.

  • About 50 Ukrainian soldiers who were released from Russian detention on Sunday as part of a prisoner swap posed for a photo on their release.



https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/jan/09/russia-ukraine-war-live-updates-bakhmut-zelenskiy-putin-russian-today-latest-news Russia-Ukraine war live: one dead after Russian missile hits market; Bakhmut holding on despite everything, says Zelenskiy | Ukraine

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