Russia unleashed another wave of rocket, drone and missile strikes across Ukraine on Thursday morning. The latest strikes mark the sixth mass attack since early October, which Ukrainian authorities say are aimed at destroying the country’s energy system.
Strikes on critical infrastructure in Odesa and Dnipro were confirmed by the presidential administration and the regional heads. Three people were reportedly injured in Odesa region, while another 14 people were injured in the strike on Dnipro city, according to its mayor, Borys Filatov.
Two people were killed in a missile attack overnight on the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia, according to local officials. Three were wounded in an attack on the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, they added.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence said the barrage of missiles that struck Ukraine on Tuesday was likely the largest number of strikes that Russia had conducted in a single day since the first week of its invasion.
US president Joe Biden has disputed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s comment that the missiles that landed in Poland on Tuesday were not of Ukrainian origin, saying this is not what evidence suggested.
The Kremlin said it could not imagine engaging in “public” negotiations with Ukraine. In a call with reporters, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused Kyiv of changing its position regarding possible Russia-Ukraine peace talks, adding that the war would continue regardless of dropping temperatures.
Ukrainian forces control about 1% of territory in the eastern region of Luhansk, according to the Russian-installed head of the area. The Moscow-backed administrator, Leonid Pasechnik, was cited as saying that Ukraine controlled the village of Belogorovka and two other settlements in the region.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said he believed neither Russia nor the US planned to use nuclear weapons. Erdoğan’s comments came after US central intelligence agency (CIA) director William Burns and Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, met this week in Ankara in what was the first known high-level, face-to-face US-Russian contact since the war began in February.
World leaders welcomed the news that an agreement was reached in Istanbul to prolong the Black Sea grain initiative for a further 120 days. The deal enables Russian and Ukrainian wheat and fertilisers to be exported through the Black Sea and to avert a global food crisis.
A Dutch court has found three men guilty of the murder of 298 people on board flight MH17, which was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile when it was flying over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Samantha Lock was a live blogger and foreign news reporter for the Guardian
Rachel Hall is a reporter at the Guardian. Twitter @rachela_hall
Léonie Chao-Fong is a news reporter and live blogger for Guardian US, based in Washington. Twitter @leonie_chaofong