Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Ukraine needs new weapons and faster deliveries to confront a "very tough" situation of constant attacks by Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday. Meanwhile, Russian shelling of residential areas in Ukraine's southern city of Kherson left at least three people dead, local authorities said. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

This live blog is no longer being updated. For more of our coverage on the war in Ukraine, please click here.

03:15am: NATO's chief urges South Korea to step up military support for Ukraine

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged South Korea on Monday to increase military support to Ukraine, referring to countries that have changed their policy of not providing weapons to countries in conflict after Russia's invasion.

Stoltenberg is currently in Seoul, the first stop on a trip that will include Japan and is aimed at strengthening ties with the US allies in the face of the war in Ukraine and rising competition with China.

02:10am:Ukraine war to accelerate shift to clean energy, BP says

Russia's war in Ukraine is expected to weigh on long-term energy demand and accelerate the world's shift to renewables and low-carbon power as countries boost domestic energy supplies, BP said in a report on Monday.

In its benchmark 2023 Energy Outlook, BP Plc said the Ukraine war will slow global economic activity by 2035 by around 3% compared with last year's forecast due to higher food and energy prices as well as reduced trade activity.

01:15am: Boris Johnson says 'Putin threatened to lob missile at me'

President Vladimir Putin threatened to personally target Boris Johnson with a missile attack just before ordering Russian forces into Ukraine, the former UK prime minister has claimed.

The apparent threat came in a phone call just ahead of the invasion on February 24, according to a new BBC documentary to be broadcast on Monday.

"He sort of threatened me at one point and said, 'Boris, I don't want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute', or something like that," Johnson quoted Putin as saying.

12:55am: Friends mourn volunteer killed helping civilians in Ukraine

Friends and volunteers gathered Sunday at Kyiv's St Sophia's Cathedral to say goodbye to Andrew Bagshaw, a New Zealand scientist who was killed in Ukraine with another volunteer while they were trying to evacuate people from a front-line town.

Bagshaw, 48, a dual New Zealand-British citizen, and British volunteer Christopher Parry, 28, went missing this month while heading to the town of Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting was taking place.

11:20pm: Missile hits apartment building in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, says governor

A missile hit an apartment building on Sunday in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city, and rescue teams were dispatched to the scene, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

"An enemy rocket has struck an apartment building in the city centre, in Kyiv district," Synehubov said on Telegram.

8:28pm: Germany won't send fighter jets to Ukraine, says Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Sunday that Germany will not send fighter jets to Ukraine, as Kyiv steps up calls for more advanced weapons from the West to help repel Russia's invasion.

Scholz only just agreed on Wednesday to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and to allow other European countries to send theirs, after weeks of intense debate and mounting pressure from allies.

8:24pm: Ukraine's Zelensky attacks effort to allow Russia back at Olympics

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that allowing Russia to compete at the 2024 Paris Games was tantamount to showing that "terror is somehow acceptable".

"Attempts by the International Olympic Committee to bring Russian athletes back into the Olympic Games are attempts to tell the whole world that terror is somehow acceptable," Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

He said Russia must not be allowed to "use (the Games) or any other sport event as propaganda for its aggression or its state chauvinism".

8:04pm: We need faster supplies, new weapons to confront 'tough' situation, says Zelensky

Ukraine is facing a "very tough" situation in the eastern Donetsk region and needs faster weapons supplies and new types of weaponry to withstand Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.

"The situation is very tough. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other sectors in Donetsk region-there are constant Russian attacks," Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

"Russia wants the war to drag on and exhaust our forces. So we have to make time our weapon. We have to speed up events, speed up supplies and open up new weapons options for Ukraine."

7:28pm: New Czech leader Petr Pavel talks to Zelensky

Czech president elect Petr Pavel talked to Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, a day after winning the election.

He will take oath on March 9 and replace divisive incumbent Milos Zeman, who has promoted friendly ties with China and Russia until Moscow invaded Ukraine last February.

Analysts told AFP Pavel's approach would be very different from Zeman's with a strong pro-Western drive and focus on ties with the EU and NATO.

5:35pm: Russian-backed authorities say Ukrainian missiles kill four in southeast

Four people died and five were injured when Ukrainian forces attacked a bridge in southeastern Ukraine's Melitopol district, Russian-backed authorities said on Sunday.

Reuters was unable to immediately corroborate the report.

4:49pm: Three killed by Russian shelling of Kherson, say officials

Three people were killed by Russian strikes on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Sunday that damaged a hospital and a school, the regional administration said.

"Today's Russian shelling injured nine people: three people died (two men and one woman), six were injured," the administration wrote on the Telegram app.

"As a result of enemy shelling, a number of civil infrastructure objects were damaged: the Kherson Regional Clinical Hospital, a school, a bus station, a post office, a bank, and residential buildings," it wrote in an earlier post.

2:00pm: Tearful mourners remember British volunteer killed in eastern Ukraine

Tearful mourners in Kyiv on Sunday commemorated a British volunteer killed while attempting a rescue mission from the eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar.

British voluntary aid worker Andrew Bagshaw, for whom the service was held, and fellow volunteer Chris Parry, were killed during an attempted humanitarian evacuation in eastern Ukraine, Parry's family has said.

Several dozen mourners, including fellow volunteers who knew Bagshaw and others who came to express their condolences, packed into a small church on the territory of Kyiv's ancient St. Sophia cathedral for a service led by an Orthodox priest.

11:44am: Putin open 'to contacts' with Germany's Scholz, Kremlin spokesperson tells Russian news agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to contacts with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz though has no phone call scheduled with him, a Kremlin spokesman told the state RIA Novosti news agency on Sunday.

Germany, previously the West's main holdout on providing modern battle tanks to Ukraine to help it fight off Russia's invasion, said last week it would send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv and also approve Leopard shipments by allied European countries.

The announcement, followed shortly afterwards by a US pledge of M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv, infuriated the Kremlin.

10:54am: North Korea denies arms dealing with Russia

North Korea on Sunday denied providing arms to Moscow after the United States said the nuclear-armed state supplied rockets and missiles to Russia's private military group Wagner.

Washington earlier this month designated the Wagner group as a "transnational criminal organisation", citing its weapons dealings with Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

07:34am: Ukraine repels attack around Blahodatne while Russia's Wagner claims control

Ukraine's military said on Sunday its forces repelled an attack in the area of Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia's Wagner private military group said it took control of the village.

"Units of Ukraine's Defence Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of ... Blahodatne ... in the Donetsk region," the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said in its daily morning report, referring to fighting on Saturday.

It added that its forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region.

The Wagner Group, designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organisation, said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday that its units had taken control of Blahodatne.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.

03:48am: Ukraine imposes sanctions on 182 Russian, Belarusian firms, three people

Ukraine imposed sanctions against 182 Russian and Belarusian companies, and three individuals, in the latest of a series of steps by President Volodymyr Zelensky to block Moscow's and Minsk's connections to his country.

"Their assets in Ukraine are blocked, their properties will be used for our defence," Zelensky said in a video address.

The sanctioned companies chiefly engage in the transportation of goods, vehicle leasing and chemical production, according to the list published by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.

The list includes Russian potash fertiliser producer and exporter Uralkali, Belarus state-owned potash producer Belaruskali, Belarusian Railways, as well as Russia's VTB-Leasing and Gazprombank Leasing both dealing with transport leasing.

03:33am: Ukraine's Zelensky decries neutrality in sports at time of war

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the idea of neutrality in sports at a time when his country's athletes fight and die in war, while their Russian counterparts might be allowed to compete.

Redoubling his efforts in what he called "a marathon of honesty" to stop Russian athletes from taking part in the 2024 Olympics, Zelensky said their presence would normalise Russia's invasion of his country.

"There is no such thing as neutrality when a war like this is going on. And we know how often tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests," Zelensky said in a Saturday evening video address.

Zelensky said on Friday that Ukraine would launch an international campaign to keep Russia out of the 2024 summer games, which will be held in Paris.

Russia said that any attempt to squeeze it out of international sport was "doomed to fail".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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