Russia-Ukraine war live: Blinken says US did not ‘enable’ Ukraine strikes inside Russia | Ukraine

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Blinken: US has not ‘enabled’ Ukraine strikes inside Russia

The United States said Tuesday it hadn’t “enabled” Ukraine to carry out strikes inside Russia, after a spate of drone attacks on military-linked facilities deep within Russian territory. Kyiv did not directly claim responsibility but neither did it criticise the action, which killed three people and damaged long range bombers and a fuel depot, according to reports from Russia.

“We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia,” secretary of state Antony Blinken told reporters.

Washington has held back from supplying Ukraine forces with long-range ATACMS missiles that could strike inside Russia out of fears it could lead to a direct confrontation between Russian forces and those of the US and Nato.

Key events

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest news as it happens for the next few hours.

It’s nearly 8am in Kyiv, here’s where things stand:

  • The US said Tuesday it hadn’t “enabled” Ukraine to carry out strikes inside Russia, after a spate of drone attacks on military-linked facilities deep within Russian territory. “We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.

  • Russia said it had been hit hundreds of kilometres from Ukraine by what it said were Soviet-era drones – at Engels air base, home to Russia’s strategic bomber fleet, and in Ryazan, a few hours’ drive from Moscow, on Monday. Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the strikes but nonetheless celebrated them. The strikes killed three people and damaged long range bombers and a fuel depot, according to reports from Russia.

  • Shelling by Ukrainian forces killed at least six civilians in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk on Tuesday, according to the Russian-installed head of the separatist-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Alexey Kulemzin. The head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said Ukrainian shelling had killed a deputy in the self-proclaimed republic’s People’s Council, Maria Pirogova.

  • Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the governor of Sumy region on the Russian border, said several people were wounded when Russian forces fired 226 shells on seven communities during the day.

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited troops close to front lines in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. Addressing servicemen later in the presidential palace in Kyiv, Zelenskiy said he had spent the day with troops in Donbas and in Kharkiv region. “Thousands of Ukrainians have given their lives so that the day might come when not a single occupying soldier will remain in our land and when all our people will be free,” Zelenskiy said.

  • The Kremlin said Putin met senior officials Tuesday to discuss “domestic security” and said that Russia was taking “necessary” measures to fend off more Ukrainian attacks. One of the attacks struck the key Engels airfield in the Saratov region, where Russia keeps some of its strategic nuclear bombers.

  • The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said he agreed with comments by Blinken about the need for lasting peace in Ukraine, but that Moscow does not see the prospect of talks “at the moment”. He added that in order for talks to happen with potential partners, Russia would need to fulfil the goals of its “special military operation”.

  • Russian and Ukrainian authorities confirmed the exchange of 120 people in a prisoner swap. According to the Russian defence ministry, 60 servicemen were returned from “Kyiv-controlled territory”. Ukraine received 60 prisoners in return, Andrii Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, said.

  • Ukraine’s health ministry has asked regional authorities to consider suspending non-essential surgeries and hospitalisations due to power blackouts. In a statement, the ministry said hospitals were continuing to provide emergency care but that planned surgeries should be temporarily suspended to ease the load on the medical system amid potential future blackouts.

  • US lawmakers agreed to provide Ukraine at least $800m in additional security assistance next year, according to a summary of an $858bn defense policy bill unveiled on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

  • At least 20 oil tankers queuing off Turkey face more delays to cross from Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean as operators race to adhere to new Turkish insurance rules added ahead of a G7 price cap on Russian oil, Reuters reported citing industry sources. The disruption in tanker traffic was not the result of the price cap on Russian oil agreed by a coalition of G7 countries and Australia, an official with the group said.



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