Thursday, December 8

Russia-Ukraine war latest updates: Zelenskiy says Kyiv in ‘full control’ of Lyman; US would act if Moscow uses nuclear weapons, Petraeus warns | Ukraine


Summary and welcome

Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At 7.30am Kyiv time, these are the latest developments:

  • The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus said on Sunday. Petreaus said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US reaction, but he told ABC News that he believed a nuclear attack by Russia in Ukraine would trigger a Nato response led by the US. “You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way,” Petraeus said.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed Ukraine has “fully cleared” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman, a day after Moscow admitted its troops had pulled out after they were encircled. In a short video clip on his Telegram channel, Ukraine’s president thanked serving Ukrainian troops for liberating Lyman.

  • The UK Ministry of Defence has described the city of Lyman as strategically crucial, owing to its “key road crossing over the Siversky Donets River, behind which Russia has been attempting to consolidate its defences”.

  • Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Smyhal, says that 900 Ukrainian teachers have volunteered to join Ukraine’s Armed Forces to fight against Russia’s invasion since 24 February. “This is a great example of serving your people,” he said.

  • The body of Paul Urey, a British air volunteer who died after being captured by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine has been returned to the UK. Urey’s family raised £9,000 to repatriate his body after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was unable to pay the transport costs.

  • A leading UK charity that has been helping the government rematch Ukrainian refugees with hosts after initial placements end or break down is to scale back its operations because it says the scheme is unworkable. Hosting arrangements are for a minimum of six months and many are coming to an end after the scheme opened in March.

  • Ukrainian forces shot down eight Iranian-made kamikaze drones on Sunday, according to the Kyiv Independent. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine’s air force also carried our four strikes that hit two Russian weapon stockpiles, as well as two anti-aircraft missile systems.

  • US secretary of defense Lloyd Austin has said that he believes Ukraine is “making progress” in the war. In a CNN interview that aired on Sunday, Austin attributes the changing tide of war to the calibre of Ukrainian soldiers and their use of weapons provided to them by the US and Nato countries.

  • Ukraine is starting to believe it can take back Crimea, according to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s top representative in the region. While there’s no suggestion that Ukraine is close to being in a position to regain the annexed region, Tamila Tasheva and her team spend their days discussing the logistics of what would happen should Kyiv regain control.

  • The nine European countries who issued a statement earlier to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukraine were all signalling their support for Ukraine to join Nato. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia were backing a path for Ukraine’s Nato membership in their slightly opaque joint statement.

  • The Associated Press has found evidence of 10 torture sites in the city of Izium, following Russia’s retreat. “The AP spoke to 15 survivors of Russian torture in the Kharkiv region, as well as two families whose loved ones disappeared into Russian hands,” the AP reported.

  • Russia’s constitutional court has recognised the annexation of four key Ukrainian territories as lawful. The court has effectively rubber stamped the annexation accords signed by Vladimir Putin with the Moscow-backed leaders of the regions, despite widespread condemnation by the West.

  • Germany, Denmark and Norway have commissioned a batch of long-range weapons to be built for Ukraine. The supply of 16 Slovak Zuzana-2 howitzers, just announced by the German defence ministry, will begin next year.

  • The gas leaks on the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline have now stopped. This follows Saturday’s announcement that gas was no longer flowing out of Nord Stream 2. Denmark’s energy agency said on Sunday it had been informed by Nord Stream AG that stable pressure had been achieved in the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline and that this indicates the outflow of natural gas from the last leaks had now halted, Reuters reports.

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Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At 7.30am Kyiv time, these are the latest developments:

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  • The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus said on Sunday. Petreaus said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US reaction, but he told ABC News that he believed a nuclear attack by Russia in Ukraine would trigger a Nato response led by the US. “You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way,” Petraeus said.

  • n

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed Ukraine has “fully cleared” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman, a day after Moscow admitted its troops had pulled out after they were encircled. In a short video clip on his Telegram channel, Ukraine’s president thanked serving Ukrainian troops for liberating Lyman.

  • n

  • The UK Ministry of Defence has described the city of Lyman as strategically crucial, owing to its “key road crossing over the Siversky Donets River, behind which Russia has been attempting to consolidate its defences”.

  • n

  • Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Smyhal, says that 900 Ukrainian teachers have volunteered to join Ukraine’s Armed Forces to fight against Russia’s invasion since 24 February. “This is a great example of serving your people,” he said.

  • n

  • The body of Paul Urey, a British air volunteer who died after being captured by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine has been returned to the UK. Urey’s family raised £9,000 to repatriate his body after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was unable to pay the transport costs.

  • n

  • A leading UK charity that has been helping the government rematch Ukrainian refugees with hosts after initial placements end or break down is to scale back its operations because it says the scheme is unworkable. Hosting arrangements are for a minimum of six months and many are coming to an end after the scheme opened in March.

  • n

  • Ukrainian forces shot down eight Iranian-made kamikaze drones on Sunday, according to the Kyiv Independent. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine’s air force also carried our four strikes that hit two Russian weapon stockpiles, as well as two anti-aircraft missile systems.

  • n

  • US secretary of defense Lloyd Austin has said that he believes Ukraine is “making progress” in the war. In a CNN interview that aired on Sunday, Austin attributes the changing tide of war to the calibre of Ukrainian soldiers and their use of weapons provided to them by the US and Nato countries.

  • n

  • Ukraine is starting to believe it can take back Crimea, according to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s top representative in the region. While there’s no suggestion that Ukraine is close to being in a position to regain the annexed region, Tamila Tasheva and her team spend their days discussing the logistics of what would happen should Kyiv regain control.

  • n

  • The nine European countries who issued a statement earlier to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukraine were all signalling their support for Ukraine to join Nato. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia were backing a path for Ukraine’s Nato membership in their slightly opaque joint statement.

  • n

  • The Associated Press has found evidence of 10 torture sites in the city of Izium, following Russia’s retreat. “The AP spoke to 15 survivors of Russian torture in the Kharkiv region, as well as two families whose loved ones disappeared into Russian hands,” the AP reported.

  • n

  • Russia’s constitutional court has recognised the annexation of four key Ukrainian territories as lawful. The court has effectively rubber stamped the annexation accords signed by Vladimir Putin with the Moscow-backed leaders of the regions, despite widespread condemnation by the West.

  • n

  • Germany, Denmark and Norway have commissioned a batch of long-range weapons to be built for Ukraine. The supply of 16 Slovak Zuzana-2 howitzers, just announced by the German defence ministry, will begin next year.

  • n

  • The gas leaks on the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline have now stopped. This follows Saturday’s announcement that gas was no longer flowing out of Nord Stream 2. Denmark’s energy agency said on Sunday it had been informed by Nord Stream AG that stable pressure had been achieved in the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline and that this indicates the outflow of natural gas from the last leaks had now halted, Reuters reports.

  • n

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The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in the country, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus warned on Sunday.

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Petraeus told ABC News said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US response to nuclear escalation from Russia, which administration officials have said has been repeatedly communicated to Moscow.

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“Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a Nato – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea,” Petraeus said.

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The Guardian’s Edward Helmore filed this report:

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Key events

The Ukrainian advance in Donetsk is bringing the city of Sloviansk back to life, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont reports.

For the city of Sloviansk, the recapture of the strategic hub of Lyman about 12 miles away by Ukrainian forces has brought a new mood of optimism.

The Donbas city was once one of Russia’s main objectives along with neighbouring Kramatorsk.

On Sunday as a continuous stream of military traffic was visible leaving Sloviansk in the direction of Lyman, the impact of the fall of the strategic railway junction was already transforming Sloviansk, a place that for months has been a ghost city.

You can read the full report here:

Lyman’s recapture by Ukrainian troops is Russia’s largest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in September.

Russian forces had captured Lyman from Ukraine in May and had been using it as a logistics and transport hub for its operations in the north of the Donetsk region.

Control over Lyman could prove a “key factor” in helping Ukraine reclaim lost territory in the neighbouring Luhansk region, whose full capture Moscow announced in early July after weeks of grinding advances, Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

Lyman’s operational importance was due to its command over a road crossing over the Siverskyi Donets River, behind which Russia has been attempting to consolidate its defences, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said.

“Thanks to the successful operation in Lyman we are moving towards the second north-south route…and that means a second supply line will be disrupted,” said reserve colonel Viktor Kevlyuk at Ukraine’s Centre for Defence Strategies thinktank.

“And in that case, the Russian group in Luhansk and Donetsk could only be supplied strictly through (Russia’s) Rostov region,” Kevlyuk told media outlet Espreso TV.

The Guardian’s Luke Harding filed this report from Kyiv:

A Ukrainian soldier tears down a Russian flag in the city of Lyman. Photograph: Oleksiy Biloshytskyi/Reuters

The recapture of Lyman had become the most popular story in the media, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy noted in his Sunday evening address. “But the successes of our soldiers are not limited to Lyman,” he added.

“At least twice a day – in the morning and in the evening – I receive reports from our military. This week, the largest part of the reports is the list of settlements liberated from the enemy as part of our ongoing defence operation,” he said.

“Now I am optimistic and very motivated,” a 33-year-old Ukrainian soldier told Agence France-Presse after returning from near Lyman. “I see the activity on the front line, and how foreign weapons … help us take our lands back.”

David Petraeus’s warning to Moscow

The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in the country, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus warned on Sunday.

Petraeus told ABC News said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US response to nuclear escalation from Russia, which administration officials have said has been repeatedly communicated to Moscow.

“Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a Nato – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea,” Petraeus said.

The Guardian’s Edward Helmore filed this report:

Summary and welcome

Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At 7.30am Kyiv time, these are the latest developments:

  • The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus said on Sunday. Petreaus said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US reaction, but he told ABC News that he believed a nuclear attack by Russia in Ukraine would trigger a Nato response led by the US. “You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way,” Petraeus said.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed Ukraine has “fully cleared” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman, a day after Moscow admitted its troops had pulled out after they were encircled. In a short video clip on his Telegram channel, Ukraine’s president thanked serving Ukrainian troops for liberating Lyman.

  • The UK Ministry of Defence has described the city of Lyman as strategically crucial, owing to its “key road crossing over the Siversky Donets River, behind which Russia has been attempting to consolidate its defences”.

  • Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Smyhal, says that 900 Ukrainian teachers have volunteered to join Ukraine’s Armed Forces to fight against Russia’s invasion since 24 February. “This is a great example of serving your people,” he said.

  • The body of Paul Urey, a British air volunteer who died after being captured by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine has been returned to the UK. Urey’s family raised £9,000 to repatriate his body after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was unable to pay the transport costs.

  • A leading UK charity that has been helping the government rematch Ukrainian refugees with hosts after initial placements end or break down is to scale back its operations because it says the scheme is unworkable. Hosting arrangements are for a minimum of six months and many are coming to an end after the scheme opened in March.

  • Ukrainian forces shot down eight Iranian-made kamikaze drones on Sunday, according to the Kyiv Independent. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine’s air force also carried our four strikes that hit two Russian weapon stockpiles, as well as two anti-aircraft missile systems.

  • US secretary of defense Lloyd Austin has said that he believes Ukraine is “making progress” in the war. In a CNN interview that aired on Sunday, Austin attributes the changing tide of war to the calibre of Ukrainian soldiers and their use of weapons provided to them by the US and Nato countries.

  • Ukraine is starting to believe it can take back Crimea, according to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s top representative in the region. While there’s no suggestion that Ukraine is close to being in a position to regain the annexed region, Tamila Tasheva and her team spend their days discussing the logistics of what would happen should Kyiv regain control.

  • The nine European countries who issued a statement earlier to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukraine were all signalling their support for Ukraine to join Nato. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia were backing a path for Ukraine’s Nato membership in their slightly opaque joint statement.

  • The Associated Press has found evidence of 10 torture sites in the city of Izium, following Russia’s retreat. “The AP spoke to 15 survivors of Russian torture in the Kharkiv region, as well as two families whose loved ones disappeared into Russian hands,” the AP reported.

  • Russia’s constitutional court has recognised the annexation of four key Ukrainian territories as lawful. The court has effectively rubber stamped the annexation accords signed by Vladimir Putin with the Moscow-backed leaders of the regions, despite widespread condemnation by the West.

  • Germany, Denmark and Norway have commissioned a batch of long-range weapons to be built for Ukraine. The supply of 16 Slovak Zuzana-2 howitzers, just announced by the German defence ministry, will begin next year.

  • The gas leaks on the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline have now stopped. This follows Saturday’s announcement that gas was no longer flowing out of Nord Stream 2. Denmark’s energy agency said on Sunday it had been informed by Nord Stream AG that stable pressure had been achieved in the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline and that this indicates the outflow of natural gas from the last leaks had now halted, Reuters reports.


www.theguardian.com

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