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News Ukrainian troops damage key bridge near Melitopol, reports say | Ukraine

Ukrainian troops reportedly damaged a key bridge outside the occupied southern city of Melitopol, a key target in the region.

The crossroads of the Molochina River between the village of Melitopol and Kostynivka, just east of the city on the M14 motorway, was attacked overnight.

Video posted online showed two of the bridge’s supports damaged in the attack, with sections of the bridge span collapsed by the blast and reportedly unusable for heavy military traffic.

Last night, an explosion damaged a bridge in the occupied Melitopol (Zaporozhye region).

Ukrainian troops continue to target Russian ground communications on the southern front. Melitopol is an important logistics hub to occupied Crimea.
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– Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) December 13, 2022

The attack on the bridge came just two days after Ukraine struck a Russian military camp at a resort in the city, with Himars rockets causing significant damage and casualties.

Ukrainian pressure on Russian forces in Melitopol appears to be similar to tactics used against Kherson before the liberation of Kherson, targeting Russian troops and supply lines, including logistical routes to the Crimea peninsula and eastern Russian occupation The cities of Berdyansk and Mariupol.

With Ukrainian troops now operating east of the Dnieper, Melitopol is seen as an important target for Kiev in the south of the country after Kherson is recaptured.

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In the east of the country, where fighting has recently raged around the city of Bakhmut, both Russia and Ukraine said on Tuesday that the battlefield was grim in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, with both sides claiming some success in repelling the other. attack.

The so-called Donetsk People’s Republic is one of four regions in Ukraine that Moscow declared as its own during a September exercise that Ukraine and its allies have denounced as a “sham” and coercive referendum.

Senior Moscow-appointed officials in occupied eastern Ukraine said advancing in some parts of the region was difficult, but added that more than half of Donetsk was under Russian control.

“Slightly more than 50 percent of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been liberated,” Denis Pushilin, the Russian-appointed administrator of Moscow-controlled regions, told Russian state news agency RIA.

Ukraine’s military command said in its daily battlefield update on Tuesday that its forces had repelled the Russians in 10 parts of the region.

Russia claims it is gradually advancing its positions, and the Defense Ministry said on Monday that its offensive the day before killed 30 Ukrainian military personnel.

However, an independent assessment of Russia’s performance showed little progress after weeks of intense fighting, as Ukraine moved to shore up its positions ahead of full-blown winter conditions on the front lines.

The latest fighting comes as dozens of countries and international organizations threw their weight behind a new emergency operation Tuesday to keep power in Ukraine in the face of continued Russian airstrikes that have plunged millions into cold and darkness. Food, warmth and movement. winter.

An international donor conference in Paris has raised €1.05bn (£900m) in financial and in-kind aid to be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks and months to help its struggling civilians The cold and long nights of winter.

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French President Emmanuel Macron described Moscow’s bombing of civilian targets as a war crime in a speech at the conference’s opening session. He said the Kremlin attacked civilian infrastructure because its military suffered setbacks on the battlefield.

Macron said Moscow’s intention was “to drive the Ukrainian people into despair”.

With temperatures plummeting and snow falling, Ukraine’s needs are huge and urgent. The Kiev government said a continuous wave of missile and drone attacks since October had wiped out roughly half of the country’s energy infrastructure and believed Moscow was intent on creating a new wave of refugees into Europe. Russia says the strikes on civilian infrastructure are aimed at weakening Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. In Ukraine, the lives of many are turning into a battle for survival.

In northern Ukraine, the Belarusian Defense Ministry on Tuesday announced a “surprise check of combat readiness” of its troops – one of a series of announcements since mid-October by Russian ally Belarus that Kiev said was aimed at provoking Ukrainians. fear and misled the Ukrainian army.

Belarus has not sent troops into Ukraine, but it has allowed Russia to regularly fire missiles into Ukraine from its territory and was one of the key launch pads for a Russian attack in February.

The exercises are mainly taking place in the northwestern part of the country, near Poland. The Ukrainian military said its chief of staff, Valeriy Zaluzzhnyi, had discussed the news with his Polish army chief, Tomas Piotrowski.

Analysts say a potential attack on Ukraine from the north could be aimed at cutting off or disrupting supplies from Poland and deploying Ukrainian troops across the country.

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