Russia-Ukraine war – live: Blow for Putin as Kyiv destroys major train route between Russia and China

By Isaac M December 1, 2023

Kyiv suffers ‘largest ever’ drone attack by Russia leaving ‘five wounded’

Kyiv’s security services sabotaged a major railway connection between Russia and China, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) set off several explosions inside the Severomuysky tunnel of the Baikal-Amur highway in Buryatia, Russia, which is used to supply Moscow’s military.

Four explosive devices went off while a cargo train was moving inside the tunnel. Later, another train was blown up whcih destroyed four carriages.

“This is the only serious railway connection between the Russian Federation and China. And currently, this route, which Russia uses, including for military supplies, is paralyzed,” the official told Politico.

It comes as Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu claimed Russia was advancing in all directions on the frontline in Ukraine.

While the claim cannot be verified and is likely to be exaggerated, it speaks to a fear among western military experts that Russia could begin to make gains in 2024 owing to a deeper arsenal of weapons and personnel compared with Ukraine.

Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelensky vowed that his country’s forces will “not back down” despite a difficult counteroffensive and a recent spate of Russian attacks.

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NATO chief tells Turkey’s Erdogan that ‘the time has come’ to let Sweden join the alliance

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he has told Turkey’s president that “the time has come” to let Sweden become a member of the military alliance.Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO countries that have not yet formally approved Sweden’s accession bid.

Stoltenberg told The Associated Press that he urged Turkey to finalize the process as he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

“I met with President Erdogan this morning and I reiterated my message that the time has come to finalize the accession process for Sweden,” he said.

Turkey has delayed ratification for more than a year, accusing Sweden of not taking Turkey’s security concerns seriously enough, including its fight against Kurdish militants and other groups that Ankara considers to be security threats.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, right, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on

Tom Watling1 December 2023 16:53

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Ukraine says one killed as Russia launched 25 drones overnight

Russia launched 25 drone attacks on Ukraine overnight, killing one person and damaging a warehouse and farm equipment, the Ukrainian military said on Friday, adding that it had downed 18 of the drones, all but two of them in southern Ukraine.

One civilian was killed and another injured in attacks on the southern Kherson region, where a culture centre was damaged, Ukraine‘s Southern Military Command said on the Telegram messenger app.

In the neighbouring region of Mykolaiv, a warehouse, a hangar and agricultural machinery were damaged, it said.

The Ukrainian Air Force said the drones had been launched from southwestern Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea, as well as two missiles from the occupied part of Kherson region. It added that one of those missiles had been destroyed.

Rescuers work at the scene of a building damaged by shelling, in Novogrodivka, Ukraine

(Ihor Moroz, Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration)

Tom Watling1 December 2023 16:25

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Ukraine blows up Russia-China railway

Kyiv’s security services sabotaged a major railway connection between Russia and China, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) set off several explosions inside the Severomuysky tunnel of the Baikal-Amur highway in Buryatia, Russia, which is used to supply Moscow’s military.

Four explosive devices went off while a cargo train was moving inside the tunnel. Later, another train was blown up whcih destroyed four carriages.

“This is the only serious railway connection between the Russian Federation and China. And currently, this route, which Russia uses, including for military supplies, is paralyzed,” the official told Politico.

Alexander Butler1 December 2023 15:52

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Ukraine’s war with Russia complicated by winter, Zelensky says

Ukraine’s war with Russia complicated by winter, Zelensky says

Ukraine’s war with Russia complicated by winter, Zelensky says

Tom Watling1 December 2023 15:22

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EU official say it will be ‘very difficult’ to secure €50bn aid package to Ukraine

It is going to be “very difficult” to agree at a December summit of European Union leaders on a proposal to grant Ukraine 50 billion euros of budget aid through 2027, a senior official with the bloc said on Friday.

The senior official, who is involved in preparing the summit and spoke under condition of anonymity, said the EU was still committed to supporting Ukraine, suggesting some assistance could be expected even if the 50 billion euros plan falls through.

On Thursday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “not satisfied” with Western support.

Tom Watling1 December 2023 14:45

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Ukraine’s ex-president says he was blocked from leaving country

Ukraine‘s ex-President Petro Poroshenko said he had been stopped from leaving the country on Friday morning in what he described as a politically motivated bid to disrupt his work.

Poroshenko, who led Ukraine from 2014 to 2019 and is now an opposition lawmaker, posted a video of himself at a border crossing with Poland, saying he had been turned away and holding up papers that he said showed he had official permission to cross.

Under martial law, Ukrainian officials have to get special approval to travel abroad.

The Ukrainian parliament’s deputy speaker, Oleksandr Korniyenko, later confirmed he had cancelled Poroshenko’s permission to leave the country.

Korniyenko said that while lawmakers were allowed to travel for party political events, he had received a letter, which he could not comment on, that led him to cancel the permission for Poroshenko’s trip.

Ukraine‘s ex-President Petro Poroshenko said he had been banned from leaving the country

(Petro Poroshenko Press Office)

Tom Watling1 December 2023 14:13

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Russia’s Lavrov insists goals in Ukraine are unchanged as he faces criticism at security talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday his government was not prepared to “review its goals” in Ukraine — delivering a blunt and confrontational message to Western leaders on a rare trip to a NATO member state.

“We aren’t seeing any signals from Kyiv or its masters about their readiness to seek any kind of political settlement,” Lavrov told reporters while attending a security conference in North Macedonia.

“We see no reason to review our goals,” he said.

Tom Watling1 December 2023 13:45

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Ukraine shoots down 18 Russian drones overnight – claim

Ukraine shot down 18 out of 25 Russian kamikaze drones fired at southern regions of the country overnight, the Ukrainian air force has claimed.

They alleged that Russia fired Iranian-made Shahed drones and two Kh-59 Cruise Missiles, one of which was downed.

They claimed that there were no serious casualties but that there were hits on a warehouse in Mykolaiv.

Tom Watling1 December 2023 13:15

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Investigators find train in Russian tunnel was blown up in ‘terrorist act’ – newspaper

Investigators have concluded that a train that caught fire in Russia’s longest tunnel on Wednesday was blown up in a “terrorist act” by unidentified individuals, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday.

A Ukrainian source told Reuters on Thursday that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had detonated explosives in the rail tunnel in Siberia because Russia had been using the route for military supplies.

Kommersant cited unnamed sources as saying a criminal probe had been opened over the incident, which affected a cargo train moving through the Severomuysky tunnel in the Buryatia region, bordering Mongolia.

At 9.5 miles (15.3 km) long, the tunnel on the Baikal-Amur Mainline railway is Russia’s longest, excluding urban underground railway tunnels.

Preliminary findings suggested that explosives had been placed beneath the train, Kommersant cited a source as saying. There were no casualties.

Tom Watling1 December 2023 12:45

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The AP Interview: Ukraine’s Zelensky says the war with Russia is in a new phase as winter looms

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the war with Russia is in a new stage, with winter expected to complicate fighting after a summer counteroffensive that failed to produce desired results due to enduring shortages of weapons and ground forces.

Tom Watling1 December 2023 12:02

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