Ukraine-Russia war – live: Deadly drone strike hits Odesa as Putin says he has no plan to attack Nato

By Isaac M December 17, 2023

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

Russia launched an overnight air assault on Ukraine on Sunday, according to the Ukrainian Air Force. One civilian has been reported dead in the attack.

Ukraine’s air defence systems are reported to have destroyed the Iskander ballistic missile and 20 attack drones, with the air force reporting the Iskander missile “did not reach its intended target”.

Russia has fired dozens of drones across Ukraine as its winter campaign of hitting civilian infrastructure looks to be underway.

One civilian is reported killed as debris from a downed drone hit a residential building in Odesa, according to the governor of the southern Ukrainian region.

Russia said it had destroyed 33 Ukraine-launched drones intended for targets over Lipetsk, Rostov and Volgograd regions.

It comes as President Putin called US President Biden’s claims that he would attack Nato if allowed to continue in Ukraine “complete nonsense”.

“It is complete nonsense – and I think President Biden understands that,” Putin said in an interview published on Sunday by Rossiya state television, saying it was an attempt by Biden to justify his “erroneous policy” on Russia.

“Russia has no reason, no interest – no geopolitical interest, neither economic, political nor military – to fight with Nato countries.”


Russia is not interested in extending Black Sea grain deal

Russia has no interest in extending the Black Sea grain deal, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday, quoting Russia’s agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev.

He added that to a large extent this is a political decision, but Russia will continue to export its grain, as it has its buyers.

“Our grain export volumes, taking into account the winding down of the grain deal, have by no means fallen, they even slightly increased,” RIA quoted Patrushev as saying.

Russia withdrew in July from the deal which had allowed Ukraine to safely export grain from its Black Sea ports. Russia says it quit the deal because the arrangement was not delivering grain to the poorest countries, and because it still faces barriers to its own exports of grain and fertiliser.

Maira Butt17 December 2023 16:30


Russia and Ukraine launch numerous drone attacks targeting a Russian air base and Black Sea coast

Russia and Ukraine launched over a dozen drones at each other’s territory for a second straight day on Sunday, one of which apparently targeted a Russian military airport while a Ukrainian civilian was killed after drone debris slammed into his house near the Black Sea.

At least 35 Ukrainian drones were shot down overnight over three regions in southwestern Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a post on the messaging app Telegram.

Also Sunday morning, Ukraine‘s air force said it shot down 20 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched overnight by Russian troops in southern and western Ukraine, as well as one X-59 cruise missile launched from the country’s occupied south.

Aftermath of a Russian drone strike in Odesa


Maira Butt17 December 2023 15:45


The latest images from Ukraine

Aftermath of a Russian drone attack in Odesa


Ukrainian serviceman carries shells for a self-propelled howitzer at a position in a front line near the town of Bakhmut


A firefighter works at a site of residential buildings heavily damaged during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine


Maira Butt17 December 2023 15:00


Putin says there will be ‘problems’ with Finland after it joined Nato

Putin has claimed there will be “problems” with Finland after it joined Nato.

In an interview published on Sunday by Rossiya state television he said that Finland‘s entry into NATO in April would force Russia to “concentrate certain military units” in northern Russia near their border.

However, earlier in the interview he stated that he did not have any disputes with Nato, calling US President Biden’s claims he would attack “complete nonsense”.

President Putin said there could be ‘problems’ with Finland after it joined Nato


Maira Butt17 December 2023 14:15


Poland meeting with Baltic leaders cancelled over Covid

However, the meeting has now been cancelled as Estonia’s prime minister has tested positive for Covid.

Prime minister Tusk had previously vowed the “full mobilisation” of the West in supporting Ukraine.

Maira Butt17 December 2023 13:31


Staggering Russian losses revealed in new aerial footage

A Ukrainian military drone unit near Stepove, a village just north of Avdiivka, where some of the most intense battles have taken place, shot the video this month.

“It’s an apocalyptic scene: In two separate clips, the bodies of about 150 soldiers — most wearing Russian uniforms — lie scattered along tree lines where they sought cover. The village itself has been reduced to rubble. Rows of trees that used to separate farm fields are burned and disfigured.

“The fields are pocked by artillery shells and grenades dropped from drones. The drone unit said it’s possible that some of the dead were Ukrainians. The footage was provided to the AP by Ukraine‘s BUAR unit of the 110th Mechanized Brigade, involved in the fighting in the area.

“The unit said that the footage was shot on 6 December over two separate treelines between Stepove and nearby railroad tracks and that many of the bodies had been left there for weeks.

The AP verified the location by comparing the video with maps and other drone footage of the same area shot six days later by the 47th Mechanized Brigade.”

Russian forces launched an offensive in Avdiivka in October. Though they have made some incremental gains, Western analysts say the push has resulted in thousands of casualties.

People inspect damage to the dormitory building after the falling of debris amid a drone attack in Odesa on December 14, 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

Maira Butt17 December 2023 12:45


Third Ukrainian truck driver dies waiting at Poland border

The driver fell ill at the Krakivets-Korczowa crossing, one of the four border points between Ukraine and Poland, and died while being rushed to the hospital, said Suspilne, a Ukrainian public broadcaster, on Saturday.

Pickup trucks and lorries bound for Ukraine have been stuck in a miles-long queue at the border with Poland for weeks. The Polish protesters have said their livelihoods are at stake after the European Union relaxed some transport rules.

At least two truckers died in the last month amid the blockade, which is also hampering the delivery of components needed to build drones for the Ukrainian military.

Ukrainian charities and companies supplying the war-torn country’s military warn that problems are growing as Polish truck drivers show no sign of ending a border blockade that has stretched past a month.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Maira Butt17 December 2023 12:05


Putin: Russia has ‘no interest’ in attacking Nato

Earlier this month, Biden warned that if Putin won a victory over Ukraine then Russia would attack a Nato country. Biden offered no clear evidence for his remarks.

“It is complete nonsense – and I think President Biden understands that,” Putin said in an interview published on Sunday by Rossiya state television, saying it was an attempt by Biden to justify his “erroneous policy” on Russia.

“Russia has no reason, no interest – no geopolitical interest, neither economic, political nor military – to fight with Nato countries.”

Maira Butt17 December 2023 11:05


Putin to run as ‘independent candidate’ in Russia’s presidential election – here’s what it means

Vladimir Putin has decided he will run as an independent candidate in next year’s heavily stage-managed presidential election, a faux-democratic process that will see him maintain his grip as Russia’s leader.

The 71-year-old politician has twice had the constitution amended so he could theoretically stay in power until he’s in his mid-80s.

Mr Putin’s decision to run as an “independent” is likely to be an effort to present himself as a unifying force at a time when his full-scale invasion of Ukraine has isolated Russia from the world and put unprecedented strain on the country’s economy.

Maira Butt17 December 2023 10:30


Russia says it downs 33 Ukraine-launched drones over Russian regions

The drones were intercepted or destroyed before they reached their targets over the Lipetsk, Rostov and Volgograd regions, the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app, but further details were not provided.

Maira Butt17 December 2023 10:00


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