Intense fighting reported in 'annexed' Donetsk, France pledges air defence systems to Ukraine

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Intense fighting reported in 'annexed' Donetsk, France pledges air defence systems to Ukraine
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said intense fighting took place in Dontesk, one of the four regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed as part of Russia.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 17, 2022 09:44 IST

Ukrainian soldiers drive a captured Russian tank after re-fitting it for use in battle.

Ukrainian soldiers drive a captured Russian tank after re-fitting it for use in battle. (Reuters photo)

By India Today Web Desk: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that intense fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian forces was taking place around two towns in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, Bakhmut and Soledar.

Donetsk is among the four Ukrainian regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed as part of Russia. The annexation was dismissed by Ukraine and its Western allies.

Meanwhile, France said it will provide air defence systems to protect Ukrainian cities against drone strikes. It will also provide expanded training programs for Ukrainian programs.

Here are the top developments:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that intense fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian forces took place on Sunday around two towns in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, Bakhmut and Soledar. Intense fighting was reported in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Donbas last week.

    In his daily address, Zelenskyy said, “The key hot spots in Donbas are Soledar and Bakhmut. Very heavy fighting is going on there.”

  • Meanwhile, as the war nears the eight-month mark, Iran has entered the conflict as reports emerged that Iran is preparing its first delivery of short-range ballistic missiles to boost Russia’s dwindling supplies. The supplies will include Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles, capable of reaching targets 300 and 700 kilometers away, respectively.

    Iran is also getting ready to supply additional unmanned aerial vehicles, including ‘dozens’ of Mohajer-6s and kamikaze drones known as the Shahed-136, which carry explosives and crash into targets at a distance of up to 2,400 kilometers.

  • Amidst the reports, Russia on Sunday attacked the Mykolaiv region with Iranian-made drones. Ukrainian officials said that three drones hit industrial infrastructure facilities and a pharmaceutical warehouse in Mykolaiv. So far, no casualties have been reported in the incident.

    Ukraine’s Air Force said that 11 Shahed-136 Iranian-made kamikaze drones were shot down in southern Ukraine.

  • Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai reacted to reports of Iran sending military assistance to Russia and said, “There is no longer any doubt where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as well, just as the USA and NATO countries provide.”

  • Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Western allies have been stepping up their military support for the war-torn country. France on Sunday pledged air defense systems to protect Ukrainian cities against drone strikes.

    It also said it will provide expanded training programs for Ukrainian soldiers. France’s Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said the Crotale air defense missile batteries that will be sent to Ukraine “will be particularly useful in the fight against drones and against aerial bombardments.”

  • In Russia, at least 11 people were killed and 15 more wounded at a military training ground in the Belgorod region after two men opened fire on a group of volunteers who wished to fight in Ukraine. The Russian defence ministry called it a “terrorist attack” and said the two shooters were shot dead after the attack.

    The incident is just the latest in a series of high-profile setbacks for Moscow’s forces since the February 24 invasion.

  • Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania published a joint statement on Sunday demanding that the European Union (EU) and other international partners help Ukraine in creating a special tribunal for Russian crimes. According to the statement, the tribune will prosecute Russia’s top political and military leadership.





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