No Christmas truce, Ukrainian forces bombard Russian-controlled Donetsk

Ukrainian forces staged their heaviest bombing attack in years in the Russian-held east of the country on Thursday, Moscow-based officials said, with both sides ruling out a Christmas Truce in the war of almost 10 months.
Alexei Kulemzin, the Russian-backed mayor of the city of Donetsk, said 40 rockets had been fired since BM-21 Grad Multiple Rocket Launcher to civilians in the early morning. Russian forces continued shelling and airstrikes along the entire eastern front line, killing one person, while two were killed in Kherson, Ukrainian officials said.
Moscow and Kyiv are currently not engaged in talks to end Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II, which is raging in eastern and southern Ukraine with little movement on either side. On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a Christmas ceasefire was “not on the agenda”.
Kulemzin called the Donetsk attack a war crime and said it was the biggest in the city since 2014, when pro-Moscow separatists seized it from Kyiv. There was no immediate Ukrainian response to his comments.
“There is no calm on the front line,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday, saying Russian artillery attacks in the east had left “only bare ruins and craters”. He said this week that Russia should start withdrawing by Christmas to end the conflict, but Moscow rejected the proposal, saying Ukraine must first accept the loss of territory.


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