These images show Ukrainian artillery destroying Russian positions near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
The footage shows Russian positions being repeatedly targeted by Ukrainian artillery in large explosions, causing large plumes of grey smoke to rise into the air.
The images were obtained from the Office of Strategic Communications (StratCom) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Thursday, 8th December, along with a statement saying that they show the “destruction of Katsap positions by the artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Bakhmut.”
‘Katsap’ is a derogatory Ukrainian term for a Russian.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 289th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 9th December, Russia had lost about 93,390 personnel, 2,937 tanks, 5,912 armoured combat vehicles, 1,926 artillery units, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 211 air defence systems, 281 warplanes, 264 helicopters, 1,603 drones, 592 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,531 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 164 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
US basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout, on whose life the 2005 Nicolas Cage film Lord of War is loosely based.
Ukrainian officials said on Thursday that Russia has installed a number of ‘Grad’ multiple launch rocket systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is Europe’s largest.
Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, said several of the war machines had been positioned near one of the power plant’s six nuclear reactors in a move it said violated “all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is confident that Sweden and Finland’s pending NATO membership will soon be approved.
NATO members Hungary and Turkey have yet to approve their admission into the Alliance.
Blinken said that both countries had demonstrated their sincerity in their desire to join the Alliance, not least by joining with NATO to provide support for Ukraine to counter Moscow’s aggression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he will continue to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure despite international criticism after repeated waves of Russian missile strikes have left millions of civilians without water or electricity as temperatures plummet.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia is still intent on seizing control of some parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, which Putin has previously claimed for Russia.
The move by Russia to annex the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, was widely condemned and has not been internationally recognised.
Ukraine has had to introduce further emergency power cuts as it struggles to repair damage to its energy infrastructure caused by Russia’s airstrikes.
The Ukrainian electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo has said that the situation is being made more complicated due to the cold weather and, in eastern Ukraine, due to fierce fighting.
Pope Francis reportedly broke down and wept while he prayed for peace in Ukraine during a traditional Christmas ceremony at the Spanish Steps in Rome.
The Pope reportedly had to pause during a speech for about 30 seconds before he regained his composure.