Russia's war on Ukraine latest news: Fighting rages in east, G7 considers air defence



Dec 12 (Reuters) - Russian forces pounded targets in eastern and southern Ukraine with missiles, drones and artillery, Ukraine's General Staff said on Monday, as millions remained without power in subzero cold after further Russian strikes on key infrastructure.

DIPLOMATIC FLURRY

* The Group of Seven (G7) economic powers said they would keep working together to bolster Ukraine's military capabilities, with an immediate focus on air defence systems, according to a leaders' statement released by Britain.

* European Union foreign ministers agreed to put another 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) into a fund that has been used to pay for military support for Ukraine. They will also try to agree further sanctions on Russia and Iran.

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed Group of Seven (G7) online talks, asking allies for natural gas for winter heating and long range weapons. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that if Russia ends the war it should be given a chance to renew economic cooperation with Germany.

* International legal advisers have been working with local prosecutors in Ukraine's recaptured city of Kherson who have started gathering evidence of alleged sexual crimes by Russian forces as part of a full-scale investigation.

* Baltic states and other European nations upset at comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron regarding security guarantees for Russia formally lodged disapproval and explained their position to France on Monday, diplomats said.

* UN aid chief Martin Griffiths arrived in Ukraine to see the new challenges that have arisen due to fresh infrastructure damage at a time of freezing temperatures, his office said.

* Germany reminded Hungary of the importance of the European Union's democratic values as the bloc threatens to keep billions from Budapest unless it lifts its veto on a joint loan to Ukraine and a global corporate tax.

CONFLICT

* At least two people were killed and five wounded in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson after what the regional governor said was "massive shelling" by Russian forces.

* A senior official in eastern Ukraine said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked a hotel town of Kadiivka where members of Russia's private Wagner military group were based, killing many of them.

* Reuters could not independently verify the reports of the attacks or deaths.

* Russia is turning to decades-old ammunition with high failure rates as it burns through stockpiles to carry out its nearly 10-month-old invasion of Ukraine, a senior U.S. military official said.

* A Russian-appointed deputy governor of Ukraine's Kherson region, Vitaly Bulyuk, was injured on Monday when his car exploded, Russia's Interfax news agency reported, citing the occupation administration's health minister.

GAS

* The European Union's member states are moving towards agreeing a cap on gas prices to shield consumers from the surge in energy prices they have faced since Russia invaded Ukraine but they are "not there yet", an EU diplomat said.

* The gas price cap plan threatens the functioning of the market, the head of trading at Norwegian oil company Equinor told Reuters, but its own gas deliveries will not be affected.

RUSSIAN VIEWS OF THE WAR

* Some Russian officers fighting in Ukraine are unhappy with the military top brass and President Vladimir Putin because of the poor execution of the war, an influential nationalist Russian blogger said after visiting the conflict zone.

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

* An eighth all-out attack on Ukraine's power grid on Monday, Dec. 5 was followed by local artillery and drone attacks in the south and east at the weekend, the grid operator said.

* The Black Sea port of Odesa resumed operations suspended after Russia used Iranian-made drones on Saturday to hit two energy facilities.

* The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council said he anticipates another wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine in Europe over the winter, because of "unliveable" conditions.

QUOTE

"There are days when there are many heavily wounded: four or five amputations at once," Oleksii, a 35-year-old army doctor who declined to give his full name, told Reuters in eastern Ukraine. (Compiled by Frances Kerry, Simon Cameron-Moore and Philippa Fletcher)

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