Russia says its forces have taken control of Soledar in eastern Ukraine, in what would be a rare success for Moscow after months of battlefield reverses, but Kiev says its troops are still fighting in the town, as fighting enters its 325th day.

"Emergency power cuts are currently being applied" in the Kharkiv region, governor Oleg Synegubov said, after critical infrastructure was hit twice. (Reuters)

Saturday, January 14, 2023

14:43 GMT - British tanks will 'intensify' conflict: Russian embassy

Britain's pledge to send heavy Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine will only "intensify" the conflict, the Russian embassy to the UK warned.

"Bringing tanks to the conflict zone, far from drawing the hostilities to a close, will only serve to intensify combat operations, generating more casualties, including among the civilian population", the embassy said.

14:39 GMT - Russia hits key infrastructure in Kharkiv, Lviv: officials

Russia hit key infrastructure in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv and in the western Lviv region, officials said, while a power facility in Kiev was targeted earlier. 

"Emergency power cuts are currently being applied" in the Kharkiv region, governor Oleg Synegubov said, after critical infrastructure was hit twice. 

Lviv regional administration head Maksym Kozytsky warned of potential "interruptions in electricity and water supply" after "the enemy hit a critical infrastructure facility in the Lviv region."

14:16 GMT - Ukraine says apartment block in Dnipro badly damaged in Russian missile attack

An apartment block in the east-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro was badly damaged in a Russian missile attack, and people were trapped under the rubble, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office. 

"They (Russians) are just inhumans. At least one stairwell is gone. Under the rubble there are people who were at home for the holiday," he said.

13:43 GMT - UK to supply tanks to Ukraine as Russian missiles hit Kyiv

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to provide tanks and artillery systems to Ukraine, amid renewed missile attacks by Moscow targeting the Ukrainian capital and other cities in the nearly year-long war.

Sunak made the pledge to provide Challenger 2 tanks and other artillery systems after speaking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the British leader's Downing Street office said in a statement.

It didn't say when the tanks would be delivered or how many. British media have reported that four British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks will be sent to Eastern Europe immediately, with eight more to follow shortly after, without citing sources.

08:00 GMT - Missile attack on infrastructure under way in Kiev - Ukranian officials

Several explosions resonated in Ukraine's capital Kiev with Ukrainian officials reporting strikes on key infrastructure.

"Missile attack on critical infrastructure facilities" are ongoing in Kiev, Deputy Head of Presidency Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram, while the capital's mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions in the Dniprovskiy district and urged residents to "stay in shelters!".

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the explosions were caused by the strikes or by air defence systems operating. The Ukrainian capital hasn’t been attacked since New Year’s night.

21:00 GMT - Zelenskyy says salt-mining town of Soledar still contested

Ukrainian forces are continuing to fight Russian troops in Soledar and other cities in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said in a new video address. 

''The heavy fight for the Donetsk region continues. The battle for Bakhmut and Soledar, for Kreminna, for other cities and villages of the east of our country continues. Despite the fact that the enemy has deployed most of its forces exactly on this direction, our warriors — the Armed Forces of Ukraine, all defence and security forces — are defending the state.''

''324 days of a full-scale war, and how everything has changed for Russia. They are already fighting among themselves over who shall be credited with some tactical advance," Zelenskyy said. "It is a clear sign that the enemy has failed. And this is another incentive for all of us to put more pressure on the invader and to inflict greater losses on the enemy."

US, Japan warn against status quo change in Ukraine and elsewhere

The United States and Japan have reiterated the importance of peace and stability in Taiwan Strait and warned against any use of a nuclear weapon by Russia in Ukraine.

The two nations, following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also cited "provocations" by North Korea in a joint statement issued by the White House.

"We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion, anywhere in the world," the statement said.

Kishida said if we let unilateral challenge to status quo go unchallenged in Ukraine, it will happen elsewhere, including in Asia. 

For live updates from Friday (January 13), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies