Salem Radio Network News Thursday, December 8, 2022

World

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) – Ukraine said its forces have retaken more settlements in Kherson, one of four partially Russian-occupied regions that President Vladimir Putin formally incorporated into Russia in Europe’s biggest annexation since World War Two.

NUCLEAR ANNEXATION

* Putin signed laws admitting the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region into Russia in the biggest expansion of Russian territory in at least half a century.

* He also said Russia would stabilise the situation in the regions, indirectly acknowledging the challenges it faces to assert its control.

* Putin signed a decree ordering the Russian government to take control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the biggest in Europe – and make it “federal property”.

* The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, will visit Moscow to discuss safety at the plant, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported.

NEW SANCTIONS

* The European Union gave its final approval for a new batch of sanctions, the bloc’s executive arm said. They include more limits on trade with Russia in steel and tech products, and an oil price cap for Russian seaborne crude deliveries through European insurers to align the EU with Washington.

BATTLEFIELD REPORTS

* Russian shelling killed at least two people overnight in the city of Zaporizhzhia and damaged or destroyed several residential buildings and caused widespread fires, the governor said.

* The bodies of two Russian soldiers lay bloating in trees on opposite sides of the road, close to the blasted hulks of the cars and the van in which Ukrainian army officers said the dead men’s unit was retreating into the eastern town of Lyman.

* Dozens of firefighters doused blazes in a town near Kyiv following multiple strikes caused by what officials said were Iranian-made loitering munitions, often known as “kamikaze drones”.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the battlefield reports.

ENERGY

* Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia may cut oil production to offset negative effects from price caps imposed by the West over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

* Europe may limp through the cold winter months with the help of brimming natural gas tanks despite a plunge in deliveries from Russia only to enter a deeper energy crisis next year, the head of the International Energy Agency said.

DIPLOMACY

* U.S. President Joe Biden promised a new $625 million security assistance package to Ukraine, prompting a warning from Russia that the decision risked a direct military clash between it and the West.

(Compiled by Robert Birsel)

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