Fighting intensify in Donetsk after the end of the truce and Russia confirms the continuation of its military operation

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The unilateral armistice announced by Moscow has ended, and while the Russian army confirmed its commitment to the ceasefire during which the Ukrainian authorities denied the existence of any armistice, and said that the Russian forces continued to fight on the Bakhmut axis.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered a 36-hour ceasefire along the contact line to celebrate Christmas, the Kremlin said Moscow would press ahead with its own military operation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the failure of the temporary ceasefire.

“They said something about a supposed ceasefire, but the truth is that Russian shells hit again Bakhmut and other Ukrainian positions,” Zelensky said in a video message.

Zelensky added that the expulsion of what he described as the Russian occupiers from the entire Ukrainian territory and the elimination of any opportunity for Russia to put pressure on Ukraine and Europe are the only things that will work to restore peace and security in his country.

On the ground, the Russian army announced the progress of its forces in the strategic city of Solidar in Donetsk, in the east of the country, while Kyiv said that the city was still under its control, and that it had bombed 24 Russian army positions and missile systems.

The Ukrainian authorities said that the Russian bombing killed two civilians in the disputed town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in the east of the country.

The Russian forces seem determined to control the city of Bakhmut, which has been widely destroyed and abandoned by most of its pre-war population of 70,000.

In this context, the founder of the Russian Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that he’s looking forward to the Russian army and the group’s fighters controlling Bakhmut, given the underground cities it contains that accommodate fighters and tanks.

Prigozhin stated in statements via Telegram that “The most important gain is the network of mines in Solidar and Bakhmut, which is in fact a network of underground cities, as it not only accommodates a large group of people at a depth of between 80 and 100 meters underground, but it is possible to Tanks and infantry fighting vehicles move in it”.

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Ukrainian local officials in the Kharkiv region on Sunday, as saying that Russia’s bombing of areas in eastern Ukraine overnight killed at least one person.

For its part, the Russian forces said that they had repelled, during the past 24 hours, a number of attacks launched by the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine, and that they had killed dozens of soldiers the day before Friday.

In another context, the Lugansk Gas Company announced an explosion in the main gas pipeline in the Lutugino region, which cut off gas for about 11,000 household in the Lugansk People’s Republic, while specialists are trying to control the fire, the cause of which hasn’t yet been announced.

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