Destroyed buildings in Kherson on January 11
Photo Credit: IMAGO/Edgar Guti√É¬©rrez / IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
Fighting in southern and eastern Ukraine continues.
According to local authorities, three people were killed in Cherson as a result of Russian shelling.
Six others were injured, the local area administration announced on Sunday.
Among other things, a hospital and a school were hit and damaged.
The regional capital of the Kherson region of the same name, which the Ukrainian army recaptured a few months ago, has repeatedly come under heavy fire from Russia's armed forces.
For their part, the Russian occupiers in the neighboring region of Zaporizhia reported four deaths from Ukrainian shelling.
The information from the war zone is often difficult to independently verify.
Along with Cherson, Donetsk and Luhansk, Zaporizhia is one of the Ukrainian regions that Russia occupies in part and annexed last year.
Fierce fighting is also continuing in the eastern region of Donetsk.
That says Kyiv
Despite the currently difficult situation at the front, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has shown himself confident of victory against the Russian attackers.
“2023 must and will definitely be the year of our victory!” Zelenskyj wrote on Telegram on Sunday.
In his video speech every evening, he also conceded with a view to the hard-fought east of his country: "The situation is very tough." In the Donetsk region, the cities of Bakhmut and Wuhledar in particular are still exposed to constant Russian shelling.
Despite high losses in their own ranks, the Russians did not reduce the intensity of their attacks there.
"Russia hopes to prolong the war and exhaust our forces," said Zelenskyy.
“So we must make time our weapon.
We have to speed things up.« In particular, the speed of delivery of foreign military aid is a key factor in this war, stressed the Ukrainian head of state.
He also insisted once again on further arms deliveries beyond the main battle tanks recently promised by the West.
Moscow says so
The notorious Russian mercenary group Wagner claimed to have captured the village of Blahodatne north of Bakhmut - which has not been confirmed by either the Ukrainian side or the Defense Ministry in Moscow.
The latter only spoke of “offensive operations” in Donetsk on Sunday.
threat from Turkey
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is threatening Sweden to only allow Finland to join NATO.
'We could send a different message to Finland.
Sweden will be shocked when they see our answer," Erdoğan said in a TV speech on Sunday.
However, Finland should not make the same mistakes as Sweden.
NATO member Turkey has been blocking the admission of the two Nordic countries into the western military alliance for months.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO after the Russians invaded Ukraine.
This requires the approval of all 30 NATO countries.
Turkey is making accession subject to conditions.
In particular, she demanded that Sweden extradite people considered terrorists by Ankara.
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto recently considered a break in talks with Turkey about Sweden and his country joining NATO to be appropriate given the ongoing impasse.