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A bombing at a market in Donetsk, which is under Russian occupation, results in the death of at least 25 people. The blame is placed on Ukraine by Moscow.
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A bombing at a market in Donetsk, which is under Russian occupation, results in the death of at least 25 people. The blame is placed on Ukraine by Moscow.

On Sunday, the leader appointed by Russia in eastern Ukraine reported that a neighborhood in the city of Donetsk, which is controlled by Russia, was attacked, resulting in the death of at least 25 individuals and injuries to many others, including two children.

Russia is accusing Ukraine of being responsible for the attack in the Tekstilshchik neighborhood of the city. However, Ukraine has not responded to the accusation and there is no independent verification of the Russian claims.

Denis Pushilin, who was put in charge by Russia, stated that the region was targeted by artillery with 155 mm and 152 mm calibers. He added that the shells were launched from the western directions of Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka. Additionally, he verified that rescue teams were still actively responding to the incident.

Photographs and video from Reuters news agency captured the scene, revealing tearful individuals who claimed to have lost family members, and lifeless bodies on snowy ground stained with blood.

The Russian foreign ministry released a statement denouncing the attack as an act of terrorism and accusing Ukraine of being responsible. They also claimed that the attack was carried out using weapons provided by Western countries.

The Russian government also denounced the attack as a treacherous assault on innocent civilians. They stated that the actions of the Kyiv regime, which have resulted in these terrorist attacks, highlight their unwillingness to pursue peaceful resolution of the conflict through diplomatic channels.

Over the course of nearly two years, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of numerous Ukrainian civilians due to airstrikes and intense shelling.

In late 2022, Russia declared the annexation of Donetsk, along with three other regions in the east and south of Ukraine. This action was widely condemned as illegal by the majority of countries in the U.N. General Assembly. However, Russia does not have complete control over any of these four regions.

Drone attack – massive fire

A chemical transport terminal at the Ust-Luga port in St. Petersburg, Russia experienced a fire due to two explosions. Reports from local media suggest that the blasts were caused by drone attacks from Ukraine, resulting in the explosion of a gas tank.

This handout photograph published on the official Telegram account of the governor of the Leningrad region, Jan. 21, 2024, shows rescuers working to extinguish a fire at a natural gas terminal of Ust-Luga. (AFP photo / Telegram account @drozdenko_au_lo)

The governor of the Leningrad region shared a photo on their official Telegram account on Jan. 21, 2024, of rescuers working to put out a fire at the Ust-Luga natural gas terminal. The photo was taken by AFP and posted on the @drozdenko_au_lo Telegram account.

Novatek, the second largest producer of natural gas in Russia, located 165 kilometers (102.53 miles) southwest of St. Petersburg, stated to Russian media outlet RBC that a fire had occurred due to an external influence, causing a temporary halt in operations at the port.

In a statement, Yuri Zapalatsky, the leader of Russia’s Kingisepp district where the port is located, announced that there were no injuries reported, but the region is currently on heightened alert.

According to Fontanka, two drones were spotted heading towards St. Petersburg on Sunday morning, but they were redirected to the Kingisepp district. The Associated Press was unable to confirm these reports.

According to the daily briefing from the Russian Ministry of Defense, there were no reports of drone activity in the Kingisepp area. However, they did confirm that four Ukrainian drones were destroyed in the Smolensk region, and two more were shot down in the Oryol and Tula regions.

Earlier reports from Russian authorities stated that a drone from Ukraine was shot down on the outskirts of St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Ground war stalemate

According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, the Russian military has taken control of the village of Krokhmalne in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Sunday.

The Ukrainian military verified the report, however they referred to the seizure of the village as a “temporary occurrence.”

The conflict between Russian and Ukrainian troops along the approximately 1,500-kilometer boundary has remained unchanged during the winter season.


Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed concern over the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House and said he considers the former U.S. president’s claims that he could stop Ukraine’s war with Russia in 24 hours “very dangerous.”

FILE - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with international media in Riga, Latvia, Jan. 11, 2024.

In Riga, Latvia on January 11, 2024, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a meeting with international media.

During a recent interview with Channel 4 News in the U.K., Zelenskyy extended an invitation to the former president and current leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination to visit Kyiv. However, this invitation is contingent on Trump fulfilling his promise to Ukraine in a satisfactory manner.

Zelenskyy extended an invitation to Donald Trump to visit Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. He expressed that if Trump is able to bring an end to the ongoing conflict within 24 hours, it would be sufficient reason for him to make the trip.

The Ukrainian leader expressed worry about the possibility of a Trump presidency, in which Trump’s proposal for a negotiated peace in Ukraine could require significant compromises from Ukraine to Russia.

Trump has repeatedly stated that he is well-positioned to negotiate an end to the war that has raged for almost two years, saying he has a good relationship with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

During his time in politics, he has expressed admiration for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, even after the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow in February 2022.

Zaporizhzhia power plant — mines

On Saturday, Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, issued a warning that new mines have been planted near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe and currently under Russian occupation. This comes just months after a team of international inspectors had declared the area to be mine-free.

On the agency’s website, Grossi warned that any mines located within the buffer zone of the plant, between its internal and external fences, are in violation of the agency’s safety regulations.

Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom, denounced the supposed re-planting of mines as “yet another crime” committed by Russian forces. These forces have taken control of the Zaporizhzhia plant since the initial stages of the conflict.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stated multiple times that they are worried about the possibility of a radiation release from the facility due to the ongoing war. This particular facility is one of the top 10 largest nuclear power plants in the world.

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters contributed information for this report.