A concise overview of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: the latest updates on day 670

Five civilians were killed in attacks carried out by Russia in the Kherson region of Ukraine. It was reported by Ukrainian officials that three individuals died in the shelling of a residential building in Kherson city, and another person was killed in a drone attack in a town south of Kherson. Furthermore, a woman lost her life when a town to the north came under heavy fire.
A separate incident occurred in the town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region, which is under Russian control. One woman was killed and six civilians were injured as a result of Ukrainian shelling. The mayor of Horlivka, Ivan Prikhodko, stated on Telegram that several buildings, including a shopping centre, were destroyed.
The blockade of a border crossing between Ukraine and Poland, initiated by Polish farmers, has ended. This has allowed for the full restoration of truck movement, as confirmed by the Ukrainian border service. The blockade, which started on 6 November, was a protest demanding that the European Union reintroduce a permit system for Ukrainian companies operating within the bloc, and apply the same requirement for European truckers entering Ukraine.
For the first time, Ukrainian Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on 25 December, a change made by the government as a deliberate snub to Russia. Previously, most Orthodox believers in Ukraine celebrated Christmas on 7 January. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy released a Christmas message stating, “All Ukrainians are together… We all celebrate Christmas together, on the same date, as one big family, as one nation, as one united country.”
Reports from both Russian and Ukrainian military officials indicate that enemy aircraft were downed in separate incidents on Sunday along the 1,000-km-long front. Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force, stated that Ukrainian anti-aircraft units had targeted a Russian Su-34 fighter bomber near the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine. The Russian defence ministry, on the other hand, claimed that its air defence systems had shot down four Ukrainian military aircraft in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions of southeastern Ukraine.
A rally took place in Moscow to show support for Igor Girkin, a former commander of Russian-backed fighters in Ukraine who is currently jailed. Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, played a prominent role in 2014 as a leader of separatist fighters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. During the rally, Girkin’s bid to run for president was backed by his supporters. He has been a vocal critic of Russia’s military strategy in Ukraine, considering it to be “too kind.” Girkin was arrested in July on an extremism charge after expressing criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to win re-election easily.
The Ukrainian military reported that Russia launched 15 drones at Ukraine, primarily targeting the southern part of the country. However, Ukrainian air defences successfully destroyed 14 of the drones in regions such as Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, and Khmelnytskyi.

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