Russia says no Christmas ceasefire in Ukraine
Violence returned to Kyiv on Wednesday, with the first major drone attack on Ukraine's capital in weeks. Two administrative buildings were hit, but air defences largely repelled the attack. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 13 drones had been shot down.
Russia and Ukraine are not currently engaged in talks to end the fighting, which is raging in the east and south with little movement on either side.
Violence returned to Kyiv on Wednesday, with the first major drone attack on Ukraine's capital in weeks. Two administrative buildings were hit, but air defences largely repelled the attack. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 13 drones had been shot down.
In one Kyiv district, where snow lay on the ground, residents said they heard the loud whirring engine of an Iranian Shahed drone followed by a powerful explosion at a building next to their homes.
"I want this all to be over ... For (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, that bastard, to die," said Yana, 39, who had been getting ready for work when the attack took place.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions more displaced and cities reduced to rubble since Russia invaded its neighbour on Feb. 24, saying it needed to protect Russian speakers from Ukrainian far-right nationlists. Kyiv and its allies call it an unprovoked war of choice.
"There is no calm on the front line," Zelenskyy said in a regular evening video address, describing Russia's destruction of towns in the east with artillery "so that only bare ruins and craters" remain.
Asked on Wednesday whether Moscow had seen proposals for a "Christmas ceasefire," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "No, no such offers have been received from anybody. This topic is not on the agenda."
Zelenskyy said this week that Russia should start withdrawing by Christmas as a step to end the conflict, but Moscow rejected the proposal, saying Ukraine must accept the loss of territory to Russia before any progress can be made.