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Ukraine foreign minister challenges sporting world over Russian inclusion

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, has told the sporting world to reconsider its position when it comes to allowing Russian athletes to take part in competitions in the name of keeping politics out of sport.

Mr Kuleba, who is largely seen as second in command in Ukraine, also shared pictures of an ice rink in Druzhkivka, in (Russian-occupied) Donetsk, which he claims has been destroyed by Russian shelling.

Pro-Russian protests take place in Germany

People have been marching in the German city of Cologne, to urge the government there to make peace with Russia.

Around 2,000 people took part in the latest call by some to get Berlin to reconsider its support for Ukraine.

Millions of Russian speakers live in Germany, Reuters says, due to its former-Soviet ties.

As an EU nation, it is unlikely Germany would stop its support for Ukraine.

Satellite images show aftermath of bombing on school

This pair of photos from Planet Labs shows the before and after following an attack on a school (centre of the photos) in the town of Makiivka in the Donetsk region.

Russian troops occupy the area.

The strike by Ukrainian forces apparently killed 400 Russian troops, and injured 300 more, according to Kyiv.

Russia, as we have been reported, has unusually admitted fatalities – 63.

The claim has not been verified by Sky News.

Three reasons for Russian drone attacks

Russia’s drone attacks could be in response to previous Ukrainian attacks, Retired Air Vice Marshal Sean Bell believes.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last night that he believes drones, which appear to be from Iran, will form part of fresh attacks on Ukraine.

“They seem to be targeting critical national energy infrastructure across Ukraine, so it’s not a military target,” he told Sky News.

“There seems to be three reasons, one of which is they’re trying to erode the will of the Ukrainian population – a classic Russian strategy.

“Erode the will of the people, erode support for Zelenskyy, but the reality is that almost exactly the opposite seems to be happening.

“The second thing is, it’s likely to be retribution. Russia is very angry that Ukraine successfully attacked the Engels base and managed to destroy it when its aircraft were there, and I think three people were reported killed. 

“But also, Russia’s lost 50% of its terrain that it’s taken since this war. 

“And third point is that it doesn’t have momentum and Russia is on the back foot, and it’s desperately keen to rearm, retrain and consolidate its progress and make some gains again.”

Who controls where in Ukraine?

As the conflict heads into the new year, Russia still controls large swathes of southern and eastern Ukraine.

In the east, Russian troops continue to advance towards territory reclaimed by Ukraine around the Donbas region.

Troops are also advancing in the south towards the key city of Kherson.

Satellite images show aftermath of bombing on school

This pair of photos from Planet Labs shows the before and after following an attack on a school (centre of the photos) in the town of Makiivka in the Donetsk region.

Russian troops occupy the area.

The strike by Ukrainian forces apparently killed 400 Russian troops, and injured 300 more, according to Kyiv.

The claim has not been verified by Sky News.

German reporter injured in Kramatorsk blast

A journalist from German news outlet BILD has suffered a minor head injury following a blast in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. 

Bjorn Stritzel said he received a cut on the forehead when the blast happened while he was having dinner in his hotel. 

He said he guessed the blast was caused by a missile coming down close by, and that the target was most likely a train station around the corner. 

It is the same explosion that was captured on camera by a French broadcaster, sending a journalist ducking for cover – see our 9am post for more on this. 

Film editor killed on the frontline

A Ukrainian film editor has been killed in action, according to officials and his wife. 

Viktor Onysko, who had a nine-year-old daughter, worked on films including The Stronghold, The Rising Hawk and Viddana. 

Three people killed in Russian strikes over last day

Ukrainian officials have reported Russian attacks across eight regions in the country’s east, south and north. 

One person was killed in the eastern city of Bakhmut and two were killed in the southern region of Kherson. 

Kherson regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said the region was struck 79 times with artillery, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), mortars, and tanks. 

Further attacks were reported in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Mykolaiv and Luhansk. 

Workers clear debris at building believed to be site of major Ukrainian strike

Images have emerged that purportedly show the building where Russian soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian strike. 

Ukrainian officials have claimed 400 people were killed in the attack, while Russia has – rather unusually – acknowledged 63 deaths.

Workers were seen clearing debris at the building in Makiivka, which had once been a vocational college and was reportedly being used as temporary accommodation for Russian soldiers. 

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