Russian deserter fleeing Ukraine opens fire on police with machine gun

An unknown man dressed in camouflage wounded a policeman, Novoshakhtinsk, Russia
An unknown man dressed in camouflage wounded a policeman, Novoshakhtinsk, Russia

A Russian deserter opened fire on police in the southern Russian town of Novoshakhtinks, wounding one officer.

The man was reportedly fleeing Ukraine through a forest when he encountered Russian officers near a customs post on the outskirts of the city and fired a machine gun.

The officers were there looking for a missing woman, news channel 112 reported. At least one officer, Roman Biryukov, was hit in the pelvis and taken to hospital.

Schools and roads in and out of the city have been closed and residents told to remain indoors as police search for the suspect.

"The crime was committed in the suburbs of Novoshakhtinsk at 12 pm today. A man wearing a camouflage uniform opened fire on police officers, then fled the scene. One of the policemen sustained a gunshot wound," the Interor Ministry’s office in the Rostov Region told Tass news.

A representative of law enforcement agencies told Tass: "According to preliminary data, gunfire was conducted with a machine gun. The shooter, tentatively, is a deserter. A search for him is underway," the person said.

The incident follows a spate of attacks by Russian army recruits on their superiors since war with Ukraine broke out.

In September the Kremlin admitted it had made “mistakes” in its mobilisation drive after a man shot a military recruitment officer in a draft centre, citing upset over his best friend being drafted.

03:48 PM

Today's top stories

That's it for today. We'll be back with another blog on the Ukraine war tomorrow. Here are some of the big stories of the day:

  • President Vladimir Putin has met with top officials on Russia's "domestic security" as the Kremlin said the latest Ukrainian drone attacks presented a danger to the country

  • The Russian-appointed mayor of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said that incoming fire from Kyiv's forces had killed at least six civilians in the city controlled by the Russian military

  • A drone has attacked an airfield in Russia's Kursk region bordering Ukraine a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for drone strikes at two other Russian airfields

  • Ukrainian embassies have received more "bloody packages", Ukraine's foreign minister said on Tuesday, with those in Romania and Denmark among the latest to receive them

  • Ukraine's foreign minister condemned India's ramping up of Russian oil purchases following Moscow's invasion as "morally inappropriate" in an interview broadcast on Tuesday

  • Ukraine worked to restore power on Tuesday after Russia's latest wave of missile strikes caused power disruptions across the country

03:44 PM

Monday's suspected attacks on Russian airbases among country's most 'strategically significant failures', says MoD

Monday's explosions inside Russia are among the country's most “strategically significant failures” to protect itself since it invaded Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence said.

Three people were killed and at least eight injured in alleged attacks on the Ryazan and Saratov airbases deep inside Russia.

The suspected targests were Russian bombers which have been used to destroy Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Two of the Tu-95 strategic bombers at the Engels-2 airbase in Saratov were damaged in the attacks.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for attacks, but if assessed to be deliberate  Moscow “will probably consider them as some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine,” the MoD said in its daily intelligence update on the war.

“The Russian chain of command will probably seek to identify and impose severe sanctions on Russian officers deemed responsible for allowing the incident.”

02:28 PM

Ukraine slams India for buying Russian oil

Ukraine's foreign minister condemned India's ramping up of Russian oil purchases following Moscow's invasion as "morally inappropriate" in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

A day earlier India's top diplomat had defended the purchases of discounted Russian crude, saying Europe's imports still dwarfed those of his country despite the continent's efforts to reduce its dependence.

But Ukraine's Dmytro Kuleba told Indian broadcaster NDTV it was "completely wrong" to justify buying oil from Russia "by arguing that Europeans were doing the same".

It was "morally inappropriate", he said.

02:17 PM

Mapped: Latest Russian troop positions and lines of attack, according to the UK MoD

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01:53 PM

Putin holds 'security' talks after wave of drone attacks in Russia

President Vladimir Putin has met with top officials on Russia's "domestic security" as the Kremlin said the latest Ukrainian drone attacks presented a danger to the country.

Earlier on Tuesday, authorities said that a drone had struck near an airfield in Russia's Kursk region bordering Ukraine, a day after Moscow blamed Kyiv for drone strikes at two other airfields.

Monday's drone strikes were highly unusual as both sites are hundreds of kilometres away from Ukraine's border. On Tuesday great plumes of smoker could be seen stretching for miles across the region.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Putin convened a meeting of his Security Council to discuss how to ensure the state's "domestic security." No other details were provided.

Speaking to reporters separately, Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said authorities were taking "necessary" measures to protect the country from Ukrainian attacks.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video conference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on December 6, 2022. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images) - MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video conference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on December 6, 2022. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images) - MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

01:07 PM

Russian-appointed mayor says six killed by Ukraine shelling in Donetsk city

The Russian-appointed mayor of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said that incoming fire from Kyiv's forces had killed at least six civilians in the city controlled by the Russian military.

"Preliminary data shows that, today six civilians were killed as a result of shelling in Donetsk, the number of wounded is being specified," Alexei Kulemzin, the Moscow-installed head of the city, said on Tuesday.

12:40 PM

Missile fragments found in Moldova near Ukraine border

Moldovan police on Monday found fragments of a missile that came down in a region of northern Moldova near the border with Ukraine, state information portal Prima Sursa quoted the police as saying.

Moldovan authorities did not immediately comment publicly on the incident, which was reported after Russia carried out a new wave of missile strikes on Ukraine.

Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko, responding to media reports about the incident, repeated calls for Kyiv to receive more missile defence systems from its allies.

12:31 PM

Russia and Ukraine swap 60 POWs each in latest exchange

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged 60 prisoners of war on each side in the latest of a series of such swaps.

Russia's defence ministry said the 60 freed Russian soldiers would be flown to Moscow to receive medical care and psychological support.

Ukraine's presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak hailed the returning Ukrainians as heroes and said they included dozens who had held out in the city of Mariupol – including the besieged Azovstal steelworks – until Russia forced its surrender in May.

"We continue to return the defenders of Mariupol - in today's ‘list of 60’ there are 34 of them, including 14 from Azovstal. Some are wounded, and will receive all the necessary help in Ukraine," Mr Yermak said.

12:06 PM

Ukrainian embassies receive more 'bloody packages'

Ukrainian embassies have received more "bloody packages", Ukraine's foreign minister said on Tuesday, with those in Romania and Denmark among the latest to receive them.

Over the past week, Ukrainian missions in several European countries have been sent packages containing animal eyes and coated in a pungent liquid. No one has claimed responsibility for sending the packages, more than nine months into Russia's war in Ukraine.

11:37 AM

In pictures: Latest scenes from the war

Ukrainian servicewoman Valeriia, 28, holds puppies found two weeks ago in an abandoned house in a frontline, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine December 5, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Smilianets - REUTERS/Vladyslav Smilianets
Ukrainian servicewoman Valeriia, 28, holds puppies found two weeks ago in an abandoned house in a frontline, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine December 5, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Smilianets - REUTERS/Vladyslav Smilianets
DONBAS, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 05: Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery shells at the frontline of Donbas, Ukraine on December 05, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) - Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
DONBAS, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 05: Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery shells at the frontline of Donbas, Ukraine on December 05, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) - Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
DONBAS, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 05: Ukrainian servicemen load artillery shells as they prepare to fire an artillery system in the frontline of Donbas, Ukraine on December 05, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) - arciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
DONBAS, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 05: Ukrainian servicemen load artillery shells as they prepare to fire an artillery system in the frontline of Donbas, Ukraine on December 05, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) - arciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Ukrainian military's Grad multiple rocket launcher fires rockets at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS) - AP Photo/LIBKOS
Ukrainian military's Grad multiple rocket launcher fires rockets at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS) - AP Photo/LIBKOS

11:24 AM

'Drone strikes Russian airfield bordering Ukraine'

A drone has attacked an airfield in Russia's Kursk region bordering Ukraine a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for drone strikes at two other Russian airfields.

"As a result of a drone attack in the area of the Kursk airfield, an oil storage tank caught fire. There were no casualties," local governor Roman Starovoyt said, adding that they were trying to contain the fire.

Mr Starovoyt did not specify where the drone originated.

The attack follows what Russia's defence ministry said were Ukrainian attempts to strike the Dyagilevo airfield in the Ryazan region and the Engels airfield in the Saratov region on Monday with "Soviet-made drones".

The drones were intercepted but debris fell and exploded on the airfields, the ministry added.

11:16 AM

Finland must lift arms embargo on Turkey, Ankara says

Finland must lift an arms embargo on Ankara as a condition to securing support from Turkey for its Nato membership bid, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Finland and Sweden both asked to join Nato this year in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but longtime member Turkey refused to endorse their request until a number of demands were met, including taking a tougher stance against Kurdish militants and removing a ban on arms sales.

While Sweden lifted the embargo in September - initially imposed by both countries in 2019 in response to Ankara's incursion against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - Finland has not followed suit.

10:46 AM

Latvia licence withdrawal 'unfair and absurd', says exiled Russian TV channel

Russian exiled independent TV channel Dozhd has said that accusations against it were "unfair and absurd" after Latvia, where the outlet is now based, revoked its broadcasting license.

"The TV channel will stop broadcasting on cable but will remain on YouTube. We continue to work and believe all accusations against us to be unfair and absurd," Dozhd said on Twitter.

Latvia revoked the network's broadcasting licence on Tuesday, after accusing Dozhd of showing the Crimea peninsula annexed from Ukraine as part of Russia, among other alleged violations.

The network is also accused of supporting Russian soldiers, which the channel denies.

10:04 AM

Ukrainian forces can still press ahead, even as winter bites

A core of nippy and very mobile troops could still take the fight to the Russians in the freezing winter months, writes Dominic Nicholls.

Mud and snow are already setting in on the battlefield in Ukraine, bringing a slowing of the tempo of war, according to the former deputy head of the CIA.

Avril Haines, US director of national intelligence, said Ukraine and Russia will likely now turn to repairing broken people and equipment and restock depleted ammunition supplies in preparation for spring offensives.

I’m not so sure.

Contrast Kyiv’s troops, who know they are fighting for their homes, their loved ones and the very existence of their state, with the ill-equipped and poorly-led mob facing them, freezing to death for the warped fantasy of a man bankrupt of both morals and ideas.

Read the full analysis

09:47 AM

Russia's Shoigu says Ukraine committing 'nuclear terrorism' over Zaporizhzhia

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that Ukraine was continuing to shell the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, deliberately creating the threat of a possible nuclear catastrophe.

Mr Shoigu said Russian forces were taking "all measures" to ensure the safety of the nuclear power plant in the face of what he called "nuclear terrorism" from Kyiv.

Ukraine denies shelling the facility, which has been under the control of Russian forces since the first days of the war.

09:29 AM

Russia deploys defence missile system on Kuril island near Japan

Russia's defence ministry has said it has deployed mobile coastal defence missile systems on a northern Kuril island, part of a strategically located chain of islands that stretch between Japan and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.

Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a territorial row that dates to the end of World War Two, when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

The Russian Bastion systems, which have missiles with a flight range of up to 500 km, were deployed on the island of Paramushir, the Russian defence ministry said on Monday.

"Coastal servicemen of the Pacific Fleet will keep a round-the-clock watch to control the adjacent water area and strait zones," it said.

09:08 AM

UN rights chief held meeting in underground shelter

As missiles rained down on Kyiv on Monday, UN rights chief Volker Turk - who arrived over the weekend on a four-day visit - had to move his meetings with activists into an underground shelter.

Russia reportedly fired over 100 missiles into Ukraine. While many were shot down by Ukraine many still hit critical infrastructure, causing power cuts amid freezing temperatures.

08:36 AM

More apparent footage of the fires in Kursk

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08:14 AM

Ukraine races to restore power grid after Russia strikes

Ukraine worked to restore power on Tuesday after Russia's latest wave of missile strikes caused power disruptions across the country.

Out of the 70 missiles launched by Moscow, "most" were shot down, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, but the barrage still hit Ukraine's already battered infrastructure.

Fresh power cuts were announced in all regions "due to the consequences of shelling," national electricity provider Ukrenergo said on Telegram.

The head of Ukrenergo said he had "no doubt that Russian military consulted with Russian power engineers during this attack", judging by where the missiles landed.

07:57 AM

Latvia revokes licence for exiled Russian TV channel

Latvia said it was revoking the broadcast licence for exiled Russian independent channel Dozhd (Rain) for a series of violations including showing the Crimea peninsula annexed from Ukraine as part of Russia.

"TV Rain will stop broadcasting on December 8," Ivars Abolins, head of the Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council said on Twitter, adding: "The laws of Latvia must be respected by everyone".

07:34 AM

Canada probing how its parts ended up in Iranian drones used by Russia

Canadian authorities are investigating how Canadian-made parts made it into Iranian drones used by Russia to attack Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has.

Local media reported that European think-tank Statewatch and authorities in Kyiv found antenna components from Ottawa-based Tallysman Wireless – among 30 parts produced by Western companies – in Iranian-made Shahed 136 drones that are part of Russia's arsenal.

"We're obviously extremely concerned about those reports," Mr Trudeau said. "We do not want [Canadian technologies] used in Russia's illegal war in Ukraine or Iran's contribution to that [war]."

He cited strict enforcement of export permits for sensitive technologies.

07:12 AM

Nexta has posted alleged footage of the strike in Kursk this morning

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06:52 AM

Ukraine energy operator applies emergency cuts in all regions due to strikes

Ukrainian energy operator Ukrenergo warned that emergency shutdowns would be applied in all regions across the country as it contends with the consequences of a new wave of Russian attacks.

"Due to the consequences of shelling... to maintain the balance between the production and consumption of electricity, a regime of emergency shutdowns will be introduced in all regions of Ukraine," Ukrenergo said.

"In priority, electricity will be supplied to critical infrastructure facilities."

"The situation is difficult, but under control," the operator said, after Kyiv's forces announced they destroyed more than 60 out of the 70 missiles launched by Moscow.