Russian troops claim successful front-line attacks in Ukraine | Nation
- EU Regulation
- December 28, 2022
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MOSCOW — Russia’s military said on Tuesday it had inflicted significant losses on Ukrainian soldiers during artillery fighting on front-line positions stretching from Kherson in the south to Kharkiv in the northeast.
Some 60 Ukrainian soldiers were “destroyed” in fighting around Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the TASS state news agency reported, citing the Defence Ministry in Moscow.
In the neighboring Luhansk region, some 30 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an artillery attack, the ministry said.
Kiev has not commented, and the battlefield reports on either side are often impossible to confirm.
Earlier, Russia’s FSB domestic security service said four Ukrainian saboteurs had been killed on the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Bryansk region.
They are reported to have been carrying home-made explosive devices, foreign arms and ammunition, as well as communications and navigation equipment, to conduct terrorist attacks on Russian territory.
Ukrainian media reported that the men were performing military duties as part of the fight against the Russian invasion.
A soldier from the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the death of his comrades on Telegram, with their names and photos also published. However, he believed that the men were killed by a mine blast. According to the FSB, they died on Sunday.
In the Russian-occupied village of Makiyivka in the eastern Luhansk region, a gang of men robbed and killed a family of eight, among them four children, Russian and Ukrainian media reported on Tuesday.
Cash, mobile phones and a car were taken in the attack. According to TASS, three suspects have already been arrested.
According to Ukrainian media, the suspects are members of the notorious Wagner mercenary group. The group had recently recruited new members in Russian prisons.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree banning the sale from February of oil to countries that have adopted a price cap on the commodity. The decree will remain in force up to July 1 next year.
Supplies of Russian oil and oil products to foreign companies and individuals are banned if the contracts “directly or indirectly incorporate the mechanism for fixing a price cap,” the document said.
In the case of oil derivatives, such as petrol and diesel, the date has yet to be set but will not be before February 1, the decree said.
An EU regulation — supported by the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies — has been in place since the beginning of December to force Russia to sell oil for a maximum of $60 dollars per barrel (159 liters) to buyers in other states. The cap will be up to $9.50 below the most recent market price for Russian crude oil.
Crude oil from Russia may now only be imported into the EU in exceptional cases.
Moscow had earlier made clear that it rejected the cap, terming it an attack on the free market. A countermove had been expected.
Experts remain divided on the cap’s effect. It aims to exploit the dominant position of Western shippers and insurance companies to prevent Russia placing its oil on the market under its own conditions.
There have been reports that Russia has bought up old tankers to ship its petroleum products itself.
There have also been talks with other large producers, such as Saudi Arabia, and with major consumers, such as China, to evade the EU/G7 measure.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced this week that he was prepared to cut crude production by up to 7% at the start of next year with a view to driving prices up.
In an interview with TASS on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being the main culprit behind the war and its chief beneficiary.
The strategic goal of the U.S. and its allies was a “victory over Russia on the battlefield” to weaken or even destroy Russia, Lavrov said.
Washington was also seeking to destroy traditional links between Russia and Europe, he said.