A blast ripped through the Urengoi-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas exporting pipeline that leads from Russia through Ukraine. Reuters reported that three people died in the incident.
Ukraine was warned to prepare for new Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure. Prime minister Denys Shmyhal said Moscow wanted Ukraine to spend Christmas and new year in darkness.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, said the situation in four areas of eastern Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – that Moscow illegally annexed in September, was “extremely difficult”. Russia’s illegal annexation of the four territories, which together make up 15% of Ukraine, marked the largest forcible takeover of territory in Europe since the second world war and was condemned by Kyiv and its western allies as illegal. Russia has suffered acute setbacks in the areas, halting its ambitions.