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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Ukraine
14-year-old girl among injured after shelling of Kherson village as Russia continues attacks
Civilians have continued to flee the Kherson region over Christmas as shelling continues.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 28th 2022, 2:29 PM

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl is among those reported injured after Russia’s shelling of Kizomys, a village in Kherson. 

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a deputy head of President Zelensky’s office, reported via Telegram that three people have been hospitalised following the attack. 

Yesterday, the Kyiv Independent reported that Kherson was attacked 50 times by Russian artillery, multiple rocket launchers, mortars and tanks – according to Governor Yaroslav Yanushyych. 

Russian troops have been targeting the region since Ukrainian forces pushed them back to the east bank of the Dnipro River, liberating the city, on 11 November. 

Civilians have continue to evacuate from Kherson over the Christmas period as the intensity of attacks has not let up. 

 Zelensky today said that there are “only a few” civilians left in the eastern frontline town of Bakhmut – which has endured months of fierce fighting.  

“Last year, 70,000 people lived there. Now only a few civilians are left there,” Zelensky said on Facebook.

Following months of humiliating defeats Russian forces are now seeking to wrest control of the eastern region of Donetsk where Bakhmut has become the epicentre of fighting.

To gain control of the town once known for its vineyards and cavernous salt mines, Russia has relied on mercenaries, prison conscripts and newly mobilised soldiers.

In Bakhmut, “there is no place that is not covered with blood. There is no hour when the terrible roar of artillery does not sound,” Zelensky said.

“Still, Bakhmut stands,” he added.

This month the president made a surprise trip to Bakhmut, describing the war-battered town as Ukraine’s frontline “fortress”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Ukrainian army said Moscow’s forces were continuing “offensive actions” in the direction of Bakhmut.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, has called the fight for the city the “Bakhmut meat grinder”.

Economic impact of war in Russia

A Swiss court has granted a six-month “stay of bankruptcy” to the operating company for the never-opened Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was built to bring Russian gas to Germany but put on ice shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The company’s stay was extended from 10 January through to 10 July by a regional court in the Swiss canton (state) of Zug, according to a notice published today in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce.

Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom, is based in Zug. Nord Stream 2’s court-appointed administrator, Transliq AG, sought the extension.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government halted the certification process for the pipeline on 22 February, after Russia recognised the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine two days later, and US President Joe Biden President then directed his administration to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 operating company.

The pipeline project had long drawn resistance from Ukraine and eastern European countries, as well as bipartisan opposition in the United States.

At the beginning of March, the operating company said it had dismissed all its employees in Zug, who numbered up to 110, according to local officials.

Russia once accounted for more than half of Germany’s natural gas supplies but started reducing deliveries in mid-June, citing alleged technical problems with the parallel Nord Stream 1 pipeline. It has not delivered any gas to the country since the end of August.

Putin has periodically taunted the West by raising the prospect of sending gas through Nord Stream 2, a political non-starter for the German government and others.

In September, undersea explosions damaged both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. The prosecutor leading Sweden’s preliminary investigation said last month that investigators found traces of explosives at the site where the pipelines were damaged in an act of “gross sabotage”.

Investigators have not given indications of whom they think might be responsible.

Also today, Finland’s first floating liquefied natural gas terminal was moored at the southern port of Inkoo where it will supply gas to the Nordic country that was cut off from Russian gas imports earlier this year amid the war in Ukraine.

finland-gas Jussi Nukari / PA FSRU Exemplar, the floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, chartered by Finland to replace Russian gas, is seen moored at the Inkoo port, west of Helsinki. Jussi Nukari / PA / PA

The massive 291-metre-long and 43-metre-wide offshore support vessel Exemplar, which sailed to the Baltic Sea from Spain earlier in December, has a capacity of 68,000 tons of LNG and is scheduled to be operational from the beginning of 2023.

FSRU Exemplar, owned by the US company Excelerate Energy, will ensure future availability of gas in Finland, replacing supplies earlier imported from Russia, Finland’s state-owned Gasgrid Finland said.

The vessel will reconvert LNG to gas which will then be fed into the Finnish network for distribution. The arrival of the Exemplar will also enable gas deliveries to the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — and possibly also to Poland through the undersea Balticconnector pipeline between Finland and Estonia that runs near Inkoo.

Russian energy giant Gazprom halted gas exports to neighbouring Finland in May, citing Helsinki’s refusal to pay in rubles, as Putin has demanded European countries do since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Gazprom’s move marked a likely end to Finland’s nearly 50 years of importing natural gas from Russia. The two parallel Russia-Finland natural gas pipelines were launched in 1974.

Natural gas currently accounts for just some 5% of total energy consumption in Finland, a country of 5.5 million. Until May, nearly all of that gas came from Russia, and has been used mainly by Finnish industrial and other companies with only an estimated 4,000 households relying on gas heating.

As Moscow has cut off electricity exports to Finland — also in May — and the Finnish state-controlled oil company Neste has replaced imports of Russian crude oil with other sources, Finland’s energy ties with Russia are now all but gone.

Gasgrid Finland has leased the Exemplar for a period of 10 years for an estimated total cost of €460 million.

European Union member Finland, which shares a 1,340-kilometre long border with Russia, applied to join Nato in May and is currently waiting for the remaining two members — Hungary and Turkey — of the military alliance to ratify its membership.

Press Association
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