All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.
Drones shot down in Crimea and near Moscow
Russia claimed to have intercepted several Ukrainian drones in annexed Crimea, the Moscow region and Begorod and Voronezh on the border.
A total of 13 unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down by Russian air defences, while no casualties or damage was reported by local authorities in Crimea.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had struck a plant in Kharkiv, where armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army were repaired, on Saturday.
Head of the local Ukrainian military administration, Oleg Synegubov, wrote on Telegram a “civilian” company was hit around 12:30 a.m. local time by missiles, causing a fire to break out.
Kyiv has stepped up attacks on Russian territory in recent months, against the backdrop of its counteroffensive.
Though such strikes are often intercepted by Moscow’s defences or seldom hit military targets, experts argue Ukraine’s drone war has some key objectives. Read more below.
Ukraine captures villages near Bakhmut
Kyiv reportedly took the village of Klishchiivka on the eastern front, just a day after the Ukrainian flag was raised over Andriivka.
Russia as not officially commented on Ukraine’s claims, but its supporters in the Donetsk region have dismissed the significance of the victories saying the two villages are unoccupied, largely reduced to rubble.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used his Sunday night address to thank armed forces units for the capture of Klishchiivka near Bakhmut in the country’s east.
Grinding battles along the front in Donetsk have left few buildings, or even trees, standing in the villages.
Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June to retake territories occupied by Russia, after receiving Western weapons and training.
Ukrainian soldiers now appear to be closing in on Bakhmut, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in the war so far. Should they recapture the town it would be a major symbolic victory.
An ex-Wagner Russian mercenary told Euronews in July harrowing details of the fighting in Bakmut, revealing lies and mutiny on the front.
Washington and NATO see a long war
Kyiv’s counteroffensive “has not failed” but the road to a victory is still very long, said the US Army chief of staff, General Mark Milley, in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“This offensive, although slow, slower than expected, remained constant,” he said, adding Ukraine still had “a significant strike force”.
The general conceded, however, that it “will take a long time” to achieve Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s goal “of kicking out all the Russians”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also warned the West should not expect a quick end to the war in Ukraine, in another interview published on Sunday.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they started,” Stoltenberg said in this interview with the German media group Funke.
“Therefore we must prepare for a long war in Ukraine,” he added.
In September, Estonia’s Defence Minister warned the clock was ticking for Ukraine’s counteroffensive, with winter weather conditions looming.
Ukraine’s armed forces have encountered a tough fight after launching their big military push, with Moscow having had several months to prepare.
Progress has been slow and is likely to be slower still when wet, muddy and freezing weather conditions make large troop and vehicle movements more difficult.