07 February 2023,   15:14
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288th day of war in Ukraine - the list of key events

About 10,000 Ukrainian service personnel and roughly the same number of Ukrainian civilians are believed to be being held in Russian detention facilities, according to a Ukrainian official. Oleksandr Kononenko, who oversees human rights in the security and defence sector on behalf of Ukraine’s parliament, said the civilians were being detained illegally as prisoners of war because of their alleged association with the Ukrainian army or state.

Explosions have been reported at Berdiansk airbase in the Zaporizhzhia region. Three large explosions were heard, as well as smaller ones, near the city on the coast of the Sea of Azov.

Russian forces have fired more than 1,000 rockets and missiles at Ukraine’s power grid, which is still working despite taking major damage, a senior official said. Volodymyr Kudrytsky, the chief executive of the grid operator Ukrenergo, also told a meeting arranged by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development that his officials were scouring the world for the complex equipment needed for repairs.

Ukraine has introduced new emergency power cuts as it tried to repair energy infrastructure damaged in Russian airstrikes, which the national grid operator said had caused significant supply shortages.

Russian shelling killed 10 people and wounded many others in the town of Kurakhove in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko warned of an “apocalypse” scenario for the city this winter if Russian airstrikes on infrastructure continue.

President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia’s war in Ukraine could turn into a “long-term process”. Speaking to members of his personal human rights council, Putin sought to defend an invasion in which Russian troops have been forced to retreat and even airbases deep inside Russia have come under attack.

Britain has ordered “several thousand” NLAW anti-tank weapons to replace the 7,000 donated to Ukraine in the past year. Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, said the NLAWs played “a decisive role” in pushing back the Russian invasion, but Labour has complained that the deal took nearly 10 months to sign and the replacements will take three years to make.

At least 441 civilians were killed by Russian forces during the first weeks of the war in Ukraine, according to a report by the UN’s human rights office. Many of the bodies documented in the report bore signs that the victims may have been intentionally killed, the report by the Office of the high commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

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