A glimpse of the Russo-Ukrainian war: what we know on the 245th day of the invasion

Further strikes in Donetsk; Russia takes dubious 'dirty bomb' case to UN security council

Donetsk Oblast has been hit hard in the last day, with at least 15 Russian strikes killing seven civilians and wounding three others. Ukraine's national police said the attack also destroyed 19 residential buildings and one power line.

Further south, a car explosion near the offices of the Russian propaganda channel ZaTV in Russian-occupied Melitopol injured at least five people, including company employees, authorities said. While investigators are still investigating the explosion, Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-designated Zaporizhia oblast official, reportedly told Russian state media that the explosion came from an "improvised explosive device".

Russia took its case to the UN security council that Ukraine was preparing to use "dirty bombs" on its own territory, a statement that western and Ukrainian officials deny as misinformation and a pretext to intensify the war.

Ukraine's foreign minister said inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog would soon inspect the two Ukrainian sites at Kyiv's request, adding that they feared Moscow's "dirty bomb" allegations were preparations for a "false flag" operation.

The US Congressional Progressive Caucus withdrew a letter to the White House urging a negotiated settlement, its chairman, Pramila Jayapal, confirmed.

Vladimir Putin said Russia needed to speed up decision-making in its military campaign in Ukraine.

Moscow generally supports the idea of ​​creating a safe zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's ambassador to international institutions in Vienna, told the Tass news agency.

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, repeated a promise to retake the city of Kherson, which would be a major setback for Putin.

Russia has notified the US of plans to conduct its annual nuclear force drills, the US administration said, adding that it lowers the risk of miscalculation at a time when Russia's nuclear rhetoric is "reckless".

The future British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, promised Zelenskiy that Britain's support for Ukraine would be steadfast and "as strong as ever" under his leadership".

A Russian court has dismissed WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner's appeal against a nine-year sentence for possessing and smuggling vape cartridges containing marijuana oil. Griner's lawyer said he hoped he could be released in a prisoner swap with the US.

The US is considering sending older Hawk air defense equipment from storage to Ukraine, two US officials told Reuters.

Zelenskiy and the host of the European donor conference outlined Ukraine's future vision as a member of the European Union and a major exporter of green energy to the continent.

The European Commission is urging EU countries and companies to donate more money and equipment to support the energy sector in Ukraine, more than a third of which has been destroyed by Russian missile and drone strikes.

Ukraine's external financing needs would be around $3 billion per month through 2023 in the best case scenario, but could increase to as much as $5 billion, said IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the assets of Russia and the Russian oligarchs amounted to a "big pot of gold" that should be used for Ukraine's reconstruction. “We have to make sure that the perpetrators pay for the reconstruction. Russia has to pay war reparations for Ukraine, war reparations."

Police rescued an eight-year-old boy whose parents were killed in a Russian bullet attack in Bakhmut, it is reported. Iuliia Mendel, a former spokeswoman for Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said the boy's mother was seven months pregnant when she died "on the road" with his father.

Ukrainian authorities estimate that Russian forces have lost nearly 68,420 personnel since the start of the invasion.

Refugees who fled after Russia's invasion of Ukraine had to stay abroad this winter due to blackouts caused by the bombing of Moscow's energy infrastructure, a Ukrainian minister said.

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