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Russia-Ukraine War At A Glance: What We Know On Day 279 Of The Invasion

Fighting around the key eastern Ukraine town of Bakhmut has descended into a bloody morass with hundreds of dead and injured reported daily. Russia moved fresh formations to the area in recent weeks, but neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces have made a significant breakthrough after months of fighting.

Russian forces continue to shell residential infrastructure and housing in the recently liberated city of Kherson, according to Ukraine’s military. In its update on Monday, US thinktank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russian troops were digging trenches and fortifying their positions in preparation for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in eastern Kherson.

The United States will announce new aid on Tuesday to help Ukraine restore electricity as the country faced another week of cold and darkness after Russian strikes on its power grid caused rolling blackouts.

The US is considering a Boeing proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs fitted on to abundantly available rockets, allowing Kyiv to strike far behind Russian lines as the west struggles to meet demand for more arms. US and allied military inventories are shrinking, according to Ukraine’s armed forces general staff.

DTEK, Ukraine’s biggest private electricity producer, said it would reduce electricity supply by 60% for its consumers in Kyiv. National grid operator Ukrenergo said on Monday it had been forced to resume regular emergency blackouts across the country after a setback in its race to repair energy infrastructure.

Ukrainian forces damaged a rail bridge north of the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol that has been key to supplying Russian forces, Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Russians are sporadically shelling cities with no apparent strategic aim other than to cause casualties. The Guardian visited a residential district in Dnipro, where a series of houses were destroyed by a fragmentation warhead, designed to inflict maximum casualties.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office has said 329 children are considered missing in Ukraine, while 12,034 have been deported to Russia. According to the Ukrainian government’s children of war portal, 440 children have been killed as a result of Russia’s war and 851 children are reported as injured.

Russia has “unilaterally postponed” talks with the US aimed at resuming nuclear weapons inspections in Cairo this week, a US state department spokesperson confirmed. Talks between US and Russian officials were scheduled to begin tomorrow. The Russian foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that talks would no longer take place this week.

The Ukraine war hotline between Russia and the US has been used once, according to a Reuters source. The communications line was created at the start of the war. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the US initiated a call on the “deconfliction” line to communicate its concerns about Russian military operations near critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

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