December 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 2:01 a.m. ET, December 7, 2022
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6:05 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Montenegro to donate 11% of military budget to Ukraine

From CNN’s Eve Brennan

Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazovic attends a joint press conference during Norway-Western Balkans Business Conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on November 17.
Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazovic attends a joint press conference during Norway-Western Balkans Business Conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on November 17. (Filip Stevanovic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Montenegro will donate 11% of its military budget to Ukraine, the prime minister's office said Monday. 

The donation, along with "receiving thousands of refugees," shows the Montenegrin government’s "clear determination to support the defence of Ukrainians," the statement from the Office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović said.

The terms were agreed by Abazović and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who signed a joint declaration on Monday, according to Zelensky’s Telegram channel. 

"Today, we signed the Joint Declaration, which defines the priority areas of cooperation between Ukraine and Montenegro within the strategic course of our country to acquire full membership in NATO," Zelensky said in the Telegram post. 

"I am grateful to Montenegro for the strong political support and important practical help to Ukraine," he added. 

Abazović said on Twitter that Montenegro "wants peace."

"That is why we express our unequivocal support for Ukraine and its people with a view to safeguarding their integrity, sovereignty and right to a free life," added Abazović.

5:57 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Three fire trains sent to fight blaze at Russian airfield allegedly hit by drone strike

From CNN's Seb Shukla

Russian media shows aftermath of alleged drone strike on oil tank at Kursk airfield on December 6.
Russian media shows aftermath of alleged drone strike on oil tank at Kursk airfield on December 6. (MIC IZVESTIA/IZ.RU/Reuters)

Moscow Railways has sent three fire trains to help put the "fire out at the airport" in Kursk, western Russia, according to regional officials. 

Earlier on Tuesday, regional governor Roman Starovoit alleged that a drone attack hit an oil tanker near Kursk airfield. Kursk is located about 90 kilometers (60 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

It comes one day after Moscow claimed Ukraine used drones to attack two military air bases deep within Russian territory. Kyiv has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attacks.

Starovoit said he had held a meeting of the "anti-terrorist commission" and decided to "extend the yellow level of terrorist danger" for 15 days.

In addition, two schools in Khalino and the village of Marshal Zukov had classes cancelled on Tuesday.

2:30 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Russian strikes hit southern and central Ukraine

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

Russian shelling was reported overnight in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia and central Dnipropetrovsk regions, officials said on Telegram on Tuesday morning.

Critical infrastructure and residential buildings were damaged by the strikes in the suburbs of Zaporizhzhia city, said Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration. No one was injured, according to preliminary information.

In the nearby Dnipropetrovsk region, shelling continued overnight, said Valentyn Reznichenko, its regional military administration head.

Gas pipelines, power lines and more than 10 homes were damaged in the district of Nikopol, Reznichenko said. 

More than 9,000 families were also left without water near the community of Chervonohryhorivka after the power line supplying the pumping station of the local water utility was cut, he said. Engineers are working on restoring supplies, he added. 

Homes and a gas pipeline were also damaged near the community of Marhanets, he said. No casualties were reported..

The attacks follows Russian strikes Monday on Zaporizhzhia and Nikopol.

1:02 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

"Drone attack" at Russian airfield near Ukraine, governor says

From CNN's Josh Pennington 

A drone strike took place Tuesday at an airfield in Russia's Kursk region, which borders northeastern Ukraine, according to the regional governor.

"As a result of a drone attack, an oil tanker caught fire near Kursk airfield," Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said on Telegram.  "There were no casualties. The fire is being localized. Emergency services are working at the site."

The alleged strike comes one day after Russia blamed Ukraine for drone attacks on two Russian military airbases. Ukraine has not confirmed the strikes.

3:12 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Attacks on Russian air bases put spotlight on new Ukrainian drone program

From CNN's Tim Lister, Josh Pennington and Maria Kostenko

A satellite image shows an overview of Engels Air Base, in Saratov, Russia, on December 4.
A satellite image shows an overview of Engels Air Base, in Saratov, Russia, on December 4. (Maxar Technologies/Reuters)

Explosions at two Russian air bases Monday have focused attention on Ukraine’s efforts to develop longer-range combat drones.

The Russian Defense Ministry says the attacks were carried out by Ukrainian drones, which it claims were brought down by Russian air defenses. Imagery — both satellite and photographs — indicates some damage was done to Russian military planes at one base in Ryazan region.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has offered no official comment on the explosions, and the Ukrainian government has not acknowledged adding long-range attack drones to its arsenal.

However, the state-owned weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom has indicated several times in the last few weeks that it is close to finishing work on a new long-range drone.

Read more here.

9:01 p.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Russia says there will be no withdrawal from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

From CNN's Tim Lister and Darya Tarasova

The Russian Foreign Ministry appears to have dealt a blow to proposals by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since March.

"There can be no talk of any withdrawal of the Zaporizhzhia NPP from Russian control or transfer of control over it to some 'third party,'" Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said when asked by a Russian news agency about the status of the plant. "The station is located on Russian territory and is fully controlled by Russia. We presume that only we are able to ensure the physical and nuclear safety of ZNPP."

There has been no response from the UN nuclear watchdog to the latest word from Moscow.

Last week, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said he hoped to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the plant by the end of the year.

9:23 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Heavy fighting in corridor between Lysychansk and Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister

Ukrainian servicemen ride atop a tank in Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on December 5.
Ukrainian servicemen ride atop a tank in Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on December 5. (Yevhen Titov/Reuters)

Fighting in eastern Ukraine continues to be concentrated in the Bakhmut area of Donetsk, according to Ukrainian officials.

Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said on Ukrainian television that the "Donetsk sector is the most difficult as Russians are trying to capture Bakhmut — and all settlements from Lysychansk to Bakhmut are important for them."

Lysychansk is in the neighboring Luhansk region and was captured by Russian forces in June.

Hayday said the Ukrainian military had destroyed a "huge number of occupiers' personnel and their equipment" in the village of Bilohorivka.

"Now they are trying to break through the defense line, as they plan to make an additional bridgehead to expand the offensive. Attacks are taking place there around the clock, this territory is being constantly shelled. Six people remain in the village; those are elderly people who do not want to leave. It is difficult to take out people who do not want to leave," the official said.

Amid difficult weather conditions, Hayday said the "liberation of Luhansk region is very difficult. However, there is a positive thing. Our troops are not far from Kreminna," a town north of Lysychansk that has been occupied since the spring.

Meanwhile, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, said that after Russian missile strikes on parts of Donetsk Monday, "emergency power outages continue. Power engineers are feeding the system with backup sources. In general, the situation is stable. After emergency shutdowns, generators are switched on."

He said the situation around Bakhmut "is extremely tense."

"Claims of the enemy that Bakhmut is taken and they are on the outskirts of the city are not true," he said. "Most of the people have evacuated from Bakhmut. There are now about 12,000 residents in Bakhmut out of 81,000 before the invasion. The enemy is trying to destroy the civilian population."

The Ukrainian military said the center of  Bakhmut was hit — and an administrative building, a dormitory, and a residential building were damaged. 

Kyrylenko said the Russians also shelled the town of Vuhledar, as well as Kurakhove and Hostre — a kindergarten, four high-rise buildings and seven private houses were damaged.

Bakhmut Mayor Oleksiy Reva shared a video of damage done to his city:

8:08 p.m. ET, December 5, 2022

Putin visits key Crimea bridge damaged by huge explosion in October

From CNN's Sebastian Shukla and Jack Guy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a visit to the Kerch Bridge, a key link between the annexed Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia which was partially destroyed by an explosion in October, according to Russian state media.

Photos and videos from the visit have been released, including footage of Putin behind the wheel of a Mercedes vehicle sitting beside Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. In another video Putin is seen walking along a section of the bridge.

In the driving video, Khusnullin tells Putin that “metal was available for bridge parts, so the metal was brought over to build these structures, and within two weeks all the 1,214 tons were assembled and brought here.” This is an apparent reference to the damage caused to the bridge by the explosion on October 8.

Read more here.

3:00 a.m. ET, December 6, 2022

Russia launches fresh barrage of missiles towards Ukraine

From CNN's Olga Voitovych, Tim Lister, Sana Noor Haq, Tara John and Sebastian Shukla

Investigators work near the bodies of local residents killed by shrapnel during Russia's missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on December 5.
Investigators work near the bodies of local residents killed by shrapnel during Russia's missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on December 5. (Dmytro Smolienko/Reuters)

Russia launched a fresh barrage of missiles toward Ukraine on Monday as it accused Kyiv of striking military airfields deep inside its territory.

Dozens of missiles were launched by Russian forces towards Ukraine on Monday, cutting off water and electricity supplies in some areas, and killing at least one person in the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, and at least two people in Zaporizhzhia, according to local authorities.

Debris from one missile also crossed the Ukrainian border, hitting a town in Moldova.

The Ukrainian Air Force said that more than 60 Russian missiles were intercepted. Yet some reached their targets and the shelling cut water and electricity access in Kryvyi Rih and in the southern city of Odesa, after recent shortages across the country due to Russian attacks targeting critical infrastructure.

Airfield attacks: The Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine used drones to attack two Russian military airfields on Monday morning, adding that its air defenses intercepted the attacks “in the Saratov and Ryazan regions,” according to a statement carried on the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Pro-Russian bloggers have said that the incidents were likely an act of sabotage from Ukraine, which has not confirmed that it attacked either airfield.

Read more here.