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Russian Defence Minister visited command posts of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine

The Russian Defence Ministry reported on Wednesday that Sergei Shoigu inspected command posts of Russian forces in the formerly Ukrainian Donetsk region.

Shoigu told the assembled servicemen that their efforts were giving Ukrainian forces “fewer and fewer options.”

The defence minister was informed that Russian troops were better prepared to use drones. He stressed that commanders should provide soldiers with new winter uniforms and insulated shoes by the onset of winter.

Ukraine launched a counter-offensive in June, but at a much slower pace than its rapid offensive in the northeast a year ago. Kyiv claims Russian forces have shelled the eastern town of Avdiivka in recent days but have suffered heavy casualties.

A local resident was killed in an early morning airstrike in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on Wednesday.

At about 07:20, the enemy dropped a guided aerial bomb on a residential area of the city [of Beryslav]. It hit a house. Unfortunately, a 42-year-old man was fatally wounded.

Ukraine pushed Russian troops out of the Kherson Region parts last November, but they continue to shell the regional capital and the areas around it from across the Dnipro River.

Prokudin reported that Russian troops had launched 35 air strikes on the Kherson region over the past 24 hours. Local authorities have decided on the mandatory evacuation of families with children from three districts of the Kherson region, stating that 802 children and their families from 23 settlements should be evacuated.

Tensions rose after the Russian parliament passed a law cancelling ratification of a global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests on Wednesday. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that Russia would not resume nuclear discussions with the United States until Washington abandoned its “hostile” policy.

The bill on de-ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was approved by 156 votes to zero in the upper house after unanimous adoption in the lower house. Now the only thing left to do is for President Vladimir Putin to sign the document.

Although the CTBT never officially entered into force, it formally banned nuclear tests, with only North Korea choosing to conduct them.

Moscow claims it will not resume the test unless Washington does so, but arms control experts say a test by Russia or the United States would spark a new arms race, which is highly undesirable at a time of wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.

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