Russia Ukraine conflict

Putin holds extensive meetings with top military brass to discuss Ukraine strategy

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President Vladimir Putin has held extensive meetings with the military top brass overseeing Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, where Moscow has stepped up bombardments, the Kremlin said Saturday.

“On Friday, the president spent the whole day at the army staff involved in the special military operation in Ukraine,” a statement said.

He held a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov and held “separate discussions with commanders” from different defense branches, it said.

“I would like to hear your proposals on our actions in the short- and medium-term,” Putin was shown as saying in the meeting by Russia’s state television.

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Russia launched a barrage of missiles on Friday on multiple cities in Ukraine, plunging them into darkness, cutting water and heat and forcing people to endure sub-zero temperatures.

After a series of embarrassing battlefield defeats, Russia since October has pursued an aerial onslaught against what Moscow says are military-linked facilities.

France and the European Union said the suffering inflicted on freezing civilians constitutes war crimes, with the bloc’s foreign policy chief calling the bombings “barbaric.”

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