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Gunmen kill 11 at Russian military base in new blow to Moscow’s Ukraine campaign – Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows a car dealership’s office building destroyed during a Russian missile attack in Zaporizhia, Ukraine on October 11, 2022. (Reuters) // Sergey Chali

By Pavel Politiuk

Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia has opened a criminal investigation, authorities said on Sunday after gunmen shot dead 11 people at a military training ground near the Ukrainian border, as fighting raged in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The RIA, citing the Defense Ministry, said two militants opened fire during a firearms exercise on Saturday, targeting a group that had volunteered to fight in Ukraine. She added that the “terrorists” themselves were shot dead.

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The incident is the latest blow to President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and comes a week after an explosion damaged a bridge linking mainland Russia and Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the attackers were from a former Soviet republic, without elaborating. Senior Ukrainian official Oleksiy Aristovich said the two men, from the mainly Muslim Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, opened fire on others after a dispute over religion.

Reuters could not immediately confirm Aristovich’s comments, a prominent commentator on the war, or independently verify casualty figures and other details.

Announcing the criminal investigation, the Russian Investigative Committee said, “As a result of the accident at a shooting scene in the Belgorod region, 11 people died from their wounds and 15 others were injured.” No other details were mentioned.

Some independent Russian media reported that the number of casualties was higher than the official figures.

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The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said that no local residents were among the dead or wounded.

Two witnesses later told Reuters they saw Russian air defense systems repelling air strikes in Belgorod. Gladkov said two people were wounded after the bombing, according to initial reports.

Putin said Friday that Russia should finish calling up reservists within two weeks, promising to end a divisive mobilization that has seen hundreds of thousands of men called up to fight in Ukraine, many of whom have fled the country.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a staunch Putin ally, said last week that his forces would be deployed with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, citing what he said were threats from Ukraine and the West.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said in Minsk on Sunday that fewer than 9,000 Russian soldiers will be stationed in Belarus as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect its borders.

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Attacks

On Sunday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that in the twenty-four hours until Sunday morning, Russian forces targeted more than 30 towns and villages across Ukraine, and launched five missiles, 23 air strikes and up to 60 missile attacks.

In response, the Ukrainian Air Force carried out 32 strikes, hitting 24 Russian targets.

Fighting intensified particularly this weekend in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the strategically important Kherson province in the south, three of the four provinces that Putin declared part of Russia last month.

The head of the Russian-backed administration said, on Sunday, that the bombing of the Ukrainian forces destroyed the administration building in the city of Donetsk, the capital of the Donetsk region.

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“It was a direct hit, the building was seriously damaged. It’s a miracle no one was killed,” said Alexei Kolymzin, who was observing the wreck, adding that all city services were still operating.

There was no immediate reaction from Ukraine to the attack on the city of Donetsk, which was annexed by Russian-backed separatists in 2014 along with swathes of the eastern Donbass region.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that its forces repelled the efforts of the Ukrainian forces to advance in the Donetsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, causing what it described as heavy losses.

Russia also said it was continuing air strikes on military and energy-related targets in Ukraine using long-range, precision-guided weapons.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield reports.

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In the city of Mykolaiv, residents lined up on Sunday – as they do every day – to fill water bottles at a distribution point after supplies were interrupted by fighting early in the war.

“This is not a war, this is a war crime. War is when soldiers are fighting with each other, but when civilians are fought, it is a war crime,” said Vadim Antonyuk, 51, a sales manager, standing up. in the layout.

“Even the sea is on our side”

A spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Military Command said Russian forces were suffering from an acute shortage of equipment, including ammunition, as a result of the damage inflicted at the end of last week on the Crimean bridge.

“Nearly 75% (of Russian military supplies in southern Ukraine) crossed that bridge,” Natalia Homenyuk told Ukrainian television, adding that strong winds had now stopped ferries in the area.

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“Now even the sea is on our side,” she said.

Putin blamed the Ukrainian security services for the bridge explosion and last Monday, in response, ordered the largest air attack against Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his forces are still in control of the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks while the situation in the greater Donbass region remains extremely difficult.

Russian troops have repeatedly tried to capture the city of Pakhmut, located on the main road to Slovensk and Kramatorsk. Both are located in the Donetsk region.

Although Ukrainian forces have regained control of thousands of square kilometers of land in recent attacks in the east and south, officials say the advance is likely to slow once Kyiv’s forces meet more determined resistance.

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Zelensky said nearly 65,000 Russians have been killed so far since the February 24 invasion, much higher than Moscow’s official estimate on September 21 of 5,937. The Pentagon said in August that Russia had suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 deaths or injuries.

Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrei Yermak, said on Telegram on Sunday that Ukraine would win the war due to the continued military aid it receives from the West and the cumulative effect of Western sanctions on the Russian economy.

“Ukraine’s offensive is strategic, and Russia’s defeat is inevitable,” Yermak said.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.