UPDATED: Ukraine front lines not shifting as Russia loses momentum, Ukrainian official says

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LVIV, Ukraine, March 20 (Reuters) – The front lines between Ukrainian and Russian forces are “practically frozen” as Russia does not have enough combat strength to advance further, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address on Sunday.

“(Over the past day) there were practically no rocket strikes on (Ukrainian) cities,” Arestovych added.

  •  Russia struck Ukraine with cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea,and launched hypersonic missiles from Crimean airspace, the Russian defence ministry said on Sunday.

Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russia had carried out strikes against Ukraine’s military infrastructure on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

“Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from the waters of the Black Sea against the Nizhyn plant that repairs Ukrainian armoured vehicles damaged in fighting,” he said.

Russia fired Kalibr cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea and hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles from airspace of Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, to destroy a fuel storage facility used by the Ukrainian military, Konashenkov said.

Russia also hit a Ukrainian military preparation centre where foreign fighters joining Kyiv’s forces were based.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 3 million and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States, the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the “special military operation” in Ukraine was necessary because the United States was using the country to threaten Russia and Russia had to defend against the “genocide” of Russian-speaking people by Ukraine.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence and that Putin’s claims of genocide are nonsense. The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia that the Kremlin says amount to a declaration of economic war by the United States and its allies.

Photo Ukrainian emergency service personnel transport a Russian R-27 aviation rocket to be destroyed. Ukrainian Emergency Services

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