Dec 8 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that his army could be fighting in Ukraine for a long time, but said for now there will be no second call-up of soldiers.
* The risk of Putin using nuclear weapons as part of his war in Ukraine has decreased in response to international pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview.* Russian shelling killed 10 people and wounded many in the town of Kurakhove in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
* Twin strikes on air bases deep inside Russian territory have dealt Moscow a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defences failed, analysts said.
* The United States has made clear to Ukraine its concerns about any escalation of the war with Russia, but it respects Ukrainian sovereignty, including decisions about how Kiev uses weapons supplied by Washington, White House security spokesman John Kirby said.
* Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko warned of an “apocalypse” scenario for the city this winter if Russian air strikes on infrastructure continue. Russia has fired more than 1,000 rockets and missiles at Ukraine’s power grid, Interfax Ukraine news agency said.
* Russia is still working on how to respond to a price cap imposed by Western powers on sales of Russian oil, the Kremlin said. Options include banning oil sales to some countries and setting maximum discounts at which it would sell its crude, the Vedomosti daily reported.
DIPLOMACY AND POLITICS
* The United Nations is examining “available information” about accusations that Iran supplied Russia with drones, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, as he faces Western pressure to inspect downed drones in Ukraine.
* The European Commission proposed a ninth package of sanctions on Russia including almost 200 more individuals and entities.
* Time magazine named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy 2022’s “Person of the Year”.
(Compiled by Cynthia Osterman)