President Vladimir Putin is due to give his annual speech shortly in which he is expected to give “extensive report” on world politics.

It will follow comments from Volodymyr Zelensky that Russia is ‘driving its own soldiers to their deaths’ in the Donbas due to the ‘craziness’ of the Russian command.

Mr Zelensky said Ukrainian troops are holding out against repeated attacks near two key towns in the eastern Donbas region.

The most severe fighting is taking place near Avdiivka, outside Donetsk, and Bakhmut, further to the northeast, he said in an evening video address on Wednesday.

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