The pace of fighting between Russia and Ukraine escalated, with both sides intensifying the use of missiles and drones to target the other side, at a time when a European country, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), announced its refusal to participate in military exercises for Ukrainian soldiers.

And Moscow announced yesterday, Monday, that it had repelled a Ukrainian attack with missiles and marches in the center and south of the country, which was confirmed by Kyiv, speaking of the destruction of two planes at two military bases in the Russian depth.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said that its air defenses responded to a Ukrainian attack on two military airports in the center and south of the country, using Soviet-made drones.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that 3 Russian soldiers were killed, 4 others were wounded, and two planes were damaged as a result of the wreckage of the marches.

The governor of the Russian Kursk region bordering Ukraine, Roman Starovoit, also announced that the Ukrainian march targeted the airport of the city of Kursk in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Starovoit said that the attack resulted in a fuel tank catching fire, without causing casualties.

It is noteworthy that Kursk Airport has stopped receiving civilian flights since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Air Force reports that today Air Defense shot down approximately 60 out of 70 Russian missiles.

+ The moment of Russian missile downing in the Kyiv region during today's Russian mass missile attack.

- Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) December 5, 2022

mutual blows

For its part, the New York Times quoted a Ukrainian official as saying that his country's army used drones to strike two bases in the heart of Russia.

The newspaper said that the drones launched from Ukrainian territory destroyed at least two planes in one of the two Russian bases and damaged several others.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Air Force Command said that the regions of Kyiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv were hit by a Russian barrage of missiles from the Black and Caspian seas, causing widespread blackouts.

For his part, the head of the military regional administration in Kyiv, Alexei Kuleba, said that one of the infrastructure sites in the Ukrainian capital was hit by the Russian missile strike, and confirmed that 40% of the Kyiv region has become without electricity.

He explained that almost half of the area surrounding the Ukrainian capital will remain without electricity in the coming days after the Russian missile strikes on energy facilities.

The fate of Zaporizhia station

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Zaporizhia County, southern Ukraine, quoted the city authorities as saying that two people were killed and four wounded, including a child, as a result of the renewed Russian bombing of many villages and towns in the province.

The bombing also destroyed some homes and a number of infrastructure facilities in the city.

In this context, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, denied any talk of Russia relinquishing control of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant or transferring it to a third party.

In press statements, Zakharova considered that the station is located on Russian territory and is completely run by Russia, and it is the only one capable of guaranteeing its physical and nuclear safety, as she put it.

Ukrainian soldiers on one of the fighting fronts in the east of the country (Reuters)

Hungarian refused

In a remarkable political development, Hungary announced its refusal to participate in military exercises for Ukrainian soldiers led by the European Union.

Minister of State for Communications Tamas Mincer said, in a post on his Facebook page, that Hungary "does not intend to train Ukrainian soldiers," commenting on the participation of European countries in military exercises led by the Union.

He added, "Some European countries are training Ukrainian soldiers, but Hungary will not do that. We want to move towards peace, not war."

In early November, the Council of the European Union announced, in a statement, a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers to contribute to strengthening Kyiv's defense capabilities, with a budget of 107 million euros.

The exercises are being held within the framework of the two-year mission in many EU countries, including Poland and Germany.

Russian denunciation

In a new chapter of verbal escalation and exchange of accusations between Moscow and the West, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that NATO countries "arrogantly" rejected the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide security guarantees to Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the statements issued by Kyiv regarding its non-nuclear status keep the door open to the possibility of an attempt by what it described as Ukrainian radicals to acquire nuclear weapons.

This is completely unacceptable, and raises Russia's concern, according to its expression.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned against the United States and NATO adopting a military confrontation against Moscow, saying that it constituted a serious threat.

Lavrov, during a speech at the Moscow Conference on Nuclear Non-Proliferation Issues, expressed his regret at what he described as the stagnation of the strategic dialogue on arms issues between Moscow and Washington.

Earlier on Monday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine as brutal.

In a call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksiy Reznikov, Austin affirmed the United States' firm commitment to support Ukraine to confront the Russian war against it.

For his part, the European Union's foreign policy official, Josep Borrell, stressed that resolving the conflict in the Ukrainian territories inevitably requires the provision of "security guarantees to Ukraine." As for similar guarantees to Russia, the issue is "discussed later."

Borrell's position comes after statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he spoke of his willingness to provide security guarantees to Moscow.