Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Putin blames some Western countries' attempts to preserve hegemony

File photo: Xinhua

MOSCOW/KIEV, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis:

Some Western countries make efforts to preserve their political, economic, financial, military and ideological dominance, which has directly increased the risk of conflict in the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday in a video message.

"They would go to any lengths to maintain hegemony, even consciously exacerbate chaos and cause an international escalation," Putin said while addressing an online meeting of defense ministers from several countries, including those of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The United States and its allies rely on the use of force, and they have actually destroyed the architecture of strategic stability that the world has been building for decades, aggressively expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's geographical scope, he underscored.

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The Ukrainian government downgraded its expectations for the country's economic performance this year due to Russia's attacks on energy infrastructure, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Friday, citing First Deputy Economy Minister Denis Kudin.

While speaking during the discussion at the Kiev-based Center for Economic Strategy, Kudin said that the government expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to decline 33.2 percent this year, more than 32 percent estimated earlier.

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Russia continued offensive operations in the Krasny Liman direction, taking out more than 60 Ukrainian servicemen, three infantry fighting vehicles and two motor vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday in a daily report.

Two U.S.-manufactured HIMARS rocket launchers were destroyed in Donetsk, it added.

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The external financing of Ukraine's state budget is set to reach 30 billion U.S. dollars this year, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Thursday, citing Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Kiev has received 27 billion dollars from its partners to shore up the state budget, Marchenko said, noting that the rest of the funds are expected to be received by the end of the year.