Jan 4 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry blamed the illegal use of mobile phones for a deadly Ukrainian missile strike that killed 89 servicemen, raising the reported death toll significantly.
* Some protesters in Germany are calling on Berlin to reconsider its support for Ukraine, tapping into deep connections from the legacy of Soviet ties to Communist east Germany and decades of German dependency on Russian gas.
* French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed that Ukraine "needs our support more than ever". British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said Ukraine can count on long-term support.
* Young acrobats from circus schools across Ukraine dazzled audiences in Budapest at a circus festival to showcase the talents of children forced by the war to train underground or without electricity.
[1/3] People take part in a ceremony in memory of Russian soldiers killed in the course of Russia-Ukraine military conflict, the day after Russia's Defence Ministry stated that 63 Russian servicemen were killed in a Ukrainian missile strike on their temporary accommodation in Makiivka (Makeyevka) in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine, in Glory Square in Samara, Russia, January 3, 2023. REUTERS/Albert Dzen
* Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to talk to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
* Russia's defence ministry said that 89 servicemen were killed in the Ukrainian attack on Makiivka in the Moscow-controlled parts of the Donetsk region, adding the main reason for the attack was unauthorised use of mobile phones by the troops.
* A little known patriotic group which supports the widows of Russian soldiers has called on President Vladimir Putin to order a large-scale mobilisation of millions of men and to close the borders to ensure victory in Ukraine.
* A Russian missile attack destroyed an ice arena in the town of Druzhkivka in Ukraine's Donetsk region, Ukraine's ice hockey federation said, following earlier reports of a missile hitting the town and injuring two people.
* Combing the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, volunteers have made it their mission to search for bodies of fallen soldiers and return them to families.
Compiled by Cynthia Osterman
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