Heavy Russian losses in the east: Zelenskiy

STORY: Russian forces are suffering heavy losses amid an assault in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region.

That's according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday, who in his nightly address warned that Russia may be concentrating its forces for renewed attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Zelenskiy's warning comes as the nine-month war may be entering a period of stalemate as winter weather sets in. Ukrainian forces in the southern front have been tightening their grip on the Russian-held city of Kherson, but so far have not been able to advance into that city.

Following a series of military setbacks, Russian forces have increasingly targeted Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, bombarding power plants that provide electricity and heat ahead of winter.

Over the weekend the Washington Post reported that the United States is privately encouraging Kyiv to signal an openness to negotiate with Moscow.

Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said that the message from American officials was not aimed at pushing Ukraine toward the negotiating table with the Russian aggressor, but a calculated move: appearing open to peace talks to maintain the support of other nations.

The Post reported U.S. and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that Zelenskiy's ban on talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin had generated concern in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America, where the war's effect on the cost of food and fuel are felt most sharply.

The White House National Security Council had no immediate comment on the accuracy of the report.

"The United States is going to be with Ukraine for as long as it takes in this fight."

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a visit to Kyiv last week that Washington's support for Ukraine would remain "unwavering and unflinching" and laying the blame for the conflict squarely on Putin.

"This war could end very easily. Russia chose to start it, Russia could choose to end it by ceasing its attack on Ukraine, ceasing its occupation of Ukraine and that's precisely what it should do, from our perspective."

The United States announced $400 million worth of additional security assistance for Ukraine, including refurbishing tanks from the Czech Republic and missiles for air defenses that could be used against Russian drones and cruise missiles.

The new help brought the amount of U.S. military aid sent to Kyiv to more than $18.2 billion since the invasion.