Kyiv suffers ‘largest ever’ drone attack by Russia leaving ‘five wounded’
Vladimir Putin has threatened Finland and the wider Nato alliance, according to a US war think tank, while Russian paramilitaries based in Ukraine have claimed responsibility for a cross-border attack.
The Russian President’s interview with his country’s state TV on Sunday is indicative of the Kremlin’s “hostile intent” towards the alliance, which poses a “credible and costly threat to Western security”, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
Meanwhile, the Freedom of Russia Legion – which says it was formed in spring 2022 to fight Putin’s forces from within the Armed Forces of Ukraine – claimed to have carried out a cross-border raid a few miles into Russia’s Belgorod region on Sunday.
The group, designated as terrorist in Russia, alleged it had destroyed a platoon stronghold of Russian troops near Trebreno village, without specifying whether it had destroyed infrastructure or killed soldiers, and said it had left mines behind.
It comes after Ukraine and Russia launched a swarm of drones at each other’s territories on Sunday as both sides step up attacks, with the Russian assault reportedly killing one person in Odesa and the Ukrainian strike targeting a Russian military airfield.
Live: WHO gives update on health situation in Ukraine
Tom Watling19 December 2023 08:33
Putin threatening Finland and preparing for potential war with Nato, warns think tank
Vladimir Putin is preparing for the possibility of “large-scale conventional war” with Nato, according to a major think tank, after moving troops towards Russia’s northwestern border and issuing a veiled threat to new alliance member Finland.
Russia has confirmed it is strenthening its military units in the northwest, where it shares borders with Finland, Estonia and Latvia, and has formed a new military zone – the Leningrad Military District (LMD) – in the wake of Finland’s decision to join Nato in April.
Tara Cobham19 December 2023 08:00
Latest pictures from Ukraine
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 07:00
ICYMI: Polish truck drivers resume strike after third Ukrainian dies
Polish truckers resumed their blockade of the main crossing at the Ukrainian border on Monday, Ukraine’s border service said.
The strike action has resumed just one week after it was lifted.
“Today, after 15:00 (1300 GMT), Polish carriers began a protest action on the access roads to the Dorohusk – Yahodyn checkpoint,” the service said on Telegram messenger, citing information from the Polish border guard.
It comes after Suspline, a Ukrainian public broadcaster, reported that a third Ukrainian truck driver had died waiting a the border on Saturday.
The driver fell ill at the Krakivets-Korczowa crossing, one of the four border points between Ukraine and Poland, and died while being rushed to the hospital.
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 06:00
Macron and Cameron to discuss Ukraine today
French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron are set to discuss topics including Ukraine on Tuesday, a statement from Macron’s Elysee office said.
Macron’s office also said the pair are expected to discuss how to tackle illegal immigration and he situation in the Middle East.
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 05:00
Ukraine forced to cut back military operations thanks to ammo shortages as Western aid delayed
One of Ukraine‘s top generals has warned that Ukraine is already being forced to downsize some military operations thanks to delays in Western support.
Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said troops faced ammunition shortages along the “entire frontline“, creating a “big problem” for Kyiv.
Ukraine’s military has consistently asked for more weapons, including ammunition, to fight off Russia‘s invasion, but political wrangling within both the US and EU has delayed tens of billions of pounds of military aid. That is now having an impact on the battlefield.
Read the full report from my colleague Chris Stevenson here:
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 04:00
Russian diplomats: New EU sanctions show measures against Moscow have failed
Russia’s diplomatic mission to the European Union said on Monday that new sanctions imposed by the EU showed that punitive measures against Moscow had failed.
“The Russian economy is not ‘torn to shreds’, attempts to isolate us on the international stage, including the Brussels platform, have failed miserably, the goal of ‘inflicting a strategic defeat’ has not been achieved,” the mission said in a statement posted online.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry in Moscow issued no statement, saying only that a response to the sanctions would be forthcoming.
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 03:00
Zelensky welcomes EU’s 12th package of sanctions against Russia
Ukrainian President Zelensky has welcomed the EU’s adoption of a 12th package of sanctions against Russia on Monday.
The package focuses on imposing additional import and export bans on Russia and closing loopholes, it said. It also prohibits the direct and indirect import, purchase or transfer of diamonds from Russia.
“I welcome the adoption of the 12th EU sanctions package against Russia,” Zelensky wrote on X.
“Full ban on Russian diamonds; closing loopholes in existing sanctions; import restrictions on dual-use goods and other items, which provide Russia a total of €2.2 billion in profits every year and assist it to continue its aggression against Ukraine. “
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 02:00
Russian soldiers sent back to frontlines with unhealed wounds
Russian soldiers are likely being sent back to combat duty with unhealed wounds, the UK’s ministry of defence said on Monday.
In their latest defence intelligence update, Britain said that members of Russian units are “highly likely being returned to combat duties with unhealed wounds, and even after limb amputations”.
They added that the information follows credible reports that some units have frequently received minimal or no treatment.
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 01:00
Ukraine scaling back military operations due to shortage of foreign aid
Ukraine has been forced to scale back military operations due to a shortfall of foreign aid, a senior army general said
Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi told Reuters that there is now a shortage of artillery shells and said the drop in foreign military aid was having an impact on the battlefield
“There’s a problem with ammunition, especially post-Soviet (shells) – that’s 122 mm, 152 mm. And today these problems exist across the entire front line,” he said in an interview.
“The volumes that we have today are not sufficient for us today, given our needs. So, we’re redistributing it. We’re replanning tasks that we had set for ourselves and making them smaller because we need to provide for them,” he said, without providing details.
The comments underline Kyiv’s reliance on Western military aid to fight Russian troops along a 1,000-km front nearly 22 months into the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two.
He added:“In some areas, we moved (to defence), and in some we continue our offensive actions – by manoeuvre, fire and by moving forward. And we are preparing our reserves for our further large-scale actions.”
Athena Stavrou19 December 2023 00:01