Here is the situation as of Thursday, December 22.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the US Congress that aid to Ukraine was an investment in democracy and “not charity”, as he invoked American battles against the Nazis in World War II to demand more aid for his country’s war effort.
- Zelenskyy told lawmakers in the House of Representatives that he hoped to continue to support Ukraine on a bipartisan basis – an important point as Republicans take over the House majority on January 3.
- Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to Washington, DC was his first trip abroad since Russia invaded his country 300 days ago.
- The US announced $1.85 billion in additional military aid to Ukraine, including the transfer of the Patriot missile system.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said further Western arms supplies to Ukraine would lead to a “deepening” of the conflict.
- Russian forces attacked targets in the Zaporizhia region and advanced near the battered eastern front-line cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the focus of fighting in the Donetsk region, Ukraine’s military said on Wednesday evening.
- Putin has promised to give his military everything it needs to prosecute the war and has backed a plan to increase the size of the armed forces by more than 30 percent.
- Ukraine’s electricity grid operator, Ukrenergo, reported “significant power shortages” and curtailments caused by missile and drone attacks.