Here is the situation as of Saturday, December 24th.
in the fight
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of a possible escalation of Russian attacks in the coming Christmas holiday season, urging people in his country to “heed air raid alarms, help each other and take care of each other”.
- Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to cover up war crimes.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country’s defense industry chiefs to step up efforts to ensure that the Russian army quickly receives all the weapons, equipment and military equipment it needs to fight in Ukraine.
- Russia has made significant progress in “demilitarizing” Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, referring to one of the goals Putin declared when he launched the war on February 24.
- The exiled mayor of Melitopol in southern Russia, Ivan Fedorov, said more Russian troops had entered the city and fortifications were being strengthened.
- The US House of Representatives approved a $45 billion aid package for Ukraine after passing a $1.7 trillion spending bill, but some Republican lawmakers expressed frustration with the price of the latest round of aid to Ukraine.
- Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said that bilateral relations are in an “ice age” and that the risk of a collision between the two countries is “high”, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
- Ukraine will increase diplomatic efforts in Africa, Latin America and Asia to take advantage of the “colossal economic potential” and other international benefits, Zelenskyy said.
- Russia may cut oil production by 5-7 percent as early as 2023 and halt sales to countries that accept a price cap on its crude and oil products, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
- Ukraine estimated that its grain harvest was down roughly 40 percent year-on-year as a result of the Russian war, Serhiy Ivaschenko, head of the Ukrainian Grain Association, said.