Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, December 14:
- At least three explosions have been heard in the centre of Ukrainian capital Kyiv, as officials said they have shot down a number of Iranian-made Shahed drones.
- Meanwhile, air-raid sirens rang across Ukraine after leaders warned that Russia could launch a new wave of missile and drone attacks.
- Russia and Ukraine pounded each other’s forces in heavy fighting around the small eastern city of Bakhmut, once home to 80,000 people.
- The town of Klintsy in Russia’s southern Bryansk region was shelled overnight by Ukraine, the regional governor said.
- Russia has dismissed a reported three-step peace proposal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying Kyiv needed to accept new “realities”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said progress would not be possible without considering these realities.
- United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has warned African leaders at a summit that Russia risked “destabilising” the continent with their rising involvement.
- Britain has sanctioned 12 Russian military commanders and Iranian businessmen involved in producing and supplying military drones used in missile attacks on Ukraine.
- The United States is finalising plans to send the Patriot missile defence system to Ukraine, a decision that could be announced as soon as this week, three US officials told Reuters.
- European Union energy ministers meeting in Brussels have failed to strike a final deal on a bloc-wide cap on natural gas prices after months of infighting over whether the measure can ease Europe’s energy crisis.
- Ukraine’s economy could shrink by 50 percent this year if Russia keeps attacking the national power grid and other critical infrastructure, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said.
- The European Union reached a deal with Hungary to send an 18bn-euro ($18.93bn) financial aid package to Ukraine and approve a minimum tax on major corporations.
- About 70 countries and institutions have pledged more than one billion euros ($1.05bn) in immediate aid to help Ukraine get through winter.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies