Here is the situation as it stands on Tuesday, December 20.
- Speaking ahead of Security Services Day which falls on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin ordered the strengthening of Russia’s borders as Moscow tries to regain momentum in its war against Ukraine.
- Russian “kamikaze” drones hit key energy infrastructure in and around Kyiv on Monday, which followed Friday’s missile attacks in one of Russia’s biggest assaults against Ukraine since the start of the war, Ukrainian officials said.
- Ukraine’s atomic energy agency accused Russia of sending a “kamikaze” drone over part of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant in the Mykolaiv region.
- Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had shot down four United States-made HARM anti-radiation missiles over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, in the space of 24 hours, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
- Putin visited Belarus on Monday for the first time since 2019 after Moscow’s recent battlefield setbacks, increasing Ukrainian fears he will pressure his ally to open a new invasion front.
- Putin and his Belarusian counterpart President Alexander Lukashenko extolled the benefits of cooperation, but they hardly mentioned the Ukraine war at their joint news conference.
- The United States accused United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “apparently yielding to Russian threats” and not sending officials to Ukraine to inspect drones used by Russia that Washington and others say were supplied by Iran.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Western leaders meeting in Latvia to supply a wide range of weapons systems, renewing his longstanding call for more military support.
- Moldova’s spy chief warned on Monday of a “very high” risk of a new Russian offensive towards his country’s east next year and said Moscow still aimed to secure a land corridor through Ukraine to the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria.
- The Canadian government has said it will start a process to pursue the forfeiture of $26m from Granite Capital Holdings Ltd, a company owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. This is the first case of the Canadian government using new powers to pursue the seizure of assets belonging to sanctioned individuals.
- The power grid operator described the situation as “difficult” and said the Dnipropetrovsk region and areas in the centre and east of the country were the worst affected.
- Washington and its allies need to do more to help Ukraine keep the power on, a senior US diplomat said.
Source: News Agencies