Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, December 26.
- Russian forces bombarded dozens of towns in Ukraine on Christmas Day as President Vladimir Putin said he was open to negotiations, a stance Washington has dismissed as posturing because of continued Russian attacks.
- Russia on Sunday launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region, shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman front line, and in Zaporizhzhia hit nearly 20 towns, Ukraine’s top military command said. The Reuters news agency was not able to independently verify the reports.
- Ukrainians will create their own Christmas miracle by showing they remain unbowed despite Russian attacks that have plunged millions into darkness, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a defiant message.
- Russian-supplied Iskander tactical missile systems, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and S-400 air defence systems have been deployed to Belarus, a senior Belarusian defence ministry official said on Sunday.
- A top Ukrainian presidential aide called for the “liquidation” of Iranian factories making drones and missiles, as well as the arrest of their suppliers, as Kyiv accused Tehran of planning to supply more weapons to Russia.
- Blasts were heard at Russia’s Engels air base, hundreds of kilometres from the Ukrainian front line, Ukrainian and Russian media reported early on Monday. The air base was hit on December 5 in what Russia said was a Ukrainian drone attack.
- Moscow is ready to resume gas supplies to Europe through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told state TASS news agency. But it is unclear whether European nations connected by the pipeline — such as Germany and Poland — will agree to buy Russian gas again.
- Novak also told TASS that Russia will be able to produce at least 490-500 million tonnes of oil in 2023. While Russia’s oil exports to Europe and the West have been disrupted, China and India have emerged as leading buyers in 2022.