Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, December 5:
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces were holding positions along the front line in the east, including near Bakhmut town, viewed as Russia’s next target in its advance through the Donetsk region.
- Russia’s defence ministry said its troops were conducting successful operations in the area of Bakhmut and pushed back Ukrainian troops.
- Russian forces shelled 25 settlements along front lines in the south, including Kherson and Nikopol – on the Ukrainian-held side of the Kakhovka reservoir, opposite the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
- Anatoliy Kurtev, the secretary of the Zaporizhzhia city administration, said Russian forces overnight hit industrial and energy infrastructure with rockets.
- The head of US intelligence said fighting in Ukraine was at a “reduced tempo” and both militaries were looking to refit and resupply to prepare for a counteroffensive after the winter.
- French President Emmanuel Macron drew criticism from Ukraine and its Baltic allies for suggesting the West should consider Russia’s need for “security guarantees” if it agrees to talks to end the war.
- Lithuania’s former foreign minister, Linas Linkevicus, said Russia has security guarantees as long as it does not “attack, annex or occupy” its neighbours.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is not sincere about peace negotiations with Ukraine while he is taking the war to a new level of “barbarism” by attacking civilian infrastructure, a US diplomat said.
- The Kremlin said the West must recognise Moscow’s declared annexation in September of “new territories” before any talks with Putin.
Oil price cap
- A European Union, G7, and Australian price cap on Russian seaborne oil came into force as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.
- Russia called the measure “dangerous” and said it will not sell oil to any nation that abides by the policy, even if it has to cut production.
- The $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude came after EU members overcame resistance from Poland.
- The $60 price cap is not serious and will do little to deter Russia from waging its war, Zelenskyy said.
- Russia said it would continue to find buyers for its oil, including China and India.
Source: News Agencies