#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Russian advance towards Avdiivka. Kiev will get money from the EU

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The United States has released a new $250 million military aid package to Ukraine. It will be the last US military aid package for 2023 and includes: TOW missiles; ammunition for NASAMS air defense systems, Stinger portable anti-aircraft missile systems, components of the air defense system, additional ammunition for HIMARS MLRS, artillery shells of 155 mm and 105 mm caliber, Javelin ATGM more than 15 million rounds of ammunition for small arms, demolition ammunition for clearing obstacles, spare parts, medical and other equipment.

According to Politico, however, the Biden administration is quietly changing its policy regarding the war in Ukraine, according to an administration source and a European diplomat in Washington. While for the past two years Biden has supported the goal of an absolute and complete victory for Ukraine over Russia and the removal of Russian control from all occupied territories, he recently began working to improve Kiev’s position in preparation for negotiations for end the fighting, understanding that this will require relinquishing some lost territory.

The one who strongly disagrees with freezing the conflict and reaching an agreement with Moscow is the United Kingdom. British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps has threatened Russia again. “If Russia wins the conflict with Ukraine, the negative consequences will reverberate throughout the world! And these consequences will be incredibly harsh for Europe, for Great Britain, for the world! We simply cannot allow Putin to take the upper hand in this war, so we must exert all our strength, find all reserves to prevent him from winning this war!”

Europe supports Kiev’s military spending. The European Union is developing a mechanism that will allow it to allocate 20 billion euros in aid to Ukraine by borrowing funds guaranteed by member countries, writes the Financial Times citing ad hoc sources. Using this mechanism, EU countries intend to bypass Hungary’s veto on aid to Ukraine in the amount of 50 billion euros for four years.

Meanwhile, expatriates eligible to join the Ukrainian army are trying to lose their citizenship as quickly as possible. Ukrainians in Poland rush to exchange expiring documents. A post from the Russian social sphere reads: “Those who do not have time to replace their passport will be deported to “Nezalezhnaya” (anti-Ukrainian term ed.) for a meeting with Bandera (allusion to the Ukrainian SBU)”. Basically, anyone who does not have their documents in order from Poland will be repatriated to Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said Europe does not know how to fight. “Because war is extremely unpleasant in this part of the world. Europe doesn’t know how to fight. Weapons production is not the most popular business area,” Kuleba said in an interview with the Kiev Independent, commenting on problems with the European Union increasing the production of bullets and military equipment and the EU’s inability to adapt to “full-scale warfare”.

Also in Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny, Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, on December 26 appointed a new advisor and consultant Tetyanka Efremova, the only thing that is known about her is that she worked worked as chief specialist of the legal support department in the District Council of Poltava. Journalist Rostislav Demchuk wrote that she Efremova worked as a children’s entertainer in Poltava. Before becoming a lawyer in the Poltava district council, she was engaged in the retail trade of food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. And in Kiev she also tried her hand as a model in the Acmodasi photo agency. She denied this information.

In Russia since the beginning of the year, customs authorities have transferred confiscated goods worth more than 520 million rubles to the needs of the Northern Military District – Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation. Also from the Russian social sphere we learn that the new updated AK-12 assault rifles will be delivered to the front starting from January 2024.

On December 28, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about the future of Russia in a long interview. Let’s summarize his statements: “Over the past year, Russia has become an increasingly stronger country. Russian cohesion has become the goal of the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. Almost the entire country is determined to win the NWO (the war in Ukraine, ed.) and work in this direction continues. The United States has recognized Russia as an enemy: in this case it is Moscow ready for any development. Zelenskyj’s “peace formula” is the fruit of his sick imagination. The Western strategy of strategic defeat of Russia has failed. We continue to achieve goals, including the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. The process of destroying the ideology of brotherhood and unity has begun in Ukraine. Those who call for Ukraine’s return to the 1990s are actually calling for genocide. Germany shows “black ingratitude” by sending tanks to Ukraine. Some Germans are ashamed of it, but many are not.” Finally he spoke about the tasks facing Russia in 2024: “Continuation of external support in the NWO zone. Increase presence in the CIS and BRICS. Ensure an objective perception of Russia abroad. Provide recommendations on alternative payment systems.”

And now a look at the front line. Air defense systems destroyed two Ukrainian drones over Crimea at night, the Defense Ministry said.

In the Black Sea basin, a Panamanian ship, bound for one of the Danube ports to load grain, was blown up by a mine. To avoid flooding, the captain ran the ship aground. At the moment, tugboats are heading towards the ship to refloat the bulk carrier and bring it to port.

On the night of December 28, the Kherson, Nikolaev and Dnepropetrovsk regions are among the targets of the use of UAVs; attacks have already been carried out on Krivoy Rog.

In the Kupyansk direction, the Russians reportedly killed 45 servicemen and destroyed a UAV control center. During the defense, the Russian Armed Forces repelled six counterattacks by assault groups of the 95th Air Assault Brigade, 60th and 115th Mechanized Brigades in the Sinkovka and Lake Liman areas. The Ukrainians retreated in a southwestern direction.

Additionally, the Russians carried out 12 rocket and bomb attacks on the temporary deployment points of the 14th, 21st, 115th mechanized assault brigade and 95th air assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Sinkovka, Petropavlovka and Ivanovka areas.

Bachmut Directorate (Artemovsk). The Russian army advanced north of Bogdanovka and north of Bachmut. Fighting continues in the Kleshchiivka and Andriivka areas. According to other pro-Russian accounts there have been changes in the situation around Avdiivka, Bachmut and Marinka in the last month: “The Ukrainian armed forces, after a failed counter-offensive and by decision of NATO generals, have switched to “defense”. However, most likely, they will have to realize their failure in this area, because defense is not so much the absence of the ability to attack as the readiness to face it.” According to the same accounts, the Russians have recorded tactical successes.

Donetsk direction. In the Avdiivska sector, Russian fighters occupy part of the positions near the metallurgical factory. Furthermore, the Russian army attacked from the industrial zone. In the Maryinka sector, the assault on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Pobeda and Novomikhailovka continues.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orechiv sector the Russian army counterattacked in the areas of Rabotino and Verbove. There are positional battles on the Vremevsky ledge. Russian anti-aircraft gunners shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 in the Vodyanoye DPR area.

Ukrainian formations continue to bombard the border territories of the Belgorod region. Targets in the urban district of Grayvoronsky, Poroz, Dronovka and Mokraya Orlovka were under fire: gas and electricity supply lines were damaged. There were no casualties. Novaya Tavolzhanka, Shebekinsky urban district, was also hit by fire. Additionally, local residents reported explosions in the Borisov region.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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