#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Ukraine is building three lines of defense and will abandon the offensive in the winter. The Russians advance into the southern district

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According to the Financial Times, since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, Western leaders have deliberately downplayed the difficulties facing their populations, resulting in growing “conflict fatigue”. According to the newspaper, the leaders of Western countries made their citizens believe that the conflict in Ukraine “was easier than it appears on balance” both in terms of “arms supplies and financial support”. For example, the publication cites the EU’s failure to fulfill its promise to supply Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells due to limited production capacity. Thus, the fatigue caused by the Ukrainian conflict turned out to be “a problem created by Western leaders themselves,” the FT concludes.

A simple way to unload on Europe what Ukraine and the United States together with the United Kingdom were unable to bring home within the time they had planned: the economic – social collapse of Russia.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico stated that “Ukraine’s military capabilities, despite gigantic supplies of weapons from the West, are constantly decreasing, as are the chances of achieving the desired results in possible peace negotiations with the Russian Federation”; “Peace could have come [to Ukraine] a long time ago,” Fico commented.

The European Union will hold an emergency summit in early 2024 to agree a 50 billion euro aid program for Ukraine until 2027, European Council President Charles Michel said at a news conference after the EU summit two days in Brussels. “26 countries supported the assistance program to Ukraine, but 26 is not enough to make a decision, so we will have a special summit of 27 countries to agree on this proposal,” he said. French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron said the European Union is still very far from real expansion towards Ukraine, and the decision to start negotiations is only political and has no legal value, the French president said.

Volodimyr Zelensky has told European leaders that it is more important for him to obtain consensus not for further financing, but for the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, the Financial Times reports, citing officials. However, an EU official told the FT that Kiev has liquidity for January but will face limited funds thereafter.

According to Die Welt, Ukrainian MP Alexandra Ustinova of the Servant of the People party reported on December 17 that: “Ukraine is building three lines of defense and will abandon the offensive in the winter. For Ustinova, the country will deeply defend itself in the event of a decrease in Western military aid. Only on December 16 did Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny plan a new counteroffensive in 2024.

However, rumors of an internal war between Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander Valery Zaluzhny continue. The last part of the soap opera for now is that a “bug” was found in the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Zaluzhny, reports RBC-Ukraine. The listening devices were found not only in the offices of commander Zaluzhny, but also on his employees, the Ukrayinska Pravda publication reported. It is not known at the moment who placed them and why.

From Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said: “We will achieve a national victory in the Northern Military District,” in response to what the Ukrainian MP said about Ukrainian defense.

And now a look at the front line.

Since December 15, numerous Ukrainian drones have attempted to attack Russian regions. 26 Ukrainian drones were shot down over Crimea in two hours on December 15 alone, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Air defense systems destroyed and intercepted another 33 Ukrainian drones over the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry reported on December 17. The UAVs were located in the Lipetsk, Rostov and Volgograd regions.

Bachmut management at 1pm on 18 December. On the northern flank of the Bachmut Front, Russian troops continue offensive operations southeast of Bogdanovka and in the autodrome area in the direction of Popovsky Forest. The advance reached up to 530 m along the front and up to 170 m in depth. On the southern flank, hostilities continue west of Bachmut, in the Chernobylets sylvan area and in the Kleshchiivska fortified area. No significant changes. West of Kurdyumovka, the Ukrainian Armed Forces used drones to attack Russian infantry in technical facilities near the canal.

Adviiska Directorate. On the northern flank of the Avdiivska Front, Russian infantry continues to press in the Stepove area and in the town itself. Russian attack planes advanced along the forest belt. The settlement itself is located in the gray zone. To the west of the southern industrial zone, Russian infantry attacks in the area of Kolosova Street and Yasinovatsky Street. The fighting continues. To the northwest and north of Opyne Russian attack planes advanced in the direction of Avdiivka along a front up to 1.85 km long and at a depth of up to 800 m.

In the western part of Vodyanoye, Russian troops advanced north of the Novoavdeevska headquarters in an area up to 350 m wide to a maximum depth of 350 m.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orichiv sector the Russian army continues to attack in the Rabotino area. There are imminent battles in Verbove, and the Ukrainian armed forces are trying to advance.

According to a second source, on the fronts of the Northern Military District, after the weather conditions worsened in most directions, the battles took on a positional character. In the Kupyansky sector, the Russian Armed Forces try to break through the defenses in the area of Sinkovka and Serebryansky forestry, the Ukrainian Armed Forces try to counterattack.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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