Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, December 2

Reznikov believes Russia behind letter bomb attacks in Spain -- Russian military movements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast suggest that it can't defend critical areas amidst increasing Ukrainian strikes -- SBU finds Russian propaganda, xenophobic literature in Moscow Patriarchate monastery in Zakarpattia Oblast -- Switzerland freezes almost $8 billion in Russian assets under EU sanctions -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Friday, December 2

Russia’s war against Ukraine


LYMAN, DONETSK OBLAST: A Ukrainian serviceman receives medical treatment from a shrapnel wound in a medical unit in Lyman city, Ukraine, Dec. 1, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Reznikov believes Russia behind letter bomb attacks in Spain. “The world is beginning to recognize that (Russia) is a terrorist state. And terror knows no borders,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said. “They use terrorist means to cause terror.”

Media: US Embassy in Madrid receives letter bomb similar to one that exploded in Ukraine’s embassy. This is the sixth explosive sent to administrative or military buildings in Spain. All of them contained similar, homemade substances, according to Spanish authorities.

General Staff: Russian troops withdraw from some settlements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Russia is withdrawing some of its military units and preparing to evacuate occupation administration personnel from some settlements in the Russian-occupied part of Zaporizhia Oblast, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its evening update.

ISW: Russian military movements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast suggest that it can’t defend critical areas amidst increasing Ukrainian strikes. Russia may be withdrawing its military personnel from positions closer to the front line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast to reduce the impact of increasing Ukrainian strikes on Russian manpower and equipment concentrations, the Insitute for the Study of War said in its latest report.

Energoatom fires engineer Russia made ‘head’ of occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Ukraine’s state nuclear energy operator Energoatom Head Petro Kotin on Dec. 1 fired Yury Chernichuk, acting chief engineer of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, for collaborating with Russia. On Nov. 30, Russia’s state nuclear power operator Rosatom said it made Chernichuk run the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.

50 Ukrainian soldiers return home in new prisoner exchange with Russia. President’s Office Head Andriy Yermak said on Dec. 1 that Russia had released 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war under the prisoner exchange. Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it also received 50 people back as part of the prisoner swap.

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Ukraine war latest: Russia may be behind letter bomb attacks in Spain.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov believes that Russia could be behind a series of recent letter bomb attacks in Spain. The first letter bomb was discovered on Nov. 30 after it was sent to the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid. One of the employees received minor injuries while inspecting it.

Photo: Getty Images

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Ukraine calls for reconstruction investment at Toronto conference.

The Rebuild Ukraine Business Conference convened on Nov. 23 in Toronto while Russia launched yet another massive missile strike all over Ukraine, killing civilians, damaging critical infrastructure, and causing major blackouts across Ukraine and even parts of neighboring Moldova.

Photo: Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce

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The demise of the Soviet Union in the 1990s saw the state’s vast wealth up for grabs by enterprising citizens; in making the public into the private, a new class of both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs was born. For decades they played a pivotal role in local and international politics. But this era may be coming to an end.

In this episode of our podcast “Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World,” co-produced with Message Heard, we speak to Oliver Bullough, author of “Moneyland,” about the rise and fall of Russia and Ukraine’s oligarchs.

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International response

Macron, Biden say West will ‘never persuade Ukraine’ to unacceptable compromise with Russia. “We will never call on Ukrainians for a compromise that will be unacceptable. Because they are defending their lives, nation, and our principles, and because this will never lead to lasting sustainable peace,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden.

France, its partners discuss creation of special tribunal for Russia’s crimes. France has started to work with international partners, including Ukraine, on a proposal to set up a special tribunal to investigate Russia’s war crimes during its full-scale war, the French Foreign Ministry reported. “We mobilized in support of both the Ukrainian justice system and the International Criminal Court, which are competent to conduct impartial and independent investigations so that those responsible for these crimes are held accountable,” reads the report.

Germany to supply Ukraine with bridge-laying tanks, border protection vehicles. Germany has handed over to Ukraine unmanned surface vessels, some bridge-laying tanks and dozens of border protection vehicles as part of their new batch of military aid, according to a statement posted on the German government website.

Spanish minister: Letter bombs won’t change decision to help Ukraine. Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Dec. 1 that no letters with explosives or any other violent actions would change the country’s “firm and clear” commitment to support Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, BBC reported.

Reuters: EU governments ‘tentatively’ agree on $60 a barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil. The decision envisages an adjustment mechanism to keep the cap at 5% below the market price, according to diplomats and a document seen by Reuters.

Ukrainian soldiers to train on Czech territory. The Czech Republic’s parliament on Dec. 1 approved a proposal to train Ukrainian soldiers in the country and deploy Czech soldiers in European Union member states to train Ukrainian service members, Radio Prague International reported.

Switzerland freezes almost $8 billion in Russian assets under EU sanctions. Switzerland has frozen financial assets worth nearly $8 billion as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said on Dec. 1. Fifteen Russian properties have also been blocked as of Nov. 25, the agency reported.

In other news

Ukrainian authorities seek to ban Moscow-backed church amid Russian invasion. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has proposed banning Russian-affiliated religious groups, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Dec. 1. The most significant of the groups is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

SBU finds Russian propaganda, xenophobic literature in Moscow Patriarchate monastery in Zakarpattia Oblast. The Security Service of Ukraine said it had found brochures where Ukraine’s right to independence is denied, while stating that Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus “cannot be divided.”

Parliament appoints Infrastructure Minister Kubrakov as Deputy PM for restoration of Ukraine. Oleksandr Kubrakov has served as Infrastructure Minister since May 2021.

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