Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, December 8

Putin setting conditions for 'protracted war of conquest' in Ukraine -- Ukraine reports downing 14 Iranian-made drones overnight -- Ukraine used home-modified Soviet drones to strike Russian bases -- Putin ally steals 400,000 acres of Ukrainian farmland -- Why we choose to publish stories about misconduct in the Ukrainian military -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Thursday, December 8

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Volodymyr Ziganov stands on the rubble of his destroyed house in Zaporizhzhia, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, on Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Zelensky: Ukraine has liberated 1,888 settlements since Feb. 24. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that almost as many towns and villages remain under Russian occupation.

Ukraine reports downing 14 Iranian-made drones overnight. Russia has been using Iranian-made kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine since September, launching attacks against civilians and destroying energy facilities across the country.

Politico: Ukraine used home-modified Soviet drones to strike Russian bases. Ukraine used domestically-modified drones to strike two military airbases in Russia on Dec. 5, Politico reported, citing two people familiar with the operation. The drones were modified Tu-141 surveillance aircraft from the Soviet era, the two individuals told Politico.

Putin says war in Ukraine could last for a long time. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin said Russia’s war against Ukraine could go on for a long time but that there was no reason for further military mobilization, Reuters reported.

ISW: Putin setting conditions for ‘protracted war of conquest’ in Ukraine. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is not planning on ending the war any time soon as Russia continues to seek the conquest of additional Ukrainian territory, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia starts digging trenches along border with Ukraine. “This probably illustrates some Russia decision-makers’ genuine (but false) belief that there is a credible threat of invasion by Ukrainian forces,” the defense ministry’s update reads.

Ukrenergo: Ukraine still faces ‘significant’ energy deficit after Russia’s Dec. 5 mass attack. There is still a significant deficit in the energy system on Dec. 7, and all regional branches of the state grid operator have limits on electricity consumption. “Unfortunately, there are already regions where consumption limits have been exceeded, so emergency shutdowns have been applied,” Ukrenergo said.

Naftogaz: Russian attacks damage 350 gas facilities. Oleksiy Chernyshov, CEO of Ukraine’s oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz, said that recent Russian attacks had damaged 350 natural gas facilities with the loss of gas production capacity of around $700 million.

Kuleba: 31 Ukrainian diplomatic missions abroad receive threats in recent days. According to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, over the past two days, “suspicious envelopes” were sent to Ukrainian embassies in Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Denmark, as well as the consulate in Polish Gdansk, bringing the total number of Ukrainian missions abroad receiving threats to 31.

WSJ: Putin ally steals 400,000 acres of Ukrainian farmland. Russian oligarch Alexander Tkachov’s company, Agrocomplex, has seized around 400,000 acres of farmland belonging to three Ukrainian agribusinesses in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied territories, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Kyiv Independent’s latest editorial

Editorial: Why we choose to publish stories about misconduct in the Ukrainian military.

In its latest editorial, the Kyiv Independent explains why it decided to publish a story that sheds light on misconduct in the Ukrainian military, and how it sets the Kyiv Independent apart.

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Governor: Russia attacks Kherson Oblast 51 times over past day, kills 2 and wounds 1. The attacks also damaged civilian infrastructure and residential buildings in the oblast, the official added.

10 killed in Russia’s attack on Kurakhove in Donetsk Oblast. Many people were also injured, Zelensky said in his evening address on Dec. 7. A market, elevator, a bus station, gas stations, and a residential building came under fire, according to the president.

Regional police chief, 3 other police officers killed by landmines in Kherson Oblast. Four police officers, including Cherkasy Oblast police chief Mykhailo Kuratchenko, were killed, and four others were injured while demining liberated areas of Kherson Oblast, Ihor Klymenko, head of the National Police, said on Dec. 7.

General Staff: Russia has lost 92,740 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Russia had also lost 2,935 tanks, 5,909 armored fighting vehicles, 4,526 vehicles and fuel tanks, 1,923 artillery systems, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 211 air defense systems, 281 airplanes, 264 helicopters, 1,601 drones, and 16 boats.

International response

TIME names Spirit of Ukraine and Zelensky ‘person of the year.’ President Volodymyr Zelensky was named Time magazine’s person of the year on Dec. 7, acknowledging his leadership amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, the magazine recognized the “spirit of Ukraine,” which was embodied by countless individuals contributing to the fight against Russian aggression.

Zelensky tops Politico’s ‘most influential people in Europe’ list. President Volodymyr Zelensky was named Politico’s most influential person in Europe of the year on Dec. 7 in recognition of his leadership amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is listed ninth in Politico’s “Dreamer” section of the list, with the caption “the loser.”

Stoltenberg says Ukraine has right to defend itself as Russia accuses Ukraine of striking its territory. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russian missile attacks on critical infrastructure. “What we see is that Ukraine is defending itself. And we need to understand this in the wider context. We see daily attacks by Russia on Ukrainian cities, on critical infrastructure,” Stoltenberg said.

EU outlines proposals on ninth package of sanctions against Russia. “Russia continues to bring death and devastation to Ukraine. It is deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, seeking to paralyze the country at the beginning of the winter. We stand by Ukraine, and we are making Russia pay for its cruelty,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

US lawmakers agree to provide additional $800 million in defense aid for Ukraine. The U.S. lawmakers agreed to pass the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDDA), which authorizes an additional $800 million in security assistance for Ukraine – an increase of $500 million over U.S. President Joe Biden’s request earlier this year, Reuters reported.

Official: France’s Supreme Court upholds International Court of Arbitration decision to recover $1.1 billion from Russia in favor of Ukraine. The French Supreme Court upheld the decision of the International Court of Arbitration to recover $1.1 billion from Russia in favor of the state-owned Oschadbank for the assets lost in Russian-occupied Crimea, Deputy Justice Minister Iryna Mudra said.

Duolingo: Over 1.3 million people start learning Ukrainian after Russia invaded Ukraine. The number of people who started to learn the Ukrainian language has increased by over 1.3 million since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Duolingo, an American tech company with a language-learning app, said.

Lithuania cancels license of Russian TV channel Dozhd. Latvia, the main location for Dozhd since the independent TV channel fled Russia, canceled its license on Dec. 6.

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