Catch up with the latest news from and related to Ukraine with Euromaidan Press’ daily review.
Past 24 hours in the war zone
On 2 November, Russian-hybrid forces launched 6 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Mariupol sectors, also using heavy artillery and weapons banned by Minsk accords, one Ukrainian soldier was wounded, according to Ukraine’s Joint-Forces Operation Staff.
As of 19:30 December 1, OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) recorded 159 violations, including 33 explosions in Donetsk Oblast, 22 violations, including 19 explosions in Luhansk Oblast. Gunfire was directed at OSCE SMM UAV near non-government-controlled Sadovyi, Luhansk Oblast.
US sees diplomacy as the only way to resolve current military tension around Ukraine; calls on Russia and Ukraine to return to dialogue in Minsk Accords, as per US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Russia has signed Minsk agreements, so must contribute to peaceful settlement of the war in eastern Ukraine, said Germany’s Acting Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
The EU granted Ukraine 31 million euros for boosting defense capabilities, Ukrainian FM Kuleba reported on Twitter. The package will include military supplies and facilities for medicine, engineering, mine clearing, logistics, and cyber security.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approves the launch of the Ukrainian National Center for Peace Development. Its main task is to protect the rights of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea and occupied territories.
The threat of Russian invasion in Ukraine lingers
Militants of the Russian-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” brought their troops to the highest level of combat readiness, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported.
According to CNN sources familiar with the latest intelligence assessments, Russian forces have capabilities in place along the Ukraine border to carry out a swift and immediate invasion, including erecting supply lines such as medical units and fuel that could sustain a drawn-out conflict, should Moscow choose to invade.[quote]A senior administration official told CNN that the US has “seen additional Russia troops added to the border region in recent days,” but the source declined to detail how many troops.[/quote]
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in his address to the Ukrainian Parliament that Russia concentrated almost 95,000 troops near Ukrainian borders and in the occupied parts of Ukraine.
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) December 3, 2021
Blinken warns Lavrov in person against a new invasion of Ukraine
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov on 2 November to warn him face-to-face of the “serious consequences” Russia would suffer if it invaded Ukraine and to urge him to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.
The warning was delivered to Lavrov at a meeting in Stockholm, a day after declaring that Washington was ready to respond resolutely, including with hard-hitting sanctions, in case of a Russian attack. The meeting of the two lasted for about 30 minutes on the fringes of a meeting of the OSCE in Stockholm.
Asked about Russia-Ukraine border tensions, @POTUS replies he's putting together the "most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people believe he may do” https://t.co/oFJn71Qq32 via @W7VOA pic.twitter.com/Yg0JmXJm8R
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) December 3, 2021
Canada won’t send more troops to Ukraine
Canada is not going to send more troops to Ukraine, contrary to last week’s report by The Globe and Mail that it was considering bolstering its 200-soldier Operation Unifier training mission and even relocating fighter jets to Ukraine.
Now, Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre said during his visit to Kyiv on 2 November that he was concerned that any new military backing for Ukraine could inflame the situation. The statement came after Russian President Putin recently stated that any expansion of NATO’s presence in the country would cross a “red line” for Russia, which considers Ukraine to be part of its so-called “sphere of influence.”
Details of Ukrainians Russia arrested as spies revealed
Russia arrested three Ukrainians it says are “spies.” They turned out to be a coffee connoisseur from Kyiv and an entire family from a West-Ukrainian village, Meduza reported
President’s Office plans to falsify selection of Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor Office chief
The Kyiv-based Anti-Corruption Center, an anti-graft watchdog, says it has proof that the President’s Office plans to falsify the results of the selection process of Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor who will lead the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, or SAPO.
Ukrainian paramedics train volunteers to save wounded soldiers
Participants of the Donbas Frontliner project spent some time with the Ukrainian medical battalion Hospitaliery, interviewing their young leader Yana Zinkevych, the instructors, assistants, and the trainees. Here is their live report:
Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania call to impose more anti-Russian sanctions
New sanctions against Russia should be imposed as a response to its aggressive approach towards Ukraine, according to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and his Lithuanian and Ukrainian counterparts, Gitanas Nausėda and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Euroactive reports.
A common declaration of Polish and Lithuanian leaders that was published on the 30th anniversary of their recognition of Ukraine’s independence confirms support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Biden should seek closer relations with Ukraine as a response to Russia’s threats – ex-US Ambo
“Biden needs more realism to guide his Russia policy,” former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul wrote on Twitter, sharing the article co-authored by him and ex Ukrainian PM Oleksiy Honcharuk.
In the article, the authors stress that toward Russia, Biden must embrace more coercive diplomacy. As for Ukraine, Biden and his administration and allied nations:
- need a more comprehensive strategy of engagement;
- must deepen military-to-military ties;
- must articulate a more sophisticated long-term strategy for consolidating democracy and spurring economic growth in Ukraine;
- should create a Donbas Development Fund — a Marshall Plan for eastern Ukraine.
China is interested in deepening space cooperation with Ukraine
Representatives of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) held a working online meeting on space cooperation.
According to Ukrinform,
“the heads of space agencies touched upon all the prerequisites for deepening bilateral space cooperation within the framework of mutually beneficial projects,” although no particular projects were mentioned.
Ukraine seems to continue its dangerous game of flirting with China as US NASA has been prohibited from direct bilateral cooperation with China since 2011.
Global Summit for Democracy
On 9-10, the US will hold a Global Summit for Democracy. Here’s what Ukrainian civil society wants to bring to its table:
“Ukraine will become NATO member when three capitals change their views”
“According to my calculations, Ukraine will join NATO when three capitals of NATO member states change their view of relations with Ukraine, finally beginning to see Ukraine as an independent and sovereign state, not as an appendage to Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
The minister didn’t answer the question on the states in question but noted that when there is a change of opinion in these capitals and they no longer build their relations with Ukraine through the prism of bilateral relations with Russia, the situation will change dramatically.
Largest nativity scene in Europe
The Kyiv City State Administration says that the base of the city’s main Christmas tree will be decorated in the form of a traditional nativity scene, which, according to the officials, is going to be the largest in Europe. The New Year tree itself will be decorated with 10,000 decorations, red and gold toys, and a ten-kilometer garland.
The tree will be erected at the traditional location for New Year’s festivities in Kyiv, St Sophia Square, and lit on 19 December, according to the city’s authorities.