Daily review: more Russian troops on Ukrainian borders than in 2014, LDNR leaders join Putin’s party, Britain pledges support for Ukraine

 

Daily review

Catch up on the latest news from and related to Ukraine in our daily review.

Past 24 hours in the war zone

On 7 December, Russian proxies launched 7 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Mariupol sectors, including heavy artillery and weapons banned by Minsk, according to Ukraine’s Joint-Forces Operation’s Command.

As of 19:30 on 6 December, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded 442 violations of the ceasefire, including 44 explosions in Donetsk Oblast; 178 violations, including 78 explosions in Luhansk Oblast. The Mission reported two civilian casualties in government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

US officials have told members of Congress they have an understanding with Germany about shutting down the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine, a senior congressional aide told Reuters on 7 December.

US Congress approved $300 million in aid to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Approved by the House of Representatives, it must also be considered by Senate and signed by US President.

US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland warned the Senate committee that Putin is trying to restore the Soviet Union. Also warns Russia that new aggression against Ukraine would cost them “a lot of blood”.

Heads of Donbas occupation administrations join Putin’s party

On 4 December, the heads of the Russian occupation administrations joined United Russia, Russia’s ruling party. The leader of one of them, speaking on air of Russian media, rejected the Minsk peace plan, stating that he doesn’t see any point in returning the territories of the self-proclaimed “republics” under control of Ukraine. This fact further undermines the seven-year-long Russian propaganda narrative of the “civil war in Ukraine” and the Russian demand that Ukraine should negotiate directly with “representatives of Luhansk and Donetsk.” Read more:

Heads of Donbas occupation administrations join Putin’s party, reject Minsk peace plan

Russia deployed more troops on Ukraine’s borders than before its 2014 invasion of Crimea – Nuland

The Russian military capacity built on the Ukrainian borders is “much larger and on a much more lethal scale” than it was before Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, according to US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, CNN reports. She told it to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 7 December, also mentioning that Russia has positioned about 100 tactical groups and nearly all its ready ground forces based west of the Urals along its border with Ukraine.

Britain pledges support for Ukraine

British foreign minister Liz Truss pledged to stand “with Ukraine” against Russian aggression, saying London was discussing with NATO allies other measures to take to prevent any incursion.

Russia currently promoting three disinfo narratives about Ukraine – Ukrainian Deputy FM

First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar said on 7 November at the Kyiv Stratcom Forum that Russia is currently promoting three main disinformation narratives about Ukraine in various formats and through various channels:

  • “the first is the military provocation that Ukraine is allegedly preparing against Russia”
  • “the second is that Ukraine is unconstructive and does not comply with the Minsk agreements”
  • “the third is that Ukraine uses Bayraktar drones against the civilian population”

Ukrainian junior divers won gold

Oleksiy Sereda and Danylo Avanesov have won Gold in the synchronized high jump at the 23rd FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Kyiv’s Liko Sports Center. Ksenia Baylo has taken home Gold in 3m springboard in the B age group.

Venice Commission postponed assessing Ukraine’s Oligarch Law

The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) has postponed consideration of the issue of providing an opinion on the law of Ukraine “On the prevention of threats to national security associated with the excessive influence of persons with significant economic and political weight in public life (oligarchs)” to the next plenary session scheduled for the second half of January 2022.

Anti-corruption prosecutor selection moves forward after months of delay

The selection of an anti-corruption prosecutor has started to move forward following months of delay.

On Dec. 7, the selection panel announced its scores for the written test of two finalists. Oleksandr Klymenko, a detective of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), scored higher than prosecutor Andriy Synyuk. Read more at Kyiv Independent.

Another low-cost airline enters Ukraine

Spanish low-cost airline Vueling Airlines has launched Paris–Kyiv scheduled flights. Vueling flies to the Boryspil International Airport from Paris Orly Airport. The airline operates flights from Kyiv twice a week – on Tuesdays and Sundays. The airline’s fleet consists of A320 and A319 aircraft.

On July 12 this year, the Kremlin website published a lengthy essay authored by Russian President Vladimir Putin and profoundly titled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” which claims that Russians and Ukrainians are one people and have always shared a single history.

Snyder’s response to Putin

In his address to the recent Kyiv Security Forum, Timothy Snyder, a famous American scholar of modern European history and an influential public intellectual, responded to Putin’s essay titled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” He states that Putin’s false view of history presented in the essay leaves Russia without its own story and that the essay’s real purpose is to cover up the fundamental foreign policy failures in Russia’s relationships with Ukraine, the West, and China:

Timothy Snyder: Putin’s essay on Ukraine creates mythical history to cover foreign policy failures

History

8 December 2013 saw one of the most massive rallies of the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv – the March of Millions. Kyiv’s Independence Square and adjacent streets were filled with people of all ages. By evening, 15 civilian self-defense units had been created. They were called “sotnyas.” Protests continued all across Ukraine.

One of many statues of Vladimir Lenin taken down in Ukraine.

One of many statues of Vladimir Lenin taken down in Ukraine.

Today is also the anniversary of the most important “Leninfall” in Ukraine, when Lenin’s statue was brought down in Kyiv around 18:00 on 8 December 2013, and the stone head was disconnected from his body. Since then, over 1,400 Lenin monuments have been dismantled in Ukraine, including memorial plaques. Between December 2013 and June 2017, 2409 Soviet sites were dismantled in Ukraine.

Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine (second from left seated), Stanislav Shushkevich of Belarus (third from left seated), Boris Yeltsin of Russia (second from right seated) signing the Belovezh Accords at Viskuli, a hunting estate in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/RIAN Archive ~

Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine (second from left seated), Stanislav Shushkevich of Belarus (third from left seated), Boris Yeltsin of Russia (second from right seated) signing the Belovezh Accords at Viskuli, a hunting estate in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/RIAN Archive

On this day in 1991, leaders of the Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia dealt the final blow to the half-dead Soviet Union by signing the Belovezh Accords which declared the USSR as effectively ceasing to exist and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

At the moment of signing, all three states had already proclaimed their independence. For example, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Independence Act on 24 August 1991 later backed by the 1 December referendum.

Read our archive article:

Belavezha Accords didn’t destroy the USSR: it had already ceased to exist, Shtepa says

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