Daily Review: Donbas militants at higher level of military readiness, Germany vows support for Ukraine & in talks to lift NATO military purchases ban

 

Daily review

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Quick fire

  • Russian proxies launch two attacks on Ukrainian positions, namely Popasna & Katerynivka, also using heavy artillery banned by Minsk.
  • Between evenings of Dec 10 & 12, OSCE SMM recorded 211 violations, incl 30 explosions in Donetsk Obl; 99 violations, incl 107 explosions in Luhansk Obl.
  • Russian-led militants denied OSCE SMM passage near Zolote & Molodizhne; delayed passage at Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk Obl.
  • Amid Ukraine crisis, Russia threatens to deploy mid-range nuclear missiles in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
  • “We also discussed Ukraine and Russia’s military build-up on their borders… the European Union stands united in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ministers – all of them – have been very clear today that any aggression against Ukraine will come with political consequences and with a high economic cost for Russia,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell.
  • Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau declares that goal of EU & entire transatlantic community is to “de-escalate tension around Ukraine”; this can only be achieved by “strong deterrence.”
  • In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that increasing aggression against Ukraine would be a strategic mistake for Russia and reaffirmed UK support for Ukraine.
  • The self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alyaksander Lukashenka, expects that the new union of Russia and Belarus will take into account all the mistakes of the European Union, as well as leave all the positives of the Soviet Union, as stated in his interview for the Turkish TRT.
  • Putin held phone calls with his Finnish and French counterparts on 14 December where he reiterated the demand of security guarantees from NATO. Putin said he wants immediate talks with Western countries to prevent NATO’s expansion further east.
  • Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy in his interview for La Repubblica says Russia fails to provide the agreed access for international organizations to Ukrainian POWs and political prisoners. There are hundreds of them now in Russia and Russian-occupied Donbas and Crimea, and their condition is “so terrible” that Russia fears to show them to the Red Cross, Zelenskyy says.
  • Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Dr. Karen Donfried reassured that any decisions regarding Ukraine without participation of Ukraine are not possible.

Ukraine is in talks with Germany to unblock the purchase of weapons

Ukraine is in talks with Germany to unblock the purchase by Kyiv of weapons systems to counter Russian aggression through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. That’s according to Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. He says “diplomatic negotiations will be enough to find a solution to any situation.”

As was reported, in November 2021, Berlin vetoed Ukraine’s purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems through a NATO procurement agency. Germany later softened its position only regarding the first item, declaring anti-drone rifles non-lethal weapons.

Germany blocks Ukraine’s arms purchase from NATO as unofficial arms embargo on Ukraine continues

Germany’s new Foreign Minister assures support for Ukraine

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba conducted phone call with Germany’s newly appointed Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, former co-leader of the German Greens. Baerbock reassured her firm support for Ukraine and the country’s territorial integrity, stating that Nord Stream 2 pipeline can operate only according to the European energy package. In particular, “…the ministers agreed that European energy legislation should be applied to the project. They also discussed steps to strengthen the energy security of Ukraine and Europe.”

Austria urges launch of Nord Stream 2, Germany opposes, gas prices surge amid dependence on Russia

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg asked to launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline quickly, while Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said the pipeline should not be used as leverage against Russia. This was opposed by German Foreign Minister Baerbock, who criticizes the pipeline in its current form. Meanwhile, gas prices in Europe surged to record levels since October on the backdrop of the EU’s 50% dependence on Russian gas imports.

No unity regarding Nord Stream 2 in Europe as Austria asks to launch pipeline “quickly,” contradicting Germany

Defence intelligence of Ukraine warns of full combat readiness in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics”

According to the report, from December 6 to 10, the occupiers conducted training to bring to a higher level of combat readiness motorized infantry units, artillery and tank units with their withdrawal to certain areas of concentration and deployment of control points. In addition, on 13 December, the intensity of combat training, including meetings with unit commanders, combat vehicle crews, snipers and grenade launchers, was resumed in the occupying forces.

77 Javelins from the US for Ukraine in total since 2018

According to what the Pentagon has confirmed, the last batch of 30 Javelin anti-tank guided missile systems and 180 Javelin missiles was delivered to Ukraine on 23 October 2021. This makes for a total of 77 Javelin anti-tank missile launchers and 540 associated missiles of various modifications, donated by the United States as part of its military aid program for Ukraine’s Armed Forces since 2018, DefenseExpress reports.

31 NATO warships visit Black Sea in 2021, the highest number since 2014

The French Navy’s missile frigate FS Auvergne (D654) has entered the Black Sea on 13 December 2021 at about 22:30 becoming the 31st NATO warship in the Black Sea in 2021. Thus, 2021 sees the record number of NATO warships in the Black Sea since 2014. At the same time, 40 NATO ships visited the sea in 1997. The NATO presence in the region rose again after the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.

Daily Review: Donbas militants at higher level of military readiness, Germany vows support for Ukraine & in talks to lift NATO military purchases ban ~~

 

Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov holds visit to Sweden, signing an agreement on defence cooperation

During the meeting, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov and the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Sweden Peter Hultqvist signed an updated Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Defense, the press service reports, not disclosing the content of the Agreement.

https://twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1470729225174986757

https://twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1470728505751216131

Russian FSB’s “evidence” against imprisoned Ukrainian journalist Yesypenko demolished but “court” rules for detention

The grenade which Ukrainian journalist Vladislav Yesypenko is accused of carrying in his car in Russian-occupied Crimea does not fit in the car compartment where the FSB claimed to have found it.  This was not the only glaring discrepancy in the prosecution’s case demonstrated during the “court” hearing on 13 December, yet prosecutor Yelena Podolnaya once again demanded and “judge” Dlyaver Berberov ordered that Yesypenko be held in detention.

Ukrainian Antonov to construct 5 planes, announced by Zelesnkyy new Ukrainian national airlines

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” signed a memorandum, according to which new state-owned carrier Ukrainian National Airlines will order the construction of five passenger aircraft at the Antonov State Enterprise, Ukrinform reports.

“We planned to launch a Ukrainian national carrier to stimulate our aircraft industry. Ukraine is one of the few countries that can build aircraft, has technologies, production capacities, people. We only lacked state orders. And now we start working for civil aviation,” Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov said during the signing ceremony.

President Zelenskyy announced on 25 November 2021 that Ukraine launches its state-owned Ukrainian national airlines. Zelenskyy highlighted that Ukraine has a huge aircraft construction enterprise Antonov which, however, worked mainly for exports. In 2021 pit delivered three aircraft for Ukrainian military. The goal set for 2022 is the first five passenger aircraft for Ukrainian airlines and the first flights of the new company.

Protests of entrepreneurs and opponents of vaccination certificates

Several hundred entrepreneurs protested near the Ukrainian parliament buildings, demanding the adoption of the law №5866-1 to maintain the simplified tax system and accounting. As of January 2022, Ukraine will introduce mandatory cash registers for several categories of entrepreneurs which they say would hamper Ukrainian small entrepreneurs.

Two petitions demanding cancellation of current COVID regulations have collected the necessary 25,000 signatures and should be considered by the president, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Petitions demand the withdrawal of draft law №4142 that was already adopted in the first reading and gives the government the right to define the list of professions for mandatory vaccination. Petitions also demand the cancellation of mandatory vaccination for certain professions, instead to provide vaccines to those who wish to get vaccinated on a paid basis. On the weekend, opponents of COVID regulations, in particular members of the “Human Rights” movement protested in about 20 cities and towns, including Kyiv, with the same demands.

According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 40% of adult Ukrainians have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Holodomor Museum in Kyiv accused of falsifying expertise to promote inflated famine death tolls 

Establishing the exact death toll of the Holodomor, an artificial famine unleashed by Soviet dictator Stalin that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians in 1932-1933, has been a complicated affair. Recently, it turned brutal as historians accused Ukraine’s Holodomor Museum of falsifying history in an open letter and promoting the “unscientific” number of 10.5 million. Signatories claim any revision of the conventionally accepted estimates, the most widespread of which is 3.9 million, must happen only after the methods used will be approved by the scientific community.

 

 

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