- JFO report 2 attacks by Russian-backed militants, namely near Novozvanivka and Svitlodarsk
- Russian-led militants once again denied OSCE SMM passage near Zolote & Molodizhne, Luhansk Obl.
- Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov is confident that Ukraine will have enough weapons for self-defense in the event of an attack by Russian troops.
- Ben Wallace, British Defence Secretary: ‘It’s a fact it’s [Ukraine] not a member of Nato, so it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to send troops into Ukraine to challenge Russia… We shouldn’t kid people on that we would.’
- Head of parliamentary coalition faction of the SPD of Germany (SPD) Rolf Mutzenich says Germany should sit down at negotiating table with Russia and draw clear boundaries of what is permissible, and find a way out of the vicious circle of escalation
Ukraine hosts Lublin Triangle meeting
On December 20, a summit of the Lublin Triangle was held in the village of Huta in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast with the participation of the presidents of Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania.
As reported, the Lublin Triangle is a platform for tripartite cooperation between the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, and Ukraine, aimed at deepening regional cooperation in the security, economic and socio-humanitarian spheres.
The presidents spoke about security and coordinating further steps to counter common challenges.
At a press conference in Huta, Polish President Andrzej Duda stressed that Russia must take a step back in the current situation with the build-up of troops near the Ukrainian border.
He noted that Ukraine’s security is a fundamental issue and that it is necessary not to allow not only a military attack on Ukraine but to do everything possible to prevent such an attack.
Duda also noted he stands against any concessions to Russia.
According to him, no democratic state can accept this state of affairs.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has said that his country is ready to support Ukraine’s accession to NATO and does not accept Russia’s pressure on the issue.
Nauseda added that no one has the right to veto and influence the decisions and choices of independent states.
During the meeting, the three presidents signed a joint declaration in support of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union and NATO.
In the next two days, a conference with the participation of all Ukrainian ambassadors in the world will be held in Huta. According to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the goals of Ukraine’s foreign policy strategy will be discussed at the meeting.
Lithuania ready to give Ukraine lethal weapons
Lithuania is ready to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, said Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas amid fears of Russian aggression.
“We need to support Ukraine by all means. Lithuania is ready to do so, including by handing over lethal weapons to Ukraine,” the Lithuanian minister said in Rukla on Sunday without elaborating on what type of weapons could be supplied to Ukraine.
Russia continues to expand military presence near Ukraine border
The buildup of Russian military equipment near the Ukraine-Russia border is maintaining its pace from previous months as concerns of an invasion persist. The DFRLab has tracked Russian military movements throughout December and found that units from the Central Military District (CMD) continued to use rail services to move equipment hundreds of kilometers toward locations near the Ukraine border. Most recently, units from the St. Petersburg area were spotted relocating to Kursk, roughly 100 kilometers from the Ukraine border.
US Senate reaches deal on Nord Stream 2 sanctions
The Senate will vote next month on legislation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to impose Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions as part of a deal that allowed Democrats to clear dozens of President Biden‘s nominees.
Under the agreement, locked in during a rare all-night session, the Senate will vote on Cruz’s legislation on sanctions related to the construction of the pipeline, which allows Russia to deliver natural gas to Germany, by Jan. 14. It will need 60 votes to ultimately pass.
The deal comes after days of negotiations between Cruz and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that seemed to routinely yo-yo, even in the hours leading up to the agreement, from stalemate to progress and back again.
Words and statements not enough to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine, says EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrelll
The security situation resulting from a build-up of Russian troops around Ukraine’s borders has become a major issue for world politics, but words and statements are not enough to deter Russian aggression, Borrelll wrote in his blog.
“We know that words and statements alone are not enough to change the calculus of the Russian leadership and that is why it is so important that EU leaders decided to roll over existing economic sanctions and warned that any Russian move against Ukraine would carry heavy consequences. This has been underlined by both the President of the Council and the President of the Commission,” Borrelll said.
Poroshenko charged with treason and aiding terrorism
In a move decried by his supporters as political, the fifth Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been charged with state treason and aiding terrorism. This is the latest of a string of criminal cases opened against the former president by the team of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukraine’s anti-prosecutor selection now invalidated by scandalous court
The day before the final stage of the crucial selection of Ukraine’s new anti-corruption prosecutor on 21 December, a court with a scandalous reputation invalidated the entire selection process. This potentially leaves a key element of Ukraine’s anti-corruption system disfunctional, as well as puts Ukraine’s relations with the IMF in the air.
The Fallen Mercenaries in Russia’s Dark Army: investigation by Newlinesmag
Former Ukrainian intelligence officers spent seven years compiling a database of Russia’s notorious mercenaries. The outlet NewLinesMag found the parents, siblings, and widows of those killed in battle.