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Daily Review: EU foreign policy chief begins visit to Ukraine, NATO must uphold promise to Ukraine – former chief

Catch up with the latest news from Ukraine in our Daily Review. Our patrons get this review as a newsletter delivered to their inbox; become one of them here.

Past 24 hours in the war zone

  • Russian hybrid forces launch 4 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors, incl heavy artillery and weapons banned by Minsk agreements;
  • One Ukrainian soldier wounded; in serious condition.

Quick news

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in January and plans to raise the issue of Ukraine and gas, reports Bild.
  • Five countries issue declarations on preventing nuclear war
  • US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüta Çavuşkoglu discuss cooperation and rising tension between Ukraine and Russia.
  • EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrelll begins a visit to Ukraine. His three-day visit will include a stop at the contact line in eastern Ukraine. It will be the first time the EU’s top diplomat to the region since the conflict broke out. Ahead of the visit, Borrell stated that Ukraine has the right and freedom to choose its unions and partnerships, and no one will be deciding things related to Ukraine without Ukraine.
  • NATO Foreign Ministers will hold extraordinary virtual meeting on Friday 7 Jan. They will discuss Russia’s military build-up in & around Ukraine and broader European security issues.

News in Ukraine

Ukraine bans Russian vessels from accessing its inland waters

According to the law, access to the inland waters of Ukraine is prohibited to vessels flying the flag of the aggressor state, which carry passengers and cargo between river ports. The coastal cruises of Russian-flagged vessels are also prohibited.

Ukraine ranks fourth in EU agri-food imports

According to the trade monitoring data from January to September 2021, Ukraine ranks 4th in EU’s agri-food imports and 14th in agri-food exports from EU countries.


Former NATO chief says Alliance must uphold promise to Ukraine

“We promised both Georgia and Ukraine seats at the NATO table in 2008, and it’s time we set out an action plan to realize our promise. If necessary, we can do this with a proviso stating that NATO’s Article 5 only covers the territory under the control of Kyiv and Tbilisi, but NATO cannot have an open-door policy on enlargement in which it continues to allow Putin to act as the doorman,” writes Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO secretary-general.

Ukraine continues search for missing bones of Yaroslav the Wise: WSJ

In the 11th century, a prince called Yaroslav the Wise united principalities lying between the Baltic and Black seas, codifying laws and forming the first political state of the eastern Slavs. Both Russia and Ukraine claim him as a forefather. Now, Ukraine is searching for Yaroslav’s missing bones.

Czech Ex-Soldier Sentenced For Fighting With Russia-Backed Separatists In Ukraine

A former member of the Czech Army has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for fighting on the side of pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier, how we reported how Czechia became a leader in convicting ex-mercenaries from Donbas:

How Czechia became a leader in convicting ex-mercenaries who fought against Ukraine in the Donbas

Poltava prepares to rebuke Putin: WSJ

A decisive Russian military victory in Poltava in 1709 allowed Moscow to dominate much of this country for nearly three centuries. If Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to pull it off again with the tens of thousands of troops he has amassed around Ukraine, he will have to reckon with people like 39-year-old archaeologist Anatoliy Khanko. “Even if they get to Poltava, they won’t be here for long,” said Mr. Khanko, who sports a buzzcut and long black beard.

Italy arrests Ukrainian theater director on demand of Russia in “fabricated” case

On 17 December 2021, Naples law enforcement officers arrested 39-year-old Yevhen Lavrenchuk, a Ukrainian theater director and Honored Artist of Ukraine upon Moscow’s request for his extradition to INTERPOL. This happened during his flight from Tel Aviv to Lviv, with a stop in Naples.

Italy arrests Ukrainian theater director on demand of Russia in “fabricated” case

Sweden creates Psychological Defense Agency to counter disinformation from Russia, China, and Iran

On 1 January, Sweden launched its Psychological Defense Agency, which will work to identify, analyze and respond to inappropriate information influences and other information directed against Sweden or Swedish interests. It is part of the Swedish concept of “Total Defense.”

Sweden creates Psychological Defense Agency to counter disinformation from Russia, China, and Iran

Russians now fear their own government more than they fear a world war, Schulmann says

The recent coverage of the system of torture and rape in Russian penal institutions has had two important consequences as far as Russian public opinion is concerned. On the one hand, it has revealed significant support among the population for the use of torture; but on the other, it has shown that Russians now fear their own government more than they do a new world war.

Russians now fear their own government more than they fear a world war, Schulmann says


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