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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 649: Ukraine begins negotiations with EU on security commitments

Ukraine has initiated discussions with the EU about collective security guarantees, following the G7’s declaration of support for Ukraine. Meanwhile, the White House has issued a warning that the US is set to run out of funds to aid Ukraine by the end of the year.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 649: Ukraine begins negotiations with EU on security commitments

Exclusive

Ukraine military aid stranded by Polish border blockade. A brigade of military boats bound for Ukraine’s counteroffensive sits stranded at Poland’s border, which has blocked transport along with Hungary and Slovakia. Only Romania’s border with Ukraine remains open currently, severely limiting military and humanitarian aid.

Military

Frontline report: Ukrainians encircle and eliminate Russian war criminals near Donetsk’s Avdiivka. Russian forces adjust strategy in Avdiivka, Ukrainian resistance thwarts encirclement. Brutal clashes in Stepove result in significant casualties. Ukrainian fighters maintain control and launch successful counterattacks.

Stratcom: Ukrainian forces struck oil depot in occupied Luhansk. On 3 December, Ukrainian Forces attacked an oil depot located in Russian-occupied Luhansk, the Strategic Communications Department of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on 4 December.

Russia officially recognizes death of its Major General Zavadsky at Kherson’s Krynky. A Russian official officially confirms the death of Russia’s Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, who had reportedly been killed in a mine explosion last week.

As of 04 Dec 2023, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 332810 (+770)
      • Tanks: 5580 (+5)
      • APV: 10401 (+5)
      • Artillery systems: 7961 (+12)
      • MLRS: 913
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 602
      • Aircraft: 323
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6017 (+22)
      • Cruise missiles : 1569
      • Warships/boats: 22
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 10451 (+19)

Intelligence and Technology

UK intel reports 320,000 Russian combatant casualties in Ukraine, with 70,000 dead. UK intelligence update reveals 70,000 killed and 220,000-280,000 wounded Russian combatants in Ukraine, with a median estimate of 320,000 casualties.

Russia uses thermal covers to evade detection in assaults on Ukrainian positions. The Russian military has begun employing thermal covers, utilizing specialized camouflage gear, to evade drone detection and render their troops invisible to thermal imagers.

Poland sends 18 Krab self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, more to come. Last year, Ukraine signed a contract with the Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola SA to produce 56 such howitzers.

International

Slovenia commits €1.5 million to Ukraine for humanitarian demining. Under the terms of the agreement, the funds will be provided on a non-refundable basis in December 2023.

Lithuania donates €1 mn to Ukraine Solidarity Fund for reconstruction efforts. “Lithuania stands firm in support of Ukraine. Ukraine’s strength lies in its people and their determination to fight against the aggressor,” Lithuania’s Minister of Finance said.

Ukraine begins negotiations with EU on security guarantees. The consultations revolved around strategies for future security commitments from the EU, with a particular emphasis on the security and defense sector.

Minister: 200 ships exported 7 million tons of cargo via Black Sea corridor since August. Despite the ongoing Russian blockade, Ukraine managed to export 7 million tons of cargo since August, of which nearly 5 million tons were agricultural products.

YLE: Russia planned campaign to disrupt accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. Proposed protest activities included anti-Türkish and anti-Erdogan demonstrations in major cities around Europe.

Humanitarian and Social Impact

Ukraine down 18/23 explosive drones and one missile in Russia’s night attack. Last night’s Russian air attack using Shahed drones from occupied Crimea has been thwarted by Ukraine’s air defenses with no reported injuries or damage.

Ukrainian, Slovak Prime Ministers outline bilateral priorities in first phone call. Denys Shmyhal and Robert Fico charted priority directions in their first conversation since Fico took office, focusing on key areas such as rebuilding, energy ties, and border crossings.

Poroshenko initiated meeting with Orban, Hungarian foreign minister says. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto confirmed that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has planned to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Bulgarian President Radev vetoes donation of 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine (updated). Bulgaria’s pro-Russian President Radev vetoed the donation of armored vehicles to Ukraine, claiming that MPs were inadequately informed about the donation’s specifics and its implications for national security.

WH: US funding for Ukraine set to run out by end of the year. The White House alerts to a looming funding crisis for Ukraine, emphasizing Congress’s swift action needed to safeguard Kyiv by year-end.

New Developments

SBU arrests suspected FSB agent behind Kyiv missile strikes last New Year’s eve. SBU’s operation uncovers Russian agent’s involvement in missile attacks on Kyiv, espionage activities, and wartime state betrayal.

Read our earlier daily review here

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