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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 655: Ukraine repels Russian attack on vital railway hub

A Russian assault aimed at capturing the Khimik train station near Avdiivka has been repelled by Ukrainian defenders. Control of the railway hub remains crucial as fighting persists in the eastern Donbas.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 655: Ukraine repels Russian attack on vital railway hub

Exclusive

Ukraine ramps up weapons production with US, Italian support. A DIY FrankenSAM, domestic 155mm rounds, and aviation tech are being produced thanks to alliances forged with Western companies, says the minister, and hints of success with long-range missiles.

Military

Frontline report: Ukrainians repel new Russian assault near Avdiivka that targeted Khimik train station. Near Donetsk’s Avdiivka, Russian forces shifted focus to Khimik train station, encountering logistical hurdles and strong Ukrainian opposition, and eventually failing the new assault.

Commander: Russia does not stop assaults along the entire frontline in east. Ukraine’s land forces commander says the situation is difficult in the east, and he is “taking measures to save the lives of our soldiers and rationally use ammunition.”

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Russia’s Dec. 7 missile attack likely marks start of campaign against Ukraine’s power grid. In its 10 December intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry says the Russian Air Force’s December 7 missile attack on Kyiv appears to be the “start of a more concerted campaign by Russia aimed at degrading Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.”

Air Force: F-16 to become Ukraine’s main combat aircraft, Gripen may become additional option. Ukraine considers adding Swedish Gripen fighter jets to its air force alongside F-16s, an Air Force spokesman says. Previously, media reports claimed Sweden was considering Gripen supplies to Ukraine, but the decision has not been made yet.

International

UK foreign secretary urges use of $350 bn frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s reconstruction. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said there is a strong argument for seizing frozen Russian assets worth nearly $350 billion and using them to rebuild Ukraine, during a visit to the US.

Scholz says Germany should support Ukraine even more if other countries’ aid dithers. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasizes the crucial role of Germany in bolstering support for Ukraine, especially if international assistance shows signs of diminishing.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian attacks kill four, injure seven civilians overnight in three regions. Russian fire attacks killed three more civilians and injured seven others in Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Kherson oblasts as Russia keeps bombarding the settlements in frontline regions.

Ukraine to enhance gender equality measures in armed forces, says defense ministry. Ukraine needs to create and improve mechanisms to achieve gender equality in the armed forces, Government Commissioner for Gender Policy Katerina Levchenko claimed.

Ukraine’s anti-graft agency and Transparency International Canada to enhance cooperation in corruption disclosure. The National Agency on Corruption Prevention and the Canadian international human rights organization Transparency International Canada have agreed to join efforts in building a corruption disclosure institute in Ukraine.

New developments

Voice of America: Ukraine dismantles Soviet-era monuments to break away from Russian past. On 9 December, municipal workers in Kyiv took down a monument of a Red Army commander Mykola Shchors from a central street as part of a campaign to remove Soviet-era monuments from Ukraine amid the Russian war, Voice of America has reported.

Ukraine continues to fortify its border with Belarus despite lack of immediate threats. Ukrainian border guards say Ukraine reinforces Belarus border for security, given concerns about Belarusian support for Russia. No imminent threats, but vigilance remains as Russia lacks the necessary forces in Belarus.

ISW: Russian offensives intensify ahead of Russia’s 2024 elections as Ukraine fortifies defenses. Amid challenging weather, Russian forces launched offensives to seize the initiative before Russia’s 2024 elections. Ukraine fortifies defenses, remaining open to future counteroffensives, maintaining strategic flexibility, ISW says.

Read the daily review for Sat Dec 9 2023 here.

As of 10 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: 338820 (+700)
    • Tanks: 5636 (+4)
    • APV: 10529 (+10)
    • Artillery systems: 8064 (+6)
    • MLRS: 919
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 605
    • Aircraft: 324
    • Helicopters: 324
    • UAV: 6136
    • Cruise missiles: 1586 (+1)
    • Warships/boats: 22
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 10623 (+25)
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