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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 667: Ukraine shoots down three Russian bombers in one day

Ukraine’s air defense took down three Russian Su-34 fighter/bomber aircraft in southern Ukraine.

Exclusive

Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive: Ex-minister Zagorodnyuk on what went wrong and what’s next. Ukraine’s former Minister of Defense and head of the Center for Defense Strategies Andriy Zagorodnyuk sits down with Euromaidan Press editor-in-chief Alya Shandra to discuss whether the accusations levied at Ukraine’s defense officers in the Washington Post two-part article on what went wrong with the 2023 counteroffensive are legit, how the war has entered uncharted territory, the victory plan and million drones that Ukraine needs, the three scenarios of the war’s development in 2024, and why Ukraine’ supporters should not despair.
“Do not despair.” Ex-minister Zagorodnyuk on lessons from Ukraine’s counteroffensive. All wars have had setbacks. What Ukraine needs is not gloom but lessons learned analysis. And a million drones.
Russia’s soft power empire pivots to Global South. Faced with mounting obstacles across Europe, Russia’s soft power juggernaut churns into high gear in Africa, Latin America, and India

Military

Frontline report: Intense fighting continues along Dnipro River crossing. Overall, the fighting in Krynky in Kherson’s east bank , is “extremely tough,” and the Russian attacks here are as intense as in other hot spots.

Ukraine claims to have downed three Russian Su-34 bombers. Ukraine’s Air Force holding command over air defense forces says three Russian Su-34 bomber were downed in Ukraine’s south on 22 December at noon.

ISW: Continued Western assistance only way to make Russia fail in war against Ukraine. CNN recently reported that Ukraine aid package continues to stall in the US Congress. Without US resupplies, Ukraine may exhaust its stock of weapons, which are vital in naval defense, protecting infrastructure, and stopping Russian ground vehicles and aircraft.

As of 22 December 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: 351350 (+1080)
      • Tanks: 5837 (+9)
      • APV: 10843 (+18)
      • Artillery systems: 8250 (+24)
      • MLRS: 932
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 611
      • Aircraft: 324
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6365 (+23)
      • Cruise missiles: 1613
      • Warships/boats: 22
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 10944 (+25)

Intelligence and technology

Zelenskyy: Netherlands prepares to send the first of eighteen F-16s to Ukraine. F-16 is to become Ukraine’s main combat aircraft, according to Ukraine’s Air Force.

International

Ukraine and Poland reach agreement to unblock border amid protests. Ukrainian and Polish officials agreed on a plan to end the blockade of four border checkpoints by Polish haulers, who demand changes to the freight transportation agreement between the two countries.

Germany sends more Gepard anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. As part of its military assistance to Ukraine, Germany transferred additional Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, long-range reconnaissance drones, and ammunition to Ukraine, following the delivery of a Patriot air defense missile system last week.

Stoltenberg: Ukraine closer to NATO and EU than ever, despite Russia’s war. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s attempt to stop Ukraine from joining NATO and the EU has backfired, as Ukraine is now closer to the West than ever.

Japan to send Patriot missiles to US to boost global defense stocks. Breaking from its self-imposed constraints on military equipment exports, Japan aims to replenish US with vital missile supplies destined for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aerial attacks.

Germany not to deport Ukrainian citizens for service in Ukraine’s military. German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann made the announcement amid information about the possible mobilization of Ukrainian expatriate men for military service in 2024.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian drone strikes hit journalist’s home in night Kyiv attacks. Russian attacks across Ukraine over the past day have killed one person and injured four others.

Zelenskyy sets foreign policy priorities for 2024, calls for more military aid. In his address to Ukrainian diplomats, President Zelenskyy highlighted the achievements and challenges of Ukraine’s foreign policy, focusing on strengthening Ukraine’s air defense, cooperation with NATO and the EU, and sanctions against Russia.

US sanctions to hit foreign financial institutions dealing with Russia. The White House announced a new executive order that allows the US to sanction any foreign financial institutions that provide assistance to Russia’s military-industrial base.

New developments

Nearly 4K Ukrainian trucks stuck in queues at the Polish border due to protests. Ukraine has lost billions of dollars in exports due to trucker protests blocking border crossings with Poland for 7 weeks, with 1,700 trucks now lined up at the largest crossing, Yahodyn-Dorohusk.

Oscar shortlist includes Ukrainian documentary “20 Days in Mariupol”. “20 Days in Mariupol,” a documentary film by photojournalist and filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov, has been shortlisted for the Oscars Awards in the Documentary Feature Film and International Feature Film categories.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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