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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 670: Ukrainians mark second Christmas at war

In their Christmas addresses, President Zelenskyy and Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi reflect on the unique significance of the holiday during a full-scale war, emphasizing unity, hope, and expressing gratitude to soldiers.

What to read about Christmas in Ukraine at Euromaidan Press: 

Exclusives

Putin wants to freeze war in Ukraine, claims NYT. Should we believe it?. Vladimir Putin has reportedly signaled a willingness for peace talks and softened his opposition to Ukraine joining NATO—a sharp turn from his past uncompromising stances.
Wagner defector exposes Russia’s Donbas ruse, false-flag ops in bombshell interview. Igor Salikov has just arrived to the Hague to testify against Putin. Here is a glimpse at what he may be saying,
Block Western CNCs, then Russia’s arsenal fails. Advanced western machine tools that can automatically cut out any high-precision metal part are a gaping hole in the West’s sanctions on Russia’s war machine

Military

Military: Battle for Mariinka continues. “Currently, our soildiers are in the administrative borders of Mariinka,” spokesman for Ukraine’s Tavria grouping of forces said.

Frontline report: First Ukrainian F-16 strikes rattle Russian aviation. In recent days, Russia lost five bombers in southern Ukraine, while reports suggest that Ukraine finally received F-16 jets.

ISW: Russia employing fewer glide bombs due to worries about Ukrainian air defenses. In the last few days, Russia lost five bombers in southern Ukraine.

General Staff: Ukraine downs two more Russian bombers, 29/31 explosive drones and 2/2 missiles. In the last 24 hours, there were 66 battles between Ukrainian defenders and invading Russian forces along the frontline.

Ukrainian troops down another Russian Su-34 bomber. Ukraine’s Air Force commander says air defenders downed the Russian Su-34 bomber and possibly the Su-30 fighter jet on Christmas Eve.

As of 25 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: 353950 (+760)
      • Tanks: 5877 (+19)
      • APV: 10919 (+31)
      • Artillery systems: 8347 (+33)
      • MLRS: 934 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 613 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 329 (+2)
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6436 (+32)
      • Cruise missiles : 1616 (+2)
      • Warships/boats: 22
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11075 (+53)

Intelligence and technology

New Ukrainian surface drone joins fight in Black Sea. The Cossack Mamai surface drone measures six meters in length and can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h.

Defense Minister: Ukrainian drone manufacturers working at “tremendous pace”. Ukraine is rapidly boosting drone production to fulfill military requirements, with a focus on efficiency and diversification of drone models, as per Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

International

Iceland boosts humanitarian support for Ukraine. Iceland has joined two coalitions to support Ukraine — the IT Coalition and the Demining Coalition.

World Bank grants Ukraine $ 1.3 Billion. The funds will support pensions and salaries for Ukrainian rescue workers.

Latvia gifts Ukraine nearly 300 cars seized from drunk drivers. Civilian cars play a crucial role in supporting Ukrainian troops on the frontlines, facilitating swift transportation of soldiers and the evacuation of the wounded.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian morning shelling injures two in Kharkiv Oblast. On 24 December at 5 am, the Russian military shelled the village of Pidseredne in Kharkiv Oblast, the State Emergency Service in Kharkiv Oblast reported .

Lviv Mayor: Gas explosion in private house kills 3, injures 4. There are children aged 11 and 12 among the injured. The body of a woman around the age of 70 was found in the adjacent house.

Russian night attack on Ukraine killed 3, injured at least 6, hit thermal power plant. An 87-year-old man and his 81-year-old wife killed due to Russian attack on Kherson at midnight into Christmas Eve.

New developments

Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi congratulate Ukrainians on Christmas . In their Christmas addresses, President Zelenskyy and Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi reflect on the unique significance of the holiday during a full-scale war. They emphasize unity, hope, and the importance of defending Ukraine, expressing gratitude to soldiers and praying for peace.

ISW: Russia confirms use of banned chemical weapons in Kherson Oblast. The Russian 810th Naval Infantry Brigade published footage of itself dropping grenades containing riot control agents on Ukrainian forces, violating the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Polish farmers halt border blockade at Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint for holidays. The Polish blockade at one of the four blocked border crossings stopped on 24 Dec at 8 am, Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture said. The blockade may resume on 2-3 January 2024.

Russian TV host who urged drowning Ukrainian kids now possibly poisoned. In October 2022, Anton Krasovsky, then the director of programming at the Russian state television channel RT, sparked outrage when he called for the genocide of Ukrainians and the killing of Ukrainian children.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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