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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 674: Russia launches 158 missiles and drones across Ukraine, dozens killed, over hundred injured

Russia launched over 150 missiles at cities across Ukraine in its largest aerial attack of the war so far, American President Joe Biden said the assault shows the need for more aid to Ukraine and urged Congress to “take urgent action.” Separately, a former Russian officer revealed how Russia orchestrated the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 674: Russia launches 158 missiles and drones across Ukraine, dozens killed, over hundred injured

Exclusives

“I chewed that mouse between my teeth”: Ukrainian POW details torture, starvation in Russian camp. Starved nearly to death in Russian custody, Ukrainian soldier Oleksiy Anulia resorted to eating worms and mice to survive sadistic torture, revealing the scale of abuse in harrowing detail.
Ex-Russian GRU officer Salikov exposes Russia’s proxy Ukraine “republics” (full translation). In a bombshell interview, Salikov, who arrived to testify at the ICC, tells how Russia manufactured a “”local uprising”” in eastern Ukraine, funneled weapons over the border, and shelled its own territory to keep the conflict going

Military

Frontline report: Russia push towards Ukraine’s east near Petropavka to begin Kupiansk offensive. A Russian mechanized assault on the settlement of Synkivka went wrong last week, resulting in the loss of 5 armored vehicles and 40 soldiers, according to Reporting from Ukraine video.

Russian forces slightly advance near key Coke Plant northwest of Avdiivka. Russian military increased the number of glide bomb strikes with Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft in the Tavriisk direction, which includes Avdiivka, western Donetsk Oblast, and Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun said.

ISW: Russia officially deploys Ukrainian POWs to front lines. Ukrainian prisoners of war are being forced into combat roles against their own country by Russia, which violates international law

Military: Ukraine downs 114 of 158 missiles and drones during Russia’s “most massive” air attack. Overnight on 29 December, Russia launched what Ukraine’s Air Force called “the most massive air attack” against Ukraine, employing 158 missiles and suicide drones, targeting numerous cities all across the country. Ukrainian air defenders destroyed 114 air assets during the attack, according to the Air Force’s report.

As of 29 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: 357520 (+850)
      • Tanks: 5953 (+13)
      • APV: 11033 (+18)
      • Artillery systems: 8417 (+26)
      • MLRS: 938 (+3)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 620 (+3)
      • Aircraft: 329
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6539 (+36)
      • Cruise missiles : 1620
      • Warships/boats: 23
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11215 (+35)

Intelligence and Technology

Intel: Russia aims to destabilize Ukrainian unity through hybrid campaigns. Ukrainian intelligence reports Russia’s new focus on destabilizing Ukraine from within through hybrid subversive campaigns.

Advanced surveillance system Vegvisir Core to be deployed in Ukraine. Vegvisir Core is a technology that enables users to observe, navigate, make decisions, and act faster in battle and critical situations.

International

UK Defense Minister announces “hundreds of air defense missiles” for Ukraine. In response to the latest Russian air attack, the UK is providing “”hundreds of air defense missiles”” to enhance the British-donated defense systems in Ukraine.

“We cannot let Ukraine down,” Biden says, urging Congress for action. Following Russia’s largest aerial assault on Ukraine, US President Biden urges Congress to “”take urgent action”” and approve additional aid for Kyiv.

Bloomberg: Germany expects EU to provide Ukraine aid even without Hungary approval. Germany expresses confidence EU will discover method to deliver $55 billion Ukraine aid bypassing Hungary veto of package.

Ukraine and 30 countries request emergency UN security council meeting following Russian assault. Serhii Kyslytsia announces Ukraine’s call for a UN meeting to address the latest Russian assault on Ukrainian cities.

Humanitarian and Social Impact

Russian unprecedented air attack kills 30, injures over 160, hits maternity ward, mall (updated). The Russian missile killed 44-year-old Viktor Kobzystyi, Ukrainian basketball player, coach, and international master of sports of Ukraine. He played for the Ukrainian national team at the European Championships in 2001 and 2005

More deported Ukrainian children arrive in Belarus, Lukashenka confirms. Belarus hosts more Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied areas, promising to “make their childhood happier,” and declaring them part of the Belarusian family, Belarusian President Lukashenka said during a charity event in Minsk

Ukraine under massive air attack: civilians casualties reported in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia (updates). As of 8:00 on 20 December, Ukraine has been under Russia’s massive missile attack after an hours-long Shahed drone attack. Russia launched missiles of various types, targeting Kharkiv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Lviv, and many other cities across the country.

New Developments

Polish military: Russian missile likely entered Polish airspace. Russian missile likely entered the airspace of NATO-member Poland amid Russia’s massive air attack against Ukraine on 29 December.

Poland detects “unknown” aerial object near border with Ukraine during Russia’s massive attacks on Ukraine. Local residents saw “something flying very fast westward with noise and whistling.” There was no preliminary explosion, Polish media reported.

Read our earlier daily review here

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