Russia-Ukraine conflict dwell: US help to Kyiv about to run out, White Home warns

Russia-Ukraine conflict dwell: US help to Kyiv about to run out, White Home warns

Key occasions

Two folks have been killed, and residential buildings and companies broken, in in a single day assaults on Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Donetsk areas, Gyunduz Mamedov, a former deputy prosecutor common of Ukraine, wrote on X.

In a single day greater than 163 cities and villages have been struck within the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Donetsk areas, killing 2 folks. Residential buildings, high-rise buildings, companies, and infrastructure amenities have been broken.#StopRussianAggression

— Гюндуз Мамедов/Gyunduz Mamedov (@MamedovGyunduz) December 19, 2023

The Collective Safety Treaty Organisation, a Russian-led post-Soviet navy bloc, plans to carry seven drills subsequent yr, Tass cited the CSTO secretary common, Imangali Tasmagambetov, as saying.

The bloc additionally contains Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Opening abstract

Good day and welcome to the Guardian’s dwell protection of the conflict in Ukraine.

The White Home has warned that the US has solely sufficient authorised funding for another help package deal to Ukraine this yr earlier than Congress might be required to greenlight new contributions.

Washington has dedicated greater than $43bn in navy help to ally Ukraine since Moscow launched its lethal full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February 2022.

However hardline US Republicans in Congress, who complain that the Biden administration is prioritising contributions to Kyiv over addressing home issues similar to border safety, have all however blocked new funding.

“We’ve got … another help package deal right here earlier than our replenishment authority dries up,” nationwide safety council spokesperson John Kirby instructed reporters on Monday, referring to the congressionally accredited system by which the Pentagon replaces its donated weapons and gear.

In different developments:

  • Ukraine’s prime common issued his strongest criticism thus far of Volodymr Zelenskiy’s choice to fireplace all of Ukraine’s regional navy recruitment heads in August in a corruption crackdown, Interfax Ukraine reported. Requested by reporters on the sidelines of an occasion on Monday about whether or not the choice affected mobilisation ranges, the armed forces’ commander-in-chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, bemoaned the recruitment chiefs’ sacking. “These have been professionals, they knew how to do that, and they’re gone,” Interfax Ukraine cited him as saying.

  • Zaluzhnyi additionally stated the scenario on the frontline of the conflict had not reached a stalemate, regardless of feedback revealed final month through which he described the conflict as transferring in direction of a brand new stage of static and attritional combating. Requested on Monday whether or not he thought-about the battlefield scenario a stalemate, Zaluzhnyi replied “No”, Ukraine’s RBC media reported.

  • Zaluzhnyi declined to touch upon whether or not Ukraine plans counteroffensive operations over winter. “This can be a conflict, I can’t say what I plan, what we should always do. In any other case, will probably be a present, not a conflict,” he was quoted as saying.

  • Finland signed an settlement to reinforce navy cooperation with the US, saying it noticed a long-term menace from Russia, a day after Russia issued a warning over Helsinki’s latest entrance into Nato.

  • The EU adopted a brand new package deal of sanctions on Russia that embody an import ban on Russian diamonds, officers stated. The package deal is the twelfth packet of sanctions levelled at Moscow because it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated the brand new sanctions would “really scale back” Russia’s financial basis for conflict. The sanctions are designed to cut back Russia’s entry to revenues, metals and know-how used to maintain its conflict effort.

  • The EU will maintain a rare summit on 1 February to debate its multi-annual finances, together with funding for Ukraine, the European Council president, Charles Michel, stated. EU leaders agreed final week to open membership talks with Ukraine, however they may not agree on a 50bn euro ($54.6bn) package deal of economic help for Kyiv as a consequence of opposition from Hungary.

  • The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has urged historically male professions to make use of extra girls to cut back main labour shortages exacerbated by hundreds of troopers being referred to as as much as battle in Ukraine. “Women characterize an enormous reserve for Russia. In sectors the place they don’t seem to be but working, they should exploit their potential to the fullest,” Putin stated.

  • Russia has positioned the famend detective novelist Grigory Chkhartishvili – identified below the pen identify Boris Akunin – on its listing of people recognized as terrorists or extremists for his criticism of Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine. Chkhartishvili, 67, has lengthy been important of Putin.

  • The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will talk about subjects together with Ukraine and the scenario within the Center East with the British international secretary, David Cameron, on Tuesday, the Élysée Palace stated in a press release.

  • The Moldovan prime minister, Dorin Recean, stated Moscow was the nation’s greatest safety menace, and that an upgraded anti-aircraft defence system was wanted to counter threats from Russia. “If the Kremlin decides to assault us, simply what are we going to do?” Recean instructed a TV8 interviewer. “Neutrality is not going to shield Moldova.”

  • Polish truckers resumed their blockade of one of many primary crossings on the Ukrainian border, a protest chief stated, per week after it was briefly lifted. Polish drivers have been blocking a number of crossings with Ukraine since 6 November, demanding that the EU reinstate a system whereby Ukrainian firms want permits to function within the bloc and the identical for European truckers to enter Ukraine.

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