World about Ukraine: December 2023 digest, Week 2

World about Ukraine: December 2023 digest, Week 2

Ukraine repels Russian attacks on Avdiivka, near Bakhmut: officials

Ukraine has fought off fresh Russian assaults near Bakhmut and on Avdiivka, where Russian casualties have recently increased by 90 percent, according to military officials.  

Ukrainian forces on Sunday repelled 16 Russian attacks near Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk province, the General Staff in Kyiv said in its evening update.

Ukrainian troops also repulsed 14 Russian assaults in the direction of Avdiivka, also in Donetsk region, Ukraine's military command added.

Avdiivka is "a major axis of Russian invasion," now "almost empty" of civilians amid the Russian assault, the UK ministry of defence noted.

Recent attacks on the city by the Kremlin forces have caused a "90% increase in Russian casualties," according to officials in London.

Continue reading on Polske Radio.

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy Meets Virtually With G7 Leaders

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday met virtually with leaders from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, telling them that Moscow is counting on Western unity to "collapse" next year.

Attendees, including Kyiv's key allies such as U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. leader Rishi Sunak, said they remained committed to supporting Ukraine. Their comments came amid fears that Western support for Ukraine could wane as Kyiv makes limited progress on the battlefield.

“We are determined to support an independent, democratic Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” leaders of the G7 said in a statement after the meeting.

The leaders announced actions to be taken against Russia, including banning imports of nonindustrial diamonds from Russia by January, and Russian diamonds processed by third countries by March, in an effort to decrease Russian revenue.

Continue reading on VOA News.

Russia to release six more Ukrainian children after Qatar mediation

Russia has agreed to free an additional six Ukrainian children and allow them to reunite with their families in Ukraine following Qatari mediation, Lolwah Al-Khater, Qatar’s minister of state for international cooperation, said Tuesday.

The children are among the thousands Ukraine says have been forcibly displaced to Russia or trapped in Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine. The group of six is scheduled to leave Moscow on Tuesday and travel through Belarus to Ukraine, according to an official briefed on the operation.

The mother of one 11-year-old boy in the group is a Ukrainian soldier being held as a prisoner of war in Russia, added the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. His father died about a decade ago, and he will now stay with a maternal aunt. Until now, he had been living with relatives in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region, the official said.

Continue reading on The Washington Post.

David Cameron urges US Republicans to send Ukraine more long-range weapons

Foreign secretary says arming Kyiv is good value for money due to large amount of Russian ordnance destroyed, on Washington visit.

David Cameron has used his first trip to the US since his appointment as the UK’s foreign secretary to urge the Republican party to back Ukraine with more long-range weapons, saying the aid represented tremendous value for money.

He said for 10% of the US defence budget nearly half of Russia’s prewar military assets had been destroyed. Urging the west be patient about the pace of Ukraine military advances, he argued no red line should be set on western aid save Nato troops directly fighting Russia.

“There is nothing that will drive Russia further back and put Putin more on the back foot than actually seeing that Crimea, which is legally part of Ukraine, is properly under attack from Ukrainian forces,” Lord Cameron said. He said that would require the further supply of long-range weaponry.

Continue reading on The Guardian.

Ukraine reports nearly 100 air attacks in a day as first lady warns country faces ‘mortal danger’

Ukraine said Saturday that Russia launched nearly 100 air attacks across the country in the space of 24 hours, as its first lady warned Ukraine was in “mortal danger” without Western military aid.

“The enemy launched a total of 28 missiles and 27 airstrikes, firing 59 times from multiple launch rocket systems at Ukrainian military positions and populated areas,” according to a social media post from the Ukrainian General Staff Saturday.

Multiple regions in the east were targeted, including Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk, which have seen some of the most intense fighting.

The strikes come a day after Ukrainian authorities said they intercepted cruise missiles for the first time in nearly 80 days, as Western intelligence assessments warned Russia is likely to expand its bombardment of civilian infrastructure during the winter.

Continue reading on CNN.

Volunteers wrap 7,200 gifts for Ukrainian children

A hundred volunteers have helped to wrap 7,200 Christmas presents for children living in war-torn Ukraine. 

It was the second consecutive year that gifts, including toys, books and puzzles, had been donated by local businesses.

The so-called "wrapathon" took place at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, Suffolk, on Saturday.

Organisers said the shipment would be distributed across Ukraine, including in areas occupied by Russia's armed forces.

The charity Save the Children said more than four million children in Ukraine remained in "urgent need of humanitarian assistance", external almost two years after the war first began.

Continue reading on BBC.

Ukraine Moves First Lorries to Poland by Rail Through Blocked Border

Ukraine has transported the first batch of lorries to Poland by rail, bypassing the blockage of the land border between the two countries by Polish drivers, Ukrainian state railways Ukrzaliznytsia said on Sunday.

Protests by Polish truckers started last month against the terms of EU access for Ukrainian lorries. They blocked the main road corridors into Ukraine, leading to higher prices for fuel and some food items as well as delays to drone deliveries to the Ukrainian army.

"The truck consignment arrived in Poland by rail. The Ukrainian and Polish parties have agreed on all issues related to the transport and customs and border procedures," Ukrzaliznytsia said on the Telegram messaging app.

Continue reading on U.S. News.

Ukraine Presses Ahead With Removal of Soviet Monuments

Ukrainian officials pressed on with a campaign to remove Soviet-era monuments on Saturday as authorities in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv dismantled a statue of a Red Army commander from a central boulevard.

Ukraine has doubled down on efforts to erase all traces of Russian rule amid a full-scale invasion by Kremlin troops, now nearing its two-year mark.

Municipal workers on Saturday carefully hoisted the hulking statue of Mykola Shchors, a Soviet field commander during the Russian Civil War, off its pedestal.

The structure had occupied a prominent spot on a central artery named after Ukraine's national poet.

Onlookers stopped to watch and photograph as a giant crane lowered the horse-riding Shchors onto a flatbed truck.

Continue reading on U.S. News.

Polish researchers help transform pediatric surgery in Ukraine with 3D-printed bone implants

Surgeons in Kyiv say they have pioneered a groundbreaking approach to treating children with skull defects, using 3D-printed bioresorbable implants developed by Polish scientists.

These "cranioimplants," hailed as a world first in combining 3D printing with body-absorbable materials, are set to be absorbed and replaced by natural bone within 18 months.

Continue reading on Polske Radio.

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