Prepared by Anna Dovha, Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Joe Biden’s Twitter
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s held his first international visit since Russia invaded his country 300 days ago. In Washington, met with President Biden and addressed the Congress. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged lawmakers to continue providing weapons and aid to help Ukraine to fight against Russia through the winter and beyond. The Ukrainian president said that Biden has endorsed his ‘10-point peace plan,’ which among other things calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory and the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.
As one of the outcomes of the visit, Ukraine will receive $44.9 billion in aid as part of the $1.7 trillion government spending bill, reports AP. The bill sets preconditions requiring the Pentagon and State Department to send regular reports to Capitol Hill on all defense items provided, with special emphasis on more sensitive weapon systems. ‘The largest portion of the defense portion of the Ukraine support bill, almost $21.2 billion, will be used to provide weapons to Ukraine and replenish U.S. stockpiles. Separately, the White House announced Wednesday it is providing an additional $1.85 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, to include for the first time a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery.’
Meanwhile, Russian President Putin reacted to Zelenskyy’s visit to the US. He once again claimed Russia wants an end to the war in Ukraine and that this would inevitably involve a diplomatic solution. However officials underline that Russia is doing exactly the opposite, namely opposing stopping the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday met his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda for nearly two hours of talks on the return way to Ukraine. The Presidents discussed the past year full of challenges and cooperation and support for the upcoming year.
Cities under the attack.
On Thursday, Russians carried out 54 strikes on the border of Sumy Oblast, damaging the House of Culture, a shop and a private house on Thursday. In the afternoon of December 22, the Russian military launched two rocket attacks on Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, hitting a boarding school building. On December 21, the occupiers opened fire 60 times in the Kherson region. As a result of the shelling, one person died, and six others were wounded.
Since the deoccupation of Kherson region in November 2022, investigators have confirmed information about the death of 332 civilians due to active Russian shelling. The number includes 17 children. On November 30, in the village of Pravdyne (Kherson region),a mass burial of victims of the Russian occupation was discovered: 7 civilians, including a teenage girl, says Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Reznikov.
The New York Times presented another visual evidence of the Russian crimes on Yablusnka street in Bucha in March 2022. Eight-month visual investigation concluded that the perpetrators of the massacre along Yablunska Street were Russian paratroopers from the 234th Air Assault Regiment led by Lt. Col. Artyom Gorodilov. The evidence shows that the killings were part of a deliberate and systematic effort to ruthlessly secure a route to the capital, Kyiv, reads the report. ‘Soldiers interrogated and executed unarmed men of fighting age, and killed people who unwittingly crossed their paths – whether it was children fleeing with their families, locals hoping to find groceries or people simply trying to get back home on their bicycles.’
The Office of the Prosecutor of Ukraine opened 5079 criminal proceedings on the facts of torture and other inhuman treatment as a result of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine. At the decoccupied territories, Ukrainian authorities recorded 54 torture chambers. Also, 855 cases of war crimes against children are being investigated, 10 of which are based on facts of sexual violence. Overall, as of December 19, 54607 crimes related to the aggression of the Russian Federation were registered in the national proceedings registry, among them 52879 for violating the laws and customs of war (Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Before January 1, 2022, Ukraine counted about 500000 veterans of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The projected number of veterans, their family members, and families of fallen soldiers after the victory will equal about 3 million (10% of the total population of Ukraine), says the Ministry of Veterans.
Ukraine’s neighboring countries are in a race to supply transformers, switches, and cables as well as diesel generators needed to light and heat the country in winter. Lithuania’s transmission grid operator has already sent hundreds of smaller transformers, which reduce the voltage as it travels from power station to end-user, and its gas grid has supplied spare parts to Ukraine, Reuters reports. Polish state-controlled utility Tauron said last week it had sent 21 kilometers (13 miles) of wire, nine drums, 129 insulators, 39 transformers and 11 overhead circuit breakers.
‘Russia’s attacks against Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, which have been ongoing for months, are preventing Ukrainian civilians from accessing education, healthcare, and food while also forcing people to endure freezing conditions in their own homes,’ says Amnesty International. The brief report presents accounts of how power outages disrupt getting medical check-ups, children missing school lessons, and people with limited mobility unable to leave their houses.
60% of transformators in Kyiv are damaged or destroyed due to the Russian attacks, says YASNO chief. Therefore the situation in the city remains rather critical, as some of the neighborhoods have electricity only 5 hours per day.
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on 10 Russian naval entities over Russian operations against Ukrainian ports, the U.S. State Department said, as Washington increases pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian military forces and civilians operating under their orders pillaged thousands of valuable artifacts and artworks from Kherson Regional Art Museum, the Kherson Regional Museum, St. Catherine’s Cathedral, and the Kherson Region National Archives, before withdrawing after an 8-month occupation of the city, Human Rights Watch said. Most of the artifacts allegedly were taken to the Crimea. Also visits to the sights held evidence of looting and damage.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., December 19, 2022: personnel – around 100 950, tanks ‒ 3005, APV ‒ 5986, artillery systems – 1984, MLRS – 414, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 212, fixed-wing aircraft – 283, helicopters – 267, operational-tactical level UAV – 1698, cruise missiles – 653, boats and light speed boats – 16, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 4622, special equipment – 178.
Christmas in the air.
Thinking of Christmas shopping? Check some of the Ukraine supporting brands delivering worldwide:
- Made with Bravery the official Ukrainian marketplace of different goods and gifts produced in Ukraine.
- Here and Now sustainable eco pottery by Yuliya Makliuk. Part of the profit goes for reconstruction needs of Irpin and support of armed forces.
- Saint Javelin former journalist project that distributes profits to support rebuilding Ukraine and its humanitarian needs.
- OLIZ silk scarves and clothes. 50% of income goes to the Ukrainian army and volunteers.
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