According to their own statements, the Ukrainian armed forces inflicted heavy losses on the Russian occupying forces in the course of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine. In the village of Kadievka in the Luhansk region alone, around 60 Russian soldiers were killed and 100 others wounded, the general staff in Kiev said on Tuesday evening. Around 150 Russian soldiers were wounded in attacks on a command staff and artillery positions near Melitopol in the south of the country, it said. The information could not be independently verified.

During the day, heavy fighting and artillery duels were registered at the other focal points of the front. The course of the front itself remained unchanged.

The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk continues to be fiercely contested. According to the Russian news agency TASS, there are fierce street fights in the city of Marjinka in particular. The Ukrainian high command says that Russian forces have been pushed back in ten areas of the region. An advance of the Russian troops is currently difficult, admitted Denis Puschilin, the administrator of the annexed region appointed by Russia.

According to British intelligence experts, the Russian leadership is concerned about the increase in anti-war sentiment in their country. This is indicated by the cancellation of the traditional annual press conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the daily intelligence update from the Ministry of Defense in London on Tuesday. “Officials in the Kremlin are almost certainly very concerned about the possibility that an event attended by Putin could be hijacked for an illicit discussion of the ‘military special operation,'” the statement tweeted.

Putin’s major annual press conference has taken place a total of 17 times since 2001. There were interruptions only in 2005 and in the years 2008-2012, when Dmitry Medvedev held the presidency. Hundreds of Russian and foreign media representatives traveled to the event.

According to the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, there was a heavy explosion on a strategically important bridge near the city. “This is one of the strategically important bridges,” quotes the “Kyiv Independent” Fedorov, “like the Crimean bridge.” According to the mayor, the Russian soldiers are delivering supplies and supplies across the bridge.

“After every Russian attack, we restore the system as far as possible,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Monday evening. Everything is being done to bring new equipment into the country and repair the damage. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that Russia has not given up its tactics. “The absence of massive rocket attacks only means that the enemy is preparing for new ones and can strike at any time,” Zelenskyy said.

According to estimates by the Ukrainian military intelligence service, Russia still has an arsenal of around 360 cruise missiles. This would be enough for at least five waves of attacks, said spokesman Vadim Skibizkyj.

For weeks, the Russian armed forces have been targeting the entire energy infrastructure with missiles and so-called kamikaze drones. As a result, massive failures in the water and power supply are the order of the day. This tactic is primarily intended to wear down the civilian population in winter and stir up unrest.

Leaflets in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol presumably point to a Ukrainian counter-offensive. According to the journalist Viktor Kovalenko, Ukrainian partisans distributed them throughout the city to prepare the residents for the approaching recapture. Similar leaflets were also distributed before the liberation of Cherson. This would have helped save many lives, Kovalenko said.

The G7 countries pledged their continued support to Ukraine in its defensive struggle against Russia. The states are still firmly on the side of Ukraine, said Chancellor Scholz on Monday evening in Berlin after a switching conference with the other heads of state and government and the Ukrainian President Selenskyj. They will support Ukraine “as long as it is necessary”. At the same time, the economic pressure on Russia is kept high.

On behalf of the G7, the Chancellor again called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop the senseless killing in Ukraine and withdraw his troops”.

Russia’s President Putin has signed a law that earmarks over nine trillion rubles for defense, security and law enforcement in the 2023 budget. This is reported by the British Ministry of Defence.

According to the World Bank, this amount corresponds to around eight percent of Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021. Defense spending would have increased enormously and would account for around 30 percent of GDP in the 2023 budget. So Putin continues to invest Russia’s money in the war, while Russian campaigns at home and abroad may have to pause. The Institute for the Study of War has long suspected that Russian forces are shifting equipment and personnel from other conflict zones, such as Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, and may be shelving other combat involvements in favor of maintaining the war in Ukraine.

Zelenskyi indirectly suggested to Moscow that the occupying forces should be withdrawn from Ukraine by Christmas. With this step, Russia could reveal its true intentions, Zelensky said in a video link to the G7 summit in Berlin on Monday. Should Russia withdraw its armies from Ukraine, this would ensure a reliable cessation of hostilities. “And I see no reason why Russia isn’t doing it now, at Christmas. The answer from Moscow will show what they really want there,” Zelenskyj was quoted as saying by the Unian state agency.

That will be important on Tuesday

The EU states have just agreed in Brussels on a billion-euro package for Ukraine, which has been badly hit by the war – now emergency aid for the winter is to be mobilized at an international conference in Paris. At the meeting on Tuesday with representatives from around 70 countries, international organizations and the European Union, the focus is on repairing the infrastructure destroyed by the Russian war of aggression, above all the power and heat supply. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Monday estimated the extent of the damage to the power grid at one billion dollars.

Also Read: The December 12 Ukraine Update