A strategically important bridge exploded near Melitopol. Putin canceled his final press conference for the first time in ten years. Meanwhile, British intelligence reports that Russia lacks the clout to conquer Ukraine. All information about the Ukraine war can be found in the news ticker.

7:12 a.m .: According to the Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, there was a serious 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.

Tuesday, December 13, 5:06 a.m .: The EU states have just agreed in Brussels on a billion-dollar 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 this Tuesday with around 70 states, 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.

The aim is direct, coordinated aid in the areas of energy, transport, agriculture, water and health care. Specifically, it is about maintaining the critical infrastructure with practical help on site. The plan in Paris was to set up a coordination platform that would bring together the needs of Ukraine in a targeted manner with offers of help from the supporter countries. The priority is to prevent a collapse in the power supply in Ukraine with the risk of a blackout lasting weeks.

11:11 p.m .: The chairwoman of the defense committee in the Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), has confirmed the delivery of further German weapons to Ukraine. At “RTL Direkt” she said on Monday evening: “More self-propelled howitzers have been delivered, now 24 pieces.” “Another six or seven guns” would be delivered from the “Gepard” anti-aircraft tank. When asked whether the German Leopard 2 main battle tank should also be made available to the Ukrainians, she said: “It would be urgently needed. There is no longer any reason not to do it.”

10:42 p.m .: In training camps for Russian recruits in Siberia, men contract bronchitis and pneumonia in large numbers. There, the men who are to be sent to the war in Ukraine stay in tents at -30 degrees and are not given any medication for treatment. This is reported by several wives of the soldiers to the “Baikal Journal” portal.

“There is no proper medical care, they buy medicine themselves, they are already on the third round of antibiotics – all in tents,” said one of them. The soldiers would sleep in flimsy sleeping bags in freezing temperatures and wash in an inflatable bathtub. Her husband is one of many who suffers from a severe cough and high fever.

“We have 95 percent sick,” said one recruit in the Koltsovo region. He himself contracted pneumonia and spent a month in the hospital before returning to the practice site in early December. Men are already frozen after they

9:04 p.m .: A man in Russia has been fined for publicly reporting a dream about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ivan Losev from Chita, Siberia, was found guilty of “discrediting” the Russian army and must therefore now pay 30,000 rubles (around 450 euros), Russian media reported on Monday, citing the competent court. Lossev was investigated because of various posts on the social network Instagram – including one in which he describes how Selenskyj appeared to him in his sleep.

The man wrote that he dreamed that he had been drafted into the Ukraine and taken to a training camp as part of the mobilization for the front in Ukraine ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. He further describes the content of his dream as follows: “At that moment, Zelenskyj passed me and said: “Oh, I saw your Instagram stories. Glory to Ukraine!” And I answer: “Glory to the heroes!””

The fact that he was sentenced for these lines made him stunned, Lossev said in an interview with the Internet portal “Sibir.Realii”: “I can’t imagine it: some 40-year-old secret service agent sat there with a straight face and my story about it copied it, as Zelenskyj appeared to me in a dream?!” According to his own statements, the man was not able to attend the court hearing himself – because he was not informed in good time about the start of the trial.

6:52 p.m .: In the massive attacks against the Ukrainian infrastructure, the Russian army is also said to be using rockets built in Ukraine. As the New York Times reports, it is a Kh-55 subsonic cruise missile developed in the 1970s to carry a nuclear warhead.

Spicy: According to the Ukrainian secret service, the missile and the associated bomber are part of a former Ukrainian arsenal that was handed over to Russia in the 1990s to secure Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to the secret service, the rocket was not equipped with a nuclear head. The US and UK intelligence services confirmed this.

The Tupolev 160 bombers, of which Russia currently has 20 units, were stationed at the Pryluky base in what is now Ukraine in Soviet times. Moscow bought the planes from Ukraine around the turn of the millennium and probably didn’t have to dig deep into their pockets. Part of the sum was paid in natural gas deliveries. Today, Russia flies bombers in airstrikes across the country.

6:03 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has talked about his plans for the post-war period with Russia. “I just want to go to the sea and have a beer,” the 44-year-old said in a previously published interview with US show host David Letterman, according to Ukrainian media. However, this will only be possible after the victory of Ukraine. “But I will be president until we win,” said the head of state, who was elected in 2019, confidently.

At the same time, Selenskyj believes that a quick end to the war is possible if Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly dies. Authoritarian regimes are tailored to one person. “When this person leaves, the institutions come to a standstill. One such time was in the Soviet Union. Everything stopped,” Zelenskyy claimed. With the death of 70-year-old Putin, Russia would first be preoccupied with itself.

Selenskyj therefore does not believe that Putin could use nuclear weapons. “He is aware that if he uses them, there will be personal consequences for him,” emphasized the Ukrainian. Putin loves life too much to take that step.

2:50 p.m .: For the first time in ten years, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold his traditional final press conference this year. That said Kremlin spokesman Peskov on Monday, reports the Interfax news agency. He didn’t give a reason. But Putin will certainly find other ways to talk to journalists, including on trips abroad, Peskov said.

Putin has held regular press conferences since 2001. They have been held annually in December since 2012. Over 1500 journalists attended last year. The only time the Russian president skipped his year-end press conference was in 2005. There were also no press conferences in 2009-2011, when Putin was prime minister.

12:51 p.m .: Germany has promised Ukraine further arms deliveries – but only within the current framework. There are “no qualitative innovations”, but only deliveries “along with what Germany has been delivering since the beginning of the war,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Monday in Berlin. He thus indirectly rejected the recurring demand for battle tanks.

The Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, told the “Welt am Sonntag” that he had received promises in Berlin for further arms deliveries. “Which ones, we will announce together in due course,” Makeiev said. Ukraine has repeatedly requested the delivery of Marder and Leopard tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has so far ruled this out because no other NATO country has such tanks available.

8:29 a.m .: According to British assessments, Russia currently has no capabilities for conquests in Ukraine. Russia is still sticking to its minimum goal – complete control over the southern and eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia – the Ministry of Defense announced in London on Monday.

“However, it is currently unlikely that the Russian strategy will achieve its goal,” it said, citing intelligence findings. The Russian troops are currently hardly in a position to reconquer recently lost areas. “Russia’s ground forces are unlikely to make significant operational progress in the next few months.”

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