Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov issues an ultimatum to four Ukrainian regions. After a drone attack on the Engels base, Russia is now relocating its fighter jets. According to Foreign Minister Kuleba, Ukraine is open to peace talks with Russia. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
10:49 p.m .: Selenskyj also reported on a conversation with Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. According to him, Rome is currently examining the delivery of anti-aircraft systems for Ukraine. “I believe that Italian support will allow us to strengthen the defense of Ukrainian airspace,” Zelenskyy said in his evening video message.
After the right-wing alliance’s victory in Italy in the autumn, there was speculation as to whether the country would end its support for Ukraine. The coalition includes the Forza Italia party of ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was one of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s closest allies in the West.
9:40 p.m .: In the dispute over whether the Orthodox Church should remain in the world-famous Kiev Cave Monastery, the Ukrainian leadership has urged the church to distance itself from Moscow. “If you have no relations with Russia, then officially renounce, say that (Vladimir) Putin is Satan,” Secretary of the National Security Council Oleksiy Danilov demanded of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on television on Tuesday. Moscow Patriarch Kirill is also a devil, added Danilov. Until May, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate.
At that time, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially broke with Moscow and condemned Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine ordered by Kremlin chief Putin. However, the Ukrainian authorities continue to suspect the church of collaborating with Moscow. The organization’s premises were searched several times.
8:53 p.m .: According to the city administration, the residents of Kiev must expect sudden emergency shutdowns again and again until the end of winter. “We will have to live under these conditions all winter,” said the deputy chief of the city administration, Petro Pantelyev, on Ukrainian television on Tuesday. As in other Ukrainian cities, the power supply in Kyiv has been severely affected by the Russian rocket attacks.
Electricians worked around the clock to repair the system, but Panteleyev admitted the situation remained difficult. The official warned that the capacities are not sufficient, especially on working days, when there is an increased power consumption.
6.30 p.m .: The Ukrainian leadership has sharply criticized Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban for his attitude in the Ukraine war. “The remarks made by Hungary’s prime minister demonstrate pathological contempt for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people who oppose Russian aggression, and political short-sightedness,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said on its website on Tuesday. The trigger was a statement by Orban that the war could be ended if the US stopped providing arms to Kyiv.
Orban is calling for Ukraine’s defeat in this way, but this would only increase the risk of Russian aggression against Hungary itself, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. “The Hungarian leader should ask himself if he wants peace.” Relations between Hungary and Ukraine have been tense since the beginning of the war. Orban has repeatedly shown resistance to EU sanctions against Russia.
4:26 p.m .: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sees the USA as the main culprit and at the same time the greatest beneficiary of the Ukraine war. The strategic goal of the United States and its allies in NATO is a “victory over Russia on the battlefield” in order to weaken or even destroy Russia, Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian state agency TASS on Tuesday. Washington is also pursuing the goal of destroying Russia’s traditional relations with Europe.
3:50 p.m .: The Russian military has probably moved some of its fighter planes from the Russian military base Engels to other airfields. A spokesman for the Air Force said on Ukrainian television on Tuesday.
2:27 p.m .: There is now an air alarm throughout Ukraine. This is reported by the opposition Belarusian news channel Nexta.
1:17 p.m .: In fighting and artillery duels on various front sections, Russian troops said they inflicted greater losses on the Ukrainian defenders on Tuesday. Around 60 Ukrainian soldiers were “destroyed” in fighting around Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the state agency TASS reported, citing the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.
Around 30 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an artillery attack in the neighboring Luhansk region. In addition, a number of Ukrainian guns are said to have been destroyed in various artillery duels from Cherson in the south to Kharkiv in the east. The information could not be independently verified.
12.30 p.m .: In the Russian-occupied town of Makiivka in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, several men robbed and killed a family of eight. Four children were among the victims, Russian and Ukrainian media reported unanimously on Tuesday. Cash, cellphones and a car were stolen during the robbery. According to the Russian state agency TASS, three suspects have already been arrested.
According to Ukrainian media, the suspects are members of the notorious Wagner mercenaries. This had recently recruited new members in Russian prisons.
11:56 am: For the past 48 hours, fighting in Ukraine has been concentrated in the Bakhmut area of the Donetsk region and near Svatove in Luhansk. This emerges from the latest update from the British Ministry of Defence. “Russia continues to frequently initiate small-scale attacks in these areas, although few areas have changed hands,” the report said.
With regard to the Russian armed forces sent to Belarus, the secret service writes that an elite tank unit is said to have been among them. They probably carried out training before they were deployed. Still, it could be that the support units needed to make them combat-ready are missing.
9:28 a.m .: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demands that Ukraine must fulfill Moscow’s proposals in four areas. Otherwise, the Russian military would intervene, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.
“The enemy is aware of our proposals to demilitarize and denazify the regime-controlled areas and eliminate the threats they pose to Russian security, including our new areas,” Lavrov said, repeating the false Nazi accusations against Ukraine that Russia justifies its war of aggression, saying that if Ukraine does not comply with these demands, “the Russian army will take matters into its own hands”.
In an interview with the Russian news agency TASS, Lavrov also stated that the West wanted to kill Putin. “There, some ‘unnamed officials’ from the Pentagon actually threatened to deal a ‘decapitation blow’ to the Kremlin – in fact, we are talking about threatening the physical elimination of the Russian head of state,” Lavrov says indignantly. So far, those threats could not be independently verified. It is therefore questionable whether Lavrov is not inventing the alleged threats for propaganda purposes.
Russia has been claiming control of the four regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson through illegal sham referendums since September. Just a few weeks after the annexation, Cherson was recaptured and about 10,000 square kilometers of land was liberated. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that the situation in the occupied territories was “extremely complicated”.
9:20 a.m .: According to the Russian domestic secret service FSB, four saboteurs were killed on the Russian-Ukrainian border. The FSB said the Ukrainians were “liquidated” trying to cross the border in the Bryansk region. They were said to have carried home-made explosive devices, foreign arms and ammunition, and communications and navigation equipment to carry out terrorist attacks on Russian territory. Ukrainian media reported on Tuesday that the men were performing military duties against Russia’s war of aggression.
A soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the death of his comrades in the Telegram news channel, whose names and photos he also published. However, he assumed that the men were killed by a mine explosion. According to the FSB, they were already killed on December 25.
For months, the Russian authorities have been complaining about attacks from the Ukrainian side in the area near the border, but also in the hinterland. The FSB now reports arrests of suspected saboteurs and terrorists in different parts of Russia on an almost daily basis. There is also repeated talk of drone attacks. But there are hardly any confirmations like this from the Ukrainian side. Again and again the attacks resulted in deaths, injuries and destruction.
8:21 a.m .: Russia accuses Ukraine of wanting to draw NATO deeper into the war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the TASS state agency in an interview published on Tuesday night: “The (Kiev) regime is trying on its behalf to draw the Americans and other NATO members deeper into the vortex of the conflict in the hope that to make a hasty clash with the Russian army inevitable.” In this context, Lavrov recalled the impact of a rocket in Poland in mid-November and described the Ukrainian reaction to it as a provocation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tried to “pass the missile as a Russian missile,” Lavrov said. “It’s good that Washington and Brussels had the wisdom at the time not to fall for it.” However, this incident showed that nothing can stop Kyiv. The West had recently assumed that the missile was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against Russian attacks.
Lavrov criticized the West’s course. He constantly speculates that Russia is about to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. “We are talking about completely different matters here – the political course of the West, aimed at total restraint from Russia, is extremely dangerous. It poses risks of a direct armed clash between the nuclear powers,” Lavrov claimed. Moscow always emphasizes that there can be no winners in nuclear war and “it must never be unleashed”.
You can read more news on the following pages.