A repair center for Ukrainian weapons opens in Slovakia. 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.
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.”
7.10 a.m .: With a new repair center near the Slovakian border with Ukraine, governments and the defense industry want to ensure the continued use of heavy weapons to ward off the Russian war of aggression. The base has started operations, Brigadier General Christian Freuding, head of the Ukraine special staff at the Defense Ministry, told the German Press Agency in the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia.
The tank builder Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) is now organizing the repair of large weapons in the region that were worn out or damaged in battles in the Ukraine, such as the Panzerhaubitze 2000. The legal basis for the “hub” is a government agreement between Slovakia and the federal government.
“For us, this is a very important contribution to supporting the Ukrainian armed forces. In this way, we can contribute to ensuring that the weapon systems we have handed over and that have been used so successfully are permanently operational,” said Freuding, who has been visiting Slovakia since Sunday. He spoke of an “example of good cooperation based on partnership between Slovakia and Germany”.
So far, Germany has handed over 14 Panzerhaubitze 2000 units, 5 Mars multiple rocket launchers and 30 Gepard anti-aircraft gun tanks to Ukraine. There are still 7 more cheetahs to be delivered. In addition, 50 Dingo-type armored personnel carriers were provided. In a first step, the repair work is concentrating on this military device, with weapons from other manufacturers being handed over to the Ukraine from Germany.
3:21 a.m .: US President Joe Biden has pledged further support to Ukraine in the Russian war of aggression. In a phone call with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden promised that the United States would continue to help the attacked country defend itself against the Russian aggressor. This was announced by the White House on Sunday evening (local time) in Washington.
Biden backed his statements with recent US pledges in the area of military aid and to rebuild Ukraine’s infrastructure. At the same time, he emphasized that he wanted to hold Russia accountable for its war crimes and ask the Kremlin to pay for its aggression. In the conversation, Biden also welcomed Selenskyj’s “openness to a just peace based on the basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter”.
Monday, December 12, 1:14 a.m .: Due to the targeted Russian attacks on the Ukrainian power grid, the situation in the port city of Odessa and in other regions is difficult, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. “We are doing everything to restore the light in Odessa,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Sunday evening. “We’re doing everything we can to get the maximum out of the Russian goals under these conditions.”
Russian troops attacked Odessa on Saturday night with a wave of Iranian combat drones, causing the city and the entire surrounding area to lose power. According to the official statement, the power outage, which affects several hundred thousand people, can only be repaired with great effort. The regional electric utility said repairs could take up to two months.
“Kiev and its environs, Lviv region, Vinnytsia region, Ternopil region, Chernovyts region and Zakarpattia region, Sumy region, Dnipropetrovsk region – the situation remains very difficult,” said Zelenskyy. However, everything is being tried to “relax the situation” and to provide people with electricity.
8:13 p.m .: According to former President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia is increasing the production of new generation weapons that could potentially also be used against the West. The enemy was not only entrenched in the “Kiev Governorate,” Medvedev wrote on Sunday in the Messenger service Telegram, referring to areas in today’s Ukraine that belonged to the Russian Empire under the Tsar.
“It’s also in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a whole host of other places that swore allegiance to today’s Nazis,” added the Vice Chairman of the National Security Council. Therefore, Russia is increasing the “production of the most powerful means of destruction, including those based on new foundations.”
Medvedev was probably referring to the new generation of hypersonic weapons, which Moscow says it has been developing for years. Since the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine in February, Medvedev has published more anti-Western and pathetic posts on online networks.
Russia’s military setbacks in recent months have sparked concerns that Russia may resort to its nuclear arsenal to reverse the trend.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would only use nuclear weapons in response to an attack. Two days later, he said Moscow was considering changing its military doctrine to include the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against other countries.
The US State Department has called any discussion of nuclear weapons, however vague, “completely irresponsible.”
3:45 p.m .: At least 200 Russian soldiers died or were wounded in a rocket attack on a Russian military barracks in the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol (south-eastern Ukraine), according to Ukrainian sources. This was announced by the exiled mayor of the city, Ivan Fedorov, on the Telegram news service.
Accordingly, on Saturday evening around 9 p.m. the Ukrainian army attacked a holiday resort, which is currently used to house soldiers, with Himars missiles. At least four bullets were said to have hit it. Fedorov wrote that the hospitals had overflowed and that victims had to be taken to nearby Crimea.
The Russian army also confirmed the attack, but said the number of victims was significantly lower. The Ukrainian army has not yet commented specifically on the incident. In any case, videos show how only burning ruins are left of the building complex. A large contingent of rescue workers were deployed.
Melitopol is considered one of the most important targets for the next offensive.
2:26 p.m .: According to an analysis by the “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW), Vladimir Putin is risking the support of his allies there with his strategy in Donbass.
Igor Girkin, former defense minister of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic, directly criticized the Russian president for his failure to defend the territories annexed in an illegal referendum. Girkin was particularly critical of Putin’s army’s failure to push Ukrainian artillery out of range of Donbass cities. He also criticized a statement by Putin in which he called the situation “stable”. According to Girkin, the only people who would see it that way would be Putin and his Defense Ministry.
According to the “ISW”, these direct attacks on Putin show above all that there are increasingly visible cracks between the Kremlin and the self-proclaimed People’s Republics. The pro-war voices in the annexed areas had already pointed out weaknesses in the Russian strategy at the beginning of the war, but they still rallied behind the Kremlin. This cohesion now seems to be crumbling.
4:31 a.m .: The EU is demanding that Turkey change its trade policy towards Russia and implement western sanctions imposed for the attack on Ukraine. “Turkey’s (…) policy of not joining the EU’s restrictive measures against Russia is a growing cause for concern,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a letter to the EU Parliament, from which the newspapers of the Quote Funke media group.
Turkey has massively expanded its exports to Russia since the start of the Ukraine war and is also increasingly buying Russian oil.
Borrell pointed out that the EU and Turkey form a customs union, thereby granting free movement of goods that includes “dual use” goods – goods with dual use that can be used for both civil and military purposes.
Turkey should not offer Russia any workarounds, Borrell warned, emphasizing the country’s status as a candidate for EU membership: “All candidate countries including Turkey” are expected to adhere to the measures that have been decided.
The deepening of bilateral economic ties between Turkey and Russia amid Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine “also raises serious concerns,” it said. The EU has repeatedly emphasized its concerns and expectations towards Turkish interlocutors and will raise this at all levels, the foreign policy chief said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on closer economic cooperation in August. Apparently, Western companies are also using Turkey as a loophole to sell their products to Russia. The US government has therefore already threatened Turkey with secondary sanctions.
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