Moldova’s secret service fears that Russia could also attack the neighboring country after Ukraine in 2023. And Putin apparently wants to set the goals for next year on Wednesday. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.

7:05 a.m .: The US government wants to deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine to defend against Russian air attacks. US President Joe Biden will officially announce this this Wednesday during the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj to Washington, the White House said early Wednesday morning (local time).

07.03 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is expected this Wednesday for his first trip abroad since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in the US capital Washington. The US government confirmed reports early Wednesday morning (local time).

Wednesday, December 21, 2:56 a.m.: According to media reports, the US government wants to deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. This was reported by several US media on Tuesday evening (local time), citing unnamed sources. The Patriot air defense system can repel aircraft, cruise missiles, drones or missiles even at a greater distance. It would complicate Russia’s missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

There had previously been reports that the US government was considering such a delivery. Now it was said that the planned delivery should be announced during a possible visit of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj this Wednesday in Washington.

With the Patriot system (“Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target”), infrastructure and population centers can be significantly better protected, while the freedom of movement of the Ukrainian armed forces on the ground is increased. Depending on the location, it could extend beyond Russian territory. With better Western weapons, Ukraine is increasingly becoming a “no-fly zone” for Russian aircraft, and missiles and drones are also being better intercepted.

11:28 p.m .: According to US media reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to visit Washington on Wednesday on his first trip abroad since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against his country. The news channel CNN reported on Tuesday that a meeting with US President Joe Biden was planned at the White House. According to Fox News and the website Punchbowl News, a visit to the congress is also planned.

Zelenskyy has not left Ukraine since Russia’s war of aggression against his country began on February 24. On Tuesday he traveled to the hard-fought town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on what was probably his riskiest visit to the front to date. The United States is Ukraine’s most important supporter in the war that has been going on for almost ten months.

10:52 p.m .: After the visit of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in the frontline town of Bakhmut in the east of the country, heavy fighting broke out again in the area. “The enemy is continuing its efforts in offensive operations against Bakhmut and Avdiivka,” the general staff said in Kyiv on Tuesday evening. Among other things, tank attacks were reported from the region, as well as artillery attacks and isolated Russian airstrikes.

North of it, Russian troops tried to reach better positions near Kupjansk. There, the Russian army used “its entire spectrum” of artillery against at least 15 settlements, it said. The information from Kyiv could not initially be checked independently.

Selenskyj had surprisingly visited Bakhmut in the morning and distributed medals and gifts among the soldiers.

10:51 p.m .: In the US Congress, Republicans and Democrats have agreed on a draft budget with a total volume of 1.7 trillion US dollars (1.6 trillion euros). Among other things, it provides for 44.9 billion US dollars (42.3 billion euros) in aid for Ukraine, according to the draft budget published on Tuesday.

The package includes around $9 billion in military aid for Kyiv and almost $16 billion in economic and humanitarian aid. In addition, twelve billion dollars are planned to replenish the US military’s ammunition stocks and stores after transfers to Ukraine. Another seven billion dollars are earmarked for additional spending by US troops in Europe.

The US government welcomed the agreement. “We appreciate the flexibility this gives us to continue to support Ukraine,” said National Security Council communications director John Kirby.

The Senate and House of Representatives now have to approve the more than 4,000-page draft budget. The deadline for adoption expires on Friday. If no new budget has been passed in Congress and signed by the President by then, a so-called shutdown would be imminent. If this were to happen, some civil servants would have to be put on leave or work temporarily without pay.

9:55 p.m .: After his visit to the frontline town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed his willingness to completely liberate all Russian-occupied areas. “We will do everything possible and impossible, expected and unexpected, so that our heroes have everything they need to win,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Tuesday evening. The troops should achieve what “all Ukrainians expect”.

Selenskyj listed the areas to be liberated. “This is our Luhansk region, this is our southern Ukraine, this is our Crimea,” he said. “Ukraine will not leave anything of its own to the enemy.” Russia has annexed the areas in violation of international law.

8:43 p.m .: Russia is apparently moving more troops from the Far East to Ukraine. This is reported by the Ukrainian General Staff. According to this, Putin is also having ammunition, fuel and equipment brought into the combat zone from the Far East. The Ukrainian general staff has feared for some time that Moscow is planning a new major offensive early next year.

6.40 p.m .: Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin wants to take stock on Wednesday and give an outlook. The Kremlin announced on Tuesday in Moscow that Putin will chair an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry, to which 15,000 commanders and other military leaders will be connected via video. It is about the results of this year and about tasks and goals for the coming year, it said. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu wants to give a report on the course of the war and the weaponry of the army, among other things.

Earlier, Russia’s state television reported that Putin would make an important announcement this week. After numerous defeats in the “special military operation,” as the Kremlin calls the war in Ukraine, Putin is under pressure. Hardliners, but also patriotic military experts, are calling for the army to take more decisive action in Ukraine – not least after numerous attacks on Russian territory.

6:12 p.m .: According to Ukrainian media reports, the Russian military has again started moving stronger troop formations to the Belarus-Ukraine border. In addition to tanks, armored personnel carriers and transporters, various military equipment was also brought near the border, Ukrajinska Pravda and the Unian agency reported on Tuesday, citing the Belarusian hacker collective “Hajun Project”. The group follows all the actions of the Russian troops stationed there.

The observers assumed that it was either a transfer of Russian troops from the north and center of Belarus or a short-term transfer to joint maneuvers with the Belarusian army on the border with Ukraine. The units that have been moved to the border are currently not strong enough for offensive actions, it said.

The Ukrainian military leadership has suspected for some time that Russia could again try to advance into Ukraine from Belarus. At the beginning of the war ten months ago, a Russian combat group advancing from Belarus had reached the outskirts of Kyiv, but was then fiercely fought by the Ukrainians and forced to retreat.

3:48 p.m .: Great Britain supports the Ukrainian army in the defensive war against Russia with winter equipment. “We expect to have 10,000 more cold weather kits delivered by Christmas,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Parliament in London on Tuesday. This included extremely warm clothing, durable sleeping bags and insulated tents. So far, London has delivered 15,000 such pieces of equipment, as well as 900 generators to generate electricity, Wallace said. In total, the international community sent around 1.23 million items of winter gear to Ukraine.

1:25 p.m .: After the Russian drone attacks on Monday, Kyiv continues to struggle with power supply problems. Parts of the subway system are still at a standstill at times, as Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on the Telegram news channel. The cause is “strong voltage fluctuations”.

Due to an emergency shutdown of the pumps, the water supply also failed in the entire city area. As a result, the district heating also failed at temperatures around freezing point. According to Klitschko, only 50 percent of the electricity requirements of the Ukrainian capital can be covered.

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