A strategically important bridge exploded near Melitopol. Putin canceled his final press conference for the first time in ten years. Apparently, concerns about anti-war sentiment in Russia are spreading in the Kremlin. All information about the Ukraine war can be found in the news ticker.
7:15 a.m .: In order to save freedom of expression, which Tesla boss Elon Musk supposedly saw at risk, he took over the short message service Twitter. However, a new development on Twitter speaks a different language. As of Tuesday evening, Twitter users from Ukraine could no longer log in or register with their cell phone number. Because: The company has stopped sending two-factor authentication codes to Ukrainian numbers, some media from Ukraine report.
But there is a fair amount of criticism from Kyiv. Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podoliak tweeted: “The topic of the ‘war in Ukraine’ has disappeared from Twitter trends. Tweets reporting Russian aggression will be radically restricted. Users are no longer allowed to register or log in with Ukrainian phone numbers.” He then directly denounces Elon Musk: “Elon Musk, I wonder if we’ll ever see Fall/Winter 2022 ‘Twitter Files’?”
Podoljak is alluding to a statement by Twitter boss Musk, who announced in early December that he would publish Twitter files from another case (Hunter Biden story). Between the lines it becomes apparent that Podoljak accuses Elon Musk of hidden censorship.
6:15 a.m .: There were several explosions in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Wednesday morning. Mayor Vitali Klitschko confirmed the explosions in the Telegram news service. Accordingly, the air defense shot down and fended off ten Russian drones over the capital. According to Ukrainian media reports, Russia’s armed forces flew drone attacks on the three-million metropolis and its surroundings. The authorities said the air defense was deployed. There were air raids in the capital, the surrounding area and in Zhytomyr and Vinnytsia. Nothing was initially known about possible damage and victims.
2:18 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked for international help to clear Russian mines in his country. In a video address to the New Zealand parliament on Wednesday, he said: “No child can really live in peace as long as they can be killed by a hidden Russian mine.”
In Ukraine, 174,000 square kilometers of land are “contaminated with mines or unexploded warheads,” Zelenskyy said. Countless mines belonging to the Russian army, which has been waging a war of aggression in Ukraine since February, are also floating in the Black Sea. Zelenskyy called on New Zealand, whose armed forces are said to be particularly experienced in this area, to lead international mine clearance efforts in his country.
On Wednesday, the New Zealand government pledged further humanitarian aid for the equivalent of around two million euros to help the people of Ukraine get through the winter better. The country has already supplied Kyiv with arms and is also helping to train Ukrainian soldiers. After Zelenskyj’s speech, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also promised help with mine clearance. The area of 174,000 square kilometers mentioned by Selenskyj corresponds to the size of countries such as Cambodia or Syria.
Wednesday, December 14, 12:10 a.m.: So far, around 185,000 refugees from Ukraine have started an integration course in Germany. This is reported by the editorial network Germany (RND, Wednesday) with reference to data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf). “More than 185,000 Ukrainian nationals have already started an integration course,” a spokesman told RND, referring to the latest data from late November.
According to the authorities, more than a third of the more than one million refugees from Ukraine are minors. “For them, schooling is also compulsory in Germany, so the integration course is only aimed at adults,” added the spokesman. According to Bamf, many refugees want to return to Ukraine quickly: the people have only just escaped from the war and are hoping to return as soon as possible, they said. It is anything but a matter of course “that such a large number of people want to learn the German language so quickly of their own accord”.
According to the Bamf, integration courses consist of a total of 700 hours. Language acquisition accounts for 600 hours, the other 100 hours are about values, the legal system or the social system.
8:46 p.m .: In the course of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian armed forces said they inflicted heavy losses on the Russian occupiers. In the village of Kadievka in the Luhansk region alone, around 60 Russian soldiers were killed and 100 others wounded, the general staff in Kyiv 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.
7:58 p.m .: According to a report, the US government is planning to deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. The project still has to be approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed government sources. The plans could be made official later this week. The Patriot system (“Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target”) is used to combat aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The American-made Patriot missile defense system is used by several NATO countries. According to CNN, it was unclear how many Patriot batteries would be delivered to Ukraine.
Ukraine, attacked by Russia, keeps pushing for better anti-aircraft defenses. The United States is already delivering Himars multiple rocket launchers and the Nasams air defense system to Ukraine. Just last week, the US government announced millions in additional military aid to defend against Russia. US military support to Kyiv totals $20 billion since US President Joe Biden took office in early 2021.
6:14 p.m .: The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk is still hard fought. 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.
2:19 p.m .: The international Ukraine conference in Paris has promised Ukraine one billion euros in winter aid. It is about donations and materials, said French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna. The support should be provided from now until the end of winter. Around 70 countries, international organizations and the European Union are taking part in the conference. “This is a sign that Ukraine is not alone,” said French President Macron at the start.
9.45 a.m .: 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.
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.
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 this moment Zelenskyj comes past me and says: “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.
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