Skip to content

12:11 Baerbock: "Putin wants to destroy Ukraine"

Ukraine war in the live ticker

12:11 Baerbock: "Putin wants to destroy Ukraine"

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has once again defended the West's support for Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression. "The fact that Putin's original plan to invade Kiev and murder, expel or subjugate over 40 million people did not work out is due to the incredible courage of the Ukrainians in defending their country," the Green politician told Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten. "And also because of the support from us and so many other countries who are doing what is human: helping the victim and not looking away from the aggressor." In the areas occupied by Russia and unprotected places this winter, you can see what Ukraine and neighboring countries such as Moldova would have faced if the EU and the majority of the world had not stood united on Ukraine's side, Baerbock said. "Putin is deliberately attacking power plants, electricity distribution centers and power lines so that the water supply freezes at minus ten degrees and people die of thirst and freeze to death," she warns. "He wants to destroy Ukraine, and that's why we will support it as long as it needs us."

11:49 London: Troops in Ukraine suffer from rats and mice
According to British estimates, mice and rats are causing problems for soldiers in Ukraine. "In recent weeks, both Ukrainian and Russian troops have very likely suffered from an exceptionally heavy infestation of rats and mice on some sections of the front line," the British Ministry of Defense announced on the short message service X on Saturday. The fact that the fall was mild and there was plenty of food in fallow fields probably contributed to this. "As the weather has become colder, the animals are probably seeking shelter in vehicles and defensive positions," the British write. This is putting pressure on the morale of the fighters. There is also a risk to military equipment if the animals gnaw through cables, according to the ministry in London. This was discovered during the Second World War. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that Russian units are increasingly ill, which the troops attribute to the pest problem. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the ministry has regularly published information on the course of the war. Moscow accuses London of disinformation.

11:04Ukraine rep elsattacks near Avdiivka

According to the General Staff in Kiev, the Ukrainian armed forces have repelled new attacks by Russian troops near the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region and on the left bank of the Dnipro River. Russia is still trying to encircle Avdiivka with its troops, according to the staff in Kiev. "Our fighters are holding firm in defense and inflicting significant losses on the occupying forces," the statement continues. Fighting for the city has been going on for months. According to the General Staff, the Russian army is also unable to drive out the Ukrainian troops that have established themselves on the southern (left) bank of the Dnipro. The Ukrainian air defense also reported that numerous Russian drone attacks had once again been repelled. Once again, the Odessa region on the Black Sea was affected by attacks.

10:40 Cars for Ukraine: London mayor agrees to delivery
Sadiq Khan reverses his earlier decision. The Mayor of London has now agreed to send the city's vehicles to Ukraine that do not meet the standards of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), according to British media reports. Khan had previously rejected the proposal of Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko. Klitschko had asked Khan in September to send these cars to Ukraine instead of to the scrapyard. The ULEZ is intended to make London's air cleaner. All those who drive vehicles with high emissions in the city have to pay a fee of 12.50 pounds (14.40 euros). In exchange for scrapping their car, London residents can collect up to 2000 pounds (around 2304 euros) if it does not meet ULEZ emission standards. Klitschko assumes that many non-compliant cars are heavy off-road vehicles and trucks that are urgently needed in combat zones.

10:18 Olympia 2024: Bach defends approval of Russian athletes
IOC President Thomas Bach has defended the approval of athletes from Russia and Belarus for the 2024 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee had recently decided that individual athletes from both countries would be eligible to compete in Paris under certain conditions despite the war against Ukraine. Ukraine had sharply attacked the decision, and there had also been criticism from Russia. In an interview with "Welt am Sonntag", Bach emphasizes that he does not see how the decision should influence the course of the war in Moscow's favour. The 1976 Olympic fencing champion pointed out that the competitors would have to compete without a flag, without national identification and without an anthem and would not be allowed to belong to the military or the security authorities. "This makes the sanctioning of this government clear to the whole world once again," says Bach. So far, six athletes with Russian passports have qualified for the Olympics.

09:58 High hopes for fighter jets: "Ukrainian pilots will be amateurs in the F16"
Ukraine uncovers a scheme to fraudulently purchase artillery shells in its own country. The Ministry of Defense announces that the equivalent of almost 40 million dollars has been embezzled. ntv talks to military expert Ralph Thiele about corruption in the country and the hope for fighter jets from the West.

09:37 Biden signs bill with 300 million dollars for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden has signed the "National Defense Authorization Act" (NDAA-2024). The bill would allocate a record $886 billion for US defense needs in 2024. It also includes a measure to support Ukraine. The "Security Assistance Initiative" is to provide Ukraine with 300 million US dollars (around 272 million euros), according to a statement on the official White House website. The bill extends a measure to support Ukraine until the end of 2026, so that 300 million dollars can be allocated to the program in the financial year ending 30 September 2024.

08:57 War in schools: Ukrainian Ministry of Education produces guide for teachers
A new handbook is intended to help teachers discuss Russia's war against Ukraine in the classroom, the Ukrainian Ministry of Education has announced. It is divided into sections aimed at primary, secondary and high school pupils. The guide is intended to show teachers how to "explain the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war" to pupils and explain why wars occur. The guide contains historical information, timelines, commentaries and analyses, recommended discussion topics and questions for the class. Another aim is for pupils to develop media literacy. The handbook is intended to give pupils the tools they need to distinguish between facts and fakes and avoid falling for disinformation campaigns.

08:22 Ukraine: Number of Russian casualties rises to 352,390
According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, around 352,390 Russian troops have been eliminated in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022 until December 23, 2023, including 1,040 soldiers in the past day alone. According to the report, the Ukrainian defenders have also destroyed 5854 enemy tanks, 10,871 armored combat vehicles, 8,286 artillery systems, 932 multiple launch rocket systems and 611 air defense systems, as well as 327 aircraft, 324 helicopters, 6384 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,613 cruise missiles, 22 warships/cutter, one submarine, 10,995 motor vehicles and 1,223 special forces.

08:02 Ukraine reports downing of three Russian fighter jets
The Ukrainian air force has reported that it has shot down three Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jets in the south of the country. The fighter jets were shot down at midday in the southern operational zone, Ukrainian air force commander Mykola Olechuk announced on the online service Telegram (see also entry 04:06). In his video address, President Zelensky thanked the soldiers who had shot down the three fighter jets in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine. "This is the merit of our air force and the direct action of the Odessa anti-aircraft missile brigade. Thanks, guys," he says. The Russian authorities did not initially provide any details about the incident. However, the influential Russian military blog Fighterbomber reports losses that may have been caused by the Patriot air defense system supplied by the USA. Another Russian military blog, the Telegram channel Wojennyj Oswedomitel, also reports "losses from Su-34 bombers". These had targeted the Ukrainian village of Krynky near Kherson on the Russian-controlled eastern bank of the Dnipro River. Ukrainian troops had crossed the Dnipro River in the Kherson region in November and established positions in the village of Krynky in a tactical success. The wide Dnipro River has been the front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces in southern Ukraine for a year. The western bank is held by Ukraine, while Russia controls the opposite bank.

07:42 ISW: West should not overestimate Russia's failures in Ukraine
Western officials should be wary of public comments suggesting that Russia is already defeated in Ukraine, writes the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest report. Recently, high-ranking Western officials emphasized Russia's strategic failure in Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on December 22 that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin had "completely lost Ukraine". US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a similar statement on December 20. The US chief diplomat said that Russia had already failed to achieve its main goal of conquering Ukraine. The US Institute for the Study of War now warns that these comments could indicate that Western support for Ukraine is not urgently needed. "Russian actors in the information space will likely continue to exploit Western statements about the failure of Russian operations in 2023 and misrepresent such statements as indications that Western leaders intend to cease support to Ukraine," the analysts say. They point out in the report that Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of Ukraine's military intelligence service (HUR), dismissed the notion that Russia had already lost the war.

07:21 End of blockade of Ukrainian border by Polish truck drivers possible
Progress is being made in efforts to lift the blockade of border crossings between Ukraine and Poland by Polish truck drivers. The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure has announced that an "agreement on common positions to unblock the border" has been reached. An "action plan" now provides for talks between the Polish government and the truck drivers. Poland's Deputy Infrastructure Minister Pawel Gancarz explains that he hopes the protests can be ended before the end of the year. The Polish truck drivers have been blocking several border crossings to Ukraine since November 6 and are demanding that the EU reintroduce mandatory permits for Ukrainian truck drivers entering the EU and for EU truck drivers entering Ukraine. The EU had abolished the controls following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Polish truck drivers resumed the blockade of one of the most important border crossings to Ukraine this week after a brief interruption. According to the Polish customs office, the waiting time at the Dorohusk border crossing was 78 hours on Friday.

06:59 "Conquering hearts": mission for Kiev's diplomats
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian diplomats should not only organize weapons for their home countries in the coming year, but also win hearts. In addition to the weapons, the diplomats should also find partners for the expansion of the Ukrainian arms industry in 2024, the Presidential Chancellery in Kiev reported from Zelensky's meeting with his top diplomats. Ukraine's diplomatic representatives should push ahead with the country's closer ties to the EU and NATO. Above all, the key to further rapprochement with the North Atlantic defense alliance "should not be sought in higher political offices", said the President. "We have to convince societies - just as we managed to rally around Ukraine right at the beginning of the war," says Selenskyj. "We have to win over people's hearts."

06:34 Germany sends ammunition and demining equipment to Ukraine
Germany is delivering additional military aid to Ukraine, including tank ammunition, demining equipment and anti-aircraft guns, the German government has announced. According to the report, the deliveries come from Bundeswehr stocks and from contracts with private companies. These were financed by funds from the German government's armaments initiative, among other things. The latest delivery includes ammunition for Leopard tanks, three additional Gepard air defense systems and two additional Wisent mine-clearing tanks. The arms delivery also includes additional reconnaissance drones, border protection vehicles, AMPS self-protection systems for helicopters and trucks as well as medical supplies, according to the statement.

06:09 "Diplomatic masterstroke": Ukrainian ambassador praises Scholz at EU summit
The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, praises Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his role at the last EU summit. With a "diplomatic masterstroke", Scholz prevented a possible veto by Hungary, says Makeiev on rbb24 Inforadio. In this way, the Chancellor managed to ensure that the European Union voted in favor of opening accession negotiations with Ukraine. At the EU summit, Scholz had suggested to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that he leave the room for a coffee break so that the assembled heads of state and government could vote on the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine without him. Orban followed this suggestion, so that the representatives of the other 26 member states took the decision for the accession negotiations in his absence. Makeiev also thanked the German government for its support for Ukraine. "This government is doing the right thing," says the diplomat. At the same time, he would like to see Germany take a leading role in supporting Ukraine.

05:33 German ambassador in Moscow: "No fault lines in the Putin system"
The German ambassador in Moscow, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, currently sees no change in Russian President Vladimir Putin's stance on the war in Ukraine. "Putin has just reaffirmed his war aims, he is not at all willing to negotiate," Lambsdorff told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. There is also no indication that Putin will change his stance after the presidential election in March 2024. He does not "currently recognize any fault lines in the Putin system". He also had "no indication" that the Kremlin leader "might not be in good health", said Lambsdorff.

04:06 Ukraine: Three Russian fighter-bombers shot down
The Ukrainian armed forces say they have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers on the southern front. "We haven't had any Su-34s in our positive statistics for some time," says air force spokesman Yuri Ihnat. In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also praised the air defense for shooting down the aircraft in the Kherson region. The Russian military has not yet commented on the incident, but Russian bloggers acknowledge the loss.

03:15 "Economist" Schnitzer pleads for Ukraine soli
Economist Monika Schnitzer is in favor of a solidarity surcharge to support Ukraine. "Special events require special measures. A Ukraine solidarity tax as a surcharge on income tax for military aid would be a possible response to this challenge," the economics professor told the Rheinische Post newspaper. "That's not popular," admits Schnitzer. "But after all, this war is also about our freedom." It is better to act now than when Russia's aggression suddenly requires completely different measures.

02:03 Reports of an explosion in Crimea
The city of Armiansk in the north of Crimea is said to have been rocked by an explosion during the night. This is reported by the "Kyiv Independent", among others. Local Telegram channels are talking about a detonation on the ground, which is said to have occurred at around 11 p.m. local time. The Russian occupation authorities have not yet commented.

23:54 Ukrainian secret service: fraud in weapons procurement uncovered
According to official information, a system for the fraudulent purchase of artillery shells has been uncovered in Ukraine. The Ukrainian secret service SBU and the Ministry of Defense announced that the network had been used to embezzle the equivalent of almost 40 million dollars. The system was uncovered last week and an audit confirmed the illegal activities. Searches were carried out within the ministry and in other premises. Ukraine ranks 116th out of 180 countries in Transparency International's latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

22:19 Ukrainian parliament works on law on mobilization from abroad
Ukraine's parliament is working on a draft law on the mobilization of men living abroad. This was announced by Vadym Ivchenko, a representative of the Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence. According to him, it is a complex bill that "is being developed jointly by the deputies, the Ministry of Defense and the entire team of the General Staff". Ivchenko points out that the draft law is to be put to the vote in January. "Ukrainians who are abroad will have to undergo the same identification procedures as Ukrainians in Ukraine," said Ivchenko. "If you are on the list of people to be mobilized, you will of course receive a summons. This is a normal procedure. And then it is their decision whether to go back or stay there, and then it is a violation of Ukrainian law," the MP explained. Yesterday, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said that there were no plans to recall and call up men under pressure from abroad.

21:16 Russia buys 92 aircraft from leasing companies
Russia has bought another 92 aircraft from foreign companies that were previously leased. The airline S7 announced the acquisition of 45 of its former foreign aircraft, Aeroflot said it was taking 28 aircraft for itself and a further 19 were going to Ural Airlines. The purchase was made with Russia's state insurance company, NLK-Finance, as an intermediary. Russia had initially re-registered the aircraft after the start of the war in the face of Western sanctions without the owners' consent and later began negotiations over them.

20:32 Selenskyj: In the process of renewing relations with Poland
Ukraine and neighboring Poland want to deepen their cooperation, especially in the military sphere. This was reported by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his evening video address about his meeting with the new Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, whose first trip abroad was to Kiev. "We discussed very serious possibilities for further joint work - work that will strengthen our two nations," said Selenskyj. "This applies above all to joint arms production." "We are in the process of renewing our relations," says Selenskyj. He had previously spoken of Poland and Ukraine as "very strong neighbors with a common history".

19:50 Occupation: Injured in Ukrainian drone attack on Donetsk
According to the occupation authorities, twelve people were injured in a Ukrainian drone attack in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The people were injured when a projectile was dropped, the head of the occupation authorities in the Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, explained on Telegram. Among the injured were five rescue workers and municipal employees. According to Pushilin, Donetsk was also attacked by Ukrainian artillery, damaging a residential building and civilian infrastructure. The information cannot be independently verified.

19:02 Russian drones attack Odessa
The southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa has been attacked by several Russian drones. Local media reported several explosions, which were initially attributed to the use of air defense. Airspace surveillance had previously reported the approach of several waves of so-called kamikaze drones over the Black Sea and called on residents of the city and surrounding area to seek shelter. An air alert was also issued in other regions of Ukraine.

You can read about all previous developments here.

Read also:

  1. Baerbock reiterates Western support for Ukraine against Russia's military operations, stating that Putin wants to destroy Ukraine and is deliberately attacking infrastructure to cause suffering.
  2. British military intelligence reports a heavy infestation of rats and mice causing problems for soldiers on some sections of the front line in Ukraine, affecting morale and equipment.
  3. Russian troops attempt to encircle the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region and on the left bank of the Dnipro River, but are repelled by Ukrainian forces who inflict significant losses.
  4. Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, expresses hope for fighter jets from the West to help Ukrainian pilots become "amateurs" in modern aircraft, while corruption in the country's military procurement continues to be a concern.