As we enter the 651st day of the war, these are the most important developments.
Here is the situation as of Wednesday, December 6, 2023.
- Russia attacked an aid center, a medical center and residential buildings in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, killing three people and wounding at least 11, officials said. The International Rescue Committee confirmed that a rocket attack hit its I am Kherson humanitarian center overnight, destroying aid supplies.
- The Ukrainian military said it shot down 10 of 17 attack drones launched by Russia overnight. The governor of Ukraine’s western Lviv region said three drones hit an unspecified infrastructure target but minimal damage was caused. In the eastern Kharkiv region, drones hit private homes and residential buildings in at least two different settlements, authorities said.
- The Russian Defense Ministry said its air defense systems destroyed or intercepted a total of 41 drones launched by Ukraine. 26 were destroyed over Russian territory and 15 over the Sea of Azov and the Crimean Peninsula, the ministry said in a statement. It was not said whether there was any damage.
- Ukraine said the drones hit several “key military facilities in Crimea,” including radar systems and an anti-aircraft missile control system. A Ukrainian defense source with knowledge of the SBU’s military intelligence operations told AFP the attacks were “the result of a special operation by the SBU.” Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
- Russia confirmed that Major General Vladimir Zawadsky, deputy commander of Russia’s 14th Army Corps, was killed “at a combat post” in Ukraine.
Politics and diplomacy
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has canceled plans for a video appeal for new aid to lawmakers in the United States, as some Republicans seek to link that support to U.S. immigration policy.
- Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak told a US think tank that delaying US aid to Kiev would bring a “big risk” that Ukraine would lose the war with Russia.
- Six Ukrainian children are being returned from Russia to their immediate families in Ukraine under a deal brokered by Qatar and are on their way home via Moscow. Kiev has accused Russia of bringing about 20,000 Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-occupied territories without the consent of their families or guardians.
- The US, meanwhile, announced sanctions against Dzmitry Shautsou, the head of the Belarusian Red Cross, accusing him of involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has suspended the Belarusian Red Cross for failing to fire Shautsou.
- According to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, Russia rejected a “substantial” proposal to release businessman and former Marine Paul Whelan and journalist Evan Gershkovich. Miller declined to go into detail about the proposal, which he said was made in the “last few weeks.” Whelan is serving a 16-year prison sentence for espionage, while Wall Street Journal reporter Gershkovich was arrested in March and accused of espionage. Both men deny the allegations.
- Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot sought to reassure Ukraine of the Netherlands’ continued support during an unannounced trip to Kiev following the election victory of Geert Wilders, whose far-right party wants to stop arms sales to Ukraine. “Rest assured of our support. Your fight is our fight. “Your security is our security,” the foreign minister said during a joint press conference with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
- Washington imposed new Russia sanctions on a defense procurement network consisting of nine companies and five individuals based in Russia, Belgium, Cyprus, Sweden, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.
- Ukraine said it was investigating suspected corruption in arms procurement but said there was no “misuse” of Western weapons sent to the country to fight Russia’s invasion. “There are several cases related to arms procurement,” said Oleksandr Klymenko, the head of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office. He added that these were contracts worth “10 to 100 million euros,” but he could not reveal details.
Source : www.aljazeera.com