As we enter the 656th day of the war, these are the most important developments.

Here is the situation as of Monday, December 11, 2023.


  • A civilian was killed and another injured after Russian forces dropped an explosive from a drone over the city of Beryslav in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. Prosecutors opened a war crimes investigation into the incident, which occurred on Saturday morning. Both victims were on the street at the time of the attack, authorities said.

Politics and diplomacy

  • US President Joe Biden will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on Tuesday, where the two will discuss Ukraine’s “urgent needs.” The meeting comes as Biden tries to reach an agreement with the US Congress that would provide military aid to Ukraine and Israel. Zelensky is also expected to meet senators and hold private talks with House Speaker Mike Johnson.
  • According to a video posted on the Argentine Senate’s YouTube channel, Zelensky spoke briefly with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban while attending the inauguration of Argentine President Javier Milei. Orban’s press chief Bertalan Havasi confirmed the meeting but did not say whether Orban would continue to oppose Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.
  • Ukraine strongly condemned Russia’s plans to hold presidential elections next March in the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson territories, which Moscow annexed in 2022. It declared the elections “null and void” and promised to prosecute any observers sent to monitor them.
  • Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, expressed hope that a coalition of countries formed to facilitate the return of Ukrainian children illegally brought to Russia by Moscow will work out a faster mechanism to deal with them to bring home. About 19,000 children are believed to still be in Russia or separated from their families in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

Relatives of Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russia hold up their photos and demand their release [Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]

  • Matviy Bidnyi, Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, said the country must consider whether participating in the 2024 Olympics is in the country’s interest after the International Olympic Committee announced that athletes from Belarus and Russia would be considered “neutrals” could compete without flags and emblems or anthems.
  • City workers in Kiev have dismantled a statue of Mykola Shchors, a Soviet field commander during the Russian Civil War, as part of an ongoing campaign to remove all Soviet-era monuments.


  • The Bulgarian parliament agreed to provide additional military assistance, including man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems and surface-to-air missiles, to Ukraine. State news agency BTA said 147 lawmakers in the 240-seat chamber voted in favor of the plan. Ukraine must repair the weapons before they can be used or use them as spare parts.

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