Russian and Ukrainian forces have fought fiercely in eastern Ukraine with no significant change in territory over the past week. 41st of the warNeither side has shown an immediate willingness to negotiate an end to the fighting.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has made the deepest attacks on Russian territory and its allies have squeezed Russia even further on the economic front.
Ukraine’s long-range drones
On Monday morning, as usual in recent weeks, Russia Fired About 70 missiles hit Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Odesa. The attacks damaged energy infrastructure, which in some cases were just remedied after being hit earlier. Although Ukrainian officials say the country’s air defenses have shot down more than 60 missiles of this type, the successful attack killed four people and left parts of the capital engulfed in flames. cold and dark.
Russia claims air strikes are retaliation against Ukraine use drones attacked two military bases, the Engels airfield on the Volga and the Dyagilevo base near Ryazan. The two bases are 700 km (435 mi) and 600 km (373 mi) from the Russia-Ukraine border, respectively and represent Ukraine’s deepest incursions into Russia.
Photos posted on social media show Ukraine using a Soviet-era Tu-141 reconnaissance drone, which flies at high speed, has a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) and is able to bypass the system. Russian defense.
“The Ukrainians have decided to change the Russian calculus. [commander of Ukraine forces Sergei] Surovikin. The attacks on Russian air bases are Ukraine’s way of saying that the Russians don’t have an asymmetrical advantage with the long-range missiles they think they have.” Written Retired Australian Army officer, Major General Mick Ryan.
In an hour-long phone call on December 2, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Russian President Vladimir Putin that attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure must stop, just to be notified. that it was an “inevitable” response to Ukraine’s “provocative attacks”.
Bakhmut and the long silent war
Elsewhere, Russia maintains pressure on Bakhmut, a key city in the eastern Donetsk region that it has been trying to capture since the Ukrainian summer months with daily bombardment and ground attacks. .
Ukraine’s military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty said Russia sacrificed 50-100 soldiers a day in the effort, while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Bakhmut and neighboring Soledar the hardest front of the war.
The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denys Pushilin, said that although Russian forces have “liberated” 338 settlements in Donbas, Ukraine is also deploying reserve forces and conducting counter-attacks.
It is not possible to independently verify the figures cited by both parties.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces quelled a counterattack on December 7 near the settlements of Pershe Travnya, Kurdyumovka, Klescheevka and Mayorsk in Donetsk. It also said it prevented Ukrainian counterattacks on the settlements of Chernopopovska and Zhytlovka in the neighboring Luhansk region. But if nothing else, these show that Ukraine has not given up on two eastern regions that are largely under Russian control.
Pushilin also told Russia 24 television that Russian troops were entering Avdiivka and Pervomaiskoye in the Zaporizhia region, just south of Donetsk.
Meanwhile, US director of national intelligence Avril Haines on Saturday said Ukraine was in the midst of months of slow war.
“We’re seeing the conflict slow down… and we think that’s likely what we’ll see in the coming months,” Haines said at the annual Reagan Defense Forum in California. “I think [Putin] being more informed about the challenges the military faces in Russia,” she said.
Putin acknowledged the slowness of the campaign on Wednesday, when he speak“As for the timing of the special military operation, of course, this can be a long process.”
With calm fronts, Ukraine’s Western allies moved to tighten the economic noose around Russia.
The G7, Australia and the European Union on December 2 agreed on a price ceiling of $60 per barrel for Russian crude shipped to third parties.
This ceiling came into effect on December 5, the same day as the EU’s ban on Russian crude oil imports.
“It is no secret that we want lower prices,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote on Twitter. The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Poland have insisted on a cap equivalent to the cost of mining.
“A price tag of $30-40 is something that will hurt Russia significantly,” says Kallas.
Zelenskyy also expressed disappointment, calling it “quite comfortable for the budget of a terrorist country” and “a weak position” for Europe.
“It’s only a matter of time [before] More powerful tools must be used anyway. It’s a pity to lose it this time,” he said.
While the move applies to EU operators that insure and finance Russian crude oil tankers around the world, it does not apply to imports of Russian oil into the 27-member bloc via the route. tube. Member countries such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are heavily dependent on Russian pipeline oil and will be allowed to continue importing temporarily until they develop an alternative supply.
But the compromise includes a sweetener. Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU would immediately move to a ninth package of sanctions targeting “the military and defense sector, companies that manufacture military equipment or those who are planning to do so. missile attack”.
Russia has slashed the price of its oil to $60, far below the Brent crude benchmark of $87, and the EU cap doesn’t change that.
“We will not recognize any ceiling,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that “the adoption of these decisions is a step toward instability in the energy market.” world quantity”.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview with India’s NDTV, questioned the Indian government’s neutrality and continued purchases of Russian oil.
He said: “If you benefit from our suffering, it is good to see more of your help being sent to us.
The deputy director of Ukraine’s military intelligence service Vadym Skibitskyi said some of the missiles that hit Ukraine were manufactured during the summer, a time when Western sanctions are believed to have blocked Russia’s ability to attack Ukraine. the purchase of critical components for them, such as computer chips.
“Unfortunately, the Russian Federation, due to circumvention of economic sanctions, is still able to produce a certain number of cruise missiles and other weapons,” Skibitskyi said. He also said Russia was talking with Iran about replenishing its ballistic missile arsenal.
Peskov said the problems caused by sanctions against Russia were “not serious”.
“The economy of the Russian Federation has the potential necessary to fully meet all the needs and requirements within the framework of special military operations,” he said.
Published figures show that Russia has suffered, with its economy shrinking 7.1% in the third quarter of this year compared with pre-sanctions in the fourth quarter of last year.
Talk with prerequisites
Neither side to the conflict seems prepared for negotiations at this stage.
US President Joe Biden, whose mantra is that Ukraine must decide when to come to the negotiating table, on December 1 said he is open to talking if there is a strong desire for peace.
Ukraine sets major preconditions for the talks, including a complete Russian withdrawal and reparations, which Moscow refuses, while setting its own conditions.
“If now there is a serious proposal on how to prevent this conflict and at the same time meet our completely legitimate demands, of course, we will be ready for dialogue,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. said on 7/12.
James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary, told The Telegraph that a ceasefire would not be sincere. “A real ceasefire is only used by Putin to train more troops and produce more ammunition, as well as to re-equip his damaged armed forces and rearm the armed forces,” he said. mine.
Amount of people
Ukraine revealed for the first time an estimate of the number of people killed in the army between 10,000 and 13,000.
The United Nations puts the number of Ukrainian civilians killed at 17,000, a figure that is considered an underestimation.
Ukraine estimates the number of Russian soldiers killed at more than 90,000. NATO previously said Ukraine’s figure was the actual number for Russian soldiers killed, wounded and missing.
The United Nations says 14 million Ukrainians, about a third of the population, are still displaced by the war: 6.5 million inside Ukraine and more than 7.8 million in the rest of Europe.