War in Ukraine today: latest news, December 20, 2022 (photo)

It has been the 300th day of the Ukrainian resistance to the russian military aggression. 

What happened in Ukraine today:

Here is operational information of the General Staff as of 6 pm:   

The russian full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine continues. They are striking critical infrastructure and civilian homes on the territory of Ukraine, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, the laws and customs of warfare. Russians are transferring mobilized personnel, weapons and military equipment, fuel and lubricants and ammunition on a fast-track basis from russian far eastern regions.

The russian army is concentrating its efforts on conducting offensive operations towards Bakhmut and Avdiivka. They are trying to improve their tactical position in Kupiansk and Lyman areas. Russian troops are on the defensive in the previously occupied line. They focus their efforts on restraining the actions of units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, and at the same time continue to shell the positions of Ukrainian troops and civilian targets along the front line.

Russian military launched 10 air and 4 missile strikes on civilian targets in Andriyivka, Vovchansk, Soledar, and about 20 MLRS attacks on the civilian infrastructure of the city of Kherson.

Ukraine is still under the threat of russian air and missile strikes on critical infrastructure facilities.

Towards Volyn and Polissia, the situation did not significantly change. No signs of the forming offensive groups of the russian army have been detected. Certain units of the armed forces of the republic of belarus and the russian federation are stationed in the border areas with Ukraine.

Towards Siversk and Sloboda, russian soldiers launched mortar and artillery attacks on the positions of Ukrainian troops in the areas of 27 settlements, including: Karpovychi, Tymonovychi, Kostobobriv, Chernihiv oblast; Kindrativka, Vodolagi, Zapsilya, Yzdetske of the Sumy oblast; Guryiv, Alisivka, Krasne, Zelena, Vovchansk, Zybyne, Volohivka, Varvarivka, Zemlianka and Dvorichna, Kharkiv oblast. Russian troops used an unmanned aerial vehicle in the areas of Popivka, Chernihiv oblast, and Zybyne, Kharkiv oblast.

Towards Kupiansk and Lyman, russian soldiers shelled 15 settlements with tanks and the entire spectrum of artillery: Hryanikyvka, Kislivka, Kotlyarivka, Krokhmalne, Berestove of the Kharkiv oblast; Makiivka, Ploschanka, Nevske, Chervonopopopivka and Dibrova, Luhansk oblast. They struck the operational-tactical and army aviation forces in the areas of Novoselivske and Ploschanka settlements.

Towards Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the russian army is conducting an offensive operation. They fired from tanks and all types of artillery at the positions of Ukrainian troops in the areas of 24 settlements. Among them were Andriivka, Bilohorivka, Luhansk oblast; Spirne, Soledar, Bakhmut, Stupochky, Vodyane, Nevelske, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, Donetsk oblast. Russian military attacked with operational-tactical and army aviation in Andriivka, Bilohorivka, Spirne, Pivnichne, New York (Donetsk region), Kamianka, Avdiivka, Nevelske districts.

Towards Novopavlivsk, russian military fired from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery at the positions of Ukrainian troops near the settlements of Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Zolota Nyva and Velya Novosilka, Donetsk oblast.

Towards Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, the russian army is shelling the positions of Ukraine and the civilian infrastructure of the settlements along the right bank of the Dnipro River. They fired from tanks and the entire spectrum of artillery at 35 settlements at Vremivka, Donetsk oblast; Zeleny Hai, Dorozhnyanka, Zaliznychne, Verbove, Bilohiria, Zaporizhzhia oblast; Beryslav, Tokarivka, Antonivka, Berehove, Kherson oblast. They launched airstrikes in the areas of Vremivka, Mali Shcherbaky, Novoandriivka, and Olhivske.

The russian army continues to suffer losses. On December 18, the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired at the areas where russian manpower and equipment were concentrated in the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia oblast in the areas of the settlements of Polohy, Vasylivka and Kamianka-Dniprovska. The losses of the russian army are over 130 wounded soldiers, up to 10 units of weapons and military equipment of various types were destroyed. The information about the eliminated russian military personnel is being clarified.

Russia continues to use the network of civilian health care facilities in the temporarily occupied territory to treat wounded russian troops and mercenaries of private military campaigns. According to the available information, in Luhansk, the city’s multidisciplinary hospital is equipped as a military hospital of the russian forces, which is already overloaded with wounded russian soldiers.

The aviation of the Defense Forces of Ukraine launched 10 strikes on the areas of buildup of personnel, weapons and military equipment and 12 strikes on the positions of russian anti-aircraft missile systems.

Units of missile troops and artillery of the Defense Forces of Ukraine hit an ammunition warehouse, 3 control points and 8 areas of concentration of russian manpower.

According to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, there are emergency power outages in 11 regions of Ukraine. The situation is currently really complicated. 8 power nuclear power units and 10 heating stations have been operating as of Tuesday morning. There is a significant power deficiency because of significant damage to the power grids. 

According to the spokesman of the Air Defense Forces Yurii Hnat, on St. Nicholas’ day russia launched the largest number of attack drones. “Yesterday, russia sent us the best wishes on St. Nicholas Day by launching 35 attack UAVs.”, he noted. 

Recent war events in the east of Ukraine

Kharkiv oblast

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the enemy fired from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. 10 settlements were under russian attacks. Russian troops are trying to improve the tactical situation in Kupiansk direction.

Head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Syniehubov, reported that over 300 days in Kharkiv oblast, 1663 people, including 74 children, were killed by the invaders.

Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, informed in the evening on December 20 that three children, who were taken to a children’s camp in russia during the occupation, returned home to Kharkiv oblast. They were separated from their parents and taken to Vedmedyk (Bear) children’s camp in Helendzhyk, russia, in August 2022 under the guise of “rehabilitation”.

Izium Deputy Mayor, Volodymyr Matsokin, said that Volodymyr Vakulenko, Mykola Mikhnovskyi, Oleh Kutsyn and Azov Regiment streets appeared in Izium. In total, 21 streets were renamed.

The enemy is shelling civilians in Ukrainian border settlements of Chuhuiv, Kharkiv and Kupiansk districts. In addition, the enemy launched rocket attacks on Izium region.

Yesterday, Vovchansk and villages of Vovchansk community: Hatyshche, Starytsia and Vovchanski Khutory were under intense fire of the invaders. Preliminary there were no casualties.

The invaders launched artillery strikes on the settlements of Kupiansk district, including Kupiansk city. A residential building was on fire in Dvorichna settlement.

Today around 2 am a large-scale fire broke out at a civilian industrial facility in Izium district as a result of enemy missile strikes. There were no casualties. Rescuers are working on the spot.

Donetsk oblast

In Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi presented awards to the Ukrainian servicemen at the frontline positions of one of the mechanized brigades on the outskirts of the city. Soldiers of mechanized, motorized infantry, mountain assault, tank, artillery and airmobile units received state awards.

Frontline positions of one of the mechanized brigades, Bakhmut. Photo from social media

A teenager from Mariupol, who was taken from the occupied Donetsk oblast to russia, used a chatbot to return to Ukraine. On December 19, the boy crossed the Ukrainian border. Ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, noted that the child was given for adoption to a russian family, where he has been living for 8 months.

The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian troops, units of anti-aircraft missile troops, shot down two russian Mi-8 military transport helicopters in Donetsk oblast.

The train of St. Nicholas brought gifts for children from Donetsk oblast. Today, it stopped in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, and then it will go to the liberated territories of Kharkiv oblast and the south of Ukraine – 30K children will receive gifts.

Train with children’s gifts. Photo: telegram channel of Pavlo Kyrylenko/Donetsk Regional Military Administration

Referring to the head of Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, in fact, there is not a single intact house left in Maryinka.

Volunteers brought more than seven tons of humanitarian aid to Lyman and Yampil in Donetsk oblast. People in the liberated cities still live in basements because their houses were destroyed by shelling.

Russians struck at Kostiantynivka. A social infrastructure facility was damaged.  

Based on the information provided by the head of Kurakhove City Military Administration, Roman Padun, starting from today, December 20, markets, retail outlets and the New Post Office will restore their work in the community.

During the night, shelling of communities in different parts of the front line continued.

In Volnovakha direction, Vuhledar and the outskirts were shelled. One building was damaged, no casualties were reported.

Towards Donetsk, Maryinka and the outskirts of Kurakhove and Ocheretyne communities were shelled. There were no casualties.

Towards Horlivka, 2 people were killed and 1 person injured in Bakhmut. There were isolated hits in Dalna Diliivka and Kostiantynivka of Kostiantynivka community and Paraskoviivka and Yakovlivka of Soledar community.

Towards Lysychansk direction, it was loud in Siversk and on the territory of the community. There were no casualties.

Head of Donetsk RMA, Pavlo kyrylenko, said that yesterday russians killed 3 civilians: 2 in Bakhmut and 1 in Zalizne. 5 people were injured.

Luhansk oblast

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, yesterday, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repelled enemy attacks in Chervonopopivka and Stelmakhivka. In Kupiansk and Lyman directions, the enemy shelled Chervonopopivka,  Dibrova, Ploschanka, Makiivka, Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. 

Head of Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Serhii Haidai, emphasized that russians tried to counterattack near Dibrova and Stelmakhivka, but failed. Within a week the Armed Forces managed to stabilize the situation in Bilohorivka, it is a very important foothold for the invaders. Russians are resisting near Kreminna and Svatove, but our troops are successful there.

Luhansk Regional Military Administration informed that enemy hospitals in Luhansk oblast are overcrowded. There is a lack of beds, supplies, medical personnel, three more civilian hospitals were transferred to the needs of militants.

Residents of occupied Sievierodonetsk report that under the guise of repair works russians open their apartments, both empty and inhabited. 

What is happening now in the north of Ukraine

Kyiv oblast

As a result of the UAV attack in Kyiv oblast on December 19, critical infrastructure facilities were damaged. Also, nine private houses were damaged in the oblast, and three people were injured. The Kyiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office launched a pre-trial investigation into the violation of the laws and customs of war, prosecutors, investigators and experts are working in the area.

Rescuers eliminated the consequences of enemy shelling in the capital and localized the fire that broke out at the damaged infrastructure facility. In total, 12 units of basic and special fire and rescue equipment and 58 personnel were engaged to eliminate the consequences of the shelling.

Rescuers are eliminating the consequences of the russian attack, December 19, 2022. Photo: State Emergency Service

Oleksiy Kuleba, the head of Kyiv RMA, said that 60% of households in Kyiv oblast are left without electricity. The situation with electricity supply remains critical. Ukrenerho applies emergency power outages due to large-scale damage to the energy infrastructure. There are 10 boiler houses in Kyiv without stable power supply.

The water supply system in the capital has been restored, and pumping units at water pumping stations have been put into operation. This was announced by Mayor Vitalii Klychko. Interruptions in heating supply may occur in 144 residential buildings of the city.

The city council reported that Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov visited the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called at the mass grave of people killed by russians in Bucha. The minister asked about the life of the city under occupation – abduction of Bucha residents, torture, and murder of civilians. During his visit, the parties discussed reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure, the possibility of returning residents to their homes and the importance of global support for Ukraine.

Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov visited Bucha. Photo: Bucha City Council

Vitalii Klychko, the mayor of the city, reported that two subway stations will be opened in Kyiv – “Maidan Nezalezhnosti” and “Khreshchatyk”, as well as a passage between them. These stations have been closed since the beginning of the large-scale russian invasion. Train traffic on all subway lines has resumed. The ring train of the capital is running on schedule again. 

According to the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, 479 general secondary education institutions of Kyiv oblast continue to educate children in mixed and full-time form. Educational services are provided remotely by 78 institutions, and 81 schools are on winter holidays.

A modular town for temporary residence opened in Horenka of the Hostomel community. It is designed for simultaneous temporary accommodation of 176 people and has all amenities. Similar modular towns, installed with the assistance of the Polish Government, are successfully functioning in Irpin, Bucha, Borodianka, Makariv, Ivankiv and other settlements that suffered significant damage as a result of russian military aggression.

Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn reported that Ivan Ondras Boyar from Hungary raised funds for 13 generators for residents of Kyiv oblast and personally brought them to the oblast. Irpin community received three generators. 

Ivan Ondrash from Hungary brought generators for Kyiv oblast. Photo: social networks

Zhytomyr oblast

Hourly blackout schedules are temporarily not in effect in Zhytomyr oblast. Zhytomyroblenerho JSC reported that power supply limitations were applied in the oblast to residents of Zhytomyr, Korosten, Malyn, Romaniv, Khoroshiv, and Chudniv districts.

A New Year and Christmas art exhibition opened in Zhytomyr in the House of an Artist. This is the first exhibition in this hall during the full-scale invasion. A dozen and a half local authors presented their works at the exhibition.

Gifts for the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were delivered to the front line by students and teachers of the Zhytomyr Center for Children and Youth Creativity. A fundraiser for the defenders of Ukraine was announced within the framework of the charity fair “Wings of Protection for the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. Sweets, warm gloves, socks and greeting cards for Ukrainian defenders were delivered to the center for two weeks. In total, 16 territorial communities have participated in the event.

Sumy oblast

Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the head of the Sumy Regional Military Administration, reported in his Telegram channel that on December 19, the russians launched 83 shells on the border areas. Velyka Pysarivka, Krasnopillia, Myropilllia, Yunakivka, Khotin, and Shalyhine communities were under enemy fire.

According to the “North” Operational Command, on the night of December 20, the enemy fired 30 artillery shells from a self-propelled artillery unit near the village of Znob-Novhorodske. There were no casualties among the personnel and no damage to equipment. Also, no casualties among the local population or damage to civilian infrastructure were reported.

As a result of yesterday’s shelling of Znob-Novgorodske community, hangars and warehouses of the lyceum were destroyed. This was reported by the head of the Sumy Regional State Administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyi in his Telegram channel. According to him, the production workshop of the lyceum was affected the most. After a direct hit, a fire broke out there, destroying almost the entire fleet of the lyceum: three cars, a tractor, and a bus. Zhyvytskyi added that a laboratory of the educational institution and power lines were also damaged by the shrapnel.

The aftermath of the shelling of Sumy oblast. Photo from social networks.

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that the border guards neutralized an enemy reconnaissance drone in Sumy oblast today. Border patrol, that was on duty in one of the areas of the state border, noticed an enemy copter approaching. Border guards used an anti-drone gun and applied accurate fire from small arms shooting the air target down. The drone debris fell a few hundred meters from the positions of border guards. Most likely it was a reconnaissance drone that collected intelligence in the border area of the Ukrainian territory.

Romny rescuers will help residents of Kherson oblast. On December 20, the consolidated group of the Interregional Rapid Response Center went to Kherson. Rescuers will carry out emergency rescue operations and other urgent works to restore the vital activity of the population in the liberated territories of Kherson oblast.

The Mayor of Shostka Mykola Noga reported that Shostka has received 11 generators from sister cities from Germany and Poland. The equipment was received with the help of Frankfurt am Oder Mayor René Wilke and Slubice Mayor Mariusz Olejniczak. The head of Shostka community mentioned that the generators will be used in social institutions and critical infrastructure facilities.

Chernihiv oblast

The “North” Operational Command reported that today, on December 20, the russians opened barrel artillery fire on Novhorod-Siverskyi community of Chernihiv oblast from the barrel artillery from the area of Pohar village. Border guards recorded about 10 explosions. There were no casualties among firefighters and damage to the equipment. No casualties among the local population or damage to civilian infrastructure were reported.

During raids in the border districts of Chernihiv oblast, the Security Service of Ukraine found several more caches with russian weapons in the border districts of Chernihiv oblast. The occupiers left hidden ammo caches during their withdrawal from the northern oblasts of Ukraine as a result of counteroffensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The invaders arranged caches in forest belts and abandoned buildings near their positions. Dozens of boxes with rockets and ammunition for anti-tank weapons were found among the seized items. The Security Service of Ukraine reported that currently, all seized military weapons have been handed over to the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Chernihiv oblast received three more bridges from France, which will be mounted and equipped for river crossing. Viacheslav Chaus, the Head of the Chernihiv Regional Military Administration, reported on his Facebook page that the locations are not disclosed due to security reasons.

Recent events in the central regions of Ukraine

Dnipropetrovsk oblast

According to Head of the Regional Council Mykola Lukashuk, the night in the region was tense, the invaders again attacked the peaceful communities of Nikopol region in Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Myriv and Pokrovsk communities were shelled with heavy artillery from the southern bank of the Kakhovka Reservoir. In Pokrovsk TC, a dozen residential buildings and outbuildings, gas furnaces, and power lines were damaged by shelling.

A charity flea market “Flowers of Victory” was launched in Dnipro. The organizers brought 2,000 plants from the Netherlands, including rare ones. Money is being collected for a quadrocopter for the special-purpose regiment of the National Police.

Vinnytsia oblast

Vinnytsia City Council reported that 2 cars, 15  stoves, drones, a generator, a lucky instrument, warm things, products, goodies, and mascots made by children were sent to the military within the “Warmth from Home to Trench” project. 

Vinnytsia City Council reported that Vinnytsiamiskteploenerho received 32 generators and an excavator thanks to cooperation with the USAID Energy Security Project. Diesel generators will help avoid unwanted significant interruptions in the operation of heating equipment at utility facilities in the case of damage to the city’s heat networks. A modern backhoe-loader JCB will help to quickly eliminate damage to heat networks and restore heat supply to citizens. A humanitarian cargo arrived in Vinnytsia from the German city of Mainz. The German community donated warm clothes and shoes for adults and children, blankets, hygiene products, and food. These things will be allocated to both the civilian population and the military. Two local businessmen, Anatolii Yefremeniuk and Oleksandr Yefremeniuk delivered humanitarian cargo from Germany to Vinnytsia.

Kirovohrad oblast

Employees of the Beryslav district police department, together with the group of voluntary formation of the territorial community of the city of Oleksandriia, Kirovohrad oblast, brought humanitarian aid to the residents of the war-affected village of Tiahynka, Beryslav region.

Employees of the Kirovohrad Regional Council collected almost half a million hryvnias from their own funds for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Poltava oblast

Dmytro Lunin, head of the Poltava Regional State Administration, said that Poltava oblast received another batch of humanitarian aid. The International Committee of the Red Cross handed over 264 folding beds and more than 2,000 pillows for displaced persons staying in compact housing in the communities of the oblast.

Earlier, ICRChad handed over 1,154 folded beds with mattresses, 2,400 pillows, 490 mattresses, and 4,000 towels. These are the basic necessities for people’s everyday use. 200 first-aid kits from UNICEF will be handed over to the internally displaced persons in the territories of Poltava oblast.

Humanitarian aid for Poltava Oblast. Photo: Dmytro Lunin, head of the Poltava Regional State Administration

Cherkasy oblast

In Cherkasy, 18 servicemen donated blood to support the All-Ukrainian action “Your blood can fight. Become a donor.”

Humanitarian kits with children’s winter clothes, products, and diapers were distributed to internally displaced persons with children in Kaniv for three days. More than two hundred families applied to receive aid.

Latest news from the front of the southern regions of Ukraine

Zaporizhzhia oblast

The situation towards Zaporizhzhia has not significantly changed over the past day. The enemy concentrates its main efforts on holding the occupied borders. According to the National Police, the russian occupiers shelled civilian infrastructure in 16 settlements in the region. The police received 19 reports about the destruction of citizens’ houses and infrastructure facilities as a result of shelling by russian military personnel.

Mykolaiv oblast

During the day, the russians shelled the water area of Ochakiv community and the settlements in Kutsurub community. The consequences of damage are being clarified. The information was provided by Vitalii Kim, the head of Mykolaiv RMA.

This week, the film crew of the German TV channel KelvinFilm visited Mykolaiv and Odesa. The documentarians aim to create video material that will show the scale of environmental damage caused by russian troops on the territory of Ukraine. This was reported by the State Environmental Inspection of the South-Western District. Journalists visited EVERI LLC in Mykolaiv and filmed the consequences of kamikaze drones hitting the company’s oil terminal. The consequences of fires caused by the impact of enemy shells in the Halytsynove forest were also recorded. They also visited the Institute of Marine Biology and the Ukrainian Scientific Center of Marine Ecology in Odesa. As a result of hostilities, the Black Sea may be on the verge of an ecological disaster – toxic substances from shells and sunken equipment enter the sea waters. In addition, dolphins die from acoustic noise, and oil spills threaten the existence of unique bird species.

More than 27,000 internally displaced persons are registered in Mykolaiv, and their number is increasing every day. Some of the displaced people live in city shelters, some rent housing on their own. According to the mayor, it was possible to agree with Michelle Alfaro, the head of the sub-office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to implement a number of measures in Mykolaiv to help people who were forced to move to the city, as well as those residents whose houses were damaged during the shelling.

Odesa oblast

Up to 8 russian ships are on combat duty in the Black Sea. However, there are no missile carriers among them. At the same time according to Serhii Bratchuk, the spokesman of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, the threat of missile strikes and attacks by kamikaze drones remains high.

4 ships with 129,000 tons of agricultural products for Africa, Asia and Europe left the ports of Odesa as part of the “Grain Initiative”. A bulker with 44,000 tons of wheat is the third vessel with Ukrainian grain for Kenya. Kenya is also on the list of countries to which humanitarian wheat from Ukraine will go as part of the #GrainFromUkraine program. Currently, 27 ships are being processed in the ports of Odesa. They are being loaded with 1 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products. 2 ships are moving along the “grain corridor” to load 63,000 tons of agricultural products. As of today, there are 80 vessels waiting for JCC inspection in the Bosphorus. In total, since August 1, 569 ships left the ports of Odesa, which exported 14.3 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Odesa oblast received three powerful generators from the Caterpillar company. The Japanese government provided Ukraine with grant aid in the form of generators. This was reported by the mass media with reference to the press service of the Odesa RMA. The program is implemented through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Generators from the Japanese government. Photo: media

Kherson oblast

The russian occupiers shelled the territory of the Kherson oblast 42 times. They attacked with artillery, MLRS, mortars, tanks, and a missile attack was launched in the region. This was announced by the head of Kerson RMA Iaroslav Ianushevych. The residential districts of Kherson once again were shelled by the enemy. The russians targeted a critical infrastructure facility, an educational institution, the State Administration building, private and apartment buildings. 2 people were killed, and 3 were wounded due to shelling. The russian occupiers shelled the village of Havrylivka using Grad MLRS. The russians once again attacked exclusively civilian infrastructure: a school, college, rural council, dispensary and cultural center were damaged.

Consequences of enemy shelling of Kherson oblast. Photo: Suspilne Kherson

The occupiers robbed one of the oldest wineries in Kherson oblast. According to the Information Resistance initiative group, the 126-year-old historic chateau survived the First and Second World Wars. However, the occupiers completely looted the wine collection, including seven bottles of wine that had been stored since the beginning of the 20th century. According to available information, the building of the historic chateau and houses on the territory were damaged. The equipment and furniture of a restaurant, hotel, office, and shop were stolen. Aged wines also disappeared. The russians damaged the laboratory and also mined the vineyards.

Human Rights Watch, a human rights organization, called the russian looting of Kherson museums a war crime. According to Belkis Wille, HRW’s deputy director for crises and conflicts, the robbers must be punished: “These systematic thefts were an organized operation to rob Ukrainians of their national heritage, and constitute a war crime for which the robbers must be held accountable.”

The Security Service of Ukraine returned ancient icons stolen by russians to the honorary consul of the Republic of Lithuania in Kherson. They were looted by russians during the Kherson occupation. The russians looted a diplomat’s house in Kherson and took away more than 120 antiquities at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The icons were transferred to the private collection of the archimandrite of the local diocese of the UOC (MP). After the liberation of Kherson, Security Service officers discovered stolen icons on the territory of the Assumption Cathedral. Stolen items were stored there under the guise of “returning” cultural values that allegedly belong to the aggressor country. The honorary consul thanked the Ukrainian special service for this and announced his decision to transfer the ancient collection to the local art museum.

The icons that were returned to the consul of Lithuania. Photo: Security Service of Ukraine

Latest news for today in the western regions of Ukraine

Volyn oblast

On the Ukrainian-Polish border at the checkpoint Yagodyn-Dorohusk the free service Electronic border crossing queue for cargo vehicles has started. The service system allows drivers to pre-register in eCherha, arrive at the checkpoint in the specified period and know the approximate time of entry into Poland.

The mobile brigades of the Kamin-Kashyrskyi, Liubomlsk and Boratynsk centers of primary health care received three cars. Transport was provided by the Red Cross Societies of Ukraine and Germany.

The Christmas Tree of Invincibility was officially opened in the center of Lutsk. The New Year’s tree was decorated with reflective toys made by teachers and students of art schools of the community.

Christmas tree in Lutsk. Photo from social networks

Zakarpattia oblast

Head of the RMA, Viktor Mykyta, announced that Austria will help strengthen energy security in Zakarpattia.

The RMA sent a modern power supply system to the soldiers of the Zakarpattia volunteer special unit Sonechko. It will allow the military to use digital control systems for a long time.

Volunteers of Uzhhorod sent cars for defenders of Ukraine. Among the Hellish cars: 3 pickup trucks, 2 houses on wheels (the military can warm up, wash and cook for themselves) and a 22-seater bus for the 59th mobile military hospital.

Volunteers of the humanitarian center Owl’s Nest delivered humanitarian aid to places of compact residence of IDPs in Uzhhorod, to organizations that feed IDPs, as well as to wounded soldiers undergoing rehabilitation in medical institutions. The aid, namely vegetables and fruits, was brought to the humanitarian center by benefactors from Germany.

The RMA reported that colonel Yurii Beliakov, native of Zakarpattia, received the Order of Merit.

Mayor of Uzhhorod, Bohdan Andriiv, announced that in the city a Christmas Tree of Invincibility was installed. It will be illuminated with the help of a generator for several hours a day.

Ivano-Frankivsk oblast

A special all-wheel drive vehicle worth almost $180K was awarded to a regional medical institution. The car is equipped with a defibrillator, ventilator, venovisors, massagers, etc.

The RMA reported that the servicemen of 102 separate brigades of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were provided with a 6000W generator.

The Christmas Tree of Victory was installed in Ivano-Frankivsk. The Christmas tree was decorated with 350 patriotic children’s drawings. The frame, 5m high, was made by students of the vocational school. The Christmas tree will be lit with lights powered by alternative energy sources.

Lviv oblast

The limits, which the power system controller proved, cover about 50% of the oblast’s needs. It means that no more than half of the consumers of Lviv oblast can use electricity at the same time.

Rivne oblast

The curfew will not be canceled on New Year’s Eve in Rivne oblast. Head of the Rivne RMA, Vitalii Koval, noted that the war is going on. So everyone must follow the rules and there must be discipline.

In the RMA a strategic session Building the Potential of VET Institutions Under Martial Law, which takes place within the framework of the EU program EU4Skills: the Best Skills for Modern Ukraine was held. Director General of the Vocational Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Ukraine, Iryna Shumik, joined the discussions.

Over 60 tonnes of aid from 15 communities of Rivne oblast went to Donetsk oblast to the liberated city of Lyman. These are eight trucks with food kits, vegetables, preservation, medicines, hygiene products and building materials for restoration work.

The city council reported that elevators have resumed operation in Rivne.

Director of the Rivne Regional Museum of Local Lore, Oleksandr Bulyha, said that the uniform of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi and the flag signed by him were handed over to the Museum.

Flag with Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s signature. Photo from social networks

Ternopil oblast

The RMA reported that the Regional Defense Counsel is not considering the possibility of shortening or revising the duration of the curfew.

The City Council reported that 240 sets of winter uniforms were sent from Ternopil for Ternopil defenders from the Territorial Defense and other units that protect Ukraine on the front lines.

Children from families in difficult life circumstances, as well as orphans and children under care, received one hundred backpacks with school supplies. Aid was provided by the charity fund Help Heroes Of Ukraine.

Khmelnytskyi oblast

The RMA  reported that gifts were sent from the region for children to the subordinate communities of Kherson oblast, handed over by residents of Khmelnytskyi oblast during the Road of Good campaign. They also sent a guest house for military children.

The rescuers of Khmelnytskyi received three fire engines. Military units received two ambulances from the district of Shade, Lower Saksonia (Germany).

Chernivtsi oblast

Head of the Chernivtsi RMA, Ruslan Zaparaniuk met with Head of the Suchav County Council Heorhe Flutur. They discussed ways to solve the issue of long lines at the Ukrainian-Romanian border.

Bukovyna’s cultural heritage is represented on the Google Arts & Culture platform. On November 24, Google together with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, with the support of the First Lady Olena Zelenska, presented the online space of Ukrainian culture on the Google Arts & Culture platform – Ukraine is Here.

International support of Ukraine in the russian-Ukrainian war (russia’s invasion of Ukraine)

Ukraine received $2 billion from the US. This is the second part of the $4.5 billion grant.

The US will allocate $44.9 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine and NATO allies. This is included in the budget bill for $1.7 trillion for 2023. It will be submitted to Congress in the near future.

Britain announced a new package of military support for Ukraine, which will primarily include artillery ammunition.

President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, announced that his country is preparing a new package of military aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine has signed an agreement with Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp to receive additional Starlink antennas to counter russian air attacks. According to Head of the Ministry of Statistics, Mykhailo Fedorov, over 10K Starlinks will be sent in the coming months.

UNICEF allocates $102 million to help Ukrainian families. Over 600K people will receive money.

Ukraine received 105 units of energy equipment free of charge from the United States Agency for International Development in the amount of over $100K. The equipment was manufactured specifically for the needs of Ukrenerho by the leading American company SEL in the shortest possible time.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF Ukraine) delivered 100K doses of Janssen (Jcovden) vector vaccine against COVID-19 to Ukraine as part of the COVAX international initiative.

Assets of the russian oligarch Abramovych, worth $26 million, were arrested in Canada. According to the statement of the Canadian Foreign Ministry, the property can be transferred to the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.

UN Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Rozmari Dicarlo stated that the UN Secretariat is studying information regarding Iran’s supply of attack drones to russia.

Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov announced that Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitar Stoianov arrived in Ukraine on a visit. He also emphasized that he expects further cooperation between the countries in defense matters.

The energy ministers of the EU countries agreed to set a maximum gas price of €180 per megawatt-hour (MW•h).

Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yan Lipavskyi, announced that a special department for anti-russian sanctions is being created in the Czech Republic.

Prime Minister of Great Britain Rishi Sunak, stated that Britain calls to ignore the speeches of the russian federation about a ceasefire at the front.

Materials compiled by Tetiana Kliuchnyk-Horobets, Tetyana Pidgorna, Olena Reka, Yana Hushchyna, Tamara Moshkovska, Sofia Ratynska, Liudmyla Stadnykova, Vita Petrenko, Аngelina Lopatina

Translated by Tetyana Pidgorna, Olena Reka, Yana Hushchyna, Ioanna Kryvenko, Liudmyla Stadnykova, Yevheniia Sukhonos, Marharyta Koval, Tetiana Kurbatova, Olga Shalya 


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