Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, December 22.

Diplomacy

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the US Congress that aid to Ukraine was an investment in democracy and “not charity” as he invoked American battles against the Nazis in World War II to press for more assistance for his country’s war effort.
  • Zelenskyy told lawmakers in the House of Representatives that he hoped they would continue to support Ukraine on a bipartisan basis – a major point as Republicans are due to take the majority in the House on January 3.
  • Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to Washington, DC was his first overseas trip since Russia invaded his country 300 days ago.
  • The United States announced $1.85bn in additional military assistance for Ukraine, including a transfer of the Patriot missile system.
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said more Western arms supplies to Ukraine would lead to a “deepening” of the conflict.

Conflict

  • Russian forces attacked targets in the Zaporizhia region and pushed to advance near the battered eastern front-line towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the focal point of fighting in the Donetsk region, Ukraine’s military said on Wednesday evening.
  • Putin has promised to give his military whatever it needs to prosecute the war and backed a plan to boost the size of the armed forces by more than 30 percent.
  • Ukraine’s power grid operator, Ukrenergo, reported a “significant power shortage” and restrictions caused by missile and drone attacks.
    (Al Jazeera)

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