Day 653 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Aid to the Country has Fallen to its Lowest Level since the Start of the WarUkraine | December 8, 2023, Friday // 14:27| views
Day 653 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Russian missile attack in Ukraine, there are dead and injured
- Putin announced his candidacy for next year's presidential election
- Aid to Ukraine has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the war
- BBC: Russia recruits migrants from border with Finland for war in Ukraine
- Kyiv mounted trucks on wagons to bypass the Polish blockade
Russian missile attack in Ukraine, there are dead and injured
In Ukraine, as a result of a Russian missile attack this morning, two people died and seven others were injured, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced, as quoted by Ukrinform.
"Russia continues its missile terror against the civilian population. This morning, the enemy fired 19 rockets at Ukrainian cities. We are grateful to our air defense forces, which brought down a large number of targets,” the Prime Minister said.
"According to preliminary data, 19 cruise missiles were fired, 14 of which were destroyed," said a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force.
In the attack, one person died in the Dnipropetrovsk region, and four were injured, its regional governor reported on "Telegram".
Ukrainian forces continue their advance towards Melitopol and Bakhmut, while holding their positions in other directions, Ukrinform reports, citing the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Ukrainian General Staff Andriy Kovalev.
In the direction of Avdiivka, Ukrainian forces continue to hold off Moscow forces, who continue to try to surround the settlement. 30 enemy attacks were repulsed.
???? Kharkiv... Consequences of a night attack pic.twitter.com/tcVAF8XP9k— MAKS 23 ???????????? (@Maks_NAFO_FELLA) December 8, 2023
Putin announced his candidacy for next year's presidential election
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced his candidacy for next year's presidential elections, TASS reported.
After rewarding soldiers who fought in Ukraine, and in response to a question, Putin said he would run again for head of state.
The Reuters agency commented that the candidacy of Vladimir Putin is just a formality and he will certainly be elected, as according to the latest polls he has the support of over 80% of Russians.
With one more term, Putin will remain in power until 2030, but is already the longest-serving Russian head of state since Joseph Stalin.
Aid to Ukraine has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the war
Between August and October, the amount of newly allocated aid to Ukraine fell by 87% compared to the same period last year, according to the results of a new study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
The report comes amid growing uncertainty over further US aid to Ukraine and a delay in the European Union's approval of a $50bn package for Kyiv, opposed by Hungary and Slovakia.
US Senate Republicans blocked a supplemental funding bill that would have combined $61 billion in aid to Ukraine with aid to Israel and Taiwan in a procedural vote on Dec. 6. Earlier in the day, a $175 million defense aid package for Ukraine from earmarked withdrawals was announced, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken said would be one of the last military aid packages for Ukraine if Congress fails to pass additional funding.
The total value of aid packages announced during those months was 2.11 billion euros (about $2.2 billion), the lowest level since January 2022, the survey showed. Of the 42 donors tracked by IfW Kiel, only 20 have pledged new aid packages to Ukraine in the past three months, which the institute says marks a drop in the share of active donors to the lowest since Russia's full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022. .
The US continues to provide the largest military support to Ukraine, with the total reaching more than $47 billion, the IfW Kiel report said. However, Germany is reportedly catching up quickly, having provided some $18 billion in military aid to Ukraine. In terms of pledged military aid, the countries of the European Union continue to catch up and now collectively surpass the US.
According to IfW Kiel, of the total $26.9 billion pledged for heavy armaments from January 2022 to October 2023, the US share is 43%, while all EU countries and institutions together contribute the remaining 47%.
"Our data confirms the impression of a more hesitant attitude of donors in recent months. Ukraine is increasingly dependent on a few major donors who continue to provide significant support, such as Germany, the US or the Scandinavian countries. Given the uncertainty about further aid from the US, Ukraine can only hope that the EU will finally accept its long-announced €50 billion support package.
A further delay would clearly strengthen Putin's position," said Christoph Trebesch, director of a research center at the Kiel Institute and head of the team developing the Ukraine Support Tracking Program.
BBC: Russia recruits migrants from border with Finland for war in Ukraine
The BBC has reported that it has evidence that Russia is trying to recruit foreign migrants detained in a recent operation along the border with Finland to fight in Ukraine.
The BBC has reported several cases of foreigners being rushed to a military camp on the border with Ukraine days after being detained for breaking immigration laws. The practice of forcing people in pre-deportation detention centers to sign contracts for military service in Ukraine is not new, but their number has increased with the detection of foreigners along Russia's 1,340-kilometer border with Finland, the media commented. Finland has temporarily closed all eight of its Russian border crossings, accusing Moscow of funneling migrants and asylum seekers there as part of a destabilization campaign after the government in Helsinki joined NATO earlier this year.
An analysis of court hearings in Karelia, one of three Russian regions bordering Finland, shows that in the past three weeks, 236 people have been arrested for staying in Russia without valid visas intended for deportation. The picture is similar in the other two border regions. Among those appearing in court in Karelia was a Somali man in his 40s who was arrested in mid-November, ordered to pay 2,000 rubles and held pending deportation - standard procedure for anyone without a proper visa. The Somali and many others held at the pre-deportation center in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia, were approached by military officials and offered "state work" soon after their arrest. They were promised good pay, medical care and permission to stay in Russia after a signed one-year "military" contract expired.
Kyiv mounted trucks on wagons to bypass the Polish blockade
Ukraine has started using train platforms to bypass the border blockade of Polish carriers, Reuters reported, citing Ukrainian Railways.
The first train used in the operation moved 23 trucks across the border from Ukraine to Poland.
"As soon as this test train passes and everything is in order, we will launch it on a mass scale," said Valery Tkachev, deputy director of the commercial department of Ukrainian Railways, adding that there were technical issues to be clarified.
In the opposite direction, efforts are also being made to speed up the return, with drivers being brought back by buses, leaving the trucks on the road.
Polish truck drivers began blocking the main corridors to Ukraine last month in protest against EU access conditions for Ukrainian trucks. The blockade has led to higher fuel and some food prices, as well as delays in drone deliveries to the Ukrainian military.
According to information from the Ukrainian authorities, about 3,000 trucks are blocked on the Polish side of the border and the authorities have not been able to agree with the protesters on the conditions for stopping the action.
The main demand of Polish carriers is to restore the permit regime to limit the number of Ukrainian trucks operating in the EU. Due to the lower prices of the services they offer, the Eastern European carriers, which until now offered the cheapest rates to and from the EU, as well as between individual European countries, are losing revenue.
According to the European Commission, the satisfaction of this request is impossible, since it does not derive from the temporary reliefs related to the war in Ukraine, but from the free trade agreement, which has been ratified by all countries and cannot be denounced by Brussels or by an individual a signatory state.
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