Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, December 12

Hungarians in Ukraine ask Orban to support launch of Ukraine's EU accession talks -- Romania's Constanta port to increase capacity for Ukrainian grain -- Russian plane carrying passengers, radioactive cargo makes emergency landing in Moscow -- Over 100 EU lawmakers call for Congress to approve Ukraine aid -- and more

Tuesday, December 12

Russia’s war against Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with World Bank President Anjay Banga in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 11, 2023. Zelensky arrived in Washington on Dec. 11 and will address the U.S. Senate and meet with President Joe Biden on Dec. 12. (Alejandro Pagni / AFP via Getty Images)

Zelensky arrives in US, speaks at National Defense University. After an introduction by Austin, Zelensky took the stage with a standing ovation. He thanked Austin for his support and leadership.

Kuleba: Failure for EU to give Ukraine approval to begin membership talks would be ‘devastating’. It would also be a sign that the EU cannot deliver on historical commitments, said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Media: Hungarians in Ukraine ask Orban to support launch of Ukraine’s EU accession talks. The leaders of the Hungarian community in Ukraine have written a letter, appealing to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban not to block the launch of Ukraine’s EU accession talks during the upcoming European Council summit, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Dec. 11.

Navalny ‘no longer on list’ of prisoners at penal colony, whereabouts unknown. The authorities have refused to give Navalny’s lawyers access to the politician for six days, and his location is currently unknown. The Kremlin has been trying to prevent Navalny from communicating with the outside world and delivering his messages.

Border Guard: Slovakia resumes border blockade. Slovak truckers protesting EU transport rules for Ukrainian trucks have again blocked Ukraine’s border with Slovakia, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Dec. 11, citing State Border Guard Service spokesperson Andrii Demchenko.

Official: Polish border crossing blocked again after temporary reprieve. Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced that the blockade at the crossing point had been lifted and that trucks were again moving along the border.

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Head of Zelensky’s faction: Many MPs want to resign but parliament doesn’t let them. Other members of parliament do not allow them to resign because they need to pass laws necessary for the nation, he said.

Declaration of Zelensky staffer charged with bribery reveals huge earnings. Tatarov is the most controversial official at Zelensky’s administration. He has been charged with bribery but the corruption case against him has been obstructed and destroyed by law enforcement agencies and courts. Despite the controversies, Zelensky has refused to fire or suspend Tatarov.

Ukrainian shipping company: Romania’s Constanta port to increase capacity for Ukrainian grain. Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta will prepare an additional harbor to increase the transit of Ukrainian grain by March 2024, said Dmytro Moskalenko, the director of the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company, on Dec. 11.

Ukrenergo reports power deficit, supplemental electricity rerouted from abroad. The high levels of energy consumption were partially the result of winter weather conditions, but other factors, such as delays in planned repairs, contributed to the problem.

Media: Russian plane carrying passengers, radioactive cargo makes emergency landing in Moscow. The plane was flying from Khanty-Mansiysk in western Siberia to Moscow and reportedly experienced a malfunction with its landing gear, according to initial reports.

Russia’s FSB claims it detained 18 ‘Ukrainian agents’ in Crimea this year. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Dec. 11 that it had uncovered a “deeply hidden, extensive intelligence network of Ukrainian special services” in Crimea and had detained 18 “Ukrainian agents” on the occupied peninsula over the past year.

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Ukraine war latest: Russia deploys reserves near Kupiansk, prepares blockade, says commander

Moscow has been concentrating a large force at the Kupiansk-Lyman axis in northeastern Ukraine since the summer, and heavy engagements and shelling have been a common occurrence.

Photo: Amadeusz Swierk

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‘We can’t wait for peace:’ Reluctant at first, Denmark takes on rebuilding war-torn Mykolaiv Oblast

When President Zelensky announced to the Danish Parliament last March that Ukraine wanted the Nordic country to rebuild the war-torn Mykolaiv Oblast, it was the first the Danes had heard of it.

Photo: Dominic Culverwell/ The Kyiv Independent

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Kyiv Cake: The legendary sweet of Ukraine’s capital

While many foreigners associate the city with the butter-filled chicken cutlet known as Chicken Kyiv, which is likely of French origin, the layers of nutty meringue and buttercream coated with crushed hazelnuts that make up Kyiv Cake originated in the nation’s capital.

Photo: Gavin McIntyre for the Washington Post via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russian attacks against Kherson and its suburbs kill 1, injure 3. A Russian projectile reportedly hit the porch of a house in Kherson’s suburbs. Rescue services found the body of the killed man and an injured woman in the rubble, the prosecutors said.

General Staff: Russia has lost 339,850 troops in Ukraine. Russia has lost 339,850 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Dec. 11. This number includes 1,030 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

Reuters: Over 100 EU lawmakers call for Congress to approve Ukraine aid. The officials represent at least 17 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, and will send the letter to their U.S. counterparts on Dec. 12.

IMF releases another $900 million tranche for Ukraine. The tranche falls under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), a four-year funding agreement that will allow Ukraine to access $15.6 billion in financial aid in regular installments.

White House: Another aid package for Ukraine to be announced before end of year. Another support package for Ukraine can be expected from the White House before the end of 2023, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told the press on Dec. 11.

Finnish court orders Russian neo-Nazi fighter to remain in custody. The decision came just three days after the Finnish Supreme Court ruled that Petrovsky cannot be extradited to Ukraine to stand trial because conditions in Ukrainian prisons do not meet standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights. The court released him but he was immediately re-arrested by the Finnish Border Guard.

Hungarian FM: Hungary’s position on Ukraine EU accession unchanged. Hungary’s position on Ukraine’s EU accession remains unchanged, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Facebook on Dec. 11, following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Sweden announces $133 million winter aid package for Ukraine. Sweden announced a new humanitarian aid package for Ukraine worth 1.4 billion Swedish krona ($133 million), Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said at a press conference on Dec. 11.

Ireland set to introduce significant reduction in benefits for Ukrainian refugees. The proposed changes would reduce the welfare payments for Ukrainians and offer state-run housing for 90 days, after which refugees would have to find their own housing. The existing scheme allows for Ukrainian refugees to stay in state-provided housing indefinitely.

UK announces new unit to combat companies evading Russian sanctions. The U.K. announced on Dec. 11 the creation of a new unit, the Office of Trade Sanctions Implementation (OTSI), to help combat companies that are circumventing sanctions, including those against Russia.

UK announces naval coalition with Norway to support Ukraine. The U.K. announced on Dec. 11 a new Maritime Capability Coalition with Norway to support the Ukrainian Navy and the procurement of two British minesweepers by Kyiv.

UK allocates $4.6 million to support war crimes investigation in Ukraine. The newly-announced funding aims to provide open-source intelligence skills to Ukrainian prosecutors and train them to prepare well-evidenced legal cases.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Lili Bivings, Martin Fornusek, Nate Ostiller, Oleg Sukhov, Elsa Court, Dmytro Basmat, and Abbey Fenbert.

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