Because the conflict enters its 659th day, these are the primary developments.
Right here is the state of affairs on Thursday, December 14, 2023.
- At the very least 53 folks, together with six youngsters, have been injured after Russia launched a missile assault on Kyiv, the second in every week. The town’s air defences shot down the missiles – Iskander-M and S-400s – however the falling particles blew out home windows of house blocks in addition to a youngsters’s hospital and destroyed parked automobiles. Of the injured, 18 have been taken to hospital.
- A gaggle of hackers known as Solntsepyok claimed duty for the cyberattack on Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest cell phone community, after hundreds of thousands of individuals have been left with out telephone entry or air raid alerts. Kyiv believes the group is affiliated with Russian navy intelligence. Kyivstar started restoring voice providers to some folks on Wednesday.
Politics and diplomacy
- With European Union leaders on account of meet on Thursday to determine whether or not to formally open Ukraine membership talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was on a go to to Norway after returning to Europe from america, mentioned that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had no purpose to dam Kyiv’s membership of the 27-member grouping. Zelenskyy mentioned he had been “very direct” when he had a short chat with Orban in Argentina on Sunday.
- Orban, a conservative nationalist who’s Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest ally within the EU and is obstructing 50 billion euros in monetary help for Kyiv, appeared unmoved. “Our stance is evident. We don’t help Ukraine’s fast EU entry,” Orban wrote in a publish on Fb, claiming Ukrainian membership wouldn’t serve the pursuits of Hungary or the EU.
- Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, in the meantime, promised Zelenskyy they’d “stand with Ukraine for so long as it takes”. The 5 nations have supplied Ukraine with help price some 11 billion euros since Russia started its full-scale invasion in February 2022 and mentioned they have been able to proceed giving in depth navy, financial and humanitarian help. “Russia should finish its aggression and withdraw its forces instantly and unconditionally from the territory of Ukraine inside its internationally recognised borders,” they mentioned in a joint assertion.
- Different EU leaders, together with EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, reiterated their help for Ukraine, with Scholz suggesting the EU take enlargement choices by majority vote quite than unanimity. Newly-elected Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk mentioned he would attempt to persuade Orban to alter course. “Apathy on Ukraine is unacceptable,” Tusk mentioned, including that he’ll attempt to persuade “some member states”.
- A German courtroom heard that Russia paid Carsten Linke, a former soldier working for Germany’s overseas intelligence company (BND), not less than 450,000 euros in return for details about weaponry with which the West was arming Ukraine. Linke and his confederate, a Russian-born German diamond dealer named Arthur Eller, are charged with excessive treason.
- Germany’s Scholz harassed that the purpose of the West’s persevering with navy help for Ukraine was to strengthen Kyiv’s defence to such an extent that Russia would “by no means once more dare to assault”.