The UK is training a team of 90 Ukrainian judges to conduct war crimes trials against Russian soldiers. The first group of judges took part in training at an undisclosed location in the region last week, with more to follow in the coming months as part of a £2.5 million investment. In her first broadcast interview as Attorney General, Victoria Prentice tells Sky News she will ensure an unprecedented level of prosecution of those responsible for atrocities. Most war crimes trials in the country are expected to be conducted by Ukrainian judges. So far, 14 Russian soldiers have been convicted, with the first trial held in May.
+++ 07:18 Severe flu epidemic hits Russia – Putin reportedly spent start of year in bunker +++
“A severe flu outbreak has hit the Kremlin and could push Russian President Vladimir Putin into the bunker,” writes Indian television channel NDTV, citing a report by British portal Metro. Earlier in the day, it was officially announced that Putin will not hold his final annual press conference this year. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not give a reason for the break with tradition, which many media outlets attributed to the Russian president’s health problems. Russian news agency TASS quoted Anna Popova, head of the Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare Supervision, as reporting that the H1N1 flu will hit Russia hard this year. According to Metro, Russian authorities are keeping their leader away from the public because of the spread of the disease. It says Putin is likely to cancel his speech to the federal assembly as several officials are suffering from the flu. In a Telegram channel run by an anonymous source at Russia’s foreign intelligence agency SWR, one says Putin will spend the New Year with his girlfriend Alina Kabaeva in a bunker east of the Ural Mountains.
+++ 06:55 The court confiscated all the assets of the former president of Ukraine Yanukovych +++
The Supreme Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) said on Wednesday that it has seized all the assets of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by the 2014 Maidan revolution. HACC says it has seized assets worth nearly $20 million, including the Mejihiria residence, its mass estate and several underground parking spaces, an apartment and a house. There are also 537 works of art such as paintings and antique furniture. The former politician, who fled from Kyiv to Russia on February 22, later admitted that Moscow helped him escape. In 2019, the Kyiv District Court sentenced Obolon Yanukovych to 13 years in prison.
+++ 06:33 Rheinmetall builds new ammunition production in Germany +++
Rheinmetall sets up an extensive new ammunition production facility in Germany. The objective is free distribution of Bundesware. The arms agency confirmed when asked by the German press agency that the systems for the so-called medium-range munitions should be ready by January.
+++ 06:23 British volunteer: Putin will improve during peace talks +++
British volunteer Seva Koshel says there is hope in the Ukrainian armed forces that Vladimir Putin will use possible peace talks to improve his armed forces and recruit soldiers. This assessment goes in the same direction as British Foreign Secretary James wisely warned a few days ago. “We’re in for a tough winter,” Koshel says on the Ukraine War Diaries podcast. “Now we are in front of him, and we hope that many areas will be cleared this winter. Of course, we understand that Russia does not want to negotiate. They only care about getting more resources to continue attacking us. .”
+++ 05:54 ISW: Putin probably postpones speech – actually wanted to declare victory there +++
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to postpone his annual address to the Russian Federation Assembly suggests he is not confident in his ability to further determine Russia’s intelligence situation, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its current report. The Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly of Russia is incorporated into the Russian Constitution in February 1994 and is the annual equivalent of the annual State of the Union Address by the President of the United States. “Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Putin could deliver his speech to the Federal Assembly in 2023 and urges Russians to stop “telling fortunes with coffee grounds” about the timing of the next speech,” ISW notes. Experts say Russia’s withdrawal from the Kyiv region and northern Ukraine in April may have derailed Putin’s plans to declare victory during an address to the federal assembly.
+++ 04:30 Report: USA supplies components for intelligent bombs +++
According to a newspaper report, the United States is supplying precision military components to Ukraine. With the help of special electronic equipment, unguided rockets can be turned into self-guided missiles (“smart bombs”) and achieve high levels of precision targeting, the Washington Post reported, citing US government officials familiar with the matter.
+++ 03:23 Canada reintroduces sanctions against Nord Stream 1 turbines +++
Canada has revoked a temporary embargo exemption for Siemens Energy turbines in Russia’s Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. The decision was taken in close cooperation with Ukraine, Germany and other European allies. The pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea, was shut down for repairs on August 31, but has not been put back into service since.
+++ 02:16 Russia warns US against Patriot delivery +++
The Russian Embassy in Washington views the US government’s plans to equip Ukraine with a modern Patriot air defense system as a provocation. This could lead to unintended consequences, the embassy warns in a telegram. “The US is responsible for the prolongation and escalation of the conflict in Ukraine,” writes the embassy.
+++ 00:58 Ukraine: Child torture chamber found in Cherson +++
According to Ukrainian sources, children were abused under Russian occupation in the recently liberated city of Cherson. “We found ten torture chambers in the Kherson region, four of which are in the city of Kherson,” reports Dmytro Lubinets, commissioner for human rights in the Ukrainian parliament. “In one of the torture chambers we found a separate room where children were kept, even the captors called it the children’s room.” The only difference between the room and the adjoining rooms was that the occupants had placed thin mats on the floor. “We documented that the children were not given water, they were only given water for one day. They were given practically nothing to eat.” Psychological pressure was put on the children. “They said their parents had left them and were never coming back.”
+++ 23:30 NATO countries agree on budget for 2023 +++
NATO countries have agreed to significantly increase joint spending in light of the new security environment created by Russia’s war on Ukraine. According to the coalition, the civilian budget will increase by about 28 percent to 370.8 million euros in the coming year, while the military budget will increase by about 26 percent to 1.96 billion euros. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the decision. “This is a concrete expression of lofty ambition,” comments Norway. Only together can we provide security for nearly one billion people in NATO countries in a very dangerous world. Currently, NATO’s military and civilian budgets are around 1.8 billion euros.
+++ 22:16 Scholz to Putin: “The brutal murder must end” +++
President Olaf Scholz sees a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the first EU-ASEAN summit in Brussels: “The brutal killing must end, and Putin must immediately end the war,” Scholz said. Summit in Brussels. The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have “made it abundantly clear” that the United Nations Charter applies “to everyone and everywhere”. “With its horrific attack on Ukraine, Russia called precisely these principles into question,” Schales continues. “No state has the right to invade another and nuclear threats are unacceptable.”
+++ 21:47 Ukrainian secret service confiscates propaganda materials in churches and monasteries +++
Ukraine’s domestic secret service, the SBU, has found propaganda writings in Orthodox churches and monasteries in renewed raids because of possible links to Russia. While searching religious sites across the country, he seized “Russian passports, propaganda literature and permits” issued by Russian occupation authorities, the SBU explains. He wants to use measures to prevent abuse of religious communities as the center of the “Russian world”. In addition, the SBU wants to “protect people from acts of provocation and terrorism.” The Secret Service released photos of confiscated Russian passports, Russian military insignia and pro-Russian writing. According to the SBU, Russian representatives deny “the existence of the Ukrainian people, their language and culture.” They also questioned the Ukrainian government.
+++ 21:15 Selenskyj talks about “significant progress on the question of air defense” +++
After new Russian drone strikes in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky is relying on more modern and more effective anti-aircraft systems from the West. “This week we made significant progress on the issue of anti-aircraft defense,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video message, without giving any details. According to media reports, the US government is considering providing the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. Zelenskyy said 13 Russian drones were shot down in the morning. “That’s 13 pieces of infrastructure freed up, and that saved lives,” he says. Ukraine continues to expand its air defense. “And we are doing everything to get modern and more effective systems for Ukraine.” Without giving details, Zelenskyj says the agreements are working to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities.
Read the previous developments of the war in Ukraine Here.
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