Overview:

  • Air Force knocks out bomber carrying missiles en route to Odesa
  • Ukrainian drones blow up oil tanks in Crimea that fueled Moscow’s war machine
  • Russian strikes kill more civilians in residential neighborhoods around Kherson
  • Zelensky announces that families of heroes will get an apartment from the state
  • AFU and Moscow’s forces trade gains north of Avdiivka
  • Liberating forces hold down left bank positions despite glide bombs
  • Russian units retake some positions near Bakhmut, but at a high cost

Air Force shoots down Su-24 bomber headed toward Odesa

The Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk posted on Telegram that anti-aircraft artillery shot down Russia’s Su-24 tactical bomber near Snake Island (Ostrov Zmiinyi).

 “I am pleased to inform you that Russia’s Su-24M bomber, which attempted to launch a missile and air strike on the south of the Odesa region under the cover of a Su-30SM fighter, was destroyed near Snake Island,” Oleshchuk wrote.

As of this week, AFU forces had destroyed 323 Russian aircraft since the beginning of the invasion, according to official figures from Kyiv.

Drones attack oil tanks in Crimea

Among the targets hit by Ukrainian drones on Tuesday was the oil terminal in Feodosia, in occupied Crimea, Ukrinform reported citing security service sources.

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The facility, which includes about 30 oil tanks, reportedly supplies Moscow’s forces with fuel.

Earlier, drones launched by Ukraine’s security services knocked out radar systems in Baherove, near Kerch, as well as surface-to-air missile systems and a helicopter pad near Strilkove, also by the Sea of Azov.

Also, the weekend drone strikes damaged a Russian-controlled fuel depot in Luhasnk. As reported by Kyiv Post, Stratcom released footage of the strike, which took place on Dec. 3, capturing the hum of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) amid gunfire, along with a fire at the heart of the fuel depot.

OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine
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OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine

OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

Zelensky announces real-estate gifts to hundreds of gold-star families

“We are launching a new special initiative for all the Heroes of Ukraine – there are 360 of them since the beginning of the full-scale war,” President Volodymyr Zelensky posted to social media on Tuesday. “Every warrior and the family of a warrior who has been posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine will receive an apartment from the state. Not years from now, not someday, but now.”

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Russian shelling kills a woman in her garden and two others in Kherson

Shelling from Russian forces on the opposite side of the Dnipro River killed two civilians in downtown Kherson on Tuesday, and a woman in her garden in the suburb of Bilozerka.

“In the morning, the Russian army mercilessly shelled the center of Kherson. The occupiers killed two people,” said the region’s governor, Oleksandr Prokudin. The governor posted images showing a blood-stained sidewalk.

The office of Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, posted details about the casualty in Bilozerka.

“At about 4:20 pm, Russian troops shelled a village in Bilozerka,” the Telegram post read. “A woman sustained injuries incompatible with life in the garden of her home.”

Several others were wounded in the attacks, which reportedly struck a theater in the city’s downtown.

Operations: Avdiivka

Both Russian and Ukrainian units made advances around the strategically crucial city of Avdiivka on Tuesday, with both sides picking up new positions along the railway line not far from the critical coke and chemicals plant.

Geolocated footage published on Tuesday seems to show that Russian forces advanced along a section of the railway line north of the plant. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that additional footage from the day before indicates that Moscow’s troops also advanced south of the Avdiivka waste heap.

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Meanwhile, the AFU’s General Staff posted in an update that Ukrainian forces repelled at least 23 Russian assaults, including: east of Novobakhmutivka (7 km northwest of Avdiivka); northeast of Berdychi (4 km north of Avdiivka); and near Stepove (3 km north of Avdiivka). The AFU specified that, after a brief pause in aerial attacks, Russian forces resumed conducting air strikes with Su-25 attack aircraft and Ka-52 helicopters in the Avdiivka area.

The ISW also noted geolocated footage from Monday that indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced east of a section of the railway line north of the coke and chemicals plant.

Operations: Dnipro River

According to Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command, the Russians conducted three airstrikes with 26 glide bombs around the Ukrainian foothold in Krynky over the course of the day on Tuesday.

However, Kyiv’s forces continued to maintain their positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River. While some Russian military bloggers claimed that the AFU “unsuccessfully attacked in the forest area near Krynky,” the ISW reported, one of them said that it could no longer be assessed that Ukrainian forces operating in the Kherson do not pose a threat to Russian positions.

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Operations: Bakhmut

According to various reports from both sides analyzed by the ISW, Russian troops appear to have retaken some positions around the city of Bakhmut, but the Russian attrition rate and equipment losses were quickly growing thanks to frontal “Storm-Z” assaults.

One Ukrainian military observer cited by the ISW claimed that “elements of the Russian 331st VDV Regiment dislodged Ukrainian forces from a position east of Bohdanivka and that elements of the Russian 11th VDV Brigade dislodged Ukrainian forces from three positions east of Ivanivske (6 km west of Bakhmut).”

Russian sources claimed on Monday and Tuesday that Russian units made gains on the western outskirts of Bakhmut, while another Russian blogger said Tuesday that Kyiv’s forces have withdrawn from their holdings near Klishchiivka.

However, a Ukrainian commander operating in the area assessed that Ukrainian artillery units and drone operators have destroyed “roughly 80 percent of Russian equipment” during these raids.

The Ukrainian commander stated that Russians are using “Storm-Z” assault detachments for “highly attritional frontal assaults” while using more professional units, including Chechen groupings, to probe for weak spots in Ukraine’s ranks.

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“A very small percentage of the enemy’s equipment has the ability to turn back,” said the commander, Yuri Fedorenko.

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