• Zelensky meets with IMF and military school Monday; Biden, US senators on Tuesday
  • Putin launches more nuclear subs in Arctic to make Russia “feel safe”
  • In cold temperatures, Russia clenches grip on Luhansk positions
  • Moscow’s forces relentlessly advance in Avdiivka area, and in nearby Donetsk city
  • AFU continues to resupply on East Bank
  • All “calm” on the Antonivsky bridge

National Security Council chief urges patience on counteroffensive

Ukraine’s Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, told the BBC on Monday that the country’s counteroffensive hopes did not materialize in 2023, “but if it happens that we receive a gift before Christmas, we will be happy with that,” Danilov said.

“If it happens a bit later, then we shouldn’t make it into a tragedy,” he said.

“Will Putin destroy us before humanity’s eyes?” Danilov asked. “Will he be killing our children, our women, our elderly men? And will the whole world watch with their eyes closed? Then the question should be, in what world do we live?”

As reported by Ukrainian state news outlet Ukrinform, Danilov also dismissed recent media reports of tension between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhny.


Zelensky says US in-fighting over aid to Ukraine is a “dream come true” for Putin

Upon his arrival to the United States from Argentina and in a speech to the National Defense University, President Zelensky said Monday that military aid delays from the United States are “dreams come true” for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, AFP reported.

“Putin must lose,” Zelensky said in his speech at the military school in the nation’s capital. “You can count on Ukraine and we hope just as much to be able to count on you,” he told the young officers. “If there’s anyone inspired by unresolved issues on Capitol Hill, it’s just Putin and his sick clique.”

Trump Pledges to 'End the War' After Zelensky Phone Call
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Trump Pledges to 'End the War' After Zelensky Phone Call

Trump's frequent praise for Putin and reluctance to outright criticize the Russian invasion have stirred concerns among Ukraine's allies that he would force the country into accepting partial defeat.

Russia rolls out two new nuclear subs

Putin on Monday attended the inauguration of two nuclear submarines in the White Sea port of Severodvinsk, proclaiming that “with such ships and such weapons, Russia will feel that it is safe,” Putin told US Navy officers while visiting one of the vessels in frozen Arctic waters, AFP reported. 


Putin was taking part in a flag-hoisting ceremony in the port where the “Krasnoyarsk” and “Emperor Alexander III” were built over the past six years. He added that the submarines would “strengthen the combat readiness of the Russian navy, our naval power in the Arctic, in the Middle East, in the Black and Baltic Seas, in the Caspian.” 

Ukraine’s armed forces (AFU) have sunk at least 22 Russian naval vessels during the course of the almost 22-month invasion.

Operations: Luhansk

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russian forces “marginally” advanced along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on Monday, citing geolocated footage apparently showing Moscow’s troops appearing for the first time southeast of Dibrova (7 km southwest of Kreminna).

The General Staff of the AFU meanwhile contends that Ukrainian forces on Monday repelled at least four Russian attacks in the Kupyansk vicinity, near Synkivka (9 km east of Kupyansk) and Petropavlivka (7 km east of Kupyansk) and repelled at least five Russian attacks in the Lyman direction near Makiivka (23 km northwest of Kreminna) and Terny (17 km west of Kreminna)


Operations: Avdiivka

Russian forces continued to advance on the critically important area around Avdiivka on Monday, the ISW reported, citing geolocated footage of Moscow’s forces east of Stepove (3 km northwest of Avdiivka).

The ISW added that one military blogger went so far as to say that Russian forces entered the administrative borders of Avdiivka itself, but that the “ISW has observed no visual confirmation of any of these Russian claims.”

The think tank also reported that Moscow’s forces continued to gradually pick up new positions near the occupied city of Donetsk on Monday.

Operations: Dnipro River

The AFU continued to hold down its foothold near Krynky (2 km from the Dnipro River), ISW reported, on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region on Monday.

Russian bloggers specified that Ukrainian forces seemed to consolidate their positions south of Krynky and took advantage of poor weather to transport 30 to 50 personnel to the left bank. 

Another military blogger claimed that Ukrainian forces maintain positions near the Antonivsky road bridge north of Oleshky (4 km from the Dnipro River) but that the area is “calm.”

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