Good morning from a very foggy Kyiv, where visibility is down to a couple of hundred metres and heavy overnight snow has given the city a very festive feel indeed.
It’s been quiet in the capital in recent days with no air raid sirens heard since Russia’s missile attack on Monday.
What’s happening today?
For many Ukraine-watchers, today will be spent trying to parse any concrete details and intentions from Vladimir Putin’s rather bonkers speech on Wednesday.
Speaking during a televised meeting of the Kremlin's human rights council (yes, the irony metre is off the scale) the Russian president tried his very hardest to put a positive spin on the very bad situation his armed forces find themselves in nearly 10 months after launching an invasion that was supposed to have brought him victory in a matter of days.
You can read more about that story here.
What was in Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest message?
In his daily address on Wednesday evening, Zelensky said it had been a "long and hard day" as he paid tribute to four policemen killed by Russian mines in the recently liberated city of Kherson.
"Doctors are currently saving the lives of four more policemen," he added.
In more positive news, Zelensky highlighted a court case in France where the supreme court upheld the decision of the International Arbitration Court to recover $1.1 billion from the Russian Federation in favour of the Ukrainian state-owned Oschadbank for the bank's loss of assets due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
"But there is this victory for Ukraine," Zelensky said. "Russia will be held to account for all stolen assets of the Ukrainian state and companies."
What’s the latest military situation?
The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 7 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· Russian President Vladimir Putin is setting conditions for a protracted war of conquest in Ukraine.
· Putin reiterated Russia’s formal position on the use of nuclear weapons in a statement to the Russian human rights council on Dec. 7 with no noteworthy changes.
· NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Russian military seeks an operational pause in winter 2022-2023 to regain the initiative and conduct a counteroffensive in spring 2023.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) highlights Russia's "supposedly elite" 1st Tank Guards Army (1GTA) that are "likely deployed along the defensive line near the Luhansk Oblast town of Svatove".
The MoD notes that despite being one of the Kremlin's most prized fighting forces, the 1GTA has taken an absolute hammering during the course of the war and is now manned by reservists.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.
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