Good morning from Kyiv where the snow has returned after a very grey and rainy weekend. A run of a few days without an air raid alarm was broken on Sunday afternoon but there were no reported strikes on the capital.
Attention instead turns to the south of the country, in particular Odesa, which suffered a major drone attack on Friday night.
What’s happening today?
President Zelensky is renewing a diplomatic push to secure international assistance for his country’s war against Russia which is now into its tenth month.
On Sunday evening he spoke with his most important backer, U.S. president Joe Biden, who reiterated his support for Ukraine and said air defenses.
You can read more about this story here.
There’s also been a lot happening in the world of Orthodox politics in Ukraine in recent days. Power struggles among the various churches give a good sense of the direction in which Ukrainian society is headed.
With that in mind, Kyiv Post has produced a handy guide to everything you need to know.
Any other news stories I need to know about?
Of course, here's the latest from Kyiv Post:
- Fears rise of attacks by neo-Nazi Russian militia on Baltics
- UK Minister: Peace talks can’t be "fig leaf” for Russia to rearm
- Ukraine’s NATO membership builds momentum as Europeans discuss economic aid to Kyiv
What was in Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest message?
President Zelensky highlighted the difficult situation in Odesa during his televised address on Sunday evening, after the city was hit by a number of kamikaze drones on Friday night.
On Friday, Kyiv said southern regions of the war-scarred country, including Odesa, were suffering the worst electricity outages days after the latest bout of systematic Russian assaults on the Ukrainian energy grid.
Updating the country on the situation, Zelensky said: “Restoration work continues in the south of our country – we are doing everything to restore the light supply to Odesa.
“As of this time, we have managed to partially restore the supply in Odesa and other cities and districts of the region. We are doing everything to achieve the maximum possible after the Russian hits.”
“But now the Odesa region is still among the regions with the biggest number of shutdowns.”
What’s the latest military situation?
The Dec. 12 British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update focuses on “Russia’s current minimum political objectives of the war,” highlighting comments made by Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov last week.
The MoD says Russia is likely still aiming to extend control over all of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts, and “Russian military planners likely still aim to prioritize advancing deeper into Donetsk Oblast”.
But it adds: “Russia’s strategy is currently unlikely to achieve its objectives: it is highly unlikely that the Russian military is currently able to generate an effective striking force capable of retaking these areas.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 11 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
Russian officials are consistently conducting information operations, suggesting that Belarusian conventional ground forces might join Russia’s invasion of Ukraine;
Belarus is already unlikely to invade Ukraine due to internal dynamics within the country.
Kyiv Post recently visited the area near the border with Belarus and spoke with Ukrainian troops and locals there. You can read that report here.
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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