Good morning from foggy and gloomy Kyiv. It would be nice to have a day off today because many Ukrainians went against their tradition and celebrated Christmas yesterday, on Dec. 25, according to the Gregorian calendar. But unfortunately, due to martial law, all the extended holiday weekends have been canceled.

 The power supply in Kyiv has finally gotten better. For Christmas, residents of the capital were given a whole day without power outages.

 What’s happening?

 Ukraine is planning to call for Russia to be removed as a permanent member of the UN Security Council today, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, speaking during a national television marathon yesterday, on Dec. 25.

 "Tomorrow, we will officially express our position. We have a very simple question: Does Russia have the right to remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to be in the United Nations at all?" he said.

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 Kuleba said that Russia's permanent seat in the UN Security Council, providing it with veto power, was already being discussed in diplomatic circles.

You can read more about this story here.

 

 What was in Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest message?

President Zelensky dedicated his latest address on Dec. 25 to all the Ukrainians keeping the country afloat during these tough times: military personnel, volunteers, medics, energy workers and repairmen, sappers, policemen, employees of the State Emergency Service, utility workers, farmers, journalists, IT specialists, and all the leaders of the world, helping Ukraine battle this unprovoked aggression.

In Show of Support, Starmer Invites Zelensky to Attend Cabinet Meeting
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In Show of Support, Starmer Invites Zelensky to Attend Cabinet Meeting

Starmer is expected to tell Zelensky that Britain will do more in the coming months to dent Russia’s “war machine”, including agreeing a new defense export support treaty.

 "There are only a few days left this year. We must be aware that our enemy will try to make this time dark and difficult for us. Russia has lost everything it could this year. But it is trying to compensate for its losses with the gloating of its propagandists after the missile strikes at our country, at our energy sector," Zelensky said.

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 "I know that the darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to their new defeats. But we have to be ready for any scenario," he added.

 What’s the latest military situation?

 The Dec. 26 British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update stated that Russian forces have largely focused on constructing defensive positions along many sections of the front line in Ukraine since October. This includes laying additional fields of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, almost certainly going beyond Russian doctrinal guidelines.

 

According to MoD assessment, minefields only present an effective obstacle for trained troops if covered by observation and fire. A major challenge for the Russian forces will likely be a shortage of surveillance assets and trained personnel to effectively monitor large areas of the new minefields.

 

 The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 24 daily assessment covers numerous topics, most notably that Russian forces:

  • Will likely struggle to maintain the pace of their offensive operations in the Bakhmut area and may seek to initiate a tactical or operational pause.
  • Continued to conduct limited counterattacks to regain lost positions along the Kreminna-Svatove line.
  • Continued to conduct offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Struck a residential area of Kherson City with a Grad multiple launch rocket system, killing at least 10 and injuring 55.

In addition, from the latest ISW assessment:

  • The Russian Orthodox Church – a Kremlin-affiliated institution – asked the Kremlin for a mobilization exemption for its clergy, despite avidly supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
  • Russian officials are planning to take children from Horlivka, Donetsk to Belarus, possibly as a scheme to deport Ukrainian children.

 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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