Ukraine Daily Summary - Sunday, December 4

Pressure on Putin over nukes forces him to change war tactics -- Kremlin signals Putin to visit occupied Donbas -- Russia illegally harvests $1 billion worth of Ukrainian wheat in occupied territories -- Russia using more newly-produced missiles as existing stockpiles run low -- Russian document indicates that mobilization continues despite government's statements -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Sunday, December 4

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Citizens pass their time around Kontraktova Square in the Podil district during a snowfall, on Dec. 3, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Zelensky: $60 oil barrel price cap is comfortable for Russia’s budget. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the long discussion leading to the $60 a barrel price cap on Russian oil has finished “without big decisions.” Zelensky said, “it’s only a matter of time before stronger tools will have to be used anyway. It is a pity that this time will be lost.”

Ukraine’s chief negotiator says Russia must withdraw from Ukraine before starting talks. Lawmaker David Arakhamia, head of the governing Servant of the People faction and Ukraine’s chief negotiator with Russia, said Kyiv is ready to provide Russia with security guarantees after it withdraws its troops from Ukraine, pays reparations, brings all war criminals to justice, and voluntarily surrenders nuclear weapons.

Microsoft: Russia will likely boost its cyber attacks on Ukraine, allies. Clint Watts, general manager of Microsoft’s digital threat analysis center, urged customers to prepare for more Russian cyber attacks over the winter. Russia will most likely persist with a cyber offensive against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, Watts wrote in the Microsoft blog on Dec. 3.

US official: Pressure on Putin over nukes forces him to change war tactics. U.S. Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in Kyiv that the warnings from other states convinced Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that the reaction to the use of nuclear weapons by Moscow would be unprecedented and difficult for Russia. The use of nuclear weapons would have a response and consequences of an incomparable level, Nuland added.

Kremlin signals Putin to visit occupied Donbas. Russian media said on Dec. 3 that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would pay a visit to Russian-occupied Donbas without specifying when and where. “Putin will eventually visit Donbas,” the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly said.

Bloomberg: Russia illegally harvests $1 billion worth of Ukrainian wheat in occupied territories. Research using satellite imagery from NASA’s food security and agriculture program showed that Russia collected almost 6 million tons of wheat from occupied territories, Bloomberg reported.

Reuters: Macron says West should consider security guarantees for Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron said, should Russian President Vladimir Putin agree to negotiations to end Russia’s war, the West should consider providing Russia with guarantees in the future security architecture, Reuters reported on Dec. 3.

NBC News: US intel chief says Russia is using up ammunition in Ukraine faster than it can replace it. U.S. National Intelligence Director Avril Haines said on Dec. 3 that Russian forces in Ukraine are burning through ammunition faster than the country’s defense industry can replace it.

Ukrainian intelligence: Russia using more newly-produced missiles as existing stockpiles run low. Russia is continuing to burn through its strategic missile stockpile, and now firing more and more new missiles, with some produced as recently as August, according to Vadym Skibitsky, a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate. Skibitsky said such assessment suggests that some missiles are being used “directly from the assembly line.”

ISW: Russian document indicates that mobilization continues despite government’s statements. A Russian Telegram channel dedicated to providing Russians legal support to avoid compulsory military service published a document of the Russian National Guard which confirmed that mobilization continues despite President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the formal end of partial mobilization on Oct. 31, the Institute for the Study of War reports.

General Staff: 270 Russian troops wounded in Zaporizhzhia Oblast on Dec. 2. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that 270 Russian troops were wounded in action in Melitopol and Vasylivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast on Dec. 2. The General Staff also reported that 14 Russian soldiers were killed and 30 were wounded in a Ukrainian attack on Russian positions in occupied Starobilsk in Luhansk Oblast.

Read our exclusives

Ukrainian energy company on attacks on infrastructure: ‘No system in the world has faced the same.’

Ukraine faces its most challenging winter as Russia relentlessly strikes its energy system to plunge the nation into cold and darkness. Since mid-October, Russia’s carried out five mass missile attacks that have damaged 40% of Ukraine’s energy system.

Photo: DTEK

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Ukraine war latest: Multiple Ukrainian embassies receive blood-stained parcels with animal parts.

According to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as many as 17 Ukrainian diplomatic missions abroad have received either letter bombs or blood-stained envelopes containing animal parts, such as cow and pig eyes, in recent days.

Photo: Getty Images

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International response

Romania starts supplying gas to Moldova, countering dependence on Russia. Romania aims to connect Moldovan gas transport to the European pipeline network to help Moldova fight against Russia’s gas blackmail, Romanian gas company Transgaz said in comments to Romanian outlet Agerpress. The gas will be delivered along the Iaşi-Ungheni pipeline, completed in 2013, with an extension pipeline to the capital Chisinau built in 2019.

Lithuania delivers 2 repaired German howitzers to Ukraine. Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said on Dec. 3 that his country had repaired two damaged PzH2000 Howitzers and returned them to Ukraine, along with extra ammunition.

In other news

Russian oligarch Fridman arrested in UK on suspicion of money laundering, released on bail. The U.K.’s National Crime Agency reportedly arrested a “wealthy Russian businessman” on Dec. 1 on suspicion of several offenses including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the U.K. Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Teah Pelechaty, Asami Terajima, Francis Farrell, Alexander Query, Alexander Khrebet, Oleksiy Sorokin, Oleg Sukhov, Olena Goncharova, and Brad LaFoy.

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