Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – DECEMBER 18-24, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on December 25, 2023 

  • Russian troops do not stop attempts to advance in the eastern sector of the front, continuing systematic attacks in several directions at once.
  • On December 22, the Ukrainian military destroyed 3 Russian Su-34 aircraft. As a result, the Russian command reduced the intensity of the use of aviation to strike the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • During the Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s briefing, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine proposed an additional mobilization of 450-500 thousand people for the defense of the state and potential counteroffensive actions.
  • Russia, during its 22-month full-scale invasion, launched approximately 7,400 missiles and 3,700 Shahed strike drones at targets in Ukraine.
  • The EU has adopted the 12th package of sanctions against Russia as the result of its aggression against Ukraine.


Russian troops continue attempts to break through the defenses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the eastern sector of the front. They carry out offensive operations in the Kupyansk, Lyman and Bakhmut directions; continue attacks to surround Avdiivka.

Russian sources reported attacks by Ukrainian UAVs on the night of December 22, which were recorded in several regions of the Russian Federation. In addition, on December 22 Ukrainian air defense destroyed 3 Russian Su-34 aircraft in the southern direction of the front, which were bombing the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This incident forced the Russian command to reduce the intensity of the use of aircraft in the area.

Russian troops use kamikaze drones against the territory of Ukraine every night. On the night of December 19, drones attacked the Starokostiantyniv district in the Khmelnytskyi region, but both UAVs were shot down. On the night of December 20, Ukrainian air defense shot down 18 out of 19 drones used against the territory of Ukraine. The next night it managed to destroy 34 out of 35 UAVs used by the Russian military. On the night of December 22, air defense destroyed 24 of the 28 drones used. As a result of falling debris a multi-storey building in Kyiv was damaged, 2 people were injured. As a result of the attack, an infrastructure facility in the Mykolaiv region and a granary in the Odesa region were damaged. On the night of December 23, air defense intercepted 7 UAVs in the Odesa region; 2 drones were also destroyed in Khmelnytskyi region. The following night, 14 out of 15 UAVs launched by the Russian military were intercepted.

In addition, during the week Russian troops launched several missile strikes against the territory of Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhzhia regions; They continue shelling of Sumy region.

During the week, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of the Russian military amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 4 people killed and 28 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 6 people killed and 40 people wounded. 4 people were injured in Kharkiv region.


As a result of shelling from the side of the Russian Federation, on the night of December 20, warehouses of two humanitarian organizations – the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the local public organization “Shchedryk” – were destroyed in Kherson. Due to the shelling, the premises of the international NGO HEKS/EPER, residential buildings, and a medical facility were also affected.

According to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine proposed mobilizing an additional 450-500 thousand people for the defense of the state and potential counter-offensive actions.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is considering the possibility of notifying men about the need to report to the Territorial Recruitment and Social Support Center (TRSSC) through electronic notifications. This procedure also concerns Ukrainian citizens abroad. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is step by step working on technical solutions and mechanisms regarding this possibility.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), with the support of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, eliminated a corrupt scheme for purchasing ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine worth almost UAH 1.5 billion. According to the SSU, after the extension of the “old” contract, nearly UAH 1.5 billion were transferred to the accounts of an affiliated foreign intermediary company. This amount exceeded the cost of the products by 30% compared to a direct contract with the manufacturer. The head of the Main Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, who was caught embezzling the respective funds, was detained without the right to post bail.

Ukraine has reached an agreement with the countries of G7 and the Paris Club on extending the repayment deferral for the official debt until the end of March 2027. Representatives of the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed on behalf of the creditors. The suspension of debt payments is part of a $122 billion international support package provided to Ukraine by its partners. Meanwhile, the total debt amount is approximately $3.1 billion.


On December 18, the European Union completed the process of adopting the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The package includes a series of sectoral restrictions, including a gradual ban on the import of Russian diamonds, a ban on providing software for industrial production, an expanded ban on the import of liquefied natural gas, iron, and black metals from Russia. A partial transit ban on goods through Russia that could increase industrial capacities is introduced, and the mechanism for limiting prices on Russian oil is strengthened.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on economic measures against foreign financial institutions involved in supplying sanctioned military goods to Russia.

The government of the Netherlands has decided to start preparations for the transfer of the first 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Additionally, the Netherlands allocates the first aid package of 102 million euros for the first 4 months of 2024 to Ukraine, which will be directed towards humanitarian assistance and demining. Finland announced the provision of the 21st military aid package to Ukraine, worth approximately 106 million euros. Germany has delivered a new aid package to Ukraine, including self-propelled anti-aircraft units Gepard, ammunition for Leopard 2A6, UAV Vector, HX8 trucks, and other equipment. Denmark and Sweden have announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, including the supply of additional infantry fighting vehicles CV90. Lithuania has delivered a new military aid package to Ukraine, consisting of field equipment and tens of thousands of dry rations. Iceland has joined coalitions providing support to Ukraine, specifically the IT coalition and the demining coalition.

On December 19, the UN General Assembly adopted an updated resolution on the human rights situation in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, with 78 votes in favor. The updated resolution condemns Russia’s human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. It specifically demands that Russia cease forced deportations and ensure the safe return of all Ukrainian children and civilian hostages.

This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, who was visiting Kyiv. Additionally, Volodymyr Zelensky had phone conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, with the newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand, Christopher Mark Luxon, and with the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.