Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – DECEMBER 4-10, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on December 11, 2023 

  • Russian forces are conducting offensive operations along the entire front line in the east in an attempt to seize the initiative as part of the winter campaign.
  • In the morning of December 11, the Ukrainian air defense system destroyed all 8 ballistic missiles that were heading towards Kyiv.
  • Russia resumed missile strikes on the territory of Ukraine using strategic aviation. They complement almost daily kamikaze drone attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.
  • On December 6, a well-known collaborator, former People’s Deputy of Ukraine Illia Kyva was killed in the Moscow region. It is possible that the Ukrainian special services were involved in his liquidation.
  • On December 8, in Kyiv, the first founding meeting of the International Coalition for the return of Ukrainian children illegally displaced by the Russian Federation took place. Currently, more than 60 countries and international organizations have joined it.
  • On December 10, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, visited the inauguration of the President of Argentina, Javier Milei.


The Russian command has intensified offensive operations in the East, trying to seize the initiative in severe winter weather conditions and seeking to succeed on the eve of the presidential elections in the Russian Federation, scheduled for March 2024. Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, said that Russian troops are carrying out attacks along the entire front line in this direction. The fiercest fighting continues in the areas of Kupyansk, Bakhmut, Maryinka and Avdiivka.

Ukrainian special services are carrying out targeted liquidation of collaborators and representatives of the occupation administration. The most high-profile operation was carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation. On December 6, former People’s Deputy of Ukraine Illia Kyva, who was one of the most famous and public collaborators, was killed in the Moscow region. On the same day, in the temporarily occupied Luhansk a representative of the local occupation administration Oleg Popov was killed.

Russian sources reported attacks by Ukrainian UAVs on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea on the morning of December 5. Ukrainian sources reported damage to an oil depot in Feodosia and a number of military facilities on the peninsula.

Russian troops continue to strike at the territory of Ukraine. On the night of December 5 Ukrainian air defense reported the destruction of 10 out of 17 drones used by the Russian military. As a result of the attack, an infrastructure facility in the Lviv region was damaged. The following night, Ukrainian air defense shot down 41 of the 48 UAVs used in the attack. On the night of December 7, Russian troops attacked Khmelnytskyi and Odesa regions with drones. 15 out of 18 UAVs used were shot down. On the night of December 8, Russian troops launched a missile attack on Kharkiv using S-300 systems. In addition, several drones were launched on the territory of Ukraine. On the morning of December 8, for the first time in a long time, a missile strike was carried out using strategic aviation. Ukrainian air defense shot down 14 out of 19 missiles used. On the night of December 9, a missile hit the outskirts of Mykolaiv. The next night, a missile attack was carried out on the Kryvyi Rih district in the Dnipropetrovsk region. On the night of December 11, near Kyiv, 8 ballistic missiles were intercepted, and 18 UAVs were also destroyed in various regions of Ukraine.

During the week, the losses of the civilian population in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of the Russian military amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 2 people killed and 14 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 5 people killed and 25 people wounded. In the Kharkiv region, 2 people were killed and 10 people were injured. At least 3 people were injured in Sumy region. In Dnipropetrovsk region 1 person was killed and 9 people were injured. At least 1 person was killed in Zaporizhzhia region.


On December 8, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed four laws necessary for implementing the recommendations of the European Commission and commencing negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU. Among the signed documents are bills related to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, and a bill on changes to legislation regarding national minorities.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has allowed individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in a neutral status, without fielding national teams. The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine called the decision of the International Olympic Committee “irresponsible”, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, urged all partners to strongly condemn the IOC’s decision as it “undermines Olympic principles”.

According to Eurostat data as of October 31, 2023, 4.2 million people who left Ukraine after the Russian invasion had temporary protection status in EU member states. The main countries providing this status to Ukrainian citizens were Germany (28.7% of the total), Poland (22.7%), and the Czech Republic (8.6%). Among the recipients of temporary protection in the EU, adult women constituted 46.4%, children 33.4%, and adult men 20.2%.

According to the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, from 2014 to the present, approximately 800,000 Russian citizens illegally arrived in Crimea, while about 100,000 Ukrainians left the peninsula. Key elements of Russia’s demographic policy in occupied Crimea included preferential mortgage lending; the relocation of Russian military personnel, law enforcement officers, state, medical, and educational workers and their families; the expulsion of Ukrainians to the mainland Ukraine; and incentives for Ukrainians to move to Russian territory. Similar policies are being implemented by Russia in other occupied territories of Ukraine, particularly in Mariupol, Donetsk oblast.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a working visit to Argentina, where he participated in the inauguration of the newly elected President Javier Milei. During the trip, Zelensky held the first-ever bilateral meeting in the history of relations with the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, Jose Ulisses Correia e Silva. He also met with the President of Paraguay, Santiago Pena, the President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, the President of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, and had a brief conversation with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban.

On December 8th, in Kyiv, the inaugural meeting of the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children took place. The coalition aims to address the issue of Ukrainian children who were illegally deported and forcibly displaced to the Russian Federation from temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The coalition, initiated during a meeting of security advisors in Malta, has now been joined by over 60 countries and international organizations. The first meeting focused on determining practical steps by coalition members to support Ukraine in its mission to repatriate deported and forcibly displaced children, as well as involving coalition countries in specific projects and commitments ensuring the safe repatriation, rehabilitation, and integration of affected children.

From December 6-7 in Washington, a Ukrainian-American defense industry conference took place, with a Ukrainian delegation including Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, and Rustem Umerov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine. The conference gathered about 350 representatives from the industries and governments of the U.S., Ukraine, and Europe, aiming to significantly increase arms production to support Ukraine in its resistance against Russian aggression and strengthen Ukraine’s long-term defense capabilities. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Strategic Industries of Ukraine signed a Statement of Intent regarding joint production and exchange of technical data.

Germany allocated a new aid package to Ukraine, including the LUNA NG reconnaissance system, VECTOR reconnaissance drones, GMG grenade launchers, shells, and other equipment. The United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $175 million, including ammunition for air defense systems and artillery shells, anti-radiation and anti-tank missiles. The UK announced a new winter humanitarian aid package for Ukraine, totaling nearly £37 million (over $46.6 million). Slovenia will provide Ukraine with 1.5 million euros for humanitarian demining. The Netherlands allocated 17 million euros for the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine. Bulgaria supported the transfer of portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) and various types of anti-aircraft missiles to strengthen air defense. Moreover, the Bulgarian parliament overcame the president’s veto on supplying old Soviet armored vehicles to Ukraine.

The U.S. imposed new sanctions against several legal and physical entities identified as sources of income for the regime of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. The Secretary-General of the Belarusian Red Cross also came under sanctions. The UK expanded sanctions against 17 representatives of Belarus’s judicial system.

Following a virtual summit, the G7 countries announced their intention to impose restrictions on the import of non-industrial diamonds mined, processed, or manufactured in Russia.

This week in Kyiv, the President of Ukraine met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Hanke Bruins Slot. President Zelensky had phone conversations with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The leaders discussed support for Ukrainian international initiatives, priority needs for Ukrainian defense, and issues related to Ukraine’s European integration.

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.