A suspected officer with Russia’s Federal Security Service was among seven people accused by US federal prosecutors of helping Russia illegally obtain sensitive electronic components from US companies. Prosecutors claimed the seven worked with two Moscow-based companies controlled by Russian intelligence services to acquire electronic components in the US that have civilian uses, but can also be used to help make nuclear and hypersonic weapons and in quantum computing.
The United States, one of the architects of the G7’s price cap on Russian oil, is so far happy with the way the mechanism is functioning, Amos Hochstein, the Biden administration’s energy envoy said on Tuesday.
The United States is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, a decision that could be announced as soon as this week, three US officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
Generators are as important as armor in helping Ukraine survive Vladimir Putin’s energy terrorism this winter, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. Ukraine needed an additional €800m (£686m) to survive the winter and €1.5bn to restore the long-term damage to the energy grid, its president told an emergency conference in Paris convened to coordinate infrastructure and humanitarian aid over the next four months .
More than €1bn was raised to support Ukraine this winter at the aid conference in Paris, France’s foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, said. The money, pledged by 46 countries and 24 international organizations, would be split between restoring Ukraine’s depleted energy network, the food sector, water supply, health and transportation.
Ukrainian forces have reportedly damaged a key bridge outside the southern city of Melitopol, a key objective for Kyiv in the region. Video posted online showed that two supports of the bridge had been damaged during the attack, just days after Ukraine hit a Russian barracks located in a resort in the city, with Himars rockets causing substantial damage and casualties.
Ukrainian officials gave the all clear on Tuesday after air raid sirens blared across the country following warnings that Russia may carry out a new wave of missile strikes. Ukrainian media said the alerts may have been triggered by MiG fighter jets that took off from Ryazan, near Russia’s border with Ukraine, and flew towards Belarus.
Russia and Ukraine pounded each other’s forces in heavy fighting in the eastern region of Donetsk on Tuesday. Moscow is fighting to take full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, two of four territories the Kremlin claims to have annexed in votes rejected by most countries as illegal.
Ukraine must take into account the new territorial “realities” that include Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin has said. Ukraine’s president said on Monday that Russia could begin to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine to show they are capable of abandoning their aggression. In response, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there could be “no question” of Moscow beginning to pull out its troops by the end of the year.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, will hold talks to discuss the events of 2022 in late December, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported. Dmitry Peskov told the newspaper that the date and the agenda of the meeting are already known, but an official announcement will come later. The talks will unlikely be face-to-face, the paper said.
The Belarusian ministry of defense has announced a “sudden combat readiness check” of its troops. The exercises are mostly taking place in the north-west of the country, not close to Ukraine’s border. This is one in a string of announcements by Belarus since mid-October which Kyiv says is designed to stoke fear in Ukrainians.
Germany will approve another €50m in winter aid for Kyiv following Russia’s missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said. She said Berlin was working to deliver generators, blankets and heating fuel to Ukraine over Christmas.
The UK Foreign Office announced it was imposing sanctions on 12 Russian commanders for their role in attacks on Ukrainian cities. They include Maj Gen Robert Baranov, identified by Bellingcat as the commander of programming and targeting Russian cruise missiles, as well as four Iranians, including the co-owner and managing director of MADO, an Iranian drone engine manufacturer.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said on Tuesday that there was an agreement on removing heavy weapons from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants. Talks were under way, he said, adding: “We managed to protect Chornobyl and our goal is to protect Zaporizhzhia. The coming weeks will be crucial.”