Russia’s War on Ukraine Latest: US House OK’s $45 Billion Aid to Kyiv
The US House of Representatives approved a $45 billion aid package for Ukraine, as President Volodymyr Zelensky warned his citizens that Russia could launch attacks over Christmas and urged them to heed air raid alarms.
ON THE GROUND
* At least five people were killed and another 20 wounded by a Russian strike on the center of Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson, presidential aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Saturday.
* Russian authorities in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol have begun demolishing most of the city’s drama theatre, where Ukrainian authorities say hundreds died in an air bombardment in March.
* Russia has made significant progress towards “demilitarizing” Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday – one of the goals President Vladimir Putin declared when he launched the war 10 months ago.
* The exiled mayor of Russian-occupied Melitopol in the south said on Friday that more Russian troops had been brought into the city and were strengthening fortifications.
* Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.
* A top Ukrainian presidential aide called on Saturday for the “liquidation” of Iranian factories making drones and missiles, as well as the arrest of their suppliers, as Kyiv accused Tehran of planning to supply more weapons to Russia. Iran has said it only sent drones to Russia before it invaded Ukraine and has denied allegations it was continuing.
* Three Japanese insurance companies will stop insuring ships for damage in all Russian waters due to the war in Ukraine, potentially affecting Japan’s energy imports such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.
* Russia may cut oil output by 5% to 7% in early 2023 as it responds to price caps on its crude and oil products by halting sales to the countries that support them, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told state television on Friday.
* Russia’s ambassador to the United States said bilateral relations were in an “ice age” and the risk of a clash between the two countries was “high”, Russian news agency TASS reported on Friday.
* Putin told Russia’s defense industry chiefs on Friday to up their game to ensure the army quickly got all the weapons, equipment and military hardware it needed to fight in Ukraine.
* Ukraine will intensify diplomatic efforts in Africa, Latin America and Asia to take advantage of “colossal economic potential” and other international benefits, Zelensky said on Friday.