Russia Ukraine war latest: ‘Putin tells Russian defence to ‘up its game’ as Zelenksy warns of Christmas attacks

‘We will beat Russia,’ says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of a new wave of Russian attacks over Christmas.

In his nightly address on Friday following his return from a trip to the US, the Ukraine president said: “With the holiday season fast approaching, the Russian terrorists could again step up their activities,” he said. “They have no regard for Christian values or any values for that matter.”

His comments come as Vladimir Putin referred to Russia’s 10-month-long invasion of Ukraine as “war” for the first time in public, as one of his ambassadors warned of the “high” risk of a clash with the US, with diplomatic relations in an “ice age”.

Having previously only called the invasion a “special military operation,” the president said he wants to end the war in Ukraine “the sooner the better” through an inevitable “diplomatic solution”.

“Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” Mr Putin said. “We will strive for an end to this, and the sooner the better, of course.”


US to send $45bn aid package to Ukraine

The United States House of Representatives has approved a $45bn (£37bn) aid package for Ukraine.

In a tweet thanking Congress and US political leaders, Zelensky said it was “crucial” that Americans are “side by side” with Ukrainians “in this struggle”.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 12:00


Russia begins demolition of bombed Mariupol theatre

Russian authorities have begun demolishing part of a historic theatre in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Videos posted on both Ukrainian and Russian websites on Friday showed heavy equipment taking down much of the building, while leaving its front intact.

Ukrainian officials have said the demolition is an attempt to cover up hundreds of deaths in an air bombardment in March and wipe out Ukrainian culture.

Russian officials say the demolition is a part of plans to rebuild the theatre in a city firmly under their control.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 11:30


Ukraine calls for ‘liquidation’ of Iranian weapons factories

A Ukrainian official has called for the “liquidation” of Iranian weaponry factories and the arrest of their suppliers, as Kyiv accuses Tehran of planning to supply more arms to Russia.

Writing on Twitter on Saturday, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Iran “blatantly humiliates the institution of international sanctions”, and called for the destruction of Iranian weapon factories.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 11:00


Zelensky thanks Biden for invite to US

Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked US President Joe Biden for inviting him to the US.

The Ukrainian president visited Washington, US where he met with Mr Biden and addressed Congress in his first trip since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

In a Tweet, he wrote: “This visit showed our countries stand together on the side of good, democracy and justice.”

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 10:30


Putin tells Russian defence industry to up its game for Ukraine war

President Vladimir Putin has told Russia’s defence industry chiefs to up their game to ensure they have enough weaponry needed to fight the war in Ukraine.

“The most important task of our military-industrial complex is to provide our units and frontline forces with everything they need,” he said on Friday (23 December).

“Weapons, equipment, ammunition, and gear in the necessary quantities and of the right quality in the shortest possible timeframes.

“It’s also important to perfect and significantly improve the technical characteristics of weapons and equipment for our fighters based on the combat experience we have gained,” he added.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 10:00


Zelensky sends Christmas wishes to UK

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has wished the UK a Merry Christmas and thanked the British people for their support.

Responding to a tweet posted by Rishi Sunak, he said that Ukrainians “feel the light and the warmth” of British hearts and, together, we would “defeat evil and restore peace in Ukraine, Europe, and the world”.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 09:30


Russia cuts down on missile attacks due to shortages, says MoD

Russia is cutting down on missile attacks in Ukraine due to shortages, says the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

In their latest update shared on 24 December, they said: “Russia has likely limited its long-range missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure to around once a week due to the limited availability of cruise missiles.

“Similarly, Russia is unlikely to have increased its stockpile of artillery munitions enough to enable large-scale offensive operations,” they added.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 09:00


Ukraine to open new embassies in 10 African countries.

Ukraine will be opening new embassies in 10 African countries, said president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Speaking at a conference on 23 December, the Ukrainian president said that he plans to increase the country’s presence in Africa by opening new embassies and strengthening trade ties.

He added that there were also plans to develop a “Ukraine-Africa trade house” with offices in the capitals of “the most promising countries” across Africa.

Furvah Shah24 December 2022 08:34


Families divided by war as Christmas comes early

Olha Komarnytska who lives in Birmingham with her children – Mia, 15, and Volodymyr, 13 – are also set to experience their first Christmas in the UK, alongside their host family.

They arrived in the UK from western Ukraine in May of this year.

“We usually celebrate Christmas in January but a think of lot of Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas in December this year because Russians celebrate Christmas in January and it’s not very good for us because we are fighting with Russia”, Ms Komarnytska, a 42-year-old cleaner said.

She said that on December 25, the group are to go to Church together, followed by a Christmas dinner, which will include traditional British and Ukrainian food staples.

“I plan to make cabbage with rice, meat carrot and onions and a Ukrainian salad with potato, carrot, meat, onions and cucumber,” she added.

The family have already gotten into the Christmas spirit by attending a party hosted by Centrala, an art space in Birmingham dedicated to promoting Central and Eastern European art and culture, on December 19 – Saint Nicholas Day.

“It was amazing and all the children there were very happy – they received a lot of presents and they saw Santa and heard Ukrainian music”, she said.

“My son was sadly not at the party as he was ill but my daughter was really happy when she went.”

Several people from the family will be absent from the dinner – Mrs Komarnytska’s husband Taras, her mother and father, Anna and Vasyl and brothers Dmytro and Vasyl.

“We’re so sad because we can’t be with our family because my husband stayed in Ukraine and my mum, dad and brothers all stayed in Ukraine and we can’t celebrate Christmas with them”, she said,

“It’s not good, we are not happy – but the situation is very bad because of the war happening in Ukraine and there is a bad situation with electricity where many don’t have any.”

Sam Rkaina24 December 2022 06:30


Ukrainians in UK hope for an end to the war in 2023

This time of the year is also tainted with sadness since Ms Chebizhak would usually spend Christmas with her family back in Ukraine, of which the exact location details cannot be mentioned for safety reasons.

“Usually we have traditions where my mum (Tetiana) will always make 12 dishes which symbolise the 12 months of the year and we would make a wish on Christmas Eve and go to bed and it should come true”, she said.

Ms Chebizhak added that her parents are okay, but that her mother did not put up a Christmas tree due to the ongoing war.

“My sister Anna also used to live not too far from them and she also left to go to Greece with her two children, so they are alone and she doesn’t have any grandchildren nearby”, she added.

“My mum and dad might sit down together and watch some movies or listen to the national anthem of Ukraine and we’ll have a call, but they are coping and doing great despite it not being a good situation.”

As the pair look forward to 2023, Ms Chebizhak said she “dreams of peace in our country”.

“We really hope the war’s over and we can return to see Kolya’s dad as he misses him very much and is still in the Vinnytska region in Ukraine.”

Sam Rkaina24 December 2022 05:30

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