“Russia Goes Wild Again in Ukraine”

The military of Russian President Vladimir Putin launched drone and missile attacks on Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk, on Thursday night local time. It was reported that one person died and several others, including a baby, were injured in the onslaught.

“Russia attacked the cities of Pokrovsk, Novogrodivka, and Myrnograd in the western part of Donetsk last night in what was described by Ihor Moroz, the acting head of the regional military administration,” CNBC International quoted.

“A massive rocket attack,” he described the “madness” of the assault.

It is alleged that four people are still trapped under the rubble, including one child.

Russia Claims New Victory in Bakhmut
The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that its forces have taken control of a village on the outskirts of Bakhmut. This area is in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine.

The ministry stated that units from the southern force group successfully captured the village of Artemovskoe, also known as Khromove in Ukrainian, with the support of air raids and artillery fire.

“The Southern Force Group units, with air support and artillery fire, stabilized the situation along the front line and liberated the village of Artemovskoe,” the ministry said, according to comments reported by the TASS news agency.

According to Reuters, the village had a population of 1,000 people before the war. The region is referred to by Russia as the Donetsk People’s Republic, a self-proclaimed republic and pro-Russian separatist territory.

German Chancellor Calls Zelensky
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the current political, military, and humanitarian situation in Ukraine in a phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Scholz assured Ukraine that Germany would continue to support Ukraine along with European and international partners. He also reaffirmed Germany’s “ongoing and unwavering solidarity” with Ukraine.

“The future of Ukraine lies in the European Union,” he said, according to a statement in the media.

Zelensky discussed Russia’s recent attacks on Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure. He thanked Germany for its military support.

NATO Support for Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that support for Ukraine is strong and will continue during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels before flying to Israel.

“I have to tell you, listening to all our colleagues around the table, everyone is expressing strong support for Ukraine,” he told reporters.

“Some question whether the U.S. and other NATO allies should continue to support Ukraine as we enter Putin’s second winter of brutality. But the answer within NATO right now is clear and unwavering,” he added.

“We must and will continue to support Ukraine.”

There are many questions about the long-term U.S. support for Ukraine, especially considering the upcoming 2024 elections. Dissatisfaction among Republicans with ongoing military aid is also emerging.

Europe “Divided”
Meanwhile, Europe is divided over Russia at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting. The presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov led several countries to boycott the agenda.

Lavrov strolled through the event, stating that Europe is “on the brink of destruction.” In the meeting held in Skopje, North Macedonia, he accused the 57-member security-oriented organization of becoming a puppet of NATO and the European Union (EU).

“Honestly, this organization is on the brink of destruction,” he said, according to Interfax.

“A simple question arises, is it reasonable to invest effort in reviving it?” he asked.

“So far, there are more questions than answers,” he emphasized.

Ukraine and the Baltic countries boycotted the OSCE meeting due to Lavrov’s presence. The OSCE is also heavily paralyzed in decision-making as Russia uses its veto power to thwart the process, raising doubts about its future.

European Security Strategy Depends on Ukraine
The EU is urged to consider Ukraine’s military needs, as Kyiv’s existence is said to determine the future strategy of the European defense industry.

“Our strategy can only be complete if we consider Ukraine’s needs and Ukraine’s industrial capacity,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the annual conference of the European Defense Agency.

She stated that Ukraine should be integrated into the EU defense program to help meet its needs in the war against Russia’s invasion. The first step, she said, is to involve Ukraine in strategic industry consultation processes.

“This will lead to the integration of Ukraine into some of our defense programs, with the approval of the European Parliament and Council, if necessary,” she added.

In 2024, the EU defense industry will meet the target of increasing ammunition production capacity to 1 million units per year. However, this target is separate from the EU’s plan to provide Ukraine with 1 million artillery and missile rounds within one year.

Putin to Hold Special Address on December 14
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his annual press conference and a public call on December 14. Both events are usually held separately but will be combined next month, as announced by the Kremlin.

Speculation has arisen that Putin will use this opportunity to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections. However, the Kremlin refuses to comment on this matter.

Putin has been in power for 23 years, either as prime minister or president. He is said to have led systematic suppression of critics and political opponents during this time, making him highly likely to win the next election in March.

“There is no doubt that if he decides to run, he will win confidently. Society is consolidated around the president,” said Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, speaking to CNBC International.