An oil installation burns in Russia’s Kursk region after a suspected Ukrainian drone attack, December 6, 2022
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 2141 GMT:
A Ukrainian court has sentenced an Orthodox priest to 12 years in prison for leaking information on Ukrainian defense positions to Russia.
Prosecutors said the priest, from Russian-occupied Lysychansk in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, was informing the Russianssince April “about the number and deployment of equipment, as well as the Ukrainian armed forces’ weapons in Sievierodonetsk and the neighbouring settlements”.
Ukrainian security services have been carrying out raids on churches accused of assisting the Russians with literature, cash, and forged documents.
UPDATE 2135 GMT:
The regional police chief and three other officers have been killed in a liberated area of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
Chief Mykhailo Kuratchenko and the officers died during demining operations.
Four officers were seriously injured and “are fighting for their lives”.
UPDATE 2130 GMT:
Spokesperson John Kirby has reiterated that the Biden Administration will not publicly interfere with any Ukrainian drone strikes inside Russian territory.
While saying the US has made clear its “concerns” about any escalation of the war with Russia, Kirby said:
Unlike the Russians, we respect Ukrainian sovereignty….In the end these are Ukrainian decisions that they have to make….
When we give them a weapons system, it belongs to them. Where they use it, how they use it, how much ammunition they use to use that system, those are Ukrainian decisions, and we respect that.
UPDATE 1838 GMT:
France’s Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the International Court of Arbitration to recover $1.1 billion from Russia in favor of Ukraine.
The damage was awarded by the ICA in November 2018 for the lost of assets in Russian-occupied Crimea.
But in March 2021 the Paris Court of Appeal supported Russia’s Justice Ministry argument about the ICA’s lack of jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court justices overturned that ruling. The money will now be given to the Ukraine State-owned Oschadbank.
UPDATE 1831 GMT:
At least eight civilians have been slain by Russian shelling of the town of Kurakhove in eastern Ukraine.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Presidential office, said a market, bus station, petrol stations, and residential buildings came under fire.
Russian occupation troops shelled Kurakhove, Donetsk Oblast, again on December 7, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said. As a result of the attack, 8 people were killed and 5 more were wounded. pic.twitter.com/uPwh1nsVGP
— Hromadske Int. (@Hromadske) December 7, 2022
UPDATE 1328 GMT:
State grid operator Ukrenergo says the system is gradually recovering from Monday’s Russian missile attacks; however, there is still a “significant deficit” with limits on consumption in all regions.
“Unfortunately, there are already regions where consumption limits have been exceeded, so emergency shutdowns have been applied,” Ukrenergo said.
It reported a difficult situation in eastern Ukraine, with Russia firing at energy infrastructure facilities and temperatures dropping to -17C (1.4F).
UPDATE 1323 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks have killed two civilians and injured another in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said the Russians carried out 51 attacks with artillery, rockets, mortars, and tanks, damaging civilian infrastructure and residential buildings.
UPDATE 0734 GMT:
Poland is ready to deploy the German Patriot air defense system on its territory, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Tuesday.
However, Germany has turned down Blasczak’s request for the deployment of the systems inside Ukraine.
The Minister tweeted:
After talking to the German Defense Ministry, I was disappointed to accept the decision to reject support of Ukraine. Deploying the Patriots to the western Ukraine would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians
So we proceed to working arrangements for placing the launchers in Poland and connecting them to our command system.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says Washington is not preventing Ukraine from developing long-range strike capabilities.
Austin issued the statement on Tuesday, hours after two Russian airbases — one of them the main base for Russia’s long-range bombers — and an oil installation near another base were struck.
Monday’s explosions were at the Engels-2 base in the Saratov region, about 315 miles from the Ukraine border, and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region, about 285 miles from the border. Both bases host Tu-95 and Tu-22M long-range bombers, used for waves of cruise missile attacks on Ukraine.
Early Tuesday, the oil installation near an airbase in the Kursk region was set ablaze, spewing flame and dense smoke.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian long-range drones carried out the operations. The Ministry acknowledged the deaths of three troops, wounding of four, and damage to two warplanes. Photographs indicated that one of the planes was a Tu-22 at the Dyagilevo base.
Ukraine did not officially claim responsibility. However, a “senior Ukrainian official” told journalists, “The drones were launched from Ukrainian territory, and at least one of the strikes was made with the help of special forces close to the base who helped guide the drones to the target.”
US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland also pointed towards the Ukrainian military, “The Ukrainian people are incredibly innovative; they are making their own drones, air and sea, that are incredibly effective.”
Speaking at a press conference with Austin and their Australian counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken put out the more cautious line that the US has “neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia”.
A Faltering Russian Missile Campaign?
The attacks on the airbases may hinder Russia’s missile campaign to break Ukraine through assaults on energy infrastructure.
The campaign is already showing signs of faltering. In Monday’s wave — hours after the explosions on the bases — just over 70 missiles were fired, a drop from the more than 100 in previous assaults. More than 60 were downed by Ukrainian air defenses.
Ukraine Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak Podolyak said Russian forces have enough cruise missiles for “two or three” more mass strikes. He explained that Russia is seeking, but has not received ballistic missiles from Iran.
At least six bombers were moved from the more than 30 on the Engels-2 airbase to an unknown destination after Monday’s explosions, claims Kirill Ovsyany, a journalist from the Schemes investigative project.