President Volodymyr Zelenskiy presents award to a Ukrainian soldier in the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, December 20, 2022

Friday’s Coverage: Ukrainians Withstand Another Russian Missile Barrage

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine Energy Minister German Galushchenko says Russian strikes have not caused serious damage to the national system today.

DTEK, the country’s largest private energy provider, has cancelled emergency power outages in the Kyiv region.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has recorded a video message for Russians about Moscow’s missile attacks across Ukraine today.

[Putin] hides behind you and burns your country and your future. Terror will never forgive you. No one in the world will forgive you for this. Ukraine will not forgive.


Scenes in Kyiv and in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine….


An elderly man has been killed in the Solomyanski district of Kyiv by Russian attacks, reports Mayor Vitaly Klitschko in an update.

Eight people, including a Japanese journalist, have been injured in two explosions in the district. One is in critical condition.

A total of 20 people have been wounded in the capital — with 14 of them hospitalized — and 28 injured across the country.


Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko reports explosions in the Pecherskyi and Holosiivskyi districts of the capital: “There is destruction. Rescuers and medics are rushing to the spots.”

He said three women were injured in the Solomyanskyi district and have been taken to hospital.

The Ukraine Presidential office says a hotel was hit and a detached house damaged by the falling wreckage of a downed missile.

The mayor of Mykolaiv city, Oleksandr Sienkevych. says residential houses have been hit and a fire set.

Two people have been wounded in the city of Khmelnytskyi by a drone strike.


Russia is struggling to hold occupied territory in Ukraine, but commentators on Russian State TV are discussing a “fourth partition of Poland”: “We can give them some parts and take everything else.”


Russia may be launching another wave of missiles across Ukraine.

Soon after a nationwide alert, explosions were heard in Kyiv, apparently from air defenses downing missiles. Blasts have also been reported in the cities of Khmelnytskyi and Zaporizhzhia and in the Kharkiv region.

Several regions have cut off electricity to reduce the load on the power system in case the Russians damage infrastructure.


In its latest ploy to get men on the frontlines in Ukraine, the Kremlin has decreed that they will be exempt from income tax.

The measure covers fighters in the four Ukrainian regions — Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in south — which Vladimir Putin has declared to be Russian territory. The exemption is backdated to the invasion’s launch date of February 24.

The decrees also allows Russian forces in Ukraine to receive “rewards and gifts” if they are of “a humanitarian character”.

With its invasion in trouble and after a chaotic mobilization in the autumn, the Kremlin has rolled out incentives such as cash and the promise of financial aid to families if fighters are killed or wounded.

Earlier this week, Russian officials said soldiers serving in Ukraine will be eligible for free sperm freezing and storage in cryobanks.


The Chief of Rabbi of Moscow, now living in exile in Israel, says Jews should leave Russia before they are made scapegoats for Vladimir Putin’s failing invasion of Ukraine.

Pinchas Goldschmidt told The Guardian:

When we look back over Russian history, whenever the political system was in danger you saw the government trying to redirect the anger and discontent of the masses towards the Jewish community. We saw this in tsarist times and at the end of the Stalinist regime.

We’re seeing rising antisemitism while Russia is going back to a new kind of Soviet Union, and step by step the Iron Curtain is coming down again. This is why I believe the best option for Russian Jews is to leave.

Goldschmidt left Russia in July. He explained, “Pressure was put on community leaders to support the war and I refused to do so. I resigned because to continue as chief rabbi of Moscow would be a problem for the community because of the repressive measures taken against dissidents.”

In July, the Russian Government shut down the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency, a non-profit organisation that promotes immigration to Israel.

In 1926, there were 2,672,000 Jews in the Soviet Union, 59% of them in Ukraine. Today, after waves of repression during the Soviet era, only about 165,000 Jews remain in the Russian Federation.

Goldschmidt said he believed that since the war began, 25% to 30% of Jews who remained had left or were planning to do so, despite limited flights and the cost of travel to Tel Aviv quadrupling to about $2,000.


Ten years ago today….

Voldoymyr Zelenskiy, now President of Ukraine, co-hosts a New Year’s special on Russian State outlet Russia 1.

Zelenskiy and Russian comedian Maxim Galkin joke about the traditions of New Year’s drinking, Russian potato salad and pop singers, and a new law banning the promotion of smoking and alcohol.


A Russian court has sentenced journalist Ernes Ametov to 11 years in prison, two years after he was acquitted on identical charges and released from custody.

The court did not cite any new circumstances for the retrial of Ametov, a Crimean Tatar.

The original trial of Ametov and seven other civic journalists and activists attracted international condemnation. It ended in acquittals in September 2020.

Ametov’s acquittal was revoked on March 14, less than three weeks after the launch of Russia’s invasion.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Ukrainian armed forces are “slowly advancing” in some areas of eastern Ukraine and “hold our positions” against Russia’s attempt to gain territory anywhere on the front.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy reviewed the position after more than 10 months of the Russian invasion.

He said the main thing” is the fight in the Donbas — the Donetsk and Luhansk regions — with the “fiercest battles” in Bakhmut, Soledar, and Kreminna.

Russian forces have tried since May to overrun Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, a salt-mining center which had about 70,000 residents before the invasion and now has about 12,000.

The city lost much of its strategic importance when Ukraine liberated the neighboring Kharkiv region and part of Donetsk in September, but the Russians — looking for a symbolic victory to counter the Ukrainian advances in the east and south — have thrown in wave after wave of troops and Wagner Group mercenaries. Much of Bakhmut has been levelled by artillery attacks.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are advancing gradually on Kreminna in the Luhansk region, almost all of which was seized by Russia in July. The liberation of the city would open the way to Lysychansk and Sevierodonetsk, the last cities in Luhansk that held out against the Russians this summer.

Zelenskiy briefly referred to the south, where Ukraine liberated much of the Kherson region including Kherson city last month. And he emphasized the importance of defense against Russia’s waves of missile and drone strikes.

This year, we not only maintained our air defenses, but we made them stronger than ever. But in the new year Ukrainian air defense will become even stronger, even more effective.

Ukrainian air defense can become the most powerful in Europe, and this will be a guarantee of security not only for our country, but also for the entire continent.