Russia’s campaign of airstrikes against Ukrainian critical infrastructure has continued over recent weeks Two of the largest bombardments since the war began occurred on 16 and 29 December, with over 70 and 120 missiles fired respectively. Ukrainian air defences were reportedly successful in downing some of the incoming missiles. There were widespread reports of power outages in cities across Ukraine, and the attacks were criticised by the British ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, who said Russia’s actions showed “Russia does not want peace with Ukraine, Russia wants the subjugation of Ukraine”. Heavy fighting continued in the east and south of the country amid no sign of imminent peace talks. President Zelensky received a warm reception in Washington on 21 December on his first trip outside the country since Russia’s invasion on 24 February. At a White House meeting, US President Joe Biden affirmed Washington’s continued financial, military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, including a further $1.85 billion in aid, which for the first time included Patriot air defence missiles.
Read more in the attached pdf on: Ukrainian counter-attacks on Russian territory; cooperation between Belarus and Russia; stalled diplomacy; Western military and financial assistance to Ukraine; military support to Russia from Iran and North Korea; the humanitarian consequences of the armed conflict; the risk of nuclear weapon use; investigations into alleged war crimes; sanctions against Russia; international food security and Ukrainian grain exports; energy security in Europe; the position of China; other developments in Russia and Ukraine; and developments within NATO.