This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (December 1)

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Ukraine is facing difficulties finding enough troops to fight in the war. Image

Political Developments

“We do not intend to bring Ukraine into a position it does not want by reducing arms deliveries,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday, denying a report in BILD that claimed Berlin and Washington intend to drip-feed future military aid to Kyiv to force it to enter talks with Moscow on ending the war.

Rome has entered dialogue with Kyiv on security guarantees, the Ukrainian government announced this week. A Ukrainian statement said, “Italy’s provision of security guarantees to Ukraine will be an important step towards our country’s membership in the European Union and NATO.”

According to the Ministry of Strategic Industries of Ukraine,  Ukrainian defense manufacturers have tripled production year over year and the forecast is for this to increase sixfold in 2024. Missile and ammunition production will be a core focus for Ukrainian defense spending next year, with the government expecting to devote UAH175 billion ($4.8 billion) towards these weapons.

Military Assistance to Ukraine

Ukraine has received about 30 percent of the 1 million artillery shells the E.U. promised to deliver, according to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Ukrainian officials blame Polish authorities for inaction as trucker blockades at the border cause traffic chaos and hinder humanitarian aid deliveries, leaving thousands of vehicles stranded.

Denmark plans to provide an additional DKK 2.3 billion ($336 million) to Ukraine in 2023, as well as an additional DKK 23.5 billion ($3.4 billion) for support between 2025-2027. When including previously planned investments, the additional funds bring total planned aid for Ukraine to DKK 60.4 billion ($8.8 billion) between 2023-2028.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenber said he is confident the U.S. will continue its military support for Ukraine, despite pushback from some lawmakers in Congress about providing additional funding. Stoltenber said the challenge is to sustain support for the war effort moving forward. An annual poll from the Ronald Regain Institute found that 59 percent of respondents supported continued military aid. That figure rose to 67 percent when the question was framed alongside the Reagan doctrine of supporting allies against aggression.

The Pentagon is working to bolster support for Ukraine security assistance at home, arguing that investment in the Ukrainian military benefits the U.S. defense industrial base. Congress has provided billions of dollars to replace equipment donated to Ukraine.

The United States is in talks with Greece concerning a possible munitions purchase.  Washington wants these munitions to support the Ukrainian military.

The European Council approved an additional EUR194 million to train Ukrainian soldiers. The council said in a statement, “This support will continue facilitating large-scale training of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and enable EU member states to provide required training equipment and supplies.”

Paris may deliver six Mirage 2000 combat jets to Ukraine, according to reports.

Battlefield Updates

Ukraine is facing difficulties finding enough troops to fight in the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has resisted signing legislation passed by parliament that would open the door to drafting an additional 140,000 potential conscripts.

Russia has a much larger population than Ukraine and has demonstrated its willingness to incur high casualties to gain even small amounts of territory. As many as 650,000 conscription-aged Ukrainian men have left the country for Europe since February 2022.

Russia carried out additional air strikes on Ukrainian territory.  These air strikes took place during the night of November 27, including one in the Zaporizhzhia region.  The Ukrainian air defenses did destroy a Russian attack drone.

The Ukrainian military has performed a successful attack on three Russian command posts, as well as two munitions depots.  This announcement could not be independently verified.

The Ukrainian military has engaged another wave of attack drones launched by Russia.  According to Ukrainian officials, 14 of 20 attack drones were intercepted by its air defense units.  The attack took place during the night of November 30.

Russian forces continue their advance on the town of Avdiivka, located in eastern Ukraine. Russia has been trying to take the town since mid-October and is pushing in on all sides. The town has suffered extensive damage and most of its residents have already fled.

Russia conducted its largest drone attack against Ukraine since the start of the war, launching 75 Iranian Shahed loitering munitions over the span of more than six hours. Ukraine says it shot down 74 of the munitions, most of which were targeted at Kyiv.

A day after the attack, Russia claimed it shot down 24 Ukrainian drones inside of Russian territory. Another 53 Ukrainian drones were reportedly intercepted over Ukrainian territory controlled by Russia. Moscow also said it intercepted 17 HIMARS rockets.

The wife of the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency has been diagnosed with heavy metals poisoning and is being treated at a hospital.

Russian Army Major Gen. Vladimir Zavadsky was reportedly killed in Ukraine November 28. His death was reported by various Russian sources but was not confirmed by the Russian defense ministry.

An image posted on social media appears to indicate that Russian forces operating near Melitopol have fired Chinese-made mortar rounds.

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