Ukraine, Briefly

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This week, Russia said that the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine by the end of the year is “out of the question,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who added that any peace deal with Kyiv is “impossible,” the Washington Post wrote. Peskov told reporters that Kyiv needed to recognize the “new realities” that had emerged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, including Moscow’s illegal takeover of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine. His comments came a few days after former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow was stepping up the manufacturing of next-generation weaponry to defend itself against foes in Europe, the US, and Australia, Agence France-Presse added. At the same time, British intelligence officials warned that Moscow is trying to obtain “hundreds of ballistic missiles” from Iran, The Hill noted.

Also this week:

  • The United States is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, CNN reported. Kyiv has been calling for weeks for weapons to intercept the barrage of Russian missiles and drone strikes that have destroyed key infrastructure across the country. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is expanding the training provided to Ukrainian troops, with plans to more than double the number of men being instructed at a German base, according to the New York Times. Also, the EU agreed to add an extra $2.13 billion to a fund intended to pay for military assistance to Ukraine, Euronews wrote.
  • Elsewhere, Russia’s close ally Belarus appointed a new foreign minister and air force chief while announcing a snap military inspection, the latest in a series of drills that has alarmed neighboring Ukraine, Reuters noted. Belarus has said that it will not enter the conflict, yet President Alexander Lukashenko enabled Russia to invade northern Ukraine from Belarusian territory on Feb. 24 and ordered troops to deploy near the Ukrainian border in October.
  • Ukrainian officials in Kharkiv are collecting the remnants of Russian munitions and missiles fired at the city, saying they are keeping them as evidence against Moscow, according to the BBC. Kharkiv has suffered from heavy Russian shelling and air strikes since the start of the war in February.

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