Ukraine, Briefly

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This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a ceasefire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas, following a call by Russian Patriarch Kirill for guns to go silent over the holiday, NPR reported. The truce will be in effect for 36 hours beginning at noon on Jan. 6 – many people celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 6 and 7. Putin’s order came days after Russia launched a barrage of missiles and exploding drones on New Year’s Eve toward a number of Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, the New York Times wrote. Shortly after the dawn of the New Year, Ukraine launched its missiles towards a vocational school housing Russian soldiers in Makiivka, a town in a Russian-occupied area of the eastern Donetsk region, NBC noted. The Ukrainian strike killed at least 89 troops with the Russians blaming the attack on its soldiers’ use of cell phones.

In other Ukraine-related news:

  • Putin has sent one of his country’s most modern warships, armed with advanced hypersonic missiles, on a long cruise via the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and into the Indian Ocean, CNN wrote. The frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” departed from an unspecified northern Russian port Wednesday.
  • Ukraine and the European Union will hold a summit in Kyiv on Feb. 3 to discuss financial and military support, Agence France-Presse said. Meanwhile, Germany said it was open to using billions of euros in frozen Russian assets to assist Ukraine in rebuilding – as long as legal issues can be resolved and allies follow suit, Bloomberg added.
  • Germany’s newly built liquefied natural gas facility received its first complete cargo from the US, as Berlin rushes to shore up its supply following the collapse of its decades-long energy partnership with Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the EU’s natural gas storage levels are at about 84 percent and were higher in December than the average amount in reserve half a decade ago, according to the EU’s executive office, despite Russian attempts to block off supply as part of its conflict on Ukraine, the Associated Press added.

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