| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Zelenskyy praises Germany’s ‘determination’

In his nightly video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed admiration for the resolute efforts of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in extending assistance to Ukraine, a nation devastated by war. Zelenskyy revealed that he had a phone conversation with Scholz, during which he conveyed his gratitude for the provision of air defense systems. These systems played a vital role in safeguarding the lives of numerous Ukrainians from Russian attacks.
“And I thank Olaf, Mr. Chancellor, for his personal determination, which in many ways becomes the determination for all of Europe,” he continued in the video message.

“The Russian terror must be defeated every day and every night, in the skies of every Ukrainian city and village,” he said.

Germany’s initial hesitance to provide military aid to Ukraine drew flak. But Berlin has since changed its stance and has started providing Ukraine with heavy battle tanks and air defense systems.
The governor of of the southern Russian region of Krasnodar said a drone was the likely cause of a fire that broke out at the Afipsky oil refinery.

Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said on the Telegram messaging app that the fire was soon extinguished and there were no casualties.

Meanwhile, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Ukrainian forces had shelled the Russian town of Shebekino, damaging buildings and setting vehicles on fire.

On Monday, Gladkov said two industrial facilities in the town, some 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) north of the border with Ukraine, had been hit. The governor on Saturday said he himself had come under artillery fire when trying to enter the town.

Russian officials say 5 killed in Luhansk
Russian administrators in Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk said at least five people were killed and 19 wounded in a nighttime bombardment that they blamed on Ukraine.

“The strike on the village of Karpaty by Ukrainian armed groups… killed five and wounded 19,” the Russian security authorities posted on Telegram.

They said a poultry farm and temporary accommodation for workers were damaged in the attack on Karpaty, 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Luhansk city.
Rafael Grossi, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has proposed five principles to prevent damage to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant that has been occupied by Russian-backed forces.

“There should be no attack of any kind from or against the plant, in particular targeting the reactors, spent fuel storage, other critical infrastructure, or personnel,” Grossi said at the UN Security Council in New York.

However, both Ukraine and Russia have not committed to the proposed guidelines.

Russia said it will do all it can to protect the power plant, but it did not commit to the proposal.

Ukraine, on the other hand, said the principles “must be complemented with the demand of full demilitarization and deoccupation of the station.”

Repeated military encounters near Zaporizhzhia, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, have stoked fears of a nuclear disaster.

The UN nuclear chief this week described the situation at Zaporizhzhia as “extremely fragile and dangerous.”

The six units of the power plant have been shut down but the nuclear material must continue to be cooled. Grossi also asked for external power supply for the plant.

Missile hits Zaporizhzhia apartment building

Zelenskyy said the air defense systems were key to his defense policy. He said that so far Germany has provided the Ukraine military with aid worth €3 billion ($3.21 billion).

  • DW