UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – American military aid to Ukraine could be cut sharply in the coming weeks, due to a lack of budget agreement with the Republican opposition.
A Russian general killed in the combat zone in Ukraine, Ukraine says it shot down 18 Russian drones and a missile during the night, the Polish-Ukrainian border is unblocked, Russian troops further intensify their attacks on Avdiïvka, according to Ukraine …Le Figaro takes stock of the situation in Ukraine this Monday, December 4.
Ending US aid to Ukraine ‘will allow Putin to win,’ Washington warns
A halt to the flow of military aid to Ukraine from the United States would let Russian President Vladimir Putin win the war, a senior White House official said Monday, once again urging the US Congress to pass funding additional. “Congress must decide whether to continue supporting the fight for freedom in Ukraine (…), or whether it will ignore the lessons we have learned from history and allow Putin to prevail”Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said at a press conference.
The United States “runs out of money” to help Ukraine
“We’re running out of money and soon to run out of time»: according to the White House, American military aid to Ukraine could be cut sharply in the coming weeks, due to lack of budget agreement with the Republican opposition. At stake: an exceptional envelope of more than 100 billion dollars requested by Democratic President Joe Biden on October 20 from Congress to respond to the major emergencies of the moment, namely helping Israel and Ukraine, standing up to China and responding to arrivals of migrants at the southern border. “I want to be clear: If Congress does not act, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to deliver more weapons and equipment to Ukraine and to supply material from stockpiles American military», writes White House Budget Director Shalanda Young, in a letter addressed to Mike Johnson, head of the House of Representatives, with a Republican majority.
Which sharply threw the ball back to him on the social network X (formerly Twitter): “The Biden administration is incapable of responding to the legitimate concerns (of conservatives) of my parliamentary group about the lack of a clear strategy for Ukraine, about an outcome of the conflict, or about how to supervise the use of the money American taxpayers.» Shalanda Young’s letter is published at a time when Ukraine has recognized the failure of its summer counter-offensive, and as Russia launches repeated assaults in particular against the town of Avdiïvka, in the east of the country .
Russian general killed in Ukraine
A Russian general, high ranking in the Northern Fleet, was killed in the combat zone in Ukraine, the governor of the Russian region of Voronezh (southwest) announced Monday where this officer had served. “Brigadier General Vladimir Zavadski, deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps of the Northern Fleet, died at a combat post in the special operation zone» in Ukraine, Governor Alexandre Goussev said on Telegram, without providing details on the circumstances of his death.
“18 attack drones and one Kh-59 missile were shot down”
Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses indicated that they had shot down a missile and 18 of the 23 drones launched during the night from Sunday to Monday, December 4 by Russia. “18 attack drones and one Kh-59 missile were shot down“, indicated the Ukrainian Air Force in its morning press release. The southern regions of Kherson and Mykolaiv were targeted, as well as Ivanov-Frankivsk, Khmelnytsky and Lviv (west), according to the army.
According to the Ukrainian army, drones managed to strike the districts of Kherson and Beryslav (south), on the banks of the Dnieper River, damaging a cultural center and a DIY store. Russia launches drone and missile attacks against Ukraine almost every night. kyiv accuses Kremlin to seek to terrorize the civilian population and destroy its energy infrastructure in order, like last winter, to plunge the population into darkness and cold.
A first step towards unblocking the Polish-Ukrainian border
The first trucks, without loading, crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border on Monday morning, Ukrainian border guards announced, a first step towards de-escalation after a month of blocking of the border by Polish truckers. The Ougryniv-Dolhobyczow crossing point was opened for heavy goods vehicles at 1 a.m. local time (11 p.m. GMT), and thirty empty trucks were able to enter Poland from Ukraine, Ukrainian border guards said in the morning.
Polish transport companies blocked at the beginning of November first three, then all four border crossings intended for the passage of heavy goods vehicles between Ukraine and Poland to protest against Ukrainian truck drivers whose competition they consider “unfair“. The blockage has created endless queues at the border and represents a major economic problem for kyiv, which relies heavily on the route for its exports and imports of goods.
Russian troops further intensify their attacks on Avdiivka, according to Ukraine
Russian troops have further stepped up their assault on the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, attacking from two additional directions in a bid to encircle the town, local authorities reported on Monday. The Russian army has been trying to seize this fortified industrial city in Donbass for almost two months, so much so that Avdiivka has become the main hot spot on the front since the failure of the Ukrainian summer counter-offensive. According to its mayor, Vitaly Barabach, the Russian assaults were “much more numerous» in the last two days, as have the artillery bombardments. “The third wave of enemy assaults differs from the previous two in that it is launched from two new directions“, explained the Ukrainian official.
According to him, these attacks aim to “distract attention as much as possible» Ukrainian soldiers, while Russian forces continue in parallel their attempts to encircle Avdiïvka from the South and the North. “It is very likely that they are waiting for more favorable weather conditions to use military equipment in these areas“, he said. “The launch of new directions proves that the enemy has been ordered to capture the city at all costs“, he estimated, specifying that 1,295 civilians were still in the city. According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank based in the United States which relies on geolocated images, Russian troops have “made confirmed progress» in recent days in the Avdiïvka area. The Telegram channel DeepState, close to the Ukrainian army, reported on Sunday evening a situation “tense» on the forehead and “partial successes» of the Russian army near Stepove, a village located northeast of Avdiïvka. The Ukrainian army, for its part, claims to repel Russian attacks and inflict heavy losses on its adversary.
Six Nepalis killed fighting for Russia, one captured in Ukraine
Nepal said on Monday (December 4) that six Nepalese mercenaries fighting for the Russian army were killed in Ukraine, where another was captured. Kathmandu urged Moscow to stop using Nepalese mercenaries and send all serving men home. The Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had received information about the death of “six Nepalese citizens while serving in the Russian army» and mentioned another citizen “detained in Ukraine after being recruited into the Russian army“.
The ministry did not provide details on the circumstances in which the six mercenaries were killed, nor those concerning the one who was arrested. The statement follows a warning issued in August by Kathmandu calling on its citizens not to engage in security-related contracts in war-torn countries. “The government of Nepal asked the Russian government to repatriate the bodies of the victims to Nepal and compensate the families of the victims“, indicated the ministry. “Nepal has asked the Russian government not to recruit Nepali citizens and to return them as soon as possible if they are recruited.»
Economic losses linked to the war estimated at “more than 400 million euros”
After less than three weeks of blockage, Ukrainian employers, which represents 8,000 companies, already estimated the economic losses at “more than 400 million euros“. kyiv announced on Sunday that it had reached an initial agreement with Warsaw to open the Ougryniv crossing point, which was not until now used for the passage of heavy trucks. This decision only concerns empty vehicles coming from Ukraine to Poland. Previously, at least two rounds of talks between kyiv, Warsaw and Polish truckers failed. Polish protesters say their income has fallen, pointing in particular to the abandonment of a permit system that governed the entry of Ukrainian transport companies into the European Union.
The EU abandoned this system to support Kiev after the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. First signed for one year in June 2022, an agreement aimed at liberalizing the transport of goods between Ukraine and the EU was then extended until June 2024. Road transport is particularly important for Ukraine, as its imports and exports by sea, in the Black Sea, are hampered by the Russian invasion. The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean, denounced at the end of November the “lack of involvement» of the Polish authorities to find a solution to the blockade threatening to apply “an infringement procedure» against Warsaw.