ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Ukraine war: Free to read

Ukraine from Dec. 8 to Jan. 6: U.S., Germany pledge armored vehicles in latest aid

Ukraine urges Japan's Kishida to visit as G-7 chair; Putin's truce rejected

The U.S. will supply Ukraine with Bradley fighting vehicles and train Ukrainian forces to use them.

This blog file is now closed. For the latest developments, head over here.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022 continues, with casualties rising on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are mounting a strong counteroffensive against Russian troops, reclaiming territory lost when Moscow launched its invasion.

Ukraine has managed to withstand the Russian onslaught with the help of Western military aid, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regularly calls on the world to do more. For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

How Ukraine war shook and shaped Asia in 2022

'Rogue Russia' and 'Maximum Xi' top 2023 risks: Eurasia Group

Vietnam steps away from Russia reliance with first defense expo

Ukraine defense minister nixes early peace talks with Moscow

Cambodia to train Ukraine land mine clearance personnel: Hun Sen

Note: Nikkei Asia decided on March 5 to suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code. Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Here are the latest developments:

Friday, Jan. 6 (Tokyo time)

4:30 a.m. The leaders of the U.S. and Germany announce new military aid to Ukraine, joining France in pledging armored fighting vehicles for the war effort.

The U.S. will supply Ukraine with Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles while Germany intends to provide Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles, President Joe Biden and Chancellor Olaf Scholz say in a joint press statement after a phone call.

The statement does not say when the vehicles will arrive in Ukraine, but the leaders say that Ukrainian forces will be trained to use them. The new U.S. weapons package for Ukraine will include about 50 Bradleys, Reuters reports, citing two U.S. officials.

The announcement follows France's promise to send AMX-10 RC armored combat vehicles to Ukraine.

All of these pledges stop short of supplying Ukraine with heavily armored, big-gunned tanks, which no Western nation has yet to provide. The Bradley and Marder fighting vehicles were designed as armored personnel carriers for reconnaissance.

To bolster Ukraine's air defenses, Germany will join the U.S. in supplying an additional Patriot missile battery, the leaders say.

1:50 a.m. Ukraine has rejected a unilateral cease fire declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who seeks a truce during the Orthodox Christmas holiday. Read more.

"RF must leave the occupied territories -- only then will it have a 'temporary truce,'" Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says, referring to the Russian Federation.

Thursday, Jan. 5

10:00 p.m. Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to visit, the president's chief of staff says.

Andriy Yermak met with the Japanese ambassador to Ukraine, Kuninori Matsuda, on Thursday, according to the presidential office.

Yermak congratulated Japan on assuming the Group of Seven presidency for 2023 and said regular talks between Zelenskyy and G-7 leaders are an effective way to rally the international community against Russian aggression.

"We look forward to new results of this cooperation," Yermak said.

Among G-7 leaders, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with Zelenskyy in Ukraine last November. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italy's then-Prime Minister Mario Draghi made a joint visit to Kyiv in June.

Kishida visited Ukraine in 2013 while he was Japan's foreign minister.

Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to visit. (Nikkei montage/Zelenskyy photo by Reuters)

2:00 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a frigate armed with the country's latest Zircon hypersonic missile on a transoceanic cruise, a show of force as tensions with the West escalate over the war in Ukraine. Russia says Zircon missiles can evade any Western air defense by flying at an astounding 11,265 kilometers per hour. Commissioned by the navy in 2018 following long trials, the Admiral Gorshkov is the first ship in a new series of frigates designed to replace the Russian navy's aging Soviet-built destroyers as a key strike component.

The Admiral Gorshkov is the first ship in a new series of frigates designed to replace the Russian navy's aging Soviet-built destroyers.   © AP

1:30 p.m. CES is not allowing Russian companies to display their products at the annual tech show because of the country's invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association, the trade group putting together the event in Las Vegas, said the move has only impacted one potential exhibitor. No Russian exhibitors were present at last year's show, but four attended virtually in 2021, the spokesperson said. The U.S. is among about 30 countries that have sanctioned Russia over the invasion.

10:30 a.m. Australia announces it will boost its defense capabilities by spending more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($700 million) on new advanced missile and rocket systems, including U.S.-made HIMARS which have been successfully used by Ukraine's military. In Ukraine, the truck-mounted HIMARS have proved crucial in enabling Ukrainian forces to hit key targets, including a recent strike on one building that killed at least 89 Russian soldiers.

A French AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicle, center, takes part in joint exercises with German forces. The vehicle was designed as a tank killer.   © Reuters

5:00 a.m. France will become the first Western nation to supply armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

The presidential office, which announced the provision of the AMX-10 RC vehicles, did not say how many would be sent to Ukraine, or when.

Developed as tank destroyers, the AMX-10 RC travels on wheels, not tracks like tanks. France will also sent Bastion armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for the pledge of armor "as well as for intensifying work with partners in the same direction."

U.S. President Joe Biden said "yes" when asked on Wednesday whether his administration was considering sending armored Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine, Reuters reports.

So far, the U.S. has stopped short of supplying Ukraine with tanks but has supported refurbishing Soviet-era Czech T-72 tanks for deployment in the war-torn country.

12:00 a.m. As Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives feud over the choice of the next speaker of the House, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanks outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Zelenskyy and Pelosi met both in Kyiv and in Washington, where the Ukrainian leader delivered an address to Congress last month.

Wednesday, Jan. 4

6:01 p.m. Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine have heightened Japanese defense policymakers' awareness of the need to protect power, water and other lifelines. Now, Tokyo's plans are changing.

The Japanese government will task the country's Self-Defense Forces with protecting critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants, Nikkei has learned. Read more.

5:30 p.m. The top two risks for the world in 2023 are Russia turning into the "world's most dangerous rogue state" and President Xi Jinping's "virtually unfettered" grip on power in China, according to a new Eurasia Group report.

"A humiliated Russia will turn from global player into the world's most dangerous rogue state, posing a serious security threat to Europe, the United States, and beyond," the U.S.-based risk advisory says.

Eurasia Group warns that, with little to lose from further isolation and Western retaliation, and facing intense domestic pressure to show strength, Russia will "turn to asymmetric warfare against the West to inflict damage and weaken NATO unity." Read more.

11:30 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House on Jan. 13 for economic and security consultations, the U.S. administration announces. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the meeting will include discussions of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, climate change and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

This satellite photo shows buildings, among them a school that was used to house mobilized Russian troops, after they were hit in a strike in Makiivka, Russian-controlled Ukraine, on Jan. 3. (Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters)

7:28 a.m. Russia's defense ministry updates the death toll from a Ukrainian attack on Makiivka over the weekend, noting that 89 servicemen were killed, reports Reuters.

"It is already obvious that the main reason for what happened was the switching on and massive use -- contrary to the prohibition -- by personnel of mobile phones in a reach zone of enemy weapons," the ministry said in a statement.

A Ukrainian service member fires a next generation light anti-tank weapon (NLAW) supplied by Britain during drills in January 2022. Britain has pledged long-term support for war-torn Ukraine. (Photo by Ukrainian Defense Ministry)

1:00 a.m. Ukraine can count on British support "for the long term," U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tells President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call.

Britain's commitment is demonstrated by the recent delivery of more than 1,000 anti-air missiles, the prime minister's office says in a statement.

"The leaders discussed the abhorrent drone attacks on Ukraine in recent days, and the prime minister said the thoughts of the U.K. were with the Ukrainian people as they continued to live under such bombardment," the prime minister's office says.

Zelenskyy says in a Twitter post that he and Sunak had "agreed to intensify our efforts to bring victory closer this year."

"We already have concrete decisions for this," Zelenskyy says.

Tuesday, Jan. 3

9:23 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirms that Ukraine "needs our support more than ever" as he hosts Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Paris, with Sweden having taken over the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Sweden on assuming the bloc's presidency, saying that "we're expecting further practical steps on the path of Ukraine's integration into the EU.

9:11 p.m. Young acrobats from circus schools across Ukraine dazzled audiences in the Hungarian capital of Budapest this week when the city hosted a festival to showcase the talents of children forced by the war to train underground or without electricity. The children ages 6-17 gave over 30 performances alongside competitors from Hungary, Switzerland, Mexico and Italy at Budapest's Capital Circus.

"As these children are training in air raid shelters by candlelight from morning to night, [we thought] there must be a place where they can show their talent and knowledge," Budapest Circus director Peter Fekete said.

Ukrainian Veronika Nepomniashcha performs during the Yaskrava Arena Dnipro International Children's Circus Festival in Budapest, Hungary on Jan. 2.   © Reuters

10:00 a.m. Japan's "anti-Russian course" makes peace treaty talks impossible, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko says. Russia and Japan have not formally ended World War II hostilities because of their standoff over islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war that sit off Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.

"It is absolutely obvious that it is impossible to discuss the signing of such a document (a peace treaty) with a state that takes openly unfriendly positions and allows itself direct threats against our country," Rudenko told the state Tass news agency in an interview. "We are not seeing signs of Tokyo moving away from the anti-Russian course and any attempt to rectify the situation."

Ukrainian personnel in the country's Donetsk region prepare cannon shells before firing them toward positions of Russian troops on Jan. 1.   © Reuters

Monday, Jan. 2

10:30 p.m. Sixty-three Russian servicemen have been killed in a Ukrainian missile strike on their temporary accommodation in the town of Makiivka, in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine's Donetsk region, Reuters reports, citing Russia's Defense Ministry.

12:20 p.m. A Ukrainian drone attack damaged a power supply facility in Russia's Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine, the regional governor says on Monday, adding that there were no casualties. "A Ukrainian drone attack was carried out this morning on the Klimovsky district," Gov. Alexander Bogomaz says on Telegram. "All emergency services are on site. As a result of the strike, the power supply facility was damaged, and there is no electricity."

New Year's Eve in Kyiv: Residents mill outside a building damaged during a Russian missile strike.   © Reuters

10:30 a.m. Russia on Monday was targeting Ukraine's critical infrastructure in a series of drone attacks on Kyiv and the region surrounding it, officials say. Russia on Sunday had pounded Kyiv for the second night in a row, after firing a barrage of missiles over the capital the previous night and earlier in the day. "It is loud in the region and in the capital: night drone attacks," Kyiv Gov. Oleksiy Kuleba said on the Telegram messaging app. "Russians launched several waves of (Iranian-made) Shahed drones. Targeting critical infrastructure facilities. Air defense is at work."

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

8:37 p.m. Ukraine's Air Force command said it had destroyed 45 Iranian-made Shahed drones overnight -- 32 of them on Sunday after midnight and 13 late on Saturday. That was on top of 31 missile attacks and 12 air strikes across the country in the past 24 hours.

Ukrainian soldiers watch Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's New Years Eve address to the nation, in a military rest house, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in region of Donetsk, Ukraine, Dec.31, 2022.    © Reuters

7:55 a.m. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that his only wish for all Ukrainians for 2023 was victory and resolved to stay the course while the country fights for it.

"I want to wish all of us one thing - victory. And that's the main thing. One wish for all Ukrainians," Zelenskiy, dressed in his trademark khaki outfit, said in a video message a few minutes before midnight. "We were told to surrender. We chose a counterattack!" he said.

"We are ready to fight for it (freedom). That's why each of us is here. I'm here. We are here. You are here. Everyone is here. We are all Ukraine."

12:47 a.m. Russia fires more than 20 cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine on Saturday, killing at least one person in the capital, Kyiv, and injuring more than a dozen in an attack that Ukrainian human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets calls "terror on New Year's Eve."

Moscow's second major missile attack in three days damages a hotel south of Kyiv's center and a residential building in another district. A Japanese journalist is among the wounded and taken to hospital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko says.

"The terrorist country is congratulating the Ukrainian people with missiles," Lubinets said. "But we are indestructible and unconquerable. There is no fear, but the fury is rising. We will definitely win."

Saturday, Dec. 31

11:57 p.m. President Vladimir Putin devotes his annual New Year's address to rallying the Russian public behind his troops fighting in Ukraine and pledging victory over Ukrainian "neo-Nazis" and a West supposedly intent on "destroying Russia."

For months, the Kremlin presented the conflict as a limited campaign that would affect few Russians. But Putin's speech, delivered in front of grim-faced soldiers, tells families that the months ahead will require support and sacrifice from everyone.

Destroyed tanks and armored vehicles lie piled up in Lyman in October after Ukrainian forces drove out Russian troops.    © Reuters

5:00 a.m. As 2022 draws to a close, Russian and Ukrainian losses continue to mount. But Russian forces have borne the brunt of the attrition, estimates show.

Russia had lost about 8,500 pieces of equipment in the war as of Dec. 24, about triple Ukraine's total of roughly 2,660, estimates on the website Oryx show.

The website is documenting equipment losses -- destroyed, damaged, abandoned or captured vehicles and other machinery -- on both sides. Only losses backed by photographic or video evidence are counted, according to Oryx.

In terms of ballistic missiles, Ukraine's military estimates that Russia has enough supplies left for only two or three more of the massive waves of strikes that it has launched against Ukrainian cities.

In just three months of such attacks, Russia has used an estimated six years' worth of missile output -- 549 missiles, based on confirmed strikes.

4:30 a.m. The Biden administration has reportedly expressed concern about China's relations with Russia after Xi Jinping's call with Vladimir Putin.

"Beijing claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear it is still investing in close ties to Russia," Reuters quotes a State Department spokesperson as saying.

The U.S. reaction comes after Putin told Xi that he was looking forward to a visit from the Chinese leader next year and that the two presidents shared the same view on Western "pressure" and "provocations."

Friday, Dec. 30

7:30 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin tells Xi Jinping in a video meeting that he is looking forward to a visit by the Chinese leader to Moscow in spring 2023.

Putin says the visit would "demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties on key issues." But a readout of Xi's remarks makes no mention of the Moscow visit.

Xi has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but in September Putin revealed that the Chinese leader had "concerns" over Russia's actions. Read more.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a video meeting with China's President Xi Jinping on Dec. 30. (Sputnik via Reuters)

4:00 a.m. Kazakhstan seeks to ship oil to Germany through a Russian pipeline next year.

Kazakh oil pipeline company KazTransOil has applied to transport 1.2 million tonnes of oil bound for Germany through the Druzhba pipeline, Interfax reports, citing the company's news service. Moscow is prepared to approve Kazakhstan's application, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak is quoted as saying.

The European Union has agreed to stop buying seaborne Russian oil in order to sap Moscow's funding for its war in Ukraine, but the sprawling Druzhba pipeline itself is not covered by this restriction. German refineries are connected to the pipeline. Kazakh oil, most of which is piped through Russia, represents an alternative to Russian crude.

An oil field worker in Kazakhstan. Most of the Central Asian nation's oil flows to market through Russia.   © Reuters

12:30 a.m. Japanese insurers will continue covering ships sailing through Russian waters against war damage in January and beyond, reversing an earlier decision to halt coverage, Nikkei has learned.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Sompo Japan Insurance and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance had started informing clients on Dec. 23 that they would stop offering war risk coverage in Russian waters starting Jan. 1, after Western reinsurers withdrew coverage in Russia and Ukraine.

Ships need this additional layer of coverage in order to sail through areas where they could suffer damage from acts of war. Read more.

Thursday, Dec. 29

11:55 p.m. Belarus says it has downed a Ukrainian air defense missile on its territory.

Pieces of a what Belarusian authorities described as an S-300 missile were found in a field, state television reports. No casualties have been reported. Belarus lodged a protest with the Ukrainian ambassador.

In a statement, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense says it is ready to conduct an objective investigation of the incident. The ministry also says its does not rule out "a deliberate provocation by the terrorist state of Russia" to provoke the shootdown over Belarusian territory.

The apparently stray air interceptor fell on Belarus as Russia launched volleys of missiles against Ukraine in what Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called "senseless barbarism."

Russian ally Belarus allowed Russian forces on its territory in February but says it is not involved in Moscow's war on Ukraine.

This image shows that Belarus's defense ministry said was part of a Ukrainian S-300 missile downed by Belarusian forces in their territory on Dec. 29. (Vadzim Yakubionak/BelTA via Reuters)
A rescuer rests at a site of a house damaged during a Russian missile strike on Dec. 29.   © Reuters

3:00 a.m. Thanks to Ukraine, the world has remembered "what it means to be winners," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says in a speech to his country's parliament.

Zelenskyy says Ukraine's partners can feel they are sharing in the country's victories.

"We helped the West to find itself again, to return to the global arena and to feel how much the West prevails," the Ukrainian says in a speech that follows his trip to Washington, where he addressed the U.S. Congress.

"For the first time in history, some European countries have reconsidered the concept of neutrality and are resisting aggression together with us, together with Ukraine," he also says to his country's lawmakers.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awards a military pilot during a session of the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 28. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service via Reuters)

Wednesday, Dec. 28

11:00 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issues a statement marking four years since former American Marine Paul Whelan was detained in Russia.

"His detention remains unacceptable, and we continue to press for his immediate release at every opportunity," Blinken says. "I am committed to bringing home Paul and all U.S. hostages and wrongful detainees held around the world."

Convicted of spying, Whelan has been sentenced to 16 years in Russian prison. He denies the charges against him, and the U.S. has denounced the conviction as based on secret evidence.

Whelan's family says it hasn't given up on securing his freedom following the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner, who had been serving time in a Russian penal colony on a drug conviction. Griner was released earlier this month in a high-profile prisoner swap.

10:45 p.m. The Kremlin dismisses Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's 10-point peace plan, saying that proposals to end the conflict in Ukraine must consider what it calls "today's realities" of four Ukrainian regions having joined Russia.

"There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today's realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "Plans that do not take these realities into account cannot be peaceful."

A Ukrainian soldier prepares a mortar on the front line in the Ukrainian region of Donetsk.   © Reuters

1:00 p.m. Indian police are investigating the death of Russian businessman-turned-lawmaker Pavel Antov, 65, who was found Saturday in a pool of blood outside his hotel where he was on holiday in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, news outlets report.

Antov's death came two days after his friend and travel companion Vladimir Budanov, 61, died of a heart attack. Police think Antov fell from the hotel terrace.

Antov made his fortune in sausages before becoming a regional lawmaker. In June, he denied posting an anti-war message on social media.

3:00 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanks Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for her support for his country in a phone call.

Meloni tells Zelenskyy she intends to travel to Kyiv, and she invites him to visit Rome, she says in a Twitter post.

1:45 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order banning exports of oil and oil products to countries that have imposed a price cap on one of his country's most important goods.

The Group of Seven's $60 price ceiling on seaborne Russian crude is meant to limit Moscow's ability to fund its war in Ukraine. Putin had warned that it would cut off oil exports to any country abiding by the cap.

The order runs from Feb. 1 to July 1 of next year and grants Putin the power to make special exceptions. It applies to crude oil from Feb. 1, but the start date for the oil products ban will be set separately by the government.

The price cap, enforced by the G-7 nations, the European Union and Australia, comes on top of an EU embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea and similar pledges by the U.S., Canada, Japan and the U.K.

Tuesday, Dec. 27

7:16 a.m. Moscow's proposals for "demilitarization" and "denazification" of Ukraine are known to Kyiv, and it is up to Ukrainian authorities to fulfill them -- otherwise the Russian army will decide the issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says.

"Our proposals for the demilitarization and denazification of the territories controlled by the regime, the elimination of threats to Russia's security emanating from there, including our new lands, are well known to the enemy," Russian news cited Lavrov as saying. "The point is simple: Fulfill them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian army."

6:32 a.m. A drone believed to be Ukrainian penetrated hundreds of kilometers through Russian airspace, causing a deadly explosion at the main base for Moscow's strategic bombers -- the latest attack to expose gaps in Russia's air defenses. Moscow says it shot down the drone, causing it to crash at Engels air base, where three service members were killed.

Under its usual policy on incidents inside Russia, Ukraine did not comment. The base is the main airfield for the bombers that Kyiv says Moscow has used in recent months to attack Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

6:15 a.m. Nearly 9 million people remain without electricity in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says in his nightly video address, noting that power workers repairing the grid after repeated Russian attacks had reconnected many people over Christmas but problems persist.

Ukrainians pile wood from municipal trees into a wheelbarrow to burn for heat in Bakhmut on Dec. 26, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues.   © Reuters

12:20 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seeks India's help with enacting a "peace formula" in talks Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I had a phone call with PM Narendra Modi and wished a successful [Group of 20] presidency," Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. "It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation."

Modi conveyed support for any peace efforts during the call, India's government says. India, which has not explicitly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, seeks to strengthen trade with Moscow while Western nations introduce new measures to limit Russia's funding of the war.

Monday, Dec. 26

4:10 a.m. President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to talk, even as recent attacks in Kherson and other Ukrainian cities raise doubts as to whether peace is imminent.

Moscow is "prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process," Putin tells state television. He again blames Kyiv for not wanting to negotiate -- it has demanded a withdrawal as a precondition, which Moscow has rejected -- and claims that his country has "no other choice" and is acting in its national interests.

Putin's remarks come days after reports that he publicly called the conflict a "war" for the first time instead of the official term "special military operation."

Sunday, Dec. 25

10:38 p.m. Some Orthodox Ukrainians have decided to observe Christmas on Dec. 25, like many Christians around the world, instead of the traditional Jan. 7 shared with Russians, The Associated Press reports.

The leadership of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is not aligned with the Russian church and one of two branches of Orthodox Christianity in the country, agreed in October to allow the faithful to celebrate on Dec. 25, according to the AP.

9:52 p.m. Foreign Minister Wang Yi defends China's position on the war and signals a strengthening of "rock-solid" ties with Russia in the coming year.

China will "deepen strategic mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation" with Russia, he says in the official text of a speech. Warships from the two countries kicked off this year's Joint Sea annual naval drills in the East China Sea last week.

"With regard to the Ukraine crisis, we have consistently upheld the fundamental principles of objectivity and impartiality, without favoring one side or the other, or adding fuel to the fire, still less seeking selfish gains from the situation," Wang says.

Saturday, Dec. 24

1:00 a.m. Three Japanese insurers will stop insuring ships for war damage in all Russian waters on Jan. 1, a decision that could affect Japan's energy imports, Nikkei has learned. Read more.

Friday, Dec. 23

2:30 p.m. Russia may cut oil output by 5% to 7% in early 2023 as it responds to price caps on its crude and oil products by halting sales to the countries that support the caps, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak tells state television. Detailing for the first time the Russian response to the price caps introduced by the West over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Novak said the cuts could amount to 500,000 barrels to 700,000 barrels per day. The European Union, G-7 nations and Australia on Dec. 5 introduced a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil, on top of the EU's embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea and similar pledges by the United States, Canada, Japan and Britain.

Troops in armored vehicles participate in a military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army in Pyongyang, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 26. (KCNA via Reuters)

9:30 a.m. North Korea's foreign ministry denied a media report it supplied munitions to Russia, calling it "groundless," and denounced the U.S. for providing lethal weapons to Ukraine, the North's official KCNA news agency reports. Japan's Tokyo Shimbun reported earlier that North Korea had shipped munitions, including artillery shells, to Russia by train through their border last month and that additional shipments were expected in the coming weeks. "The Japanese media's false report that the DPRK offered munitions to Russia is the most absurd red herring, which is not worth any comment or interpretation," a ministry spokesperson said in a statement carried by the KCNA.

5:00 a.m. North Korea has delivered an arms shipment to the private Russian military company Wagner Group to support Moscow's Ukraine war effort, the White House says.

"We can confirm that North Korea has completed an initial arms delivery to Wagner, which paid for that equipment," John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, tells reporters. Read more.

3:45 a.m. Russia wants the war in Ukraine to end "as soon as possible," President Vladimir Putin tells reporters. Putin says that the intensification of hostilities leads to unjustified losses and that Russia has never given up on negotiations to end the conflict.

Putin's comments follow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's trip to the U.S., where he thanked the American public for its military aid to his country.

Putin says the Patriot air defense system, which the U.S. will supply to Ukraine in its latest aid package, will only serve to prolong the conflict.

"We will always be able to find an antidote," he says on Russia's response to Ukrainian forces receiving the Patriot system, which he calls "old."

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following a meeting of the State Council in Moscow on Dec. 22. (Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP)

1:00 a.m. The U.S. announces sanctions on 10 industrial companies and other organizations connected to Russia's navy. The targets include battery supplier Rigel and Elektropribor, which makes navigation equipment for submarines.

The latter company "works to ensure high operational availability of Moscow's naval submarine forces," the U.S. State Department says in a news release.

Thursday, Dec. 22

11:30 p.m. The Group of Seven wealthy nations is prepared to do more to support Ukraine financially, their finance ministers say in a joint statement. The G-7 already has mobilized up to $32 billion in budgetary and economic support."Japan stands ready to provide support in response to the financial needs of Ukraine in 2023 as well," Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki tells reporters after the teleconference with other G-7 financial chiefs.

6:00 p.m. Russia accuses Japan of abandoning decades of pacifist policy and embracing "unbridled militarization," in response to a 430 trillion yen ($320 billion) defense plan announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week. "It can be clearly seen that Tokyo has embarked on the path of an unprecedented buildup of its own military power, including the acquisition of strike potential," the Russian foreign ministry says in a statement. Kishida's plan will double defense outlay to about 2% of gross domestic product over five years.

Russia is not alone. North Korea has slammed Japan's plans to beef up its defense capabilities as "blackhearted" and an "arms buildup for reinvasion." Read more.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a joint meeting of Congress in Washington on Dec. 21.   © AP

10:20 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells the U.S. Congress that the tens of billions of dollars of aid it had approved to help fight a Russian invasion was not charity, but an investment in global security. Zelenskyy told lawmakers in the House of Representatives that he hoped they would continue to support Ukraine on a bipartisan basis -- a major point as Republicans will comprise the majority of the House on Jan. 3. "Your money is not charity," he said, clad in the khaki fatigues that have been his public uniform throughout the 300 days of conflict. "It is an investment in global security and democracy."

6:00 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden stands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House during Zelenskyy's first wartime visit to urge Americans and the world to keep backing Kyiv in 2023, when congressional approval for aid will be harder. "As we head into the new year, it's important for the American people and for the world to hear directly from you, Mr. President, about Ukraine's fight and the need to continue to stand together through 2023," Biden said at a news conference. Zelenskyy, wearing his trademark olive green pants and sweater, said, "The United States will stand up for our shared values, the values of freedom."

4:15 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived at the White House.

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the South Lawn of the White House on Dec. 21.   © Reuters

2:30 a.m. Myanmar's military leaders are moving forward with a plan to adopt Russian-built small modular nuclear reactors as the country grapples with an energy cliff caused by dwindling output from natural gas reserves.

The Ministry of Electric Power and Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company, have outlined a joint feasibility study on SMRs.

Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar's commander in chief, visited Russia for a week in July and September, attending the signing of memorandums with Rosatom on both occasions. Read more.

2:15 a.m. Ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Washington, the Biden administration mobilizes $1.85 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine. The package includes the first transfer of the U.S.-made Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

"Over the past three hundred days, the Kremlin has tried and failed to wipe Ukraine off the map," Secretary of State Antony Blinken says in a news release. "Now, Russia is trying to weaponize winter by freezing and starving Ukrainian civilians and forcing families from their homes."

The additional assistance is meant "to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia's ongoing brutal and unprovoked assault," Blinken says.

Moscow has said the Patriot system -- which is equipped with advanced radar and can shoot down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and aircraft at high altitudes -- would be a legitimate target for Russian forces if deployed to Ukraine.

Wednesday, Dec. 21

Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands during a meeting in Beijing on Dec. 21.   © Reuters

11:19 p.m. Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, in Beijing, telling him that relevant parties in the Ukraine crisis should exercise restraint, engage in comprehensive dialogue and address common security concerns through political means, state-run media report.

Since Russia invaded its neighbor in February, Beijing has refrained from condemning Moscow and has opposed sanctions levied against it by Western nations. But Xi has expressed concerns about the war and objections to using or threatening to use nuclear weapons in the eastern European country.

Medvedev handed Xi a personal letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, which noted "the unprecedented level of Russian-Chinese political dialogue and practical cooperation," Russia's Tass news agency reports.

11:00 p.m. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu proposes raising the age range for mandatory military service to 21 to 30 years, up from 18-27 under the current law.

Men in Russia are required to do a year of military service between those ages. Moscow says these conscripts are not sent to the battle in Ukraine.

Shoigu's remarks came during a meeting of senior officials at the Defense Ministry. Russian newspaper Kommersant reports that Shoigu said the number of Russian military personnel needs to be increased to 1.5 million.

Russia called up more than 300,000 reservists in a mobilization decree issued at the end of September. This week, President Vladimir Putin said that half of the 300,000 had deployed to the war while the rest were in training.

3:00 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he is on his way to the U.S. for talks on Ukraine's defense capabilities. The White House also announced his visit to Washington. Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden will meet on Wednesday. Biden is expected to announce nearly $2 billion in new security assistance, including the Patriot missile defense system that Kyiv requested.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement: "The visit will underscore the United States' steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes, including through the provision of economic, humanitarian and military assistance."

9:57 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to travel to Washington for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and a visit to Congress on Wednesday, U.S. media reported. This would be Zelenskyy's first known trip outside his country since Russia invaded in late February. Biden is expected to meet Zelenskyy at the White House. The visit by the Ukrainian leader would coincide with Biden's intent to send the Kyiv government Patriot missiles to protect it from heavy Russian bombardment, CNN reported.

7:00 a.m. The World Bank said it had approved an additional financing package totaling $610 million to address urgent relief and recovery needs in Ukraine as the war with Russia continues. The aid comes on top of some $18 billion already mobilized for Ukraine by the bank, of which some $15 billion has been disbursed. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to have devastating economic and humanitarian consequences, impacting the health sector, critical energy infrastructure, and transport networks," World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, left, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shake hands at a 2010 meeting in Moscow. (Pool photo/Reuters)

6:30 a.m. Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tweets that Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated him on his recent election win and talked of stronger relations between their countries.

"Brazil is back, seeking dialogue with everyone and committed to the search for a world without hunger and with peace," Lula writes.

The Kremlin says both sides of the phone call "expressed confidence" that the "strategic partnership will continue to develop successfully in all areas, along with cooperation in the international arena, including within BRICS" -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Putin said this year that he had "good relations" with both Lula and President Jair Bolsonaro, who made an official trip to Moscow days before the war began. Brazil has not joined U.S.-led international sanctions on Russia since the invasion.

3:00 a.m. An explosion along a Russian natural gas pipeline east of Moscow has killed at least three people, various media report, citing local authorities.

The blast on the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline in the Chuvashia region occurred during planned maintenance, the reports say. State-owned gas producer Gazprom is quoted as saying that the explosion had not affected export-bound gas.

The pipeline is one of Russia's most important conduits for gas exports, carrying the fuel from Siberia to near Ukraine for delivery to Western Europe.

Tuesday, Dec. 20

10:59 p.m. Russia intends to give Iran advanced military components in exchange for more than 300 suicide drones, "undermining both Middle East and international security," British defense minister Ben Wallace tells Parliament as part of a statement on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Earlier on Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Iran's foreign minister that Tehran should immediately halt military support for Russia. Iran acknowledges supplying Moscow with drones but says they were sent before the war in Ukraine, where Russia has used them to target power stations and civilian infrastructure.

10:03 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the eastern city of Bakhmut, home to some of the fiercest fighting in recent weeks as Russia has tried to capture the area. Zelenskyy's office released video showing him there, dressed in khaki and handing out medals to soldiers to loud applause.

"Ukraine is proud of you. I am proud of you! Thank you for the courage, resilience and strength shown in repelling the enemy attacks," Zelenskyy said in comments posted on the Telegram messaging app under photographs of him in Bakhmut.

A Ukrainian howitzer is fired at Russian troops in the Donetsk region in October. (The Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via Reuters) 

10:30 a.m. President Vladimir Putin says the situation in four areas of Ukraine that Moscow has declared part of Russia is "extremely difficult."

Late on Monday -- Security Services Day, which is widely celebrated in Russia -- he told Russian security agencies operating in Ukraine, in comments translated by Reuters: "Yes, it is difficult for you now. The situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, is extremely difficult." In September, a defiant Putin moved to annex some 15% of Ukraine. Kyiv, meanwhile, renewed calls for more weapons after Russian drones hit energy targets.

1:30 a.m. Canada will seize and pursue the forfeiture of $26 million from a holding company owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, a target of Western sanctions over his support for President Vladimir Putin's government.

This marks the first time that Canada has used its authority to take assets belonging to people under sanctions, the Foreign Ministry says in a news release.

"If forfeited, the proceeds that are generated will be able to be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine and compensation to victims of the Putin regime's illegal and unjustifiable invasion," it says, adding that Canada is the first Group of Seven countries to take such measures.

Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of the Chelsea Football Club, is pictured at a 2018 FIFA event. (Action Images/Matthew Childs/File Photo)

Monday, Dec. 19

7:00 p.m. Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the East China Sea starting this week, Russia's Defense Ministry says.

The tests will run from Wednesday to Dec. 27 and involve missile and artillery firings, according to the ministry.

This marks China's latest participation in Russian-led military drills. Chinese forces joined the annual Vostok exercise this September, which involved coordinated naval drills in the Sea of Japan.

3:00 p.m. Russia's latest attacks hit "critical infrastructure" and private houses in the region surrounding Kyiv on Monday, Ukrainian authorities say, and air defense systems destroyed about 15 drones directed at the capital. Kyiv's military administration said on the Telegram messaging app that more than 20 drones targeted the capital. Earlier, it said the capital was attacked by Iranian-made Shahed drones. Oleskiy Kuleba, governor of the Kyiv region, which surrounds but does not include the capital, said infrastructure and homes were damaged by the night drone attacks.

2:00 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin flies to Belarus on Monday amid fear in Kyiv that he intends to pressure the former Soviet ally to join a new ground offensive against Ukraine and reopen a new front. Putin, whose invading troops have been buffeted and forced into retreats in Ukraine's north, northeast and south, is taking a more public role in the war and visited his operation's headquarters to sound out military commanders on Friday about their next steps. His visit for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will be his first to Minsk since 2019 -- before the pandemic and a wave of Belarusian protests in 2020 that Lukashenko crushed with strong support from the Kremlin.

Vehicles of the 38th Brest Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade of the Belarusian armed forces drive during a snap inspection of troops' combat readiness at an unknown location in Belarus, in this handout picture released on Dec. 13. (Defense Ministry of Belarus/Handout via Reuters)

10:30 a.m. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says protecting Ukraine's borders is a "constant priority" and his country is ready for all possible scenarios with Russia and its ally Belarus, which Kyiv has warned could be drawn into the 10-month conflict. Whatever Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko might be persuaded to do for Russia, "this will not help them, just like all the other sick ideas in this war against Ukraine and Ukrainians," Zelenskyy said. He also issued a fresh appeal to Western nations to provide Kyiv with better air defenses as "one of the most powerful" steps to halt the Russian invasion.

6:12 a.m. Power has been restored to 3 million more Ukrainians after the latest Russian attacks on infrastructure, bringing the total to 9 million after two days, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.

Russia fired scores of missiles on Ukraine's power grid Friday, killing at least three people and damaging nine energy facilities.

Sunday, Dec. 18

Germany's new floating storage and regasification unit, Hoegh Esperanza,is guided by tug boats during its arrival at the port of Wilhelmshaven on Dec. 15. The ship will receive liquefied natural gas.   © Reuters

2:00 a.m. Germany has begun testing the first piece of new infrastructure meant to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas by receiving shipborne liquefied natural gas. The Hoegh Esperanza terminal is in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven and will be able to supply enough gas for 50,000 households for a year.

Further floating liquid natural gas terminals are expected to follow.

"This is a milestone for Germany becoming energy independent," Erik Nyheim, chief executive of Hoegh LNG, which owns the Esperanza, told the Financial Times.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, "The speed with which we built this should be a model for future infrastructure build-outs. Not just for this plant but for many others."

Global demand for LNG is increasing with Russian output down. China Petroleum & Chemical signed a major contract in November to procure 4 million tons per year of LNG from state-owned Qatar Energy for 27 years.

Saturday, Dec. 17

3:59 a.m. TikTok says it is cutting its staff in Russia, having suspended livestreaming and new content there months ago over strict new media censorship following the invasion of Ukraine. The Chinese-owned social media platform explicitly leaves the door open for fully resuming services in the future, "with safety as our top priority."

The remains of what Ukrainian authorities says is likely an Iranian-made drone are examined after a Russian strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in October.   © Reuters

2:00 a.m. As Russian airstrikes against Ukraine continue, the European Union's latest package of sanctions against Moscow prohibits exports of aircraft engines and engine parts, with the addition of drones.

"From now on there will be a ban on the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and any third country that could supply drones to Russia," the Council of the EU says in a statement.

The EU's ninth package of sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine was approved Friday, when Russia launched one of the "biggest attacks since the beginning of the full-scale war," says Mykhailo Shymanov, a spokesperson for Kyiv's military-civilian administration.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reiterates Kyiv's call for more weapons.

"For each Russian missile or drone aimed at Ukraine and Ukrainians there must be a howitzer delivered to Ukraine, a tank for Ukraine, an armored vehicle for Ukraine," Kuleba tweets. "This would effectively end Russian terror against Ukraine and restore peace and security in Europe and beyond."

Friday, Dec. 16

9:30 p.m. Russia's war on Ukraine and the risk of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan highlight the need for Japan to build an independent system of defense that is not solely reliant on the U.S. military, according to three policy documents approved by Tokyo.

The papers, including the National Security Strategy, lay out policies such as increasing Japan's defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product and acquiring counterstrike capability to hit enemy missile launch sites.

Japan's defense policy review took on greater urgency after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The documents warn that "the possibility that a similar serious incident could happen in the Indo-Pacific and East Asia region will not be excluded." They go on to say that China is challenging the international order by strengthening ties with Russia. Read more.

Pavlo, a Ukrainian soldier, stands on the roof of a damaged university building after a missile attack in Kramatorsk Ukraine on Dec. 13.   © Reuters

3:55 p.m. Air raid sirens wailed across Ukraine, including in the capital Kyiv on Friday, signaling another Russian missile attack, Ukrainian officials say. "Do not ignore air raid alerts, remain in shelters," Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office said on the Telegram messaging app. As many as 60 Russian missiles have been spotted heading to Ukrainian air space, said Vitaly Kim, who is the governor of the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine.

8:30 a.m. The European Union says it has approved a new package of sanctions aimed at ramping up pressure on Russia for its war in Ukraine. The package, whose details had not been revealed, was approved after days of deliberations during a meeting of the 27-nation bloc's ambassadors in Brussels while EU leaders held a summit nearby. The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, said the package would be confirmed by written procedure on Friday.

4:50 a.m. The U.S. military will expand its training of Ukrainian military personnel in Germany, including training in combined arms, reports Reuters, citing the U.S. Department of Defense.

A Pentagon spokesman said the new training will involve approximately 500 Ukrainians per month and will not require an increase in U.S. troop deployments to Europe, according to the report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Vladimir Potanin, chief of Norilsk Nickel, in 2018. Potanin has "direct ties to Putin," the U.S. says. (Photo by Sputnik via Reuters)

4:00 a.m. The Biden administration's latest round of sanctions against Russia spans a range of business and government leaders, including one of the country's richest oligarchs.

Vladimir Potanin, head of Norilsk Nickel, tops the list of targets, along with his wife, children and superyacht Nirvana, according to a U.S. State Department news release.

His holding company Interros, also sanctioned, has "business across nearly all sectors of Russia's economy," the State Department says.

Also sanctioned are directors of Russian Railways, as well as a slew of Russian regional governors.

Thursday, Dec. 15

4:50 p.m. Ukrainian forces shelled the Russian-controlled eastern city of Donetsk overnight in some of the biggest attacks for years, officials appointed by Russia in the annexed areas say. "At exactly 7 o'clock this morning they subjected the center of Donetsk to the most massive attack since 2014," Alexei Kulemzin, the Russia-backed mayor of the city, said on Telegram. "Forty rockets from BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers were fired at civilians in our city," Kulemzin said. He called the attack a war crime.

9:30 a.m. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak met on Wednesday with Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami in Caracas, where they discussed oil market volatility and the status of Venezuela's outstanding debts to Russia. "We underline the importance of keep working together to stabilize the international energy market within the framework of OPEC+ and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum," said Novak, who is also in charge of Moscow's OPEC ties.

8:30 a.m. Ukrainian investigators in an area recaptured from Russian troops have uncovered a cell where children were detained and mistreated, a senior Ukrainian human rights advocate says. Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian parliament's commissioner for human rights, said the cell was in one of four torture centers operated by Russian troops in Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine abandoned by pro-Moscow forces last month. Russia denies targeting civilians in the war and rejects allegations it has mistreated civilians.

A U.S.-made Patriot missile launcher at Rzeszow-Jasionka airport in Poland: Russia now says any Patriot missiles sent to Ukraine would become legitimate targets.   © Reuters

7:30 a.m. Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov says any Patriot missiles the U.S. sends to Ukraine would become legitimate targets for attack by Russian forces.

CNN and Reuters, citing officials, have reported Washington is finalizing plans to supply the advanced missile defense system to Ukraine and a decision could be made as early as this week. Peskov calls the reports unconfirmed.

Equipped with sophisticated radar, the Patriot system is able to shoot down planes and ballistic missiles. It has been sold to U.S. allies including Japan, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Such a transfer would be "another provocative step" by the Biden administration that may lead to "unpredictable consequences," Tass reports the Russian Embassy in Washington as saying in a statement.

Wednesday, Dec. 14

7:30 p.m. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov rules out an early resumption of cease-fire talks with Russia, saying "we will be ready to sit down at the negotiating table after Russian troops completely withdraw from Ukrainian territory."

During an online interview with Nikkei, Reznikov makes clear his position that Ukraine would not agree to talks until Russia withdrew from all of Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula and eastern regions of Ukraine, which Moscow has occupied since 2014. On when he expected that to occur, he said, "This will happen when the Russians realize that their resources are running out."

Asked about drone attacks on air bases in Russian territory, he hints at Kyiv's involvement, saying that "Ukraine has the right to self-defense." Read more.

9:00 a.m. Developing Asia's economic expansion next year is expected to be slower than previously projected as a global slowdown and the prolonged war in Ukraine weigh on the region, the Asian Development Bank said in a new report. Read more.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 23. She announced a further $1.94 million in humanitarian support for Ukraine on Dec. 14.   © Reuters

4:36 a.m. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a further $3 million New Zealand dollars ($1.94 million) in humanitarian support for Ukraine as the conflict enters the winter months. Ardern was speaking after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy became just the second foreign leader to ever address the New Zealand parliament. Ardern said in her speech to Zelenskyy that the Ukraine war "must not become a gateway to a more polarized and dangerous world for generations to come." She added that Ukraine's war is "not a forgotten war."

1:54 a.m. Ukraine's economy could shrink by 50% this year if Russia keeps attacking the national power grid and other critical infrastructure, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Russia has launched a series of missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities since October, causing power outages across the country. "The contraction of the Ukrainian economy is projected at the level of 35% to 40%," Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Shmyhal as saying. "If Russia's terrorist activities against our infrastructure continue, we may lose another 10% to these figures -- that is, up to 50% of our GDP." Shmyhal also said the government estimated that damage from the war could reach $700 billion by the end of the year. All sectors of the economy were suffering, he said.

2:28 a.m. The U.S. is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine that could be announced as soon as this week, reports CNN, citing U.S. officials.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

11:00 a.m. The United States has shipped the first part of its power equipment aid to Ukraine, U.S. officials say, as Washington works to support the country's energy infrastructure against intensifying attacks from Russia. The first tranche was equipment worth about $13 million, one official said. Another source familiar with the matter said two planeloads of equipment would leave from the United States later this week.

Firefighters work to extinguish fire following recent shelling at an oil storage near Donetsk in Russian-controlled Ukraine on Oct. 27.   © Reuters

4:20 a.m. Leaders of the Group of Seven nations have vowed to hold Russia responsible for wrecking Ukraine with its invasion.

"We are determined that Russia will ultimately need to pay for the restoration of critical infrastructure damaged or destroyed through its brutal war," G-7 leaders say in a statement.

"There can be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities," they say. "We will hold President [Vladimir] Putin and those responsible to account in accordance with international law."

On military aid, G-7 leaders say their immediate focus will be on "providing Ukraine with air defense systems and capabilities."

3:21 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges Group of Seven nations to help his government obtain an additional 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas and to supply it with modern tanks, rocket artillery and long-range missiles.

Speaking remotely at the G-7 videoconference hosted by Germany, Zelenskyy calls on Russia to take a real step toward a diplomatic resolution and suggests that Moscow should pull its troops out by Christmas.

A Ukrainian cooks on a wood stove on Nov. 19 in her apartment, which has no electricity, heating or water, in the village of Horenka, which was heavily damaged by fighting in the early days of the Russian invasion.   © Reuters

2:46 a.m. The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council says he expects another wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine in Europe over the winter because of "unlivable" conditions.

"So I fear that the crisis in Europe will deepen and that will overshadow equally crises in other places of the world," Jan Egeland tells Reuters after returning from a trip to Ukraine this month.

More than 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe, according to the U.N. refugee agency. A spokesperson says that data has "not yet pointed to any significant increase in border crossings" in recent weeks but that some neighboring countries, such as Romania and Poland, have reported small rises.

2:00 a.m. U.K. Defense Minister Ben Wallace says he would be "open-minded" to supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles to defend itself against continued Russian attacks on civilians.

The Russian military is taking advantage of the short ranges of Ukraine's missiles by using Iranian self-detonating drones to attack, Wallace says in the House of Commons in response to a question from former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson says longer-range missiles, such as the U.S.-made MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, would allow Ukraine to strike Russia's drone launch sites.

1:00 a.m. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has done lasting damage to Moscow's ties with the West, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says.

"Even if the fighting ends, we will not return to some kind of normal, friendly, relationship with Russia," Stoltenberg tells CNBC in Brussels. "Trust has been destroyed."

"I think the war has had long-lasting consequences for the relationship with Russia," he adds.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris takes the APEC baton, a bamboo basket, from Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Nov. 19.   © Reuters

Monday, Dec. 12

4:10 p.m. Russia will be invited to attend meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) hosted by the United States next year, a U.S. official says. As "good stewards of APEC," the United States will invite Russia, which is a member of the 21-country bloc, Matt Murray, a senior U.S. official for APEC, told a media briefing in Singapore. At an APEC meeting hosted by Thailand in May, representatives from the United States and some other countries walked out of a meeting in protest of Russia's actions in Ukraine when Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov was delivering remarks.

10:40 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden highlighted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a call on Sunday how the United States is prioritizing efforts to boost Ukraine's air defenses through the assistance it is offering, the White House said. Biden also welcomed Zelenskyy's "stated openness to a just peace based on fundamental principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter."

10:00 a.m. Ukraine's top security officials have ordered punitive measures against seven senior clerics, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday, part of a crackdown on a branch of the Orthodox Church with long-standing ties to Moscow. The clerics are among Orthodox leaders known to have been sympathetic to Russia's portrayal of its 10-month-old invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin says it is protecting Russian speakers and has annexed four regions it says are historically Russian lands. "We are doing everything to ensure that no strings are available to be pulled by the aggressor state that could make Ukrainian society suffer," Zelenskyy said.

5:29 a.m. A senior official in eastern Ukraine said that Ukrainian forces had attacked a hotel where members of Russia's private Wagner military group were based, killing many of them.

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, interviewed by Ukrainian television, said forces launched a strike on Saturday on a hotel in the town of Kadiivka, west of the region's main center of Luhansk. Photos posted on Telegram channels showed a building largely reduced to rubble.

"They had a little pop there, just where Wagner headquarters was located. A huge number of those who were there died," he said.

Sunday, Dec. 11

10:30 p.m. Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia discussed grain supplies and a potential regional gas hub in Turkey, both countries said. "President Erdogan expressed his sincere wish for the termination of the Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible," the Turkish presidency said. In the call, Erdogan said Ankara and Moscow could start work on exporting other food products and commodities through the Black Sea grain corridor, Erdogan's office said.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 Summit's news conference in November, Bali, Indonesia. (ADITYA PRADANA PUTRA/G20 Media Center)   © Reuters

3:52 p.m. Russia's Gazprom said it plans to ship 42.6 million cubic meters of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Sunday, a volume largely in line with recent days.

5:04 a.m. More than 1.5 million people in Ukraine's southern Odesa region are without power after Russian drone strikes on the electricity generating system, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Saturday, Dec. 10

9:30 a.m. The Biden administration accuses Russia of moving to provide advanced military assistance to Iran, including air defense systems, helicopters and fighter jets, part of deepening cooperation between the two nations as Tehran provides drones to support Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Friday cited U.S. intelligence assessments for the allegations, saying Russia was offering Iran "an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership."

7:15 a.m. Russia is trying to obtain "hundreds of ballistic missiles" and more from Iran and offering "an unprecedented level of military and technical support" in return, says Barbara Woodward, the British ambassador to the United Nations.

The U.K. is also "almost certain that Russia is seeking to source weaponry from North Korea, other heavily sanctioned states, as their own stocks palpably dwindle," she tells reporters.

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, dismisses the accusations, telling the Security Council that his country's military-industrial complex in Russia does not need outside help, unlike Ukraine's being propped up by the West.

Iran acknowledged in November that it had supplied Russia with drones but said they were sent before the war. Russia has denied that its forces used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.

4:15 a.m. The U.S. claims Russia is giving Iran "an unprecedented level" of technical and military support. "Russia is seeking to collaborate with Iran on areas like weapons development and training," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says, citing U.S. intelligence. "We are concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with advanced military components."

3:00 a.m. President Vladimir Putin shrugs off the impact of an oil price cap on Russia's energy industry, warning it will backfire on those who impose it.

The $60-a-barrel ceiling agreed upon by Group of Seven nations for seaborne Russian oil is close to where his country's output is trading, Putin says, adding that Russia also provides discounts for buyers.

"Therefore, we will not have losses under any circumstances," he tells a news conference on a visit to Kyrgyzstan. He says Russia will consider cuts to oil production but has not made any decision.

Putin says the "stupid" cap threatens all oil producers by undermining market principles in an industry that already suffers from underinvestment.

"All this will lead at some stage to a catastrophic surge in prices and to the collapse of world energy," he says.

12:40 a.m. France's TotalEnergies has decided to withdraw its two directors from the board of Russian gas company Novatek, in which it holds at 19.4% stake.

The two directors have had to abstain from board decisions since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, TotalEnergies says in its news release. "They are therefore no longer in a position to fully carry out their duties on the board, which might become an issue for the governance of this company," the French energy group says. Its decision takes immediate effect.

TotalEnergies is unable to sell its stake in Novatek because of "prevailing shareholders' agreements." The French company says it will no longer book earnings from its investment in the Russian gas producer.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: Canada has added sanctions against individuals and entities in Russia, Myanmar and Iran.   © Reuters

Friday, Dec. 9

6:10 p.m. Canada has imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, Iran and Myanmar, citing alleged human rights violations by the countries' governments. The measures include sanctions against 33 current or former senior Russian officials and six entities involved in alleged "systematic human rights violations" against Russian citizens who protested against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Sanctions were also imposed on 22 individuals in Iran and 12 individuals and three entities in Myanmar, Canada said.

10:00 a.m. The U.S. is sending an additional $275 million in military aid to Ukraine, including large amounts of ammunition and high-tech systems that can be used to detect and counter drones in its ongoing war with Russia, according to U.S. officials. The latest package of aid includes 80,000 rounds of ammunition for howitzers and an undisclosed amount of ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS. It also includes systems to counter drones and air defenses, along with more Humvees, generators and other combat equipment.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer toward Russian positions, on the frontline in Ukraine's Donetsk region on Nov. 30.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. The CEO of Chevron has raised questions about how the price cap on seaborne Russian oil imported to Europe will work in practice and whether it will simply encourage profiteering.

"It's very difficult to tame a complex global market with an administrative mechanism that comes from a few countries," Mike Wirth says in an interview as part of the Financial Times Global Boardroom conference. "It's not exactly clear how the enforcement will work."

"The reality is in these markets, historically, sanctions regimes have created opportunities for those that work around the edges of the system to actually benefit greatly -- and oftentimes, the desired geopolitical objectives aren't necessarily achieved," Wirth says.

Thursday, Dec. 8

10:45 p.m. U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian prison in exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, Washington and Moscow say. Read more.

Griner had been serving a prison sentence on drugs charges.

2:30 p.m. China is paying the deepest discounts in months for Russian ESPO crude oil amid weak demand and poor refining margins, even though the effective prices refiners pay could exceed a price cap imposed this week by Western countries. The $60 per-barrel cap -- set by G-7 nations, the European Union and Australia -- took effect on Monday to limit Moscow's power to finance its war in Ukraine, though Russia has vowed to defy it. China, Russia's top oil buyer, has not agreed to the price cap. Traders said they were doing business as usual. At least one December-arrival ESPO shipment was sold last week to an independent refiner at a discount of $6 per barrel against the February ICE Brent price on a delivery-ex-ship basis, according to four traders with knowledge of the deal.

5:00 a.m. The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a ninth package of sanctions on Russia, including adding almost 200 additional individuals and entities to the list. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that the EU also proposes sanctions against three additional Russian banks and wants to impose new export controls and restrictions, particularly for dual-use goods including key chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components.

3:00 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says the risk of nuclear war is rising but his country's arsenal is a means of defense.

Russia has the world's most advanced nuclear weapons, but "we haven't gone mad," Putin tells a televised meeting of his presidential human rights council.

Putin says fighting in Ukraine -- which Moscow calls a "special military operation," not a war -- could be a long process.

The Russian leader sees no reason now for a second mobilization of troops after the call-up of 300,000 reservists in September and October.

For earlier updates, click here.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more