Good morning from Kyiv, which is now as gloomy and foggy as usual. Even some sunlight is trying to get through the clouds. The night in Kyiv was relatively calm. There was a short air alarm in the morning, but it lasted no more than 20 minutes. However, most of the capital’s residents are not that hopeful about spending the last days of 2022 without another massive Russian launch of rockets.
Russia has relocated its planes from the Engels airfield after Monday's explosions there. Therefore, the activity of enemy aircraft in the evening was significantly reduced, Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces said, speaking during the TV marathon.
"Of course, there is still a certain number of aircraft there, but many of them have already been relocated to various airfields that can receive, maintain, and service them," Ihnat said.
Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, reported that the Russian command is hiding its bombers because it has realized that Ukraine could destroy them.
"The enemy has started hiding them. He understands that we can regularly hit them even in those territories they did not expect. And they relocated some aircraft to Primorsky Krai. But believe me, if necessary, we will reach Primorsky Krai or even the Far East, so they won't avoid having big problems," Danilov said.
What was in Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest message?
In his latest address on the evening of Dec. 27, President Zelensky reported on the holding of the 44th meeting of senior military staff. The topic of the meeting was, first and foremost, Bakhmut, Kreminna, and Donbas in general terms. Possible actions by the enemy in the eastern front and Ukraine’s actions.
"We listened to the commanders and approved decisions on steps for the near future. We continue to prepare the defense and security forces of Ukraine for next year. It will definitely be a crucial year," Zelensky said.
The president also mentioned that he had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Italy.
"Mrs. Meloni said that the issue of air defense for Ukraine is currently under consideration and we have coordinated our steps. I believe that Italian support will enable us to step up the defense of the Ukrainian skies," he said.
Zelensky also reported on speaking with the head of BlackRock, the world's largest investment fund. He received confirmation that the developed world's business sector believes in Ukraine’s victory and is ready to invest in the rebuilding of Ukraine. The company’s specialists are already assisting Ukraine with structuring a fund for the rebuilding of the Ukrainian state.
What’s the latest military situation?
The Dec. 28 British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update reported that in recent days Russia has likely reinforced the Kreminna sector of its frontline in Luhansk Region, as it comes under continued pressure from Ukrainian operations.
According to the MoD assessment, Russia has built extensive new defenses in the area and will likely prioritize holding the line there. The line is logistically important for Russia’s Donbas front, and it is also a significant town in Luhansk Region.
The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 27 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably that:
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the Kremlin will continue to pursue a military solution to the war until the U.S. accepts its demands and forces Ukraine to do the same.
- Lavrov stated that Russia is unable to work on any agreements with the West due to its supposed provocative actions.
- The Kremlin will likely continue information operations to seek to compel the West to offer preemptive concessions and pressure Ukraine to negotiate.
- The Kremlin is increasingly integrating select milbloggers into its information campaigns, likely in an effort to regain a dominant narrative within the information space.
- Ukrainian forces have likely made more gains in northeast Ukraine than ISW has previously assessed.
- Russian forces may be nearing culmination in the Bakhmut area amid continuing Russian offensive operations there and in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area.
- Russian forces are maintaining their fortification efforts in southern Ukraine.
- The Kremlin is continuing its efforts to punish deserters and saboteurs publicly.
- Russian officials are intensifying efforts to deport children from occupied territories to Russia.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.