The situation at the front
The situation is tense in the Bakhmut direction , Russian forces are now concentrating on seizing territories southwest of Bakhmut. Fighting continues for the center of the city of Experience south of Bakhmut. The northern part of the city is completely under the control of Ukraine, and everything to the south is a gray zone, constantly changing hands.
Close-up of an example situation around Bakhmut:
The Russian military crossed the railway near the Moika pond and again ended up in the villages of Andreevka and Kurdyumovka. However, this success cost them dearly: over the past day, 690 soldiers were killed and at least 1,800 were injured in all adjacent areas, war correspondent, former US Navy SEAL soldier Chuck Pfarrer writes on Twitter, and illustrates the situation with a visual map:
In the Kherson direction, the Russian side continues shelling Kherson and the right bank of the Dnieper, while Ukrainian partisans and Special Operations Forces are conducting reconnaissance activities on the left bank. On December 30, explosions were recorded in Genichesk near the R-47 (Genichesk - Novoalekseevka) and M-18 (Chongar - Melitopol) highways, Pfaffer reports.
Also, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian troops continue offensive operations in the Limansky direction and are trying to improve the tactical situation in the Kupyansky and Avdeevsky directions . The situation is stable in the Volynsky , Polessky , Seversky and Slobozhansky directions .
In general, over the past day, Ukrainian forces have repelled assaults in the areas of Stelmakhivka, Belogorivka, Soledar, Ivanovsky, Kleschievka, Kamenka, Avdiivka, Vesely, Vodyanoye, Krasnogorovka and Maryinka. 12 Russian armored fighting vehicles and six artillery pieces were destroyed . Ukrainian HIMARS last night destroyed a Russian base in occupied Alchevsk, not far from the western border of the Luhansk region. Ukrainian forces also reportedly hit and destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in Genichesk, Kherson region. In addition, the Ukrainian military shot down a Russian Mi-8 helicopter on the eastern front line.
Shelling of Ukraine
The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine specifies that on December 29, Russia launched 70 cruise missiles in Ukraine. 58 of them were shot down. Also, Ukrainian air defense shot down 16 Shahed-131/136 drones overnight.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said that the shelling on December 29 in the evening damaged a backup power line that supplies energy to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The incident is indicative of a risk to the plant's power supply, the IAEA said in a statement.
Now all six reactors at the Zaporizhzhya NPP remain shut down, and the station receives the electricity needed for cooling and safety systems through the only 750 kilovolt power line that remains intact. Before the war, there were four such lines. According to the IAEA, a reserve line called Ferroalloy 1 with a capacity of 330 kilovolts was disconnected on Thursday. According to the head of the agency, Rafael Grossi, it was "the last working reserve line of the ZNPP, and it is extremely important to restore it as soon as possible."
In the evening summary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it is said that Russian troops launched 16 air strikes in a day, 15 of which were on civilian infrastructure. In addition, the RF Armed Forces carried out 17 attacks from multiple launch rocket systems. Civilians were killed from artillery shelling of settlements.
Supply of arms
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is confident that Ukraine will officially receive American ATACMS ballistic missiles with a range of up to 300 km (160 miles) next year:
The UK donated mine clearance equipment to Ukraine: 1,000 VALLON metal detectors and 100 bomb disposal kits.
The United States is discussing the possibility of sending M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, writes Bloomberg. According to the publication, the vehicles may be included in one of the additional military aid packages, but a final decision on the supply has not yet been made. The M2 Bradley is armed with a 25mm automatic cannon and twin TOW-2 ATGMs. It can carry up to seven paratroopers and has good armor protection.
The situation with prisoners of war
3,392 Ukrainian soldiers are in Russian captivity, Alyona Verbitskaya, an adviser to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and authorized to ensure the rights of defenders, said in an interview with the German edition of Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. Also, according to her, during the war, 15,000 people in Ukraine went missing. Many of them are civilians. Verbitskaya said that the fate of these people is “completely unclear.” They could have been kidnapped from the occupied territories, taken into Russian captivity or killed.
At the end of June, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that more than 6,000 Ukrainian soldiers were in captivity. The largest exchange of prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine took place on September 22. Then, 215 Ukrainian soldiers were released from Russian captivity, more than 100 of them were Azov fighters. Ukraine, in turn, extradited Viktor Medvedchuk, the godfather of Vladimir Putin, and 55 Russians to the Russian Federation. According to The Washington Post, the FSB tried to talk Putin out of this decision.
The situation with refusers
The Russian Defense Ministry has developed a draft presidential decree on the creation of field guardhouses. Such a decree will make it possible to punish the guilty by isolating them in special rooms, which should be no worse than those of the rest of the military. The project specifically states that guardhouses cannot be placed in dungeons, basements without windows and ventilation, but there is one “but”. This can still be done in cases where it is necessary to save the lives of military personnel. And this paragraph essentially legalizes cellars for refuseniks, since there is always a danger near the front line. Many illegal camps for refuseniks are now located in the basements, and the authorities do not recognize their existence.
As well as:
- In Donetsk, Yevgeny Rybakov , deputy head of the control and investigation department of the military investigation department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, was killed during shelling. The UK has already filed a criminal case on this case.
- The queue of cars in front of the Krymsky bridge from the Kuban has reached 5 km , the journey takes several hours, the operational headquarters of the Krasnodar Territory reported. On the afternoon of December 30, it was reported that there were about 1.2 thousand cars in the queue, the length of the traffic jam reached almost 3 km. When planning a trip, drivers are advised to allow additional time for mandatory inspection or use alternative routes.
- Over the past 13 hours, six military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Force have arrived at the Machulishchi airfield in Belarus , WarMonitor notes .
See also The Insider's military report for December 29: The Russian military spoke about the loss of 40% of his colleagues near Bakhmut, 120 missiles fired at Ukraine, an attack on Engels. What's Happening on the Front Line .