Russia continues to import chips, OASK dissolved, Moldova to sue Gazprom

15 December 2022, 03:35 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Thursday, December 15th, 2022.

•   Russia continues to import semiconductors, despite sanctions.

According to the UK’s Royal United Services Institute, these imports use shell companies registered in Turkey, Hong Kong and Estonia. This allows Russia the use of U.S. chips to fabricate additional missiles for its war against Ukraine.

Video of day

•   Ukrainian air defense intercepted all 13 incoming Russian drones launched on the morning of the 14th.

Air raid sirens sounded at 5:55 a.m. in the capital, as air defenses spotted the swarm of killer drones approaching from the direction of the Sea of Azov. By 8:10 a.m., the Ukrainian Air Force reported on its Telegram channel that 10 of the drones had been downed, but that air defenses were still working.

•   Moldova will sue Russia’s Gazprom for breaching its contract and creating an energy crisis.

Gazprom is to blame for the fact that Moldova is now forced to purchase gas and electricity on the international market, said Moldovan Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu. The country will demand compensation for losses, as it is Gazprom’s fault the country had to redirect funds and take loans.

•   Ukraine’s anti-corruption enforcement body has frozen $18 million thought to be linked to Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

News outlet LIGA. reported that the High Anti-Corruption Court confirmed a decision to seize UAH 657 million ($18 million) on the accounts of New Energy Ukraine LLC at the request of the anti-graft regulator for the purpose of further asset forfeiture. The arrest was imposed as part of a criminal case on the sale of electricity in February-April 2022 in favor of United Energy LLC, which is associated with Kolomoisky.

•   Ukraine has returned another 64 of its soldiers from Russian captivity.

According to presidential chief-of-staff Andriy Yermak, those released included Ukrainian officers, privates and sergeants who were captured in the Donetsk and Luhansk sections of the front. In particular, some of the released prisoners of war took part in the defense of the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast.

•   Ukraine’s parliament has implemented all of the European Commission recommendations it is responsible for.

This means it should be possible to begin negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, according to Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk. He also named all the laws and necessary decisions that were adopted by the parliament almost six months after Kyiv became a candidate for EU membership.

•   Russian President Vladimir Putin has canceled his address to the Federal Assembly this year.

A Kremlin source told Russian propaganda outlet TASS that the address should be held once a year, and the countdown starts from the previous one. Putin’s last address to the Federal Assembly was given on April 21 this year.

•   Nibulon, one of the largest grain market operators in Ukraine, exported more grain in the first two months of 2022 than over the next nine months of Russia’s full-scale invasion and war.

According to Nibulon, from Jan. 1 to Nov. 15, 2022, the agricultural giant exported 1.7 million tons of grain, but only 751,800 tons of them were exported in the period from March to November of this year, which was 164% less than in March-November 2021.

•   Ukrainian state media UNITED24 found itself under a shadow ban after tweeting about problems with two-factor authentication among Ukrainian Twitter users.

UNITED24 reported that it is no longer possible to add a Ukrainian mobile number in Twitter. “Hey Elon Musk, it seems like it's no longer possible to have a Ukrainian number verify a Twitter account/two-factor authentication. Ukraine is not in your list of countries (…) It’s vital for us to keep showing the world what’s going on in our country,” UNITED24 tweeted.

•   Unknown individuals blew up a set of railway tracks in Russia’s Rostov Oblast which were used to carry echelons of Russian materiel.

In addition, a video of the alleged detonation was posted, however, according to the media, it could have been filmed as early as early December. No group has yet taken responsibility for the act. Earlier, Russian partisan groups claimed responsibility for the death of Darina Dugina, daughter of Russian propagandist Alexander Dugin. 

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•   Despite making an effort to somewhat distance himself publicly from Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is “doubling down” on his long-term support of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

The Wall Street Journal, citing political advisers in Beijing, said that Jinping has recently instructed his government to further deepen economic ties with Russia. The plan reportedly involves increased imports of Russian hydrocarbons and agricultural produce, along with additional investment in Russia’s ports and railways.

•   In the latest prisoner swap with Russia, a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate convicted of treason in Ukraine, has been exchanged for U.S. citizen Suedi Murekezi.

Military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov said that Russian troops captured Murekezi in Kherson when they occupied the city earlier this year. The official added that more prisoner swaps are being worked on.

•   The day’s long read: Infamous Kyiv district court discovered to have issued thousands of questionable decisions

Investigative journalism outlet, following a successful parliamentary vote to dissolve the court, discovered that OASK has lifted sanctions against Russian-owned companies, reinstated officials sacked for corruption and ties to Russia, and has taken millions in bribes.

•   Don’t miss: Gratitude to Ukraine

Historian Timothy Snyder explains why the U.S., and the civilized world as a whole, owes Ukraine their thanks for confronting Russia.

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