Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Thursday, December 29th, 2022.
• President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has delivered his annual State of the Union address in the Verkhovna Rada.
Some key takeaways, according to the president: Ukraine will develop relations with the countries of Africa and the Global South for the sake of food security, Ukraine should become a leader in the transformation of its energy sector and a leader in the construction of green energy, and the Ukrainian military-industrial complex will be one of the most technologically progressive.
• Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, visited Ukrainian positions at the front line in Bakhmut.
Budanov is said to have visited various reconnaissance units, received reports from commanders, issued orders, and awarded several servicemembers who distinguished themselves while fighting against Russian invasion forces.
• Hundreds of Russian cyberattacks against Ukrainian power plants and energy infrastructure have been repelled since the beginning of the year.
According to Ukraine’s SBU security service, out of all of the attacks, only 30 ever posed a critical risk to the country, though dozens of cyberattacks are launched on a daily basis.
• The Ukrainian government has sacked the majority of the supervisory board of Ukraine’s largest bank, Privatbank.
One now former member of the board, Roman Sulzhyk, stated that the reasoning behind the dismissals was not made clear to him or the other fired board members. In April 2022, the Ukrainian government adopted a law that allows for the dismissal of members of supervisory boards of state banks and enterprises who fail to perform their functions.
• Russians are fleeing the occupied town of Kreminna in Luhansk Oblast en masse.
"Military commanders have really moved to other settlements nearby,” said regional governor Serhiy Hayday. “All Russians who came here to work — civilians, medics, or some kind of repair crews — have already cut their work short and returned to the Russian Federation. Work that had been started is now frozen.”
• Ukrainian businessman and former lawmaker Kostiantyn Zhevago has been arrested at high-end ski resort Courchevel in France.
He is suspected of the embezzlement of $113 million from the Finance and Credit Bank, and has been internationally wanted since 2021. In addition, his assets, to the tune of $8.2 million, have also been seized.
The day’s long read: Death of a Russian oligarch in India expands list of suspicious deaths of well-known Russians
NV recaps 15 suspicious deaths amongst the Russian elite just this year, starting with the story of “sausage king” Pavel Antov, who allegedly “fell out of a window” at a hotel in India.