Russian missile shot down over Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, two drones damage buildings

"Explosion Over Kryvyi Rih as Ukrainian Air Defense Downs Russian Missile; Air Raid Sirens in Several Regions Amid Aviation Activity Warning"

Governor Serhii Lysak reported via Telegram on the evening of December 9 that an explosion was heard over Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, as Ukrainian air defense successfully intercepted a Russian missile. Prior to the incident, air raid sirens sounded in the Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts following a warning from the Air Force about aviation activity over the Sea of Azov. No injuries or deaths were reported.

Additionally, Russia targeted Nikopol in southern Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with two kamikaze drones in the afternoon, causing damage to an infrastructure facility, a warehouse, and a five-story building. While there were no reported casualties, Governor Lysak provided details on the extent of the damage.

The south of Ukraine has been regularly targeted by Russian forces, and earlier on the same day, three people were injured, and one was killed in two separate attacks on Kherson Oblast. Russian forces, based on the east bank of the Dnipro River in part of Kherson Oblast, continue to launch attacks on liberated territories. Although Russian troops do not occupy Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the region remains close to hostilities.

On December 8, a Russian missile attack on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast's Pavlohrad district resulted in one fatality and eight injuries. The attack damaged approximately 20 residential buildings, a school, a power line, and nine other structures, as reported by Governor Lysak.

Warsaw denies claim that border blockade prevents delivery of military aid to Ukraine

"The ongoing blockade by Polish truckers has not impeded the transport of military equipment to Ukraine's front lines," stated Polish Vice Minister of National Defense Marcin Ociepa on Polsat News on December 8. This response comes in contradiction to a December 7 report by The New York Times, where a Ukrainian soldier claimed that the blockade prevented his unit from receiving crucial night vision devices.

Ociepa categorically denied such a situation, emphasizing that military convoys crossing the border are escorted by military police, following a different route similar to emergency vehicles and unaffected by protests.

Polish truckers initiated protests and blockades at border crossings with Ukraine in November, alleging that Ukrainian drivers entering Poland were undercutting local businesses. Ukrainian authorities and industry representatives have refuted these claims. While the protesters have assured that humanitarian aid and essential goods would not be affected, Ukrainian trucking companies have reported challenges in transporting medical equipment and other non-commercial goods.

On December 7, Ukraine's state-owned railway, Ukrzaliznytsia, transported 23 trucks by train that had been stuck at the Polish border. This marks a temporary solution amid ongoing negotiations to address the blockade and find a lasting resolution.

Nearly 50% of Republicans think US provides too much aid to Ukraine

A poll released by the Pew Research Center on December 8 revealed that 48% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe that the U.S. provides too much aid to Ukraine, compared to a total of 31% of Americans across the political spectrum.

Consistent with previous polls, a notable partisan divide was evident. Only 16% of Democrats thought the U.S. aid was excessive, with 39% considering it appropriate and 24% believing it was insufficient.

This partisan discrepancy was mirrored in opinions about U.S. President Joe Biden's response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Overall, 39% of respondents approved of the Biden administration's Ukraine policies, while 41% disapproved. Among Democrats, 59% expressed approval, while 62% of Republicans disapproved.

The findings from this poll slightly differed from a November 2 Gallup survey, where 62% of Republicans believed the U.S. was doing too much to help, compared to a total of 41% of Americans sharing the same view.

Since the onset of the full-scale invasion, the partisan gap has widened significantly. Initially, Republicans were only about four percentage points more likely to say the U.S. provided too much aid, but by December 2023, this margin increased to 32% among Republicans.

U.S. support for Ukraine has become increasingly politicized, both among the electorate and elected officials. While leading Republican politicians publicly express support for Ukraine, Republican opposition has hindered or voted against bills containing new funding for Ukraine.