Ukrainian air defence downs all Russian missiles targeting Kyiv on approach to city

"Cruise Missiles Targeting Kyiv Intercepted, No Strikes Reported, but Damage to Residential Buildings in Kyiv Oblast"

Source: Statements by Serhii Popko, Head of Kyiv City Military Administration, and Ruslan Kravchenko, Head of Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, on Telegram

In an attempted strike on Kyiv on December 8, cruise missiles launched by Russian Tu-95MS strategic aircraft were successfully intercepted by anti-aircraft defense systems before reaching the city. While there were no reported strikes, preliminary information indicates damage to residential buildings in Kyiv Oblast.

Serhii Popko, Head of Kyiv City Military Administration, stated that after a 79-day pause, the enemy resumed launching cruise missiles. Approximately 10 missile-carrying bombers fired X-101/555/55 missiles from the city of Engels, Saratov Oblast. The air raid, lasting nearly two hours, saw all incoming missiles destroyed by Kyiv's air defense assets and personnel before reaching the capital.

Popko reported no information on casualties or destruction, emphasizing that the Air Force would provide official details on the number and types of downed air targets after data analysis.

Ruslan Kravchenko, Head of Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, assured that there were no strikes on critical or residential infrastructure targets in the oblast, with preliminary reports suggesting no casualties. However, as of 08:45, damage to houses in several hromadas of the oblast was reported due to falling wreckage from the downed Russian targets. Emergency services are on the scene, and further details on the extent of the damage are expected to emerge later.

EU still imports 50% of Russian LNG, worth US$1 billion a month

"European Nations Continue Record Imports of Russian Arctic Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Two Years Into Russia's Invasion of Ukraine"

Source: High North News, citing a report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Business4Ukraine coalition.

"In contrast to the United States, the EU has thus far not placed any sanctions on the import of LNG. As a result, the EU remains a destination for 50 percent of Russia’s LNG exports, sending in excess of US$1 billion each month to the country."

Analysis: A new report highlights the sustained import of Russian LNG by EU countries, making LNG the primary Russian fossil fuel purchased by the EU.

"Russia saw a surge in revenue from LNG exports, particularly as its LNG remains unsanctioned by the EU. From December 2022 to October 2023, half of Russia's LNG exports, totaling €8.3 billion, were directed to the EU market."

Key Importers: Belgium, Spain, and France are the primary importers, accounting for 88% of Russian LNG imports to the EU over the past 10 months.

Significance: The volume of imported LNG has surpassed other forms of Russian fossil fuels, with EU ports receiving over 200 shipments from Russia's Yamal LNG facility annually.

Upcoming Projects: With the launch of Arctic LNG 2 in the coming weeks, EU imports of Russian LNG may increase further in 2024.

Transshipment: European ports facilitate the transshipment of Russian LNG to non-EU destinations. Over 20% of Yamal LNG passes through European terminals, primarily through the port of Zeebrugge.

Recommendation: The report suggests EU Member States should ban transshipment of Russian LNG in their ports, which further travels to non-EU destinations, citing Russia's reliance on these ports for logistics and storage.

Note: Experts assert that phasing out the transshipment of Russian LNG would not pose a significant challenge.

Russians are trying to seize Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant with multiple drones

"The Russian occupiers persist in their attempts to seize the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant, employing small infantry groups and a significant number of drones."

Source: Dmytro Lazutkin, Head of the Press Service of the 47th Brigade, on the Ukrainska Pravda talk show.

"The situation remains highly challenging. The enemy continues relentless attacks, focused on capturing the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant. In a recent engagement on December 7, our forces targeted a sabotage and reconnaissance group, resulting in the elimination of at least 15 enemy combatants. Special recognition was given to the efforts of Sergeant Sviatenko and Junior Sergeant Dmytro Semenyk."

Details: Lazutkin emphasized that the city has been under intense activity for several days, with the Russians launching continuous attacks, including the use of precision-guided bombs. Avdiivka and its outskirts, particularly the plant's territory, are frequently targeted, sometimes every 30-40 minutes.

The Russian forces near Avdiivka have not decreased, with constant waves of small groups, ranging from 10 to 15 individuals, occasionally accompanied by military equipment. Lazutkin noted the significant use of thermal-imaging drones by the Russian side, gaining an advantage over Ukrainian forces, who also possess such technology but are currently at a disadvantage.

He highlighted that Russian losses are considerably higher than those of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, Lazutkin pointed out the challenge of limited access to high-tech devices due to their high costs.