A brief overview of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: the latest updates after 669 days

Waves of shelling and drone attacks from Russia were reported in the Kherson region, resulting in one death and seven injuries. Closer to the frontlines in eastern Ukraine, a power station was also targeted, leading to injuries to five workers and a power outage in Kurakhovo. These incidents occurred on Saturday.
For the first time, many Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas Day on December 25th instead of the traditionally observed date of January 7th by the Orthodox Church. The decision to change the date was made by the government as a sign of independence from Russian influence. The new law allows Ukrainians to embrace their own traditions and holidays and move away from the Russian heritage of celebrating Christmas on January 7th. Ukraine has a predominantly Christian population, with the Russian Orthodox Church having been the dominant religious institution until recent times.
Yekaterina Duntsova, a former TV journalist, intends to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify her from running in the upcoming Russian presidential election. She believes the decision is unjustified and undemocratic.
RadosÅ‚aw Sikorski, Poland’s new foreign minister, has urged European countries to enhance their long-term plans for military production following his visit to Ukraine. He emphasized the importance of industrial capacities in determining the outcome of wars and expressed concern that Europe is lagging in this aspect.
To deny banks under sanctions access to the American financial system, President Joe Biden signed an executive order blacklisting financial institutions that support the Russian military-industrial complex.
Due to a shortage of soldiers, fighting-age Ukrainian men in Estonia may face extradition to Ukraine to join the war effort. Estonia is prepared to support Ukraine’s proposal to conscript Ukrainian men residing abroad for military service.
Nikolai Kharitonov, a 75-year-old candidate who gained nearly 14% of the national vote when he ran against Putin in 2004, has been selected by the Communist party of Russia to run in the presidential polls. This party is the second-largest in parliament.
The Wall Street Journal, in conversations with western intelligence officials and a former Russian intelligence officer, has reported that a close ally of Vladimir Putin approved the assassination of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner mercenary army.
After protest actions by Polish truckers, the key border crossing between Poland and Ukraine at Shehyni-Medyka has been reopened, marking an important improvement according to Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko.
According to UK intelligence, both Ukrainian and Russian troops in some areas of the frontline are facing an unusually high level of infestation by rats and mice. The Ministry of Defence attributes this rise in rodent populations to milder temperatures and an abundance of food in recent months.

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