A quick overview of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: the latest updates on day 663

Russia has reportedly demolished almost every building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka.
The EU Council has approved a new set of sanctions against Russia, aimed at imposing import and export bans, combating sanctions circumvention, and closing loopholes.
According to a recent report, Russia has caused extensive damage including the destruction of buildings in Avdiivka as part of a deliberate assault on civilian infrastructure.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has submitted the necessary documents to register as an independent candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has stated in its latest intelligence update that Russian fighters from the Storm-Z units are likely returning to combat duties with untreated injuries.
Ukraine’s border service has reported that Polish truckers have resumed their blockade of the main crossing at the Ukrainian border, one week after it was lifted.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has apprehended a Ukrainian citizen who allegedly spied for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to assist in directing a Russian attack on Zaporizhzhia.
The Kremlin has expressed its support for Aleksandar Vučić’s Serbian Progressive Party following their claimed victory in the parliamentary elections. The spokesperson stated that Moscow hopes this will further strengthen the friendship between the countries.
Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, a senior army general, has revealed that frontline Ukrainian soldiers are facing shortages of artillery shells, leading to scaled-back military operations. The lack of foreign assistance has contributed to these shortages.
Lithuanian Defence Minister, Arvydas Anusauskas, has announced that the main units of a German army brigade moving to Lithuania will arrive in 2025 and achieve full fighting readiness in 2027.
Russia’s Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, is scheduled to meet with China’s President, Xi Jinping, this week. The leaders will engage in talks in China on December 19th and 20th, with Mishustin also holding a meeting with the Chinese Premier, Li Qiang.
For the second consecutive day, Russia and Ukraine have launched drones into each other’s territories. The Russian Defence Ministry stated that overnight, 35 Ukrainian drones were shot down in three regions in southwestern Russia. Among the targets was a Russian airbase hosting bomber aircraft used in Ukraine, according to a critical Russian Telegram channel.
Russian troops deployed 20 Shahed drones and one X-59 cruise missile from the occupied south of the country into southern and western Ukraine. Ukraine’s air force successfully intercepted the Iranian-made drones. Tragically, a civilian was killed overnight near Odesa after a destroyed drone fell on their house, as reported by Ukraine’s military.

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