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Victorious news on 653rd day of war: aid package from Germany, Ukraine and Sweden discuss supplying Gripen fighter jets

8 December, 2023 Friday
22:00

Ukraine expects a record harvest, Ukrainian Armed Forces can expand the foothold on the left bank of the Kherson region, and Sweden may donate Gripen fighter jets

UAVs, grenade launchers, ammunition from Germany

On December 7, the German government announced that it would provide Ukraine with another batch of military aid, including drones and ammunition.

The new package of military aid from Germany includes:

  • one LUNA NG reconnaissance system
  • 10 Vector reconnaissance UAVs with spare parts
  • 6 border patrol vehicles
  • 8 Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks
  • 30 GMG grenade launchers
  • 250 artillery rounds of 155 mm calibre
  • 100,000 first aid kits and medical supplies

"Funding for the security capacity building initiative amounts to 5.4 billion Euros for 2023 (after 2 billion Euros for 2022) and additional authorizations to enter commitments in the following years amounting to 10.5 billion Euros. These funds are to be used primarily for military assistance to Ukraine," the government's website said.

Russia fears expansion of Ukrainian foothold on Dnipro's left bank in Kherson region

Director of the media and consulting company Defense Express Serhiy Zgurets noted that Ukrainian troops are holding these footholds near Krynky and holding back enemy forces who using guided aerial bombs.

"According to the General Staff, Ukrainian units are holding these footholds, which are located near Krynky and further east, where the enemy cannot control this area within a strip of 3 to 8 km. Our marines are holding them in extremely difficult conditions. It should be understood that the enemy is now effectively using the guided bombs to try to dislodge our units," the expert explained.

Zgurets emphasized that Ukrainian troops are holding near Krynky. 

"It is a little bit to the west, there is a forest area where the main firefights are taking place. Also, the enemy is now beginning to fear that the Ukrainian troops will expand the bridgehead in other areas, in particular to the east of Kherson, on the left bank. In any case, our contingent on the left bank is fulfilling its tasks by holding back the enemy forces," he concluded.

Ukraine, Sweden discuss supply of Gripen aircraft to Ukrainian Armed Forces

Ukraine and Sweden are discussing the possibility of supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces with Gripen fighter jets.

This was discussed at a meeting between Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces General Micael Bydén, the Ministry of Defense's press service reports.

"Fruitful bilateral work on the transfer of Gripen aircraft to Ukraine is underway," said Deputy Minister of Defense Ivan Havryliuk.

He stressed that there are "certain issues related to NATO", but expressed hope that "by joint efforts we will be able to get these aircraft".

Micael Bydén noted that the issue of the Gripen jets being delivered to Ukraine is being discussed at both the political and military operational levels. The dialogue between the countries is ongoing, so political decisions are expected.

Record grain harvest

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine has increased its forecast for this year's harvest of grains and oil seeds to 81.3 million tonnes. 

Thus, the forecast for gross grain production has been increased to 59.7 million tonnes. Harvest volumes of oil seeds remain unchanged at 21.6 million tonnes. This brings the total harvest of grains and oil seeds for the current year to 81.3 million tonnes.

According to preliminary estimates, in 2023, farmers will harvest 22.2 mln tonnes of wheat, 5.8 mln tonnes of barley and 30.1 mln tonnes of corn. As for oil seeds, the harvest of sunflower remained at 13 million tonnes, and soybeans - 4.6 million tonnes. Also, more than 4 million tonnes of rapeseed were harvested.

"This is a record figure for Ukraine, the previous highest grain yield was in 2021, which was 53.6 centners per hectare," the Ministry of Agrarian Policy said. 

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