Victorious news on the 650th day of war: Ukrainian forces target Russian ammunition depot and Grad in Donetsk, Finland to boost heavy ammo production for Ukraine
The World Bank will provide Ukraine with $1.2 billion, and Finnish Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen said that in the coming weeks the government will make an important decision to increase the production of artillery shells
Russian ammunition depot and Grad MLRS targeted in occupied Donetsk
During reconnaissance operations in the Donetsk sector, operators of the 73rd Maritime Centre of the Special Operations Forces discovered an enemy ammunition depot and established the location of BM-21 Grad.
The crew of the special forces used an UAV system to strike the targets. As a result of the hit, the ammo warehouse and the Grad were destroyed.
Ukrainian Armed Forces shoot down a Russian Su-24M bomber
Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber over the Black Sea.
"It looks like the Moskva cruiser will soon become an aircraft carrier! I am pleased to inform you about the destruction of a Russian Su-24M bomber near Snake Island, which under the cover of a Su-30SM fighter tried to launch a missile and bomb attack on the south of Odesa region," wrote Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of Ukraine's Air Force.
According to Oleshchuk, the anti-aircraft missile unit of the South Air Command sent the RussianSu-24M after the Russian warship to the sea bottom.
The World Bank will provide Ukraine with $1.2 billion
On December 4, the Ministry of Social Policy and the World Bank signed an agreement under which $1.2bn will be allocated to finance social payments in Ukraine. Minister of Social Policy Oksana Zholnovych and World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine Arup Banerji signed an agreement to launch an investment project. It will be financed by a $1.2 billion loan from the World Bank.
The project's money will be allocated to the general fund of the state budget and will provide funding for 29 social benefits provided for in the state budget for 2023 and 2024.
Belgium confirms intentions to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine
Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with his Belgian counterpart Ludivine Dedonder to discuss the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and pilot training.
"The handover of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and the training of pilots, as well as the supply of necessary equipment, were discussed during a meeting between Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder," the statement said.
Umerov stressed that it is now necessary to start the process of establishing supply chains for spare parts, technical equipment and ammunition for the F-16.
"Also during the meeting, the parties discussed the possibility of hosting representatives of the Belgian defence industry in Ukraine early next year," the Defence Ministry added.
The Belgian counterpart confirmed the country's intention to provide Ukraine with F-16 aircraft in 2025.
Finland announces the start of ammunition production for Ukraine
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen said that in the coming weeks, the Finnish government will make an important decision to increase the production of artillery shells.
"We have concluded negotiations on how Finland will increase the production of heavy ammunition for Ukraine's armaments. This decision will be made very soon," Häkkänen said.
He stressed that the decision is likely to be made before Christmas.
"The plans are ready. A plan to significantly increase ammunition production has been announced. We intend to support Ukraine even more than we do now. At the same time, we will further increase the readiness of Finland and the Nordic countries to produce ammunition," Häkkänen explained.
The cost of increasing ammunition production will reach tens of millions of euros. Nammo Lapua produces artillery shells in Finland and cooperates with the Defense Forces Explosives Centre.
According to Häkkänen, Finland has appealed to both NATO and the EU, especially to the large European member states, to increase assistance to Ukraine in the form of weapons.
"We see arming Ukraine as a fatal issue. The priority of our influence in the EU and NATO is to push large countries, especially in Europe, to increase arms production," Häkkänen said.
Ukrainian film wins at Torino Film Festival
The film La Palisiada by Ukrainian director Philip Sotnychenko has won the 41st Torino Film Festival.
The film was presented at the festival by the actor in one of the main roles, who also acted as the co-director, Novruz Hikmet.
"La Palisiada" is about the times of 1996, 5 months before the moratorium on the death penalty. Two old friends, a police detective and a forensic psychiatrist, are investigating the murder of their colleague. Once upon a time, they were both in love with the victim's widow. Immersed in a confusing case and long-forgotten memories, they create a future in which their children must live, inheriting their parents' unfulfilled aspirations," reads the synopsis.
The film will be released in Ukrainian cinemas on 11 January 2024.