Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 302.
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes gathers information and provides updates on the situation.
By Daria Dzysiuk.
Kharkiv Region. On December 22 the Russian army once again shelled the cities of Kupiansk and Vovchansk, in the Kharkiv region, according to Oleh Synegubov, Head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration. In Vovchansk, 5 civilians sustained injuries, 4 of them are workers at the central regional hospital. In Kupiansk, a missile struck a residential building, severely damaging it. No casualties have been reported so far.
As of December 22, the 302nd day since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces has killed over 100,000 Russian troops in total, and wounded approximately 300,000, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the U.S. government at a joint session of the U.S. Congress on December 21. Zelenskyy entered the House to a standing ovation from members of congress before delivering a beautiful and emotional speech. Key passages from Zelenskyy’s speech included:
“Ukraine is alive and kicking. And it gives me good reason to share with you our first joint victory – we defeated Russia in the battle for minds of the world.”
“Yesterday – before coming here to Washington DC – I was at the frontline, in our Bakhmut. Every inch of that land is soaked in blood. Roaring guns sound every hour. But the Ukrainian Donbas stands.The occupiers have a significant advantage in artillery. They have an advantage in ammunition. They have much more missiles and planes than we ever had. But our Defense Forces stand. And we all are proud of them.”
“And your support is crucial – not just to stand in such fights, but to get to the turning point. To win on the battlefield. We have artillery. Yes. Thank you. Is it enough? Honestly, not really. To ensure Bakhmut is not just a stronghold that holds back the Russian army – but for the Russian army to completely pull out – more cannons and shells are needed. If your ‘Patriots’ stop the Russian terror against our cities, it will let Ukrainian patriots work to the full to defend our freedom.”
“We’ll celebrate Christmas – and even if there is no electricity, the light of our faith in ourselves will not be put out. If Russian missiles attack us – we’ll do our best to protect ourselves. And we don’t have to know everyone’s wish as we know that all of us, millions of Ukrainians, wish the same – victory. Only victory.”
“Now, on this special Christmas time, I want to thank you. All of you. I thank every American family, which cherishes the warmth of its home and wishes the same warmth to other people.”
At the end of his speech, Zelenskyy turned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hand her a Ukrainian flag signed by Ukrainian servicemen currently fighting in Bakhmut, as “a symbol of our victory in this war.”
President Biden has announced an additional shipment of security aid to Ukraine worth $1.85 billion that includes Patriot Air Defense Systems. “Today, I’m announcing the next tranche of security assistance to Ukraine: A $1.85 billion package that includes equipment and ammunition contracts. And a Patriot missile battery that we will train forces to operate as part of our efforts to strengthen Ukrainian air defense,” Biden’s message says.
Charge d’affaires of Ukraine to Georgia, Andrii Kasianov, and Romeo Mikautadze, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, participated in a loading ceremony of 25 powerful (from 150 to 500 kW) generators worth 1.4 million Georgian Lari (approx. $530,000) purchased by the Georgian government for shipment to Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine in Georgia says. These are generators of industrial use intended for powering hospitals, thermal power plants and ordinary ones, pumping units for drinking water, and other vital services. “The Embassy of Ukraine in Georgia expresses its gratitude to the Government of Georgia. Thanks to aid and support of our friends and allies, including brotherly Georgia, we will win this fight with the world's evil – Russian fascism,” the Embassy’s message said.
Over 10,000 fresh graves appeared on the outskirts of occupied Mariupol, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Associated Press’ investigation indicated. AP journalists scrutinized satellite images of Staryy Krym cemetery from early March to December and concluded that at least 10,300 new graves have appeared on the site.
According to AP data, the death toll in Mariupol city may be three times greater than early estimates, which suggested 25,000 people in the city were killed during Russia’s attack and occupation. As of now, the total area occupied by graves is over 51,500 square meters. “AP then reviewed drone and video footage that showed the Russians had used heavy machinery to dig long trenches which were then filled back in. The graves were visible as dirt mounds, sometimes with wooden crosses bearing names and dates but mostly with hand-scrawled numbers on small placards. A few graves were marked with multiple numbers, potentially indicating more than one set of human remains,” reads the AP’s article, implying that the number of graves does not necessarily correspond to the number of Ukrainians murdered.