Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his government aims to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations with Secretary General Antonio Guterres as a possible mediator, around the time of the anniversary of the Russian war.
“The United Nations might be the best place to hold this summit, because it’s not about doing a certain country a favor,” Kuleba said. “It’s really about bringing everyone on board.”
Asked if Russia would be invited to the summit, he said Russia would first need to be seated to be prosecuted for war crimes in an international court, for example. “They can only be invited to this step in this way,” Kuleba said.
On Guterres’s role, Kuleba said: “He has proven to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. Therefore, we would appreciate your active participation.”
The Ukrainian minister also told the AP news agency that he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the US last week, revealing that the US government will be operational in the country in less than six months. Training usually takes up to a year.
Kuleba said that Ukraine will do everything possible to win the war in 2023, adding that diplomacy always plays an important role. “Every war ends diplomatically,” he said. “Every war ends as a result of actions taken on the battlefield and at the bargaining table.”
Here are the other top headlines from the war in Ukraine on Monday, December 26:
Zelenskyy seeks Indian PM Modi’s help with ‘peace formula’
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he asked India for help in implementing a “peace formula” in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The talk comes at a time when India seeks to strengthen trade relations with Moscow while Western nations introduce new measures to limit Russia’s financing of the war.
Zelenskyy wished Modi a successful G20 presidency. “It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I am counting on India’s participation in its implementation,” he wrote on Twitter.
Zelenskyy last month called on the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to adopt Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula and end the war.
This formula includes, among other things, radiological and nuclear safety; food safety; energy security; release of prisoners and deportees; implementation of the UN Charter; withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities.
During the call, Modi “strongly reiterated” his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and conveyed India’s support for any peace effort.
Czech president predicts Russia will withdraw from Ukraine
Czech President Milos Zeman called for more support for Ukraine, including military backing, arguing that Russia would eventually have to leave Ukraine.
“I am convinced that sooner or later the pressure of free countries will force Russia to leave the territory of Ukraine,” Zeman said in his traditional Christmas television address.
He said that he has always favored correct economic relations between his country and Russia, especially for its important energy supplies.
Now, however, the security of the world and therefore also of the Czech Republic is threatened, he noted. In such situations, economic interests had to take second place to security interests.
Until the Russian attack on Ukraine, Zeman was considered an opponent of tough EU sanctions against Russia. Therefore, he had often been criticized as “pro-Russian”.
Russia puts Bellingcat journalist on wanted list
Russia has placed a senior journalist with the investigative website Bellingcat on a wanted list, following his extensive reporting on Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
The name of Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev has been added to a wanted list on the Russian Interior Ministry website.
The ministry did not specify what crime he was wanted for. But the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a source as saying a criminal case had been opened against Grozev for “spreading falsehoods about the Russian military” under strict censorship laws adopted after Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in February.
Russia’s FSB national security agency accused Grozev of aiding Ukrainian intelligence.
Grozev is Russia’s lead investigator for Bellingcat and has led investigations into the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. This year he has focused on Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
UK: Monitoring new minefields is a challenge for Russia
Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence briefing that Moscow lacked adequate personnel to effectively monitor the new minefields it laid in Ukraine.
The ministry said Russia has focused on expanding its defensive positions since October with anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, “almost certainly going beyond Russian doctrinal guidelines.”
“A major challenge for Russian forces will likely be a shortage of surveillance assets and trained personnel to effectively monitor large areas of the new minefields,” the report says.
He noted that minefields would pose a particular obstacle to trained Russian troops if they were covered by adequate surveillance and fire.
Reports: 3 Dead at Russian Base After Drone Attack
Russian news agencies reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, that three servicemen were killed at a base near the Saratov region in southwestern Russia when they shot down a Ukrainian drone.
“A Ukrainian UAV was shot down at low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region,” the Russian ministry said.
“As a result of the falling wreckage of the drone, three Russian servicemen from technical personnel who were at the airfield were fatally injured.”
Roman Busargin, governor of the Saratov region, said civilian infrastructure facilities were not damaged in the incident.
“There is absolutely no threat to residents,” Busargin said, adding that “civilian infrastructure facilities were not damaged.”
Earlier this month, three people were reportedly killed in explosions that hit military airfields near Saratov, some 860 kilometers (534 miles) southeast of Moscow.
Ukraine seeks Russia’s withdrawal from the UN Security Council
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv will call on Monday for Russia to lose its permanent veto-wielding seat on the UN Security Council.
“We have a very simple question: does Russia have the right to remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to be in the United Nations?” she said on national television.
“We have a convincing and reasoned answer: no, it’s not like that.”
The top Ukrainian diplomat said the issue was already being discussed in diplomatic circles.
“These issues are not yet discussed at press conferences and in public statements by the heads of states and governments, but at a lower level people are already asking the question: what should Russia be like so as not to represent a threat to peace and peace? security,” he said.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia have held permanent seats on the UN Security Council since the multilateral organization’s inception after the end of World War II.
Western countries have tried to go to the 193-member UN General Assembly to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Moscow has blocked Security Council resolutions on the war.
Russian weapons systems in Belarus ready for use
The S-400 air defense system and Iskander tactical missile systems that Russia had sent to Belarus are battle-ready and prepared to carry out assigned tasks, a senior Belarusian Defense Ministry official said on Sunday.
“These types of weapons (Iskander and S-400 systems) are on combat duty today and are fully prepared to perform tasks for their intended purpose,” Leonid Kasinsky, head of the ministry’s Main Ideological Directorate, said in a video. posted on the Telegram messaging app.
The two guided missiles of the Iskander systems can carry conventional or nuclear warheads and have a maximum range of 500 kilometers (300 miles). This reaches deep into the territories of neighboring Belarus, Ukraine and Poland.
The S-400 system is a Russian mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) interception system with the ability to engage aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and has terminal ballistic missile defense capability.
As Russia’s war against Ukraine progresses, Moscow has increased pressure on Minsk to help its war efforts.
In February, Russian forces had used Belarus as a launching pad for their failed attack on Kyiv. Meanwhile, there has been a rising spate of Russian and Belarusian military activity in recent months.
China to deepen ties with Russia
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday defended Beijing’s neutral stance on the war in Ukraine, saying China will strengthen ties with Russia next year.
In his words, China will “deepen strategic mutual trust and win-win cooperation” with Russia.
China’s refusal to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and join other countries in imposing sanctions on Moscow has further strained relations and created a rift with the West.
“Regarding the Ukraine crisis, we have consistently upheld the fundamental principles of objectivity and impartiality, neither favoring one side or the other, nor adding fuel to the fire, let alone seeking selfish gain from the situation,” Wang was quoted as saying. an official text of your comments.
Last week, Russia and China held joint naval exercises in the East China Sea.
Zelenskyy promises to ‘find all the murderers’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed on Sunday to avenge those killed in Russian artillery attacks on Kherson, while calling on Ukrainians to be prepared for all scenarios in the coming days.
“We will find all the killers,” the president said in his daily video address on Sunday after at least 16 people were killed and 64 wounded in Russian attacks in Kherson on Saturday.
Zelenskyy warned the Ukrainians of more attacks from Russia in the last days of the year.
“We must be aware that our enemy will try to make this moment dark and difficult for us,” he said, adding that “we must be prepared for any scenario.”
The Ukrainian president said that Moscow was trying to make up for its losses “with the cunning of its propagandists.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday that Kyiv forces attacked a meeting in the village of Zabaryne, wounding at least 70 Russian officers. The death toll was unknown.
more about the war
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier used his Christmas speech to call for peace in Ukraine after 10 months of “terrible suffering”. When peace comes, he said, it must benefit the Ukrainian people and not Russia.
dh,ss/dj,sri (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)