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Putin's record budget on war, U.S. non-refundable aid for Ukraine and iOS 17.1.2 update - Wednesday brief

Putin's record budget on war, U.S. non-refundable aid for Ukraine and iOS 17.1.2 update - Wednesday brief Photo: Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has signed a law on the federal budget for 2024-2026. The Russian government intends to allocate almost a third of all expenses for the maintenance of the army and the defense-industrial complex for the first time since Soviet times.

RBC-Ukraine gathered the main news for November 29.

Putin to spend a third of the budget on war - record since USSR collapse

Under the category of national defense, expenditures will amount to 10.775 trillion rubles (121 billion dollars at the current exchange rate of the Central Bank of Russia), a 70% increase compared to 2023 (6.8 trillion), 2.3 times more than in 2022 (4.7 trillion), and three times higher than the pre-war figures of 2021 (3.5 trillion).

The Soviet Union allocated a third of its budget to defense in its final years. In the 1990 budget, 71 billion rubles out of 241.3 billion were earmarked for military purposes, which is 29.4%.

Russia's war against Ukraine: Latest news

U.S. allocated non-refundable aid for Ukraine's energy sector

The U.S. government will make its first grant contribution to the Energy Support Fund of Ukraine, providing $25 million (23 million euros). The agreement was signed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Secretariat of the Energy Community.

In particular, from January 1 to November 27, 2023, within the Fund, 132 agreements for purchasing energy equipment, fuel, and materials have been concluded, totaling almost 100 million euros.

iOS 17.1.2 update: Release date and key improvements

The latest data online indicates that Apple is actively developing the iOS 17.1.2 update for the iPhone.

iOS 17.1.2 will be the second update for the iPhone this month, following 17.1.1, which addressed issues with wireless charging in BMW cars for the iPhone 15 lineup, as well as a malfunction where the snow icon was not displayed in the Weather app widget. It is expected that after iOS 17.1.2, Apple will release iOS 17.2, which has been in beta testing for about a month.

Ukrainian intelligence chief's wife poisoned, investigation underway

The wife of the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, was poisoned. Marianna Budanova is in the hospital.
The interlocutor noted that the woman was diagnosed with damage by heavy metals. Such substances are not used in everyday life and military affairs. So, their use may indicate the likelihood of a poisoning attempt.

Ukrainian and European Parliament sign considerable memorandum: Key highlights

The Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament signed a vital memorandum on November 28. It will help Ukraine prepare for joining the E.U., in particular, an office of the legislative body will appear in Kyiv, European Parliament President Roberta Metzola and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk say at a press conference.

The President of the European Parliament emphasizes that in this way, it will be possible to strengthen parliamentary ties between Ukraine and the EU. In addition, she also focused on the need to continue providing support to Ukraine, in particular, military support through the European Peace Facility (EPF), as well as support from E.U. members.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister to boycott OSCE meeting due to Russian representative

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, will not participate in the OSCE meeting at the ministerial level in Skopje (North Macedonia), which will take place from November 29 to December 1.

The reason is the participation of the Russian delegation, in particular, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov.