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Ukrainian PM's appeal for funding and Panamanian-flagged civilian ship hit Russian mine in Black Sea - Thursday brief

Ukrainian PM's appeal for funding and Panamanian-flagged civilian ship hit Russian mine in Black Sea - Thursday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Amid a possible delay in financial aid for the state, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal appealed to international donors and asked for a meeting. A Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier in the Black Sea was on its way to a Danube port to load grain but hit a Russian mine.

RBC-Ukraine has compiled the main news for December 28.

Russia's war against Ukraine

  • Last night, during the repulsion of another Russian air attack by Shahed drones, the air defense forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed 7 enemy UAVs, reports the press service of the Air Force. The Air Force also clarified that 7 enemy drones were shot down by fighter aircraft, air defense units, and mobile fire groups within three regions, namely in Dnipro, Kirovohrad, and Zaporizhzhia.
  • At night, explosions were heard in the occupied Crimea in Sevastopol and near Krasnoperekopsk. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the alleged destruction of two drones over the peninsula. Later, at about ten o'clock in the morning, Crimean Telegram channels wrote about two more explosions in Krasnoperekopsk, while the cause of the blows was not specified.
  • Russians shelled Vovchansk, Kharkiv region, killing a local woman and injuring another. The enemy also launched an air strike on the village of Hlushkivka near Kupiansk, injuring three women, damaging houses, and causing a gas leak. In addition, the Russian military massively attacked the Nikopol district of the Dnipropetrovsk region, killing a man and injuring a woman. Two civilians were injured in Kherson as a result of Russian attacks on residential buildings, and the city suffered a partial power outage.
  • Late in the evening of December 28, the Russians launched another air attack using Shaheds. An alert was announced in a number of regions, and air defense was reported to be operating. In Odesa, the wreckage of a downed enemy drone fell on a residential building, and a fire broke out.

'We cannot wait till March': Ukrainian PM asks donors for prompt funding

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal has appealed to international donors and requested meetings due to a potential delay in financial assistance to Ukraine, reports Bloomberg.

In a letter to the coordination group overseeing funds, Shmyhal stated that Ukraine needs financing as soon as next month. It is intended for the needs of the country's main budget.

Recently, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine announced that funding needs for 2024 amount to $37.3 billion after receiving over $42 billion in external aid in 2023.

If West stops funding indexing pensions at risk - Ukrainian Minister of Economy

The Ukrainian government may cancel the planned pension indexation starting March 1 in case of a delay in financial assistance from the West. However, there will be enough funds for the basic pension, according to the Minister of Social Policy, Oksana Zholnovych.

The minister reassured all pensioners receiving old-age pensions. According to her, the lion's share of the Pension Fund's budget is formed from internal pension revenues provided by Ukrainian taxpayers.

U.S. proposes to G7 to confiscate $300 billion of Russian assets - FT

The United States is proposing that G7 countries confiscate $300 billion of frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine. Allies are rushing to coordinate the plan by the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion, according to the Financial Times.

Germany, France, Italy, and the EU have expressed some reservations and the need to assess the legality of asset confiscation carefully. As FT notes, several European ministers also called for maintaining secrecy.

The United States has not officially supported the arrest of Russian assets. Still, the G7 distributed a document stating that it would be legal and a "countermeasure to encourage Russia to stop its aggression.

Massive accident in Türkiye: Dozen dead, nearly 60 injured

A massive accident occurred in the Black Sea region of Türkiye. The accident killed 10 people and injured 59 others.

The accident was caused by a collision between a car and a truck. Later, other vehicles were involved in the accident.

According to eyewitnesses, some people died as a result of a car hitting those who got out of their vehicles and watched the first accident.

Civilian ship with Panamanian flag hits Russian mine in Black Sea

A civilian vessel flying the Panamanian flag hit a Russian mine in the Black Sea. The bulk carrier was en route to one of the Danube ports to load grain. Two individuals have been injured, according to the Southern Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Coast Guard boats and search and rescue teams promptly provided assistance to the crew, bringing medics on board.

Zelenskyy discusses 'peace formula' with Pope Francis

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy today, December 28, had a conversation with Pope Francis, according to the statement from the head of Ukraine.

"Just spoke with His Holiness Pope Francis," the statement said.

President Zelenskyy thanked him for the greetings to Ukraine and Ukrainians on Christmas, as well as for his wish for just peace.

Russian execution of Ukrainian POWs: Prosecutor's Office names suspects

War criminals from the 76th Guards Air Assault Division of the Russian Federation may be involved in the shooting of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the Zaporizhzhia region. It is also known as the Pskov Airborne Division, according to Yurii Belousov, head of the Department for Combating Crimes in the Context of Armed Conflict at the Prosecutor General's Office, on Radio Liberty.

The names of the fallen Ukrainian soldiers have been identified and are being verified. They will be made public later. The Prosecutor General's Office has not yet commented on the whereabouts of the bodies of the fallen defenders.

The Prosecutor's General Office has also identified possible suspects involved in the shooting of Ukrainian prisoners.

Kakhovka HPP explosion: Hundreds of people killed in Russian-occupied territory

At least a hundred people have lost their lives during the flood following the explosion caused by Russians at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP). The authorities under the control of the aggressor country deliberately and significantly downplayed the number of casualties, according to the Associated Press.

Russia itself claimed that only 59 people drowned in the territory under its control after the dam of the Kakhovka HPP was blown up.

An investigation by AP revealed that the number of fatalities is at least a hundred in just the occupied town of Oleshky in the Kherson region. At that time, the city was one of the most densely populated areas affected by the flood, with around 16,000 residents.