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Zelenskyy held press conference, and Defense Intelligence attacked Moscow with drones - Wednesday brief

Zelenskyy held press conference, and Defense Intelligence attacked Moscow with drones - Wednesday brief Photo: Collage by RBC-Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a press conference on December 19. And several regions of Russia, including the outskirts of Moscow, were attacked by unknown drones.

RBC-Ukraine gathered the main news for December 20.

Russia's war against Ukraine: The latest news

Ukraine ramps up kamikaze drones production to compensate for ammunition shortage

The shortage of artillery ammunition in Ukraine will continue. To compensate for the lack of shells, Ukraine is increasing the production of kamikaze drones, according to Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk.

"As for artillery ammunition, this issue will continue to arise. Therefore, Ukraine decided to address these issues by creating a powerful UAV production facility," Havryliuk says in an interview.

In addition, Ukraine is increasing its production of ammunition "of almost all nomenclatures of the former USSR," the Deputy Defense Minister says.

Noticed even near Moscow: Ukrainian intelligence attacks Russian regions with new drones

Several regions of Russia, including the outskirts of Moscow, were attacked by unknown drones overnight, according to RBC-Ukraine's sources in the security services. It is said to be a testing of new means by the Ukrainian intelligence.

The Carpet plan was announced at Moscow's Vnukovo, Domodedovo, and Zhukovsky airports. The Russians claim that air defense systems are working, according to Russian propaganda media.

EBRD approves EUR 4 billion capital increase to finance Ukraine

The leadership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved an increase in the bank's paid-up capital by 4 billion euros to 34 billion euros, according to the bank's press service.

The EBRD has already provided Ukraine with over 3 billion euros in loans since Russia's invasion of the country in February 2022.

This latest step, following a recommendation made by the EBRD's Board of Directors in November 2023, completes the formal process of increasing the EBRD's statutory capital. The capital increase will take effect on December 31, 2024.

Zelenskyy's press conference

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine requested an additional mobilization of 450-500 thousand people

The Head of State has stated, "The Chief Commander and the General Staff addressed the mobilization at the Staff meeting level. This is a sensitive issue. They addressed the defense of our state and potential counteroffensive actions regarding the deficit. Their view was, they proposed mobilizing an additional 450-500 thousand people."

According to him, this is a serious figure. He has responded to the military that more arguments are needed for such a step because it concerns people, justice, defense capability, and finances.

Zelenskyy answers whether war will end in 2024

"I think no one knows the answer," the statement said.

"When they say that the war will last for many years, they don't know. These are opinions. Opinions often differ from reality," added the president.

President Zelenskyy also discussed the conditions under which Ukraine could end the war earlier and mentioned forecasts that Russians would capture Kyiv within three days.

"These were also opinions. I want to be correct. War, victory, defeat, stagnation - depend on many decisions, many risks, many directions, but mostly on us with you. If we do not lose our resilience, we will end the war earlier. If we do not lose our spirit, we can live with skepticism, but we can also have a country of 'pros.' And I am not ready for that. And I know there are millions like me. We are not ready to give up our country," added the president.

Zelenskyy : "1 warrior is equivalent to 6 taxpayers"

The president particularly emphasized that he awaits details regarding mobilization since he wants to advocate for civilians, as "1 military person is 'supported' by 6 civilians."

"One warrior corresponds to 6 people in civilian life who pay taxes. When we talk about mobilization, multiply the necessary 500,000 mobilized by 6 taxpayers. And understand how we can find an additional 3 million taxpayers starting from January," explained the president.

Zelenskyy refused to disclose the goals of next year's counteroffensive and defense actions

"I cannot tell you about the goals. We had difficulties in the south because everyone talked about our plans, everyone considered the details... Well, it doesn't work out that way with the Russian Federation, which has more weapons. I cannot tell you any details about our counteroffensive and defensive actions next year," explained the president.

Mobilization, government reduction, 1 million drones: Zelenskyy's press conference highlights

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a press conference on December 19. The meeting between the head of state and journalists was dedicated to the current year's results and lasted two hours.

RBC-Ukraine has summarized the key statements made by the President.

More about the key statements of the President - in a new video by RBC-Ukraine.