Ukrainian tank artillery near Kharkiv (on Christmas Eve 2022)
Photo: Evgeniy Maloletka / dpa
That says Kyiv
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the situation on the front in the Donbass region is "difficult and painful" and requires all the "strength and concentration" of the country.
"First of all, the situation at the front: Bakhmut, Kreminna and other areas of the Donbass, which require maximum strength and concentration," says Zelenskyy in his evening video address.
»The situation there is difficult and painful.
The occupiers are using every means at their disposal - and they are considerable resources - to make any advance."
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko fears a major Russian attack with rockets and cruise missiles on New Year's Eve.
"The Russians have not renounced attacks against our energy grid," he said on Ukrainian television on Monday evening.
"And since they are based on specific dates, New Year's is likely to be a date on which they will try to damage our power grid." The power grid is currently being repaired quickly in order to give the Ukrainians uninterrupted New Year's celebrations.
The prerequisite, however, is that there are no new Russian attacks.
The Russian military has been attacking the Ukrainian energy grid again and again for weeks with cruise missiles, rockets and so-called kamikaze drones.
The aim is to put the population under pressure in the middle of winter with the failure of the electricity and water supply.
The soldiers in the Ukrainian army receive uniforms specially tailored to them.
As Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov announced on Facebook on Monday, the first deliveries of uniforms and corresponding underwear have already been issued to several brigades for testing.
Changes could still be made after a certain »trial period«.
Boots with raised heels for female soldiers should also be introduced from January, as well as special protective vests.
Uniforms for pregnant soldiers should also find their way into the units.
Reznikov put the number of female soldiers in the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces at 41,000.
Almost 19,000 other women are employed as civilian employees in the army.
"About 5,000 women are directly involved in combat operations," Reznikov wrote.
They therefore serve in various formations, from armored units to infantry and artillery.
Moscow says so
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has once again made clear statements about the alleged "willingness to talk" on the Russian side.
“It's pretty simple: meet our requirements.
Or the Russian army will decide the matter.” Over the Christmas holidays, Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that he was ready to negotiate.
However, he combined this with conditions that can hardly be accepted.
This applies above all to the demand for Ukraine to renounce the Russian-occupied areas, which make up around a fifth of the entire territory.
In Kyiv, but also in the West, the Russian statements were accordingly not classified as a serious attempt at a negotiated solution.
Russia accuses Ukraine of wanting to drag NATO deeper into the war.
Foreign Minister Lavrov told the TASS state agency in an interview published on Tuesday night: "The (Kiev) regime is trying on its behalf to draw the Americans and other NATO members deeper into the vortex of the conflict in the hope of a hasty clash inevitable with the Russian army.« In this context, Lavrov recalled the impact of a rocket in Poland in mid-November and described the Ukrainian reaction to it as a provocation.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy tried to "pass the missile as a Russian missile," Lavrov said.
"It's good that Washington and Brussels had the wisdom at the time not to fall for it." However, this incident showed that nothing can stop Kyiv.
The West had recently assumed that the missile was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against Russian attacks.
Lavrov criticized the West's course.
He constantly speculates that Russia is about to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
“We are talking about completely different matters here – the policy of the West, aimed at total restraint from Russia, is extremely dangerous.
It poses risks of a direct armed clash between the nuclear powers,” Lavrov claimed.
Moscow always emphasizes that there can be no winners in nuclear war and "it must never be unleashed".
Russia is on the verge of deploying domestically-made high-performance gas turbines, according to its power equipment maker Power Machines.
The company announced that assembly and testing of the first such turbine have now been completed.
The plants are intended to replace imported turbines that are unavailable due to Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war.
Companies such as Siemens Energy, General Electric and Alstom, whose turbines have been used to build modern gas-fired power plants in Russia, are either withdrawing from the Russian market or have already done so.
Despite repair work on the power grid, which was severely damaged by Russian attacks, around nine million people in Ukraine are still without electricity.
"But the number and duration of power outages is steadily decreasing," said President Zelenskyj in his daily video address on Monday evening.
But there are still many deficits in the power supply.
Important decisions were made during his consultations with government officials on the situation in the energy and infrastructure sectors on Monday.
"We are preparing for the next year, not just for the winter months," Zelenskyy said.
"There are steps that need to be taken, and the state will definitely take them." The president did not give any details.
At the same time, Zelenskyy warned of possible new Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy grid.
"The air defenses are preparing, the state is preparing, and everyone must prepare," he said.