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Scoop of the weekend: Ukrainian serviceman heavily wounded in Donbas

Scoop of the weekend: Ukrainian serviceman heavily wounded in Donbas

Christmas

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wished Ukrainian Catholics merry Christmas.

"Today millions of Western Rite Christians in Ukraine and on Earth celebrate Christmas! A symbol of the best human virtues - love, kindness and mercy. May they unite each of our families and our one big family - Ukraine! I wish everyone good health, great wealth and merry Christmas!" he said.

Sea of Azov

Russia "dictates the situation in the Azov and basically uses it as a war theater", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Washington Post.

"In terms of security, the Sea of Azov is dominated by Russia," he said. "And in case of war, it will be heavily used by them to put pressure on our southern cities on the Azov shore."

Russian threat downplayed

There is no serious risk of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory yet, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, told AFP, as quoted by Deutsche Welle.

The Ukrainian leadership has not yet recorded a critical build-up of Russian troops on the common border, he said.

Kyiv estimates that the number of Russian troops on Ukraine's border has risen from 93,000 to 104,000 since October. "We don't think this is a big increase," Danilov said.

Russia claims partial redeployment

Russia's Southern Military District is returning more than 10,000 servicemen to their permanent deployment points after a month of field training, particularly in occupied Crimea and Rostov Region.

According to the report, the exercises were held at combined arms training ranges in Astrakhan, Volgograd and Rostov regions, Crimea, Stavropol and Krasnodar regions, the North Caucasus republics, as well as at the ranges of Russian military bases in Abkhazia, Armenia and South Ossetia.

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman was heavily wounded in Donbas amid five ceasefire violations by Russia-backed separatists on 26 December, the Joint Forces Operation HQ said.

Separatists fired grenade launchers of various systems near Pivdenne, Pisky, Novoluhanske and Shumy and dropped VOG-17 fragmentation grenades from a drone near Talakivka.

Military registration

Changes to the military registration procedure for Ukrainian women do not mean conscription or compulsory mobilisation of women into the army, the Defence Ministry has clarified.

It noted that its order on the expanded list of professions that must be registered for military service entered into force on 17 December 2021. It contains 35 professional areas.

The previous decree of the Cabinet of Ministers from 1994, which approved the list of relevant jobs, is outdated. It contained specialties which have long been legally non-existent in Ukraine, the Defence Ministry said.

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