Get Informed, Stay Inspired

Zelenskyy, Ukraine's president, spoke to military officers from the United States in Washington.
Europe Ukraine

Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, spoke to military officers from the United States in Washington.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to U.S. military officers at the National Defense University in Washington. He received a round of applause and began his visit to Washington with the goal of convincing Congress to increase military aid to Ukraine before current funding expires.

During his address, Zelenskyy stressed the significance of defeating Russia in Ukraine. He warned that if Russia is victorious in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin will not cease his actions there.

“He is currently using propaganda and disinformation as his weapon against you,” he stated, referring to Putin. “However, if the opportunity arises, he will take it further. Currently, he is redirecting Russia’s economy and society towards what he refers to as ‘war tracks’.”

Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of upholding freedom in the face of challenges and expressed gratitude towards Americans for their support.

The entire globe is observing our actions. Ukraine has not surrendered and will not surrender. We are aware of our course of action and you can rely on us. We also hope to be able to rely on your support.

In a photo posted on his Telegram channel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown, Dec. 11, 2023.

On December 11, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown, as seen in a photo shared on his Telegram channel.

The president of Ukraine reported that their forces have regained 50% of the territory previously lost to Russia and attributed this success to the determination of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.

“At this moment, amidst intense conflicts, our troops are maintaining their positions on the front and making preparations for future actions. We have successfully prevented Russia from achieving any victories this year.” However, he emphasized the importance of achieving victory in the air.

During his speech at the National Defense University, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin emphasized that the United States’ commitment to supporting Ukraine remains strong and issued a warning that failure to confront the Kremlin’s aggression now will only result in further attacks, violence, and turmoil from other potential aggressors.

According to Austin, Putin remains convinced that he can outlast both Ukraine and America, despite his offenses and solitary position. However, this belief is misguided.

The spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Kristalina Georgieva, the chief of IMF, will have a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Washington on Monday. This comes as the executive board of the IMF is getting ready to provide additional funds from the $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speak to the press following a meeting at the IMF in Washington, Dec. 11, 2023.

On December 11, 2023, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, held a press conference after their meeting at the IMF headquarters in Washington.

Last month, the IMF declared a tentative agreement with Ukraine regarding revised economic and financial strategies, enabling a $900 million payment once it is approved by the board.

The IMF stated that despite Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the Ukrainian economy displayed impressive resilience, and recent developments indicate a stronger economic recovery in 2023 and continued growth in 2024.

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill and have a meeting with Biden at the White House.

Biden has requested a $110 billion military budget for Ukraine and Israel, in addition to other vital national security initiatives, from Congress. Ukraine is set to receive more than $61 billion of this funding.

However, members of the Republican party in the United States Senate have objected to the proposed legislation, arguing that significant improvements to border security must be made.

Certain members of the Republican party are advocating for the swift expulsion of undocumented immigrants, denying them the opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States. They have additionally urged for significant reductions in programs established by the Biden administration that have permitted hundreds of thousands of individuals to legally enter the country.

The United States has contributed $111 billion to support Ukraine in defending against the 2022 invasion by Russia.

The White House stated on Sunday that Zelenskyy’s trip is meant to emphasize the USA’s unwavering dedication to aiding the citizens of Ukraine in their efforts to protect themselves from Russia’s violent invasion.

During television interviews on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the gravity of the situation in Ukraine, stating that they are facing a critical shortage of funding.

Additionally, he highlighted that the United States invests 90% of the funds allocated for Ukraine’s aid.

“The production of materials, munitions, and weapons for Ukraine is located here in America,” he stated.

The newly built nuclear submarine The Krasnoyarsk is seen after a flag-raising ceremony on Monday for newly built nuclear submarines at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in Russia's Archangelsk region, Dec. 11, 2023.

On December 11, 2023, a flag-raising ceremony was held at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia’s Archangelsk region, to unveil The Krasnoyarsk, a newly constructed nuclear submarine.

Russian submarines

On Monday, Putin participated in a televised ceremony at the arctic port of Severodvinsk, where he inspected two nuclear submarines, the Krasnoyarsk and Emperor Alexander III, at the Sevmash shipbuilding yard.

The Emperor Alexander III is part of Russia’s new Borei (Arctic Wind) class of nuclear submarines, the first new generation Russia has launched since the Cold War.

In the previous month, the defense department announced that the ship had effectively conducted a trial of a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

According to security experts, Putin’s perspective and language have placed a higher emphasis on nuclear weapons since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict. This is due to the ongoing war with his conventional forces, which shows no sign of resolution.

Ukrainian truck drivers wait to cross from Poland back into Ukraine in Korczowa, Poland, on Dec. 7, 2023.

On December 7, 2023, truck drivers from Ukraine are waiting to re-enter their country at the Korczowa border crossing in Poland.

Polish protests

According to a post on Facebook by Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov on Monday, the month-long blockade by Polish truck drivers protesting has been partly lifted at a border crossing between Ukraine and Poland.

According to Kubrakov, 15 trucks have entered Ukraine through the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing and 25 trucks are currently being approved to travel in the opposite direction towards Poland.

Protests persist in blocking traffic at three additional crossings.

Truck drivers from Poland have been advocating for the prevention of Ukrainian drivers from obtaining free permits to enter the EU. They claim that their Ukrainian counterparts are taking advantage of this permit-free access to offer lower prices.

According to reports, the demonstration was still ongoing and the participants were currently on hold while they waited for more information about a potential local injunction against their pause.

In early November, a demonstration in Poland has led to the closure of four primary land routes connecting the neighboring countries. This has caused an increase in fuel and food prices in Ukraine and has also caused delays in the delivery of drones to Ukrainian soldiers battling against Russian invaders.

On Monday, Ukraine’s customs department reported that there were 1,000 trucks waiting to enter Ukraine from Poland, while 100 trucks were set to leave in the opposite direction.

The Ukrainian border service reported that Slovakian truck drivers have once again partially blocked the only freight road connecting their country to Ukraine on Monday afternoon. In addition, Hungarian haulers are also obstructing crossings to Ukraine as a form of protest against Ukrainian truck drivers being able to enter Hungary without an EU permit.

This report includes contributions from Carla Babb of VOA, as well as information from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters.