Eastern Europe is moving forward to replace Russian energy- see the 07 December article at the BIRN website which discusses Balkan-Azerbaijani talks on energy cooperation. The strategic energy partnerships discussed have huge repercussions for the Russia. Not only do the negotiations, and the current and proposed projects allow for the independence of the target countries from Russia, they also grant another measure of independence and security to source countries such as Azerbaijan, and other former Soviet Bloc countries who are part of the projects. If these projects are seen through- and they must be- the power gained by Russia in its weaponisation of energy will continue to decrease.

From the Radio Free Europe website, the article Uzbekistan Rejects Putin-Proposed ‘Trilateral Natural Gas Union’ is another indication that the region, its goals and allegiances are changing. 

Aljazeera reported more promising news in the article EU, Western Balkans leaders meet amid fears of Russian influence. 

The key takeaways for the day follow:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is setting conditions for a protracted war of conquest in Ukraine.
  • Putin is using Russia’s Human Rights Council to consolidate power while rejecting principles of international human rights law.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made comments supporting ISW’s previous assessments that an operational pause in the winter of 2022-2023 would favor Russia.
  • Russian forces used Shahed-136 drones in Ukraine for the first time in three weeks.
  • Russian efforts to pressure Belarus into joining the war in Ukraine may be causing friction in the Belarusian military.
  • Russian forces are likely increasing the pace of their counterattacks in eastern Kharkiv and western Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka-Donetsk City areas.
  • Russian forces continued defensive operations and the reorientation of their forces in eastern Kherson Oblast.
  • Independent Russian media sources indicated that mobilization efforts will continue despite statements from Russian officials to the contrary.
  • Russian occupation authorities are likely transforming Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, into a rear military and logistics base for Russian forces.

You can support small business in Ukraine- visit the Made With Bravery website and so some holiday shopping! The website is making a difference- it supports small businesses and the war effort through donations to United24, which collects funds for Ukraine. Here is a quote from an email I just received from them:

For the 2 months of brave work, together with your help, we transferred 722,000 UAH or 18,700 EUR to United24, and we will continue to do so! 

To remind you, we transfer all profit from the marketplace commission to the presidential fundraising platform United24 in the direction of ‘Rebuild Ukraine.’ Plus, 5% will be transferred on top if a purchase is made with Visa.

The funds are deposited into the account of the National Bank of Ukraine, and then a special platform commission is directed to current programs for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Currently, we are choosing an exact object for which our brave community will collect the funds. We will keep you informed in the following emails.

Finally, as reported on the Telegram channel Ищи своих Russian war dead has reached nearly 93,000.

Russian war dead as of 07 December, 2022

Russian war dead as of 07 December, 2022