What has happened in the last hours
On the 295th day of the war started by Russia against Ukraine, these are the key data at 8:00 p.m. this Thursday, December 15:
Zelenski assures that the next six months will be “decisive” for the war. The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has assured that the next six months will be “decisive” for the war against Russia. In an online speech before the European Council, the president has stated that the Ukrainian people and troops will have to make “even greater efforts than in this past time.” “This is an aggression against Ukraine and against each one of you”, he said, referring to the member countries of the EU. “Because Russia’s ultimate goal is far beyond our border and Ukrainian sovereignty. The next six months will require even greater efforts from us than we have done so far.”
Poland lifts its reservations on corporate tax reform and unblocks aid to Ukraine. Poland has lifted this Thursday the reserves that it maintained on the minimum rate of 15% in corporate tax for multinationals, thus unlocking the aid of 18,000 million to Ukraine that the bloc wants to transfer to kyiv in 2023, several sources have confirmed to Efe diplomatic. The ambassadors of the Twenty-seven to the EU will now be in charge of formally confirming the agreement in a meeting that will take place throughout the afternoon of this Thursday, in parallel to the meeting of heads of state and government.
Putin forecasts a fall in Russian GDP of 2.5% in 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin has predicted a 2.5% drop in GDP this year, which went into recession in the third quarter amid the difficult situation caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. “By the end of the year, a reduction in GDP is forecast (…) of approximately 2.5%. Actually, it had recently said that it would be 2.9%, but the latest forecasts indicate that the drop will be less” , has affirmed in a meeting with members of the Government dedicated to the strategic development of the country.
The export agreement allows Ukraine to release 14 million tons of grain. The export agreement through the Black Sea has allowed the removal of 14 million tons of cereals from Ukraine, as estimated by the United Nations on Thursday. The Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rebeca Grynspan, highlighted at a press conference in Geneva that the agreement has caused a reduction in world food prices.
Russian bombardments leave the city of Kherson without electricity, according to the regional governor. The city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, has been completely without electricity due to Russian bombing, according to the governor of the province of the same name, Yaroslav Yanukovych. “Kherson is completely without energy due to enemy bombardments!!”, the governor wrote on his Telegram channel, who also announced that emergency teams will try to repair the damage and restore the networks as soon as possible.
Gazprom has reduced its gas exports to Europe by 45% so far this year. The Russian gas giant Gazprom exported 45.1% less gas between January and mid-December to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), mainly in Europe, as reported in a statement on Thursday. On the other hand, the gas company assured that gas exports to China are growing through the Siberia Power gas pipeline.
In the photo by Alexander Ermochenko, for Reuters, a wounded woman in a hospital in Donetsk, occupied by Russian forces.