Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says he is back in Kyiv

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KYIV, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a video on Friday saying he was back at work in Kyiv after his landmark visit to Washington this week.

“I am in my office. We are working toward victory,” he said in the video posted to his Telegram channel.

In Other Developments

WEAPONS

* Russia said U.S. Patriot missiles in Ukraine won’t stand in its way and won’t help settle the conflict, following an announcement during Ukrainian President Zelenskiy’s visit to Washington on new defensive supplies.

* Washington said North Korea had delivered arms to a private Russian military company, the Wagner Group. Its owner Yevgeny Prigozhin dismissed the assertion as “gossip and speculation” and North Korea denied it supplied munitions to Russia for use in Ukraine.

POLITICS

* Russia may cut oil output by 5%-7% in early 2023 as it responds to price caps on its crude and oil products by halting sales to the countries that support them, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told state television on Friday.

* For President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, his surprise visit to Washington this week was a clear success: he returns with new financial and military support. But it leaves questions unanswered over how U.S. military support could evolve and how the war will end.

* Amid the carnage of ear, Ukrainian anti-graft agencies have revived an investigation into embezzlement schemes affecting power and oil, and new actions into graft allegation against an ex-state bank boss.

FIGHTING

* Fighting in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk remained focused on Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

* Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said the frontline in Ukraine was stable, and that Moscow’s forces had concentrated on “completing the liberation of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic”.

* Reuters was not able to independently confirm the battlefield reports.

SANCTIONS

* U.S. Secretary of State Blinken thanked his Turkish counterpart for Ankara’s work on ensuring the continuation of a Black Sea grain export deal.

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