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Ukraine updates: Germany to double 2024 military aid to Kyiv

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced that Berlin would double its military aid to war-torn Ukraine, which is struggling to oust occupying Russian troops, to 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) by 2024.

"This is a strong signal to Ukraine, showing we are not giving up on it" when international attention is focused on the Israel-Hamas war, Boris Pistorius told television channel ARD.

In other Ukraine news, the president of Latvia says that those who waiver on supporting Ukraine risk emboldening Russia. And the government in Kyiv reported that some 4.9 million people had been registered as internally displaced since the war began.

Here's a look at some of the headlines on Sunday, November 12, concerning Russia's war in Ukraine:

Germany to double 2024 military aid to Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius commented on prior reports that Berlin would double its military aid to war-torn Ukraine, which is struggling to oust occupying Russian troops, to €8 billion ($8.5 billion) in 2024.

"This is a strong signal to Ukraine, showing we are not giving up on it" when international attention is focused on the Israel-Hamas war, Boris Pistorius told television channel ARD.

The increased money is a response to this year's experience, "which showed that planned amounts were quickly exhausted", Pistorius said.

According to ARD, the Bundestag's budget committee is to approve the additional expenditure in the so-called adjustment session, which begins on Thursday.

The measure would then go to a vote in parliament.

The announcement came on the anniversary of the post-war German Bundeswehr military's formation on November 12, 1955. Pistorius attended a ceremony in Berlin on Sunday.

In earlier reports on the plans prior to Pistorius' comments, news agencies cited unnamed insiders as saying Germany planned to classify the extra aid as defense spending and thereby reach NATO's 2% defense spending target in 2024.

The government in Berlin has been promising to increase military spending for some time but it has been struggling to accelerate recruitment and procurement accordingly.

Germany has been one of Ukraine's main backers since Russia unleashed its full-scale invasion in February last year, supplying roughly €22 billion in humanitarian, financial and military aid.

Zelenskyy warns of more Russian airstrikes in winter

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine should prepare for winter amid fears Russia will resume its campaign of systematic attacks on energy facilities.

Repeated attacks by Moscow's forces last year targeted Ukraine's power grid, leaving thousands without heat or electricity for long periods in freezing temperatures.

"We must be prepared for the possibility that the enemy may increase the number of drone or missile strikes on our infrastructure," Zelenskyy said in his daily address.

"All our attention should be focused on defense ... on everything that Ukraine can do to make it easier for our people to get through this winter and to increase the capabilities of our troops," he added.

Ukraine has already said it was bolstering defenses to protect key infrastructure.

"Unfortunately, [the air shield] does not yet fully protect the entire territory. And we are working to make it even better," Zelenskyy said.

Ukrainian delegation lands in US for talks

Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said he arrived in the United States with a delegation led by Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko for talks on cooperation and assistance to Ukraine.

"I will have meetings in the White House, Congress, think tanks and with representatives of civil society organizations," Yermak said.

The delegation will discuss President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's "formula for peace, strengthening Ukraine's defense, comprehensively deepening our cooperation and many other important topics," he added.

Ukrainian officials including Zelenskyy have been regularly meeting with Western leaders to try to stave off conflict fatigue.

Ukraine says nearly 5 million people internally displaced

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says some 4.9 million people are registered as internally displaced, amid Russia's ongoing war in the country.

The figures reflect years of Russian aggression, even before it launched a full invasion of Ukraine last year.

Some 3.6 million people left their homes in Ukraine but stayed inside the country since February 2022, Vereshchuk said.

Years of fighting in the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, as well as the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, have already caused more than 1 million people to be internally displaced since 2014.

There have recently been no significant movements of people, reflecting the situation on the battlefield where the fronts in the south and east of the country have remained mostly unchanged.

Some Ukrainians have even returned to their homes in those parts of the country.

The latest United Nations figures show that some 6.2 million Ukrainians, from the pre-war population of some 41.4 million, have fled abroad either temporarily or permanently since early 2022.

Russia accuses Ukraine of border region attacks

Russia has once again accused Ukraine of conducting a string of attacks in the border regions of Belgorod and Bryansk.

Officials said the strikes had damaged train carriages and caused one civilian injury in a village on the Ukrainian border.

Moscow has said it will launch an investigation into at least one of the incidents.

Belgorod's governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said missiles and drones had targeted several areas, but that in most cases these caused no damage.

However, he said, three houses and "five railway carriages were damaged" in the town of Valuyki some 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Gladkov also said that power lines were hit, temporarily cutting off electricity supplies.

Russia's defense ministry said it had destroyed two Ukrainian drones in the region overnight.

There has been an uptick in the number of Ukrainian strikes on Russia in recent months amid a much-touted but subsequently slow Ukrainian counter-offensive launched at the beginning of June.

Latvia's president says West has choice to make

The president of Latvia says Russia is digging in for the long haul in its war against Ukraine, and that he has a message for Western countries that waver on their support of the country.

Either those countries keep supplying weapons, or Ukraine will lose and Russia will have a green light to threaten other countries in the future, Edgars Rinkevics said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"It is important to actually fight for international peace, and peace in Europe, because if we stop Russia in Ukraine, then Russia is not going to be able to challenge other countries."

Rinkevics highlighted the disruptive role that Russia's Wagner mercenary group is playing in Africa, among other adventures conducted by or on behalf of the Kremlin.

Rinkevics, who was Latvia's foreign minister for 13 years before being elected president, said members of the 27-nation EU had remained largely united on sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine despite some members having "their opinions."

"Interestingly enough, at this point, the EU is more divided when it comes to the Middle East, rather than to Ukraine," he said in the interview.

rc/jcg (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)