Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for tougher technology sanctions.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for tougher technology sanctions. “The sanctions against Russia must be expanded and strengthened,” said Zelensky in a video speech.

The combat drones and missiles that Russia uses against Ukraine contain many parts from other countries, including from Western companies, Zelensky said. Moscow could circumvent the sanctions too easily. Every Russian attack on Ukrainian infrastructure is “evidence that the pressure on the terrorist state is not enough.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a large-scale invasion of the neighboring country more than 20 months ago. Ukraine defends itself to the best of its ability and receives military aid from many Western countries. The Ukrainian armed forces counted the 610th day of the war on Thursday.

US announces $150 million in military aid

The USA is providing further military aid to Ukraine. The new package worth 150 million US dollars (around 142 million euros) includes, among other things, AIM-9 missiles for an air defense system, Stinger missiles and ammunition for multiple rocket launchers of the Himars type, the US government announced. At the same time, the Pentagon called on Congress to approve new funding to support Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden recently requested more than $60 billion for the country attacked by Russia. But it is more than unclear whether Congress will comply with this request. According to the Pentagon, the USA's commitments for military aid since the beginning of the war have amounted to around 44 billion US dollars.

US government: Russia kills soldiers who disobey orders

The US government accuses Russia of executing its own soldiers in the war against Ukraine if they disobeyed orders. "We have information that the Russian military is actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders," National Security Council communications adviser John Kirby said in Washington.

It is also assumed that Russian commanders would threaten to execute entire units if they tried to retreat from Ukrainian fire, Kirby said. "Russia's mobilized armed forces remain inadequately trained, inadequately equipped."

Kiev denies alleged closure of the Black Sea corridor

The Ukrainian government has officially denied reports of an alleged blockage of the Black Sea shipping corridor. "All existing routes established by the Ukrainian Navy are valid and used by civilian ships," said the Infrastructure Ministry in Kiev. 23 ships are currently being loaded in the three Black Sea ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyj.

With the shipping corridor, Ukraine is defying a Russian naval blockade. Since the end of the grain agreement in July, Moscow has wanted to prevent shipping traffic to and from Ukraine via the Black Sea. However, in recent months Ukraine has pushed Russian forces away by shelling the occupied Crimean peninsula to such an extent that their planes and ships can hardly operate in the western Black Sea. A Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian tanker also showed Moscow how vulnerable its own oil export route across the Black Sea is.

Zelensky: Russian Air Force withdraws

According to Zelensky, after successful Ukrainian attacks on Russian air bases in Luhansk and Berdyansk, Ukraine is observing that the Russian Air Force is also withdrawing aircraft from the Crimean peninsula. In the attacks, Kiev allegedly used US-supplied ATACMS missiles and knocked out many Russian helicopters and planes.

“First the Russian Navy is fleeing, and now the Russian Air Force is fleeing,” said Zelenskyj about the situation in Crimea. Ukraine will liberate all occupied territories without exception, he promised. He thanked the partners who had provided his country with longer-range weapons.

Hardly any changes on the front

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, there was heavy fighting on the almost 1,000 kilometer long front in the east and south of Ukraine, but hardly any changes. The Ukrainian army repelled Russian attacks in the towns of Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the situation report said.

For its part, Ukraine is continuing attacks near Bakhmut in the east and Werbowe in the south. The military information could not be independently verified. The Kiev General Staff did not comment on alleged Ukrainian advances on the Russian-occupied bank of the Dnipro in the southern Kherson region. Military bloggers reported this.

Orban defends meeting with Putin

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban defended his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the EU summit. Hungary has a peace strategy and they want to do everything to create peace, said Orban. All communication channels with the Russians should be kept open, otherwise there would be no chance of peace. Orban added: “We are proud of it.”

Putin met Orban for a lengthy conversation in Beijing last week. This was his first personal meeting with an EU head of government this year. The exchange caused anger in Brussels because it gave Putin the opportunity to portray the EU as divided.

Teenager killed by Russian shelling in southern Ukraine

According to official reports, a 13-year-old teenager was killed by Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. According to the Ukrainian authorities on Thursday, at least four other people were injured in the attacks.

Against this background, the regional military governor Olexander Prokudin called on parents to evacuate their children from the region. "Ensure their safety! You can see how intense the shelling is," he wrote on Telegram. On Wednesday, the Kherson authorities had already reported the death of a 42-year-old man.

New Slovak government no longer wants to supply weapons

Shortly after taking office, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico renewed his election campaign intention to no longer support Ukraine with weapons. Slovakia will continue to deliver civilian goods to the neighboring country and provide it with "all-round" assistance, according to a statement by Fico, which was adopted by the Europe Committee of the newly elected parliament in Bratislava. The delivery of weapons is not included. The decision is not legally binding.

"As head of government, I support zero arms aid to Ukraine," the TASR news agency quoted the prime minister as saying. However, according to previous announcements, Slovak companies should still be able to sell weapons to Ukraine, which is being attacked by Russia.

Work on the Finnish fence on the border with Russia is progressing

In Finland, work is progressing on a planned fence on the border with Russia. The construction of an estimated three kilometer long test model near the Imatra border crossing has now been completed with a slight delay, the pilot phase was successful and the implementation of the next phase is already underway, the Finnish border guard said.

The experience gained could now be used in the further phases of fence construction. A four-kilometer-long section of fence is currently being built at the Salla border crossing.

The planned border fence is not intended to represent a new Iron Curtain, but rather to make it easier for border guards to monitor the border at strategically important points, such as near the crossings, especially in southeastern Finland. The next step is to build twelve sections with a total length of around 70 kilometers. According to the border guard, the goal is to begin construction on the longest sections over the coming winter.

Russia has its nuclear forces practicing

According to the Kremlin, Russia fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles and several cruise missiles during a nuclear force exercise. The maneuver took place under the direction of the supreme commander, President Vladimir Putin. An intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from a nuclear submarine, a second from a mobile launch pad on the site of the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. The cruise missiles were launched from Tupolev Tu-95MS long-range strategic bombers.

Meanwhile, the Russian Security Council announced an increase in the size of the army. The reason is the fighting in Ukraine and the expansion of NATO's military potential. This was said by former President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy secretary of the Security Council. According to him, a new army corps, 7 divisions, 19 brigades, 49 regiments and a naval flotilla will be created in 2024.