New foreign secretary David Cameron meets Zelensky
Vladimir Putin will set out Russia’s view of the “deeply unstable world situation” in a shock G20 speech this week, the Kremlin has said, as Ukraine claimed growing numbers of Moscow’s troops were deserting the frontline in Donetsk.
Ukraine’s military has been bracing for a “third wave” of Russian assaults on the key city of Avdiivka – but a spokesperson claimed Moscow was being forced to rely increasingly on penal recruits and reservists due to its soldiers refusing to take part in casualty-heavy assaults.
Further south, Kyiv’s forces claimed to have pushed Mr Putin’s forces three to eight kilometres back on the banks of the Dnipro River, in what would mark the first significant advance by Kyiv’s forces months into a grindingly slow counteroffensive.
Ukrainian and Russian forces have been entrenched on opposite sides of the vast waterway in Kherson for more than a year, until Kyiv claimed last week to have finally established multiple footholds on the river’s eastern bank.
Russia bars Moldovan nationals, summoning ambassador
Russia barred entry to a number of officials from Moldova on Monday and complained about moves by its pro-European government to block Russian media outlets ahead of local elections earlier this month.
The moves were the latest in a series of acerbic exchanges between the two sides and allegations by Moldova that Russia has been exerting pressure on the ex-Soviet state’s affairs and President Maia Sandu’s drive to join the European Union.
A Russian foreign ministry statement said Moldovan Ambassador Lilian Darie was summoned to be told of the decision.
“The Moldovan side was presented with a decisive protest in connection with the continuing politically motivated persecution of Russian media in Moldova, including the blocking of access to their Internet sites,” a ministry statement said.
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 22:00
US offer another $100m in assistance
The US has pledged a further $100m in defence assistance to Ukraine, which is set to include air defence interceptors and anti-tank weapons.
There have not been any further details, but it comes on the same day as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv.
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 21:00
The US is with Ukraine ‘for the long haul’, defence secretary tells Zelensky
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the country remains behind Ukraine as it continues its war with Russia. It comes after announcing a further package of defensive aid worth $100m.
“The message that I bring you today is that the United States of America is with you. We will remain with you for the long haul,” Mr Austin said.
He added: “I think they are prepared for combat in the winter. They did a great job last year. This year we expect them to be, just based on what President Zelensky has said, them to be even more aggressive.”
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 20:13
Ukrainian sniper ‘breaks world record after killing Russian solider nearly 2.5 miles away’
A Ukrainian sniper claims to have broken the world record by killing a Russian soldier almost 2.5 miles away, with a custom rifle called ‘Lord of the Horizon’, Holly Evans reports.
The previous record was held by a Canadian special operations sniper at a distance of 2.2 miles in Iraq in 2017.
In a press statement, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said: “The SBU sniper set a world record for a successful shot.
“He hit a Russian soldier from an incredible distance.
“SBU snipers are changing the rules of world sniping, demonstrating the ability to work effectively at fantastic distances.”
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 18:12
Full report: Russia puts Ukrainian winner of Eurovision Song Contest on wanted list
Russia has placed a Ukrainian singer who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on its wanted list, state news agencies reported Monday.
The independent news site Mediazona said singer Susana Jamaladinova was charged under a Russian law adopted last year which outlaws spreading so-called fake information about the war in Ukraine.
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 17:14
Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Lachlan Murdoch in Kyiv
Volodymyr Zelensky has met Fox Corp chief executive Lachlan Murdoch in the Ukrainian capital, in what Kyiv described as a “very important signal” of support at a time when global media attention has shifted from the war in Ukraine.
“The Head of State thanked Lachlan Murdoch for his visit and emphasised that it is a very important signal of support at the time when the world’s attention is blurred by other events,” the Ukrainian president’s office said.
Mr Zelensky was quoted by his office as saying it was vital to keep the world’s attention focused on the war in Ukraine, adding: “For us, for our warriors, this is not a movie. These are our lives. This is daily hard work. And it will not be over as quickly as we would like, but we have no right to give up and we will not.”
Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who was badly wounded covering the war in Ukraine last year, and Sun journalist Jerome Starkey were also invited to the meeting with Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, who was named the sole chair of News Corp in September.
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 16:46
ICYMI: Zelensky invites Trump to Ukraine after claims he could stop war in 24 hours
Zelensky invites Trump to Ukraine after claims he could stop war in 24 hours
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 16:24
Opinion | Ukrainian victory is all but certain – so long as its allies do not seek a ‘way out’
In this Independent Voices piece, James Nixey of Chatham House writes:
Calling the war a stalemate is an obvious example of self-defeat: if it is believed that Ukraine cannot win the war, then Ukraine will not be given weapons to win the war which, in turn, means … they will not win the war. It takes rare political courage to imagine Ukraine’s victory, although EU officials Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell have managed this.
Ukraine’s EU accession, likely and in progress, and Nato accession, less likely in times of war and very dependent on US backing, will be a hollow victory if its resources dry up. Russia has had a poor war – its Black Sea fleet has retreated from Crimea, meaning it will have problems defending the peninsula, and Ukraine’s counter-offensive at Avdiivka has been costly for Russia.
But Russia can absorb costs like no other. Its industry is war-mobilised and its soldiers are dispensable, replaceable commodities. Depopulation and brain drain are problems for another day and arguably affect Ukraine more. Nor should a bad plan be mistaken for a bad army that does not learn from its mistakes. Russia does. And it may have been forced to turn to North Korea to fill a “munitions gap”, but that too has worked.
Vladimir Putin’s ideology is delusional of course, but he remains deeply committed to seeing his war through to a successful conclusion: “all in” and long since recovered from the Prigozhin affair, he surely believes he can win.
But it also remains the case that a Ukrainian victory is possible – more than possible. In fact, it is all but certain; but only if Western countries do not “get tired”, do not look for a “way out”, and if Ukraine is given the tools to finish the job.
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 16:03
‘Double standards’ in Israel-Hamas conflict have ‘undermined fight’ for Ukraine, says Varadkar
Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said there is “double standards” from the EU and some Western powers in relation to Israel and Palestine.
The Taoiseach said the stance of some Western countries in response to the Israel-Hamas war had “undermined the fight” to garner support for Ukraine as it battles against the ongoing Russian invasion.
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 15:38
Kyiv hoping for Poland talks over lorry driver protests
Kyiv hopes to hold a new round of talks with Poland and the European Union this week to resolve an issue with Polish lorry drivers holding protests to block border crossings, a Ukrainian trade representative has said.
“This week we hope to have negotiations in a trilateral format,” Taras Kachka told broadcasters.
Yesterday, some 3,000 mostly Ukrainian lorries – including those carrying fuel and humanitarian aid – were caught on the Polish side of the border due to a more than 10-day blockade by Polish hauliers, Ukrainian officials said.
The hauliers are protesting against what they see as government inaction over a loss of business to foreign competitors since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Andy Gregory20 November 2023 15:09