Russia’s Defense Ministry has reported a minor success in Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine. Russian soldiers have conquered the town of Majorsk near the town of Horliwka, said ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. Initially, there was no information from the Ukrainian side. However, President Selenskyj had already spoken of the currently particularly violent Russian attacks in Donetsk in his video address on Saturday evening. “It’s pure hell there,” he said.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine on November 13 reported shelling of four Russian troop and equipment depots. According to the southern task force, the military killed 40 Russian soldiers and destroyed seven armored vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops have recaptured the village of Makiivka in Luhansk. The Ukrainian military reported that the site was “moving to the ‘blue’ zone” (areas controlled by Ukraine) and control of the settlement had been regained. On November 5, a battalion of Russian forces was defeated there and hundreds of soldiers were killed.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has arrived at the summit of the Group of Great Economic Powers (G20) on the Indonesian island of Bali. Amid massive international tensions over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, he will be there in the coming days to represent Kremlin chief Putin, who has canceled his participation. Russian state media released a video showing Lavrov getting off his plane in Bali.

According to Deutsche Bahn, reactivated coal wagons from Germany could help to rebuild Ukraine. “I’m assuming that we will rebuild the coal wagons that are now in use so that we can use them differently,” said the boss of the rail freight subsidiary, Sigrid Nikutta, the news portal T-Online. Anything that needs to be poured can be transported with the wagons, for example building materials such as sand or gravel.

This will be important on Monday:

The foreign ministers of the EU states want to decide on the start of a training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces at a meeting in Brussels this Monday. The plans for the mission that have been drawn up in recent weeks envisage that around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers will initially be trained in Germany, Poland and other EU countries.

According to their own statements, the Ukrainian armed forces have so far recaptured a total of 179 places in the south of the country after the Russian army withdrew. In the Cherson and Mykolaiv areas, an area of ​​around 4,500 square kilometers northwest of the Dnipro River had been liberated in the past few days, the Ukrainian agency Unian reported on Sunday, citing the Task Force South. According to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War, the Ukrainians have recaptured 74,443 square kilometers since the war began.

Despite the ongoing Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has encouraged his compatriots. “We all feel our victory approaching,” Zelenskyj said in his daily video message on Sunday evening. “There are always people who fight and work for our victory.” Zelenskyj thanked the soldiers, doctors and diplomats who have been on duty in Ukraine around the clock for more than 260 days since the start of the Russian war of aggression.

The pro-Kremlin ideologue Alexander Dugin has pledged his continued loyalty to President Vladimir Putin. Reports from the West that “Russian patriots and myself have been turning away from Putin since the capitulation of Kherson and are allegedly calling for his resignation” are “false reports,” Dugin explained on Saturday evening in the online service Telegram.

“We are loyal to Putin and will support the military operation (in Ukraine) and Russia to the end,” he continues. He had previously criticized the Russian withdrawal from Cherson in a text (see below in the morning update, editor’s note).

Ukrainian Railways are already offering pre-sale tickets for trips to cities occupied by Russia. These tickets could be used after the expected liberation of these cities, the rail operator announced on Telegram.

They applied to the first three trains from Kyiv to liberated Cherson, as well as to Mariupol, Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Simferopol in Crimea. It is a symbol of trust in the Ukrainian armed forces and the liberation of Ukraine from the occupiers.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) regrets Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision not to attend the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. “It would have been good if President Putin had gone to the G20 summit,” Scholz said on Sunday in Hanoi, Vietnam. “But then he would have had to face all the questions and all the criticism that has been formulated by many countries around the world. That’s probably why he’s not here.”

Scholz does not assume that Putin will revise his decision in the short term. “I don’t think that will change at the last second either. If so, I should be happy,” he said.

Russia wants to make military classes compulsory in Russian schools. According to British estimates, this should increase the readiness for mobilization and military service among young people. “This initiative is also likely part of a broader project to instill in the Russian people an ideology of patriotism and trust in public institutions,” the Defense Ministry said in London on Sunday, citing intelligence findings.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has stipulated that at least 140 hours in the academic year should be devoted to the so-called military preparation course, the British authority said. The training should start in September 2023. Similar programs involving preparations for a chemical or nuclear attack, first aid, and gunnery training had also existed in the Soviet Union but had been discontinued in 1993.

Also read: The Ukraine update on November 13 – Ukraine liberates 75,000 square kilometers – Zelenskyy speaks of “near victory”