The Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyj has criticized Tehran’s arms deliveries to Russia as contributing to the prolongation of the war. “Iran supports the terrorist regime of Russia and is helping to prolong the war and therefore prolong the threats to the world created by the Russian war of aggression,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Sunday evening. Without Tehran’s support for Moscow, “we would be closer to peace,” said the Ukrainian leader.
Without Tehran’s interference, a solution to the world food crisis or the energy crisis would also be more within reach, he argued. “Whoever helps Russia to prolong this war must also take responsibility for the consequences of this war.” Tehran only admitted on Saturday that it had delivered drones to Russia – but only spoke of a few copies. Selenskyj then accused Tehran of lying.
Heavy fighting also shook the region around the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson on Sunday. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a building in which around 200 Russian soldiers were staying was destroyed in the village of Kakhovka. The consequences of this attack would be “carefully concealed” by the Russian side, it said. A column of armored Russian vehicles was destroyed near Radensk. The information could not be independently verified.
According to the Ukrainian military, the Russian occupiers began destroying the civilian population’s boats along the Dnipro River. In addition, the Russian military confiscate engines and equipment from the boats. In doing so, the Russian military is blatantly violating laws and the rules of warfare with regard to the civilian population, it said.
The Russian occupying forces have been trying for days to persuade the civilian population of Cherson to leave the region. The Ukrainian armed forces want to recapture the area, which has been under Russian control since March, as soon as possible.
The Kremlin has been disarming against the use of nuclear weapons since November. Even President Vladimir Putin recently said that using a nuclear bomb would not help. This shift in rhetoric by the Kremlin suggests that senior Russian military commanders and elements of the Kremlin are likely to some degree aware of the massive costs Russia incurs in deploying Nuclear weapons against Ukraine or NATO would have to be used for little operational gain.
However, according to the experts, the existing Russian military doctrine is “probably overwhelmed” by Putin’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts on September 30, most of which are not occupied by Russian armed forces Nuclear weapons in response to “aggression against the Russian Federation using conventional weapons when the existence of the state itself is threatened”. That could potentially be applied by hardliners in the Kremlin to Ukrainian forays into claimed “Russian” territory in Ukraine. However, it is possible “that senior Russian military officials are confused about the application of Putin’s annexation order to existing military doctrine,” according to the ISW. It is possible that there is now a split in the Kremlin: in a pro-war and a pro-negotiation faction.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has informed Selenskyj about plans for a new aid package for Ukraine of up to 18 billion euros. The EU Commission explained that she wants to present the package, which is to be divided into monthly tranches of 1.5 billion euros each, in Brussels next week. The advantageous loans should make a “significant contribution” to Kiev’s financial needs for 2023.
Selenskyj only explained on Twitter that he had spoken to von der Leyen about financial support for the current and coming year. Another topic was the importance of grain deliveries from Ukraine via the Black Sea to support global food security.
The grain deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey was finalized in July. In it, Russia agreed to end the blockade of Ukrainian seaports for grain exports. In return, it demanded facilitation for the export of fertilizers and foodstuffs. The agreement is initially valid until November 19th. Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters.
Also read: The Ukraine update from 7.11. – Secret service: Kremlin wants to distract from its own failure