Kyiv has denied reports of alleged executions of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian soldiers. On the contrary, the Ukrainian troops defended themselves against Russian soldiers, who only pretended to surrender, the human rights commissioner of the Ukrainian parliament, Dmytro Lubinets, explained on Telegram on Sunday. This week, videos appeared on Russian online networks that allegedly showed the execution of around a dozen Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces after they surrendered.

Video shows soldiers apparently surrendering and lying face down on the ground in a backyard. Shortly thereafter, shots are heard and the video stops abruptly. Another video shows around a dozen bodies in pools of blood. The recordings could not be independently verified by the AFP news agency.

The Russian Ministry of Defense had called for an investigation into “war crimes” after the videos became known. The footage showed the “premeditated and methodical killing” of more than ten Russian soldiers, the ministry said on Friday.

Lubinets said “clips” of a video showed Russian soldiers using a “fake surrender” to “open fire on Ukrainian forces.” This is a “war crime”. A UN spokesman told AFP that the UN was “aware of the videos” and was “investigating them.” The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recently announced that it had credible reports of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war on both sides.

According to the Ukrainian general staff, the Russian armed forces are relocating units withdrawn from the Kherson region to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. In Luhansk, the Russian occupiers set up additional checkpoints to identify and arrest deserters, the Ukrainian general staff said on Sunday.

The Russian army is attacking massively with rockets, but it is probably still too early to speak of a new major offensive, said the spokesman for the Ukrainian air force, Yuri Ihnat, according to the Internet portal “Ukrajinska Pravda” on Ukrainian television. But there are heavy fighting in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

According to the General Staff, Ukrainian units have been able to fend off numerous Russian attacks in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions since Saturday. The Ukrainian military counted around 60 Russian rocket launcher attacks. The information could not be independently verified.

Ukraine has again rejected proposals to negotiate with Russia. “When you take the initiative on the battlefield, it’s a bit bizarre to receive suggestions like: ‘You won’t achieve everything by military means anyway, you have to negotiate,'” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said in Kyiv. This would mean that “the country that regains its territories must capitulate to the country that loses”.

US media recently reported that senior US officials were increasingly urging Ukraine to consider negotiations with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has so far rejected such proposals without a prior withdrawal of Russian troops from all of Ukraine.

According to Podoliak, Moscow has so far made “no direct proposal” to Kyiv for peace talks. Instead, Russia prefers to convey these through intermediaries and to bring about a ceasefire.

Despite a relatively orderly withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine’s Kherson region, British military experts say Moscow’s armed forces are characterized by poor leadership and a culture of cover-up. That emerges from the daily intelligence update of the British Ministry of Defense in London on Sunday. Accordingly, there is a lack of military leadership at the middle and lower command levels.

While retreating from the area and the city of Kherson northwest of the Dnipro River, the Russians lost fewer vehicles and successfully destroyed much of the equipment left behind to keep it from falling into Ukrainian hands. This is likely due in part to effective command under the commander of Russian troops in Ukraine, General Sergei Zurovikin. Surovikin took over the leadership in Moscow at the beginning of October after numerous defeats.

The situation is different at lower and middle management levels: “For example, in the last few months two companies subordinate to the Eastern Military District have fled after their commander was killed,” the British report said. “Other officers probably lied to cover up the incident.”

The Ukrainian authorities are finding more and more evidence of atrocities committed by the former Russian occupiers in the liberated areas around Cherson, Kharkiv and Donetsk. In the past two months, more than 700 bodies have been discovered in these areas, Attorney General Andriy Kostin said on state television on Saturday evening. Around 90 percent of the cases involved civilians.

“We found places where they killed peaceful civilians practically in almost every village in the Kharkiv region,” Prosecutor General Kostin said on television. Investigators are now making similar discoveries in the recently liberated Cherson region in southern Ukraine. About 20 places were also discovered where civilians were interrogated and held captive. “And every day we get new information,” Kostin said. Such statements by the warring parties can hardly be verified independently.

According to a US media report, Russia has reached an agreement with Iran to produce Iranian attack drones for the war against Ukraine in its own country. Work is currently underway to get production going within months, wrote the Washington Post, citing intelligence information. The agreement was negotiated in Iran in early November. The Russian army uses the drones, among other things, for attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The Institute for the Study of War also reports that Russia is preparing for domestic production of drones.

Zelenskyi received British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Saturday. His guest promised Ukraine further aid: This should amount to the equivalent of almost 57.5 million euros, include 125 anti-aircraft guns and anti-drone technology and help protect the population and infrastructure. At the beginning of November, the British Ministry of Defense had already promised a delivery of 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles.

Sunak and Zelenskyj posed in Kyiv in light snowfall in front of captured Russian tanks. “Thank you, Rishi, Prime Minister, for your willingness to defend freedom even more with us,” Zelenskyj said in his daily video address in the evening.

Despite ongoing Russian missile and air strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, restoring the country’s power supply is a top priority, Zelensky said. “We are working across the country to stabilize the situation,” he said on Saturday evening. “Most problems with electricity are in Kyiv and the surrounding area, Odessa and the surrounding area, Kharkiv and the surrounding area.” Everything is being done “to enable people to lead a normal life”.

Earlier this week, Russia caused nationwide power outages in Ukraine with massive attacks on the energy infrastructure. At times, around ten million people were without electricity. According to Zelensky, around 50 percent of the energy infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged. Moscow wants to put further pressure on its neighbors with these attacks before the onset of winter.

In Kherson, an action to voluntarily resettle civilians in safe areas in the west of the country began on Saturday. Helpers are ready to bring anyone who wishes to other parts of the country where the government guarantees accommodation and supplies, Ukrajinska Pravda reported, citing the authorities.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russian armed forces are increasing their troop presence in the Luhansk region. In order to accommodate the many soldiers, part of the civilian population will be forcibly resettled, the general staff in Kyiv said on Saturday. The eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk borders with Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian and Ukrainian troops continued fighting in a variety of hotspots. According to the General Staff, tanks, tube and rocket artillery and grenade launchers were used. According to the Ukrainian military, up to 60 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded in the Mykhailovka region in the Zaporizhia region alone. The Russian military spoke of Ukrainian rocket attacks on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. This information could not be independently verified.

This will be important on Sunday:

In Poland, the second victim of the recent rocket attack is to be buried with a state funeral on the site of a granary in the border area with Ukraine on Sunday. A rocket hit the village of Przewodow, just six kilometers from the border, on Tuesday, killing the 62-year-old tractor driver and a warehouse manager. The 60-year-old was buried on Saturday with a state funeral closed to the public in Przewodow.

Also read: The Ukraine update of 11/19. – After eight months, another train from Kyiv arrives in Kherson

The rocket impact in Poland is still causing a stir two days later. The West suspects that the rocket came from Ukraine – but Zelenskyy blames Russia. This has caused severe criticism of the Ukrainian President.

Just a few days ago, it looked as if Russia had attacked NATO territory. At least that’s what Zelenskyy said, as did other Ukrainian politicians. Current findings refute this thesis. Why did Zelenskyj cause irritation for so long?

With the withdrawal from Cherson, the mood in Russia has also changed among those in favor of the war. Vladimir Putin in particular is counted out. Some observers give him only half a year in power.