The speed of the Russian attacks on the Ukrainian infrastructure is increasingly slowing down. Finance Minister Lindner wants to more than double the financial support for Ukraine. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy swears the Ukrainians in for a hard winter.

The Southern Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reports that it has destroyed three Russian ammunition depots in southern Ukraine. In addition, 40 Russian troops, three tanks and an “Osa” missile defense system and six armored vehicles are said to have been destroyed.

The Ukrainians also reportedly shot down an Orlan-10 drone and an Iranian Shahed-131 kamikaze drone in Kherson Oblast.

Zelenskyi reiterated that despite Russian attacks, Ukraine has defended its independence and continues to liberate its occupied territories every day. At the same time, the head of state warned not to let up in the fight against Russia and to continue fighting until victory. Among other things, Zelenskyj swore the country to a winter “which will be the hardest in our history” in view of the energy plants destroyed by Russian missiles.

Air, missile and drone strikes by Russian troops against Ukrainian targets have slowed noticeably in recent days. That probably reflects the declining missile and drone stockpile and the limited effectiveness of the attacks in achieving Russia’s military goals, according to the Ukrainian General Staff.

The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, also said on October 24 that the effects of Russian attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine are diminishing as Russian forces continue to deplete their limited arsenal of cruise missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s September 30 annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts has sparked a schism within the Kremlin that is likely to deepen as Ukraine liberates more territories, according to Major General Kyrylo Budanov.

He explained that the Kremlin elites largely did not support Putin’s decision to annex the Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions before those regions were secured. This has prompted many officials to contact their Western counterparts to express their disinterest in continuing the war in Ukraine and advocate negotiations with Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Russian military-political leadership had planned rocket attacks to persuade the Ukrainians to negotiate. Budanov’s statement coincides with Western reports of direct criticism of Putin within the Kremlin less than a week after the October 6 announcement of the annexation.

The White House reiterated that the US will not hold direct negotiations with Russia without Kiev’s participation. That’s what they said from the start, “and that remains the approach,” said National Security Council communications director John Kirby on Monday. Earlier, in a letter to the White House, 30 members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party suggested keeping the door open for direct negotiations with Moscow in order to bring about a quicker end to the war. Kirby emphasized that from the US point of view only the Ukrainians should decide on negotiations.

Zelenskyy thanked the West again for the comprehensive help in the fight against Russia. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) wants to increase the funds for military support to Ukraine in the coming year. According to the ministry, the funds should increase to at least two billion euros in the next year, so far around 800 million euros have been provided for in the draft budget. Specifically, it is about military “training aid”.

In a letter to Lindner, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) had previously requested significantly more money for military support for Ukraine in the coming year than previously planned. In the current budget, spending funds of two billion euros are therefore estimated.

Ahead of the Ukraine conference in Berlin on Tuesday, the Ukrainian government is urging investments in the country’s infrastructure to be promoted. “It is important to understand that regardless of the war, reconstruction must begin now,” Regional Development Minister Oleksiy Chernyshev told the German Press Agency. Reconstruction in the reconquered areas was also in Germany’s direct interest. “The faster we restore the infrastructure, especially the social infrastructure such as hospitals, day care centers and schools, the faster the Ukrainian refugees will come back.” That would also reduce the costs of caring for refugees in Germany.

Ukraine hopes Germany will transfer $500 million a month to fund its wartime budget. “It’s about a reliable schedule – at least for the next six months,” said Zelenskyi’s economic adviser, Alexander Rodnyansky, to the newspapers of the Funke media group (Tuesday). “We need four to five billion dollars for our budget every month. We believe that Germany could take on around $500 million a month, especially with a view to 2023.” Ukraine hopes that the EU will contribute around $2 billion a month.

What will be important on Tuesday

At the invitation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, international experts will discuss the reconstruction of Ukraine after the end of the war on Tuesday. Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Schmyhal will also take part in the conference. Scholz and von der Leyen have described reconstruction as a “generational task” and called for a “Marshall Plan” for the country attacked by Russia – modeled on the US reconstruction program for Germany and all of Europe after World War II.

Also read: The Ukraine update on October 24th

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