According to British intelligence experts, Russia is trying to shift the responsibility for the poor performance of its invading troops in Ukraine onto commanders. Reports about the renewed replacement of a high-ranking Russian officer speak for this.
“If confirmed, this will join a series of sackings of top Russian commanders since the invasion began in February 2022,” the British MoD’s daily Ukraine War Intelligence Update said on Saturday. “This is arguably in part an attempt to shield the Russian leadership at home and deflect blame,” the statement continued.
The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The government wants to counter the Russian portrayal and keep allies in line. Moscow accuses London of a disinformation campaign.
According to local authorities, several cities in southern Ukraine were fired at by Russian troops with artillery and rockets during the night on Sunday. A civil infrastructure building in Zaporizhia was destroyed, an employee of the city council said without further details. A person had been killed. Neighboring buildings were also damaged. The Russian Defense Ministry announced that an ammunition depot of the Ukrainian army was hit in Zaporizhia.
In the Dnipropetrovsk region, shells from barrel artillery and multiple rocket launchers hit the city of Nikopol and the towns of Myrowe and Marhanets. A nine-year-old girl was injured in Myrowe, wrote the chairman of the regional parliament, Mykola Lukaschuk, on Telegram. The places hit are on the northern bank of the Dnipro River. Russian troops have occupied the south bank and can shoot from there, among other things, from the protection of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
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.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about plans for a new aid package for Ukraine worth 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. The funds would also support Ukraine to implement further reforms on the way towards EU membership, it said.
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 US government is said to be secretly encouraging top Ukrainian politicians to signal a willingness to negotiate with Russia and to abandon their previously negative stance on this issue. The Washington Post reports, citing insiders. The US officials’ request is not aimed at bringing Ukraine to the negotiating table. Rather, it is said to be a calculated attempt to ensure that the government in Kyiv continues to receive support from other countries. This is happening especially against the background that the populations of some nations are currently struggling with the continuation of financial aid, as this can also mean a continuation of the war.
Zelenskyy’s bid to refrain from negotiations with Putin had raised concerns in parts of Europe, Africa and South America, where the war is particularly impacting the availability and cost of food and fuel, US officials said. “Ukraine fatigue is a real issue for some of our partners,” a US official with knowledge of the matter told the Washington Post. In the USA, too, at least among the Republicans, surveys indicate that the willingness to continue supporting the Ukrainian military with large sums is declining.
The Wagner mercenary group’s financier, Evgeny Prigozhin, has tried to cover up his efforts to establish an independent Russian power base. This is reported by The Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Prigozhin had previously met with Kursk businessmen to discuss organizing an unspecified citizen militia outside of the formal Russian military command structures.
However, when asked about this meeting by a journalist, the Wagner financier evaded and referred to the concept of the historical unity of Russia. He said that the Russian people, businesses, government and army must come together to fight for Russia’s sovereignty and future. The country has all the means to achieve its goals, including a strong president, a cohesive army and a large ethnic group, said Prigozhin, concluding his statement with a greeting from Wagner Group fighters – implying that they too will help preserve the Russian unit involved. In another media response, he dismissed allegations that his plans for an independent power base ran counter to Putin’s policies.
After the surprise attack by Ukrainian sea drones against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in its naval port near Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine wants to buy more weapons of this type. “We will start another fundraising campaign next week, we want to collect funds for a whole fleet of sea drones,” announced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his video address on Saturday evening. The purpose of these drones is clear. “Everyone has already seen how this works.”
According to the Ukrainian account, three Russian warships were hit during the attack on Sevastopol last weekend, including the new flagship “Admiral Makarov”. The Russian military has only admitted some minor damage without providing more details.
Alice Schwarzer has denied the accusation that she understands Putin. “At least if it is meant in the sense that I would betray the cause of the Ukrainians,” said the women’s rights activist of the German Press Agency in Cologne. However, if that means trying to understand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motives, “then it’s actually true.” “You always have to try to understand the motives of your opponents. Otherwise you cannot defend yourself effectively. Just banging away, that can’t be it.”
At the end of April, Schwarzer initiated an open letter from 28 celebrities to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In it, they appealed to the SPD politician not to deliver more heavy weapons to Ukraine. The letter has now been signed by almost half a million people, said Schwarzer. “I consider the letter to be an important initiative because it closes the really dramatic contrast between the published opinion in the German media and the opinion of the people as reflected in surveys.”
The situation has only escalated since the letter was published. “The danger of a nuclear war is now even more acute, and Germany would be particularly at risk as a buffer zone between Russia and the western nuclear powers. We are really playing with fire.” She also wonders what will happen after the war with the masses of weapons that the West is currently supplying to Ukraine. “They end up on the black market in Europe. To the delight of the mafia and the Islamists.”
Also Read: The Ukraine Update of November 5th