Britain plans to provide Ukraine with 125 anti-aircraft guns and anti-drone technology, the government said during Sunak’s visit. At the beginning of November, the British Ministry of Defense had already promised the country a delivery of 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles. In addition, the British want to strengthen their training offer for the Ukrainian armed forces and send army medics and engineers to support them.
Sunak was received by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid light snowfall, according to images circulated on Zelenskyy’s Telegram channel. “Britain knows what it means to fight for freedom. We are with you all the way,” Sunak wrote on Twitter. His predecessor, Boris Johnson, was among the first senior Western officials to visit Kyiv just weeks after the start of the Russian invasion to express solidarity with Ukraine.
For the first time in a good eight months, a train from Kyiv has pulled into the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson, which had only recently been liberated from Russian occupiers. A total of 200 passengers had secured tickets with the motto “To Victory”, Ukrainian media reported. The seven carriages were brightly painted by artists as part of the “Train to Victory” project. Hundreds of onlookers with Ukrainian national flags and loud cheers greeted the arrival of the special train at the station on Saturday.
The railway connection between the capital Kyiv and Cherson was interrupted immediately after the start of the war on February 24th as a result of the invasion of Russian soldiers. The Dnipro region was only recently liberated after the Ukrainian military forced the Russian occupiers to retreat across the river.
Trains in Ukraine are slow, but largely punctual and reliable despite the war. The functioning railway is one of the forces holding the attacked country together.
In the small eastern Polish village of Przewodow, six kilometers from the Ukrainian border, a 62-year-old camp manager was buried – accompanied by military honors. The man died on Tuesday when a rocket hit him. Images from Polish television showed large funeral wreaths with ribbons in the colors of the Polish and Ukrainian flags.
The West currently assumes that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, used to defend against attacks by the Russian military, that eventually hit Polish territory. Immediately after the explosion, media reports also spoke of a Russian missile. The state funeral for the second victim was scheduled for Sunday.
Investigations continued at the impact site. “All the information we have indicates that it was an unfortunate accident in which one of the Ukrainian missiles intended to bring down a Russian missile fell on the territory of our country,” Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said on Saturday. He announced that the test results would be presented in a report.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that if necessary, Polish investigators would also travel to Ukraine to investigate the sensitive incident. Zelenskyj continues to assume that a Russian missile hit Poland. However, he qualifies that he does not know with absolute certainty what happened.
The Russian Ministry of Defense reported repelling all Ukrainian attack attempts in the Luhansk region and its own attacks in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine to the south. The fighting in the Donetsk region in particular has recently increased significantly in intensity. A Ukrainian soldier reported on social networks about the heaviest fighting since he was transferred to the front near the small town of Bakhmut. Bakhmut is part of the Ukrainian defenses east of the conurbation between Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. For months, mercenaries from the so-called Wagner Group have been trying to storm the small town, and more recently, more Russian units have been deployed to the region.
The Russian Baltic Fleet is preparing numerous major military exercises. “During the winter training period, several dozen large-scale maneuvers at various levels are planned at the Baltic Fleet training grounds – involving tank and motorized rifle units, anti-aircraft, radio, artillery and reconnaissance squads, as well as the fleet’s air force,” the press service said According to the Interfax news agency, the Baltic Fleet. The Baltic Fleet is based in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
The training year begins in the armed forces on December 1st. Since 2016, the Baltic Fleet has also included a larger army unit with the formation of the 11th Army Corps. Only recently it became known that this corps had been reinforced with an additional motorized rifle division. The Russian military justified the rearmament with the high level of NATO activity on Russia’s western borders.
ISW: Moscow is trying to keep the second wave of mobilization secret
According to military experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian government is currently planning a second wave of mobilization but is trying to keep it secret. Russian Telegram channels are currently discussing an alleged move-in notice that a man from St. Petersburg is said to have received.
Several military bloggers in Russia are currently speculating that general mobilization will be called in December or January.
Heavy fighting in Donetsk
Heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine is continuing, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. There is “neither relaxation nor a pause for breath,” said Zelenskyj on Friday evening in his daily video address. About 100 Russian attacks had been fended off the day before in the Donetsk region.
The Ukrainian troops would be supported by border guard units from Kharkiv and Sumy. A National Guard brigade is fighting in Bakhmut. “We will not give in to the enemy in any of the front areas,” said Zelenskyy. “We react everywhere, we hold our positions everywhere.”
Russia’s army had conquered large parts of Donetsk and in September annexed it in violation of international law, along with the neighboring region of Luhansk and Zaporizhia and Cherson in the south. The Russian army, under pressure from Ukrainian counter-offensives, has meanwhile evacuated the regional capital of Kherson and the area north-west of the Dnipro River. The authorities in Zaporizhia also reported a Russian rocket attack on an industrial complex late on Friday evening.
Despite the fierce fighting in the Donbass coal and steel region, the course of the front has hardly changed at the moment, according to the military situation reports from both sides. In the nearly nine months since the Russian invasion on February 24, Russian forces have made little gains there. According to Ukrainian sources, some of the forces released by the withdrawal from Cherson were transferred to eastern Ukraine in order to intensify the attacks there.
Ex-Ambassador Melnyk now Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine
The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, has been appointed his country’s deputy foreign minister. The government made this decision on Friday, Melnyk told the German Press Agency. However, his exact area of responsibility has not yet been determined. Melnyk had made a name for himself with criticism of the federal government that was unusually harsh for a diplomat. Melnyk’s successor as ambassador in Berlin is Oleksii Makeiev.
Zelenskyj calls for further sanctions against Russia
In view of the massive Russian attacks, the Ukrainian head of state called for new sanctions from the West. “We need a new European sanctions package,” he said in another video message to the Irish university community. Russian aggression, like Russian lies, does not stop for a day. “Therefore, the international pressure on Russia should not be relaxed for a single day.”
Selenskyj accused Moscow of violating numerous points of the final declaration of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, which Russia also supported. The declaration emphasizes the importance of international law and a multilateral system as a guarantee of peace and stability. Russia, however, continues to destroy international relations while pretending to fight together with everyone else against this destabilization. Moscow is mobilizing all resources to become the “greatest terrorist state in history,” Zelensky said.
Ukrainian power grid is being repaired
According to Selensky, technicians across the country are trying to restore power after the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy and electricity systems. For this reason, the number of unscheduled power cuts has already dropped significantly. In 17 regions and the capital Kyiv, the power supply is still difficult. Among other things, the regions of Kyiv, Odessa, Vinnytsia and Ternopil are in a “very difficult situation”.
The Russian rocket attacks apparently damaged the Ukrainian power grid more than previously known. “Almost half of our energy system has failed,” Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal said at a press conference with EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. Ukraine therefore needs additional support from the European Union in the energy field and also financially. The network operator Ukrenerho announced that there would also be scheduled power cuts nationwide on Saturday.
Ukraine wants to produce weapons together with NATO
The state-owned Ukrainian armaments company Ukroboronprom wants to produce heavy weapons and military equipment together with at least six NATO member states. The group announced that agreements had been concluded with Poland, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic and some other countries. Joint armaments companies would be founded and production lines for ammunition would be built. In addition, according to the Ukrainian group, armored vehicles and multiple rockets are to be produced jointly and new high-tech weapons are to be developed.
30 percent of Ukrainian territory mined
According to information from Kiev, around 30 percent of the territory of Ukraine has been mined as a result of the Russian war of aggression. That corresponds to about twice the size of Austria, said the state emergency service. Explosive device clearance continues in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. More than 8,000 square kilometers are to be demined.
That will be important on Saturday
In Poland, one of the two victims of the rocket hit will be buried with a state funeral on Saturday. A rocket hit the Polish village of Przewodow six kilometers near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday. The West currently assumes that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against Russian attacks.
Also Read: The Ukraine Update on November 18th.
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?
The First Lady of Ukraine tweeted a photo of a Ukrainian couple badly injured by Russian shelling. The picture and the accompanying words touch thousands of users.