Putin wants to tighten control of the flow of funds to equip the army. Trenches in Crimea can be seen on satellite images. According to a US general, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in Ukraine so far. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.
More on the course of the war in Ukraine.
Friday, November 11, 4:52 a.m.: According to a newspaper report, South Korea wants to sell ammunition to the United States for its military equipment of the Ukrainian armed forces. There is a confidential arms deal between Seoul and Washington, according to which the United States would buy 100,000 rounds of 150-millimeter artillery ammunition from its ally, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Thursday (local time), citing US officials . That is enough to provide Ukraine’s artillery units with ammunition for at least a few weeks to ward off Russian troops.
The Defense Ministry in Seoul confirmed that South Korean companies are negotiating with the US to export ammunition. The purchase is intended to “compensate for the shortage of 150mm ammunition in stock” in the United States. It will be negotiated under the condition that the United States are “end users”. The ministry stressed that nothing has changed in South Korea’s position of not supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine.
South Korea’s largely isolated neighbor North Korea recently denied statements by the US government that it was secretly sending ammunition to Russia. North Korea responded to statements by US National Security Council communications director John Kirby. Earlier this month he criticized Russia for receiving artillery shells from North Korea and using them for its war of aggression against Ukraine. Military experts suspect that Russia could be dependent on arms imports due to supply bottlenecks in the domestic arms industry.
10:17 p.m .: In the course of the ongoing withdrawal of Russian troops from the Cherson region, Ukrainian troops have already liberated more than 40 towns, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The number of Ukrainian flags returning to their rightful place as part of the ongoing defense operation is already tens,” he said in his daily video message on Thursday evening.
At the same time he warned of the dangers in the areas now abandoned by the occupying forces. “The first and fundamental task is demining,” said Zelenskyy. The occupiers left behind thousands of duds and ammunition. “I’ve often heard estimates that clearing Ukraine of Russian mines will take decades.” According to his findings, around 170,000 square kilometers of the country are still infested with mines.
Zelenskyy pointed out that the current successes of the Ukrainian armed forces were achieved “through months of brutal fighting”. “It’s not the enemy who’s leaving – it’s the Ukrainians who are driving the occupiers away,” Zelensky said. “And we need to go all the way – on the battlefield and in diplomacy – so that everywhere in our country, along our entire internationally recognized border, our flags – Ukrainian flags – can be seen. And no more enemy tricolors.
7.40 p.m .: The ruler of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, considers the Russian troop withdrawal from the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson and the entire right bank of the Dnipro to be the right decision. The new commander of the Russian troops in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, saved thousands of soldiers from the virtual encirclement, Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel on Thursday. Surovikin made a “difficult but correct decision between making senseless sacrifices for loud statements and saving priceless soldiers’ lives”.
Kadyrov had previously repeatedly criticized the Russian conduct of the war. He also voiced criticism in the Cherson case. Kherson is a difficult area where there is no stable and regular supply of ammunition and the formation of a strong rear guard. “Why wasn’t that done in the first days of the special operation?” Surovikin, however, acted with foresight and now placed his soldiers in a more advantageous strategic position. There is no reason to speak of a “task” from Cherson.
5:32 p.m .: The federal prosecutor’s office has applied for two years’ probation for a former reserve officer in the Bundeswehr because of espionage for Russia. He should also pay 25,000 euros. The accused had provided information for the Russian secret service GRU for years, especially about the reservists in the Bundeswehr. “He made common cause with the Russian state,” said a representative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday in his pleading at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.
The defender of the 65-year-old German, on the other hand, demanded an acquittal. None of the information passed on was secret, everything was publicly accessible. “It was just cold coffee with zero information value,” he said. In his concluding remarks, the accused asserted: “I wanted to build a bridge, I never had any bad intentions.”
He promised his father before his death that he would do his best to ensure that there would be no further war with Russia. Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February of this year “cut the ground” for his work for reconciliation, he said. “Criminal groups have created a dictatorship” in Russia. The verdict is expected for November 18th.
3.45pm: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has warned that Russian forces plan to booby trap the city of Kherson and turn it into a “city of death”. He claimed that the Russian military “mines everything they can: apartments, sewers” and that “the artillery on the left bank of the Dnieper plans to reduce the city to ruin”.
Under pressure from the Ukrainian counter-offensive, Russia ordered the withdrawal of its military from Kherson and the entire region around the city on Wednesday. Selenskyj had also initially expressed caution and warned against too much euphoria.
So did NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: “We must now see how the situation on the ground develops in the next few days,” he said on the sidelines of talks with the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome.
11:52 am: Is Russia already preparing to defend Crimea, which was illegally annexed in 2014? At least satellite images show that Russia is digging trenches in the northern part of the peninsula. This is reported by the Swiss OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) expert Benjamin Pittet.
“Russia has restored the trenches of the Khonhar checkpoint between Crimea and the Kherson region. New trenches were also built. In the northwestern part of Crimea, near Armyansk, the situation is the same. Old trenches are being renovated and new ones dug,” he wrote on Twitter. The trenches are clearly visible on satellite images.
Ukraine has repeatedly announced that it wants to retake all of its territory from Russia, including Crimea. With Russia’s withdrawal from Cherson, Ukrainian troops have now pushed further south.
11.48 a.m .: In view of numerous reports of Russian soldiers being inadequately equipped for Moscow’s war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin wants the financial flows for army spending to be more strictly controlled. According to a task list published by the Kremlin on Thursday, the government must present proposals for better spending control and the targeted use of budget funds for the “special military operation” in Ukraine by Friday.
In order to improve the quality of the equipment, a kind of direct line is to be established between the units deployed in Ukraine and the manufacturers of armaments. This is apparently also intended to prevent corruption and the misappropriation of budget funds for arming the army.
There are numerous reports in Russian independent media from draftees who complain about poor and missing equipment. Sometimes there aren’t even helmets or weapons. Recruits used their own money to buy sleeping bags, medicine or even army boots for the winter.
8:25 a.m .: According to the British Ministry of Defense, the withdrawal to the east side of the Dnipro will probably make Russia fail due to the strategic goal of building a land bridge to Odessa. The ministry relies on secret service findings in its daily updates.
London also assumes that the withdrawal will drag on for days. “Due to the limited crossings, Russian forces will be vulnerable when crossing the Dnipro River. The retreat will be covered by defensive positions and artillery fire,” the intelligence update said.
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