Here is the situation as of Saturday, October 14, 2023:
598 day of Russia-Ukraine War
- In the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, the battle with Russia continues for a fourth consecutive day. Vitaliy Barabash, the head of the city’s military administration, reported on Ukrainian national television that the city, known for its large coking plant, is now “completely ablaze.” He also mentioned that the city’s hospital, administrative buildings, and volunteer center are under attack.
- On the Russian side, Moscow announced that it had successfully shot down two attack drones over the Black Sea in the southern resort city of Sochi. So far, Sochi had been relatively spared from Ukraine’s months of drone attacks on Russian cities. The governor of the southern Krasnodar region, Alexei Kopaygorodskiy, confirmed the downing of the drones on social media, reassuring that there were no casualties or damage to the city.
- In Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting has persisted for months, acting regional Governor Ihor Moroz reported on Saturday that Russian shelling of civilian settlements had resulted in 22 civilians being wounded over the past 24 hours. Moroz specified, “The Russians wounded 22 residents of Donetsk region: 21 in Pokrovsk and one in Avdiivka,” in a statement made on Telegram. The Ukrainian military has also disclosed that their troops engaged in 100 close-quarter battles against Russian soldiers in Donetsk, in addition to the Melitopol area in the southern region of Zaporizhia.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his first foreign trip since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest on alleged war crimes, is anticipated to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he has referred to as a “dear friend.” This meeting is expected to take place as Beijing hosts representatives from 130 countries on October 17-18 to commemorate a decade of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While the event primarily focuses on the BRI, discussions between the two leaders are likely to encompass the ongoing war.
- European Union leaders are planning to convene later this month to demand “decisive progress” in utilizing Russian assets that have been frozen by sanctions to assist Ukraine, as outlined in a draft statement. The finance ministers of the G7, who recently met in Morocco, estimated that frozen assets worth approximately $280 billion are at the disposal of the EU.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte held a joint press conference during Rutte’s visit to the Black Sea port city of Odesa on Friday. They pledged to collaborate on enhancing Ukraine’s air defenses, with Zelenskyy expressing his commitment to strengthening Ukraine’s position in the Black Sea to ensure the security of vital grain exports, which are crucial for Ukraine’s budget revenue.