Here is the situation as of Saturday, October 15, 2023:
599 day of Russia-Ukraine War
- In the latest developments, two individuals lost their lives in Russian attacks on the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, while another two tragically perished due to shelling in Beryslav city within Ukraine’s Kherson region.
- Russian forces persisted in their assault on Avdiivka, subjecting the town to repeated shelling and launching ground operations, marking one of the few recent offensives by Russian forces in several months. Ukraine’s military reported successfully thwarting 15 Russian ground attacks in the vicinity of Avdiivka, Tonenke, and Pervomaiske in the Donetsk region. Moscow’s intensified campaign around Avdiivka is being described as a fresh offensive.
- Ukraine military spokesperson Oleksandr Stupun emphasized the strategic importance of Avdiivka, stating that it has become a primary objective for Russian forces as it represents their only chance to achieve a semblance of victory, with limited alternative options.
- Russian air defenses managed to shoot down nearly 30 Ukrainian combat drones over Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions, with two additional drones downed over the Black Sea near the southern Russian resort city of Sochi. Fortunately, no immediate reports of casualties have been received.
- Furthermore, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet conducted exercises employing rocket launchers off the port city of Sevastopol in the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
- The White House has accused North Korea of delivering over 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia in support of its ongoing war in Ukraine. Washington has even released images that it claims depict the containers being loaded onto a Russian-flagged ship and subsequently transported by train to southwestern Russia. Notably, North Korea has previously denied any involvement in providing weaponry to Moscow.
- Diplomatically, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet with China’s Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on October 17-18. This visit to China marks Putin’s first international trip since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest in March, alleging war crimes related to the deportation of children from Ukraine. It’s worth mentioning that Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan has ratified the ICC statutes.
- In terms of diplomacy, Ukrainian human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets has reported that the Foreign Ministry in Kyiv sent a protest note to Israel. This action was taken after Ukrainian citizens encountered difficulties evacuating from the war-torn Gaza region. Ukraine expressed its concern over why its citizens, along with citizens of other countries, faced challenges in evacuating from the besieged and bombarded Gaza. It’s notable that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been a vocal supporter of Israel in its actions in the Gaza conflict.
- Regarding sanctions, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has remarked on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspending Russia’s national Olympic body. This decision was made due to the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity by Russia. The IOC’s decision followed Russia’s Olympic Committee officially recognizing regional sporting organizations from four Ukrainian territories that have been annexed by Russia since the onset of its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.