626 Day of the Russia-Ukraine War
Ukrainian naval drones reportedly sank two Russian landing boats in Crimea, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence agency. The attack targeted an Akula class and a Serna class vessel, both crewed and loaded with armored vehicles. Military analyst Andriy Ryzhenko noted the significance of these losses, as these boats played a crucial role in transporting tactical landing forces and equipment discreetly. Meanwhile, Russian forces are engaged in an effort to surround the frontline town of Avdiivka and seize a strategically important factory nearby, as per a Ukrainian military spokesperson, Oleksandr Shtupun. Ukrainian forces are successfully repelling Russian assaults on a large chemical plant, maintaining control of the facility.
Military analyst Serhiy Zgurets highlighted Russian forces‘ attempt to exploit Ukraine’s focus on Avdiivka by seeking to reclaim areas lost near Bakhmut to the northeast. While Russia initially seized Bakhmut in May, Ukrainian troops have since retaken nearby villages.
In a separate claim, Russia’s military stated that its forces thwarted a Ukrainian attempt to establish a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the River Dnipro and nearby islands in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine. The statement, which couldn’t be independently verified, reported the killing of about 500 Ukrainian soldiers in the past week.
Resistance within European Union (EU) countries is posing a challenge to a €20 billion ($21.4 billion) military aid plan for Ukraine, as reported by diplomats. Proposed by Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, in July, the plan involves creating a fund of up to €5 billion annually over four years. However, countries, including Germany, are expressing reservations about committing such large sums years in advance.
Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, reiterated his opposition to advancing negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership. This stance signals potential obstacles to Kyiv’s aspirations to join the bloc, which requires unanimous agreement from EU members.
Ukrainian and Russian officials announced an agreement to return 17-year-old Bohdan Yermokhin, who was taken to Russia amid the war last year, to Ukraine. The teenager, whose parents died years ago, will be reunited with a cousin in a third country on his 18th birthday, with plans to subsequently return to Ukraine.
On Friday, Russian artillery and drone attacks in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson regions killed three people and caused damage to infrastructure, power lines, and a gas pipeline. These regions have been consistently targeted by Russian forces in occupied territory.
Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, expressed hope for a December conference in the United States on joint Ukrainian-US weapons production, emphasizing the significance of the agreement between Presidents Zelenskiy and Biden.
In a legal development, a French court rejected an appeal by the Ukrainian government, ruling that billionaire Kostyantyn Zhevago, who controls Ferrexpo, should not be extradited over embezzlement allegations. Zhevago, arrested in December 2022, denies any wrongdoing.
Concerns were raised about the whereabouts of Ukrainian volunteer soldier Maksym Butkevych, convicted for attempting to kill two civilians, with the Kremlin stating that Russia is not obligated to disclose his location. Human rights groups have called for information on Butkevych, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison in March.
Source : The Guardian