Here is the situation on Monday, November 17, 2023 (632 Day)
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, a former prime minister, assured Ukraine of continued military support during an unexpected visit to Kyiv on Thursday. This visit coincided with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s statement that the supply of crucial artillery ammunition from Western allies had decreased since the beginning of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. Zelenskiy specifically highlighted a decline in the delivery of 155mm shells, extensively used on the eastern and southern frontlines in Ukraine, stating, “Our deliveries have decreased, and they really slowed down.”
During his inaugural foreign ministerial trip, David Cameron visited the southern port city of Odesa, underscoring the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Addressing Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, Cameron emphasized the UK’s commitment to providing not only moral, diplomatic, and economic support but, crucially, ongoing military assistance for as long as needed.
In a separate statement, Zelenskiy expressed concerns about Russia potentially amassing missiles for winter strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities. He estimated the accumulation but noted it wasn’t significantly greater than previous stockpiles, referencing past attacks on critical infrastructure. In a noteworthy trial, a St Petersburg artist, Aleksandra “Sasha” Skochilenko, received a seven-year prison sentence for altering price tags in a local supermarket with messages against the war and propaganda. This case highlights the severe consequences faced by ordinary Russians engaging in civil protest against the Ukraine invasion.
Yale University’s research revealed that over 2,400 Ukrainian children, aged six to 17, have been relocated to 13 facilities in Belarus since Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating Belarus’s alleged role in transferring more than 19,000 identified children from Russian-occupied territories. Tragically, on Thursday, Russian shelling claimed two lives and left at least 12 people injured in various areas of southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, according to local officials.
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Northrop Grumman is exploring the production of 120mm tank ammunition in Poland, capitalizing on the increased defense production capacity of the U.S. ally. Geographically proximate countries like Poland, Finland, and Germany are seeking deals to manufacture U.S. weapons in Europe, securing arms acquisitions, and expediting existing contracts, influenced by the conflict in Ukraine, which has reshaped considerations about the required volume of munitions in future conflicts.
The European Commission has proposed a 12th round of sanctions against Moscow, including restrictions on numerous individuals, notably the son of former president Dmitry Medvedev and a relative of Vladimir Putin. Among those targeted are Putin’s cousin Anna Tsivileva, who chairs the “defenders of the fatherland” foundation supporting Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and Ilya Medvedev, whose details match those of the former president’s only son.
In efforts to tighten sanctions related to the war in Ukraine, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on maritime companies and vessels involved in shipping Russian oil exceeding the G7’s price cap. Three UAE-based companies and their vessels have faced sanctions for exporting Russian crude oil priced above the $60 per barrel cap.
Turkey’s parliament has commenced a long-delayed debate on Sweden’s NATO aspirations, potentially strengthening Ankara’s ties with western allies. This development occurs despite Turkey’s discontent over Israel’s conflict with Hamas. Sweden and Finland, responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, abandoned decades of military non-alignment and sought nuclear protection within the U.S.-led defense organization.
Polish trucking representatives plan to expand their border protest against Ukraine, citing unfair competition from the war-torn country. Despite failed negotiations between Kyiv and Polish transport companies blocking cargo at major border points for almost two weeks, tensions persist.
Pierre de Gaulle, a grandson of French war hero and former president Charles de Gaulle, has expressed a desire for Russian citizenship, citing “great possibilities” offered by Russia. While little known in France, his pro-Kremlin statements have been highlighted by Russian state media as evidence of Western voices supporting Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. “It would be an honor for me to acquire Russian citizenship,” he stated at the Saint Petersburg cultural forum.
SOURCE: The guardian