Here is the situation on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. (636 Day)
Conflict Escalation in Eastern Ukraine has reported an escalation in hostilities around the Russian-occupied town of Bakhmut in the eastern region. Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesperson for Ukrainian ground forces, highlighted that Russian forces are intensifying their efforts, with a particular focus on Klishchiivka, a nearby village reclaimed by Ukrainian forces in September. Fityo stated, “In the last 24 hours alone, we successfully repelled eleven attacks. The adversary is attempting to dislodge our forces from defensive positions around Klishchiivka.” Contrarily, Russia’s defense ministry countered this claim, asserting that they thwarted over 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around Bakhmut over the past week.
The situation remains tense, with both sides providing conflicting reports on the ongoing clashes.
Ukrainian authorities have reported casualties and infrastructure damage due to recent events. In the southern Kherson and central Dnipropetrovsk regions, three people lost their lives, and one person sustained injuries in Russian shelling. Additionally, power lines and a gas pipeline were damaged during the attacks.
Separately, Ukrainian police confirmed a tragic incident in Kyiv, where a soldier and a woman died from a grenade explosion in an apartment. The blast, which also injured another man, is currently under investigation, and the cause remains unclear. In response to alleged human rights violations in the Ukrainian town of Andriivka, the United States State Department has taken action. Russian Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Russian Guard Corporal Daniil Frolkin are now barred from entering the US due to their purported involvement in these violations.
Ukraine has relieved Yury Shchyhol, the head of the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine, and his deputy, Victor Zhora, of their duties. This decision comes in the midst of an ongoing corruption investigation related to software purchases.
The move to terminate the services of these top cyber-defense officials underscores the Ukrainian government’s commitment to addressing corruption issues within its ranks. The investigation is focused on alleged irregularities in the procurement of software, and the dismissal of Shchyhol and Zhora marks a significant step in addressing these concerns and ensuring accountability.
Lachlan Murdoch, Chief Executive of Fox Corp, visited Kyiv and held a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine has described this encounter as a “very important signal” of support, especially given the recent global focus on the Israel-Gaza conflict, which has diverted attention from the ongoing situation in Ukraine. During the meeting, President Zelenskyy was joined by Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who suffered severe injuries while covering the conflict last year, and Jerome Starkey, a journalist from the United Kingdom tabloid The Sun. The gathering reflects a notable acknowledgment of the challenges faced by journalists in conflict zones and serves as a demonstration of international solidarity.
In an interview with The Sun, also published in the UK’s Times newspaper (both part of the same media group), President Zelenskyy accused Russia of deliberately fueling tensions from the Balkans to the Middle East. Describing Ukraine as being at the epicenter of global risks for a potential Third World War, Zelenskyy urged allies to maintain military support. While acknowledging challenges on certain fronts, he highlighted successes in the Black Sea, noting, “We really deployed part of the Russian fleet.”
In a separate development, Russia placed Ukrainian singer Jamala, winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, on its wanted list. The charge alleges the spreading of false information about the Russian military and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, invoking a law against such actions. Jamala, a Crimean Tatar and a vocal critic of Russia, responded to the arrest warrant on Instagram with a facepalm emoji, emphasizing her commitment to preserving her culture and highlighting the impact of foreign aggression on her community.
Japanese Delegation Visits Ukraine in Preparation for Recovery Conference. A delegation from Japan, headed by senior officials from the industry and foreign ministries and accompanied by business representatives, conducted talks in Ukraine. These discussions precede the Ukraine Recovery Conference scheduled for next year, which Japan is set to host.
In an unannounced visit to Kyiv, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a supplementary aid package totaling $100 million. The package includes artillery munitions, interceptors for air defense, and anti-tank weaponry. During the visit, Secretary Austin reassured President Zelenskyy that the United States is committed to providing enduring support. Meetings were also held with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov to further discuss bilateral cooperation.
Source Al Jazeera