Here is the situation on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. (643 Day)
Hurricane-force winds, snowfall, and flooding, has hit several regions in Russia, including Dagestan, Krasnodar, and Rostov, as well as occupied Ukrainian territories like Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Crimea. In Ukraine, this harsh weather resulted in at least five fatalities and power outages in nearly 1,500 towns and villages, with some areas experiencing up to 25cm (10 inches) of snow. An additional four casualties were reported in Moldova. Freezing temperatures are expected on Tuesday morning. The power cuts in Russia affected around 1.9 million people, according to the country’s energy ministry.
Current weather forecasts indicate ongoing heavy rainfall in Sevastopol in Crimea and Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast. There is a hope that the storm’s impact might impede the Russian war effort.
In the midst of these weather challenges, Russian forces are escalating their efforts to seize Avdiivka, pushing forward from multiple directions, as reported by Vitaliy Barabash, the head of Avdiivka’s military administration. Barabash stated, “The Russians have opened up two more sectors for assaults – in the direction of Donetsk and in the so-called industrial zone. The enemy is attempting to storm the city from all directions.”
The UK Ministry of Defence has acknowledged Ukrainian estimates of Russian casualties, describing them as “plausible.” According to Ukrainian assessments, there were nearly 1,000 Russian casualties, either killed or wounded, on a daily basis in November 2023. This would make November one of the most challenging months for Russian forces, particularly due to their assault on Avdiivka, although specific figures for Ukrainian losses were not provided.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is participating in a NATO session in Brussels spanning Tuesday and Wednesday. This includes the inaugural foreign minister-level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, established to enhance cooperation and coordination, aiding Kyiv in its preparations for NATO membership. Jim O’Brien, the top US diplomat for Europe, emphasized that allies would continue supporting Ukraine’s self-defense until Russia ceases its war of aggression.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has indicated that Ukraine’s NATO membership is contingent on post-war reforms, affirming that full membership remains impractical amid ongoing conflict. However, efforts to bring Ukraine and NATO closer persist.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen ruler, has announced that an additional 3,000 of his fighters are prepared to join the conflict in Ukraine on Russia’s behalf. Despite Kadyrov’s statement, there are reports of Chechen armed formations opting to fight alongside Ukraine rather than Russia.
Concerns have arisen over increased Turkish exports to Russia, specifically civilian goods with military applications, such as microchips and telescopic sights, prompting unease from the US and the EU.
After a lengthy legal dispute over ownership rights, ancient Scythian artifacts from museums in Russian-occupied Crimea have been returned to Ukraine. The artifacts spent almost a decade in the Netherlands during the legal proceedings.
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has announced plans to attend a conference of the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in NATO member North Macedonia. Bulgaria, another NATO member bordering North Macedonia, has granted permission for Lavrov to fly through its airspace.
In response to remarks by the US defense secretary, Sergei Lavrov insisted that Moscow has no plans to further expand its territory in Europe, asserting that there is no intention to go beyond Ukraine if victorious.
Source: The Guardian