Day 618 of the Russia-Ukraine War
Here is the situation on Friday, November 3, 2023. Day 618
- Two people died, and the power supply was cut off in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region as a result of Russian artillery fire. According to Oleksandr Prokudin, the regional governor, the village of Stanislav experienced a terrifying night with more than 40 artillery attacks.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Ukrainian forces have successfully thwarted a recent Russian attack near the town of Vuhledar, located between the eastern and southern front lines in eastern Donetsk. Zelenskyy noted that the Russian forces suffered substantial casualties, resulting in numerous soldiers being either killed or wounded.
- Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military command, disclosed that Russian forces were currently regrouping and convalescing after their setbacks near the eastern city of Avdiivka. Their plan is to regroup before launching another bid to encircle the already beleaguered town.
- In a countermove, Russia accused Ukraine of creating a potential nuclear disaster risk. This allegation arose from Ukraine’s downing of nine Ukrainian drones near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which had been under Russian control since March 2022. These drones were shot down in the vicinity of Enerhodar, a city under Russian jurisdiction, where many of the power plant’s employees live. Both Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for conducting operations near the power plant. Furthermore, Russia claimed that its air defenses had effectively intercepted and brought down five Ukrainian drones over Crimea and one over the Black Sea.
- Russia has imprisoned two additional Ukrainian soldiers who participated in the battle for Mariupol, sentencing them to long prison terms. This is part of a broader pattern where Russia is putting numerous prisoners of war on trial. Last May, after capturing Mariupol, Russia took thousands of Ukrainian soldiers into custody. Some of them were transported to Russia, while others are being subjected to trials in courts supported by Moscow in the occupied regions of eastern Ukraine. It’s important to note that under international law, soldiers cannot be prosecuted for their actions in defense of their homeland.
- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Valery Zaluzhnyi’s characterization of the war as a conflict of attrition, stating that it is unreasonable for Kyiv to believe it can achieve victory over Russia.
- In the realm of politics and diplomacy, the United States has implemented comprehensive sanctions targeting individuals and businesses allegedly supporting Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine by facilitating the acquisition of dual-use goods, which can be utilized in weaponry, including suicide drones. These latest sanctions encompass 130 additional entities, including those based in China, Turkey, and the UAE.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that revokes Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Moscow claims that this action aligns with the United States and clarifies that Russia will not conduct nuclear testing unless Washington does so.
- In a separate development, Ukraine has placed Swiss food giant Nestle on a list of “international sponsors of war” due to its ongoing business activities in Russia. Ukraine’s national anticorruption agency stated, “Despite Russian aggression, Nestle continues to operate in Russia, supply goods to the aggressor, and expand its Russian production base.”
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, currently serving as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, expressed the view that Moscow regards Poland, a supporter of Ukraine, as a “dangerous enemy.” He suggested that if Poland continues on its current path, it may jeopardize its statehood.
- In the area of weapons, the United States is set to announce a $425 million military aid package for Ukraine, which includes laser-guided munitions to counter drones. This information was reported by Reuters, citing two US officials and related documents.