Russia Ukraine war
On the 609 day of the conflict, here are the notable developments.
- On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the situation was tense. The eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka was under continuous attack, but Ukrainian officials decided to change tactics due to heavy casualties. Ukraine’s southern group of forces spokesperson, Oleksandr Shtupun, revealed that Russia had dropped approximately 40 guided aerial bombs in two nights. However, there was a decrease in ground assaults. Shtupun also stated that the fighting in the Donetsk region had caused the death or injury of around 2,400 Russian soldiers in the past five days.
- The shelling from Russia resulted in the injury of at least eight individuals in front-line regions of Ukraine. Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko reported that four people, including a 12-year-old, were wounded by Russian airstrikes and artillery fire in the southern Kherson region. Additionally, four more were taken to the hospital after an attack on the northeast region of Kharkiv.
In the northern part of the Black Sea off Crimea, Russia’s naval forces claimed to have destroyed three unmanned Ukrainian boats. It is worth noting that Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.
- During a security conference in Prague, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Kyiv would continue to exert military pressure on occupied Crimea. Zelenskyy expressed confidence in shattering Russia’s domination of Crimea and the Black Sea, dismissing it as an “illusion.” According to Zelenskyy, the Russian fleet was gradually retreating from Crimea and “no longer capable” of operating in the western part of the Black Sea. However, he did not provide any specific evidence to support this claim.
- An interesting development emerged as Reuters reported that over half of the members in Ukraine’s newly-formed Siberian Battalion are Russian citizens. These Russian recruits, mainly comprised of Siberia’s Indigenous people, actively oppose “Russian imperialism.” The battalion operates as part of the International Legion within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In conclusion, the situation in Ukraine on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, was characterized by intense fighting between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian forces shifted their strategy after suffering heavy losses, opting for air attacks instead of ground assaults. Russia’s shelling caused casualties on the Ukrainian side, with both air strikes and artillery fire reported in different regions. Meanwhile, Moscow claimed to have destroyed Ukrainian boats in the Black Sea, as tensions remained high over the annexation of Crimea. President Zelenskyy affirmed Ukraine’s determination to challenge Russia’s control over Crimea and the Black Sea, noting the apparent retreat of the Russian fleet. Additionally, the presence of Russian citizens within Ukraine’s Siberian Battalion added a unique dynamic to the conflict, as they opposed Russian imperialism.
Politics and diplomacy
- The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that Berlin’s support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas would not affect its aid to Ukraine. Speaking at a German-Ukrainian business forum, attended by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and virtually joined by President Zelenskyy, Scholz stated that Kyiv would receive assistance, ranging from the economy to military weapons, for as long as it is necessary. Shmyhal expressed Ukraine’s expectation for Germany to provide an additional 1.4 billion euros to strengthen its air defenses and help the country endure another winter at war with Russia.
In a separate development, Moldova banned access to over 20 Russian media websites, including RT and NTV, citing their involvement in an information war against the country. The Russian foreign ministry condemned this action as a hostile step.
- On the occasion of his upcoming birthday, the sister of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich made an emotional plea for his release and urged the United States to intensify efforts to bring him home. Gershkovich has been detained in Russia since March on spying charges, which he and the Journal have vehemently denied. He will turn 32 on Thursday.
- Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov commented that Russia’s economy has successfully adapted to the Western sanctions imposed following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, expressing that further sanctions would not intimidate the country.
- Furthermore, Ukraine announced a joint venture with German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to service and repair Western weapons provided to Kyiv since Russia’s full-scale invasion. Prime Minister Shmyhal stated that the initial project would involve the repair of German equipment, including tanks, heavy armored vehicles, Panzerhaubitzers, and other German military assets. This partnership will also contribute to the local production of essential equipment manufactured by Rheinmetall.