616 Day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
As of Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the current situation is as follows:
- Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, cautioned against expecting rapid progress in the nation’s efforts to retake Russian-occupied territory. During his nightly video address, Zelenskyy highlighted that Moscow’s forces were preparing for fresh assaults along the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line in various regions.
- The United Nations human rights office has determined that a missile strike, resulting in the tragic death of 59 individuals at a cafe in the Ukrainian village of Hroza, was likely launched by Russia, possibly involving an Iskander missile.
- In a separate incident, Russian investigators in an eastern Ukrainian area under Moscow’s control reported the detainment of two soldiers suspected of killing a family of nine, including two children, in Volnovakha. These soldiers, hailing from Russia’s far eastern region, claimed the murders were a result of a personal conflict.
- Furthermore, a court established by the Russian authorities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region sentenced three Ukrainian soldiers who were captured after the siege of the port city of Mariupol last year to life imprisonment. They were convicted of various crimes, including murder and the “cruel treatment” of civilians.
- Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has apprehended a 46-year-old Russian man, suspected of being an accomplice in the shooting of Oleg Tsaryov, a Moscow-backed separatist leader and former Ukrainian MP, in Crimea, the region annexed by Russia in 2014. Moscow has alleged that Ukraine made an attempt on Tsaryov’s life. According to media reports, the former MP had been identified as a potential leader for any Russian-influenced government in Kyiv.
- During his testimony at the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding President Joe Biden’s request for $106 billion in funding, which includes support for Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized that the success of Russia’s invasion depended on the United States maintaining its backing for Kyiv. He stated, “If we withdraw our support now, Putin will only grow stronger and achieve his objectives.”
- In a separate development, a Russian court rejected an appeal by US-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who is facing charges of failing to register as a “foreign agent.” Kurmasheva, employed by the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was arrested in the central city of Kazan after visiting her family earlier this month. The court ruled last week that she would remain in pre-trial detention until at least December 5.
- French prosecutors have taken Russian tycoon Alexey Kuzmichev into custody for questioning in France on charges related to alleged tax evasion, money laundering, and violations of international sanctions. In the previous year, French customs agents confiscated Kuzmichev’s 27-meter (88-foot) yacht as part of the European Union’s sanctions imposed due to his connections with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- A delegation comprising religious leaders from various faiths in Ukraine has arrived in the United States to request ongoing support in the face of Russia’s actions. They aim to address concerns regarding religious freedom as Ukraine’s parliament deliberates on legislation that seeks to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church due to its ties with the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, who has been a vocal supporter of the Russian invasion.
- In a separate development, the US Department of Homeland Security apprehended three Russians in New York for allegedly shipping electronic components for weapons to Moscow, intended for use in Ukraine. These individuals are accused of circumventing sanctions and dispatching “over 300 shipments of restricted items, valued at approximately $10 million, to the Russian battlefield” over the course of a year, as stated by Special Agent Ivan Arvelo.