Ukraine Russia relations
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On Thursday, October 26, 2023, the situation unfolds in a gripping manner.
- Despite suffering heavy losses, Russian forces continue their relentless advance towards the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, according to Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern groups of forces. Shtupun reveals that the Russian forces are employing infantry tactics, utilizing small assault groups consisting of approximately 30 to 40 soldiers. In the span of the last six days alone, Russia has reportedly witnessed 2,500 casualties, either dead or wounded.
- As the fighting intensifies in the region, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu makes a visit to a command post near the front lines in eastern Ukraine. The ministry releases a captivating video showcasing Shoigu’s visit, highlighting the meticulous preparations for combat during the harsh winter conditions where temperatures plummet well below freezing. Additionally, he is briefed on the training of drone operators, a critical aspect of their military strategy.
- In a startling incident, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggests that a Russian drone attack specifically targeted the nuclear power station located in the western Khmelnytskyi region. The ensuing onslaught causes extensive damage, shattering windows and injuring numerous individuals, with reports of around 20 casualties. Thankfully, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, assures that the plant’s operations remain unaffected and its connection to the grid remains intact.
- Previously, Zelenskyy issued a stark warning, asserting that if Moscow embarked on an air campaign with the intention to cripple Ukraine’s national power grid during the winter, his country would retaliate. Last year, millions of Ukrainians endured crippling power outages in sub-zero temperatures after Russia attacked power facilities. Determined not to repeat history, Zelenskyy makes a resolute statement on the Telegram messaging app, “We are not only prepared to defend ourselves but also to respond if terrorists attempt to strike our energy infrastructure.”
- Tragically, Oleksandr Prokudin, the governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, reports that a man lost his life when a Russian bomb struck a residential area in the city of Beryslav early Wednesday morning. Prokudin discloses that within the preceding 24 hours, Russian forces executed a staggering 35 aerial attacks on the Kherson region, instilling fear and despair among its inhabitants.
- Significantly, Russia’s military declares a notable achievement, stating that they have successfully recruited 385,000 individuals as part of their armed forces this year. These impressive numbers can be attributed to the military’s enticing offers of substantial salaries and comprehensive welfare programs. In a gripping video shared on social media, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council and former president, proudly announces, “Every single day, more than 1,600 brave souls choose to sign a contract with our armed forces.”
With these captivating developments, the tension between Ukraine and Russia escalates, captivating the attention of the world as the fate of these nations hangs in the balance.
Politics and diplomacy
- Lawmakers in the upper house of parliament in Russia unanimously passed a bill to cancel the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The legislation now simply requires President Vladimir Putin‘s signature to become effective.
- Ahead of an upcoming meeting of European Union leaders, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni emphasized that Europe “must not repeat the error” of weakening its unified support for Ukraine. Thursday’s summit in Brussels will mark the first in-person gathering of the EU’s 27 national leaders since the commencement of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7.
- The Kremlin has announced that Russia successfully demonstrated its capability to launch a powerful counterattack using nuclear weapons via land, sea, and air. The exercise involved the test firing of missiles from a land-based silo, a nuclear submarine, and long-range bomber aircraft. As part of their training, practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place.
- Oleksandr Kamyshin, the Ukrainian defense industry minister, revealed at a NATO forum in Stockholm that the country plans to ramp up its drone production to tens of thousands per month. Although current figures were not disclosed, the output is predicted to be in the thousands. In response, arms manufacturers are reporting profits surpassing market expectations.
- General Dynamics in Virginia saw its third-quarter profit increase to $836 million due to increased demand for artillery and armored vehicles. California-based Teledyne, parent company of drone manufacturer FLIR systems, reported third-quarter earnings of $198.6 million and raised its forecast for full-year growth. In Germany, Rheinmetall expects their third-quarter profit to reach €191 million ($201.89 million) from ammunition and weapons sales. Official figures will be announced on November 9th.