Russia Ukraine War

Highlighting the Ukraine-Russia War: Key Events of War and Complex Dynamics: A recap of significant events, unfolding over 605 days

Here is the situation on Saturday, October 21, 2023.

As the war enters its 605th day, these are the main developments.

Ukraine-Russia War

  • A tragic incident occurred in Kryvyi Rih, in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk, as a Russian missile struck homes, resulting in the death of a man and leaving a woman in critical condition.
  • Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made a visit to the southern part of the country. During his visit, he reported that Ukrainian armed forces had successfully repelled a fresh Russian offensive in the eastern town of Avdiivka, with Ukrainian forces maintaining their position.
  • Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District, situated less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Ukraine’s southeastern border. During this visit, Putin received a briefing on the ongoing conflict from Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff, as announced by the Kremlin.
  • The Ukrainian military reported that intense fighting continued along the front lines, with approximately 90 combat clashes occurring in the past 24 hours. This represents an increase from the average of about 60 daily clashes observed just a week ago.
  • Russian forces have escalated their attacks in the vicinity of Avdiivka and Kupiansk. Kyiv has stated that the Russian assaults in these areas aim to draw Ukrainian troops away from other front lines and to attempt territorial gains before the onset of winter.
  • According to the Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, Ukrainian forces seem to have made advances on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson. However, Kyiv has not officially commented on this, while Russia’s defense ministry has claimed to have thwarted Ukrainian attempts to establish a foothold on the Russian-controlled side of the Dnipro River.
  • Russia has appointed a new leader for the country’s Aerospace Forces, as reported by state media. Colonel General Viktor Afzalov, who previously served as the acting head of the air force, has officially taken over the position, replacing General Sergei Surovikin. General Surovikin had faced scrutiny in the aftermath of the revolt by Wagner mercenaries against Moscow’s military leadership earlier this year.
  • Russian authorities have extended the detention of Russian American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva by three more days following allegations of her failure to register as a “foreign agent.” Kurmasheva is associated with the US-funded media outlet, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and was taken into custody in the city of Kazan.
  • In a separate development, Kyiv’s iconic Motherland statue, which portrays a female warrior overlooking the capital, has reopened for public viewing. Notably, the Soviet-era hammer and sickle emblem on the statue has been replaced with the Ukrainian trident.
  • President Biden and European Union leaders conveyed a message of support for both Ukraine and Israel. European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the importance of democracies standing together in light of the conflicts in both countries. President Biden stated, “We stood together to support the brave people of Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression. We’re standing together now to support Israel in the wake of Hamas’s appalling terrorist attack.”
  • Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, rejected claims made by Ukrainian officials suggesting that Moscow has benefited from the Israel-Hamas conflict, which diverted public attention away from Ukraine.
  • Regarding military aid, President Biden has requested urgent support for both Ukraine and Israel in a significant $106 billion security package. This includes $61 billion in military aid for Ukraine and $14 billion in military aid for Israel. North Korea has criticized the US for supplying Ukraine with long-range ATACMS ballistic missiles.

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