As the 609th day of the war begins, these are the most important developments.
Here is the situation as of Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
- Russia continued to bomb the devastated eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, but Ukrainian officials said heavy losses had forced them to switch to airstrikes. Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for Ukraine’s Southern Group of Forces, told national television that Russia “dropped about 40 guided aerial bombs in two nights.” But the number of ground attacks has decreased.” Shtupun said about 2,400 Russians had been killed or wounded in the last five days of fighting in the Donetsk region.
- At least eight people were injured in Russian shelling of frontline areas in Ukraine. Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said four people, including a 12-year-old, were injured by Russian airstrikes and artillery fire in the southern Kherson region and another four were hospitalized after an attack in the northeastern Kharkiv region.
- The Russian Defense Ministry said its naval forces destroyed three unmanned Ukrainian boats in the northern part of the Black Sea off Crimea. Moscow annexed the peninsula in 2014.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a security conference in Prague that Kiev would maintain military pressure on occupied Crimea after shattering the “illusion” of Russian dominance in Crimea and the Black Sea. Zelensky said the Russian fleet was “no longer capable” of operating in the western part of the Black Sea and was gradually withdrawing from Crimea. He did not provide any evidence to support the claim.
- More than half of the members of Ukraine’s newly formed Siberian Battalion are Russian citizens, Reuters news agency reported. Russian recruits for the 50-man battalion are mostly indigenous peoples of Siberia who want to fight “Russian imperialism,” Reuters said, citing a Ukrainian military officer who declined to be named. The battalion is part of the International Legion within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Politics and diplomacy
- Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that Berlin’s aid to Ukraine would not be affected by Israel’s support in the conflict with Hamas. At a German-Ukrainian economic forum attended by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and also attended virtually by President Zelensky, Scholz said that Kiev would receive help “for as long as necessary” – from the economy to weapons.
- Shmyhal said Ukraine was expecting an additional 1.4 billion euros from Germany to improve its air defense and help it survive a second winter of war with Russia.
- Moldova blocked access to more than 20 Russian media websites, including RT, NTV and other prominent broadcasters, saying they had been used as part of an information war against the country. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the move as a “hostile step.”
- The older sister of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich called for his release before his birthday and urged the United States to step up efforts to bring him home. The journalist has been imprisoned in Russia since March and is accused of espionage. He and the Journal have denied the allegations. Gershkovich turns 32 on Thursday.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s economy had largely adapted to Western sanctions imposed in the wake of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine and the prospect of further sanctions “does not frighten” the country.
- Ukraine announced a joint venture with German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to maintain and repair Western weapons sent to Kiev since Russia’s full-scale invasion. “The first project will be the repair of German equipment, tanks, heavy armored vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and other German equipment,” Prime Minister Shmyhal told reporters in Berlin. The company will also help with local production of some of Rheinmetall’s key equipment, he added.
Source : www.aljazeera.com