Sunday, September 24, 2023

Live Update: Russia’s “Special Operation” in Ukraine; Day 538

Russia, wary of NATO’s eastward expansion, began a military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022 after the Western-leaning Kiev government turned a deaf ear to Moscow’s calls for its neighbor to maintain its neutrality. In the middle of the mayhem, Moscow and Kiev are trying to hammer out a peaceful solution to the conflict. Follow the latest about the Russia-Ukraine conflict here:

Ukraine seeks to strengthen northeastern regions bordering Russia

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that the country is bolstering defence lines in its northeastern regions bordering Russia.

“The government allocated more than 1.2 billion Ukrainian hryvnias [$32.5m] from the reserve fund of the state budget to strengthen the defence lines of the northeastern regions of Ukraine,” Shmyhal said in a statement on Telegram.

“At the request of the Kharkiv and Chernihiv Oblasts, we are sending UAH 911.5 million [$24.7m] for Kharkiv Oblast and over UAH 363 million [$9.8m] for Chernihiv Oblast for the construction of military engineering and fortification facilities. The customers and executors of these works are regional military administrations,” he added.

Russia’s DM says Ukraine’s ability to fight is ‘almost exhausted’

Russia’s defence minister told officials that Ukraine’s ability to fight had been “almost exhausted” and said the war had exposed vulnerabilities in Western weapons systems that Moscow would soon share.

His comments came at a security conference in Moscow attended by China’s defence minister, Li Shangfu.

“In the special military operation, the Russian army has debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards,” Shoigu said and added that “the preliminary results of combat operations show that Ukraine’s military resources are almost exhausted.”

Asian, African and Latin American states have seen their role in the global arena increase as Western military dominance has started to wane, he stressed.

Western weapons being sent to Ukraine, as well as NATO tactics being taught to Kiev’s commanders, have failed to provide an upper hand on the battlefield, Shoigu said.

The minister noted that Russia is currently fighting “not just the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but the entire collective West,” which he claimed has also recently been joined by several Asia-Pacific states.

Nevertheless, Shoigu insisted that Western countries have lost their leadership in the military sphere since the start of Russia’s operation in Ukraine and that “it has become obvious that the use of Western weapons and NATO methods of planning operations cannot ensure superiority on the battlefield.”

Shoigu argued that the Ukraine conflict has shown there is “nothing unique or invulnerable for Russian weapons” and that even some Soviet-era weapons have proven to be superior in combat to their modern Western equivalents.

West ignores Russia’s warning weapons supplied to Kiev may spread: Lavrov

The Western countries ignore all sobering signals from Russia about the risk the weapons being supplied to Kiev may spread around the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security.

“Today the United States and NATO as well as the European Union for the sake of saving their own geopolitical project of containing Russia and splitting the Russian world are pumping ever more sophisticated weapons into Ukraine, thus fueling the conflict and provoking uncontrolled spread [of weapons] around the world,” Lavrov said.

“All of our sobering signals are being ignored or grossly distorted for propaganda purposes,” he emphasized, adding, “Quite a few facts illustrating this have been presented. [The West] is irresponsibly and significantly increasing the threat of a direct military clash between nuclear powers.”

At the same time, Lavrov remarked, it is obvious that “the attempt to break Russia with the hands of Ukrainian Nazis is an element of the strategic policy of reanimating the unipolar world order.”

“The same aim is being pursued in other regions, where any dissent becomes a target for threats and blackmail with the aim to remove obstacles in the way of Washington’s hegemonic plans,” Lavrov concluded.

Ukraine says Russia preparing provocation at Kursk nuclear power station

Ukraine’s national resistance centre has said in a statement that Russia is preparing a provocation at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant in western Russia.

“Preparations for evacuation from the zone of possible radioactive contamination in the event of an accident at the nuclear power plant are under way in the Kursk region,” the centre announced and added that evacuations for 21,000 to 57,000 are planned.

Zelensky visits Zaporizhia region

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the southeastern region of Zaporizhia, according to a statement from the president’s office.

“The president listened to reports by the commanders on the course of combat actions in frontline areas … and discussed the most problematic issues of their units together with the brigades and combatants,” the statement said.

Russia says its forces destroyed a Ukrainian drone in Belgorod

Russia’s defence ministry announced its air defence systems destroyed a Ukrainian drone in the country’s Belgorod region.

“Today, at about 17:00 Moscow time [14:00 GMT], an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack by an unmanned aerial vehicle over the territory of the Belgorod region was thwarted,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The UAV was detected and destroyed by air defense means,” it noted, adding that there were no casualties or damages.

Russian strikes on Lviv injure at least 15 people

Russia’s missile strikes in Ukraine’s western Lviv region overnight wounded at least 15 people, including a 10-year-old, and extensively damaged civilian infrastructure.

The attacks also resulted in the hospitalization of five people, according to the head of the Lviv regional military administration.

Kyiv’s air defenses shot down one of the Russian cruise missiles launched at the western region, Maksym Kozytskyi wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. Six other missiles were not intercepted.

“Russians attacked our region with cruise missiles between 5:20 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. (10:20 p.m and 10:30 p.m. ET),” Kozytskyi said, adding, “Fortunately, no one was killed in this missile attack.”

The youngest civilian to sustain an injury was aged 10, while the oldest was 72 years old, Kozytskyi continued.

“Most of the victims had scratches and cuts due to broken windows and bruises,” Kozytskyi said, adding that around 40 houses were damaged.

Putin says US foreign policy adds “fuel to fire”

Russian President Vladimir Putin says US foreign policy adds “fuel to the fire” while speaking in a pre-recorded message at the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) on Tuesday.

Putin argued that he believes the United States “continue to benefit from human tragedies, play off peoples, force states to vassal obedience within the framework of the neo-colonial system, mercilessly exploit their resources.”

“The United States seeks, among other things, to reformat the system of interstate interaction that has developed in the Asia-Pacific region for itself,” Putin continued.

“What this policy of adding fuel to the fire leads to is clearly seen in the example of Ukraine,” Putin said, adding, “By pumping billions of dollars into the neo-Nazi regime, supplying it with equipment, weapons, ammunition, sending their military advisers and mercenaries, everything is being done to ignite the conflict even more, to draw other states into it.”

Amid his attack on US foreign policy, the Russian president stated “open, honest, unbiased discussions” are extremely important.

“I repeat, today it is obvious that it is possible to reduce confrontation at the global and regional levels, neutralize challenges and risks, strengthen trust between states and open up broad opportunities for their development only by joining the efforts of the world community,” Putin added.

Russian and North Korean leaders vow closer relationship between two countries

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged letters on Tuesday pledging stronger diplomatic relations, as Moscow looks to deepen ties with its remaining allies amid the war in Ukraine.

In his letter to Putin, Kim said the two countries’ “friendship and solidarity” will be “further developed into a long-standing strategic relationship,” where they will be “strongly supporting and cooperating with each other,” North Korean state media KCNA reported.

Kim referenced Russian and Korean guerrilla forces fighting together during World War II, adding that the two nations are “now fully demonstrating their invincibility.”

In a memo to Kim, Putin expressed confidence that the allies “will strengthen the bilateral cooperation in all fields” to ensure “the firm stability and security of the Korean peninsula and the whole of Northeast Asia,” according to Russian state news agency TASS.

The dialogue between both leaders took place on August 15, which is National Liberation Day of Korea. It marks the announcement of Japan’s surrender in the Second World War and is celebrated in both North and South Korea.

Russian missiles target Ukraine’s western Lviv region

Russia targeted Ukraine’s western Lviv region with a missile strike overnight into Tuesday, according to local officials.

Maksym Kozytskyi, head of the Lviv regional military administration, stated missile fragments fell on apartment buildings and a supermarket.

More than a hundred apartments were damaged and a kindergarten was destroyed, but there were no casualties, Lviv mayor Andrii Sadovyi said on Telegram.

At least four people are receiving medical aid, Sadovyi added.

There have been no reports of deaths.

Homes in the villages of Stavchany and Sukhovolia were also damaged, with people in Stavchany suffering minor injuries, Kozytskyi continued.

UK: Chechen forces are a ‘high-profile’ component of Russian forces in Ukraine

UK’s Defence Ministry says Chechen forces comprise a relatively small but high-profile component of Russian forces in Ukraine.

In a post on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), the ministry said that the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, “likely heavily promotes his units’ roles partially to burnish his credentials as a Putin loyalist.”

Zelensky thanks US for newly-announced military package

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked the US for its decision to send Kyiv a new security assistance package valued at $200m, which includes air defence munitions, artillery rounds and mine-clearing equipment.

“I want to thank the United States today for the new package, Munitions for Patriots, for HIMARS, artillery, Javelins and more. These are much-needed things,” he said in his evening address.

“There will be even more work soon with our partners for the sake of defence,” he added.

US to send Ukraine security assistance valued at $200m

The US announced it will send Ukraine new security assistance worth $200m.

The aid includes air defence munitions, artillery rounds, anti-armour capabilities and mine-clearing equipment, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Last week, the Reuters news agency reported that two unnamed US officials stated Washington would begin to distribute $6.2bn of funds discovered after a Pentagon accounting error.

The newly-discovered funds represent the last of a congressionally authorised $25.5bn in weapons for Ukraine that may be shipped from US stocks.

Ukrainian PM thanks Germany for support

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has thanked Germany’s finance minister and government for their support in financial aid and sanctions against Russia.

On X, formally known as Twitter, he wrote: “During a meeting with Christian Lindner, thanked Germany for military, sanction and financial support. We discussed prospects for cooperation with German KfW [German Credit Institution for Reconstruction]. We expect German companies to participate in Ukraine’s recovery.”

Shmyhal also posted about the meeting on Telegram, where he added, “Ukraine received more than 1.5 billion euros [$1.64bn] of macro-financial assistance from Germany, most of it in the form of a grant. We are grateful for the support of the IMF [International Monetary Fund] program, for the role of Germany in the EU Ukraine Facility program, [and] for the promotion of European integration.

“Christian Lindner emphasised that Germany will continue to support Ukraine, and our cooperation projects will have a long-term nature,” he continued.

› Subscribe


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More Articles