Overview

  •    Ukraine says more land liberated in south and east
  •    Sweden and Ukraine to jointly produce combat vehicle
  •    Ukraine says it’s recaptured Crimean oil and gas drilling platform
  •    Foreign volunteers who survived Bakhmut drone attack describe the explosion
  •   Milley tells BBC the “window is closing” on counteroffensive
  •   German foreign minister in Kyiv
  •   North Korean leader “appears” to be en-route to Russia

Ukraine says more land liberated in south and east

Kyiv said on Monday morning its forces had recaptured clutches of land in south and east Ukraine and fought their way into a village in the Donetsk region last week.

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces had pushed back around the war-battered city of Bakhmut in the east, which was captured by Russia in May.

“Around two square kilometers (0.4 square miles) were liberated in this sector throughout the week. In total, 49 square kilometers have already been captured near Bakhmut” since the counteroffensive began, she said.

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Further south, Ukraine’s forces had battled their way into the village part of Opytne near the larger hub of Avdiivka, Maliar told state media.

Ukraine has committed the bulk of its resources to fighting along its southern front, where the military has punctured Russia's first line of defense and captured several villages.

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“Over the past week, 1.5 square kilometers of our land were liberated. During the offensive, we had successes south of Robotyne and west of Verbove,” Malyar said, referring to two villages in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Footage posted by a Russian military blogger on Sunday shows elements of the 57th Motorized Rifle Brigade (5th Combined Arms Army, Eastern Military District) operating near Kurdyumivka.

The milblogger also claimed that elements of the 83rd Guards Air Assault (VDV) Brigade and 11th VDV Brigade are operating in the Bakhmut direction.

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One person was injured in the attack, which also damaged the church and about a dozen houses and shops.

Sweden and Ukraine will jointly produce CV-90 combat vehicle

Maliar announced on Sunday that Ukraine and Sweden will jointly produce CV-90 infantry fighting vehicle with better all-terrain performance with reinforced multilayer armor.

“The CV-90 infantry fighting vehicle is believed to be the best one in the world. Designed and manufactured in Sweden, it has everything that a modern combat vehicle should have, and its main advantage is taking care of the crew (three people) and the landing party (up to eight people) because such protection as the CV-90 has is not available in any other IFV,” said Maliar.

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The plan is to manufacture 1,000 anti-tank vehicles, which have an automatic 40mm gun that can launch attacks at a distance of up to 3 km. Its maximum range is more than 12 km.

Ukraine says it’s recaptured Crimean oil and gas drilling platform

Kyiv said Monday its forces had retaken control of an oil and gas drilling platform in the Black Sea that had been controlled by Moscow since 2015.

“Ukraine regains control of the so-called Vyshki-Boyka (platform),” Kyiv’s military intelligence said in a statement.

“During one phase of the operation, a battle took place between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian Su-30 fighter jet,” it said, claiming that Moscow’s plane was “hit and forced to retreat.”

Foreign aid workers who survived Russian attack describe ordeal

After two foreign civilians, Canadian and Spanish, working for an NGO called “Road to Relief” were killed on Sunday in what Ukrainian defense officials said was a Russian drone attack, two survivors were being treated for burns in a Dnipro hospital and described the explosion.

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Road to Relief said in a post on its Instagram account that the vehicle the four aid workers were traveling in “came under Russian attack” in Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine on Saturday morning.

In “a direct hit, the vehicle flipped over and (caught) fire,” it said. The workers had just departed from Slovyansk and were headed to Bakhmut to assess the needs of civilians “caught in crossfire” in the town of Ivanivske.

The NGO also said a German medical volunteer, Ruben Mawick, and a Swedish volunteer, Johan Mathias Thyr, “were badly injured with shrapnel wounds and burns but are now stable in separate hospitals far from the scene.”

According to Thyr, their British car was hit by a suicide drone.

“We crashed and it burst into flames. We were helped by soldiers who drove us to the hospital,” Thyr told a Swedish newspaper from a hospital bed in Dnipro.

Top U.S. General warns that clock is ticking on counteroffensive

The US's top general Mark Milley has said Ukraine has just six weeks left before changing weather conditions on the ground hampers its counteroffensive.

“There is still a reasonable amount of time, about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left,” Milley told the BBC on Sunday. After that, mud, rain and cold weather would likely have an adverse battlefield impact, Milley said.

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Ukrainian Defense Forces (AFU) officials have insisted that the fight will push on into winter. Main Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR) Head Kyrylo Budanov said on Wednesday that Ukrainian forces will continue their counteroffensive operations into late 2023, and that cold and wet weather will not grind operations to a halt, as was partly the case last winter.

German foreign minister in Kyiv

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, promising unwavering support for Ukraine and praising its progress on the path towards EU membership.

“With enormous courage and determination, Ukraine is also defending the freedom of all of us,” Baerbock said in a statement released by the foreign ministry upon her arrival.

And Ukraine can “count on us” in return, Baerbock added.

“We will not let up in our efforts to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s aggression: economically, militarily, and in the humanitarian” sphere, Baerbock said.

It was Baerbock’s fourth visit to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

North Korean leader “appears” to be en route to Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s train “appears” to have left for Russia, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Monday, citing an unidentified official.

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Kim’s train “appears to have departed,” Yonhap reported.

Speculation has been mounting that Kim, who rarely leaves his country and has not travelled since the coronavirus pandemic started, will meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to discuss arms deals.

US and other officials recently told The New York Times that Kim is likely to head by armored train to Vladivostok, on Russia’s Pacific coast not far from North Korea, this month to meet Putin.

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