Overview

  • Guided bombs, artillery kill three civilians in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions
  • Russia says it shot down more drones over Tula
  • Ukrainian forces make more gains in Verbove; now hold half of the city
  • Curfew imposed in Donetsk region; FSB to monitor calls, texts and email
  • Russians continue to deport and forcibly assimilate Ukrainian children
  • War critic and opposition leader arrives at Siberian gulag
  • Pope calls Ukrainians “martyrs”
  • Photos show abandoned Russian facilities that their own people are looting
  • VIDEO: Sevastopol field in flames as Russian officials talk of a “grass fire”

Airstrikes kill 3 and wound 8 in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions

A volley of Russian airstrikes killed two people and wounded eight others in separate strikes around the Kherson region on Sunday, the governor of the Kherson region said, while Russian artillery killed a man in Zaporizhzhia.

Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin said the airstrikes, found to be guided bombs, targeted the capital city Kherson, wounding five, while a 67-year-old man in Lvove and a woman in Beryslav were killed in strikes that wounded eight others. Several civilian homes were destroyed in the attacks, according to the Associated Press (AP).

A third civilian, a 53-year-old man was killed in Zaporizhzhia, according to Yurii Malashko, the head of the region's military administration, CNN reported. Malashko said that there were 25 locations across the region targeted by Russian artillery over the weekend.

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More drones target Tula

Early Monday morning Moscow time, Russia’s RIA state news agency reported that area defense forces had repelled a drone attack in Tula, south of the capital. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack, although local airline traffic had to be redirected.

It’s the second time in a week that the Russian city known primarily for its military armaments industry was targeted by attack drones.

Operations: Verbove; one Russian regiment almost completely cut off

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The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have again broken through key Russian defenses around Verbove, in the Zaporizhzhia region, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Sunday. Some Russian troops are even calling out their Ministry of Defense for trying to conceal Ukraine’s recent advances.

Geolocated footage posted over the weekend on social media shows Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles operating along Verbove’s western outskirts, representing the first time they had been spotted there since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

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Two days after troops first broke into the Russian-held city, Ukrainian forces now hold roughly half of Verbove, a Russian airborne (VDV) unit conceded, and reported that they continue to press eastward as well. In the wake of the Kremlin’s efforts to muzzle media reports of its ground forces’ failures, the Russian unit commented online, “For how long can [Sergei] Shoigu’s Ministry of Defense hide the breakthrough in Verbove?”

Meanwhile, the post from the “Teplinsky” VDV unit went on, AFU units are attacking north of the city, and could completely cut off the 56th VDV Regiment from the rest of their Russian units:

“Now there is a real threat of the enemy reaching the rear of the 56th Airborne Regiment 7th Airborne Division in the area of the settlement, Novofedorivka,” the Russian soldier wrote. “Our guys fight not for the sake of carrying out combat missions, but for the sake of preserving the lives of their friends in the platoon, the same situation we saw in Afghanistan before the withdrawal of troops, the same thing happened before the end of hostilities in the Chechen wars… People are tired. There are no rotations, no vacations.”

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The sentiment was confirmed by several Russian military bloggers who agree that the Ukrainians are improving their positions in Novofedorivka and in several other positions around Verbove.

Aerial photos show site of alleged Russian embezzlement

The Ukrainian Resistance Center announced over the weekend that it had proof that Russian authorities were looting their own abandoned military facilities along the border with Ukraine.

The Center said that “fighters of the Kursk insurgent army” have been providing reconnaissance to the AFU to identify Russian troop movements and construction of defenses. Among the intelligence were aerial photos of a Russian stronghold in the Kursk region that was shown to be overgrown with vegetation and visibly abandoned.

Without offering specifics, the Center said it has learned that Russian authorities are helping themselves to assets from the unmanned facility, under the guise of rebuilding defenses elsewhere.

Critic of Russian invasion arrives at Siberian prison

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a vocal Russian critic of the invasion of Ukraine and an opposition figure has arrived a maximum-security prison in Siberia and placed in a tiny “punishment cell,” the AP reported on Sunday, quoting his lawyer.

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Kara-Murza, 42, had been arrested earlier this year and convicted of treason for railing against the Kremlin’s “special military operation” when he addressed the legislature of the US state of Arizona. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He was transferred from a detention center in Moscow to the city of Omsk, to a maximum-security camp called IK-6.

Deportation and re-education of children continues in occupied Kherson

The ISW reported over the weekend that 90 Ukrainian children were taken to Moscow as part of Russian Ministry of Culture’s “Cultural Map” program, citing the Russian occupational administration. The Russian authorities that they would send “thousands more” to Moscow and St. Petersburg before the end of the year.

In the meantime, the children who remain in the Kherson region are forced to attend Russian history lectures given by representatives of the ruling United Russia party, the ISW continued. Authorities boasted that about 100 children in Skadovsk district participated in the Party’s “Historical Conversations” project in recent days, and that there have been more than 1,500 such lectures since the program began.

Separatist administration imposes curfew and phone/mail censorship in Donetsk

Russian-backed authorities in the occupied Donetsk region have imposed a nightly curfew that begins Monday night. The administrative order is in effect weekdays from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., with some public officials exempted, according to Russian state news outlet TASS.

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Additionally, authorities will censor communications in the region, targeting phone conversations, Internet communications and physical mail, TASS reported. Censorship will be enforced by Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB, the post-Soviet incarnation of the KGB) and the nascent Information Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Pope says weapons, and lack thereof, keep Ukrainians a “martyred people”

Traveling on the papal plane from Marseilles to Rome, Pope Francis told reporters on Sunday that the weapons industry was turning Ukrainians into a “martyred people,” the AP reported. He expressed dismay that while many countries were supplying weapons to Kyiv, others (in an apparent reference to Poland) were threatening to take them away, a situation that made the people’s suffering even worse.

The comments come about three weeks after the pontiff’s committed a gaffe by glorifying imperialist Russian tsars in front children of Catholic families in Russia. On Sunday, he was careful to describe Ukrainians as victims while underscoring the arms industry, not the Russians in particular, as the villains.

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According to the AP, the Pope expressed frustration that the Vatican’s diplomatic efforts to bring a resolution to the war had not had much effect.

Watch fire burn in Sevastopol after missile attacks

A blogger on Twitter posted a video Sunday of a raging fire in occupied Sevastopol, which, according to the blogger, local Russian authorities brushed off as a “grass fire.”

On Saturday, Sevastopol was struck by fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile, with debris falling near the port’s pier, and another fragment falling in a park on the city’s northern outskirts. Loud blasts were also heard in Northern Crimea followed by clouds of smoke.

 

A day earlier, Ukrainian airstrikes had leveled a building in the city that housed the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

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