• Leaderless US Republicans favor funding to Israel over aid to Ukraine
  • Russia drops bombs and fires artillery at villages in Kherson region, injuring four
  • Ukrainian pilots ready to move from simulators to real F-16s
  • AFU makes more advances south of Bakhmut
  • Russian forces close in on “waste dump” and other points around Avdiivka
  • Civilians prepare for another cold winter

Republicans bristle at tying Ukraine aid to Israel in supplemental measure

“Israel deserves to have a conversation that is devoted to them right now,” CNN quoted US Representative Mike Garcia (R-CA) as saying on Monday. “We need to strip out the Ukraine funding and we need to give the Israeli partners the respect they deserve.”

Garcia sits on the House Appropriations Committee, and the Subcommittee on Defense in particular. He is a former US Navy pilot and represents California’s 27th congressional district, just northeast of Los Angeles.

“This is a hell no. And no one in the House GOP [the Republican party] should support it,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) posted Friday on social media. “It’s asinine, unpaid for, ineffective and dangerous.”

US President Joe Biden’s administration has penned a $105 billion supplemental request for international aid, tying together funding for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and US-Mexico border issues. A growing number of conservative lawmakers have joined the right-wing chorus of stripping out support for Ukraine as they desperately try to agree on a replacement for the House Speaker these same Republicans ousted and vow that any additional money to Kyiv won’t pass the lower chamber if and when they manage to govern again.


Russians continue shelling civilians in the Kherson region

At least four people were injured in the Kherson region on Monday after Russian drones dropped bombs and soldiers fired artillery shells at civilian targets.

According to the Kherson Military Command, drones dropped bombs on the Beryslav district, injuring a 55-year-old man. A 39-year-old man and a woman were also sent to the hospital with concussions. In a separate attack, at about 10:35 a.m. in the village of Darivka, artillery shells fired by Russian troops struck a house and seriously injured a 49-year-old man.

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Montreal’s Ukrainian Community and its friends came together in the freezing cold to “Stand With Ukraine” as part of a rally involving cities the world over.

Private homes and other property were destroyed.

Regional authorities counted 73 artillery shells fired at villages in the region, and more than 400 mortars, grenades and other projectiles over the course of 24 hours. They claimed that targets included private residences, a church, a school, a factory and public utilities.


Air Force says pilots to begin training on F-16s soon

Air Force spokesman Colonel Yuriy Ihnat announced that Ukrainian pilots will start training on F-16 jets “in the near future.”

“We expect that the first group of pilots who are training today on simulator... will transfer to a real F-16 combat aircraft with an instructor in the near future,” Ihnat said.

He said that the first group of trainees, currently in Belgium, were selected primarily on the basis of their English-language capabilities, as all of the interface and commands on the American-made jet are in English.

Operations: Bakhmut

Units from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) made confirmed advances southwest of Bakhmut, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Monday, citing both Russian and Ukrainian sources, and perhaps other advances northwest of the embattled city.

Geolocated footage on Sunday indicates that the AFU units have advanced across the railway northeast of Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut), confirming prior statements made by both the General Staff of the AFU and Russian bloggers on the ground.

The AFU may have also won battles to the west of Bakhmut, as some Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces successfully counterattacked near Khromove (immediately west of Bakhmut) and in the area of Bohdanivka (6 km northwest of Bakhmut). The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Bohdanivka, Khromove, Ivanivske (6 km west of Bakhmut), Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Druzhba (18 km southwest of Bakhmut).


Operations: Avdiivka

The ISW reported that Russian forces made confirmed advances on various fronts Monday around the pivotal, AFU-controlled city of Avdiivka.

Geolocated footage published on Monday indicates that Russian forces advanced southwest of Krasnohorivka (5 km northeast of Avdiivka).

Russian military bloggers claimed that Russian forces have advanced almost two kilometers in the Avdiivka area in the past few days, including gains near Pervomaiske (11 km southwest of Avdiivka) and to the railway “north of the waste heap area northwest of Avdiivka.”

While a garbage dump may not seem a critical objective, especially considering the industrial infrastructure to be found around Avdiivka, Ukrainian sources say the waste heap is a contested “gray zone,” the ISW reported, and is being defended by “heavy artillery fire” from the Ukrainians, as one Russian military blogger described.


Another Russian blogger, however, claimed that Russian forces indeed broke through to the waste heap and railroad line near Stepove (8 km northwest of Avdiivka) and pushed Ukrainian forces back near Sieverne (6 km west of Avdiivka) and Spartak (4 km south of Avdiivka).


Ukrainians chop wood and install solar panels to prep for more Russian “energy terror”

The Associated Press put out a timely feature article on Monday, describing how Ukrainians are preparing for what is likely to be another winter of power outages and other energy shortages.

Russian shelling, drone attacks and missile strikes knocked out about half of Ukraine’s energy capacity last winter, according to Ukrenergo, the AP reported. The state grid operator said that more than 1,200 missiles and drones launched by Russian forces targeted energy infrastructure in 2022.

On Sept. 21, Russian strikes forced another major power outage, and a huge wave of renewed strikes on civilian infrastructure in the past couple of weeks serve as a reminder of the extreme difficulties of the past winter when millions went without heat, electricity and hot water.

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