Overview:

  • Washington says $150M of pre-authorized military aid on its way to Ukraine
  • NSC spokesman says Russia killing soldiers who refuse to follow orders
  • Russian combat losses in Avdiivka continue to soar
  • New populist leader of Slovakia says it will halt military aid to Ukraine
  • AFU holds ground and moves forward from Dnipro’s left bank
  • Fighting continues around Kupyansk, with minor Russian advances reported

Russia is executing its own troops in Avdiivka, other fronts, White House says

The spokesman for the US National Security Council, Admiral John Kirby (USN-Ret), said on Thursday that Russia is executing its soldiers who are refusing to follow orders in Avdiivka and other contentious fronts in Eastern Ukraine.

“We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who are refusing to follow orders,” said Adm. Kirby, who has held regular televised briefings at the White House since at least the beginning of the Israeli-Hamas war.

“We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire,” he said. “It’s reprehensible.”

Moscow’s forces have witnessed an all-time high of Russian casualties during their offensive around the pivotal city of Avdiivka, Kyiv Post has reported. According to an Iceland-based analyst, the Kyiv Post said, “Russia hit a probable wartime record of more than 1,400 killed in combat in a single day on Oct. 20 and averaged 900 men a day killed in combat from 10-20 October, coinciding with its push toward Avdiivka.”

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Many on-the-ground Russian milbloggers have complained over the past couple of months of substandard support and supplies from Moscow, incompetent strategies from top brass not serving in Ukraine, and generally poor conditions on the battlefield, earning them stern warnings from the Kremlin to muzzle any unflattering reports.

23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine

The speakers of parliaments across Europe urge their US counterpart to adopt the historic decision to provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight against Russian aggression.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that the Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun claimed on Thursday that 5,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and wounded and 400 of their armored vehicles have been destroyed near Avdiivka and Marinka (southwest of Donetsk City) since October 10.

Pre-approved $150 million package of missiles, ammo and other US aid coming to Kyiv

The US Department of Defense said on Thursday that it is sending $150 million in military assistance to Kyiv, including more air defense missiles that President Volodymyr Zelensky said is a top priority, plus artillery, anti-tank weaponry and bullets, AFP reported.

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Worries about future aid to Ukraine from Washington have swirled ever since US Congress shut down three weeks ago after its lower-house’s leader was ousted by far-right Republicans who have balked at more aid to Ukraine. The incoming leader, Mike Johnson, has made it clear that he represents the Republicans who think that the US has sent enough already.

To date, Washington has provided $43.9 billion in aid to Ukraine since Russian forces invaded in February 2022. The latest package comes from pre-approved aid from Congress.

A statement from the Pentagon announcing the shipment said that “the Biden administration calls on Congress to meet its commitment to the people of Ukraine by passing additional funding to ensure Ukraine continues to have what it needs to defend itself against Russia's brutal war of choice.”

The package also includes other items such as night vision devices, demolition munitions and cold weather gear.

Operations: Kharkiv and Luhansk regions

The ISW reported that Russian forces continued localized attacks around the city of Kupyansk, along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, on Thursday and made marginal confirmed gains.

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Geolocated footage published on Thursday seems to show that Russian forces made marginal advances southwest of Lyman Pershy (11 km northeast of Kupyansk), while the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces pushed back Russian assaults in other towns in the Kharkiv region: near Synkivka (9 km northeast of Kupyansk) and Petropavlivka (6 km east of Kupyansk).

Ukrainian Ground Forces Command Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Fityo said on Thursday that the size of the Russian force groups fighting in the Kupyansk and Lyman fronts remains the same, at roughly 100,000 soldiers, because Russian forces have committed additional reserves to units with diminished personnel in Ukraine.

In the Luhansk region, the General Staff reported fighting back Russian forces in Ivanivka (20 km southeast of Kupyansk) and the village of Makiivka (21 km southwest of Svatove). Meanwhile, a Russian military blogger claimed that Russian forces made unspecified marginal advances west of Svatove.

Operations: Dnipro River

The ISW reported on Thursday that the AFU’s amphibious troops who crossed over to the left bank of the Dnipro River continue to hold the town of Krynky, and more reinforcements have been arriving in the area, Russian military bloggers noted.

Geolocated footage seems to show that Ukraine’s troops advanced marginally, again, following a renewal of “larger-than-usual operations” on the left bank. Footage from Wednesday shows that Ukrainian forces made small gains north of Pidstepne (15 km east of Kherson City).

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Slovakia’s PM calls “immediate halt” to Ukraine aid, Russia says it doesn’t matter anyway

Slovakia’s new “populist” Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Thursday that he told the EU that his country would no longer be sending military aid to Ukraine, AFP reported and noted that the EU should assume the “role of peacemaker” instead of an arms supplier.

“The people in Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” AFP quoted him as saying after his party’s victory. “Further killing will not help anyone.”

Fico said he had spoken to the head of the European Commission about his government’s decision to eliminate military aid, but to continue with humanitarian aid. Ursula van der Leyen responded that she “appreciated” his position.

The nation of about 5 million people had allotted about $700 million in military assistance to Kyiv through this year. Moscow said it really didn’t care either way about the decision. “Slovakia did not have such a big share in the supply of weapons, so it will hardly affect the entire process,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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Comments ( 1)

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Imokru2
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Fico is on the wrong side of future history.

All Putin had to do as a member of the G-8 was to cooperate with the other countries and trade with them, oil and otherwise.

As a result, 300,000 young men would be alive today.

Instead of being a patriarch, he is a pariah, likely to meet a violent end.

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