• Nestlé, purveyor of Purina pet food and Kit Kats, defends its Russian commerce
  • Kremlin spokesman takes issue with Zaluzhny’s assessment of “parity” in war
  • Russian forces make advances in villages on Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line
  • Avdiivka unusually quiet, AFU says their enemy is waiting for backup to arrive
  • AFU still preparing for a long-advertised Russian assault on Avdiivka’s coke plant
  • Reports of new models of Russian drones on the front

Ukraine labels Nestlé as an “international sponsor of war”

According to AFP, Kyiv on Thursday designated Nestlé as a sponsor of war, as the Switzerland-based conglomerate continued to profit from operations in Russia. The purveyor of candy and pet food countered that it had “drastically reduced its portfolio” in Russia and “halted non-essential imports and exports into and out of Russia.”

“Despite Russian aggression, Nestlé continues to operate in Russia, supply goods to the aggressor and expand its Russian production base,” Ukraine’s national anti-corruption agency said Thursday. “This is the basis for the company being entered into the list of international sponsors of war.”

Nestlé countered that it was “fully complying with all applicable international sanctions” and stressed on its website that it had about 5,500 employees in Ukraine, and also underscored its 40-million Swiss franc investment in Ukraine’s Volyn region facility because it “believes in the future of Ukraine.”


The makers of Kit Kat candy bars added that it had stopped advertising in Russia. Any Muscovite over the age of 30 could tell you which crispy snack billed itself as a “sladkoya parochka,” or “sweet pair.”

“Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we have drastically reduced our portfolio in Russia,” the company’s PR department put out in a statement. “We have halted non-essential imports and exports into and out of Russia.”

WATCH: Ukrainians Capture Russian ‘Blyat-Mobile Barn Tank’ With Crew for the First Time
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Dubbed “blyat-mobiles” on social media, after a common Russian vulgarity, the tanks and other vehicles fitted with drone protection have become choice targets.

In October, AFP noted that “the company, whose brands range from Nespresso capsules to Purina pet food to Gerber baby products, said sales fell 0.6 percent in terms of volume in the January-to-September period from a year earlier. Revenue reached 68.8 billion Swiss francs ($76.6 billion): 0.4 percent lower than the same period last year due to the strength of the Swiss currency.”

Moscow irked by Ukrainian general’s position that the war was at a “stalemate”

Russian officials on Thursday bristled at the much re-tweeted comments made to The Economist by Ukraine’s top general Valery Zaluzhny this week that the opposing forces had reached technological “parity” in the war and now were sitting at a “stalemate”.


“No, it has not reached a stalemate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference. “Russia is steadily carrying out the special military operation. All the goals that were set should be fulfilled.”

Moscow didn’t mention the “special military operation” goal of taking Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv in a matter of days or weeks or its goal of limiting NATO expansion.

Zaluzhny, in his magazine interview (and expanding on his thoughts in his own essay describing how Ukraine can win this “positional war”), insisted that, “just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate. There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough.”

Operations: Kharkiv region

Russian forces continued to make gains along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on Thursday, Russian bloggers claimed, confirmed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Weather conditions for battle are better than expected for this time of year, bloggers also said.


Geolocated footage published on Thursday indicates that Russian forces advanced west of Orlyanka (22 km east of Kupyansk). A Kremlin-affiliated blogger said that Russian forces seized new positions near Petropavlivka (7 km east of Kupyansk) and Synkivka (9 km northeast of Kupyansk), and are continuing to fight in the Kupyansk area itself.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces (AFU) countered that Russian units unsuccessfully attacked near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, and Ivanivka (20 km southeast of Kupyansk) and did not conduct any assaults near Kreminna.

Operations: Avdiivka

Usually one of the most active fronts in the war this fall, Avdiivka did not see an escalation in battles on its outskirts on Thursday. Ukrainian commanders believe it is a calm before the storm when more Russian reinforcements arrive.

Russian forces indeed continued to attack near the strategically pivotal city on Thursday, but without any confirmed gains, the ISW noted.

The General Staff reported that its forces continued to hold back Russian attacks near Avdiivka and near Sjeverne (6 km west of Avdiivka) and Tonenke (8 km west of Avdiivka).

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun reported that Moscow’s groupings are mainly attacking with small infantry groups, and presumed that the slowed tempo of Russian operations near Avdiivka means that enemy forces are regrouping and awaiting reinforcements.


A Ukrainian military observer also noted that Russian forces crossed the railway line near Stepove, about three kilometers outside the city of Avdiivka, and are preparing to launch attacks from these newly captured positions on the Avdiivka coke plant. While the long-awaited attack on the plant has not yet happened, observers did note a slight increase in Russian aerial bombardments in the area.

Meanwhile, videos posted on Thursday showing action around Avdiivka, suggest that all may not be as quiet as it seems:

New Russian drones, inferiorly made but more plentiful reportedly on the way

The ISW reported that the Russian “Vostok” Battalion is claiming that it received new Skalpel drones; apparently, inferior copies of the Russian Lancet drones generally lacking on the front line, but they can be pumped out more quickly. Vostok Commander Alexander Khodakovsky stated that the Vostok Foundation is “fundraising for a program that seeks to create and commercialize cheap but long-range and effective loitering munitions,” the ISW reported.

Also, a Russian military blogger praised the province around the Russian city of Perm for having 22 defense industry enterprises that have successfully increased the completion of defense orders by 2.5 times, adding some 9,000 employees in 2023.

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