Overview:

  • Germany packs up tanks, drones and ammo bound for front lines
  • Ukraine awaits news from Biden-Xi summit after Kyiv’s Washington visit
  • Russian man gets six-year sentence for vandalizing anti-Ukraine poster
  • Moscow’s forces on the move around Avdiivka and Bakhmut
  • Despite heavy shelling, Ukraine gains land along the Dnipro

US national security spokesman describes Ukraine talks, passes on Biden-Xi question

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA) on Tuesday, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described the meetings between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Kyiv envoy Andriy Yermak, but was tight-lipped when asked how President Joe Biden would address the topic of Ukraine with his Chinese counterpart near San Francisco this week.

“Does the Yermak visit influence in any way the messages President Biden is planning to discuss with APEC leaders and President Xi on Ukraine?” VOA asked Kirby.

“I would look at this meeting as a continuation of discussions that Mr. Sullivan has had with Mr. Yermak since the beginning of this war...” Kirby responded.

“This is another opportunity for them to talk about how the United States is going to continue to support Ukraine.

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“How we’re going to continue to talk to members of Congress about the importance of supporting Ukraine going forward and the supplemental request that the president submitted for security assistance in particular.

“And, again, get a sense from Mr. Yermak about what's going on in this counteroffensive; what’s going on at the battlefront; what their needs are; and what they believe their prospects are going forward for these, as the winter months approach.”

Biden and the Chinese president are slated to meet Wednesday, surrounded by the flower gardens of Filoli Estate, a quiet mansion-turned-museum in the hills above Silicon Valley. Kirby turned down questions about certain specifics on the agenda.

Slovak PM Blasts Ukraine’s Lukoil Sanctions As Oil Flow Stops
Other Topics of Interest

Slovak PM Blasts Ukraine’s Lukoil Sanctions As Oil Flow Stops

Slovak PM Robert Fico told his Ukrainian counterpart on Saturday that Slovakia will not be a “hostage” to Ukraine-Russia relations after Kyiv's sanctions on Lukoil halted deliveries.

Berlin rolls out contents of €8 billion aid package

The German Ministry of Defense has released on its website the contents of its €8 billion ($8.6 billion) aid package for Ukraine in 2024.  The shipments will include: 10 Leopard 1A5 tanks, 14 Bandvagn 206 vehicles, a Winsent mine-clearing tank; 10 vector reconnaissance drones, and some 1.4 million rounds of small-arms ammunition, among dozens of other munitions, vehicles and equipment, including ground-surveillance radar systems.

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Before the end of the year, Berlin will also send two more IRIS-T air-defense systems, the kind that President Volodymyr Zelensky has put at the top of his wish list leading up to the winter holidays.

The German government announced last week that it was doubling its aid to Ukraine, making the country the second-largest benefactor of the counteroffensive behind the United States.

Operations: Avdiivka

Moscow’s forces made confirmed gains around the mission-critical city of Avdiivka on Tuesday, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported, citing Russian bloggers. Verified footage posted on Tuesday seems to indicate Russian units advancing into the Avdiivka industrial zone near Yasnynuvata Lane, about a kilometer southeast of the city.

Russian observers also claimed that Russian forces continued to “improve their tactical positions” just east of Stepove (about 4 km northwest of Avdiivka), the ISW wrote. Another such blogger claimed that Russian troops advanced near Novokalynove (7 km north of Avdiivka)

Operations: Bakhmut

Russian forces made several small gains around Bakhmut on Tuesday, the ISW noted. Geolocated footage shows that Russian troops pushed to positions north of the Berkhivske Reservoir (about 5 km northwest of Bakhmut) and have advanced westward along a tree line west of Orikhovo-Vasylivka (10 km northwest of Bakhmut).

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The Russian Ministry of Defense also published footage on Tuesday reportedly showing elements of the 98th Guards Airborne (VDV) Division’s “Storm” unit capturing positions on the western flank of Bakhmut.

The commander of the Ukrainian Achilles Company Yuri Fedorenko explained that the situation in Bakhmut “has become more complicated due to constantly changing Russian tactics and Russian forces’ heavy use of drones,” ISW reported.

Operations: Dnipro River

Under heavy shelling from Russian forces, Ukrainian troops held onto key positions and gained ground along the left bank of the Dnipro River on Tuesday. Geolocated footage shows that Kyiv’s forces advanced around their foothold in Krynky, two kilometers inland from the river bank.

Meanwhile, what the ISW described as a “prominent Kremlin-affiliated milblogger” claimed that the Russian military is transferring units from unspecified locations in order to repel Ukrainian attacks near Krynky. Another Russian blogger said that “intense fighting” is ongoing near Poyma and Pidstepne, both four kilometers inland from the Dnipro River, and Pishchanivka, three kilometers inland.

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The ISW also reported that Russian forces conducted air and artillery strikes against the west (right) bank of the river on Tuesday. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command specified that many of those artillery strikes were aimed at civilian areas on the west bank, with a total of 5 airstrikes, 33 glide bombs.

Russian man sentenced for desecrating poster vaunting “heroes” of Ukraine invasion

A 46-year-old man in Togliatti, Russia, was handed a six-year prison sentence on Tuesday for damaging posters that lauded Russian military “heroes” in Ukraine, AFP reported.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said the man, whose name they did not release, was found guilty of “discrediting” the Russian military under a law that silences any dissent over Russia’s “special military operation.”

Russian civil-rights group Memorial said he was a teacher named Alexei Arbuzenko, according to AFP.

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