- Austin promises additional $100M in HIMARS and ammo in surprise visit to Ukraine
- Moscow sends asylum-seekers from Yemen, etc., to EU border in “known warfare tactic”
- Snowfall limits visibility in Avdiivka theater of operations, with small Russian advances
- Ukraine continues successes on Dnipro’s left bank
- Russian gains recorded near Kreminna
- AFU troops continue their assault on a strategic waste heap near Bakhmut
Austin rolls out latest US aid package to Kyiv in announcement in St Michael’s Square
In an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Monday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Washington was sending “another $100 million drawdown... to provide additional artillery munitions, additional interceptors for air defense, and a number of anti-tank weapons” during a press conference at St Michael’s Square in the capital, AFP reported.
The US State Department clarified on Monday that the announced package will include some three million rounds of small-arms ammunition and equipment for HIMARS precision rocket launchers, AFP said.
To date, Washington’s aid to Ukraine’s counteroffensive stands at more than $40 billion, although the scope of future support to Kyiv has been cast in doubt as hardline right-wing Republicans in Congress have made it clear that they oppose any more dollars sent to Ukraine in its fight for freedom.
President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the US Defense Secretary a few hours before the announcement, where the American delegate assured Kyiv of continued support.
“The message that I bring you today, Mister President, is that the United States of America is with you. We will remain with you for the long haul,” Austin told Zelensky. “What happens here in Ukraine, that not only matters to Ukraine but it matters to the rest of the world. It certainly matters to the United States of America,” he said.
I am grateful to @POTUS Joe Biden, US Congress, and the entire American people for the new military aid package announced today.— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 20, 2023
Additional HIMARS, ammunition, and other armaments will be useful at the frontline.
The United States continues to stand firmly with Ukraine and our…
Russia sends Yemeni, Somali, etc. migrants to its border with Finland
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is reporting that Russia appears to be creating “a known hybrid warfare tactic” to artificially create a migrant crisis on the Finnish border” its analysts wrote on Monday: Finnish authorities closed four border checkpoints on Finland’s southeastern border with Russia over the weekend “after the Finnish Border Guard reported that an influx of about 300 asylum seekers, mostly from Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria, had arrived at the Finnish border from Russia since September 2023.”
Finnish Border Guards recorded 89 migrant crossings during a two-day period in early November, up from 91 recorded crossings in the four months between July and November, the ISW said.
“Reuters reported on Sunday that dozens of migrants arrived at the closed Finnish Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa crossings on Nov. 18 and gathered around a campfire in sub-zero temperatures. Finnish outlet Iltalehti reported on [Monday] that Finnish authorities are considering closing the entire border with Russia on the night of Nov. 21,” ISW reported.
The Kremlin has denied Finland’s accusations about Russia’s involvement in creating an artificial influx of migrants, with Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov saying that Finland had chosen a path of confrontation, calling it a “big mistake.”
Earlier this spring, as Finland sought entry into NATO, The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Russia would be “forced to take retaliatory measures.”
Swarms of third world illegal migrants have mysteriously appeared at the Russia/Finland border on stolen bicycles attempting to enter Finland without permission. The Finn's aren't having it. pic.twitter.com/bKFDphAn0r— Dane (@UltraDane) November 18, 2023
Operations: Dnipro River
Russian military bloggers reported that Ukrainian forces expanded their zone of control in the western part of Krynky, their base of operations two kilometers inland from the river, as fighting continues.
Geolocated footage published on Monday shows that Russian forces continue to fire TOS-1A thermobaric artillery on Ukrainian soldiers’ positions there.
ТОС-1А "Сонцепек" обстрілює українські позиції в Кринках, Херсонська область.— EjShahid (@EjShahid) November 20, 2023
Location: Krynky, Kherson Oblast, Ukraine
46.734623, 33.087016@GeoConfirmed @UAControlMap
Source: https://t.co/g6rRNsCYlA pic.twitter.com/A9g7dRMWOb
Operations: Kupyansk front
Moscow’s troops marginally advanced Monday along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line near Kreminna, the ISW reported, citing geolocated footage showing Russian units moving into into a forested area south of town.
A boots-on-the-ground blogger claimed that Russian forces also advanced in the Kupyansk area across the Ivanivka-Kyslivka road (both roughly 20 km east of Kupyansk) and are consolidating positions near the railway line directly east of the settlements, but ISW has observed no visual confirmation of the Russian source’s claims.
Operations: Bakhmut front
The ISW cited bloggers’ observations that the situation around Bakhmut has reached a turning point, with Russian forces breaking a “positional deadlock” as they regain positions between Klishchiivka and Andriivka (10 km southwest of Bakhmut).
Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets noted that Russian forces “have replenished their grouping in the Bakhmut area by redeploying elements of the 98th and 106th Airborne (VDV) Divisions to the area from the Lyman direction.”
Mashovets specified that these elements are mainly attacking toward the Ukrainian rear areas north of Bakhmut, while the 2nd Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) Army Corps and 3rd Army Corps (either of the Western or Central Military District) are fighting south of Bakhmut.
Geolocated footage shows Russian drones striking Ukrainian forces near the waste heap northwest of Horlivka (25 km south of Bakhmut) between Shumy (23 km south of Bakhmut and 9 km northwest of Horlivka) and Pivdenne.
Several Russian sources claimed that in recent days Ukrainian forces have attempted to enter the waste heap area towards Horlivka but claimed that Russian artillery repelled the attack and pushed Ukrainian troops back to their original positions.
WARNING: Graphic content showing Ukrainian losses
As promised, the video from the Andriikva-Kurdumivka area is now available.— ✙🍒 Constantine 🍒✙ (@Teoyaomiquu) November 21, 2023
The footage is grim, starkly portraying the harsh reality of war. It's challenging to fully grasp the extent of the atrocities that the invaders inflict upon the neighboring nation in their ruthless… pic.twitter.com/jVrUguP4s7
Russian forces reportedly made advances on Monday around Avdiivka. Russian bloggers claimed that Moscow’s troops broke through near the Yasynuvata-2 station near the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka, although ISW had not observed visual evidence of these purported gains.
One blogger noted that there was “competent coordination between Russian assault groups, the Russian Aerospace (VKS) forces, and artillery” in the area. Other Kremlin-faithful sources observed fighting northwest of Avdiivka and that Russian forces advanced near Novokalynove (10 km northwest of Avdiivka) and Ocheretyne (12 km northwest of Avdiivka).
Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade Spokesperson Dmytro Lazutkin noted that recent snowfall in the Avdiivka area has impacted operations and limited visibility for both Ukrainian and Russian forces but reported that Russian forces nonetheless continue efforts to break through to the pivotal city with small infantry assault groups.
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