Overview:

  • Russian general Zavadsky confirmed KIA, perhaps by his own land mines
  • SBU hits Russian ammo depot in Donetsk, oil reserves in Luhansk
  • US national security advisor tells Congress clock is ticking before Putin wins
  • Russia launches Shahed drones from Crimea, more expected through winter
  • Moscow’s forces try to tighten grip on Avdiivka
  • AFU still on the offensive on the left bank

Rumors of Russian general’s death confirmed

The governor of Russia’s Voronezh region on Monday confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, the rumors of which had been swirling for more than a week. The Russian officer was “on combat duty in the special operation” in Ukraine when he died, the office of Alexander Gusev posted to Telegram.

Zavadsky had commanded a tank unit as part of Russia’s Northern Fleet’s 14th Army Corps.

Reports of his death had emerged in late November, in a chat group run by his military academy, the BBC-Russia reported. Those reports said Zavadsky was killed by a mine, either in the Kharkiv region or the Kherson region.

Some online postings suggested he had gone for a ride in a military vehicle seized from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) when he came under fire by his own troops, or else was struck by a Russian mine or both.

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AFU confirms attack on Russian oil reserves in Luhansk

A day after state news provider Ukrinform reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had destroyed an ammunition and weapons facility near Svatove, in the occupied part of the Luhansk region, the AFU’s Department for Strategic Communications (StratCom) added on Monday that strikes also hit Russian oil depots in the city of Luhansk.

“Yesterday, December 3, 2023, the Defense Forces launched a successful fire attack on oil depots located within temporarily occupied Luhansk,” the office of StratCom posted on Telegram.

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White House tells Republicans that we are “nearly out of time” on Ukraine

A refusal to vote for Ukrainian aid is a vote for Putin, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan agreed when asked about it at a televised press conference on Monday. In his briefing, he pleaded to Congress on behalf of US President Joe Biden to move forward on the president’s supplemental aid proposal before time runs out.

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Sullivan told reporters that the choice before representatives is very clear: either be on the right side of this historic battle between “democracy and dictatorship”, or “make things easier” for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, to achieve his goals.

AFP reported that Biden’s budget director, Shalanda Young, said in a “blunt letter to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson that if military assistance dries up it would ‘kneecap’ Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion.”

In October, before the House of Representatives fell into a leadership crisis and brushed up against a government shutdown, Biden asked Capitol Hill for a $106 billion national security package, including military assistance for Ukraine and Israel, but the House opted to hold out for long-demanded funds for further security along the US-Mexico border as part of any deal on Ukraine.

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money and nearly out of time,” Young wrote in her letter. 

Ukrainian defense forces shoot down 18 drones and a cruise missile

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Ukrainian military shot down 18 of 23 Shahed drones launched from Cape Chauda in occupied Crimea and one Kh-59 cruise missile from occupied the Kherson region.

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The ISW noted that Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said, in addition to Moscow’s well-documented stockpiles of cruise missiles, the Russian military has increased its production of these Shahed drones, which are likely to be the other main systems that Russian forces will use to target Ukrainian energy infrastructure throughout the winter.

Operations: Avdiivka

Citing geolocated footage from Monday, the ISW reported Russian forces around Avdiivka advanced near the reservoir area directly north of the city, and additional footage from the same day apparently shows that Russian forces have advanced within Stepove (5 km northwest of Avdiivka). 

Military bloggers also reiterated that heavy fighting continues near the Avdiivka coke and chemical plant) and in the surrounding industrial area.

Operations: Dnipro River

Ukrainian forces continued ground operations on the left bank of Dnipro River on Monday and recently established a confirmed position on Bilohrudnyi Island. Geolocated footage over the past week has shown battles for the settlement of Bilohrudove, indicating that Ukrainian forces have recently established positions around that town.

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Another Russian military blogger cited by the ISW claimed that Ukrainian forces temporarily advanced south of their foothold in Krynky, but that Russian artillery fire forced AFU troops to withdraw from those new positions.

 

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