Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on November 20, 2023
- The command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirms that the Ukrainian military is conducting active operations on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. They include sabotage, raids and reconnaissance actions, the purpose of which is to prevent the shelling of Kherson.
- The European Commission presented proposals regarding the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia, which includes an embargo on diamond production from the Russian Federation, prohibits the supply of industrial machinery used by the military-industrial complex of the aggressor country, restrictions on Russian fuel for nuclear power plants etc.
- Due to military aggression against Ukraine, Russia was excluded from the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the first time in history.
Russian troops continue active operations to capture Avdiivka. They were able to expand the bridgehead north of the city, threatening the lines of communication of the Ukrainian garrison.
The Ukrainian military is conducting sabotage, raids and reconnaissance operations on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that one of the main goals of this actions is to push Russian troops as far away from the river as possible and protect the cities on the right bank, in particular Kherson, from Russian shelling.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are striking at Russian military infrastructure. On the night of November 14, drones attacked enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex in the Moscow and Bryansk regions of the Russian Federation. It is also reported about a fire on the territory of a Russian military base near Volgograd on the night of November 16, and attacks against Sevastopol in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
The Russian military continues attacks against Ukraine, using artillery, drones and missiles. On the night of November 14, a drone attack was carried out against the western regions of Ukraine. Ukrainian air defense was able to intercept 7 out of 9 UAVs used. On the night of November 15, a missile attack was launched on Kryvyi Rih in the Dnipropetrovsk region. On the night of November 16, drones were once again used against the territory of Ukraine, but air defense neutralized 16 of the 18 devices used. The attacks were repeated in the following nights, in particular, on the night of November 17, when 9 out of 10 UAVs were shot down. The largest attack in recent times was carried out on the night of November 18. The Ukrainian military reported the destruction of 29 of the 38 drones used. In the Odesa region, a drone hit a critical infrastructure facility, which led to a temporary power outage in part of the region. On the night of November 19 Ukrainian air defense intercepted 15 of the 20 drones used in the attack over the territory of Ukraine.
As a result of the actions of the Russian military during the week, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 2 people killed and 16 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 10 people killed and 41 people wounded. 1 person was killed and 5 people were injured in Kharkiv region. 2 people were killed and 7 people were injured as a result of a missile attack on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia on November 15. In Dnipropetrovsk region, at least 1 person was killed and 1 more person was injured. 3 people were injured as a result of shelling of the border areas of Sumy region, 1 person was injured in Chernihiv region, and 1 more in Odesa region.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
According to The Economist, citing American officials, as of February 24, 2022, in the war against Russia, at least 70,000 Ukrainian military personnel have died. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia’s approximate losses since the beginning of the war amount to 318,000 individuals.
On November 18, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy implemented a decision to impose sanctions on individuals and entities supporting the Russian Federation. He stated that the sanctions are “aimed at those involved in the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territory, as well as individuals who in various ways assist Russian terror against Ukraine.”
Approximately 2,800 trucks have gathered at three border crossings between Ukraine and Poland due to protests by Polish carriers. On November 6, dozens of Polish carriers began blocking three border crossings with Ukraine, demanding the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian carriers in the EU and a reduction in their numbers to the pre-Russian invasion level in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky (Servant of the People faction) has been accused of state treason and participation in a criminal organization. He is accused of working for Russian intelligence with the aim of discrediting Ukraine’s international image and worsening relations with the United States.
In comparison to 2022, Russia’s foreign trade volumes in January-September 2023 decreased by 16%. Specifically, Russian exports fell by 29% from the beginning of the year to $316.9 billion from $448.9 billion, while imports increased by 18% to $213.3 billion from $180.3 billion.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
On November 13, 2023, another meeting of the Council of the European Union on Foreign Affairs took place – one of the main topics of the meeting was the continuation of EU assistance to Ukraine. During the video conference, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba focused on Ukraine’s priority military needs and urged the acceleration of work on the 12th package of sanctions against Russia.
The European Commission presented proposals for the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia. The document includes restrictions on more than 120 individuals and legal entities, representatives of the military, defense, and IT sectors of Russia, for their role in undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In addition, the European Commission proposes to impose new import and export bans (including an embargo on Russian diamonds) and measures aimed at strengthening the upper limit of oil prices and countering the circumvention of EU sanctions. However, Slovakia opposes the inclusion of nuclear fuel in the 12th package of anti-Russian sanctions.
The German government announced the transfer of a new batch of military aid to Ukraine, including Leopard 1A5 tanks, Bandvagn 206 tracked all-terrain vehicles, medical all-terrain vehicles (Carrier Warthog), reconnaissance UAVs Vector, Ground Observer 12 (GO12) surveillance radars, Wisent 1 demining vehicle, and other equipment and ammunition. Finland provided Ukraine with a new military aid package estimated at 100 million euros. The Netherlands reserved over 2 billion euros for 2024 for military assistance to Ukraine. The United States purchased self-propelled anti-aircraft systems Gepard from Jordan for Ukraine for 118 million dollars. Lithuania handed over a new batch of military aid to Ukraine, including generators for military needs. The United Kingdom provided Ukraine with a winter aid package for the equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The European Commission allocates 110 million euros for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, with 100 million for projects in Ukraine and 10 million to support Ukrainian refugees and host communities in Moldova.
Ukraine and Germany started the first round of negotiations on a bilateral security agreement, as envisaged in the Group of Seven’s Joint Declaration on supporting Ukraine. Switzerland supported the establishment of a special tribunal to consider the crime of aggression against Ukraine and officially joined the main group, which now includes 38 countries. The Czech government decided to freeze all Russian state assets on its territory. For the first time in history, Russia was excluded from the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), marking another step in weakening Russia’s international role.
On November 16, the 62nd General Assembly of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) took place in Kyiv, with representatives from the parliaments and secretariats of 12 countries and international observer organizations. This was the first session after the final cessation of Russia’s participation in this organization, despite being one of its founding members. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the participants in an online statement, calling for cooperation to reintegrate the entire Black Sea area into the global security and economic space.
This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the newly appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom David Cameron. Zelenskyy also had phone conversations with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. The leaders discussed defense cooperation, the security situation in the Black Sea, the preparation of a new package of sanctions, the advancement of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, and the development of security guarantees.
Moreover, this week, the Ukrainian delegation led by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, Yulia Sviridenko, and the head of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak, visited the United States of America. During the visit, they held a series of meetings with representatives of business, politicians, and the expert community. As part of the visit, Andriy Yermak met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the current situation on the front and Ukraine’s preparation for winter.
The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.