Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – OCTOBER 23-29, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on October 30, 2023 

  • The Russian Federation used a huge number of troops and equipment to capture Avdiivka and suffered its largest losses in 2023 in this direction. According to Ukrainian data, they have reached 6.5 thousand people since October 10.
  • The Ukrainian military has intensified operations on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.
  • On October 28-29, the third meeting of national security advisors and foreign policy advisors regarding the implementation of the Peace Formula took place in Malta, with the participation of representatives from 66 countries and international organizations.
  • The new Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States from the Republican Party, Mike Johnson, stated that the funding for military aid to Ukraine and Israel should be done separately, rather than as part of a joint package.


Russian troops concentrated their main efforts on attempts to capture the city of Avdiivka near Donetsk. Advancing on the flanks of the Ukrainian forces which defends the city, they are trying to surround it. They achieved some tactical success north of Avdiivka, but it came at an extremely high price. This may affect their ability to continue active attacks and the readiness of military personnel for offensive operations. According to the United States, Russian commanders execute their soldiers who do not want to go on the offensive, retreat from the battlefield or refuse to follow orders.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are intensifying operations on the left bank of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region. They also continue attacks against Russian military infrastructure. In particular, Russian sources reported on the attack on Sevastopol using naval drones and the large-scale use of UAVs in the Yevpatoria area. Explosions were also reported in Bryansk on the night of October 25. On the night of October 29, drones attacked an oil refinery in the Krasnodar Krai of the Russian Federation. In Berdyansk (temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia region), a car with employees of the Russian special services was blown up.

Russian troops continue attaks against the territory of Ukraine, using various types of weapons. During the week, missile strikes were recorded in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, and Poltava regions; several missiles were shot down over the territory of Mykolaiv region. Kamikaze drone attacks also do not stop. On the night of October 25, UAVs were used against Khmelnytskyi region. As a result of the fall of debris from downed drones 16 people were injured. The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine reported that the attack was carried out in close proximity to the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant – this object could be the target of the strike. Guided aerial bombs are also actively used. In particular, on the night of October 29, Russian troops used 32 such ammunition against the territory of Kherson region.

During the week, at least 5 people were injured as a result of Russian shelling in the Donetsk region. On the territory of the Kherson region, the losses of civilians amounted to 5 people killed and 42 people wounded. In the Kharkiv region, the losses of civilians amounted to 3 people killed and 14 people wounded. At least 2 people were injured in Dnipropetrovsk region.


According to the conclusions of the IAEA, the explosions resulting from the actions of the air defense system near the Khmelnytsky nuclear power plant on October 25 did not directly impede its operation. However, the attack by Russian drones near the nuclear power plant indicates an extremely unstable situation regarding nuclear safety in Ukraine.

On October 26, the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) made a decision to reduce the discount rate from 20% to 16%, aligning it with the overnight deposit certificate rate. Thus, the National Bank decided to modernize its operational design of monetary policy according to the “lower limit” system. The decision aims to enhance the NBU’s ability to influence the expectations of economic agents and their economic behavior motives.

Furthermore, the National Bank of Ukraine has improved its forecast for real GDP growth in 2023 from 2.9% to 4.9%. It has also revised its inflation forecast for the end of 2023 from 10.6% to 5.8%. These changes are explained by the influence of a good harvest on the dynamics of food prices. However, the NBU has increased its inflation forecast for 2024 from 8.5% to 9.8%, while simultaneously predicting economic growth of 3.6% in the following year.

As of October 29, five more ships with a total weight of over 163,000 tons have arrived at the ports of Odesa. Two of these ships are on their second voyage to Ukraine. The vessels are owned by owners from Greece, Turkey, Liberia, and Panama. At the same time, four ships with a combined deadweight of over 168,000 tons have left Ukrainian ports via a temporary corridor.


In Malta on October 28, the third meeting of national security advisers and foreign policy advisers on the implementation of President of Ukraine V. Zelensky’s Peace Formula and the principles of restoring peace in Ukraine took place, with the participation of representatives from 66 countries and international organizations. During the third meeting, specific directions of the first five points of the Peace Formula were discussed: “Nuclear and Radiation Security,” “Food Security,” “Energy Security,” “Release of all Prisoners and Deported Persons,” and “Restoration of Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity and World Order,” and progress in their implementation was presented.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Malta, separate bilateral negotiations took place. Consultations with the Netherlands began, aiming to conclude a bilateral agreement on security guarantees in line with the Joint Declaration on support for Ukraine. The Netherlands became the sixth country with which Ukraine initiated such bilateral negotiations, and the first among countries not belonging to the Group of Seven.

Germany delivered another package of military assistance to Ukraine, including the IRIS-T SLM air defense system and missiles, armored transporters, Vector UAVs, GO12 surveillance radars, ammunition for MLRS MARS II, as well as shells and other equipment. Denmark announced the provision of the 13th package of military aid to Ukraine, amounting to 3.7 billion Danish crowns (almost 500 million euros), which includes T-72EA tanks, BMPs, artillery ammunition, drones, small arms, and armored engineering and evacuation equipment. The Australian government announced the transfer of a new package of military assistance to Ukraine amounting to 20 million Australian dollars (12 million US dollars), including equipment for demining, portable X-ray machines, an industrial 3D printer for producing metal parts for military equipment, and anti-drone systems.

The United States is providing Ukraine with a new package of military assistance worth 150 million dollars, which includes ammunition for NASAMS air defense systems and HIMARS, AIM-9M air-to-air missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, TOW missiles, Javelin systems, and other weapons. Ukrainian pilots have also started practical flight training on F-16 fighter jets at an American airbase. In addition, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Mike Johnson announced that the question of providing military assistance to Ukraine and Israel will be considered separately, not supporting the proposed 106 billion dollar aid package to both countries by President Joe Biden.

On October 26-27, a two-day EU summit took place in Brussels, during which the heads of EU member states discussed the revision of the EU’s long-term budget for the years 2024-2027. EU leaders approved a plan during the summit that allocates funds obtained from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine, amounting to over 300 billion dollars.

On October 24, the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimean Platform took place in Prague, co-chaired by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, and the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, Marketa Pekarova Adamova. A Joint Declaration in support of Ukraine and a commitment to continue providing assistance in countering Russian aggression was adopted at the summit.

On October 27, the “Free America” forum took place, during which participants (representatives of 34 parties from 21 Latin American countries) adopted a final declaration that, for the first time, declared a shared position with a strong condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine for countries in the region.

This week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Denmark, Troels Lund Poulsen, who visited the capital. The head of state also held phone conversations with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, and with the Crown Prince, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. The leaders discussed the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, the functioning of the “grain corridor,” the importance of continued long-term macroeconomic support for Ukraine, and the possibilities for strengthening defense cooperation, especially regarding the reinforcement of Ukraine’s air defense system.

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.