As the war enters its 618th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Friday, November 3, 2023.
- Two people were killed and the power supply was disrupted in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. “Hell’s night in Stanislav. There were more than 40 hits in the village,” regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on the Telegram messaging app.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces repelled a new Russian assault near the town of Vuhledar between the eastern and southern front lines in eastern Donetsk. Zelenskyy said the Russians had suffered “heavy losses” with many soldiers killed and wounded.
- Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military command, said Russian forces were trying to regroup and recover their losses near the eastern city of Avdiivka before trying to press ahead with its attempt to encircle the ruined town.
- Russia accused Ukraine of risking nuclear disaster after it shot down nine Ukrainian drones near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been occupied by Russia since early March 2022. The drones were shot down near the Russian-held city of Enerhodar, where many of the plant’s workers live. Russia and Ukraine have each accused the other of attacks near the plant.
- Russia said its air defences also brought down five Ukrainian drones over Crimea and one over the Black Sea.
- Russia jailed two more Ukrainian soldiers who fought in the city of Mariupol to lengthy prison sentences, as it continued to put dozens of prisoners of war on trial. Russia took thousands of Ukrainian soldiers captive after it seized Mariupol last May. Some were sent to Russia while others have been tried by Moscow-backed courts in occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. Under international law, soldiers cannot be prosecuted for having fought for their country.
- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected comments by Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Valery Zaluzhnyi that the war had become a conflict of attrition and said it was absurd for Kyiv to think it could ever defeat Russia.
Politics and diplomacy
- The United States imposed sweeping new sanctions on people and firms it said were abetting Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine by helping it procure dual-use goods that can be used in weapons including suicide drones. The latest sanctions involve 130 new targets, including in China, Turkey and the UAE.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law withdrawing Russia’s ratification of the landmark Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Moscow says the move brings it into line with the US and that Russia will not resume nuclear testing unless Washington does.
- Ukraine placed Swiss food giant Nestle on a list of “international sponsors of war” because it continued to do business in Russia. “Despite Russian aggression, Nestle continues to operate in Russia, supply goods to the aggressor and expand its Russian production base,” Ukraine’s national anticorruption agency said.
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said Moscow considered Poland, which has backed Ukraine, a “dangerous enemy” and that it could end up losing its statehood if it continued on its current course.
- The United States plans to announce a $425m military aid package for Ukraine on Friday including laser-guided munitions to counter drones, the Reuters news agency reported, citing two US officials and documentation.