Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy greets left, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Kyiv, Ukraine, November 4, 2022
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1107 GMT:
UK military intelligence has commented on Vladimir Putin’s replacement of yet another Russian commander.
The dismissal of Col. Gen. Alexander Lapin, who headed the Central Military District, was confirmed last week. UK analysts noted the role of others looking to increase their influence — notably the head of the Wagner Group mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov — in the campaign to fire Lapin.
The analysts summarize Putin’s attempt to shield himself from Russia’s losses on the battlefield: “This is in part likely an attempt to insulate and deflect blame from Russian senior leadership at home.”
UPDATE 1103 GMT:
Overnight Russian missile strikes on Zaporizhzhia city in southern Ukraine destroyed a two-story commercial building, killing one civilian.
Rescuers are searching for any more victims.
Another missile landed next to a residential area, damaging windows of nearby houses and two cars.
UPDATE 1052 GMT:
The deputy mayor of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine has spoken of the peril for civilians, as Russia continues weeks of attempts to overrun the city in the Donetsk region.
Oleksandr Marchenko said, “With every day it’s becoming harder and harder to survive.”
He explained that more than 120 civilians have been killed in Bakhmut during the Russian invasion: “There are districts where we don’t know the exact number of people killed because active fighting is ongoing there or the settlements are temporarily occupied.”
Ukrainian troops are still “firmly holding the frontline” as Russia seeks a symbolic victory to counter the Ukrainian advance across the northeast and east since late August.
However, the humanitarian crisis is growing with the approach of winter: Bakhmut has been without electricity, gas, and running water for nearly two months.
Bakhmut had about 75,000 people before the invasion. About 12,000 remain today.
The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed one civilian and injured three, including one resident of Bakhmut.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Biden Administration has privately asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to show a willingness to negotiate with Russia, even if Vladimir Putin remains in power, for a resolution of Putin’s invasion.
Zelenskiy has ruled out talks until there is a change in the Russian leadership.
“People familiar with the discussions” said the Administration is not seeking Zelenskiy-Putin talks in the near-future. Instead, Washington believes Kyiv’s openness to negotiations would maintain the support of other countries who are concerned about a long-term war.
The US is continuing to provide military aid for Ukraine’s resistance and counter-offensives. Another $400 million package was announced this week, including missiles for Hawk air defense systems and refurbishment of T-72 tanks from the Czech Republic.
The Administration has committed more than $18.2 billion in military assistance during Putin’s invasion.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in Kyiv on Friday, “We fully intend to ensure that the resources are there as necessary and that we’ll get votes from both sides of the aisle to make that happen.”
But one US official said, “Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners.”
And there are noises from some Republican legislators, notably House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, about limiting or halting aid to Ukraine. That pressure could increase if Republicans take both houses of Congress in Tuesday’s mid-term elections.
Zelensky spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov did not respond to a request for comment.
Zelenskiy: “We Expect Good News About Air Defense”
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy spoke of a three-hour discussion with commanders about Russia’s escalation of missile and drone attacks trying to break Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Countermeasures against missile and drone terror were considered….There are already quite significant results in this, the percentage of shooting down has become higher, but there is still work to be done. We must ensure full protection of the Ukrainian sky and will continue to do everything possible and impossible for this.
In the coming weeks, we expect good news regarding air defense and anti-missile defense for Ukraine.
The President issued a warning to Iran’s leaders as they continue to deny their supply of hundreds of attack drones for Russia’s assaults.
If Iran continues to lie about the obvious, it means the world will make even more efforts to investigate the terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes and what Russia pays Iran for such cooperation.