A Ukrainian soldier on the frontline near Avdiivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine (Oleg Palchyk)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1815 GMT:
Estonia’s Government assesses that damage to its telecommunications cable in the Baltic Sea with Sweden is linked to damage to the Baltic Connector gas pipeline and telecommunications cable between Estonia and Finland.
The Swedish Government reported the Estonian finding.
The cables and pipeline were damaged on October 8. Finnish investigators have said their link with Estonia was damaged by “quite heavy force”, after the Russian survey vessel Sibiryakov conducted “underwater activities” in the area in June, August, and September.
UPDATE 1803 GMT:
Turkey’s Erdoğan Government has submitted to Parliament the bill endorsing Sweden’s NATO membership.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson responded on social media:
Welcome that President Erdoğan signed Sweden’s ratification protocol to NATO and submitted it to the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye. Parliamentary procedures will now commence. We are looking forward to becoming a member of NATO.
— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) October 23, 2023
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he looks forward to the Turkish Parliament’s “speedy vote”.
Sweden and Finland applied in May 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blocked their access, demanding that both countries crack down on Kurdish activists.
Ankara lifted its objection against Helsinki, allowing Finnish membership in April, but continued to hold up Stockholm. Erdoğan finally said this summer that he would approach Parliament to endorse Sweden as the 32nd NATO country.
UPDATE 1042 GMT:
A court in Kazan in central Russia has extended the pre-trial detention of Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva until December 5.
The court declared that Kurmasheva, who is based in Prague reports for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, should be held as a “preventative measure”.
Kurmasheva is accused of violating Russia’s law on foreign agents. Her passports were confiscated on June 2, as she was leaving Russia after visiting the country because of a family emergency. Criminal charges were announced on October 18, and she was detained immediately.
The Acting President of RFE/RL, Jeffrey Gedmin, said:
We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of today’s hearing. We call for Alsu’s immediate release so she can be reunited with her family.
UPDATE 0748 GMT:
Russian riot police have reportedly raided a mosque in a town in the Moscow region, taking worshippers to a military enlistment office.
Mamut Useinov, a singer, said he was among men in Kotelniki who were taken to the office to sign a contract with the Defense Ministry, under threat of criminal charges.
Useinov said a colonel told those who refused to sign a contract that they had “decided to be given the opportunity to serve under conscription”.
Useinov said that he did not sign: “They said that the Investigative Committee will come and speak with us tomorrow.”
UPDATE 0743 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, says the situation in Avdiivka and the nearby town of Maryinka, in the Donetsk region in the east of the country, is “particularly tough. Numerous Russian attacks. But our positions are being held.”
UPDATE 0733 GMT:
The Ukraine Air Force says it downed 14 drones — 13 of them Iranian-made Shaheds — and a Su-34 missile launched by Russia overnight.
Nine of the drones were intercepted over the Odesa region in southern Ukraine in a 3 1/2-hour attack.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Struggling to take ground and incurring heavy losses in its attack on Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, Russia is throwing more men into the assault.
The Russians have shelled the town — about 20 km (12.5 miles) north of Donetsk city, the center of Russia’s position in the region — for months. However, almost two weeks ago, Moscow launched an offensive with three battalions supported by tanks, artillery, and warplanes.
The Ukrainian military said at least 36 Russian tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed in the first 24 hours, and 102 tanks and 183 armored vehicles — with 2,840 troops killed — from October 10 to October 15.
Another push last Friday and Saturday was repelled, with the Russians absorbing heavy casualties. The Ukraine General Staff said forces withstood almost 20 Russian attacks on Sunday as airstrikes hit villages near Avdiivka.
Geolocated footage indicated marginal advances by the offensive over the weekend, but Russian military bloggers — amid contested claims that Ukrainian defenders counter-attacked and retook positions — reported a contested “gray zone” and a “positional deadlock”.
A Ukrainian military spokesperson, Col. Oleksandr Shtupun, said Moscow is deploying personnel from Russian territory directly to the Avdiivka area to replace losses. Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets said several regiments have been transferred.
UK military intelligence assessed on Sunday that Russian casualties have risen by 90% amid recent assaults, including on Avdiivka.
The analysts estimated that Russia has suffered 150,000 to 190,000 permanent casualties, defined as troops killed or permanently wounded, during Vladimir Putin’s 20-month invasion.
The estimate is 240,000 to 290,000 if temporary wounded, troops recovering and able to return to the battlefield, are included.