Emergency services face a blaze after Russian attacks on the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, November 23, 2023


Thursday’s Coverage: “Air Defense Coalition” Established by Kyiv’s Partners


Map: Institute for the Study of War


UPDATE 1719 GMT:

In a video appeal on Telegram to Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, Russian soldiers on the Kherson front in southern Ukraine have pleaded for troop rotations and complained about poor leadership from their commander.

The Russian soldiers, claiming to be part of the 26th Regiment of the 2nd Battalion, spoke amid explosions. They said they were deployed in July to Krynky, a settlement on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River, and had “not a single day off” since.

Ukrainian forces are reportedly now in control of Krynky after crossing the Dnipro last month.

The Russian soldiers said only 50 people remained from the original three companies. They derided their incompetent commander, Lt. Colonel Aleksandr Petrovich Zladko, whom they said had submitted falsified reports to the headquarters exaggerating their success and was now sending them to Dnipro River islands that have been captured by the Ukrainians.

“He killed our people. He was reporting that everything is great here. But in reality, three companies are dead and wounded,” the soldiers explained. “He wants to send 50 of us to be killed to hide his tracks.”


UPDATE 1710 GMT:

Russia has killed a sixth civilian in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine in the past 48 hours.

Shelling of the village of Dniprovske killed a 50-year-old man on Friday. A 44-year-old woman was suffered shrapnel wounds and blast injuries.


UPDATE 1700 GMT:

Russia only launched three Iran-made attack drones on Ukraine overnight. All were intercepted and destroyed, said the Ukrainian Air Force.


UPDATE 1406 GMT:

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Dutch have been among the leading supporters of Ukraine during Russia’s 21-month invasion. However, their backing is under scrutiny after Wednesday’s elections in which the far-right PVV party won the largest share of parliamentary seats.

Outgoing Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Friday:

In the Netherlands there is broad support for our help to Ukraine….

I hope and expect this will not change in the new Parliament. But the PVV is now the largest party and they have never been enthusiastic about support to Ukraine. They have even been pro-Russia at times. So that has me worried.

Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė is in Kyiv. Before meeting Zelenskiy, she paid tribute to those killed during the Russian invasion.


UPDATE 1234 GMT:

Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna has urged the European Union not to allow Hungary to block Kyiv’s accession to the 27-nation bloc.

Negotiations were due to begin next month, but Hungary — whose Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin — is threatening to hold up the process.

Budapest is also seeking the release of billions in EU support funds, held up by issues such as corruption and the Orbán Government’s crackdown on rights.

Stefanishyna said:

This is about talking to each other, convincing each other and helping those who [are] still in doubt or who are trying to veto the future of Europe, speaking to them and taking the responsibility of this veto.

Because speaking of the veto of one country on 15 December, this will not be a veto of one country. This would be the irresponsibility of the others – those who are not building this consensus, who are not working on focusing on a bigger picture on the future of Europe.

So I guess we all understand what I’m referring to and this is how we read it, this is how we treat it.


UPDATE 1221 GMT:

UK military intelligence cites the rising toll on Russian invaders “from Ukrainian long-range precision strikes well behind the front line”.

The analysts that more than 70 Russian troops were probably killed on November 10 in a strike on a truck convoy, 23 km (14.3 miles) behind the front line, in the village of Hladkivka in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Nine days later, there were likely “tens of casualties” from a strike in eastern Ukraine on Russian troops celebrating the Day of Missile Forces.

The Ukrainian military said 25 troops were slain in Kumachove, 60 km (37 miles) inside Russian-occupied territory. Russian director and actress Polina Menshikh, who had come to perform for the troops, was also among those killed by the US-made HIMARS rocket.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia’s forces kill seven civilians and wound 17 in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine in the past 24 hours.

On Thursday, the Russians killed at least five people and injured 11, including three juveniles. A children’s library was damaged by a direct hit, although there were no casualties.

At least three of the civilians were killed by cluster munitions. More than 60 residential and infrastructure buildings were damaged in the afternoon attack.

Earlier in the day, a 42-year-old man was slain in his apartment building, and another wounded, in eight Russian artillery barrages. In the town of Beryslav, a 70-year-old man was slain as he cycled down the street.

The Russians seized the region soon after their February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin declared the “annexation” of Kherson, as well as Zaporizhzhia in the south and Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, in September.

Two months later, a Ukrainian counter-offensive liberated all territory — including Kherson city — west of the Dnipro River. Kyiv’s troops are now establishing a foothold east of the river, advancing up to 8 km (5 miles) from the east (left) bank.

Ukraine War, Day 637: Russia’s Defense Minister Fails to Ease Concern Over Kyiv’s Advance East of Dnipro River

Throughout the last year, the Russians have bombarded civilians west of the Dnipro with artillery, tanks, mortars, multiple-launch rocket systems, aircraft, and drones.