Soldiers of Ukraine’s National Guard 1st Brigade Bureviy (Hurricane) during combat training in the north of the country, Friday, November 3, 2023 (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1348 GMT:
An internal document of the European Commission assesses that Ukraine has fully implemented four of the seven steps required to start talks over Kyiv’s accession to the EU.
The Commission report is expected to be published on Wednesday.
The internal document finds the following criteria have been fulfilled:
- Legislation for selection of judges of the Constitutional Court in line with recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law;
- Completion of integrity vetting of candidates for the High Council of Justice and creation of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine;
- Alignment of anti-money laundering legislation with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force and approval of a strategic plan for reforming law enforcement;
- Alignment of Ukraine’s media legislation with the EU audio-visual media services directive.
The three remaining criteria are the fight against corruption; removal of oligarchs from Ukraine’s economic system; and the protection of national minorities.
UPDATE 1302 GMT:
Hungary, led by Vladimir Putin’s long-time ally Viktor Orbán, is threatening to veto the possibility of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.
The Government used the pretext that Kyiv is violating the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian minority, and said they will block negotiations — which could begin in December — until the Zelenskiy Government fulfils language and education requirements.
“New laws have been introduced that have made life miserable for Hungarians in Ukraine,” proclaimed Balázs Orbán, Prime Minister Orbán’s political advisor. He referred to Ukraine’s recently introduced language law, which requires minorities to follow at least 70% of their education in Ukrainian.
We cannot accept this. Hungary’s position is crystal clear: as long as this law exists, we can’t talk with Ukrainians about their integration into the European Union.
UPDATE 1125 GMT:
NATO members have criticized Russia’s formal withdrawal from the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
Allies condemn Russia’s decision…and its war of aggression against Ukraine which is contrary to the treaty’s objectives.
Russia’s withdrawal is the latest in a series of actions that systematically undermines Euro-Atlantic security.
Therefore, as a consequence, allied states parties intend to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary, in accordance with their rights under international law.
This is a decision fully supported by all Nato allies.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Moscow’s withdrawal earlier on Tuesday. It claimed that a US push for enlargement of NATO, the admission of Finland and Sweden’s application, led to alliance countries “openly circumventing” the treaty’s restrictions.
Russia had suspended participation in the treaty in 2007 and halted active participation in 2015. In May 2023, Vladimir Putin signed a decree denouncing the pact.
UPDATE 1121 GMT:
The Netherlands has delivered its first five F-16 fighter jets to a new Romanian training center en route to use in Ukraine.
Ukrainian pilots will receive instruction on the jets. The Dutch have committed between 12 and 18 F-16s for the battle against Russia’s invsaion.
Denmark, Norway and Belgium have also pledged F-16s to Kyiv.
I’m grateful to the Netherlands and @MinPres Mark Rutte for leading the way in supporting Ukraine. Today marks a milestone: five Dutch F-16s have already arrived at the training center in Romania. We keep working together to welcome F-16s into Ukrainian skies as soon as possible.
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 7, 2023
UPDATE 0819 GMT:
Benefiting from higher global oil prices, Russian oil and gas revenues have increased by more than 25%
year-on-year, according to official data.
The global price is about $80 to $85 per barrel. In December 2022, the G7, the European Union, and Australia introduced a price cap for Russian oil of $60 a barrel. However, Moscow’s main customers — Russia, India, and Turkey — do not recognize the cap.
Russia is also circumventing enforcement of the cap, such as denial of insurance, by using a fleet of old tankers.
Last week the US Treasury last month issued the first fines on tankers for circumvention of sanctions, and other measures are being considered.
UPDATE 0700 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ruled out elections in 2024 while the fight against Russia’s invasion continues.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy said briefly but firmly, “We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are so many challenges, it is absolutely irresponsible to throw the topic of elections into society in a lighthearted and playful way.”
Ukraine’s Presidential election is normally held every five years. Zelenskiy, who won in May 2019, has said he would stand for a second term.
However, under martial law, elections have been suspended. Zelenskiy had been considering whether to invoke special provisions to stage them.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has declared that the killing of 19 soldiers and wounding of dozens in a Russian missile strike on a military ceremony was a “tragedy that could have been avoided”.
The troops of the 128th Separate Mountain-Assault Brigade were slain on Friday in a frontline village, in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine, by a Russian missile. Defense Minister Rustam Umerov has ordered an inquiry, and the State Bureau of Investigation says it intends to hold military officials accountable.
Zelenskiy confirmed, “Criminal proceedings have been initiated. Every soldier in the combat zone — in the enemy’s line of fire and aerial reconnaissance – knows how to behave in the open, how to ensure safety.”
The commander of the troops, Col. Dmytro Lysyuk, reportedly arrived after the strike. Personnel who were due to be awarded medals were reportedly sheltered by a wall where they had gathered, and suffered less casualties than their compatriots.
A three-day mourning period has been announced in the Zaporizhzhia region with flags flown at half-mast.
Ukraine is investigating after a missile strike in the Zaporizhzhia region killed more than 20 of its soldiers during a medal ceremony close to the front line.
Collaborators have been accused of tipping the Russians off about events like this in the past.
— James Waterhouse (@JamWaterhouse) November 6, 2023
Aide to Ukraine Commander-in-Chief Killed by “Gift” Grenade
The aide to Ukraine’s military commander-in-chief has been killed by a grenade amongst his birthday presents.
Gen. Valery Zaluzhnyi posted on Monday, “Under tragic circumstances, my assistant and close friend, Major Gennadiy Chastiakov, was killed…on his birthday…[when] an unknown explosive device detonated in one of his gifts”.
Ukraine Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said in a statement that Chastiakov was showing his 13-year-old son the box of grenades.
“At first, the son took the munition in his hands and began to turn the ring. Then the serviceman” — believing the grenades were not real but novelties — “took the grenade away from the child and pulled the ring, causing a tragic explosion,” Klymenko recounted.
Chastiakov’s son was seriously injured.
Police have identified a fellow soldier who gave the gift, said Klymenko, and seized two similar grenades in his possession.
However, Interior Ministry spokesperson Mariana Reva said the explosion was likely the result of careless handling of ammunition.