Jump to Original Entry

Wednesday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy Pledges More Long-Range Attacks on Russia

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has discussed defense cooperation and the battlefield situation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Zelenskiy wrote of the conversation with Sunak:

I briefed the Prime Minister on Ukraine’s priority defense needs for strengthening our warriors and our sky shield.

We discussed further macro-financial support for Ukraine and coordinated steps in the run-up to important international events.

We specifically addressed Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, highlighted the significance of the October Peace Formula talks in Malta, and discussed further steps to put the Formula into action.


The body of a victim has been found under rubble, following Russia’s overnight shelling and missile attacks on Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine (see 0820 GMT).

Ten other civilians have been injured. Among them are four children: a 6-month-old baby, two 13-year-olds, and a 16-year-old boy. Four people may still be buried.


A court in Rostov-on-Don in southwest Russia has sentenced a former Ukrainian soldier to 12 years in prison on charges of “terrorism”.

Russian officials claimed Pavlo Zaporozhets planned a terrorist attack in then-occupied Kherson city in southern Ukraine on May 9, 2022, Russia’s “Victory Day”.

Prosecutors asserted that Zaporozhets “admitted guilt, saying that he served in the Ukrainian military”.

Zaporzhets’ lawyers said he left the military in 2017 and was not an active member during Russia’s invasion. He was detained when the Russians overran Kherson city, tortured, and deported to occupied Crimea.


The European Union’s Transport Commissioner, Adina Valean, has criticized blockades by Polish truckers on the Ukraine-Poland border.

The truth is that I find the situation at the Polish border with Ukraine absolutely unacceptable.

While I support the right of people to protest, the entire EU, not to mention Ukraine, a country currently at war, cannot be taken hostage by blocking our external borders. It’s as simple as that.

The Polish truckers have closed three crossings since November 6. They are calling for access to Ukraine’s markets and a reduction in permits for Ukrainian drivers.

More than 2,000 trucks are now held up, with queues stretching more than 30 km (19 miles) into Polish territory. The backlog will be compounded by Monday’s extension of the blockade to a fourth crossing.

Slovak truckers say they will block the main border crossing with Ukraine from Friday.


The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 14 of 20 Iran-made attack drones launched by Russia overnight.

No injuries have been reported so far. Debris fell on a former infrastructure plant in the Khmelnytsky region in western Ukraine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency expressed concern about the “close proximity” of the attacks to the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant, citing several explosions over a 20-minute period.

IAEA head Rafael Grossi said:

Much of the world’s attention – and rightly so – is focused on the very real dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, which is of special concern as it is located on the frontline. But last night’s event serves as a reminder that we must not forget about the other nuclear sites in Ukraine, which are also potentially exposed to missile and other attacks.

The Air Force said the Russians attacked the Pokrovsk district of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine with artillery shells and eight S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles.

Ten civilians, including four children, were injured. Five people are believed to be under rubble.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: After years of disinformation propping up chemical attacks —- particularly the Assad regime’s use of sarin nerve agent and chlorine, killing more than 1,500 civilians in Syria — Russia suffered a significant diplomatic setback on Wednesday.

Moscow lost its bid for re-election on the 41-member Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Four countries were nominated for the three seats for Eastern European states for the 2024-2026 term. Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland each received more support than Russia.

Throughout the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime from 2011, the Russians supplied propaganda and falsehoods to cover up Damascus’s deadly chemical assaults.

The catalyst for the campaign was the regime’s killing of more than 1,400 civilians near Damascus in August 2013, striking several sites with rockets filled with sarin. Moscow immediately tried to pin blame on anti-Assad groups defending the area.

There was no evidence supporting Russia’s claims, but the initiative — amplified by pro-Kremlin activists, including many in the West, on social media — helped block any response over the mass killing.

When the Assad regime joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in autumn 2013 — another step to check any international action — it came under the purview of the OPCW.

Thus, as the regime carried out more than 300 chemical attacks throughout Syria, it was liable to formal investigation. Russia blunted that possibility with the dedicated campaign to undermine the OPCW.

Disinformation and invective against the organization was stepped up, particularly after the Khan Sheikhoun sarin attack in northwest Syria in April 2017 which killed about 90 people and wounded hundreds and the Douma chlorine assault near Damascus in April 2018 which murdered 43 civilians.

See also When Will There Be Justice Over Assad’s Sarin Attacks?

Denying Syria’s Chemical Attacks, Attacking the Inspectors — The Douma Case

Despite the Russian campaign, in October 2017 the OPCW formally found the Assad regime responsible for Khan Sheikhoun. In January 2023, the organization finally issued the same conclusion over Douma, setting off another intense round of disinformation by Moscow and its supporters.

OPCW Formally Blames Syria’s Assad Regime for Douma Chlorine Attack Killing 43 Civilians