A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze after a Russian drone strike on the Kremenchuk oil refinery in central Ukraine, November 1, 2023
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1615 GMT:
Ukraine Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko says Russia has carried out its most extensive shelling of 2023, attacking 118 settlements in 10 regions in the past 24 hours.
European Union foreign policy head Josep Borrell commented:
Russian aggression against #Ukraine has reached a new peak of ruthlessness, with more than 100 towns and villages targeted in 24 hours.
Moscow should have no illusions: other crises will not divert our attention from Ukraine.
Our support continues, as long as needed
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) November 1, 2023
UPDATE 1323 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks have killed two civilians and injured six others.
One person was slain and two injured in Kherson city in southern Ukraine, and a Russian drone strike killed a 59-year-old woman and wounded four people in Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
“Again, an apocalyptic picture is all around: broken glass, torn window frames, mutilated houses. People talk about their experiences with trembling in their voices,” posted Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin.
UPDATE 0839 GMT:
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for patience with Ukraine’s counter-offensive to liberate territory from Russian occupation.
Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation:
The modern world is set up in such a way that it becomes accustomed to success too quickly. When the full-scale aggression began, many in the world did not think Ukraine would endure.
Glory to all those who do not retreat, who do not burn out, who believe in Ukraine just as they did on February 24, , and who have been fighting for it unwaveringly.
Ukrainian forces have advanced gradually in both the south and east of the country, but are fending off Russian attempts to regain areas near Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.
Zelenskiy also spoke of Ukrainian operations — including attacks on headquarters and bases, warships, bridges, and oil depots — which are restricting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
UPDATE 0637 GMT:
Trying to prop up the rouble, Russia
has introduced strict currency controls for foreign companies selling off their Russia-based assets.
Sources told London’s Financial Times that foreign companies departing the country will have to sell assets at a discount of 50% or more and pay a “voluntary” 15% contribution to the State budget.
The firms can only receive foreign currencies which are wired abroad in several installments or transferred to a “highly restricted” Russian bank account. Alternatively, they can receive the entire sum of a business sale in a normal rouble-denominated Russian bank account.
Russia’s commission on foreign investments introduced the currency limits after the rouble weakened in July. It reached more than 100:1 v. the US dollar — the lowest rate since the first weeks of Vladimir Putin’s 20-month invasion of Ukraine.
The Central Bank has raised the key interest rates on four occasions since then, doubling it to 15%, to prop up the rouble. The currency is currently at 93:1 v. the dollar.
Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin ordered 43 companies to sell part of their foreign currency earnings on the domestic market.
Dmitry Peskov confirmed to reporters, “The rouble has absolute priority.” He said that “there can be no free exits” for Western companies leaving Russia: “They’ll leave on the terms set by the special government commission.”
International companies which have left Russia or wound down operations during the invasion of Ukraine include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Shell, and BP.
The Danish brewer Carlsberg said it found a buyer for its Russian subsidiary, Baltika, in June but Putin ordered the temporary seizure of the assets.
CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen said Carlsberg will not capitulate with a deal with the Kremlin: “There is no way around the fact that they have stolen our business in Russia, and we are not going to help them make that look legitimate.”
Carlsberg had eight breweries and about 8,400 employees in Russia. It absorbed a 9.9 billion Danish crown ($1.41 billion) write-down on Baltika last year.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s air defenses have downed 18 of 20 Iranian-made drones in Russia’s latest wave of attacks.
However, an oil refinery in Kremenchuk in the Poltava region in the center of the country was struck and set afire.
The Ukraine Air Force said the Shahed-131/136 drones were launched from the Kursk region and other areas in southwest Russia. It added, “A Kh-59 guided air missile was also destroyed.”
Poltava Governoer Filip Pronin said the refinery was hit during an air raid alert lasted for more than four hours.
Pronin said the fire was soon extinguished, and there were no casualties. However, the refinery is out of service while the extent of damage is being established and assessed.
Three villages in the region, with about 10 business and almost 500 household consumers, lost electricity supply after power lines and an infrastructure facility were damaged.
Air defense sirens also sounded for hours in the Lviv, Ternopil, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts in western and central Ukraine.
Railway power lines were damaged by falling debris in the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine, but repairs were quickly carried out.