A volunteer medic evacuates a wounded Ukrainian soldier near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, November 28, 2022 (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1925 GMT:
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced $100m in new military aid to Ukraine during his visit to Kyiv.
The latest package takes the total of US security assistance to more than $44 billion during Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted after the discussion with Austin:
Hosted @SecDef Lloyd Austin ahead of the next Ramstein meeting.
We focused on the battlefield developments: our defense, perspectives, and support. We also discussed Ukraine’s actions in the Black Sea and the defense of our export corridor.
Freedom of navigation is a… pic.twitter.com/ws3D6MjyEs
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 20, 2023
UPDATE 1920 GMT:
UK military intelligence notes that at least 11,000 Ukrainian children are detained in 43 re-education camps across Russia and in Russian-occupied Crimea.
A report from the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab documented the detentions of the juveniles for “pro-Russia patriotic and military-related education”.
At least 11,000 Ukrainian children are reportedly being detained at 43 re-education camps across Russia, thousands of miles from home.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) November 20, 2023
UPDATE 1433 GMT:
The Zelenskiy Government has fired two high-ranking cyber-defense officials amid an embezzlement investigation.
Yurii Shchyhol, the head of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, and his deputy Viktor Zhora have been fired.
UPDATE 1344 GMT:
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has told President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv that American backing of Ukraine will continue “for the long haul” as the defeat of Russia’s invasion “matters to the rest of the world”.
Zelenskiy said Austin’s visit was “a very important signal for Ukraine” and thanked the US Congress and the American people: “We count on your support.
Austin is also meeting Rustem Umerov and the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian militayr, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
I was honored to meet with President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv today to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine. We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements. pic.twitter.com/Odv6ClgcrP
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) November 20, 2023
UPDATE 1254 GMT:
The UK Defense Ministry notes a November 7 protest in Moscow, defying the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent, by the wives of deployed Russian troops.
Demonstrators gathered in Teatralnya Square and unfurled banners demanding the rotation of their partners away from the frontline. The gathering was broken up within minutes.
The British analysts summarize, “The apparently indefinitely extended combat deployments of personnel without rotation is increasingly seen as unsustainable by both the troops themselves and by their relatives.”
UPDATE 0903 GMT:
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced that he is in Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials.
I just arrived in Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian leaders.
I’m here today to deliver an important message – the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in their fight for freedom against Russia’s aggression, both now and into the future. pic.twitter.com/1D96aeeACl
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) November 20, 2023
UPDATE 0839 GMT:
Russian attacks have killed two more civilians in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
A parking lot was struck by artillery about 9 a.m., killing two drivers for a private transport business. One other person was injured.
Images posted on Telegram showed firefighters dousing cars that had been destroyed and set alight.
Another man was killed in a Russian mortar attack on the village of Seredyna-Buda in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine on Sunday.
UPDATE 0829 GMT:
A Japanese delegation is in Ukraine for talks ahead of a reconstruction conference in Tokyo on February 19.
The delegation includes Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Kiyoto Tsuji, senior industry and foreign ministry officials. company representatives, and members of Keidanren. They will meet Ukraine Prime Ninister Denys Shmyhal, government officials, and companies.
Shmyhal says Ukraine needs budget support of about $42 billion this year for the government’s deficit and reconstruction.
UPDATE 0635 GMT:
The Russian independent media outlet Mediazona and BBC Russia have confirmed the names of 37,052 Russian soldiers killed in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Almost 1,300 names have been added since November 3. Mediazone notes that the increase in the rate of confirmed deaths is likely linked to Russia’s assault since mid-October of the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.
The journalists note that actual casualties are likely to be far higher, as their information comes only from public sources such as obituaries, posts by relatives, news in regional media, and reports by local authorities.
Ukraine’s military claims that Russia has lost more than 318,000 personnel during the 21-month invasion.
Russian losses on day 634 of the full-scale war, according to Ukraine's General Staff pic.twitter.com/D5iZWcdgfc
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) November 19, 2023
ORIGINAL ENTRY: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has fired the commander of Ukraine’s Medical Forces, Tetyana Ostashchenko, after repeated calls by medics and volunteers for her dismissal.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy said Ostashchenko had been replaced with Anatoly Kazmirchuk, the head of the National Military Medical Clinical Center in Kyiv.
The task is clear, as has been repeatedly stressed in society, particularly among combat medics: we need a fundamentally new level of medical support for our soldiers. From high-quality tourniquets to full digitalization and transparency in supply, from high-quality training to sincere communication with combat medics in those units where medicine is deployed correctly and effectively.
Last Monday it was reported that Defense Minister Rustem Umerov was preparing his request for the removal of Ostashchenko.
The reports pointed to a wider reorganization of military leadership. Umerov also reportedly favored the replacement of the commander of the Tavria Group in Southern Ukraine, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, and Joint Forces Commander Serhii Naiev.
At the start of November, Zelenskiy replaced the commander of special forces, Maj. Gen. Viktor Horenko. The President did not announce further changes last night; however, he indicated that they may be made soon.
In today’s meeting with defence minister Umerov, priorities were set. There is little time left to wait for results. Quick action is needed.
Claimed Failures of Medical Command
In July, legislator Solomiia Bobrovska said that the Medical Forces Command under Ostashchenko had not purchased any first aid kits in 2023, and that those provided through international aid were not properly checked.
After Zelenskiy’s announcement, Umerov posted that the decision to dismiss Ostashchenko was “obvious” to those fighting and helping Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
He cited three priorities: digitizing medical standard compliance, tactical medicine training in accordance with NATO standards, and constant rotation of personnel.