The Kerch Bridge between Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea burns after a Ukrainian sabotage operation, October 2022 (Reuters)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1609 GMT:
After years of disinformation trying to undermine the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — particularly over the Assad regime’s use of sarin nerve agent and chlorine killing more than 1,500 civilians in Syria — Russia has lost its bid for re-election on the OPCW’s 41-member Executive Council.
Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland were elected to the three seats for Eastern European states for the 2024-2026 term.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded:
Russia was not elected to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibution of Chemical Weapons for the first time in history.
OPCW is a very reputable international body and terrorists have no place in it.
At the same time, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania were…
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 29, 2023
UPDATE 1255 GMT:
The Ukrainian military claims five high-ranking Russian officials have been killed in a strike on a building in the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
The National Resistance Center of Ukraine said a meeting in the village of Yuvileyne was targeted with “information provided by the underground and concerned local residents”.
Photographs showed a two-story building with the roof partially destroyed and many windows blown out.
UPDATE 0956 GMT:
Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister, Brig. Gen. Mehdi Farahi, claims Tehran has completed arrangements for Russia’s delivery of advanced warplanes.
Farahi said Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, Mi-28 attack helicopters, and Yak-130 jet trainers “will definitely arrive in Iran and the process is currently under way”.
He postured, “In the field of helicopters, we have good capabilities; that is why we are the best in the region in terms of quantity, but the qualitative improvement of helicopters is on the agenda.”
The Su-35 can detect an aerial target up to 400 km (250 miles) away and can track 30 airborne targets and engage eight simultaneously.
Western intelligence services have anticipated that in return for Iran’s provision of many hundred of Shahed “kamikaze” drones — and the capability to make them in Russia — Moscow would finally provide warplanes to the Islamic Republic.
In September, the commander of Iran’s armed forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, said Tehran and Moscow would complete a long-term military cooperation agreement in the near future.
UPDATE 0842 GMT:
Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry has proposed a bill establishing a “loyalty agreement” for foreign nationals entering the country.
Under the bill, a foreigner is prohibited from “hindering the activities of public authorities of the Russian Federation or discrediting in any form the foreign and domestic state policy of the Russian Federation, public authorities, and their officials”.
A ban is imposed on “abusing the right to freedom of information, including by disseminating information aimed at belittling or inducing the denial of constitutionally significant moral and other values, including ideas about marriage as a union of a man and a woman, family, motherhood, paternity, childhood, propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, distortion of the historical truth about the feat of the Soviet people in defending the Fatherland and its contribution to the victory over fascism”.
There is also prohibition of “actions aimed at adopting, changing, repealing laws, as well as negligent attitude towards the environment, natural resources, and material and cultural values.”
Foreigners, if the bill is adopted, will have to agree that they will not “show disrespect for the diversity of regional and ethnocultural ways of life of the Russian population, traditional Russian spiritual and moral values”.
UPDATE 0824 GMT:
Russia’s State propagandists are trying to divert blame for the poisoning of Marianna Budanova, the wife of Ukraine’s head of military intelligence Kyrill Budanov — by interviewing Moscow’s operative accused of poisoning to death former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko in the UK in 2006.
Russian state TV couldn't think of a better person than Andrey Lugovoy (best known for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko) to weigh in on the poisoning of Kyrylo Budanov's wife, Marianna Budanova. Putin's mouthpieces smirked throughout the segment.https://t.co/rLPVWjEyuU
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) November 29, 2023
Ukrainian officials confirmed on Tuesday that Budanov, an advisor to Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko, is in hospital with the symptoms of heavy metals poisoning. She is expected to recover.
Several other military intelligence staff suffered less serious effects.
Another guest on Russian State TV suggested that Budanova was poisoned by her husband: “Why? It gets rid of an un-loved wife and it is an excellent propaganda that can be used in any situation.”
Ukrainian officials say they have foiled “more than 10″ assassination attempts against Budanov, who has overseen Ukrainian operations causing serious damage to Russia’s military capabilities.
UPDATE 0814 GMT:
At least 511 children have been killed and 1,148 injured by Russia’s invasion, according to the office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.
The office emphasized that the actual toll is higher, given difficulties of establishing casualties both in Russian-occupied and liberated areas.
UPDATE 0737 GMT:
The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 21 Iran-made attack drones and two of three Kh-59 guided missiles launched by Russia overnight.
The UAVs and missiles were fired from the Russian-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine and from the port city of Primorsko-Akhtarsk in southwest Russia.
UPDATE 0724 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has repeated that the goal of his invasion is to eliminate the Ukrainian “nation”.
In a speech at the World Russian People’s Council on Tuesday, Putin defined the “Russian nation” as including all Ukrainians and Belarusians as well as Russians, and a “Russian world” with other ethnicities in both Russia and the former territory of the Soviet Union.
Putin made a similar argument in a lengthy July 2021 essay foreshadowing the invasion seven months later. On Tuesday, he reiterated that the “Russian nation” and its people had been artificially and violently divided through the policy miscalculations during and after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Leading analyst Mark Galeotti adds:
"We openly say that the dictatorship of one hegemon – as we see it, everyone sees it now – is decrepit, it has gone, as they say, wild and is simply dangerous for those around it"
An ironically-challenged Putin thinks he's talking about USA not himself…https://t.co/dmYsQY9P70
— Mark Galeotti (@MarkGaleotti) November 28, 2023
ORIGINAL ENTRY: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has highlighted Ukraine’s strikes behind the frontlines of the Russian invasion, pledging more attacks on Moscow’s forces, weapons, and supply and logistics positions.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy spoke of his meeting with the Strategic Industries Minister:
I can say it was optimistic. We’re preparing, among other things, some serious long-range stuff to make sure the occupiers feel the might of Ukraine.
Ukrainian drone and missile strikes, as well as sabotage operations, began in Russian-occupied Crimea in summer 2022. They targeted bridges, oil installations, ports, and even the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The attacks were expanded this year inside Russia. Recurrent drone strikes were launched on Russian cities, including Moscow. More importantly, operations against air and naval bases destroyed or damaged warplanes and warships, and more oil and ammunition depots were detonated.
Zelenskiy also reiterated “the tactics of our air defense” as Russia continues — albeit at a reduced level, compared to last winter — its missile and drone strikes on infrastructure, including for energy, and other civilian sites.
“There is a clear need to develop and reinforce our mobile firing groups, as well as to get all highly effective air defense systems,” he said.
And the President referred to the state of the battlefield, mentioning Ukraine’s gradual advance in the south and “the holding of our positions” in the east against the six-week Russian “human wave” assault on Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.