A Ukrainian soldier amid destroyed buildings in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine

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Sunday’s Coverage: Russia “Executes Surrendering Soldiers”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The toll from a Russian missile strike on the town of Novohrodivka in eastern Ukraine on November 29 has risen to three civilians, including an 8-year-old girl.

The girl’s body was retrieved from underneath rubble. Authorities are looking for her parents, but believe they were also buried.

Russian forces fired six missiles on three settlements in the Donetsk region last Wednesday, injuring 10 people. A residential building was damaged in Novohrodivka, initially killing two.


UK military intelligence estimates Russian troop casualties in Vladimir Putin’s 21-month invasion as “between 180,000 and 240,000 personnel wounded and approximately 50,000 killed”.

In addition, “Wagner Group mercenaries likely suffered approximately 40,000 wounded and 20,000 killed”. Thus, the median of estimated Russian casualties is 320,000 casualties — 70,000 killed and 250,000 wounded.

The Ukraine military says Russia has lost 332,810 personnel.


The first empty cargo trucks have used a border crossing opened by Ukraine and Poland, trying to ease the pressure from the blockade of four other crossings by Polish truckers.

The Uhryniv checkpoint, which had operated only for passenger cars and buses, opened on Monday from 1 a.m. for empty heavy vehicles with a total permissible weight of more than 7.5 metric tons.

More than 2,500 trucks are held up at the border as Polish truckers calls for limits on permits for Ukrainian counterparts and for access to Ukraine’s markets.

Polish Prme Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his government “will very strongly and unequivocally demand” that the European Union end its waiver of required permits for Ukrainian drivers.


White House Budget Director Shalanda Young has warned Congressional leaders that US Government funds supporting Ukraine will soon be exhausted.

Young wrote, including to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson:

I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks. There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money and nearly out of time.

In October, a small group of hard-right Republicans and Trumpists — having ousted Johnson’s predecessor Kevin McCarthy — blocked a Biden Administration request for $61.6 billion in budget authorization for Ukraine.

Playing to the group, Johnson removed any funds for Kyiv from a continuing resolution keeping the US Government open in November. However, in the past week he has signalled that he is ready for passage of a Ukraine aid bill.


Maj. Gen. Vladimir Zavadsky, the deputy commander of Russia’s 14th Army Corps, has been confirmed killed in Ukraine.

The governor of Russia’s Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, announced the death on his Telegram channel. No details were given.

However, several pro-Kremlin sources said last week that Zavadsky, 45, was blown up by a mine on Wednesday afternoon. His unit is believed to have been in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Four other Russian generals were killed were killed in the first four months of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, and two more in summer 2023.


Following the Russian Supreme Court’s ban on the “international LGBT+ movement” as an “extremist organization”, the series My Little Pony has been given an 18+ rating on Russia’s online movie and TV database Kinopoisk.

No reason was given for the adults-only warning. Subscribers suggested it may be related to the name of one pony — Rainbow Dash.

Since Friday’s court ruling, security forces have raided clubs in Moscow. The St. Petersburg gay club “Central Station” has been forced to close. The dating app Pure has removed the ability to indicate sexual orientation.

The human rights project Delo, providing legal assistance to LGBTQ people, announced its dissolution “due to external circumstances”. All cases currently will be transferred to “reliable lawyers” and “guaranteed to completion”.


Ukraine attacked an oil depot with drones on Sunday night, according to Russian proxy officials in the occupied Luhansk region in the east of the country.

They said the resulting fire was extinguished, and gave no information about casualties.


The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 18 of 23 Iranian-made attack drones and a cruise missile launched by Russia overnight.

The drones were fired from occupied Crimea, and the guided air missile from the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: After almost two months, Russia’s “human wave” assault on Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine has slowed in recent days.

Ukraine military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun said on Saturday that Russia’s attacks on the town in the Donetsk region have halved.

“The coking plant” — the main objective of the Russians for weeks — “is controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces,” Shtupun said. “Enemy forces are trying to make their way inside, but are suffering losses in infantry and equipment.”

He said fighting is still intense in the “industrial zone” outside the town center.

Vitalii Barabash, the head of Avdiivka’s military administration, echoed on Sunday, “Over the past 24 hours, the number of attacks has decreased.”

He cited difficult weather conditions, large losses in both weapons and manpower”, and a Russian army “running out of steam”.

Barabash noted, “There are fewer and fewer [Russian] people willing to go on assaults voluntarily, and there are more and more refuseniks.”

Trying to reverse Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the east and south of the country, Russian forces stepped up their assault in early October. Avdiivka is about 20 km (12.5 miles) from Donetsk city, the center of Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian areas since 2014.

Russian commanders initially tried to break the Ukrainian defense with an advance by armored vehicles, but suffered heavy losses as the columns were struck from the ground and the air. They switched to waves of infantry attacks, reminiscent of the bloody campaign between November 2022 and May 2023 — using Wagner Group mercenaries and released convicts — to force the surrender of the city of Bakhmut.

But Ukrainian troops have held out against the “zombie” assaults. The Russians have also failed to capture Maryinka, 40 km (25 miles) to the southwest.

See also Ukraine War, Day 607: Russia Throws More Men Into Struggling Assault on Avdiivka in East

Despite the easing of the attacks, Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation, “Intense battles are ongoing in dozens of areas along the entire frontline. The most severe are the Maryinka, Avdiivka, and Bakhmut areas.”

Barabash, the head of Avdiivka’s military administration, said the town is “starting to look like Maryinka, a settlement that basically no longer exists. It has been razed to its foundations.”