Ukrainian soldier Tymofiy Shadura, smoking a cigarette just before being shot by Russian forces, March, 2023. As they fired, he shouted, “Slava Ukraini! (Glory to Ukraine!)”

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Saturday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy — Counter-Offensive “Did Not Achieve the Desired Results”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The toll from today’s Russian shelling of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine (see 1205 GMT) has risen to two killed and four injured.

A 78-year-old man was killed Sunday morning in the village of Sadove, and a woman in Kherson city was later slain.


Ukraine and Poland are opening an additional border crossing for empty trucks from Monday, easing the pressure from Polish truckers blockading four other crossings since November 6.

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.

The Ukraine border service said the Uhryniv checkpoint, currently operating only for passenger cars and buses, will open on Monday from 1 a.m. for empty heavy vehicles with a total permissible weight of more than 7.5 metric tons.


Russian shelling of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine has killed a 78-year-old man.

The Russian struck a private garage in the village of Sadove.


The Ukraine military’s Strategic Committee says it has confirmed the authenticity of video showing Russian troops executing two surrendering Ukrainian soldiers.

The published footage depicts the execution of two prisoners of war from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to verified information, the Russian occupiers have once again treacherously fired upon unarmed soldiers.

The Prosecutor General’s office says it has opened pre-trial proceedings over war crimes: “The killing of prisoners of war is a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions and is classified as a serious international crime.”


The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 10 of 12 attack drones launched by Russia overnight towards the northwest of the country.

Most of the UAVs were intercepted over the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine.

A Russian cruise missile did not reach its target.

There were no immediate reports of damage.


Ukrainian border guards have prevented former President Petro Poroshenko from leaving the country because he planned to meet Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Poroshenko, President from 2014 to 2019, had planned a series of meetings abroad. He said on Friday that the trip is cancelled.

Hungary is a member of both NATO and the European Union, but Orbán is a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin. During Russia’s invasion, his government has blocked Swedish accession to NATO, opposed sanctions on Moscow, and threatened to limit aid to Kyiv.

Budapest is currently standing in the way of the European Union’s launch of accession negotiations with Ukraine. On Friday, Orbán said the EU should instead propose a “strategic partnership agreement”.

Ukraine’s State security service SBU said on Saturday that Orbán “systematically expresses an anti-Ukrainian position”. It expressed the concern that Russia would use an Orbán-Poroshenko meeting “in its information and psychological operations against Ukraine”.


Ukrainian partisans claim they struck a Russian fuel truck and killed several troops on Friday afternoon near the entrance to the occupied port city of Melitopol.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate reported the “unexpected and successful attack…by Ukraine’s Resistance Movement forces”.

The statement said the Russians were surprised during a break for cigarettes.


One civilian has been killed in Russian shelling of Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine on Saturday.

The attack destroyed two houses in the town, which is less than 5 km (3 miles) west of the frontline city of Bakhmut.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, has accused Russia of the execution of surrendering Ukrainian soldiers.

Lubinets spoke about a short video, posted on Telegram on Saturday, in which two men come out of a shelter. One has his hands above his head, as the pair lie on the ground in front of a group of soldiers.

Gunfire and smoke follow before the video cuts off.

Social networks claimed the undated video is from an area close to Stepova, near Avdiivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Russia has been trying to overrun Avdiiva since early October with “human wave” attacks, shelling, and bombing that has levelled the town.

Lubinets said of the “war crime”:

Today a video of the execution by Russian servicemen of Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered as prisoners appeared online! This is another violation of the Geneva conventions and disrespect for international humanitarian law!

The Russian side shows its terrorist face again and again!

Lubinets explained that the surrendering me “were disarmed, and their hands were raised”: “They did not pose any threat! The Russian side had to capture them and give them the status of prisoners of war.”

Ukraine MP Ruslan Stefanchuk posted a still from the video.

Russian forces have assaulted Avdiivka in an attempt to reverse Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the east and south of the country. Avdiivka is about 20 km (12.5 miles) from Donetsk city, the center of Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian areas since 2014.

Russia has not been able the town despite flattening it, and Ukrainian officials said the attacks are easing. The Russians have also failed to capture Maryinka, 40 km (25 miles) to the southwest, despite intense assaults.

Ukraine military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun said Russia’s attacks on Avdiivka halved over the past day.

“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.

Vitaliy 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.”