Ukraine Latest: Kyiv Counteroffensive Liberates Dozens of Towns
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that more than 100,000 Russians and probably the same number of Ukrainian forces have been killed or wounded in the war, according to the Associated Press.
(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s forces have liberated dozens of settlements during counteroffensives in the country’s northeast and south, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
One of the main challenges facing Ukraine’s military now is clearing roughly 170,000 square kilometers (66,000 square miles) of retaken territory of Russian munitions, with Moscow’s forces mining everything from power lines, fields, forests and buildings, Zelenskiy said in an address late Thursday.
The US also announced it was sending an additional weapons package to Ukraine that includes Avenger anti-aircraft systems made by Boeing Co.. The Pentagon said the weapons, drawn from US stocks, are valued at as much as $400 million.
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On the Ground
Ukrainian troops liberated 12 settlements in the southern Kherson region on Nov. 9, and the offensive is continuing, the Military Staff said in a statement. Retreating Russian troops are trying to damage power lines and critical transport and other infrastructure in the region, according to the statement. Russian troops appear to be withdrawing in an orderly fashion, and Kyiv’s forces have advanced as much as 7 km in some areas but without routing Moscow’s forces, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Fighting will continue in the coming weeks as Russia completes its retreat and as Ukrainian troops advance on its defensive lines around the city of Kherson. A Russian missile strike in the city of Mykolayiv killed five civilians, according to Zelenskiy’s office.
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Kyiv Plans Emergency Power Blackouts Due to Attacks (9:11 a.m.)
Kyiv will implement emergency power outages Friday due to new attacks on energy infrastructure, the head of the local grid company Yasno, Serhiy Kovalenko, said on Facebook.
“Emergency shutdowns are applied in significant volumes in Kyiv today,” he said.
Poland Sends Ukraine Starlink Terminals for Use in Blackouts (8:40 a.m.)
Poland sent more than 1,570 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine, where authorities will create public wifi hotspots so that civilians can stay online during blackouts, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on Twitter.
IMF Begins Virtual Mission to Ukraine Friday (8:38 a.m)
The International Monetary Fund began policy discussions with Ukrainian authorities Friday following Kyiv’s request for a new multi-billion dollar aid program, the Washington-based lender said in a statement.
The discussions will happen virtually. Central bank Governor Andriy Pyshnyi early said the talks will take place from Nov. 11 to 17. Kyiv is seeking a non-cash monitoring arrangement from the IMF as a bridge to a full-fledged aid deal.
Retaken Settlements Achieved Through ‘Pain and Loss,’ Zelenskiy Says (8:13 a.m.)
Ukraine has retaken more than 40 settlements from Russian forces in the country’s northeast and south during its autumn counteroffensive, Zelenskiy said.
“It was achieved through courage, pain, and loss,” he said in a nightly address on Thursday. “It’s not the enemy leaving. It is the Ukrainians who are driving the occupiers out at a heavy cost.”
He also said that estimates predicting that it will take decades to demine Ukrainian territories from Russian explosives are far too long: “We can’t wait that long. We have to do in years what elsewhere in the world could have taken decades after hostilities.”
Ukraine Expected to Secure “Major Victory” in Kherson Region: ISW (8:06 a.m.)
Ukraine holds the initiative and is in the process of securing a major victory in the Kherson region, according to the Institute for The Study of War think tank.
Ukrainian strikes since August have successfully degraded Russian supply lines to force Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops to withdraw from Kherson, and Ukraine’s army will liberate the whole region to the Dnipro River in the coming days or weeks, they said in an assessment.
South Korea Says It Is Not Sending Arms to Ukraine (5:30 a.m.)
South Korea’s military said the country has maintained its position of not sending lethal arms to Ukraine, after the Wall Street Journal reported Seoul had struck a secret deal with the US that would supply Kyiv with artillery.
The Defense Ministry said in a text message to reporters on Friday that negotiations were underway between a South Korean company and the US to export arms to help Washington stock up on its inventory of 155 mm artillery rounds, under the premise the US would be the end-user of the shells.
While Seoul has provided 4.7 billion won ($3.5 million) worth of non-lethal aid that includes bulletproof vests, blankets, helmets and medicine, it has not accepted multiple requests from Ukraine to supply weapons. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy even made a personal appeal for the military assistance when he spoke to the South Korean parliament in April.
US Weapons Package to Total Up to $400 Million (9:30 p.m.)
The latest US weapons package for Ukraine, drawn from Pentagon inventories, is valued at as much as $400 million, according to the Defense Department.
The Avenger systems included in the package will help the Ukrainians defend against cruise missiles, helicopters and drones, Defense Department deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters at the Pentagon.
Zelenskiy tweeted his appreciation to President Joe Biden for the new package, calling it help in “building an air shield to protect civilians.”
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