The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to Ukraine during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's visit to Kyiv on November 20.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to Ukraine during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's visit to Kyiv on November 20. Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and reiterated long-term US support for Ukraine. The new DoD package contains military equipment valued at up to $100 million, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles; one HIMARS system and additional ammunition; Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles; Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems; and artillery and small arms rounds.
- Ukraine said fighting intensified around the Russian-occupied eastern town of Bakhmut. Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesperson for Ukrainian ground forces, said Russia was focusing its attacks on Klishchiivka, a nearby village that was retaken by Ukrainian forces in September. “Eleven attacks have been repelled in the past 24 hours,” he said. “The enemy is trying to dislodge our men from defensive positions around Klishchiivka.” Russia’s defence ministry said it had beaten back more than 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around Bakhmut in the past week.
- Ukrainian authorities said three people were killed and one injured in Russian shelling in the southern Kherson and the central Dnipropetrovsk regions. Some power lines and a gas pipeline were also damaged.
- Ukrainian police said a soldier and a woman died when a grenade exploded in a Kyiv apartment. The cause of the blast, which injured a second man, was not immediately clear.
- The United States State Department said it was barring Russian Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Russian Guard Corporal Daniil Frolkin from entering the US over their alleged involvement in human rights violations in the Ukrainian town of Andriivka.
- Ukraine fired its two top cyber-defence officials – Yury Shchyhol, head of the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine, and his deputy Victor Zhora – amid an ongoing investigation into corruption over software purchases.
- Fox Corp Chief Executive Lachlan Murdoch travelled to Kyiv where he met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine said the meeting was a “very important signal” of support at a time when the Israel-Gaza war has diverted global attention from the war in Ukraine. Zelenskyy said Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who was badly wounded covering the conflict last year, and Jerome Starkey, a journalist with the United Kingdom tabloid The Sun were also at the meeting.
- In an interview with The Sun that was also published in the UK’s Times newspaper, which is part of the same media group, Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to stoke tension from the Balkans to the Middle East. “Ukraine today [is] in the centre of these global risks of this Third World War,” Zelenskyy said. Urging Ukraine’s allies to maintain their military support, he acknowledged the lack of progress on some parts of the battlefield, but noted successes in the Black Sea. “We really destroyed part of the Russian fleet,” he told the paper. “We did it.”
- Russia placed Ukrainian singer Jamala, who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, on its wanted list. The independent Russian news site Mediazona said Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladinova, had been charged under a law that bans spreading fake information about the Russian military and the war in Ukraine. Jamala, a Crimean Tatar, has long been a critic of Russia and told Zelenskyy last year that her priority was to “remind that foreigners came to my house to kill and mutilate life, to destroy and rewrite my culture”. She responded to the Russian arrest warrant on Instagram with a facepalm emoji.
- A Japanese delegation led by senior industry and foreign ministry officials and including business representatives visited Ukraine for talks ahead of next year’s Ukraine Recovery Conference, which will be hosted by Japan.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
- Russia appears to be employing a known hybrid warfare tactic to artificially create a migrant crisis on the Finnish border.
- Russia’s apparent hybrid warfare tactic on the Russian-Finnish border is similar to Russia’s and Belarus’ creation of a migrant crisis on the Polish border in 2021 and is likely similarly aimed at destabilizing NATO.
- Russian milbloggers expressed continued anger at deteriorating Russian-Armenian relations as Armenia appears to distance itself further from Russia while entering further agreements with Western governments.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reportedly started public recruitment for the Russian “Africa Corps” aimed at subsuming Wagner Group operations in Africa after alleged failed MoD attempts to directly recruit former Wagner personnel.
- The Russian Strelkov (Igor Girkin) Movement (RDS) predictably backed Girkin’s November 19 formal announcement of his intent to run in the 2024 Russian presidential election.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov continues efforts to distinguish himself in the Russian information space, infringing on the generally accepted boundaries between Russian federal subject (region) heads and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to Ukraine during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's visit to Kyiv on November 20.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and marginally advanced in some areas.
- A Russian federal subject (region) and occupation officials are reportedly planning to work together to provide drones to Russian forces.
- A Ukrainian official reported that Ukraine successfully returned 45 Ukrainian children whom Russian authorities forcibly deported to Russia in the past six months.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #1 – Luhansk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the remainder of Luhansk Oblast and push westward into eastern Kharkiv Oblast and northern Donetsk Oblast)
Russian forces continued offensive operations on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on November 20 and marginally advanced near Kreminna. Geolocated footage published on November 20 shows that Russian forces marginally advanced in the forest area south of Kreminna. ... The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Synkivka and Ivanivka and east of Petropalivka (7km east of Kupyansk). Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets stated that while the Russian Western Grouping of Forces in the Kupyansk direction has more personnel and equipment than the Central Grouping of Forces in the Kreminna direction, the Central Grouping maintains enough combat-ready units to conduct an offensive push should the Russian military command desire such an operation. ISW has not observed any indications that Russian forces are preparing for a renewed tempo of offensive operations near Kreminna, however.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #2 – Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Ukrainian military sources reported on November 20 that Ukrainian forces continued successful assault actions south of Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction on November 20 and reportedly advanced southwest of Bakhmut. ...Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets noted that Russian forces have replenished their grouping in the Bakhmut area by redeploying elements of the 98th and 106th Airborne (VDV) Divisions to the area from the Lyman direction. Mashovets reported that these VDV elements are mainly attacking towards the Ukrainian rear areas north of Bakhmut, while elements of the 2nd Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) Army Corps and 3rd Army Corps (either of the Western or Central Military District) are fighting south of Bakhmut.... The Ukrainian General Staff reported unsuccessful Russian assaults near Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and east of Pivdenne (20km southwest of Bakhmut).
Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka direction on November 20 and reportedly advanced. ...The Ukrainian General Staff reported unsuccessful Russian assaults east of Novobakhmutivka (10km northeast of Avdiivka) and Novokalynove and near Stepove (5km northwest of Avdiivka), Sieverne (5km west of Avdiivka), and Avdiivka itself. Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade Spokesperson Dmytro Lazutkin noted that recent snowfall in the Avdiivka area has impacted operations and limited visibility for both Ukrainian and Russian forces but reported that Russian forces continue efforts to break through to Avdiivka with small infantry assault groups.
Russia’s apparent hybrid warfare tactic on the Russian-Finnish border is similar to Russia’s and Belarus’ creation of a migrant crisis on the Polish border in 2021 and is likely similarly aimed at destabilizing NATO. ISW previously assessed that the Kremlin enabled, or possibly directly controlled, Belarus’ artificial creation of a migrant crisis on its border with Poland in 2021, when Belarusian security personnel aided thousands of Middle Eastern migrants in crossing the Belarusian border to Poland. The Kremlin exploited the manufactured crisis in 2021 to falsely accuse NATO of aggression against Belarus. Peskov responded to Finland’s accession into NATO on April 4, threatening that Russia would take any “countermeasures [deemed necessary] to ensure [Russia’s] own security.” The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs similarly stated on April 4 that Russia will be “forced to take retaliatory measures” and that Finland’s accession to NATO “cannot but have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish bilateral relations.” ISW previously assessed that the Kremlin may be attempting to set information space conditions to destabilize the NATO states on Russian borders and distract from the war in Ukraine. ISW has also consistently assessed that one of Putin’s goals in launching the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 was to break up NATO – a goal he continues to pursue.