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Russia-Ukraine war – live: Kyiv’s troops dig in as Putin’s forces make advances around key city in east

Ukrainian troops have dug in along the eastern front as Russian forces made minor gains in their attempts to take a key city along that line.

Under the Russian army chief Valery Gerasimov, a general known for his appetite for heavy, vehicle-driven assaults, Russian forces have been attempting to double-envelope the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Footage posted by Ukrainian drone pilots two days ago confirmed that Russian troops had made advances seven kilometres northwest of Avdiivka.

But to the immediate west of Avdiivka, more footage showed at least 20 Russian armoured vehicles piled up after being struck by Ukrainian counter battery fire.

The Russian assault on the eastern Ukrainian city has been costly for the attacking forces.

Ukrainian General Valery Zaluzhny said last week that they believed Russia had lost over 100 tanks and 250 armoured vehicles in the past six weeks through their Avdiivka assault alone.

Key Points

  • Ukraine targets Moscow in major drone assault

  • Explosions heard overnight in Kyiv as Putin launches biggest drone attack yet

  • Vladimir Putin suffering losses ‘well behind the front line’, says UK

  • Ukrainian troops ‘standing their ground’ in battle for Avdiivka, claims Kyiv

Russia makes gains around Avdiivka

Sunday 26 November 2023 12:00 , Tom Watling

Russian troops have made confirmed gains around a key Ukrainian city in the east, geolocated footage has shown.

Footage provided by Ukrainian first-person-view drone pilots showed Russian troops had advanced around seven kilometres northwest of Avdiivka.

Russian troops were spotted north of Krasnohorivka by Ukrainian drone pilots (Telegram)
Russian troops were spotted north of Krasnohorivka by Ukrainian drone pilots (Telegram)

Half a million people without power in Crimea

10:11 , Alex Ross

Almost half a million people have been left without power and one person was killed after a storm in the Black Sea area flooded roads, ripped up trees and took down power lines in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said.

The storm also hit southern Russia and sent waves flooding into the beach resort of Sochi, blew the roof off a five-story building off in Anapa and damaged homes and schools in Kuban, the state news agency said.

It was part of a weather front that earlier left one person dead and hundreds of places without electricity amid heavy snowfall and strong blizzards in Romania and Moldova on Sunday.

The storm prompted several Crimean regions to declare a state of emergency after it became the strongest recorded in the past 16 years with wind speeds reaching 144 kph (almost 90 mph), Tatyana Lyubetskaya, a Russia-installed official at the Crimean environmental monitoring department, told Tass.

The government in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, told people to stay at home on Monday and closed government offices including schools and hospitals as strong winds are still expected Monday.

Russia forced to move air defence systems out of Kaliningrad

09:15 , Alex Ross

Russia is having to move several air defence systems from the Baltic Sea coast to the frontline after losses to its SA-21 air defence systems in occupied Ukraine, according to UK Ministry of Defence.

Ukrainian attacks most likely destroyed at least four Russian surface-to-air missile systems that were located in occupied territories in a span of a single week, the MoD said in an earlier update on 2 November.

It now appears that Putin has been forced to move the systems from Kaliningrad, which is considered one of Moscow’s mosts strategically sensitive regions.

Russia forced to move air defences from Kaliningrad to Ukraine front after losses

Latest on Russian advances near Avdiivka

08:26 , Alex Ross

Russian armoured vehicles attacked Ukrainian positions on the south eastern part of the key city of Avdiivka on Sunday, according to the Institute for the Study of War think tank.

The group also says Putin’s forces have also made advances in the town of Krasnohorivka, around four miles north of Avdiivka.

The attacks illustrate the focus of Russian forces on capturing the city, which is 13 miles north of Donetsk and was an industrial centre before the war.

ICYMI: Russian consumers feel themselves in a tight spot as high inflation persists

07:00 , Matt Mathers

The shelves at Moscow supermarkets are full of fruit and vegetables, cheese and meat. But many of the shoppers look at the selection with dismay as inflation makes their wallets feel empty.

Russia’s Central Bank has raised its key lending rate four times this year to try to get inflation under control and stabilize the ruble’s exchange rate as the economy weathers the effects of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the Western sanctions imposed as a consequence.

Full report:

Russian consumers feel themselves in a tight spot as high inflation persists

ICYMI: Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

06:00 , Matt Mathers

Vladimir Putin has reportedly pardoned two Russian men convicted of cannibalism after they deployed to the frontline in the war with Ukraine.

One of the men, Denis Gorin, was recruited into a private military company after signing a contract with the Russian ministry of defence but is known to have been convicted thrice for murdering at least four people between 2003 and 2022. He was also convicted of eating the remains of his victims along with his brother, reported Sibir Realii, a news outlet aligned with Radio Free Europe.

Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea as Russia tries to capture a destroyed eastern city

05:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula since the full-scale war that started with Russia’s invasion 21 months ago, Russian officials said Friday.

At the same time, Ukrainian officials reported that the Kremlin’s forces escalated their weekslong and costly attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine.

Full report:

Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea

ICYMI: Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

04:00 , Matt Mathers

Slovakia’s new prime minister, Robert Fico, said on Friday he considers the war between Ukraine and Russia a frozen conflict that cannot be solved by sending arms to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Fico ended his country’s military aid for Ukraine after his new government was sworn in on Oct. 25.

Full report:

Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

Dead, wounded or AWOL: The voices of desperate Russian soldiers trying to get out of the Ukraine war

03:00 , Matt Mathers

In audio intercepts from the front lines in Ukraine, Russian soldiers speak in shorthand of 200s to mean dead, 300s to mean wounded. The urge to flee has become common enough that they also talk of 500s — people who refuse to fight.

As the war grinds into its second winter, a growing number of Russian soldiers want out, as suggested in secret recordings obtained by The Associated Press of Russian soldiers calling home from the battlefields of the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine.

Full report:

Dead, wounded or AWOL: The voices of desperate Russian soldiers trying to get out of the Ukraine war

'You’ll die in this pit': Takeaways from secret recordings of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

02:00 , Matt Mathers

Secretly recorded calls of Russian soldiers speaking from the front lines in Ukraine with loved ones back home offer a rare glimpse of the war through Russian eyes.

As the war in Ukraine grinds into its second winter, a growing number of Russian soldiers want out, audio intercepts obtained and verified by The Associated Press indicate. Russian soldiers speak in shorthand of 200s to mean dead, 300s to mean wounded. The urge to flee has become common enough that they also talk of 500s — people who refuse to fight.

Full report:

'You’ll die in this pit': Takeaways from secret recordings of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

ICYMI: Kyiv hit by biggest Russian drone attack since war began

01:00 , Matt Mathers

Russia has launched its most intense drone attack on Ukraine since its full-scale invasion in 2022, targeting Kyiv.

Moscow launched around 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against Ukraine, of which 71 were destroyed by air defense, Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Full report:

Kyiv hit by biggest Russian drone attack since war began

Zelensky: ‘Ukraine will not lose its strength or freedom'

00:05 , Maira Butt

President Zelensky took to X, formerly known as Twitter on Saturday to post a rousing message to citizens reassuring them that “Ukraine will not lose its strength or freedom”.

He added: “I am proud of all Ukrainians who have managed to bring security back to the Black Sea so that Ukrainian ports can once again work for global food security and our exports.

“I am grateful to all leaders and countries who help us confront Russian terror and protect lives. Every nation in the Danube Region and across Europe that supports our Solidarity Lanes proves ok practice that Russia will no longer succeed in destroying nations as it did in the 20th century.

“We are not just defending our free European way of life, Ukraine, and the whole of Europe from Russian aggression; we are also defending humanity and helping the world not to fall into Russia’s trap.”

In case you missed it: Ukraine targets Moscow in major drone assault

Sunday 26 November 2023 23:11 , Maira Butt

Ukrainian drones targeted four Russian regions, the country’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

It comes after Ukraine capital Kyiv faced Vladimir Putin’s biggest drone attack in the early hours of Saturday.

The drones targeted four regions: Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk. At least 20 drones were intercepted in the Russian capital, said Moscow’s officials.

One person was left injured in Tula after an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, said the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin.

Flights were delayed or cancelled at Moscow’s main airports due to the attacks, reported the Kommersant newspaper.

One person was injured in Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin said.

In pictures: Ukraine defends itself against drone attack

Sunday 26 November 2023 22:03 , Maira Butt

view of damaged building as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on November 26, 2023 (Anadolu via Getty Images)
view of damaged building as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on November 26, 2023 (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldier walks with his dog towards his fighting position in the direction of Gorlivka, as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldier walks with his dog towards his fighting position in the direction of Gorlivka, as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast (Anadolu via Getty Images)
A rescuer working at the site of a drone attack in Kyiv. Ukraine said on November 25, 2023 it had downed 71 Russian attack drones overnight in what Kyiv authorities said was the biggest attack on the capital (UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE/AFP)
A rescuer working at the site of a drone attack in Kyiv. Ukraine said on November 25, 2023 it had downed 71 Russian attack drones overnight in what Kyiv authorities said was the biggest attack on the capital (UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE/AFP)

Zelensky: Sky defenders on duty ‘24/7'

Sunday 26 November 2023 21:02 , Maira Butt

President Zelensky thanked Ukraine’s Air Force pilots and engineers, anti-aircraft gunners and mobile fire groups on Sunday.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he said:

“Our sky defenders are on combat duty 24/7. They destroy enemy missiles and drones, saving lives and critical infrastructure.

“I thank our Air Force pilots and engineers, anti-aircraft gunners, and mobile fire groups. We are making every effort to strengthen our sky shield.”

Growing number of Russian soldiers ‘want out’ of war

Sunday 26 November 2023 20:04 , Maira Butt

Audio intercepts obtained and verified by the Associated Press appear to show that a growing number of Russian soliders want to leave the war against Ukraine.

Secretly recorded calls of Russian soldiers speaking from the front lines in Ukraine with loved ones back home offer a rare glimpse of the war through Russian eyes.

As the war in Ukraine grinds into its second winter, a growing number of Russian soldiers want out, audio intercepts obtained and verified by The Associated Press indicate. Russian soldiers speak in shorthand of 200s to mean dead, 300s to mean wounded. The urge to flee has become common enough that they also talk of 500s — people who refuse to fight.

These conversations also show clearly how the war has progressed, from the professional soldiers who initially powered Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion to men from all walks of life compelled to serve in grueling conditions.

(Associated Press)

Over 2,100 rucks stuck at Polish border due to blockade

Sunday 26 November 2023 19:14 , Maira Butt

Polish farmers striking on the border to Ukraine have led to delays in trucks getting to the country, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Over 2,100 trucks are stuck at the Polish border according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure.

The crossing which is the site of Ukraine’s largest cargo deliveries, usually lets in 680 trucks a day. This has been reduced to a trickle of a few dozen due to the blocking of the crossing.

The Polish truckers have been protesting since 6 November against the loosening of EU transport rules for Ukrainian trucks.

Ukraine attacks Russian military targets with 35 drones

Sunday 26 November 2023 18:00 , Maira Butt

In response to Russia’s mass attacks using Iranian-made Shahed drones on Saturday, Ukraine’s Pravda has reported that Ukraine’s military struck back with 35 drones targeting Russian military targets on Sunday.

It comes after Kyiv was hit by its biggest drone attack since the war began.

According to Pravda’s military intelligence source, the operation was to signal that Russia’s strikes against civilians would be met with consequences.

“The war must be fought with the military in the war zones. Strikes on civilians and outside the war zone will not go unanswered,” source said as cited by the media.

World’s attention must ‘stay on Ukraine’, warns ex-Nato chief

Sunday 26 November 2023 16:45 , Maira Butt

The world’s attention must “stay on Ukraine” as the Russian invasion continues, a former Nato secretary-general has warned.

Lord George Robertson said Russian president Vladimir Putin would be emboldened to extend the attacks beyond Ukraine if foreign governments stop providing weaponry.

“We have got to keep the world’s attention focused on Ukraine because they are involved in a fight with Russia that has got huge implications for all of us as well.”

He added: “We cannot allow the Ukraine conflict to go down the attention span. That suits Vladimir Putin and nobody else.”

Dead, wounded or AWOL: The voices of desperate Russian soldiers trying to get out of the Ukraine war

Sunday 26 November 2023 15:45 , Tom Watling

In audio intercepts from the front lines in Ukraine, Russian soldiers speak in shorthand of 200s to mean dead, 300s to mean wounded. The urge to flee has become common enough that they also talk of 500s — people who refuse to fight.

As the war grinds into its second winter, a growing number of Russian soldiers want out, as suggested in secret recordings obtained by The Associated Press of Russian soldiers calling home from the battlefields of the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine.

The calls offer a rare glimpse of the war as it looked through Russian eyes — a point of view that seldom makes its way into Western media, largely because Russia has made it a crime to speak honestly about the conflict in Ukraine. They also show clearly how the war has progressed, from the professional soldiers who initially powered Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion to men from all walks of life compelled to serve in grueling conditions.

Dead, wounded or AWOL: The voices of desperate Russian soldiers trying to get out of the Ukraine war

Heavy snow covers Ukraine roads as Russian forces advance

Sunday 26 November 2023 15:00 , Tom Watling

Heavy snowfall has started to fall in southern Ukraine, with other areas set to be affected across the country.

Oleg Kiper, head of the Odessa Regional State Administration, posted footage of the situation in the southern region to Telegram this morning. A video posted below shows the extreme conditions.

He wrote: “In view of the bad weather, I am asking you: please do not go out on the roads. Wait out adverse weather conditions at home.

“Currently, the roads are slippery, there are snowdrifts, impassable places, traffic jams, and road accidents.”

Oleksiy Kuleba, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said they “expect snow, freezing rain and strong wind in most regions” in Ukraine from this evening.

While these conditions will prove difficult for civilians across the country, they will be especially felt by soldiers along the 600-mile frontline.

Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

Sunday 26 November 2023 14:15 , Tom Watling

Slovakia’s new prime minister, Robert Fico, said on Friday he considers the war between Ukraine and Russia a frozen conflict that cannot be solved by sending arms to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Fico ended his country’s military aid for Ukraine after his new government was sworn in on Oct. 25.

After meeting his Czech counterpart, Petr Fiala, in Prague on Friday, he said he would prefer the Russian and Ukrainian sides sit at a negotiation table. He didn’t say how to achieve that.

Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

Russia has ‘likely’ moved strategic air defence systems from exclave

Sunday 26 November 2023 13:30 , Tom Watling

Russia has “likely moved” air defence systems from the exclave of Kaliningrad to “backfill recent losses” on the mainland and in occupied Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defence has said.

Russia puts Meta's spokesperson on wanted list - TASS

Sunday 26 November 2023 12:30 , Tom Watling

Russia has put Meta Platforms’ spokesperson Andy Stone on a wanted list on unspecified charges, state-run TASS news agency reported on Sunday.

TASS said the Russian Interior Ministry had opened a criminal investigation against Stone but that the ministry had not disclosed the details of the investigation or charges.

Meta’s main social platforms - Facebook and Instagram - were both banned in Russia shortly after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

In March 2022 the Russian investigative committee said it has opened criminal investigation against the “illegal actions of Meta’s employees” and mentioned Stone, saying he had “lifted a ban on calls for violence against the Russian military on its platforms” and was thus inciting extremist activity.

Meta’s press office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request seeking comment from Stone and Meta out of normal business hours.

Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

Sunday 26 November 2023 10:56 , Tom Watling

Vladimir Putin has reportedly pardoned two Russian men convicted of cannibalism after they deployed to the frontline in the war with Ukraine.

One of the men, Denis Gorin, was recruited into a private military company after signing a contract with the Russian ministry of defence but is known to have been convicted thrice for murdering at least four people between 2003 and 2022.

He was also convicted of eating the remains of his victims along with his brother, reported Sibir Realii, a news outlet aligned with Radio Free Europe.

Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

Ukraine holds meeting with NATO officials

Sunday 26 November 2023 10:24 , Tom Watling

Ukraine has held a meeting with NATO officials to discuss “adopting standards” of the alliance and strengthen the Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian defence minister Rustem Umerov met with president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Michał Szczerba.

'You’ll die in this pit': Takeaways from secret recordings of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

Sunday 26 November 2023 09:50 , Tom Watling

Secretly recorded calls of Russian soldiers speaking from the front lines in Ukraine with loved ones back home offer a rare glimpse of the war through Russian eyes.

As the war in Ukraine grinds into its second winter, a growing number of Russian soldiers want out, audio intercepts obtained and verified by The Associated Press indicate. Russian soldiers speak in shorthand of 200s to mean dead, 300s to mean wounded. The urge to flee has become common enough that they also talk of 500s — people who refuse to fight.

These conversations also show clearly how the war has progressed, from the professional soldiers who initially powered Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion to men from all walks of life compelled to serve in grueling conditions.

'You’ll die in this pit': Takeaways from secret recordings of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

One injured in Ukrainian strike on Tula

Sunday 26 November 2023 09:22 , Tom Watling

One person was injured in Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region’s governor, Alexei Dyumin, has said.

Half a dozen drones damage buildings around Moscow

Sunday 26 November 2023 08:48 , Tom Watling

Below are some more details about the Ukrainian drone strikes on Russia mainland overnight.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said there had been an “attempted mass drone attack”. He said multiple regions on the outskirts of the Russian capital had been affected, mainly to the southwest of Moscow.

The Russian Ministry of Defence later claimed this morning that they had “destroyed four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the territory of the Bryansk, Smolensk and Tula regions”.

Smolensk is by the Belarusian border north of Ukraine. Bryansk is 150 miles south, towards Ukraine. Tula is 111 miles directly south of Moscow.

The governor of the Moscow Region, Andrey Vorobyov, said the Podolsk district on the southern outskirts of Moscow and the Ramensky region to the southeast were also targeted. He claimed they were five drones downed.

He said: “In 3 cases there was damage to buildings on the ground; fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries.”

Multiple areas to the southwest of Moscow, including the Naro-Fominsk and Odintsovo urban districts, were affected, according to Mr Sobyanin.

Ukraine says it downs 8 Russian drones in overnight attack

Sunday 26 November 2023 08:15 , Tom Watling

The Ukrainian military destroyed eight of nine attack drones launched overnight by Russia, the air force said on Sunday.

There were no immediate reports of damage or about where the remaining drone had struck.

The attack, which the air force said was launched from the southeast, came a day after what Ukrainian officials said had been Russia’s largest drone attack of the war.

Ukraine has warned in recent weeks that Russia will target critical infrastructure in a winter aerial campaign, as it did last year.

World’s attention must ‘stay on Ukraine’, warns ex-Nato chief

Sunday 26 November 2023 08:00 , Anuj Pant

The world’s attention must “stay on Ukraine” as the Russian invasion continues, a former Nato secretary-general has warned.

Lord George Robertson said Russian president Vladimir Putin would be emboldened to extend the attacks beyond Ukraine if foreign governments stop providing weaponry.

It comes amid a four-day pause in the Israel-Hamas conflict, with the situation in the Middle East dominating much of the news agenda.

Read more below.

World’s attention must ‘stay on Ukraine’, warns ex-Nato chief

Footage shows moment Ukrainian strike western Russia

Sunday 26 November 2023 07:45 , Tom Watling

Footage has shown the moment Ukrainian drones struck across western Russia, including in the capital of Moscow.

Drones hit the Kaluga and Tula region around the capital as well as nearby Bryansk.

It comes 24 hours after Russia launched its largest drone assault on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in months, firing 75 Iranian-made kamikaze UAVs at the city.

The damage of those attacks was kept to a minimum - 74 out of 75 Shahed drones were shot down - but at least five people were nonetheless hospitalised.

Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea as Russia tries to capture a destroyed eastern city

Sunday 26 November 2023 07:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula since the full-scale war that started with Russia’s invasion 21 months ago, Russian officials said Friday.

At the same time, Ukrainian officials reported that the Kremlin’s forces escalated their weekslong and costly attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine.

Full report:

Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea

Ukraine targets Moscow in major drone assault

Sunday 26 November 2023 06:12 , Anuj Pant

Ukrainian drones targeted four Russian regions, the country’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

It comes after Ukraine capital Kyiv faced Vladimir Putin’s biggest drone attack in the early hours of Saturday.

The drones targeted four regions: Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk. At least 20 drones were intercepted in the Russian capital, said Moscow’s officials.

One person was left injured in Tula after an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, said the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin.

Flights were delayed or cancelled at Moscow’s main airports due to the attacks, reported the Kommersant newspaper.

One person was injured in Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin said.

Russian consumers feel themselves in a tight spot as high inflation persists

Sunday 26 November 2023 06:00 , Matt Mathers

The shelves at Moscow supermarkets are full of fruit and vegetables, cheese and meat. But many of the shoppers look at the selection with dismay as inflation makes their wallets feel empty.

Russia’s Central Bank has raised its key lending rate four times this year to try to get inflation under control and stabilize the ruble’s exchange rate as the economy weathers the effects of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the Western sanctions imposed as a consequence.

Full report:

Russian consumers feel themselves in a tight spot as high inflation persists

Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

Sunday 26 November 2023 05:00 , Matt Mathers

Vladimir Putin has reportedly pardoned two Russian men convicted of cannibalism after they deployed to the frontline in the war with Ukraine.

One of the men, Denis Gorin, was recruited into a private military company after signing a contract with the Russian ministry of defence but is known to have been convicted thrice for murdering at least four people between 2003 and 2022.

He was also convicted of eating the remains of his victims along with his brother, reported Sibir Realii, a news outlet aligned with Radio Free Europe.

Arpan Rai reports:

Putin pardons two cannibals who joined Russia’s war in Ukraine – report

Putin to boost AI work in Russia to fight western ‘monopoly'

Sunday 26 November 2023 04:00 , Sam Rkaina

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a plan to endorse a national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence, claiming it’s essential to prevent a western ‘monopoly’.

Speaking at an AI conference in Moscow on Friday, Putin noted that “it’s imperative to use Russian solutions in the field of creating reliable and transparent artificial intelligence systems that are also safe for humans.”

“Monopolistic dominance of such foreign technology in Russia is unacceptable, dangerous and inadmissible,” Putin said.

He noted that “many modern systems, trained on western data are intended for the western market” and “reflect that part of western ethics, norms of behavior, public policy to which we object.”

During his more than two decades in power, Putin has overseen a multi-pronged crackdown on the opposition and civil society groups, and promoted “traditional values” to counter purported western influence — policies that have become even more oppressive after he sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Monument to soldier shot dead after declaring ‘Glory to Ukraine'

Sunday 26 November 2023 03:00 , Sam Rkaina

A Ukrainian soldier posthumously awarded a medal after a widely shared video showed him declaring “Glory to Ukraine“ before apparently being shot dead, has been commemorated with a statue in his hometown.

The video shared in March showed a man the military later named as Oleksandr Matsievskiy, a sniper with a unit from the region of Chernihiv, saying “Slava Ukraini,” a phrase more than a century old that has become a popular expression of resistance to Russia’s February 2022 invasion.

Standing smoking a cigarette in a wooded area, carrying no visible weaponry, Matsievskiy is then seen slumping to the ground, apparently struck repeatedly by unseen shooters.

Kyiv blamed “brutal and brazen” Russians for his death, as did his mother Paraska Demchuk, 68.

“He would have taken all of them with him if he had a grenade,” she said, as she proudly showed the medal President Volodymyr Zelenskiy bestowed on her son representing the “Hero of Ukraine“ honour.

“He would say to me, ‘Mum, I will never let them capture me’,” she said through tears. “He wouldn’t just bandy words about. It was on the inside, it was like a core inside him,” she said.

Kyiv has opened a criminal investigation into the death of Matsievskiy, who was quickly talked of as a hero on social media, where many supporters posted the words “Heroyam Slava,” or “Glory to the Heroes,” the traditional response to Slava Ukraini.

Attack carried out on anniversary of Soviet famine

Sunday 26 November 2023 02:00 , Matt Mathers

The attack on Kyiv was carried out on the morning of Holodomor Memorial Day, which commemorates the manmade famine in Soviet Ukraine that killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933. It is marked on the fourth Saturday in November.

Speaking at the Grain from Ukraine summit on Saturday, which saw leaders and parliamentary representatives from Belgium, Ireland, Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv to discuss global food security, the Ukrainian president warned that “if (Russian President Vladimir) Putin could arrange another Holodomor for Ukraine, he would do it.

Besides Kyiv, the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kirovohrad regions were also targeted.

Meanwhile, shelling killed one person and wounded three in the southern Kherson region, regional Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin said Saturday. According to Prokudin, the region had been shelled 100 times over the previous 24 hours.

 (UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE/AFP)
(UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE/AFP)

Recap: Thousands left without power after attacks

Sunday 26 November 2023 01:00 , Matt Mathers

At least five civilians were wounded in the hourslong assault on Kyiv, which saw several buildings damaged by falling debris from downed drones, including a kindergarten.

The wounded included an 11-year-old child, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. In the city’s Solomiansky district, debris left a crater in the courtyard of a residential area, and the windows of a nearby building were blown out.

Residents, most of them elderly, received medical attention at the scene. Others took shelter in a nearby subway station.

As people were clearing up debris and broken glass in the neighborhood, the hum of a fresh wave of drones could be heard nearby.

The assault on Kyiv began at 4 a.m. local time, continuing in waves for more than six hours, and caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, according to Popko.

Ukraine‘s Energy Ministry said 17,000 people were without power in the Kyiv region as a result of the attack, noting that four power lines were damaged. Power was restored in the early afternoon.

“Our soldiers shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram. “But we continue to work to strengthen our air defense and shoot down more.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Recap: Largest drone attack in war so far

Sunday 26 November 2023 00:01 , Sam Rkaina

Russia on Saturday morning launched its most intense drone attack on Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion in 2022, targeting the Ukrainian capital, military officials said.

In total, Russia launched 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against Ukraine, of which 74 were destroyed by air defenses, Ukraine‘s air force said.

“Kyiv was the main target,” Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on his Telegram channel.

The attack was “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv,” said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city administration.

Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat confirmed later that the air defenses shot down 66 air targets over the capital and surrounding region throughout the morning.

EU pledges 50 million for Ukraine port repairs

Saturday 25 November 2023 23:00 , Sam Rkaina

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged support in a letter to Zelensky that she shared on X, saying the Commission would make available 50 million euros for “quick repairs and upgrades of infrastructure in Ukraine‘s ports.”

The Ukrainian president said Kyiv hoped to solve its air defence shortage through new supplies from partners and increasing its own production capacity, something on which he said there had been progress.

“As of today, I can’t say details what we are making and where, but there is progress,” he said.

Zelensky blames Polish and Slovak trucker protesters on internal politics

Saturday 25 November 2023 22:10 , Sam Rkaina

Ukraine, a major exporter of grain, has been exporting grain via unilateral corridors through the Black sea, after Russia withdrew in July from a UN-brokered deal to allow grain ships through its blockade.

Ukraine‘s current Black sea grain export corridors all start from ports in Ukraine‘s southern region of Odesa.

“There are certain air defence systems... we are asking for them,” Zelensky said. “We’ve already got an answer when those systems will start to guard that region. Because there, both the corridor and the people are important.”

Asked about the protests by Polish and Slovak truckers which have blocked much of Ukraine‘s road-based cargo supply in recent days, Zelensky blamed the problem on the internal politics of those countries.

“I believe that there are difficulties on the border first and foremost because of certain political steps by our neighbours,” he told a press conference after the summit.

Zelensky said he was confident the issue would be solved if Ukraine‘s neighbours were given “a bit of time” to deal with the dispute.

Ukraine needs more air defences to protect grain exports, Zelensky urges

Saturday 25 November 2023 21:30 , Sam Rkaina

Ukraine needs more air defences to protect its grain export routes as well as regions bordering Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, as he addressed an international summit on food security in Kyiv.

“There is a deficit of air defence - that is no secret,” Zelensky told the Grain from Ukraine summit, which was attended by senior officials from European countries, including Swiss President Alain Berset and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte.

The president was speaking after Russia attacked Ukraine with 75 drones overnight, the biggest drone assault of the war. The joint press conference of the three leaders was cut short by another air raid siren.

Zelensky said Ukraine would be supplied by its foreign partners with vessels to accompany convoys of cargo ships from Ukraine‘s ports to guarantee their security.

“I have agreements with several countries about powerful accompaniment of convoys by Ukrainians, but using (foreign) equipment,” he said.

 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Putin to boost AI work in Russia to fight a Western monopoly he says is 'unacceptable and dangerous'

Saturday 25 November 2023 20:40 , Matt Mathers

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced a plan to endorse a national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence, emphasizing that it’s essential to prevent a Western monopoly.

Speaking at an AI conference in Moscow, Putin noted that “it’s imperative to use Russian solutions in the field of creating reliable and transparent artificial intelligence systems that are also safe for humans.”

Full report:

Putin to boost AI work in Russia to fight a Western monopoly he says is 'unacceptable and dangerous'

Kyiv hit by biggest Russian drone attack since war began

Saturday 25 November 2023 20:00 , Matt Mathers

Russia has launched its most intense drone attack on Ukraine since its full-scale invasion in 2022, targeting Kyiv.

Moscow launched around 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against Ukraine, of which 71 were destroyed by air defense, Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Full report:

Kyiv hit by biggest Russian drone attack since war began

Swiss president pledges more support for Ukraine in Kyiv visit

Saturday 25 November 2023 19:04 , Matt Mathers

Swiss President Alain Berset pledged his long-term support for Ukraine on Saturday in a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Kyiv, where he also attended an international summit on food security, the Swiss government said.

Ukraine is hosting an international summit to promote its efforts to export grain despite an ongoing Russian blockade of the Black Sea, its main export route.

"In talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President Berset stressed that Switzerland stands in solidarity with Ukraine for the long haul, even in times of multiple concurrent crises," the Swiss government said. Zelenskiy said on X that mine clearing, peace proposals and the use of profits from frozen Russian assets were also discussed.

Switzerland has previously said it has frozen some 7.5 billion Swiss francs ($8.5 billion) in Russian assets.

File photo: Swiss Federal President Alain Berset (' KEYSTONE / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE)
File photo: Swiss Federal President Alain Berset (' KEYSTONE / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE)

Blinken to attend NATO ministerial meeting on Russia, Balkans - US State Dept

Saturday 25 November 2023 18:16 , Matt Mathers

US secretary of state Antony Blinken will attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers next week to highlight the alliance’s commitment to Ukraine in its war against Russia, the State Department said on Saturday.

NATO is actively supporting Ukraine and Kyiv hopes one day to join the military bloc. NATO itself is not at war with Russia, a situation that Western leaders say they want to avoid given Moscow’s vast nuclear arsenal.

In a statement, the State Department also said Blinken would emphasize US support for democracy and regional stability in the western Balkans. NATO is examining a more permanent ramp up of troop numbers in the region to keep tensions under control.

The meeting will take place from Nov 27-29 in Brussels.

File photo: Antony Blinken (REUTERS)
File photo: Antony Blinken (REUTERS)

Ukraine needs more air defences to protect grain exports - Zelensky

Saturday 25 November 2023 17:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine needs more air defences to protect its grain export routes as well regions bordering Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, as he addressed an international summit on food security in Kyiv.

"There is a deficit of air defence - that is no secret," Zelensky told the Grain from Ukraine summit, which was attended by senior officials from European countries, including Swiss President Alain Berset and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte.

Zelensky was speaking after Russia attacked Ukraine with 75 drones overnight, the biggest drone assault of the war. The joint press conference of the three leaders was cut short by another air raid siren.

He said Ukraine would be supplied by its foreign partners with vessels to accompany convoys of cargo ships from Ukraine’s ports to guarantee their security.

"I have agreements with several countries about powerful accompaniment of convoys by Ukrainians, but using (foreign) equipment," he said.

The Ukrainian president also said Kyiv hoped to solve its air defence shortage through new supplies from partners and increasing its own production capacity, something on which he said there had been progress.

"As of today, I can’t say details what we are making and where, but there is progress," he said.

File photo:  Volodymyr Zelensky (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
File photo: Volodymyr Zelensky (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Kyiv nursery destroyed by Russian drone strike

Saturday 25 November 2023 16:15 , Tom Watling

Kyiv nursery destroyed by Russian drone strike

Kyiv suffers ‘largest ever’ drone attack by Russia leaving ‘five wounded’

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:45 , Tom Watling

Footage has been released showing multiple air defences at work in Kyiv last night as Russia launched its largest attack on the city in months.

You can see the footage below.

Israel and Ukraine could face each other in a playoff final for a spot at soccer's Euro 2024

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:54 , Tom Watling

Israel and Ukraine, two countries currently fighting wars, could face each other for a spot at next year’s European Championship.

The two national teams were put on the same qualifying path in Thursday’s playoff draw, with a possible deciding match in March.

Israel was paired with Iceland, while Ukraine will face Bosnia-Herzegovina in the playoff semifinals. The 12 playoff teams will play the six semifinal matches on March 21. All three finals are scheduled for March 26.

Neither Israel nor Ukraine can currently host games at home because the wars. If they both advance to the playoff final, they could meet in a neutral country.

Israel and Ukraine could face each other in a playoff final for a spot at soccer's Euro 2024

Top Ukraine adviser admits ‘winter will be tough’

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:20 , Tom Watling

A top adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged during a recent visit to Washington that the days ahead “will be tough” as his country battles Russia while US support from Congress hangs in the balance, it has been revealed.

President Joe Biden’s nearly $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other needs sits idle in Congress, neither approved nor rejected, but subjected to new political demands from Republicans who are insisting on U.S.-Mexico border policy changes to halt the flow of migrants.

When Congress returns this coming week from the holiday break, Biden’s request will be a top item on the to-do list, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Failure risks delaying U.S. military aid to Kyiv and Israel, along with humanitarian assistance for Gaza, in the midst of two wars, potentially undermining America’s global standing.

“It’s coming at a crucial time,” said Luke Coffey, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, which recently hosted Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, at the discussion in Washington.

Yermak, during his talk in Washington, was reportedly thankful for US support but nonetheless blunt about the need for more.

“I tell you the truth, this winter will be tough for us,” he said, urging Americans to back Ukraine at this “historical moment for all of us”.

Chief of Staff of Ukrainian Presidential Office Andriy Yermak speaks during a press conference (REUTERS)
Chief of Staff of Ukrainian Presidential Office Andriy Yermak speaks during a press conference (REUTERS)

Zelensky hosts Swiss president for international meeting

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:47 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has hosted his Swiss counterpart Alain Berset for “fruitful talks on humanitarian mine clearing, the use of profits from frozen Russian assets, and the Peace Formula”.

You can view a brief video of their meeting below.

Putin to boost AI work in Russia to fight a Western monopoly he says is 'unacceptable and dangerous'

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:00 , Tom Watling

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced a plan to endorse a national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence, emphasizing that it’s essential to prevent a Western monopoly.

Speaking at an AI conference in Moscow, Putin noted that “it’s imperative to use Russian solutions in the field of creating reliable and transparent artificial intelligence systems that are also safe for humans.”

“Monopolistic dominance of such foreign technology in Russia is unacceptable, dangerous and inadmissible,” Putin said.

He noted that “many modern systems, trained on Western data are intended for the Western market” and “reflect that part of Western ethics, norms of behavior, public policy to which we object.”

Putin to boost AI work in Russia to fight a Western monopoly he says is 'unacceptable and dangerous'

Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:18 , Tom Watling

Slovakia’s new prime minister, Robert Fico, said on Friday he considers the war between Ukraine and Russia a frozen conflict that cannot be solved by sending arms to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Fico ended his country’s military aid for Ukraine after his new government was sworn in on Oct. 25.

After meeting his Czech counterpart, Petr Fiala, in Prague on Friday, he said he would prefer the Russian and Ukrainian sides sit at a negotiation table. He didn’t say how to achieve that.

Slovak leader calls the war between Russia and Ukraine a frozen conflict

Ukrainian civilians enjoy live music during Russian drone attack - video

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:30 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian civilians gathered in the underground bomb shelters beneath Kyiv have been enjoying some live music while Russian drones swirled above the capital.

Russia launched its most significant long range drone attack in months overnight, lasting roughly six hours.