As the war enters its 636th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation as of Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
- Ukraine says fighting has intensified around the Russian-held town of Bakhmut. Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesman for the Ukrainian ground forces, said Russia had focused its attacks on Klishchiivka, a nearby village retaken by Ukrainian forces in September. “Eleven attacks have been prevented in the last 24 hours,” he said. “The enemy is trying to dislodge our men from defensive positions around Klishchiivka.” Russia’s defense ministry says it has repelled more than 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around Bakhmut over the past week.
- Ukrainian authorities say three people have been killed and one injured in Russian shelling in southern Kherson and the central Dnipropetrovsk regions. Some power lines and gas pipelines were also damaged.
- Ukrainian police said a soldier and a woman were killed when a grenade exploded in an apartment in Kyiv. The cause of the explosion, which injured a second man, was not immediately determined.
- The US State Department says it has banned Russian Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Russian Guard Corporal Daniil Frolkin from entering the US because of their alleged involvement in human rights violations in the Ukrainian town of Andriivka.
Politics and diplomacy
- Ukraine has fired two top cyber-defense officials – Yury Shchyhol, head of Ukraine’s State Special Communications Service, and his deputy Victor Zhora – amid an ongoing investigation into corruption in software purchases.
- Fox Corp Chief Executive Lachlan Murdoch traveled to Kyiv where he met with 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 that Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who was seriously injured covering the conflict last year, and Jerome Starkey, a journalist for the United Kingdom’s tabloid The Sun were also at the meeting.
- In an interview with The Sun that was also published by the UK’s Times newspaper, which is part of the same media group, Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to stir up tension from the Balkans to the Middle East. “Ukraine today [is] at the center of these global risks of this Third World War,” said Zelenskyy. Urging Ukraine’s allies to continue their military support, he acknowledged the lack of progress in some areas of the battlefield, but noted successes in the Black Sea. “We are actually deploying part of the Russian fleet,” he told the paper. “We did it.”
- Russia has put Ukrainian singer Jamala, who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, on its wish list. Independent Russian news site Mediazona said Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladinova, was charged under a law that prohibits the spread of 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 his priority was “to remind that foreigners came to my house to kill and cut life, to destroy and write down -also in my culture”. He 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 in Japan .
- US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an unannounced visit to Kyiv and unveiled an additional $100m package to provide artillery ammunition, interceptors for air defense and anti-aircraft weapons. – tank. Austin promised Zelenskyy that US support is for “long-term delivery”. He also met with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.