Ukraine war live updates: Moscow claims Ukraine is seeing 'colossal losses' after crossing river into Russian-occupied territory


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 19, 2022. Putin likely wanted to show that Moscow is still important in the Middle East by visiting Iran, said John Drennan of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Sergei Savostyanov | AFP | Getty Images

The Kremlin declined on Wednesday to comment on a suggestion by White House spokesman John Kirby that Iran may be considering providing Russia with ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine.

“We are developing relations with Iran, including in the field of military-technical cooperation, but we do not comment on this information,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a regular news briefing.

Kirby said the United States would monitor the situation between Iran and Russia, and take appropriate action as needed.

— Reuters

There are question marks over whether Russia is scaling back attacks on the eastern Ukraininan city of Avdiivka, or preparing for a “third wave” of assaults.

The town has experienced intense assaults by Russian forces in recent weeks as they try to encircle the strategically important town and its coke and chemical plant. Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun said Tuesday that Ukraine had observed fewer attacks from Russian forces and a reduction in air attacks, however.

A view of Ukraine’s Avdiivka city as an airstrike on the Metinvest coke plant is seen in the background on Oct. 30, 2023.

Libkos | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“Russian occupying forces have reduced the number of ground and air attacks, though they still violate the rules of war by shooting at medical teams and evacuation vehicles,” Shtupun told national television, in comments reported by Sky News.

Still, Shtupun noted that “the invaders are not abandoning their plans to surround Avdiivka. Eight attacks were repelled today,” he said Tuesday.

The head of Avdiivka’s military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, noted on the Avdiivka Telegram account that Russian forces were waiting for the weather to improve, and were regrouping in preparation for “the third wave of assault.”

— Holly Ellyatt

A Ukrainian tank crew member of the 21st Mechanized Brigade in the hatch of a German-made Leopard 2A5 battle tank near the front line in an undisclosed location in the Lyman direction of the Donetsk region, on Nov. 21, 2023.

Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | Getty Images

Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations in the east and south of the country despite rainy and snowy weather conditions, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War noted Tuesday.

Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Military Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan noted on Monday that Russian shelling of the west bank of the Kherson region had decreased in light of poor weather conditions while Nadiya Zamryha, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian 14th Mechanized Brigade, noted Tuesday that Russian forces continue to conduct assaults in the Kupyansk area in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine despite the snow and frost.

The ISW also noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the need to strengthen Ukrainian capabilities before winter during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday.

So-called “milbloggers” have also been commenting on deteriorating weather conditions. Milbloggers have become a key feature of the Russian pro-war information space, although some have been critical of the defense ministry and its war strategy.

“Russian milbloggers claimed on November 20 and 21 that both Russian and Ukrainian forces are struggling to operate drones, including for artillery fire adjustment, in the poor weather conditions throughout the front,” the ISW noted in analysis Tuesday.

“Russian milbloggers also claimed that muddy conditions are complicating vehicle movements but that both Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to maneuver and operate in all directions,” it said.

“[The] ISW continues to assess that freezing weather conditions during the winter will likely prompt the resumption of more active combat operations, and ongoing rainy weather is unlikely to halt Ukrainian or Russian attacks,” it added.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed Tuesday that Ukraine has failed to achieve any breakthrough on the east (left) bank of the Dnieper river in the Russian-occupied part of the southern Kherson region.

Ukrainian and Russian officials confirmed last week that Ukrainian units had managed to cross the Dnieper river — which has effectively acted as a front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces on either side of the wide waterway — and had established several footholds in villages on the east bank of the river.

Ukrainian marines move through trees at the frontline close to the Dnipro river near Kherson, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

Mstyslav Chernov | AP

Russia confirmed the crossing had taken place but promised to inflict “hell” on the Ukrainian units that had entered occupied territory and intense fighting has been reported around several villages as Russian forces counterattack.

Shoigu said Tuesday that Ukrainian Marines and Special Ops personnel were suffering huge losses while trying to gain ground there.

Ukrainian servicemen walk on the shore of Dnipro river after exiting a boat at the frontline near Kherson, Ukraine, Sunday Oct. 15, 2023. 

Mstyslav Chernov | AP

Ukrainian soldiers navigate on the Dnipro river by boat at the frontline near Kherson, Ukraine, Sunday, June 11, 2023.

Mstyslav Chernov | AP

Shoigu then claimed that Ukraine had lost 13,700 military personnel since the start of November. He also said that Ukraine had lost 1,800 pieces of military hardware. 

CNBC was unable to verify the claims made by Shoigu or the battlefield assessment.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia cannot co-exist with the current Ukrainian “regime” and will resist the might of the NATO military alliance for as long as Moscow needs to achieve its aims, a senior Russian foreign ministry diplomat said on Tuesday.

“The current regime is absolutely toxic, we do not see any options for co-existence with it at the moment,” Russian Ambassador-at-Large Rodion Miroshnik told reporters in Moscow.

People walk past the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on April 5, 2022. ties.

Alexander Nemenov | AFP | Getty Images

Miroshnik said Ukraine had carried out crimes against civilians and that NATO had supplied forbidden weapons to Ukraine but that the West would eventually lose interest in Ukraine.

“We can resist NATO just as much as we need to fulfil the tasks that the president has formulated,” Miroshnik said.

— Reuters

The Kremlin described Ukraine’s 2014 revolution, which Kyiv is commemorating on Tuesday, as a foreign-sponsored coup.

Nov. 21 marks the beginning of pro-European mass protests in Ukraine in 2013 that led to the “Maidan” revolution in February 2014 and the ousting of Ukraine’s then pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich.

Anti-government protesters guard the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan, on Feb. 19, 2014, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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As Ukraine marks what has come to be known as the “Day of Dignity and Freedom,” commemorating the uprising, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Maidan revolution was the result of foreign interference.

“The fact that it was sponsored from abroad has been acknowledged, directly and indirectly, by representatives of foreign countries. That is no secret to anyone,” Peskov said.

“We call it “Maidan,” but in fact it was a coup, a forceful coup that was sponsored from abroad. We must call things by their proper names,” Peskov said, according to comments reported by news agency Tass.

“The fact that it was sponsored from abroad, was directly and indirectly recognized by representatives of foreign countries. This is also no secret to anyone,” he said. Peskov did not present evidence for the claim, one that Russia has made repeatedly.

The 2014 Maidan revolution marked a more definite split with Russia which, shortly afterward, invaded and annexed Crimea.

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians that they must be tenacious in the battle against Russia, as Kyiv commemorated pro-Western uprisings that cemented its split with Russia.

Celebrated as the “Day of Dignity and Freedom,” Nov. 21 is a public holiday established to honor the beginning of two anti-Russian uprisings in Ukraine — the Revolution of 2004 and 2014’s Revolution of Dignity that began with a wave of pro-European and anti-Russian protests, known as the Euromaidan or Maidan uprising, 10 years ago.

The 2013-2014 protests in Ukraine were a catalyst for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

“10 years ago, we started a new page in the struggle. 10 years ago, Ukrainians launched their first counteroffensive. Against lawlessness, against the attempt to deprive us of our European future. Against our subjugation,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

“We fought and we are still fighting. Both in the center of the capital back then and on the outskirts of Bakhmut now. On Hrushevskoho Street then and near Kharkiv, near Kherson, near Avdiivka now … We have to be strong. Because people believe in the strong only, and only the strong create the future. Only the strong can be united.”

— Holly Ellyatt



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