Ukraine war updates: Russia says co-existence not possible with Ukraine’s current ‘regime’; Kyiv marks uprising anniversary

A girl touches a photograph of her relative on the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine in the Russian-Ukrainian War in Kyiv on September 27, 2023. 

Sergei Supinsky | Afp | Getty Images

Over 10,000 civilians, including 560 children, have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said Tuesday.

At least another 18,500 civilians have been injured, the statement noted, adding that these were verified cases but the true number may be far higher.

Artillery shelling, rockets, cluster munitions and missiles were among the weapons that appear to lead to the most civilian casualties, often far from the frontlines of the war, the UN said.

— Sophie Kiderlin

German Defence minister Boris Pistorius (2ndR) and Ukraine’s Defence Minister Rustem Umerov (3rdR) listen to explanations about assault weapons during their visit of a training facility ouside Kyiv on November 21, 2023. The German Defence minister arrived in the Ukrainian capital on November 21, 2023 morning for a surprise visit to reaffirm Berlin’s backing for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s troops. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Ina Fassbender | Afp | Getty Images

Germany reportedly pledged Tuesday to give Ukraine another military aid package worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.42 billion).

Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius visited Kyiv on Tuesday where he made the announcement, Reuters reported. His visit comes a day after U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin also visited the Ukrainian capital and announced $100 million in new military aid for the country.

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Tuesday that no decision had been taken for now to dismiss two senior military commanders.

New Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov speaks to the media following the 15th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base on September 19, 2023 in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Umerov made the comment at a joint news conference alongside his German counterpart when asked about reports that Joint Forces commander Serhiy Nayev and Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, chief of Ukraine’s “Tavria” military command, could be fired.

“I must say that the decision has not yet been made, but we are doing everything possible to improve efficiency,” he told reporters.

— Reuters

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.

A group of Ukrainian marines at the bank of the Dnieper River at the front line near Kherson, Ukraine, on Oct. 14, 2023.

Alex Babenko | 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.

“All attempts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to conduct an amphibious operation in the Kherson direction were unsuccessful. Thanks to the proactive and professional actions of our military personnel, units of the Marine Corps and special operations forces of the Ukrainian troops are suffering colossal losses,” Shoigu said in a speech to defense ministry officials, without presenting evidence.

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.

Getty Images

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

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pose for a picture during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 27, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu have arrived in Kyiv, the Ukrainian presidential office said on Tuesday.

Sandu and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy honored the memory of people who died during the Revolution of Dignity 10 year ago, the office said on social media platform X.

— Reuters

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

Anatoly Antonov, Russian ambassador to the United States.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The aid includes anti-tank weapons, artillery ammunition and another High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. Announcing the latest tranche of aid during a visit to Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin pledged the U.S.’ long-term support for Ukraine despite concerns about the sustainability of such help.

Russia poured scorn on the aid package, with Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S. claiming Ukraine nevertheless faces defeat.

“It is important for the West to understand: Russia, which is fighting for its national interests and security, cannot be defeated on the battlefield. Any supply of Western weapons to a post-Soviet state is a prolongation of the agony of the bankrupt Kyiv regime,” Antonov said.

— Holly Ellyatt

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to employees of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv during his visit to Ukraine, November 20, 2023. 

W.G. Dunlop | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday reaffirmed Washington’s “steadfast support for Ukraine,” as he made a surprise visit to Kyiv, meeting with President Volodymy Zelenskyy and other senior officials.

“We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements,” Austin wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

– Elliot Smith

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it had spoken to Finland’s ambassador to Russia and protested Finland’s decision to close its borders to Russia over the weekend.

Finland’s actions would impact tens of thousands of people in both countries, the ministry said in a Google-translated statement released on its website.

“The decision was made hastily, without any consultations with the Russian side, which had previously been an integral part of cooperation in ensuring the effective functioning of the joint border,” the statement said.

It comes after Finland closed crossing points on its border to Russia to limit an influx of asylum seekers, which it has suggested were assisted by Russian authorities.

— Sophie Kiderlin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlines the improvements the IRS will deliver to taxpayers in 2024, during remarks at IRS Headquarters in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday that passing legislation to provide further military aid to Ukraine is a “critical priority” for U.S. President Joe Biden and for national security.

The Biden administration is seeking Congressional approval for a $105 billion security aid package, but faces opposition from some Republican lawmakers. The bill remains in limbo while Congress is in recess over the next two weeks.

“We can’t allow Ukraine to lose a battle on the home front because it lacks enough money to keep schoolteachers in the classroom and first responders on the job, when it’s fighting valiantly on the battlefield, so Ukraine is utterly dependent on this aid,” Yellen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

She added that the U.S. needs to do its part alongside the European Parliament’s 50 billion euro aid package approved to Ukraine over the next four years and the $15.6 billion funding facility supplied by the IMF.

“This aid is critical to the national security of America. If Putin were to win this brutal war in Ukraine, next we might see an attack in a NATO ally of ours. We need to stop this,” Yellen said.

– Elliot Smith

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks after signing bilateral documents with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana, Kazakhstan November 9, 2023. 

Turar Kazangapov | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver remarks at a virtual G20 summit on Wednesday, Russian state TV reported, citing Putin’s weekly schedule.

In a Telegram post, Rossiya state TV presenter Pavel Zarubin said that this would be the “first event in recent months” that will include both the Russian president and Western leaders.

Putin did not attend the last two G20 meetings in India in September and in Indonesia last year, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov travelling in his place.

The Indian government confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Prime Minister Narenda Modi would chair a virtual summit on Wednesday in order to “take forward key, select outcomes / action points from the New Delhi Summit as well as review developments since then.”

“The Virtual G20 Summit is also expected to push for effective implementation of various G20 decisions, including through relevant national and international platforms,” it added.

India holds the G20 presidency until Nov. 30, after which it passes onto Brazil.

– Elliot Smith

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