Nov 1- Buonasera Mag
Day 251: Luhansk, Kherson, 70K, Prigozhin, $760m, UA winter, Moldova, Iran, Macron, NATO, PInner, Tinkov, Wallace-A&Ps-Matviichuk, Sumlenny, Very Finnish Problems, Lucas, Troy, Panyi, Mafia, Hughes
EA Worldview’s Ukraine Up-date- hop over to Scott’s amazing hourly Ukraine up-date page. I’ll fill in with some bits and bobs.
Stories we’re following…
Governor: Ukraine liberates 9 settlements in Luhansk Oblast. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhii Haidai said on Oct. 31 that Russian forces attempted to launch a counteroffensive from Kreminna and Svatove, but Ukraine’s military repelled the attacks.
ISW: Russian officials in Kherson say they have completed the movement of civilians out of the city. The evacuation may be in support of Russian plans to blow up the Kakhovka dam to cover their withdrawal.
The Russian-occupying government in the Kherson oblast has moved its administration further south to Skadovsk, said the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Russian authorities are deporting 70,000 civilians from the left bank of the Dnipro River to be “temporarily resettled deep into the Kherson region, as well as to other regions of the Russian Federation”, said Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-appointed governor of the Kherson oblast. It is considered a war crime under the Geneva conventions for an occupying force to move civilians from an occupied territory, and there have been reports from other occupied territories of Ukrainians being deported into Russian territories with no return in mind.
Russian forces are probably still moving troops and military equipment across the Dnieper River in an apparent retreat from some locations ahead of expected Ukrainian advances toward Moscow-occupied Kherson.
ISW: Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin continued his efforts to increase his status among Russian elites and his presence in St. Petersburg by attacking local officials and announcing the creation of a PMC Wagner Center in St. Petersburg on October 31.
Moscow’s rhetoric suggests [it] “is likely trying to poison the information space and raise doubts in the West about the risks of backing Ukraine in its continued fight for its sovereignty, Katherine Lawlor, senior analyst at The Study of War told Vox.
Forbes: Russia spent $760 million on its Oct. 31 mass attack on Ukraine. According to Forbes Ukraine, on that day, Russian troops fired at Ukraine with 55 Kh-101 cruise missiles, 22 S-300 surface-to-air missiles, one Kh-59 aircraft missile, and five drones of various types.
Digital Transformation Ministry: Mobile service in Kyiv may be disrupted due to power grid damage. The Digital Transformation Ministry said Russian attacks on Oct. 31 cut off 450 cellular base stations from electricity.
Crews were able to restore water and lights to the 270,000 homes in Kyiv today, but Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko warned on Telegram that it might be a while longer before crews will be able to restore full electricity – they must wait for the stabilisation of the energy system.
Kyiv is preparing for a hard winter ahead, with Russia continuing to target Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure. In case of emergency, Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Ukraine, is getting ready to open around 1,000 public points of heating for city residents.
Zelensky: Russia has seriously damaged about 40% of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. President Zelensky met today with Kadri Simson, EU commissioner for energy affairs, where they discussed how Ukraine was forced to stop exporting electricity to Europe – a practice the country began after accession – “due to the strikes of missiles and kamikaze drones by the Russian Federation”.
Moldova says it's expelling a Russian diplomat following today's attack by Russia on Ukraine, during which a Russian cruise missile overflew Moldova and was shot down by Ukraine, debris landing just inside Moldova. Russian ambassador was summoned, as he was after Oct. 10 attack.
Iran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine, officials from a western country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program told CNN.
Russia is set to strike Ukraine with Iranian medium-range ballistic missiles with a 700km strike range Iran has used 700 km as a benchmark range for land-to-sea ballistic missiles, as this is a radius that could cause havoc in the Strait of Hormuz.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said at the UN Security Council meeting: The warships of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia have nothing to do with the security of the sea corridor of transportation of Ukrainian grain.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, wrote in a tweet: “As I confirmed this morning to President Zelensky, we are fully mobilised to increase our military support for Ukraine, particularly with regard to its anti-air defences. Ukraine’s water supply and electricity infrastructure have suffered significant damage in the Russian attacks. Action is needed before winter. We shall swiftly mobilise both the international community and the private sector.”
Finland’s PM Sanna Marin had urged Hungary and Turkey to swiftly approve the Swedish and Finnish applications for membership. They are the only two remaining Nato members not to have ratified the applications.
A British national held by Russia's forces in Ukraine said he nearly starved to death in captivity. Shaun Pinner said he was only given "bread & water" about 50 of the days he was held. Over 5 months he was electrocuted, tasered, stabbed & pistol-whipped.
A billionaire Russian banker, Oleg Tinkov, has given up his Russian citizenship because of the war in Ukraine and condemned "Putin fascism". Said "I can't and won't be associated with a fascist country that started a war with their peaceful neighbour."
Ben Wallace’s evidence to the UK Parliament
The UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has been given evidence to the international relations and defence committee in the UK’s parliament. He has addressed why he thinks Russia’s plans for a swift invasion failed, and future Nato deployments. He told lawmakers:
The Russians have demonstrated their failures by having lots of numbers. They could boast about how many BMPs and tanks they had, but they had no proper integrated air defence, no proper communications, no proper protective armour on their actual armoured vehicles that the javelins just took them apart. And for all of their mass, they couldn’t proceed.
Wallace continued to explain how NATO’s overall military plan will change when Finland and Sweden join NATO:
General Cavoli is the new Supreme Allied Commander Europe. And he is busy writing and authoring those plans as we speak. But of course by then, we’ll probably have two new members, Sweden and Finland, which means an elongated Russian border that we haven’t been used to, which will change potentially how Britain sits in Nato insofar as the high north and its role there.
Ellen Ioanes, What to expect after Russia’s latest escalatory nuclear rhetoric- Vox
It’s impossible to know what Putin is actually thinking — and how far he’s willing to go to justify his continued attack on Ukraine — but there’s reason not to take this week’s messaging from Moscow as an indication that Russia is presently planning a nuclear attack.
Experts told Vox the likelier explanation is that this is an attempt to pressure the West into forcing Ukraine to come to a settlement for peace. The war is going poorly for Russian forces and Europe faces a long, cold winter without Russian energy supplies. It’s also an attempt to skew the information environment and sow confusion and disinformation — an integral part of Russian warfare doctrine.
Some numbers …
Ukrainian GUR intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov on why Russia won't nuke Ukraine: 'Nuclear weapons are not weapons – they are the means of deterrence".
Stuffing Information About Arms Smuggling From Ukraine To Finland Another Russian Disinformation, Ukranews
"Russia continues to make efforts to discredit international military assistance to our state. The purpose of such a Russian information operation is to provoke fear among Europeans that the weapons that their governments transfer to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression will turn against themselves, falling into the hands of criminal elements," the representative of the Foreign Ministry noted.
Nikolenko added that Ukraine maintains a close dialogue with international partners in the context of the transfer of weapons and ensuring an effective monitoring system for its use. "It is critically important that public comments also rely on official information, not the assumptions of individuals," he concluded.
Dave Troy, No, Elon and Jack are not “competitors.” They’re collaborating.
Q: Jack Dorsey is launching “Bluesky,” a new social network to compete with Twitter. I’ll just join that instead!
A: Sorry to disappoint, but Dorsey played a key role in Musk’s deal to take Twitter private. The two are good friends. And Bluesky is an initiative launched by Twitter. In April, Dorsey wrote, “In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.”
Italian mafia kingpin captured in Argentina - police- MSN
Argentina's federal police arrested a top Italian mobster on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the security agency said in a statement Monday, bringing a years-long manhunt to an end. Carmine Alfonso Maiorano, a 68-year-old leader of the Italian 'Ndrangheta mafia, was captured last Wednesday in the town of Guernica in the province of Buenos Aires, the statement said.
The Italian-born Maiorano has been accused by international authorities of carrying out drug trafficking and arms trafficking operations between Latin America and Europe. Interpol, considers 'Ndrangheta "one of the most extensive and powerful criminal organizations in the world."