Nov 4 Buonasera Mag
Day 254: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson, RU military, ISW, G7, Netherlands, Pentagon, Greece, Switzerland, SK, COP27, H&M, Xi-Scholz-A&Ps-DefUA, Tendar, Avdeeva, Fras, Letterman, Piagnerelli, Warner, WOTR
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.
I’ll write a post one day on the genius of Ukrainian communications. Their genius is based on a simple strategy- to win over the hearts and minds of people so they will continue to support Ukraine. This is yet another example of how they are able to craft a message based on the values of the target nation.
Stories we’re following…
As reported by ISW, there are three active theatres of warfare at this time: Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kherson-Mykolaiv. Please view the maps for each of these areas.
UK Min of Defence: Due to low morale and reluctance to fight, Russian forces have probably started deploying “barrier troops” or “blocking units”. These units threaten to shoot their own retreating soldiers in order to compel offensives &have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces. The Russian leadership also wants to keep defensive positions to the death, according to the intelligence. "The tactic of shooting deserters likely attests to the low quality, low morale, and indiscipline of Russian forces," reads the report.
The Russian-installed deputy governor of Ukraine’s Kherson region has announced that a 24 hour curfew has been imposed in Kherson city. Kirill Stremousov, in a video message posted on Telegram said that the curfew was necessary “in order to defend our city of Kherson” from what he referred to as “terrorist attacks”.
All civilians have been ‘evacuated’ (deported) from Donetsk Oblast's Mariinka. Ukraine's National Police reported that 100% of civilians have been evacuated from the city of Mariinka, located 33 kilometers west of the Russian-occupied Donetsk.
Ukraine has sufficient gas supplies for this winter when planned imports are taken into account, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said, as the country prepares for further Russian strikes targeting its energy systems.
US personnel are inspecting stocks of American-supplied military equipment in Ukraine as part of efforts to keep track of gear provided to Kyiv's forces, the Pentagon said Thursday. «we have no evidence of widespread diversion of US security assistance in Ukraine»
TASS- Putin: 318,000 men drafted in Russia for its war against Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said on Nov. 4 that Russia had conscripted 318,000 citizens, 49,000 of which are already fighting in Ukraine.
Russia: Putin's regime drafted the sole pediatric neurosurgeon in the twin cities of Sterlitamak (population 275,000) & Salavat (population 155,000) in Bashkortostan. Akhmet Abubakirov was drafted on Oct 25th and taken away 2 hours later.
G7 foreign ministers have agreed on the need for a coordination mechanism to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure, a senior US state department official has said.
G7 group of ministers have released a statement saying they will stand “firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes”. The ministers said: “We condemn Russia’s recent escalation, including its attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, in particular energy and water facilities, across Ukrain using missiles and Iranian drones”.
Reuters: G7 and Australia coalition have agreed to set fixed price cap on Russian oil. The price cap, set to begin on Dec. 5 on crude and Feb. 5 on oil products, aims to limit funding to Russia without cutting supply to consumers. Russia has said earlier it won't ship oil to countries that set price caps.
Pentagon: US has no evidence of American aid embezzlement in Ukraine. Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said the U.S. doesn't have "any evidence of widespread diversion of its security assistance in Ukraine," according to Voice of America.
Putin signed a decree on a one-time payment of 195 thousand rubles to mobilized, reports Meduza. Earlier he said that 195 thousand rubles was the minimum monthly payment to the mobilized.
Netherlands at Nato: The Netherlands is again supplying heavy military materiel to Ukraine. Together with the United States and Czechia, we will provide 90 modernised and reconditioned Czech tanks.
The Pentagon has announced $400 million more in long-term security assistance for Ukraine. Beyond the Czech tanks, there are drones, air defense missiles and riverine boats.
Zelensky: Ukraine receives first batch of armored vehicles from Greece. After their meeting in Kyiv on Nov. 3, President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou for the first batch of BMP-1 fighting vehicles that arrived in Ukraine from Greece.
Switzerland to provide $106 million for Ukraine's energy infrastructure recovery. Switzerland's Federal Council has adopted the Winter Aid Action Plan to lighten the impact of the coming winter on Ukrainians.
Polish minister: 650,000 Ukrainians employed in Poland. As of Nov. 3, about 650,000 citizens of Ukraine have found a job through the simplified procedure, Gazeta Prawna reports, citing Polish Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy Marlena Malag.
South Korea detected around 180 North Korean warplanes in multiple areas north of the Tactical Action Line - Sent in response around 80 jets.
COP27: Rich countries must sign a “historic pact” with the poor on the climate, or “we will be doomed”, the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has warned, as a deepening gulf between the developed and developing world has put climate talks on the brink.
The Swedish clothing brand H&M has closed half of its stores in Russia. By the end of the year, the retail network in the Russian Federation is planned to be closed completely, — the press service of the retailer.
Twitter temporarily closed its offices and cut workers’ access to internal systems on Friday as it began laying off staff, a week after the billionaire Elon Musk took over the social media platform.
Ilario Piagnerelli: “There are those who, certainly exaggerating, call him the Ukrainian Schindler, but this gentleman, a mechanic tractor driver, has rescued more than 2 thousand people. How? Going back and forth with a rubber boat between two banks of the Inhulec River, one under occupation, the other free.”
Tom Warner: “The area SW of Donetsk is the hottest part of the front for the past week. Russia wants to prevent Ukraine from drone-spotting and shelling a critical rail line (yellow). Ukraine must hold Pavlivka, Marinka and the road between them to avoid being pushed back several miles.”
Russian intelligence 'defectors' pose a problem for Western counter-intelligence- Intelligence Online
Several individuals claiming to be former Russian intelligence officers have been trying to interest the Western media in their story with help from a businessman and YouTube activist. It is too early, however, to know what their real intentions are.
Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian opponent who took refuge in France in 2015, posted his interview on YouTube in July 2022 with Alexander Lisenkov, who presented himself as an ex-FSB informant and turned out to be a clandestine Russian intelligence agent.
From Jenny Hill at the BBC: Scholz meets Xi in China
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has urged China to use its influence on Russia to stop the war in Ukraine, during talks with President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Mr Scholz said both countries had agreed Russia's nuclear threats were "irresponsible and highly dangerous". The Chinese president has refused to condemn Vladimir Putin's invasion. But he said the global community should back bids to end the crisis peacefully and oppose the use or threatened use of nuclear arms, Chinese reports said.
The timing is seen as highly questionable by many in Europe - including members of Mr Scholz's own government, who worry that his presence will serve to burnish the domestic reputation of an increasingly authoritarian Mr Xi.
But the German chancellor, like his predecessor Angela Merkel, argues that global problems can only be solved through co-operation with China. Meeting face to face, he said, facilitated discussion, even of issues over which both countries strongly disagree.
So what has he achieved?
There was a mutual acknowledgment that times were tough; President Xi expressed his desire to work together in "times of change and turmoil".
There was an agreement to keep talking - about the war in Ukraine, global food and energy security, climate change and the global pandemic.
Mr Scholz repeated Germany's position on Taiwan - any change of the status quo must be peaceful and with mutual agreement - and on human rights - they must be protected, especially with regard to minorities in Xinjiang.
Scholz Kowtows to Beijing- RealClear World
On Nov. 3-4, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will lead a delegation of German business leaders to Beijing, becoming the first G7 leader to visit China since the start of the pandemic. His timing is inopportune. The visit comes amid a firestorm of controversy ignited by the German Cabinet’s approval of Chinese state-owned COSCO’s purchase of a 24.9% stake in a terminal in Hamburg, Germany’s largest port.