As the war enters its 636th day, here are the main developments.
Here is the situation as of Tuesday November 21, 2023.
- Ukraine said fighting intensified around the Russian-occupied eastern town of Bakhmut. Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesman for Ukraine’s ground forces, said Russia was focusing its attacks on Klishchiivka, a nearby village recaptured by Ukrainian forces in September. “Eleven attacks have been repelled in the last 24 hours,” he said. “The enemy is trying to dislodge our men from the defensive positions around Klishchiivka.” The Russian Defense Ministry said it repelled more than 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around Bakhmut last week.
- Ukrainian authorities said three people were killed and one injured during Russian shelling in the southern Kherson and central Dnipropetrovsk regions. Some power lines and a gas pipeline were also damaged.
- Ukrainian police say a soldier and a woman died when a grenade exploded in a kyiv apartment. The cause of the explosion, which injured a second man, was not immediately clear.
- The US State Department said it is banning Russian Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Russian Guard Corporal Daniil Frolkin from entering the United States due to their alleged involvement in human rights abuses in the Ukrainian town of Andriivka.
Politics and diplomacy
- Ukraine has fired its two top cyber defense officials – Yury Shchyhol, head of Ukraine’s National Special Communications Service, and his deputy Victor Zhora – as part of an ongoing investigation into corruption linked to purchase of software.
- 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 war between Israel and Gaza has diverted global attention from the war in Ukraine. Zelenskyy said Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall, who was seriously injured while reporting on the conflict last year, and Jerome Starkey, a reporter for British tabloid The Sun, were also present at the meeting.
- In an interview with The Sun and also published in the British Times newspaper, part of the same media group, Zelensky accused Russia of trying to inflame tensions from the Balkans to the Middle East. “Ukraine today is at the center of the global risks of this Third World War,” Zelensky said. Urging Ukraine’s allies to maintain military support, he acknowledged the lack of progress on parts of the battlefield but noted successes in the Black Sea. “We actually deployed part of the Russian fleet,” he told the newspaper. “We did it.”
- Russia has placed Ukrainian singer Jamala, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, on its wanted list. Independent Russian news site Mediazona said Jamala, real name Susana Jamaladinova, was charged under a law banning the spread of false information about the Russian military and the war in Ukraine. Jamala, a Crimean Tatar, has long criticized Russia and told Zelensky last year that her priority was to “remind that foreigners came to my home to kill and mutilate lives, to destroy and rewrite my culture.” She 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 representatives from the business community visited Ukraine for talks ahead of the Ukraine’s Revival Conference next year, which will be hosted by Japan.
- US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an unannounced visit to Kiev and unveiled an additional $100 million budget to provide artillery munitions, air defense interceptors and anti-tank weapons. Austin promised Zelensky that U.S. support would be “long-term.” He also met with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.