As the war enters its 623rd day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine had deployed more Western air defence systems in preparation for an expected Russian onslaught on key energy infrastructure during winter when temperatures fall below freezing. “Additional NASAMS systems from partners have been put on combat duty,” Zelenskyy said. “Timely reinforcement of our air defence before winter.”
- Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed head of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Donetsk region, said shelling by Ukrainian forces killed six people and wounded 11 others in the city of Donetsk.
- Russia’s defence ministry said its air defence systems destroyed and intercepted a total of 17 Ukraine-launched drones over the Black Sea and Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. It did not mention any casualties.
- Vitaly Barabash, the head of the Avdiivka military administration, said Ukraine was bracing for a renewed Russian assault on the eastern city of Avdiivka, which lies just 10km (6 miles) from Donetsk. “The third wave will definitely happen. The enemy is regrouping after a second wave of unsuccessful attacks,” Barabash said.
- A Moscow-installed court in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine sentenced four more Ukrainian soldiers captured in last year’s battle for Mariupol to lengthy prison terms. Under international law, soldiers cannot be prosecuted for having fought for their country.
- A Ukrainian football match in the central city of Dnipro took a record almost five hours after players had to leave the pitch amid repeated air raid warnings. Dnipro-1 emerged the winners beating FC Oleksandriya 1-0.
Politics and diplomacy
- As foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) prepared to meet in Tokyo, Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa stressed the group’s support for Ukraine in its war against Russia would not be affected by the intensifying Middle East conflict. Kamikawa told a press conference the group’s “strong support for Ukraine” had “not wavered at all”. Meeting Kamikawa, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken later said the G7’s “enduring support” for Ukraine was a key item on the agenda for the talks.
- The US accused Russia of financing a Latin America-wide disinformation campaign aimed at weakening support for Ukraine and boosting anti-US and anti-NATO sentiments. “The Kremlin’s ultimate goal appears to be to launder its propaganda and disinformation through local media in a way that feels organic to Latin American audiences,” the State Department said in a statement.
- White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby said there was no way for the US to stay in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, a key post-Cold War agreement, after Russia formally withdrew. The CFE was signed by 22 countries in 1990 and sets equal limits on the amount of weaponry, including tanks, heavy artillery and combat aircraft, that NATO and the then Soviet-led Warsaw Pact could deploy between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural mountains.
- Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez, a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Godinez in March issued a warrant for President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges related to the alleged forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia. Moscow has already issued warrants for other top officials at the ICC.
- The Netherlands said it sent its first five F-16 fighter jets to Romania for use in the training of Ukrainian pilots. It will be providing as many as 18 warplanes for the training centre and will also deliver F-16s to Ukraine for combat.