As the war enters its 629th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
- A Russian rocket and artillery attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson killed two people and injured at least 11, damaging a hospital and more than a dozen homes. Local governor Oleksandr Prokudin said a family driving home from a medical appointment was also hit by artillery fire, leaving one man dead and a two-month-old baby injured.
- Russian military bloggers reported that Ukrainian troops had secured a foothold on the occupied eastern bank of the Dnipro river in the village of Krynky, about 35km (22 miles) upstream from Kherson. The Kremlin declined to comment on the situation. “We do not comment on the course of the special military operation itself, that is the prerogative of our specialists, our military,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The advance would be a significant breakthrough for Kyiv.
- Russia’s defence ministry said reports from two state news agencies – RIA Novosti and TASS – on troop movements in Ukraine were “false” and a “provocation”. The agencies reported that Russian troops were being moved to “more favourable positions” east of the Dnipro River, but quickly removed the alerts after publishing them.
Politics and diplomacy
- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Washington, DC and promised sustained US support for Ukraine. Blinken spoke to Yermak about “steps we can take together with Ukraine to harden its infrastructure for the upcoming winter,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. “We, of course, in the last winter saw Russia trying to take down energy sites in Ukraine. They may very well do that again”.
- European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said officials were finalising the “last details” of a proposed 12th package of sanctions on Russia that will include a diamond ban. The European Commission, the EU executive, could approve the proposed package on Wednesday and it would then go to the Council of the EU, made up of the bloc’s 27 member countries, for discussion and approval.
- Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky has been formally notified that he is suspected of treason for allegedly spreading misinformation about the political leadership and cooperation with Russia’s military intelligence. Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, said that a politician was under suspicion but did not name the suspect. He was later named by lawmaker Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, who is the first deputy head of the parliamentary committee on anti-corruption policy, and another lawmaker, Oleksiy Honcharenko. Dubinsky was expelled from the ruling party in 2021 after he was put on a US sanctions list over alleged election meddling. He has denied the accusations.
- Lawyers for Russian artist Alexandra Skochilenko, who faces as many as eight years in prison for replacing supermarket price tags with demands for an end to the war in Ukraine, told a court the 33-year-old would not survive a jail term and should be freed. Skochilenko, who is known as Sasha, has already spent more than 18 months in jail in St Petersburg and denies the formal charge of knowingly spreading false information about the Russian army.
- Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the country will block the disbursement of the next tranche of military aid to Ukraine under the European Peace Facility (EPF) until Kyiv provides “guarantees” that OTP bank or other Hungarian firms will not be blacklisted as “international sponsors of war”.
- A report from the Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security said Russia was making progress on the construction of a factory to mass produce Iranian-designed Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.