As the war enters its 624th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
- Three people were killed in Russian attacks on the village of Bagatyr, in the eastern Donetsk region. Ukraine’s emergency service said the three bodies were recovered from the rubble of a destroyed house.
- A Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian vessel as it was entering a Black Sea port in the Odesa region, killing one and injuring four people, Ukrainian officials said. The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China, according to Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.
- Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said Russia had attacked Ukrainian power infrastructure 60 times in the last several weeks. Galushchenko is visiting the United States to discuss ways to protect and strengthen the country’s energy network as temperatures drop.
- Ukraine said it was behind the assassination of Mikhail Filiponenko, a deputy in the Moscow-backed parliament in occupied Luhansk, who was killed in a car bombing in eastern Ukraine. The military intelligence agency said it worked with Luhansk resistance forces in the killing.
- Russia is sending Ukrainian prisoners of war to the front lines of their homeland to fight on Moscow’s side in the war, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. The news agency said the soldiers swore allegiance to Russia when they joined the battalion, which entered service last month.
Politics and diplomacy
- Meeting in Tokyo, the Group of Seven (G7) reiterated its unwavering support for Ukraine. “Our steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine’s fight for its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity will never waver … We further call on China not to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine,” the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the US and the European Union, said in a statement.
- The European Commission recommended opening formal membership talks with Ukraine, in a major show of support for Kyiv. “Today is a historic day,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “This is a strong and historic step that paves the way to a stronger EU with Ukraine as its member,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on social media.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded what he described as important “high-tech” Russian military cooperation with China after meeting top Chinese general Zhang Youxia in Moscow. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was also at the meeting, his second with Zhang in 10 days. At its meeting on Wednesday, the G7 urged Beijing, which has not condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, “not to assist” in the war.
- Russian military courts jailed two more Ukrainian soldiers who were captured in Mariupol in 2022. The two were sentenced to 19 and 20 years in prison for allegedly shooting civilians in separate incidents. Russia took thousands of Ukrainian soldiers captive after the fall of Mariupol, with some sent to Russia and others held in occupied eastern Ukraine.
- A Russian state prosecutor is seeking an eight-year jail term for 33-year-old Alexandra Skochilenko, an artist who staged a protest against Moscow’s war in Ukraine by replacing supermarket price tags with anti-war messages. Skochilenko is being tried on the charge of knowingly spreading false information about the Russian army.
- National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters the US had used 96 percent of the funds it had allocated for Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s parliament approved a law to allow funds raised from income tax paid by military personnel to be used to fund arms purchases and production. The finance ministry said the move was expected to raise about 96 billion hryvnias ($2.7bn).
- Slovakia’s new government carried through on a campaign pledge and rejected a previously drafted plan to send more military aid to Ukraine. The package, prepared by the previous administration, included 140 KUB air defence system rockets, more than 5,000 pieces of 125 mm cannon ammunition and 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition.