The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr ZelenskyI call accelerate the construction of fortifications to stop Russia’s advance on the front, which claimed today to have improved its positions on the battlefield.
“In all major areas we must intensify and accelerate the construction of (fortification) structures,” the Ukrainian president said in an address to the nation.
He added that, first of all, this is necessary in the Avdivka, Marinka fronts and other combat theaters in eastern Ukraine.
“Also the south, the Kherson region,” must be fortified, he stressed.
The Ukrainian president made this call after covering the entire arc of the front from the south to the northeast.
With measures like this, Ukraine tries to prepare for a difficult winter in which Russia begins to regain the initiative on the front.
According to the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei ShoiguRussia would currently be improving its positions in all sectors of the front.
“Our soldiers act in a professional and determined manner, occupy more advantageous positions and expand the areas of control in all sectors” of the front, said the head of Defense in a meeting with the senior staff of the Russian Army.
The Russian advance in eastern Ukraine was also mentioned this Friday in the latest report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Shoigu positively assessed Russian tactics on the battlefield and stated: “We will continue to carry out active defense, increasing the combative potential of the Armed Forces based on the experiences of the special military operation.”
The minister indicated that “during half a year of the so-called counteroffensive the enemy lost more than 125,000 troops and 16,000 combat machines.”
In Shoigu’s opinion, “the total mobilization in Ukraine, the supplies of Western weapons and the sending of strategic reserves to the battlefield did not change the situation.”
Meanwhile, in Russia itself, more than 450,000 people have signed contracts with the Army so far this year to go to fight in Ukraine, said the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev.
2,000 civilians killed in 2023
Meanwhile, the Russian bombings against Ukraine caused in the eleven months of this year 2,000 civilians killed and another 11,000 injuredAccording to the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, Igor Klimenkoduring a meeting with the ambassadors of the G7 countries.
“During the eleven months of this year, Russia attacked populated areas in 24 regions of Ukraine 59,000 times. As a result, 11,000 citizens were injured and 2,000 died,” Klimenko wrote in a message on Telegram.
He added that most of the bombings took place in the regions of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Sumi and Chernihiv, located in the south, east and north of the country.
And 900,000 refugees
Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has displaced around 900,000 refugeesboth people who try to return to their homes and others who leave them due to hostilities, said today the new director for Europe of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Philippe Leclerc.
At a press conference from the streets of Borodianka, the scene of massacres of Ukrainian civilians last year, Leclerc pointed out that many of those who return do so to relatively stable areas of the country, such as central and western Ukraine.
“Many people still do not want to return to the east of the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk and other areas under temporary (Russian) occupation.“, he indicated, highlighting that many of the returnees come from countries in the European Union, but also from neighboring Moldova.
No signs of fix
But despite the human suffering, the war is still far from over.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovstated today that Moscow sees no signs from kyiv or the West that they are prepared for a political settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.
“So far we have not seen any sign from Kiev or its masters that they are ready for any political agreement,” said the head of Russian diplomacy, at a press conference in Skopje, where he attended the 30th meeting of foreign ministers. Foreign Affairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE).
He added that “To start a political process it takes two, like in tango, but the guys on the other side don’t dance tango, but breakdance.”.
“And there you have to be a soloist,” stressed the minister, who stressed that Russia sees no reason to review the objectives of its military campaign in Ukraine, which Putin defined when ordering it as the “demilitarization and denazification” of the neighboring country.
(With information from EFE)