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Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, November 16

Russia planned to steal grain and starve Ukrainians ahead of invasion, evidence shows -- Russia admits Ukrainian troops operate on Dnipro River's occupied east bank -- Russia not elected to UNESCO Executive Board for the first time in history -- Moscow university imports Canadian drone detector despite sanctions -- and more

Thursday, November 16

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A monument to Russian poet Alexander Pushkin stands smeared with red paint before its dismantling in Kyiv on Nov. 15, 2023 in Kyiv. (Andriy Zhyhaylo/Obozrevatel/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Russia admits Ukrainian troops operate on Dnipro River’s occupied east bank. Russia, for the first time, admitted on Nov. 15 that Ukrainian soldiers established positions on the occupied Dnipro River’s east-bank side of Kherson Oblast.

Zelensky: Frozen war means our children, grandchildren will have to fight. A frozen war would mean that future generations of Ukrainians would also have to take up arms, President Volodymyr Zelensky told African journalists on Nov.

Russia not elected to UNESCO Executive Board for the first time. Russia was not elected to the UNESCO Executive Board during a Nov. 15 vote “for the first time in history,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Russia planned to steal grain and starve Ukrainians ahead of invasion, evidence shows. Following the launch of the full-scale invasion in February 2022, Russian forces attacked grain-rich regions and food infrastructure first as part of a deliberate starvation campaign, according to human rights law firm Global Rights Compliance.

Controversial ex-MP fired from her university post. Linguist and former far-right lawmaker Iryna Farion, currently investigated by security services, was fired from her position at Lviv Polytechnic University, Education Minister Oksen Lisovyi said on Nov. 15.

Zelensky, Trudeau discuss air defense support during phone call. President Volodymyr Zelensky held a phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, discussing the situation on the front and defense cooperation, Zelensky said on Nov. 15.

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Energy Ministry: Russian shelling strikes 2 energy facilities in Kharkiv, Donetsk oblasts. Russian shelling on Nov. 15 struck a thermal power plant in Donetsk Oblast and damaged a gas pipeline in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry wrote.

BBC: ‘Traitor’ description helped ex-SBU official avoid extradition from Serbia. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s refence to ex-Security Service official Andrii Naumov being a “traitor” was taken into account when a Serbian court decided to refuse his extradition to Ukraine, the BBC’s Ukraine Service reported on Nov. 15, citing court documents

Media: Moscow university imports Canadian drone detector despite sanctions. The Russian Technological University in Moscow managed to import a high-tech drone detector from Canada despite strict sanctions, independent Russian media outlet Agentstvo reported on Nov. 15.

Hyundai and Ukrenergo sign memorandum of understanding. Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction signed a memorandum on mutual understanding at the ReBuild Ukraine conference in Warsaw on Nov. 14, Ukrenergo announced.

Zaluzhnyi holds call with French Chief of Defense Staff. Valerii Zaluzhnyi held a phone call with the Chief of the Defense Staff of France Thierry Burkhard on Nov. 14, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces said on social media.

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Ukraine war latest: Russia admits Ukrainian troops operate on Dnipro River’s occupied east bank

Volodymyr Saldo, Russian-controlled official in the occupied region, said on his Telegram channel that small groups of Ukrainian soldiers operated in the area between a railway bridge over Dnipro and Krynky, a village some 35 kilometers east of Kherson.

Photo: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Not backing Ukraine is ‘disastrous for Slovak security,’ says former defense minister

A recent election handed scandal-marked populist Robert Fico his fourth stint as Prime Minister. In contrast to the pro-Ukraine caretaker government appointed in May following a coalition crisis, Fico vowed not to send “a single bullet” to Ukraine.

Photo: President’s Office

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Human cost of war

At least 1 killed, 7 injured in Russian missile strikes on Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The explosions damaged several houses, as well as cars and other buildings. The type of missiles used was still being clarified, Malashko said.

2 Emergency Service workers killed in Russian attacks in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Two rescue workers from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service were killed by Russian shelling on Nov. 15 in Zaporizhzhia Oblast while putting out a fire caused by earlier Russian attacks, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said.

Russian attacks kill 2, injure 12. Russian attacks have killed two Ukrainian civilians and injured 12 others over the past day, local officials reported early on Nov. 15.

General Staff: Russia has lost 314,290 troops in Ukraine. This number includes 820 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

Bloomberg: EU’s new Russia sanctions package to target diamonds, oil cap, dual-use goods. The EU’s upcoming 12th sanctions package may include export bans on machine tools and parts and other dual-use goods Russia uses for producing arms against Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Nov. 15, citing documents it obtained.

Majority leader: US Senate to consider Ukraine aid bill after Nov 23. The proposed bill, which would lump aid for Ukraine along with packages for Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and humanitarian support, had bipartisan support, Schumer claimed.

Czechia freezes Russian state-run real estate in the country. Czechia froze all real estate under the management of Russia’s state agency overseeing state-owned real estate abroad, the Czech Foreign Ministry announced on Nov. 15.

Finland plans to restrict border with Russia due to security concerns. Finland plans to close crossings along its eastern border on Nov. 16 for national security purposes, the Finnish media outlet Helsingin Sanomat reported on Nov. 15, citing sources within the government.

US to fund international center for prosecution of Russian aggression against Ukraine with $1 million. The U.S. State Department will provide $1 million to support the International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine (ICPA), Spokesperson Matthew Miller announced on Nov. 14.

FT: Denmark may block Russian oil tankers from crossing through its waters. Denmark would possibly target Russian oil tankers operating without Western insurance, which some have opted to do since the U.S. and its allies imposed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil exports.

Video: Explaining Polish trucker protests at Ukrainian border

Explaining Polish trucker protests at Ukrainian border

In other news

Biden, Xi meet at APEC summit. Biden said the two leaders discussed “Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine,” but did not share details of the conversation or report that any agreements had been reached.

Appeals court confirms legality of nationalization of PrivatBank. Ukraine’s Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal overturned the decision of lower courts, confirming the legality of PrivatBank’s nationalization and ruling it cannot be regained by its former owners, the National Bank of Ukraine said on Nov. 15.

Former US state secretary to join Kyivstar board. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will join the Board of Directors of Kyivstar, the largest mobile service provider in Ukraine, the company’s parent company Veon announced on Nov. 14.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Martin Fornusek, Oleg Sukhov, Elsa Court, Nate Ostiller, Toma Istomina, Kate Tsurkan, Lili Bivings, and Abbey Fenbert.

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