Here is the situation on Monday, November 6, 2023.
- Ukraine’s Defence Minister Rustem Umerov ordered an investigation after a Russian missile strike killed multiple soldiers during what media reports said was an “award ceremony” near the front line in the southern Zaporizhia region on Friday. Media reports said more than 20 soldiers were killed in the attack. The military confirmed members of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade had been killed but did not provide casualty figures. “This is a tragedy that could have been avoided,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening address on Sunday.
- Yurii Malashko, the governor of the Zaporizhia region, said nine civilians had been injured in Zarichne, the village where the soldiers at the award ceremony were killed. It was one of 26 cities and settlements in the region that came under Russian attack over 24 hours from Friday into Saturday, he said.
- Ukraine’s armed forces said they hit a shipyard in Kerch on the eastern coast of Russian-occupied Crimea with cruise missiles. Russian news agencies citing the country’s Ministry of Defence said Ukraine had attacked the shipyard with 15 cruise missiles and air defence systems destroyed 13 of them. A ship was damaged, but there were no casualties.
Politics and diplomacy
- In a joint press conference in Kyiv with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Zelenskyy rejected a report by the United States news outlet NBC that Kyiv was under pressure to start negotiations with Russia. “No one among our partners is pressuring us to sit down with Russia, talk to it, and give it something,” he said. He also noted that the war in Gaza had drawn attention away from Ukraine and said that this was “Russia’s goal”.
- Von der Leyen, meanwhile, said that Ukraine had made “excellent progress” towards European Union accession highlighting Kyiv’s judicial reforms. The bloc will release an assessment on Wednesday on Ukraine’s progress in fulfilling various economic, legal and other criteria to clear the way for accession talks in December.
- Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press program, Zelenskyy called on the US to provide more funding to help his forces counter Russia, warning that without it, US soldiers could be pulled into a wider European conflict with Russia. Zelenskyy also invited former US President Donald Trump, who has been critical of US support for Ukraine and is making a bid for a second term in office in 2024, to fly into the country and see the scale of the conflict for himself.