#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Kupyansk and Adviiska are increasingly Russian. Change at the top of the Ukrainian special forces and strengthened air defense in the Russian Central Federal District

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“Ukraine’s possible partial entry into NATO risks dragging the North Atlantic Alliance and the United States into a conflict.” This assessment was made by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Douglas Jones, speaking at an event organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Meanwhile, the White House confirms that US aid packages to Ukraine are being reduced due to the exhaustion of the funds agreed by Congress. Washington’s ability to support Kiev is increasingly threatened because of lawmakers’ reluctance to approve the administration’s request, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. This will also negatively affect Ukraine’s capabilities on the battlefield, he added. “Funds are running out… We are reaching the end of the rope,” Kirby said.

Finland will close four checkpoints on its border with Russia from Friday to Saturday, the country’s chief of staff said. Helsinki says that in recent weeks, citizens from Iraq, Yemen and other countries have begun arriving en masse in Finland via Russia to seek asylum. The closed crossings are those of Vaalimaa (on the Finnish side) – on the Russian side – Torfyanovka, Nuijamaa – Karpalo/Klyukva, Imatra-Svetogorsk, Niirala – Vyartsilya, writes RBC.

The prime Minister of the Czech Republic stated that, according to the authorities’ decision, Russia will not be able to dispose of the properties it owns in the country, and banned the use of bank accounts.

In Ukraine the SBU announced that it had opened a criminal case under four articles against former Verkhovna Rada deputy Irina Farion; one of the reasons was her statements about Russian-speaking soldiers and officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Previously, you Farion stated that you cannot call Ukrainian military personnel who speak Russian Ukrainians. She is accused of four articles of the Ukrainian Criminal Code: “violation of equality of citizens based on their racial, national and regional belonging”, “outraging the honor and dignity of the military man”, “violation of the secrecy of correspondence” and “ violation of privacy”. And still in military matters, President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Colonel Sergei Lupanchuk as head of the special operational forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who has already been presented to the staff and who has been given the battle banner of the special forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

It should be noted that the previous commander had been in office for just over a year. Zelensky said he expects great results from Lupanchuk. The prime minister also said at a conference with African countries that the Abrams tanks transferred to the United States could not play an important role on the battlefield because Ukraine received too few of them.

And further explained that “the termination of financial assistance from Western countries will cause a crisis in Ukraine”, since without it it will not be able to provide social payments, Zelensky said: “I will tell you frankly: without support it will be very difficult. Because all the money that Ukraine earns, we give to our military,” he said. The Ukrainian president, however, stated that “freezing” the conflict with the Russian Federation would be a wrong decision. According to him, hostilities must be stopped “once and for all” and not frozen.

The National Bank of Ukraine has stopped hoping for full access to Black Sea ports in 2024, expects it in 2025

In Russia we highlight two trends that have emerged from the social sphere, the electoral question and Patrushev’s statements. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation said that: “The correct conduct of elections is very important for maintaining internal political stability” and “any attempt at internal or external interference in Russian elections will be firmly repressed”.

“Air defense has been strengthened in the regions of the Central Federal District,” said Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. “Operational headquarters in the regions have taken measures to protect the population and critical infrastructure, and air defense has been strengthened,” Patrushev said at a Nov. 16 meeting.

“Ukraine is increasingly trying to bomb Russian territory, organize terrorist attacks and sabotage; in 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out more than eight thousand attacks on the Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions, the secretary of the Russian Security Council said, the material damage of which amounted to more than seven billion rubles.” “In the regions of the district, 128 terrorist attacks were committed, most of them using unmanned aerial vehicles. More than 50 terrorist crimes were prevented, including 25 terrorist attacks,” the statistics report.

And now a look at the front line updated at 3:00 pm on November 16th.

The situation on the Kupyansky front. To the southwest and south of Liman I, Russian troops continue attacks in the direction of the Sinkovka railway station and the village of Sinkovka. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are actively counterattacking. To the south-west of the Perhotravnevoy unit of the Russian Armed Forces has secured a foothold in the south. The fighting continues.

The situation on the Avdiivka front. To the north and north-west of the “Tochmash” tourist village, active military operations continue along the railway and two forests. According to reports from the ground, Russian infantry is attempting to gain a foothold in the gray zone and expand the northern bridgehead.

South of the Avdiivka landfill, Russian troops attack in the direction of the “Ivushka” tourist village. The fighting continues. Southeast of Avdiivka, units of the Russian Armed Forces are slowly, with fierce fighting, pushing back the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of the tourist village Niva and Yasinovatsky Lane. An assault is underway on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Pervomaisky and the western outskirts of Maryinka.

Svatove-Kreminna direction. Russian fighters advance in the direction of Sinkovka, approaching the outskirts. In the areas of Timkovka, Ivanovka and Kislovka the Russian army is gradually driving Ukrainians out of the strongholds. It was reported that servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to penetrate the positions of Russian troops on the western outskirts of Horlivka, which have been under Russian control since 2016.

Bachmut Directorate (Artemovsk). The Russian army consolidates its position in the area of ​​the Berkhovsky reservoir and also attacks in the direction of Bogdanovka. In Kleshchiivka and Andriivka, Russian fighters continue to regain previously lost positions, pushing the Ukrainian Armed Forces away from the railway.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orichiv sector, counterbattles take place near Rabotino. Ukrainian armed forces attempt to break through in the direction of Verbovove and Novofedorovka. On the Vremevski ledge no major changes occurred during the day. Ukrainians are trying to work through areas, going square by square due to the unlimited number.

In the Kherson region. The command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has once again concentrated its personnel who are systematically being hit by Russian artillerymen.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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