#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. The Baltic Sea crisis opens. Russians advance in Kupjans’k, gray zone increased in Avdiivka


Former member of the American National Intelligence Council Eugene Rumer and representative of the administration of former American presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Andrew Weiss in an article for the Wall Street Journal wrote: “The United States and its allies must say goodbye to the “magic belief” in Russian defeat in the conflict in Ukraine and instead move to a long-term “containment” strategy.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed these words: “The situation on the battlefield in Ukraine is more complex than NATO expected.” Secretary Stoltenberg expressed confidence that the United States, despite disputes in Congress, will not refuse aid to Ukraine. “I am confident that the United States will continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg stressed at a press conference in Brussels. He expressed confidence that US allies also intend to continue cooperation with Ukraine.

The idea of the Northern countries and the Baltic republics to close Russia’s access to the sea is exacerbating the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. If the idea were to become reality, the possibility of widening the conflict is very likely.

Goods traffic between Finland and Russia will practically stop from November 18, the Finnish customs announced after the Council of Ministers decided to close 4 crossings; Lux Express is suspending bus services on the Helsinki – St. Petersburg route for an indefinite period, a company statement said. And we also learn that at midnight on November 17, fences will be installed at checkpoints on the border between Finland and the Russian Federation, source Reuters

The head of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice, Emily Enger Mel, did not rule out that Oslo could close the only border post between the Russian Federation and Norway: Storskog.

Estonia allows partial or complete closure of checkpoints on the border with Russia, the head of the Estonian border service Veiko Kommusaar said. “Entry into the European Union through Estonia is only possible for those who have all legal bases to do so. We are closely monitoring the situation and, if necessary, are ready to prevent any illegal migration. Depending on the situation at border, this could mean partial or total closure of the crossings,” Kommusaar told Postimees.

On November 16, after Denmark’s declarations to close maritime traffic to Russia, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova declared: “If the Russian ships do not leave, yours will not either. Your intentions are dangerous. Any attempt to prevent the passage of ships constitutes a dangerous violation of international law”. The Financial Times, citing three anonymous sources, wrote that Denmark would have the task of monitoring the situation and possibly blocking the passage of Russian oil tankers through the Baltic Sea in framework of the new plans of the European Union.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with his UK namesake David Cameron and told the press: “We are determined to work for victory”

Volodymyr Zelensky told the press that “Kiev has created a fleet of maritime drones, which is already operating in the Black Sea.” And the President also said: “The Ukrainian army has a shortage of 155 mm artillery shells.” According to Zelensky, supplies to Kiev have decreased due to the war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. And he spoke of a new “Maidan”, in his opinion, hatched by Russia which is responsible for attempts to “sow chaos” in Ukrainian society, Bloomberg reports. Zelensky admitted that the Ukrainian army will have to withdraw if Western allies stop providing assistance to Kiev.

The National Police of Ukraine has confirmed the opening of a criminal case against former Ukrainian councilor Alexey Arestovich. According to the department, the case was opened under Part 1 of the article. 383 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (knowingly false reporting of a crime) after the appeal of a group of deputies led by Natalya Pipa.

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has adopted in the third final reading the law on the federal budget for 2024 and the planning period 2025-2026 and the machinery for the electoral process is starting.

And now a look at the Front Line updated at 3:00 pm on November 17th.

Kupjans’k sector. Near Kupjans’k positional battles are underway. Russian troops, having advanced to the Timkovka tract, consolidated not far from its surroundings. The combined assault groups of the 41st and 54th Infantry Brigades hold their lines, despite losses.

There are no active clashes in the Sinkovka-Liman direction – only isolated shootings. Thanks to the deactivation of most crossings through Oskol, the group’s supply reaches all the way to Borovaya, which increases logistical leverage.

At the same time, Ukrainian reserves near Kupyans’k are present in sufficient quantities to continue the defense of the fortified area. But this also plays into the hands of Russian troops, as the Ukrainian command is forced to maintain forces in the area instead of strengthening other directions.

At the same time, on the Kupjans’k-Dvorichna line, we note the transfer of an armored unit of an unidentified brigade. If tanks were deployed in Oskol, they will most likely be used from closed firing positions to attack the contact line.

And to the west of Dvorichna there is a positional area of ​​the MLRS HIMARS. Given the appearance of long-range MLRS in the area, intense attacks on Russian troops and logistics routes deep in the front should be expected in the coming days.

Svatove-Kreminna direction. The Russian army advances in the Ivanovka area, approaching the railway. Furthermore, the Russians advanced to Torskoye. Meanwhile, battles are going on near Belogorovka: the Ukrainian Armed Forces, using armored vehicles, are trying to attack, but Russian artillery does not give the Ukrainians a chance for success.

Donetsk direction. In the Avdiivka sector fighting continues in the Stepnoe area. The Russian military advances in the direction of the garbage dump as well as in the industrial area south of Avdiievka. Most of the site is a gray area. The latest posts added to the update of the situation in the area speak of “improvement of the tactical position of Russian troops in the direction of the tourist village of Yagodka”.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orichiv sector, Ukrainian armed forces continue to unsuccessfully attack Russian positions in the areas of Kopanei, Novoprokopovka and Verbovoe. On the Vremevski ledge the Russian army advances in the direction of Staromayorsky.

Pro-Russian social media sources say that. “The Russian army attacked the headquarters of the 115th brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Dimitrov DPR. The Ukrainian command had its headquarters in the administrative building, but was discovered by Russian drones. After two missile attacks, the headquarters was destroyed.”

An explosion is recorded in the Black Sea: a column of smoke on the coast of Odessa. Smoke is visible from the coast of Odessa: there was an explosion, local channels report. A mine had previously exploded at sea; it was not reported whether there were any ships there at the time. The Russian Defense Ministry says it shot down drones en route to Crimea.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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