Past 24 hours in the war zone
Russian hybrid forces launch 14 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors, also using heavy artillery and weapons banned by Minsk. US guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke enters Black Sea to patrol with NATO allies.
Since so-called “ceasefire” of July 27, 2020, 66 Ukrainian soldiers killed and 275 wounded due to shelling, sniper fire & provocations by Russia-controlled forces, Ukraine’s Mission to the OSCE reported.
Against the background of alarming reports of the concentration of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine, the Russian-controlled separatists declared military exercises. Information about them is confirmed by Ukrainian intelligence. The OSCE patrol interpreted some explosions as training, according to the organization’s November 23 report. In fact, Russian hybrid forces are now increasing their combat readiness at a large test site near Ternov in occupied Donbas, Donbas.Realii has identified.
Zelenskyy’s press conference
Zelenskyy said Ukraine is ready to deter Russian aggression. He also said that Russia prepares a spacial operation to stage a coup in Ukraine in December with the aim to destabilize the situation. Putin’s spokesmen Peskov denied Zelenskyy’s words about Russia’s participation in a possible coup in Ukraine
The Wagnergate affair in Ukraine – Zelenskyy vague on who postponed the operation
As reported by Bellingcat investigation and Ukraine’s ex-intelligence chief, the final field part of two-year-long operation to detain 33 Russian mercenaries was postponed by the President’s Office for five days in late July 2020 which led to the failure of the operation.
During his 5-hour press briefing today, Zelenskyy stated he didn’t approve the operation because “it was not not thought out enough.” In particular, mercenaries had to depart by civil aircraft from Belarus to Türkiye by Turkish airline. They had to be detained during the forceful landing. Zelenskyy say he didn’t allow the landing because it would pose a danger to civilians. Also because the Turkish president was not informed about this.
“Comrade Burba comes … and tells me what he offers. I had one question, I asked him directly: ‘Turkish Airlines – should Erdogan know? – No. – Ok, I Understand,'” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy, however, did not explain what led to the postponement of the operation, which clearly went ahead after he allegedly did not approve it. Given that the mercenaries were brought to Minsk and tickets for the plane were purchased, it rolled on until it was postponed at the last moment.
Burba claimed that the Presidential Office Head Andriy Yermak told him to postpone the operation. Zelenskyy denied this in the conference. It then remains unclear who actually gave the order to postpone the operation.
DBR says it will question Head of Zelenskyy’s Office in the Wagner case
The State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) that investigates crimes of top-officials announced that they intend to summon the head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak for questioning. At the same time, according to the acting director of the DBR, Oleksiy Sukhachov, the investigation currently doesn’t have “facts or evidence” about Yermak’s involvement in disrupting the special operation. Sukhachov also said that “we expect some information from our law enforcement colleagues in the coming days.”
Ukrainian officers who participated in the Wagner operation had their foreign passports invalidated
Journalistic investigation of the program “Schemes: corruption in detail” reported that Border Service recognized invalid foreign passports of all five Ukrainian employees of Intelligence Service who were involved in the Wagner operation. State agencies failed to explain properly about the reason why passports were recognized invalid.
Employees of Intelligence Service say this was to put unlawful pressure on them. They now try to restore their foreign passports.
Ukraine requests Spain withdraw school textbooks with “Russian” Crimea
The Embassy of Ukraine in Spain addressed the Minister of Education of the country with a demand to withdraw school textbooks, where the annexed Ukrainian Crimea is shown as part of Russia. Bohdan Dovhan, a Ukrainian living in Spain, was the first to report about the textbook on Facebook after his daughter who studies in a Madrid school showed him the map.
Ukraine to participate in the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga on 30 November
Ukraine’s strategic participation in the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga sends a clear signal to Russia amid its military threats. The meeting will allow discussing joint steps to curb Moscow’s aggressive intentions and provide an opportunity to coordinate positions and expectations ahead of the 2022 NATO Madrid Summit, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said. On 30 November and 1 December he will take part in the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga on the security of the wider Black Sea region.
“The key topic of my visit will be the latest escalation due to the build-up of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine, the danger of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the steps we and our Euro-Atlantic partners are taking to prevent such a scenario,” said Kuleba.
Russian security forces detained the coordinator of the Crimean Solidarity movement Diliaver Memetov
In Simferopol, the administrative center of the occupied Crimea, near the building of the Crimean garrison military court, Russian security forces detained the coordinator of the Crimean Solidarity movement Diliaver Memetov. The detention was motivated by the fact that Memetov came to meet lawyer Edem Semedlyaev on 23 November 2021. That evening, dozens of Crimean Tatars went to meet the lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, whose administrative arrest was coming to an end. Russian law enforcers detained 30 people, including 9 women and five journalists of the Crimean Solidarity during that meeting.
Provocation in Lviv Lychakiv Cemetery against Polish historical memory
At Lviv Lychakiv Cemetery, Patrol Police detained two residents of Donetsk(!) region who were writing provocative slogans near the arches on the burials of Polish soldiers, but with mistakes(!).
The written slogan was “For Stepan Bandera”, albeit with a mistake: За Степана Бендер instead of За Степана Бандеру. Vandals also painted Ukrainian and UPA flags on the arch. The UPA and its leader Stepan Bandera have different perception in Ukraine and Poland, because of UPA operations against Polish army and involvement of UPA soldiers in Volyn Tragedy. No facts about the motivation of provocateurs were reported yet, although Russia used to apply similar tactics to raise hostility between Ukrainians and their western neighbors.
You can read more about UPA here:
Reforms: The tax police agency of the State Fiscal Service was liquidated
Instead, the newly created Bureau of Economic security will take the functions of combating economic crimes. The Bureau has also taken part of functions from Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). Removal of SBU functions related to economic crimes was one of the conditions for SBU reform and Ukraine’s accession to NATO. It is expected that the Bureau of Economic Security will reduce corruption related to the investigation of economic crimes.
Ukraine signed the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production
Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić signed the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production in Strasbourg, France, on November 25, Ukrinform reports.
According to the minister, the Convention will allow Ukrainian cinematographers to continue joint production of films with European colleagues.
“Until recently, we used the provisions of the Convention, drafted since its adoption in 1992. Much has changed over 30 years, and the rules of co-production between countries have had to change to be as effective as possible. The updated version meets the modern conditions of film production,” Tkachenko posted on Telegram.
85% of Ukrainians believe Holodomor was genocide and demand compensation from Russia
A survey released a day before Ukraine will commemorate Holodomor, an artificial Stalin-made famine of 1932-1933 that killed 4.5 millions of Ukrainians, has shown a growth of those who recognize Holodmor as genocide and demand Russian compensation. 85% of Ukrainians now believe Holodomor was genocide, only 13% disagree. 61% are supporting trial for Holodomor crimes, 78% think that compensation should be payed for victims. Also, 43% demand Russian compensation.
You can read more stories of witnesses of Holodmor in this series: