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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 620: Northern lights shimmer across Ukraine, the country makes “excellent progress” toward EU

Stunning northern lights have been spotted across Ukraine in an extremely rare occurrence that provided a moment of beauty amid the horrors of war. The uplifting moment comes as Ukraine seeks more air defenses to counter Russian strikes targeting civilian sites and the frontline. Ukraine’s president is also shifting military strategy to try to regain momentum.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 620: Northern lights shimmer across Ukraine, the country makes “excellent progress” toward EU

Military

Ukraine hit modern Russian missile ship in occupied Crimea. The Kalibr cruise missile carrier Askold was reportedly hit with SCALP missiles in close proximity to the Crimea bridge

General Staff: Russians try to regain positions near Bakhmut, launch offensive on Avdiivka. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported 82 battles along the frontline within the past day.

Military: Ukraine already attacked 700-kilometer distant targets with new domestic missile. The Ukrainian military confirms a 700-kilometer range indigenous missile. In early summer, Ukraine announced a new 1000-kilometer missile program.

Explosions and fire engulf Russian ammo depot in occupied Ukrainian village. The Russians have converted Sedove in Donetsk Oblast into an ammunition depot and a parking area for military vehicles.

Dozens of Ukrainian troops killed in Russian ballistic missile attack. Media reports, citing sources and social media, suggest that Ukrainian soldiers in the frontline village in Zaporizhzhia Oblast were assembled for an awards ceremony when a Russian Iskander ballistic missile hit them.

Russians published a video of the strike at a Ukrainian awards ceremony; Ukraine’s defense minister announced investigation. The Russian missile strike killed up to 30 troops of the Ukrainian 128th brigade during the awards ceremony in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Russian airstrikes unleash over 50 glide bombs on Kherson Oblast in a single day. As a result of the strikes, two people were killed, six were wounded, and one school was destroyed, the regional authorities reported.

As of 05 Nov 2023, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 305090 (+990)
      • Tanks: 5284 (+8)
      • APV: 9953 (+14)
      • Artillery systems: 7375 (+12)
      • MLRS: 867 (+6)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 570 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 322
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 5534
      • Cruise missiles : 1554 (+3)
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 9730 (+14)

Intelligence and technology

Satellite images show Russian missile ship damaged by Ukrainian airstrike in occupied Crimea. In the Planet Labs images from 5 November, the damage at the Kerch shipyard is visible, as well as a Russian military vessel that appears to be damaged.

Ukrainian forces destroy state-of-the-art Russian weapon dubbed ‘impenetrable drone dome’. The Russian electronic warfare system “Pole-21” was developed in 2016. According to Russian sources, its effective range is 60 km.

International

Ukraine makes “excellent progress” toward EU, Von der Leyen says in surprise visit to Kyiv. Ukraine has completed over 90% of requirements for accession talks to open this year, the EU Commissioner said, announcing an upcoming round of EU sanctions against Russia

The Observer: The West can’t afford to forget about the Russian war against Ukraine. The world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, the Observer, owned by the Guardian, called in its editorial to the West to keep attention to the ongoing Russia’s war against Ukraine and provide Ukraine with military aid.

ISW: Russia keeps stoking nuclear fears to deter Western aid to Ukraine. Russian government officials intensify nuclear rhetoric, claiming nuclear superiority and highlighting strategic weapons like hypersonic missiles. Russia’s nuclear threats aim at obstructing Western military aid to Ukraine.

UK Intel: gloomy conditions plague Russian soldiers on Ukraine’s frontline. Russian soldiers say that the risk of fire alerting Ukrainian forces meant that they ‘couldn’t even boil a mug of tea.’ They highlighted living and eating ‘monotonous’ food in pervasive mud.

ISW: No signs Russia ready for good faith Ukraine peace talks. Pressure on Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war will likely remain meaningless if not harmful as long as Putin believes that he can achieve his objectives on the battlefield, an ISW assessment reports.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian airstrikes unleash over 50 glide bombs on Kherson Oblast in a single day. As a result of the strikes, two people were killed, six were wounded, and one school was destroyed, the regional authorities reported.

Dozens of Ukrainian troops killed in Russian ballistic missile attack. Media reports, citing sources and social media, suggest that Ukrainian soldiers in the frontline village in Zaporizhzhia Oblast were assembled for an awards ceremony when a Russian Iskander ballistic missile hit them.

Good harvest and adaptation to war contribute to Ukraine’s expected 4.9% GDP growth in 2023. According to the latest data, The National Bank of Ukraine has improved the 2023 real GDP growth forecast from 2.9% to 4.9%.

Zelenskyy announces change in strategy after the article by Ukraine’s top general Zaluzhnyi, where he described key challenges. The military is considering different plans “to move forward faster,” Zelenskyy said, emphasizing that turning the war to a stalemate would benefit Russia.

NBC: Zelenskyy invites Trump to Ukraine in order to explain him why he “can’t bring peace” in 24h. Ukraine’s Zelenskyy invites Trump to Ukraine to address his 24-hour war resolution assertion. This invitation follows Trump’s claim that he could swiftly resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict if re-elected in 2024.

“We cannot use our people as meat, as the Russians do,” Zelenskyy says, explaining the need for air defense. During the interview with Meet the Press, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia’s air superiority prevented the Ukrainian counteroffensive from advancing faster, but strong air defense would add momentum.

New developments

Ukrainians witnessed the northern lights (the aurora borealis) in multiple cities (photos). This is an extremely rare phenomenon in Ukraine. Locals witnessed it in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Chernihiv.

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