Ukraine update: What happened that night
Cheaper, lighter, more hidden – but Russia’s home-made drones have a clear disadvantage
With more and more attacks in Ukraine, Russia is relying on domestic, self-produced drones. According to reports from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia is thus complementing the widely used Iranian Shahed-131/136 drones.
Russian media speculate that long-range drones of the Italmas type or variants thereof were used for the first time in a threat attack on Kiev. These are lighter than Shaheds, harder to detect and therefore more difficult to shoot down. In addition, drones manufactured in Russia are cheaper than those purchased from Iran and can therefore be manufactured and used on a larger scale.
However, they also have a clear disadvantage. Their low weight limits the payload they can transport. For this reason, according to military bloggers, it is likely that they will be used alongside Shahed drones, although this may negate some of the advantages.
In general, Russia is trying to expand its arsenal of drones, missiles and guided bombs before winter. The increased use of Italmas drones is likely part of the broader effort to diversify munitions, that is, the more flexible use of existing munitions resources.
Kiev calls for EU accession talks by the end of 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly called for the start of EU accession negotiations as a motivation for his country in the fight against Russian aggression. “Motivation is also a weapon. And it has to be loaded,” Zelensky said in his video message broadcast in Kiev on Tuesday evening. “We expect this powerful boost in Ukrainian motivation: the willingness on the part of the EU to start negotiations with Ukraine.” This requires a political decision so that negotiations can begin by the end of this year.
Citizens and soldiers at war also need this prospect of EU membership. “Step by step we are moving towards a historic milestone in our relationship with Europe,” said Zelensky. On Tuesday he also attended a meeting of the EU Commission chaired by the President via video Ursula von der Leyen switched on. Zelensky emphasized that despite the war, Ukraine had tackled a number of tasks such as the fight against corruption as a condition for the start of negotiations.
There are significant legal innovations and the necessary steps to build institutions. Zelensky said he hoped that the EU would see this and give the starting signal for negotiations. In his evening video speech, he once again thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), who had promised Kiev long-term support for reconstruction at the 6th German-Ukrainian Economic Forum in Berlin on Tuesday.
“We will not leave anyone behind”: Zelensky makes promises to citizens
In his video address, Zelensky also addressed the residents of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 in violation of international law, and citizens in other Moscow-controlled areas in the east and south of Ukraine. “You all feel that the Russian presence in our country is not permanent. I know that,” he said. Ukraine will retake its territories and the people there. “We will not leave anyone behind. We are using every means possible to ensure that this war ends with the defeat of the occupiers.”
The Ukrainian president also emphasized in a video address at a Crimea Platform conference on Tuesday: “Russia’s defeat means security for Europe.” He said at the meeting of Ukrainian supporters in Prague that Crimea also had to be retaken in order to achieve this To free people there from Russian oppression. Almost ten years after the annexation of Crimea, pro-Ukrainian currents on the peninsula are now growing stronger, said Zelensky. The nuclear power Russia has repeatedly emphasized that it will defend Crimea with all means at its disposal.
Only about 1,000 civilians remain in the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka
Meanwhile, Russia continued its war unabated. According to Kiev, there are still around 1,000 civilians in the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. There are no longer any children among them, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on local news television on Tuesday. She urged those remaining to seek safety. Before the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the now heavily destroyed industrial city in the Donetsk region still had over 30,000 inhabitants.
In recent days, Russian troops have advanced primarily north of Avdiivka to a railway line. According to consistent reports, a disputed waste dump at the city’s coking plant now appears to be under Russian control.
Ukrainian units still maintain a connecting corridor about ten kilometers wide. The supply routes from Ukrainian-controlled territory are constantly under fire.
Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian invasion for more than 20 months. The front line against the separatists supported by Moscow has been running near Avdiivka since 2014. The Russian-controlled regional capital Donetsk is just a few kilometers south of Avdiivka.
What will be important on Wednesday
The Ukrainian armed forces, with Western military support, are continuing their offensive to liberate the territories occupied by Russia. Kiev’s goal is to bring the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions back under complete Ukrainian control and also to retake Crimea.