Kyiv suffers second night of drone attacks; Ukraine claims gains in Dnieper River battle


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Kyiv suffers second night of drone attacks; Ukraine claims gains in Dnieper River battle

Elliot Smith

This is CNBC’s live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian capital Kyiv endured a second successive night of drone attacks on Sunday, local officials said, while its forces claimed to have gained ground in the ongoing battle with Russian troops on the banks of the Dnieper River.

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram that a barrage of ammunition was fired by Shahed drones over the capital.

“The enemy’s UAVs were launched by many groups and came to attack Kyiv in waves, from different directions, while constantly changing the vectors of movement along the route,” Popko said.

Air raid sirens were sounded several times in Kyiv, and no casualties or critical damage were recorded in the city according to currently available information, he added.

Ukrainian servicemen of the 123rd Territorial Defense Brigade prepare to fire a mortar over the Dnipro River toward Russian positions, in an undisclosed location in the Kherson region, on November 6, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Ukraine’s recapture of Kherson city last November was a shock defeat for the Kremlin, Russian forces on the opposing bank still control swathes of territory and shell towns and villages they retreated from. The Dnipro, Europe’s fourth-longest river and a historic trading route, has become a key front since Ukrainian troops pushed Russian forces back over its banks in the south last year. (Photo by Roman PILIPEY / AFP) (Photo by ROMAN PILIPEY/AFP via Getty Images)
Roman Pilipey | Afp | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ukrainian army spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk told Ukrainian television, according to multiple local media reports, that forces on the Russian-controlled bank of the Dnieper River in the southern region of Kherson had been pushed back by between 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) and 8 kilometers.

Fierce fighting has erupted over the past week after Ukrainian forces crossed the vast river into the Russian-occupied eastern bank.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Kyiv on Monday for a surprise visit. He is expected to hold a series of meetings with senior leaders.

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin arrives in Kyiv

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Kyiv on Monday for a surprise visit, in which he will hold a series of meetings with senior leaders, the Department of Defense confirmed.

The visit is Austin’s second since Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking Congressional approval for a fresh aid package to Ukraine, but the funding is currently in limbo as Congress is on recess and the bill has been held up by opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

– Elliot Smith

Zelenskyy replaces medical commander, calls for operational changes

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Nov. 4, 2023.
Thomas Peter | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Sunday that he had replaced the commander of the military’s medical forces, and called for operational changes.

In a nightly video address and accompanying post on Telegram, Zelenskyy said he had replaced Major General Tetiana Ostaschenko with Major General Anatoliy Kazmirchuk, on the recommendation of Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov.

“The task is obvious – and this has been repeatedly discussed in society, in particular in the community of our combat medics – a fundamentally new level of medical support for our military is needed,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram, according to a translation.

“From high-quality tourniquets to full digitalization and transparency in supply, from high-quality training to sincere communication with combat medics in those units where medical care is organized truly properly and truly effectively. The experience of the effectiveness of specific units should be extended to the entire defense forces.”

– Elliot Smith

Ukraine claims it has pushed back Russian forces on Dnieper River bank

Ukrainian army spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk told Ukrainian television, according to multiple local media reports, that forces on the Russian-controlled bank of the Dnieper River in the southern region of Kherson had been pushed back by between 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) and 8 kilometers.

Fierce fighting has erupted over the past week after Ukrainian forces crossed the vast river into the Russian-occupied eastern bank.

Ukrainian forces on Friday claimed to have secured multiple bridgeheads on the eastern side of the river, which divides the partially occupied region.

– Elliot Smith

Russia launches further drone attacks on Kyiv

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram that a barrage of ammunition was fired by Shahed drones on the capital overnight.

“The enemy’s UAVs were launched by many groups and came to attack Kyiv in waves, from different directions, while constantly changing the vectors of movement along the route,” Popko said.

Air raid sirens were sounded several times in Kyiv, and no casualties or critical damage were recorded in the city according to currently available information, he added.

– Elliot Smith

Russia says Finland has chosen a path of confrontation

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Finland had chosen a path of confrontation and that Russia saw this as a mistake, state media outlet TASS reported.

One can “only express deep regret that the Finnish authorities have taken the path of destroying bilateral relations,” Peskov told reporters, according to a Google translation of his quotes.

“Russia has never in modern history threatened Finland, we had no reason for any confrontation. Now they have chosen this path,” he said, adding that this was a “big mistake” in the Kremlin’s view.

Finland is set to close its border with Russia and erect barriers at midnight local time on Friday, the Finnish Border Guard said.

— Sophie Kiderlin

Read CNBC’s latest Ukraine coverage here:

Russian shelling kills six in Kherson; Finland to blockade Russian borders


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