Russia: Putin losing his grip on power says expert
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The Kremlin flew €140million and a selection of captured British and US weapons to Iran in exchange for dozens of deadly Shahed-136 suicide drones, according to Sky News. A Russian aircraft secretly transported the cash and 2 models of munition – a British NLAW anti-tank missile, a US Javelin anti-tank missile & a Stinger anti-aircraft missile – to an airport in Tehran in the early hours of 20 August, the source said speaking anonymously. The weapons had been part of a shipment of UK and US military equipment intended for the Ukrainian military that “fell into Russian hands”, according to the source. The source said they could give Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) the ability to study Western technology and potentially copy it. “They will probably be reverse-engineered and used in future wars,” the source added. In return, Iran supplied Russia with more than 160 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including 100 Shahed-136 drones, the source claimed. These have been nicknamed “suicide drones” because the GPS-guided loitering munitions explode on impact.
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Putin’s dirty deal with Iran exposed – captured British missile handed over (Image: GETTY)
Kremlin ties with US will remain ‘bad’ after midterm elections
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Moscow’s ties with Washington were likely to remain at rock bottom regardless of the results of US midterm elections, with relations at a historic low over the conflict in Ukraine.
Dmitry Peskov said: “These elections won’t have any significant impact.
“Our existing ties are bad and they will remain bad.”
US President Joe Biden, who has been a key ally to Ukraine and provided weapons and financial backing, could be constrained in his support for Ukraine if Republicans win majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Kremlin ties with US will remain ‘bad’ after midterm elections (Image: GETTY)
Eastern European countries brace for fresh surge in refugees
Eastern European countries are preparing to reopen reception centers and are restocking food supplies in anticipation of a possible fresh surge in Ukrainian refugees as winter looms and Russia targets Ukraine’s power grid and heating plants.
Data from the UN refugee agency UNHCR shows that some 6.9 million people are believed displaced internally within Ukraine, and 4.5 million Ukrainian refugees are currently registered under various protection schemes across Europe, many of them in the EU states bordering Ukraine – Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania.
Slovakia’s contingency plan reckons as many as 700,000 people could cross onto its territory over three months due to tumbling temperatures and continued heavy fighting in parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.
Some 6.9 million people are believed to be displaced internally within Ukraine (Image: GETTY)
Around 4.5 million Ukrainian refugees are currently registered in Europe (Image: GETTY)
More than 700 Russian soldiers killed in past day
Vladimir Putin has been dealt another hammer blow as it was reported more than 700 Russian soldiers were killed in the past day.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed forces reported 780 soldiers were killed in the past day, bringing the estimated total of Russian deaths to 77,950 since the invasion began on February 24.
Russia’s total combat losses also include:
2,801 tanks (+15 over the past day)
5,666 armored combat vehicles (12)
1,802 artillery systems (+11)
393 multiple launch rocket systems (+2)
205 defense systems (+2)
260 helicopters (+0)
4,227 motor vehicles and fuel tanks (+11)
1,483 unmanned aerial vehicles (+7)
159 special equipment units
And 399 enemy cruise missiles shot down
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u2014 u0413u0435u043du0435u0440u0430u043bu044cu043du0438u0439 u0448u0442u0430u0431 u0417u0421u0423 (@GeneralStaffUA) November 9, 2022
Control of terrain MAPPED
Below is a map detailing the latest developments for Russian and Ukrainian forces in terms of terrain, courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Units of attack drone operators formed in Belarus
Units of attack drone operators as part of the border troops are being formed in the Republic of Belarus, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
According to the General Staff, Russian forces are trying to hold the temporarily captured territories, focusing their efforts on attempts to disrupt the actions of the Defense Forces in certain directions, and are conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.
The General Staff said: “The Republic of Belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, providing it with infrastructure, territory and airspace.
“The formation of the Russian-Belarusian troops in the territory of the Republic of Belarus continues.
“According to preliminary information, soldiers of the 38th separate guard assault brigade of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus as “brotherly” aid purchased.
“In the warehouse of the border troops of the Republic of Belarus, units of the operators of strike bpla are created.
“Law enforcement authorities of the Republic of Belarus have intensified measures to search, identify and detain citizens with a pro-Ukrainian position or those who criticize the government or the so-called special military operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.”
Russian forces pummel Zaporizhzhia more than 80 times in past day
Russian forces shelled Zaporizhzhia more than 80 times on Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities have reported.
Deputy Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko said: “Russian non-humans shelled Zaporizhzhia region more than 80 times during the past day.
“They targeted civil infrastructure facilities 49 times in 17 settlements.”
Two people were injured during the shelling, a number which could rise as the damage is assessed.
Crimea Bridge will not be operational until at least September 2023
Russian efforts to repair the Crimean Bridge are likely to stretch into late next year, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
The intelligence briefing states: “Russian efforts to repair the Crimean Bridge continue but it is unlikely to be fully operational until at least September 2023.
“On 8 November the road bridge was due to be closed to allow the movement and installation of a replacement 64-metre span. Three more spans will be required to replace the damaged road sections.
“Although Crimean officials have claimed these additional spans will be in place by 20 December, a briefing provided to President Putin added that works to the other carriageway would cause disruption to road traffic until March 2023.
“Replacement of the damaged rail bridge has been contracted for completion by September 2023, although Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister stated the repair timeline would be expedited.
“One track is open, but rail transport remains restricted. Repair activity will be heavily dependent on weather conditions through the winter months.
“The Crimean bridge attack has disrupted Russian logistics supplies for Crimea and southern Ukraine, reducing Russia’s ability to move military equipment and troops into the area by rail or road.
“The damage to the bridge, the recent attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and the probable withdrawal from Kherson all complicate the Russian government’s ability to paint a picture of military success.”
u2014 Ministry of Defence ud83cuddecud83cudde7 (@DefenceHQ) November 9, 2022
EU ‘will find it hard to look Ukraine in the eye’
The EU “will find it hard to look Ukraine in the eye” after a financial support package became tangled in internal disagreements, according to the finance minister of the Czech Republic.
At a meeting in Brussels, Zbynek Stanjura urged his fellow EU finance ministers to ensure a new aid package of €18 billion is approved in time for payments to start next year.
Mr Stanjura said: “It’s very difficult to look the Ukrainian ministers in the eye and explain to them why we’re incapable of honouring the promises made by our heads of government.”
Brussels has only sent €3billion of the promised €9billion in financial assistance it pledged to Ukraine in May, with the money mired in negotiations between EU countries.
The International Monetary Fund estimates Ukraine will need from €3billion to €4billion in foreign aid a month for its public services alone.
Zbynek Stanjura (Image: GETTY)
What are Shahed-136 drones?
Ukraine has evidence that Russia is using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones as part of its attack – although Iran has denied sending drones to Kremlin forces.
The first use of the drones against Ukraine was recorded on September 13, targeting civilian infrastructure including homes, playgrounds, bridges and schools.
The Shahed-136 drones (kamikaze drones) are small aerial weapons, also known as loitering munitions, which are destroyed after striking the target.
Unlike other drones – which are supposed to return home after dropping missiles – kamikaze drones are disposable.
The name derives from the Japanese pilots who volunteered to crash their planes in suicide missions in World War Two.
A Shahed-136 drone flying over Ukraine (Image: AFP)
Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the Ukraine war. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.