A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
On Wednesday, the European Commission issued a recommendation that accession talks with Ukraine should begin once Kyiv has met several remaining conditions regarding fighting corruption.
Western capitals are quietly pushing Kyiv to think about peace negotiations to end the war with Russia, NBC reported on November 3, citing current and former U.S. officials. The officials said that the conversations have centered on the concessions that Ukraine would need to make to bring the war to a close.
Russia is looking to buy back weapon exports it has made in order to bolster its forces in Ukraine. Egypt is reportedly expected to return helicopter engines it had acquired from Moscow.
Russia President Vladimir Putin has spent this week drumming up defense ties with Russian allies. On Wednesday, Putin urged deeper partnership with China on advanced weaponry, ahead of a meeting with a senior Chinese military official. In Astana on Thursday, Putin highlighted defense cooperation with CSTO ally Kazakhstan.
In the wake of the war, Norway is allocating NOK690 million to enhance its domestic ammunition production as part of an overall European defense initiative.
North Korea is suspected of providing ballistic missiles to Russia. The South Korean military said it has detected signs of North Korean short-range missile deliveries, as well as artillery rounds and rockets.
Military Assistance to Ukraine
A mix of weaponry that includes National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAM), ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds, TOW missiles and Javelin and AT-4 antiarmor systems is earmarked for Ukraine in the latest defense package. This package includes security assistance from Defense Department inventories valued at up to $125 million. Other funding totals $300 million in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government rejected a proposed defense aid package to Ukraine worth $43 million. Fico, who pledged to cut off military aid to Ukraine on the campaign trail, took office on October 25 after winning elections in September. Fico said this week that the government would not prevent private defense companies from supplying Ukraine.
Five Dutch F-16s have flown to Romania to train Romanian and Ukrainian pilots.
Rheinmetall said on Wednesday that it will produce 100,000 rounds of mortar ammunition for the Ukrainian military, under an initiative financed by the German government. Deliveries will get underway soon and run through the end of 2025. The company said that the contract was worth a “low three-digit million euro” sum.
German-made 155mm RCH self-propelled howitzers have entered production and should be delivered to Ukraine in 2024, according to a report published in Spiegel on November 4.
President Zelenskiy announced on Tuesday that Ukraine has received and put into operation two NASAMS air-defense systems.
U.S.-supplied M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles have been spotted in service with the Ukrainian military.
Project 22800 corvette Askold was hit by a Ukrainian cruise missile strike on Saturday. Russian social media channels shared footage of the vessel that showed substantial damage to its hull. Askold launched in September 2021 but had not yet been commissioned into the Russian Navy; it was in dock at Zaliv Shipyard when it was struck.
Drone pilots in Ukraine’s 80th Airborne Assault Brigade, fighting around Bakhmut, told Reuters that Russia is demonstrating numerical superiority in the usage of first-person view (FPV) drones along the frontline in this area.
Ukrainian Major General Skibitskyi told Ukrainian media that Russia produced 115 missiles with ranges over 350 kilometers in October alone.
Ukroboronprom CEO Herman Smetanin told Ekonomichna Pravda in an interview this week that one of the defense conglomerates top priorities is the production of drones. He added that Ukraine has developed a loitering munition drone carrying a range of 1,000 kilometers.
Ukrainian troops continue to hold onto Avdiivka, the military said this week, despite a Russian effort to capture the town located close to Donetsk. A spokesman for the Ukrainian 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade told national TV that Russia has likely massed around 40,000 troops in the area to support the attack, which has been unfolding over the last few weeks.
On Monday, the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade confirmed that 19 soldiers had been killed several days prior in a Russian air strike on an awards ceremony, which took place in Zaporizhzhia region.
A Liberian-flagged cargo ship has been hit by a Russian missile. The vessel was anchored at Odesa, a Ukrainian port on the Black Sea. The freighter was loading iron ore for shipment to China.