This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (Week 41 – November 25)

European Union Flag. – Pixabay/M.H.

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In the wake of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine infrastructure, the U.S. is rushing over 200 generators, and150 thermal-sighted machine guns for anti-drone use, as well as a variety of ammunition including rockets, missiles, artillery, and mortar rounds.  The aid package is valued at more than $400 million.

The European Commission has disbursed the second installment of EUR2.5 billion under the EUR5 billion exceptional macro-financial assistance (MFA) operation for Ukraine. The disbursement comes after a favorable assessment by the Commission of the progress made by Ukraine toward the implementation of the seven structural policy measures.  These measures aim at strengthening the resilience and economic stability of the country, improving the business climate, reinforcing the rule of law and governance, and ensuring the energy security of Ukraine.

On the NATO-European front, high-ranking defense officials are noting that deliveries of existing stockpiles to assist with Ukraine’s counter-offensive efforts have left national stockpiles of weapons and ammunition low. This, in turn, is forcing officials to confront hard questions about their own military readiness capabilities, which have long relied on the “just-in-time, just-enough” production approach from local defense industries. Going forward, some of these NATO nations will need to balance their own needs with what can be supplied to aid the Ukrainian effort without exposing national militaries to capabilities gaps.

A stray missile from the fighting in Ukraine crashed in Polish territory.  The German government is offering to send Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to Poland.  Germany currently has 12 Patriot units, two of which are deployed to Slovakia.

The Crotale surface-to-air missile (SAM) system may soon be operational in Ukraine.  France promised these air defense systems to Ukraine in October.

Russia has reportedly signed an agreement with Iran for the production of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).  Moscow is making heavy use of Iranian UAVs to support its war in Ukraine.  Tehran is also promising to provide surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles, such as the Zolfaghar, to Russia.

The United Kingdom has sent Brimstone missile to Ukraine.  The U.K. recently pledged an air defense aid package worth GBP50 million for Ukraine.

Russia has fewer and fewer missiles for use against targets in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian government.  Moscow’s ground-launched, sea-launched, and air-launched inventory has shrunk to 8,476 out of 11,227 missiles.

The Russian military is running low on its supply of Iranian-made UAVs.  Russia has reportedly launched hundreds of Iranian-made UAVs against targets in Ukraine since September.

Russian air defense forces in the Crimea are claiming to have stopped two attacks by drones.  Russian officials said no damage had been caused by these attacks.

Ukraine has been utilizing SpaceX Starlink satellites to provide critical communications capabilities, but Kyiv is uncertain it will have continued access to the service. Alternative options are now being examined.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has asked the White House to reconsider sending MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine. The Biden administration thus far rejected requests from Kyiv for the drones.

The U.S. announced a new $400 million security assistance package for Ukraine, bringing total aid to more than $19 billion since Russia’s invasion. Air and missile defense continues to be a priority, and the latest package includes additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and heavy machine guns outfitted with thermal sights to counter unmanned aerial systems. Also included is HIMARS ammunition, precision-guided artillery rounds, mortar rounds, High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, Humvees and light tactical vehicles, small arms ammo, generators, and spare parts.

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