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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Warren Murray

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 643

Car stuck in the snow during severe weather in Odesa and across other parts of Ukraine, Russia and Moldova
Car stuck in the snow during severe weather in Odesa and across other parts of Ukraine, Russia and Moldova. Photograph: UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hurricane-force winds, snowfall and flooding have lashed Russia’s southern regions of Dagestan, Krasnodar and Rostov, as well as the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Crimea. In Ukraine, the severe weather killed at least five people and cut power to almost 1,500 towns and villages after storms dumped up to 25cm (10 inches) of snow in some places. Another four people were reported dead in Moldova. Freezing temperatures were forecast for Tuesday morning. Russia’s energy ministry said power cuts affected 1.9 million people.

  • Weather forecasts show downpours were continuing late on Monday in the Crimean port of Sevastopol and Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast, amid hopes the storm’s impact might deliver a setback to the Russian war effort.

  • Russian forces are intensifying their drive to capture Avdiivka, trying to advance on all sides, according to Vitaliy Barabash, head of Avdiivka’s military administration. “The Russians have opened up two more sectors from which they have begun making assaults – in the direction of Donetsk … and in the so-called industrial zone. The enemy is attempting to storm the city from all directions.”

  • The UK ministry of defence has described as “plausible” Ukrainian estimates of Russian casualties – the number killed or wounded – running at a daily average of almost 1,000 in November. This would, on the face of it, make November 2023 one of the most difficult months for Russian forces, with many of its losses coming from its assault on Avdiivka – although figures on Ukrainian losses were not provided.

  • The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is attending a Nato session in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will include the first foreign minister-level meeting of the Nato-Ukraine Council, a body created to improve cooperation and coordination and help prepare Kyiv for membership. “Allies will continue to support Ukraine’s self-defence until Russia stops its war of aggression,” said Jim O’Brien, the top US diplomat for Europe.

  • Ukraine will become a member of Nato subject to reforms after the war, the military alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said. Nato states still agreed that full membership remained impossible in the midst of war, even while ways to move Ukraine and Nato closer continued, he added.

  • The Chechen ruler, Ramzan Kadyrov, has said another 3,000 of his fighters are ready to go to and fight in Ukraine for Russia. Kadyrov is suspected to be ill, and his soldiers are frequently derided online for appearing to be mostly concerned with posting staged videos of themselves on TikTok. There have also been several Chechen armed formations choosing to fight on the side of Ukraine rather than Russia.

  • Exports to Russia from Turkey of civilian goods used by the military such as microchips and telescopic sights are increasing, causing concern to the US and the EU.

  • Ancient Scythian artefacts from museums in Russian-occupied Crimea have been returned to Ukraine after a legal dispute over ownership rights during which they spent almost a decade in the Netherlands, a Ukrainian museum said.

  • Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, says he plans to travel to Nato member North Macedonia this week to attend a conference of the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which includes Russia. Bulgaria, another Nato member that borders North Macedonia, said it had issued permission for Lavrov to fly through its airspace.

  • Moscow does not have plans to expand its territory any farther in Europe, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, insisted in response to remarks by the US defence secretary last week that Putin would not stop at Ukraine if he was victorious.

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