Russia loses brigade’s worth of troops in push for Avdiivka, says Zelenskiy; heavy shelling hits Kherson; Macron condemns Orbán’s meeting with Putin
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, claimed that Russian forces have lost at least a brigade’s worth of troops attempting to advance on Ukraine’s eastern town of Avdiivka. Russia began a renewed push to encircle the embattled town in mid-October, trying to overwhelm Ukrainian positions with constant barrages of artillery and waves of troops and fighting vehicles, according to reports.
Russian forces have heavily shelled the centre of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, injuring a number of people and damaging at least 10 buildings, a senior local official and emergency workers said.
The European Council has outlined plans to seize the profits from frozen Russian assets and direct billions of euros to support Ukraine. In a set of formal public conclusions after the culmination of the EU leaders summit, it said “extraordinary revenues held by private entities stemming directly from Russia’s immobilised assets” could be directed to support Ukraine and its recovery.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has condemned the Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán’s recent meeting and handshake with Vladimir Putin. In the situation we are in with Russia, we should not use these bilateral contacts to negotiate things about ourselves that would weaken our unity [on Ukraine],” Macron said after a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.
Russia’s top investigative body has said it had opened a criminal inquiry into the attempted murder of former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleg Tsaryov, a pro-Russian figure who was reported to have been lined up by Moscow to lead a puppet administration in Kyiv after Russia’s invasion. He is in intensive care after being shot, a Russian official said.
The wives and family of enlisted Ukrainian soldiers have gathered at Independence Square in Kyiv to call for the right to voluntarily demobilise after 18 months. “Our servicemen are strong, but they are not robots,” protesters shouted during the rally.
The new Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, has told other EU leaders that €50bn in EU aid to Ukraine should include guarantees that the funds would not be misappropriated, his office said. “Ukraine is among the most corrupt countries in the world,” he claimed.