Here is the situation on Thursday, October 5, 2023.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Italian television that while there was some “fatigue”, Ukraine was pushing ahead with the counteroffensive that began in June. “There is fatigue but we will do everything to win against our enemy, and our counteroffensive goes ahead, even if slowly we do everything to repel the enemy,” he told Sky TG24 through a translator.
- Ukrainian forces made some headway in their drive southwards, according to military officials. “We have had partial success to the west of Robotyne,” a spokesperson for the southern group, Oleksandr Shtupun, told national television, noting that Ukrainian troops were “continuing to reinforce the positions they hold. In certain areas, we are advancing from 100 to 600 metres”. The General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces also said forces had repelled Russian attacks near Robotyne and nearby Verbove.
- In the east, Ukraine said its armed forces were resisting Russian attempts to reverse gains made by Kyiv since the start of the counteroffensive. Russia’s Ministry of Defence said Moscow’s forces had struck Ukrainian positions close to Andriivka and a nearby village.
- Oleksandr Prokudin, the governor of the Kherson region, said at least one person was killed and 16 others injured in Russian shelling that also damaged several buildings.
- Russia said it brought down 31 drones launched by Kyiv over three southern Russian regions and reported no casualties or damage.
- A source in Ukraine’s Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Kyiv carried out a drone attack on the western Russian region of Belgorod and hit an S-400 air defence system and its radar.
- Russia reportedly launched KAB bombs, also known as “glide bombs”, at a target in the Beryslavskyi district of the southern Kherson region. Moscow first used the weapon in March. It is referred to as a “glide bomb” as it has flight controls that allow it to use a gliding flight path onto a more distant target.
- Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s Ukrainian mayor, said that Russia was deepening channels at the city’s port to accommodate larger ships. Mariupol, a city in the Donetsk region, has been under Russian occupation since May 2022.
Diplomacy and politics
- United States President Joe Biden said he was worried that Republican Party infighting could hurt US aid to Ukraine after the sudden removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Biden said he was confident aid would continue to flow to Ukraine. “I know there are a majority of members of the House and Senate in both parties who have said that they support funding Ukraine,” he said.
- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged continued support for Ukraine. “I say this to our allies: If we give President Zelenskyy the tools, the Ukrainians will finish the job,” Sunak told the annual meeting of his Conservative party.
- European Council President Charles Michel said he was in favour of Ukraine joining the European Union by 2030, providing it met certain conditions including fighting corruption.
- Ukraine’s agriculture ministry said grain exports so far in the 2023/24 season were down by almost a quarter to 6.82 million metric tonnes as a result of a de facto blockade by Russia on Ukrainian grain shipments in the Black Sea.
- French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna condemned the eight-year jail term handed down to exiled journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who held up a placard during an evening news programme in March 2022 protesting against the Russian invasion. Ovsyannikova, 45, who left Russia seven months after the protest, was charged under censorship laws passed shortly after the invasion began, which made it a crime to discredit the military or distribute “deliberately false information” about the armed forces.
- Zelenskyy said he had extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit Ukraine. It was unclear if the pope had agreed to the invitation or when he would make a possible visit.
- The US said it transferred 1.1 million rounds of small arms ammunition seized from Iran to Ukraine.
- Admiral Rob Bauer, the head of NATO’s Military Committee, said the arms industry needed to step up production because shipments to Ukraine had depleted the alliance’s stockpiles.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies