The essentials in brief:
- Briefing: Selenskyj meets near the front
- Nord Stream explosion: Russia fails in the Security Council
- Ratification: Hungary approves Finland’s NATO membership
- Challenger: British tanks also reach Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has held his first military briefing with the general staff outside of the capital Kiev. “We discussed the general situation in the front areas, strengthening and protecting our borders along the entire front – from the Kherson region to the Kharkiv region,” he said in his daily video address. He did not provide details about the results of the meeting.
The briefing took place in the industrial city of Dnipro, where there are many armaments factories. Zelenskyi also visited the city of Zaporizhia and the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which are often exposed to Russian rocket attacks. “Russian missiles hit residential buildings in Zaporizhia today,” said Zelenskyy. These were “burned, unfortunately partly destroyed”. He again accused Moscow of deliberate terror against the civilian population.
Zelenskyj puts pressure on the IAEA
Zelenskyy also reported on his meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, in Zaporizhia. There it was about the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian troops further south in the region since the beginning of the war. Zelenskyy describes the Russian actions as “radioactive blackmail” and the worst incident in the history of nuclear power.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyj with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi (r., blue jacket)
During his meeting with Grossi, the Ukrainian President stressed the need for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the nuclear power plant. The longer the Russian occupation lasts, the greater the threat to the security of Ukraine and the whole of Europe, he said.
Nord Stream explosions: Russia fails in the UN Security Council
Only three of the 15 member states on the UN Security Council have backed a Russian push for an international probe into the Nord Stream blasts. Russia has called on the United Nations to conduct a “comprehensive, transparent and impartial investigation” into the September explosions. The reason given was that Russia had been excluded from the investigations initiated by Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Other members of the UN Security Council rejected doubts about the objectivity of the national investigation. Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said Russia’s sole aim was to discredit the ongoing investigation into the blasts. In September, the explosions destroyed the Baltic Sea pipelines that were supposed to transport Russian natural gas to Germany. Swedish investigations indicate sabotage. A trail leads to the Ukraine, which rejects any involvement.
Hungary ratifies Finland’s NATO membership
The Hungarian parliament has approved Finland’s entry into NATO by a large majority. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling right-wing conservative Fidesz party wants to make a decision about Sweden’s admission at a later date. According to Orban’s government, it supports the NATO accession of both countries, but a parliamentary majority for Sweden’s admission is too uncertain.
EU member Hungary is currently negotiating with Brussels over the release of billions of dollars in funding that is being held back over concerns about the rule of law and corruption in the country. The opposition accuses Orban’s party of wanting to put pressure on the alliance by delaying a vote in the case of Sweden.
Western high-tech weapons reach Ukraine
In addition to the German Leopard 2 tanks, the first British Challenger main battle tanks have also arrived in Ukraine. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has inspected the “newcomers” to the Ukrainian armed forces. In addition to the Challenger tanks, this also includes German Marder infantry fighting vehicles, armored trucks of the Cougar type and armored transporters of the Stryker type from the USA.
President Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in front of a British Challenger main battle tank (archive)
“A year ago, nobody would have expected such strong support from our partners,” Resnikov said on Facebook. He referred to the British Challengers as “military works of art”.
rb/wa (AFP, AP, dpa, epd, KNA, Reuters)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.