British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Saturday 19 November that the UK would provide Ukraine with an air defense system worth £50m during his first visit to Kyiv. A Russian official said his country had not closed the door to talks with Ukraine, which set the terms for peace with Russia.
After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, the British Prime Minister issued a statement saying that the United Kingdom will continue to provide Ukraine with military support worth 2 billion and 300 million pounds in 2023.
Sunak said the new military aid package included air defence, anti-aircraft weapons, radar and anti-drone equipment. He stressed that London will step up humanitarian support to help Kyiv cope with the coming winter.
The Ukrainian President said in a meeting with the British Prime Minister that Russia had launched an attack on Ukrainian energy facilities aimed at preventing its energy exports to Europe and severing ties with Europe.
Zelensky also said that every Russian attack on energy facilities is actually an attack on Europe.
In related context, Ukrainian authorities confirmed that a Russian attack disrupted half of the country’s energy system. This has raised concerns about an escalating power crisis.
Ukraine’s Southern Combat Command said Russian missiles hit industrial infrastructure in the country’s southern Zaporozhye region at dawn on Saturday.
Previously, President Zelensky stated in his speech on Friday evening on the 18th that “the energy supply situation in the 17 regions and the capital is severe.”
“The situation in the Kyiv region, the city of Kyiv, the Odessa region (in the south), Vinnytsia and Ternopil (in the west) is very difficult,” Zelensky said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Denis Shmigar announced that Russian attacks on infrastructure had disrupted half of the energy system. He accused Moscow of not only killing civilians during the winter, but also depriving them of electricity, heating and communications.
blame each other
Politically, the head of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma stated that Russia’s position, both in the past and now, is very clear, that is, it has not closed the door to negotiations with Ukraine and does not refuse to continue negotiations.
But the Ukrainian president was not interested in negotiating, Russian officials explained. And the biggest evidence of this is his attempt to drag NATO into a conflict with Russia after the missile incident in Poland.
The Russian official stressed that the decision to resume talks was made in Washington. In any case, as he said, the matter is left to Ukraine to decide.
On the other hand, Andrey Yermak, a senior aide to the Ukrainian president, said that peace with Russia would only be possible if the Russian military was successfully destroyed and Ukraine regained the 1991 borders.
The 1991 borders included four Ukrainian regions unilaterally annexed by Russia, as well as Crimea.
Those statements came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Russia was not seeking peace but a short-term truce aimed at gathering strength. And as he said, doing so will only exacerbate the situation.
Addressing participants via video link at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Zelenskiy stressed that any proposal that is conditional on ceding his country’s territory or sovereignty cannot be considered a peace proposal.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it had monitored the movements of seven enemy Russian ships in the Black Sea, including one carrying a missile.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said its forces managed to take control of the town of Opeton near the Donetsk airport. At the same time artillery bombardment of the city of Bakhmut and its neighboring towns continued.
Donetsk’s pro-Russian leader Denis Pushilin said, “The enemy is sending massive reinforcements on the Bakhmut axis.”
Pushilin stressed that fighting continues and his troops are advancing along the front lines in the area.
Meanwhile, the pro-Russian Donetsk Forces Regional Defense Center said six civilians were wounded by Ukrainian shelling of the Kyivskyi neighborhood in northern Donetsk.
The defense center also stated that the Ukrainian army fired six shells into the nearby area, hitting residential buildings in the Donbass area and the building of the regional water authority.
The mayor of the pro-Russian city of Donetsk, Alexey Kuremzin, said the Ukrainian army’s bombardment of the Donbass Arena complex and the Shakhtar Donetsk football team’s stadium in the city center caused material damage.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian General Staff announced that it repelled six advance attempts by the Russian army in the Donetsk region in the southeast of the country.
Some 500 Russian soldiers have been wounded on the Mayorsk axis over the past week, the command said.
The Al Jazeera reporter quoted Ukrainian military sources as saying that Ukrainian artillery successfully launched a strike that hindered the advance of the Russian army in the Avadivka area.
In Washington, a senior Pentagon official said Saturday that Russia’s escalation of missile attacks on Ukraine was aimed, among other purposes, at putting pressure on Ukraine’s air defenses. Moscow hopes this will allow its forces to control the country’s airspace.
In fact, they (the Russians) are trying to disrupt Ukraine’s air defenses and put pressure on them, Colin Carr, the undersecretary for policy, told reporters on a trip to the Middle East.
He also said: “We know the Russian theory of victory. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring that the former cannot achieve results by ensuring that Ukrainians get what they need and that their air defense capabilities remain strong.”
On the other hand, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said failure to help Ukraine secure its future could lead to “a world of tyranny and chaos.”
Speaking at a security forum in Canada on Saturday, Austin said, “Those equally authoritarian colleagues of Putin are watching and may conclude that having nuclear weapons will give them their own hunting license. lead to an increased risk of nuclear proliferation.”
On the other hand, NATO confirmed that two Russian fighter jets dangerously and unprofessionally approached a NATO ship conducting a routine operation in the Baltic Sea earlier this week.
The NATO Naval Command said in a statement that the accident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, November 8. Two Russian aircraft approached the ships at an altitude of 300 feet (91 meters) and a distance of 80 yards (73 meters). And the pilot did not respond to communications.
The statement also said NATO considered the approach “very dangerous and unprofessional” because it took place in a known danger area. Based on the altitude and distance of the aircraft, the area has been activated for air defense training. It noted that this increased the risk of calculation errors, malfunctions and accidents.
The statement also noted that NATO forces “acted responsibly” in the incident in accordance with naval regulations.
The statement also said NATO would respond appropriately to any interference with its lawful activities in the region. These actions would “jeopardize the safety of our aircraft, ships or crews and crews. NATO does not seek confrontation and does not pose any threat.”
Tensions between NATO and Russia have escalated since February over Russia’s war on Ukraine. It was against this backdrop that this event took place.
Earlier, a missile killed two people in Poland, which borders Ukraine and is a NATO member. Fears of a clash between the two sides intensified this week after the incident.
NATO quickly eased tensions, saying the accident was likely caused by a missile fired by Ukraine’s air defense system.