Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, October 2

Ukrainian activist in Russian captivity receives Anne Frank Special Recognition Award -- ATACMS strike on Berdiansk airfield likely to reduce Russia's military capabilities in the area -- Poland's ruling party hired Orban's advisers for election campaign -- Ukrainian resistance in occupied Melitopol detonates car with looters -- and more

Saturday, October 21

Russia’s war against Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with military officials in Kherson, Ukraine, on Oct. 20, 2023. (Presidential Office)

PM Shmyhal: Russia’s damage to Ukrainian environment amounts to nearly $60 billion. The total environmental damage caused by the Russian invasion amounts to more than 55.6 billion euros ($58.9 billion), Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a speech on Oct. 20, citing figures from the Environmental Protection Ministry.

SBU charges bishop of Russia-affiliated church with justifying invasion. Metropolitan Pavlo, a senior member of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been accused of being involved in subversive activities against Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Oct. 20.

Zelensky visits southern oblasts, meets military, local officials. President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts and met with the military, local officials, and Ukrainian defenders, the President’s Office reported on Oct. 20.

Ukraine aims to set global standard of investigating ecocide as war crime.

Ukraine is “the first country in history” to investigate destruction of the environment as a war crime, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said at a press conference on Oct. 20. By purposefully destroying the environment, Russia “is trying to destroy the future life of Ukrainians,” Kostin said.

Ukrainian activist in Russian captivity receives Anne Frank Special Recognition Award. The Netherlands’ Embassy in the U.S. presented Ukrainian activist and journalist Maksym Butkevych, who is now in Russian captivity, with the 2023 Anne Frank Special Recognition Award “for his work to uphold human rights and combat xenophobia and racism.”

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Ukrainian military shows successful attack on Russian vehicles near Avdiivka (VIDEO). Russian troops continue to suffer losses in manpower and equipment during their attacks at Avdiivka, as can be seen in a video shared on social media by Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces on Oct. 20.

Embassy: 79 more Ukrainians evacuated from Israel. This is the fourth evacuation flight organized by Ukraine’s Embassy in Israel since the fighting in Israel and Gaza broke out on Oct. 7, bringing the total number of rescued Ukrainians to over 500.

UK Defense Ministry: ATACMS strike on Berdiansk airfield likely to reduce Russia’s military capabilities in the area. Russia’s loss of several combat helicopters as a result of a Ukrainian ATACMS strike on an airfield in occupied Berdiansk will likely negatively affect Russian defensive and offensive operations on this axis, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Oct. 20.

Exiled mayor: Ukrainian resistance in occupied Melitopol detonates car with looters. “They were regularly singling out and looting empty apartments in the city. This time, our resistance was tracking them,” Ivan Fedorov wrote on his Telegram channel.

Russian media: Putin visits Russian military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was said to have received a situation report from Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov, who also commands Russian invasion troops in Ukraine.

General Staff: Russia renews attacks at Avdiivka, suffers casualties. Russian forces renewed their assault against Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and launched unsuccessful attacks at the town’s flanks, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Oct. 20.

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Ukraine war latest: White House requests $61 billion for Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve $61.4 billion in assistance for Ukraine, including $44.4 billion in defense aid.

Photo: Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty Images

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New Ukrainian anthology underscores Russian culture’s influence on war

At a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, amidst the joyous remarks of the other presenters on the unification of the European continent, Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovych conveyed his skepticism about the success of the “New Europe.”

Photo: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Mediazona confirms identities of over 34,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine.

Through open source research, Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, together with BBC Russia, confirmed the names of 34, 857 Russian soldiers who had been killed since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The media organizations carry out a name-by-name count of the dead.

Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih kills 1. A rocket attack on Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast killed one man and injured one woman, Governor Serhii Lysak reported on Oct. 20.

Health minister: Heart attacks, strokes becoming more common at earlier age in Ukraine. Health Minister Viktor Liashko linked this development to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing full-scale war with Russia, which had a negative effect on early detection and screening of serious diseases.

Russian air strike on Beryslav in Kherson Oblast kills woman. Russian forces reportedly dropped four KAB guided aerial bombs against the town, killing the woman in her home.

Russian attacks kill 1, injure 13 over past day. Russian forces launched attacks against nine oblasts over the past day, killing one person and injuring 13 others, officials reported early on Oct. 20.

General Staff: Russia has lost 292,060 troops in Ukraine. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Oct. 20 that Russia had lost 292,060 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. This number includes 1,380 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

White House requests $61 billion for Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration asked Congress to approve $61.4 billion in assistance for Ukraine, including $44.4 billion in defense aid, Politico reported on Oct. 20.

Germany delivers 3 more Gepard guns to Ukraine. Germany has transferred another three self-propelled Gepard anti-aircraft guns, over 3,000 rounds of smoke ammunition, and other military equipment to Ukraine as part of its latest aid package, the German government reported on Oct. 20.

Latvian president: Europe must increase arms production for its own needs, Ukraine. “Whether we like it or not, Europe must arm itself,” Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said on the air of the TV3 channel, adding that mere slogans will not be enough and the EU members must be ready to accept real costs.

Kazakhstan denies banning export of 106 dual-use goods to Russia. “No bans have been imposed on the export of any goods to the Russian Federation in connection to anti-Russia sanctions,” the ministry’s press release read.

Bloomberg: Germany still trades Russian LNG as canceling costs over $10 billion. SEFE, a former unit of the Russian Gazprom nationalized by the German government last year, reportedly continues to fulfill its legacy 20-year contract from 2018 to ship out Russian LNG from the Yamal facility.

Turkish ambassador: Black Sea grain deal possible to restore. “We believe that the grain initiative can be revived… As you know, the initiative became a reality thanks to Turkey’s cooperation with the UN, Ukraine, and Russia,” the ambassador said in the interview.

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What’s happening on the front line? | This Week in Ukraine Ep. 30

In other news

Media: Poland’s ruling party hired Orban’s advisers for election campaign.

Poland’s Law and Justice party, which was the ruling party up to the Oct. 15 elections, had hired Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s advisors to help run their election campaign, Polish media outlet Polityka reported on Oct. 20.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Dinara Khalilova, Elsa Court, Teah Pelechaty, Martin Fornusek, Toma Istomina, Kate Tsurkan, and Rachel Amran.

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