06:28 21 November
Russia: 11 Moldovan officials banned from entering
The Kremlin has banned 11 Moldovan officials from entering Russia in retaliation for Chisinau's recent restrictions on pro-Russian media, Moscow's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement quoted by local media. The Russian ministry summoned Moldovan Ambassador Lilian Darie to inform her of the decision. According to the Kremlin's note, the move represents "a strong protest in relation to the continued political persecution of Russian media in Moldova, including the blocking of access to their websites." Chisinau blocked access to 22 Russian media sites on October 24, saying the media was engaged in an "information war" against the country. Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Russia of planning a coup in Chisinau and interfering in local elections. According to Moldovan authorities, Moscow has been waging a multimillion-dollar destabilization campaign in the country, hoping to distance Chisinau from the West.
03:25 21 November
The point about the fighting, fierce clashes around Bakhmut and Avdiivka
Ukrainian forces were busy containing escalating Russian attacks around the eastern city of Bakhmut on Monday, military officials said, adding that Ukrainian troops had achieved some success even after crossing the east bank of the Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region.
Moscow's forces took Bakhmut, in the eastern Donetsk region, only in May and after months of heavy fighting that left the city in ruins.
Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesman for Ukraine's ground forces, said Russian troops had focused their attacks on Klishchiivka, a nearby village on the heights recaptured by Ukrainian forces in September. "The Russian occupation forces brought the necessary reserves and went on the attack," Fityo told national television. "Eleven attacks have been repelled in the last 24 hours. The enemy is trying to dislodge our men from the defensive positions around Klishchiivka." Russian reports claim that Moscow's forces repelled more than 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around Bakhmut last week. The Russian Defense Ministry reported more than two dozen attacks in a week near Kupiansk in northeastern Ukraine.
The fighting in the east has also focused on the equally devastated city of Avdiivka, still in Ukrainian hands after 20 months of war and more than a month of Russian attacks. Military analyst Serhiy Zgurets, writing on the Espreso TVmedia website, said that Russian forces are trying to launch a new offensive on the city: "To be sure, attempts to surround Avdiivka have resulted in significant losses for the Russians," Zgurets wrote.
Maksym Morozov, a major in the Interior Ministry, told Espreso that recent rains have left muddy and unsuitable ground for military equipment near the city, where 1,500 residents remain out of a pre-war population of 32,000. Another military spokesman, Andriy Kovaliov, said Ukrainian forces had "carried out several effective and successful actions" on the east bank of the Dnipro. Russian forces are making up to 10 attempts a day to move Ukrainian forces from positions on the east bank and are recruiting reserves, he told national television.
03:20 21 November
The interview with Shevchenko, Zelensky's personal advisor: "We ask for your support"
03:20 21 November
Media: Polish border guards ban the passage of aid to Kyiv
Polish border guards are preventing trucks carrying Red Cross humanitarian aid from entering Ukraine. As reported by a Ukrinform correspondent, among them there are also tanks with oil and derivatives, gas and other dangerous substances that are stopped in parking lots with the risk of accidents. "At the moment we have 24 tents and eight fuel tanks at the border," said Taras Svitlyk, a representative of a transport company based in Lviv. Svitlyk reports that the transporters yesterday spoke to the Polish police, who are aware of "the danger because the parking lot is very overloaded with various vehicles with gasoline, gas and various dangerous substances." The risk, he adds, is that the reserves of some companies that are part of the Ukrainian Oil and Gas Association (Uoga) may run out "because we don't know how long it will last." Although Polish authorities said that humanitarian aid or essential goods could get through, Ukrainian truck drivers said those carrying humanitarian aid, including medical equipment, have also been waiting for days, according to Ukrainian truck drivers. Polish truckers have been protesting since November 6 in three directions near the border, causing huge queues on both sides as they demand restrictions on the number of Ukrainian hauliers entering Poland.
03:20 21 November
Russia and Ukraine exchange the bodies of dozens of fallen
Russia and Ukraine have returned to each other dozens of bodies of soldiers killed in the conflict. This was reported by officials from both countries quoted by the RBC newspaper. 94 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers have been returned to their country, the Ukrainian headquarters for prisoners of war said on its Telegram channel. Meanwhile, the bodies of 80 fallen have been handed over to Russia, Duma deputy Shamsail Saraliev, a member of the parliamentary coordination group for military operations, told RBC. The Ukrainian side said that the exchange took place with the assistance and active participation of representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
03:20 21 November
Kiev fires cyber defense chiefs
The Ukrainian Council of Ministers has decided to dismiss the top management of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP). This was reported on Telegram by Taras Melnychuk, the government's representative to the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament. Specifically, the government of Volodymyr Zelensky removed "Yurii Shchyhol from the position of chief" of the SSSCIP and "Viktor Zhora from the position of deputy chief". As reported by Melnychuk, "Dmytro Makovskyi is temporarily in charge of carrying out the functions of the head of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine." According to the Reuters website, the news "came less than an hour before anti-corruption prosecutors said they were investigating" Shchyhol and Zhora and "their alleged roles in a six-person plot to embezzle $1.72 million between 2020 and 2022." However, at the moment, the Ukrainian government has not communicated the reasons for the decision