Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 628.
Donetsk region. Russian air strikes on the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine on Nov. 9 hit a nine-story building, killing two people, a 63-year-old man and a 66-year-old woman, the national police said. “With missiles hitting the ground, an entire entranceway ‘collapsed’ having buried two civilians underneath,” the police statement explained. Working under hazardous conditions and continued Russian fire, rescuers and police officers completed salvage operations and pulled the deceased from the rubble.
Dnipropetrovsk region. On Nov. 10, the southeastern city of Nikopol suffered two kamikaze drone strikes, regional governor Serhii Lysak said. The Russian attack claimed the life of a 67-year-old woman and injured a 68-year-old man. According to the latest reports, several residential buildings and civilian cars were also damaged.
Kherson region. Russia’s Nov. 10 attack on the villages of Tyahynka and Novorais’k in the southern oblast, or province, of Kherson, injured at least six civilians and killed a 61-year-old man, regional governor Alexander Prokudin said. Four of the wounded were hospitalized, while two were treated on the scene.
The Russian army shelled downtown Kherson city midday on Nov. 12. The attack hit the regional scientific Oles Honchar library, named after the prominent Ukrainian writer. It left two people dead and at least 10 wounded.
Lithuania delivered two NASAMS air defense missile launch systems and related equipment to Ukraine, its defense ministry announced in a press release on Nov. 10. “The NASAMS launchers bought by Lithuania will be integrated in fire control units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine building on the operational capability composed of NASAMS donated by the United States and Norway,” Lithuanian defense minister Arvydas Anušauskas noted. “We hear Ukraine’s needs well and encourage the Allies to do the same.” In addition to the mid-range air defense launchers, complementary, high-mobility vehicles needed for NASAMS crews were also delivered. This latest aid package, a concrete demonstration of Lithuania’s commitment to Ukraine’s security, brings total assistance from Vilnius to half a billion dollars thus far.
Thirty thousand Ukrainian volunteers completed their combat training in Britain three months ahead of schedule, the U.K. defense ministry announced on Nov. 10. The program they completed, named Operation Interflex, marks the United Kingdom’s largest training effort of its kind since WWII. “Delivered in locations throughout the UK,” the course overview says,” the world-leading programme takes volunteer recruits who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine with little to no previous military experience and teaches them the skills required to survive and be effective in frontline combat.” The total number of Ukrainians trained as part of the U.K.-led international initiative has reached 52 thousand.
The National Bank of Ukraine is issuing a commemorative coin to mark the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Kherson city from Russian occupation, it announced in a press release on Nov. 10. The Antonivskyi Bridge, a crucial link across the Dnipro River in Kherson oblast and the site of a decisive battle, is pictured on a 10-hryvnia coin that will soon be in general circulation. The coin “will symbolically remind us of the unity, courage and endurance of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression,” the central bank’s governor Andriy Pyshnyi said. “A year ago, while fleeing from the right bank of the Dnipro River, the aggressor’s troops blew up Antonivskyi Bridge, destroying several of its spans. And now it stands destroyed, but with unwavering determination, waiting for the victory and post-war reconstruction to unite the right and left banks of an independent and united Ukraine once again.” The coin’s design is attributed to artists Volodymyr Taran, Oleksandr Haruk, and Serhii Haruk. It is made of a zinc-based alloy and displays the bridge and river from a bird’s eye view.
By Daria Dzysiuk, Karina L. Tahiliani