The Ukrainian military is getting better at shooting down Iranian-made Russian drones — as many as 85 percent are now being shot down. British Ministry of Defense reportsciting official sources.
Russia may use drones to replace increasingly scarce Russian-made long-range precision weapons, the ministry said in its latest war assessment.
“Ukrainian efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 drone are increasingly successful,” the ministry said on Monday. The ministry added that “these drones are slow, noisy and fly at low altitudes,” making them relatively easy targets.
The estimated 330 Shahed drones released by Russia as of Saturday had a shotdown rate of about 70 percent, Ukraine’s intelligence chief, Kerilo Budanov, said on Monday.
The Russian military has ordered about 1,700 drones of various types, and a second batch of about 300 Shaheds is on the way, Budanov said.
“The terror of using ‘Shaheds’ can actually last a long time,” he told Ukrainian Pravda. “Air defense is basically coping.”
Russian army may face ‘rout’:Russia may struggle to withdraw frontline troops from Kherson; US rejects Russian claims of radioactive ‘provocation’ in Ukraine
► Residents of the southern city of Mykolaiv line up for water and necessities as Ukrainian troops continue their advance towards nearby Kherson.
► The Ukraine war was the main topic at the Vatican meeting on Monday between Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron.
► German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said rebuilding Ukraine would be a “generational task” that no country, donor or international agency could accomplish alone.
►SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says he will allow Ukraine to keep using his Starlink satellites even if the Pentagon refuses to provide funding.
Zelensky hails victory in eight-month war, calls Russia a ‘beggar’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the country’s war against an invasion of Russia reaching eight months on Monday, while warning that the coming winter “will be the hardest in history” success at the mark.
Zelensky said Russian forces have destroyed 30 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in a series of targeted attacks in recent weeks, prompting his call for conservation efforts. But he also noted on Monday that his army had made progress in regaining partially occupied territories in the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson, and said the plan was to retake Zaporozhye region and annexed Crimea.
“Ukraine is breaking the so-called second army in the world,” Zelensky said. “Now Russia can only be a beggar. It’s begging for something in Iran, trying to squeeze something out of the West, making up all kinds of stories about Ukraine, intimidating, deceiving.”
Thirty progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives on Monday urged President Joe Biden to seek a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine.
In a letter to Biden, members of Congress praised his support for Ukraine while preventing direct U.S. military involvement in the conflict, acknowledging that their “brazen and unlawful aggression” and subsequent unlawful annexation by Russia have made their Requirements difficult to meet or Ukrainian territory.
But they also stressed the need to find a negotiated peaceful solution that would allow Ukraine to maintain its independence and give Russia some concessions, such as lifting sanctions.
“The alternative to diplomacy is protracted war,” they said, “with certainty and catastrophic and unknowable risks.”
White House spokesman John Kirby praised the “thoughtful concerns” expressed in the letter, adding that the administration supports Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has been skeptical of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Willing to negotiate in good faith.
“We will continue to focus on making sure he and his troops can succeed on the battlefield so that when it’s time to get to the negotiating table, Mr. Zelensky can succeed,” Kirby said.
The Russians created the ‘fantasy’ of leaving Kherson, but they are digging
The Russian military is creating an illusion A senior Ukrainian official said on Monday it would evacuate its officials and force the city to evacuate, thereby leaving Kherson. But Ukrainian intelligence chief Budanov told Ukraine’s Pravda newspaper that the Kremlin was sending new military units to areas Russia claimed to have annexed a few weeks ago.
Budanov said Sergei Surovkin, who commanded the South Group of Russian troops in the war, would likely maintain the appearance of an orderly withdrawal to prevent the Russian public from reacting in the event of Kherson’s surrender or loss.
“They create the illusion that everything is gone,” Budanov said. “At the same time, instead, they brought in new military units there and prepared the city’s streets for defense.”
Russia appears to be relying on recruits to prevent Ukrainian forces from retaking the city, the Washington-based Institute for War Institute said in its assessment over the weekend.
“If the Ukrainian military chooses to press, the use of such inexperienced forces to carry out delayed operations could lead to a rout of Russia,” the assessment said.
Kremlin proposes ‘dirty bomb’ statement
Despite strong denials from Kyiv and the West, the Kremlin insists An unsubstantiated claim on Monday was that Ukraine planned to detonate a low-yield nuclear device and then accused Russia of using weapons of mass destruction.
Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, head of the Russian army’s radiation, chemical and biological protection unit, said his Defense Ministry had “evidence that the regime in Kyiv was planning a provocation involving the detonation of a so-called dirty bomb”. These weapons are usually more used to sow terror than kill. Kirillov did not elaborate on what evidence Russia might have.
Kirillov said the provocation would be used to launch an anti-Russian campaign around the world aimed at undermining trust in Moscow. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was preparing for the deployment of radioactive devices on Ukrainian soil.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who spoke with U.S., British and French defense ministers on Sunday, accused Ukraine of planning provocations to escalate the war. All staunchly rejected the claim, with a senior U.S. military official telling USA TODAY on condition of anonymity that the Ukrainians were not making dirty bombs.
“I spoke on the phone today with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who requested a follow-up call,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tweeted on Sunday. “I reject any excuse for Russia to escalate and reiterate the value of continued communication amid Russia’s illegal and unreasonable war against Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba also dismissed Shoigu’s claims that Shoigu may have performed well in Russia, calling it “ridiculous” and dangerous.
Food trade threatened as warring nations file complaints
According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Ukraine’s Black Sea ports are less than a third of their capacity due to Russian intervention. The development threatens a fragile deal that expires on Nov. 11. 19.
The deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in late July, lifted Russia’s blockade of ports and allowed Ukraine to ship more than 8 million tonnes of grain to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, helping ease a growing food crisis.
Russia believes its guarantees of food and fertilizer imports are not being met, and has repeatedly complained about the implementation of the agreement, recently raising concerns with the United Nations, Reuters reports.
Ukraine is seeking to renew the agreement, but wants Russia to fully comply with its provisions.
“Russia has deliberately delayed the full implementation of the ‘food plan’,” its infrastructure ministry said on Telegram, “as a result, ports have been operating at only 25-30% of their capacity in recent days.”
Pelosi: Iran made ‘big mistake’ in delivering drones to Russia
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that Iran was “making the world a less safe place” by providing Russia with drones to use in the Ukraine war.
Pelosi joined Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a forum in Zagreb aimed at supporting Ukraine’s independence in the face of Russian aggression. Pelosi condemned Iran’s passing “Making a big mistake” in supplying the device with explosives.
Russia has renamed the Shahed drones that terrorized the Ukrainian population and damaged power plants that Iran has denied being the source of. But several unique triangular drones have been spotted in Ukraine.
“We have to be able to fight drones,” Pelosi said. “This is a dangerous technology that must stop.”
Contributors: Tom Vanden Brook, Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY; AP