Putin's forces maintain pressure on Avdiivka as Zelensky's troops repel assaults – The Independent

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The longer-range weapon is harder to detect than the Iranian-made Shahed drone and may be used over winter
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Aftermath of Russian missile strike on Ukraine mail depot that killed six
The Russian Army has used new, longer-range drones for the first time in an attack against Ukraine near Kyiv, reports suggest.
The Italmas weapon, which is harder to detect than the Iranian-made Shahed drone, may be part of Vladimir Putin’s strategy to expand Russia’s arsenal as harsher winter weather approaches, the Institute for the Study of War said.
It comes as the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, Donetsk, faced heavy shelling overnight as Russia continues with its offensive push into the region.
“The enemy dropped about 40 guided aerial bombs in two nights. But the number of ground assaults has been reduced, half of what it was yesterday and the day before,” Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern group of forces, said.
Mr Shtupun added that Russia had suffered about 2,400 casualties in the last five days during its campaing in the Donetsk region.
Meanwhile, Ukraine launched an “underwater sabotage” attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet near Sevastopol, Crimea, on Tuesday, according to Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of the region.
A Russian drone strike that hit near a nuclear power station in Khmelnitskyi on Wednesday was likely targeting the station according to Ukraine’s President Zelensky.
In his nightly address, he said the action was evidence stricter sanctions were needed against Russia.
Zelensky said every Russian strike, “especially those daring enough to target nuclear power stations and other critical facilities, serves as an argument that pressure on the terrorist state is insufficient.”
Overnight, Russian drones attacked the city of Slavuta in the Khmelnitskyi region. We have shot them down, but their fragments shattered windows, doors, and roofs. Two dozen residents were harmed. They received necessary assistance.

The Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant, however,… pic.twitter.com/qt7YnVbQmZ
A report by Russian investigative news outlet, The Insider, has revealed that Russian Kh-47M2 Khinzal missiles are being produced using components imported from all across the EU.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion most of Russia’s defence productions has fallen under sanctions. However, company records show that equipment is still being imported via intermediaries in Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, and the U.K.
A single Khinzal missile costs the Russian state $10 million according to the publication.
Russia imports components from all across the EU for production of its Khinzal missiles
Leo Varadakar, the Taioseach of Ireland, has downplayed claims of a Cabinet row over the accomodation of refugees.
The Irish Government is looking at moving from the current open-ended arrangements for Ukrainian refugees amid concerns the state will have no accommodation left for new Ukrainian arrivals next year.
When pressed to confirm the tensions, Varadkar said that “the rows in Government are much exaggerated”, but the wider issue was a “serious one”.
Mr Varadkar said he was very “proud” of Ireland’s efforts to house around 100,000 Ukrainians since the war broke out, with 20,000 international protection applicants arriving from elsewhere in the world during the same period.
Varadkar said claims of a row were “exaggerated” but the wider issue was a “serious” one
Powerful blasts near the area of Ukraine‘s Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant damaged windows at the site overnight, but did not affect the plant’s operations or its connection to the grid, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday.
The explosions temporarily cut power to some off-site radiation monitoring stations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) added.
Officials say twenty people were wounded in the attacks.
Russia has rehearsed the delivery of a retaliatory nuclear strike according to a Kremlin statement on Wednesday.
State TV showed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Putin discussing the test strikes.
“Practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place during the training,” the statement said. The statement also said a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile had been fired from a test site in Russia’s far east, that a nuclear-powered submarine had launched a ballistic missile from the Barents Sea, and that Tu-95MS long-range bombers had test-fired air-launched cruise missiles.
The country recently revoked its ratification of a landmark nuclear testing treaty, bringing it in line with the US’s position in what some have called a stand-off with the West during its war with Ukraine.
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on state TV on Wednesday that the country had tested its ability to deliver a massive retaliatory nuclear strike. The Minister confirmed that the country had begun training for the possible event.
Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu has confirmed the country has tested its ability to deliver a massive retaliatory nuclear strike
Australia’s Ministry of Defence announced a new military aid package on Wednesday. The shipment is worth approximately $20 million AUD and includes de-mining equipment, portable x-ray machines, a 3D metal printer, and counter-drone systems.
President Zelensky said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I am grateful to @AlboMP for Australia’s new package of military aid. Antidrone weaponry, demining equipment, and other assistance are of utmost importance for our warriors and all of our people. We greatly appreciate Australia’s resolute support in Ukraine’s fight for freedom.”
The Australian Ministry of Defence confirmed this took the country’s overall assistance to Ukraine past $910 million.
Health workers wait for a wounder Ukrainian soldier in Avidiivka, Donetsk
Three Ukrainians walk in the foreground of a destroyed building in Avidiivka, Donetsk
Ukraine will produce tens of thousands of drones a month by the end of this year, the country’s minister for strategic industries said.
It comes after Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal said more than 200 Ukrainian companies have begun developing drones, fueling a massive increase in production as well as technical innovation.
In July, former deputy prime minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said: “We will end this war with drones”.
Since that statement, Kyiv has announced plans to invest $1bn into the industry, as more than 10,000 drones are said to be lost on the battlefield every month.
A Ukrainian military pilot of a FPV drone near Bakhmut
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to respond to Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.
“We are preparing for terrorist attacks on energy infrastructure. This year we will not only defend ourselves, but also respond,” he said on Telegram.
Mr Zelensky also claimed Russia has moved its aircraft further from the border with Ukraine and moved its Black Sea fleet further from Crimea.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to respond to Russian attacks on energy infrastructure
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Three Ukrainians walk in the foreground of a destroyed building in Avidiivka, Donetsk
Anadolu via Getty Images
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