Day 565 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv regained control of seized Offshore Platforms in the Black SeaUkraine | September 11, 2023, Monday // 09:30| views
Day 565 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Ukraine regained control of seized offshore platforms in the Black Sea
- British intelligence: Russia plans to hire 420,000 contract soldiers by the end of 2023.
- The Ukrainian offensive may only have 30 days left, according to a senior US general
- Kim Jong-un appears to have gone to Russia for a meeting with Putin, according to South Korean television
- The German foreign minister on an unannounced visit to Kyiv
- Ukraine reports progress on the Southern front
- The occupiers killed two workers of a humanitarian organization in Ukraine
- Putin's party won the elections in the annexed Ukrainian regions, the local CEC announced
- Kyiv disappointed by the G-20 declaration in Delhi
Ukraine regained control of seized offshore platforms in the Black Sea
The Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Army (GUR) announced that it had returned control of the country's offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Black Sea with a detachment of commandos. Known as "Boyko's Towers", they were occupied by the Russian army in 2015 and moved from the Odesa region near Crimea.
A video on how Special Operations Forces of the GUR managed to take control of the gas and oil drilling platforms 'Boyko towers' near the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/wFrLbLdltA— NOELREPORTS ???????? ???????? (@NOELreports) September 11, 2023
After the beginning of Russian aggression on February 24, 2022, they were attacked with Ukrainian missiles and set on fire.
According to Kyiv, the Russians use them as platforms for radar surveillance, as well as for landing and refueling helicopters.
The drilling platforms "Petr Godovalets" and "Ukraine" (the Russians had renamed them Crimea-1 and Crimea-2), as well as the floating complexes "Tavrida" and "Sivash" were brought back under control. "In addition, we captured valuable trophies: ammunition for helicopters of the NAR type (unguided missiles) and the Neva radar station, which can track the movement of ships in the Black Sea," the message said. The name "Boyko's Towers" comes from the media, which linked the facilities to Yuriy Boyko, former Minister of Energy. During his time, they were purchased by the company "Chernomorneftegaz" at inflated prices, which caused suspicions of corruption.
In December 2015, they were moved under the escort of Russia's Black Sea Fleet to the Holitsynske gas field, about 130 km southeast of Odesa.
British intelligence: Russia plans to hire 420,000 contract soldiers by the end of 2023
According to British intelligence, Russia plans to hire 420,000 contract soldiers in the army by the end of 2023, which will negatively affect the workforce in various non-defense sectors of the Russian Federation, the British Ministry of Defense announced.
On September 3, 2023, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that now 280 thousand people have already been appointed to the Russian army. However, this data cannot be independently verified, British intelligence notes.
Military recruitment continues to have a negative impact on Russia's workforce. Former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar's Russian Institute for Economic Policy has found that the labor shortage in Russia's industry reached a new high of 42% in July this year, 7% more than the shortage reported in April.
In the IT sector, Russia has taken steps to preserve its workforce. This, according to British intelligence, could mean an acute shortage in the sector, after about 100,000 IT workers, or 10 percent of those employed in the sector, left the country last year.
On September 4, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree raising the age of recruitment for IT professionals from 27 to 30. This means that mobilization and conscription in Russia are increasing labor shortages in the non-defense sector. Ahead of the Russian presidential election, which is scheduled for March 2024, the Russian authorities will likely try to avoid further mobilizations.
On September 11, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine predicted that mass forced mobilization would begin in Russia and the temporarily occupied territories in the near future due to the heavy losses of the Russian armed forces at the front. According to the forecast, the mobilized could be between 400 and 700 thousand people.
The Ukrainian offensive may only have 30 days left, according to a senior US general
Ukraine has just over 30 days to fight before weather prevents its counteroffensive, US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the BBC.
According to him, the colder conditions will significantly complicate Ukraine's maneuvers.
He admitted that the offensive was slower than expected. But he added: "There is still heavy fighting going on. The Ukrainians are still making steady progress."
General Milley said it was too early to say whether the counteroffensive had failed, but said Ukraine was "advancing at a very steady pace through the Russian front lines".
"There is still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days, that remains, so the Ukrainians are not done, he stressed. There are unfinished battles ... they have not finished the combat part of what they are trying to achieve. "
Kyiv's counteroffensive, which began in the summer and aims to liberate Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine, has so far seen only limited success. But Ukrainian generals claim to have breached Russia's first line of defense in the south.
"I said at the very beginning of this (war) that it would be long, slow, hard and there would be many casualties, and it has," General Milley said.
In the same interview, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK's Chief of Defense Staff, said that "Ukraine is winning and Russia is losing".
Ukraine's foreign minister told critics of the counteroffensive to shut up Ukraine's foreign minister told critics of the counteroffensive to shut up
"This is because Russia's goal was to subjugate Ukraine and bring it under Russian control," he said. In his words, "this has not happened and will never happen, and that is why Ukraine is winning."
He added that Ukraine is making progress in the battle to return territory and has regained 50% of the land seized by Russia.
Last year, Ukraine's armed forces retook Kherson on November 11, while fighting continued around Bakhmut during a generally mild winter.
Autumn rains and winter cold affect the nature of the fighting, but the slowdown in Ukraine's offensive operations last year was more related to equipment and ammunition.
Asked about the impact of the weather, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, said Saturday that "the fighting will continue one way or another."
He acknowledged that it is more difficult to fight in cold and wet weather, but noted that it is a matter of adjustment.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin's alliance with North Korea shows the Russian president is in a "state of desperation", Admiral Radakin said.
He emphasized that the relations between the two countries show how few partners Russia has left.
Last week, it was reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to visit Russia this month to meet with Putin for arms talks.
In both Washington and Seoul, there is concern about what North Korea will get in return for an arms deal that could lead to increased military cooperation between the two countries in Asia.
Kim Jong-un appears to have gone to Russia for a meeting with Putin, according to South Korean television
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have left for Russia for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, South Korean broadcaster YTN reported on Monday, citing an unnamed senior government source.
Kim appears set to head to North Korea's northeastern border on a special train, with the meeting likely to take place as early as Tuesday, according to reports. Earlier, the television reported that the meeting could take place on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Russia's Interfax news agency reported that Kim was expected to visit the Far East "in the coming days."
The trip, if confirmed, would be Kim's first overseas visit in more than four years and the first since the COVID-19 pandemic.
His last trip abroad in 2019 was also to Vladivostok for his first summit with Putin since the collapse of North Korea's denuclearization talks with former US President Donald Trump.
By phone, South Korea's foreign affairs and unification ministries said they had no information to provide. Officials at the National Intelligence Service could not be reached for comment.
The German foreign minister on an unannounced visit to Kyiv
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, pledging unwavering support for Ukraine and praising its progress on its path to EU membership, AFP reports.
"With tremendous courage and determination, Ukraine is defending the freedom of all of us," Baerbock said in a statement released by the foreign ministry upon her arrival.
"Ukraine can 'count on us," Baerbock added.
"We will not give up our efforts to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia's aggression: economic, military and humanitarian," Baerbock said. It was Baerbock's fourth visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022.
Ukraine's bid for membership in the European Union is expected to be among the topics discussed with Ukrainian officials during this trip.
Ukraine received EU candidate status a year ago and hopes to start formal negotiations this year.
Baerbock said Ukraine had already made "good progress" in some areas, including judicial reforms, but said it still had "a long way to go" in tackling corruption. She confirmed Germany's "resolute support" for Ukraine on its path to the European Union.
Baerbock also expressed concern about the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia.
"We support the organizations, the Ukrainian authorities and the non-governmental organizations that are working to return the abducted children home. Nothing justifies this war being fought on the backs of the most innocent, the children," she said.
Ukraine reports progress on the Southern front
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported success in the army's counteroffensive on the southern front. Russia again reported the downing of Ukrainian drones on its territory.
Zelensky said in his traditional evening video address that Ukrainian troops counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces have advanced on the southern front, while there has also been movement near Bakhmut in the east.
Near Avdiivka, the Ukrainian army has regained control over part of a settlement, south of the city. The General Staff of Kyiv also reported successes near the village of Robotyne, which Ukrainian forces captured last month.
Russia has carried out 5 missile strikes and over 80 air strikes on objects in Ukraine, Shahed drones have also been used to bombard the Kyiv region and the capital. Ukrainian air defense has shot down 26 drones.
Russian authorities also said they destroyed two Ukrainian drones in the Belgorod region, which is about 35 km away from the border with Ukraine. No casualties were reported. Moscow's military department also reported that the Russian army repelled attacks in the direction of the city of Kupiansk and settlements in southern Ukraine.
The occupiers killed two workers of a humanitarian organization in Ukraine
Two workers of an international humanitarian organization were killed in a Russian attack in eastern Ukraine.
The dead are a Spanish woman and a Canadian who worked for "Road to Relief", which was created almost immediately after the start of the war, BNT reported. In 18 months, its employees have managed to provide assistance to thousands of Ukrainians.
Authorities in Kyiv reported that the humanitarian organization's car was directly attacked, causing it to overturn and catch fire.
Two more people were injured - a Swede and a German.
Putin's party won the elections in the annexed Ukrainian regions, the local CEC announced
The Central Election Commission of Russia announced yesterday that President Vladimir Putin's party "United Russia" won the regional elections in the four Ukrainian regions declared by Moscow as annexed, AFP reported.
The reported result is 74.63% in favor of the presidential party with 100% of ballots counted.
These are the Ukrainian Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. For Ukraine and its Western allies, these elections are illegal.
Ella Pamfilova, chairwoman of the Russian election commission, said the elections were dynamic and with few violations.
With the vote held over three days, from Friday to Sunday, Moscow is trying to legitimize the annexations of the occupied territories in eastern and southern Ukraine, notes AFP.
Despite clear condemnation from Western countries, Russia announced last September that it was annexing Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts after holding referendums in these territories that are not recognized by the international community.
Kyiv disappointed by the G-20 declaration in Delhi
The annual G20 meeting in Delhi ended with the adoption of a joint declaration that did not mention Russia and contained no criticism of Moscow over the war in Ukraine. Kyiv expressed disappointment with the text, but Moscow praised India's role in reaching a consensus on the final document.
At the meeting, the African Union was accepted as a permanent member of the G-20. India has officially handed over the chairmanship of the forum to Brazil, which takes over in December.
The United States and Russia welcomed the consensus on the final declaration, which was surprisingly reached amid weeks of disagreement over the chapter on the war in Ukraine. The West insisted on condemning Moscow for the invasion, Russia threatened to block any option that did not reflect its position. The adopted text does not condemn Russia, but highlights the human suffering caused by the conflict, BTA reported.
The document calls on G20 countries not to use force to seize territory. Germany and Great Britain also praised the resolution, but Ukraine said there was nothing to be proud of. The Russian side described the meeting as a "success" and a "turning point" and announced that it is ready to return to the grain agreement on the Black Sea if its conditions are met.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized the "role of the Global South" for the compromise on the declaration.
"The meeting demonstrated the reluctance of the Global South for all talks to be reduced to the war in Ukraine. Everyone is tired of that," he said.
"The final declaration is not a diplomatic victory for Russia," emphasized French President Emmanuel Macron. According to him, the G-20 format was created primarily to solve economic problems and is not necessarily the place to expect diplomatic progress on the war in Ukraine.
"This G-20 summit has once again confirmed Russia's isolation. Today, by an overwhelming majority, the member states condemned the war in Ukraine and its impact," commented Macron.
The forum ended without an official group photo at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. The summit in Bali last year also ended without a joint photo - some leaders reportedly refused to pose because of Russia's presence, the BBC reports.
The Brazilian presidency begins on December 1. President Lula da Silva has announced that he will visit Russia for the BRICS meeting and then awaits the Russian leader at the next G20 forum. Lula da Silva has assured that Vladimir Putin will not be arrested, but Brazil is a member of the International Criminal Court that issued the warrant against the Russian president.
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