NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made an unannounced visit to Kyiv. Ukrainian troops advance in the Zaporizhzhia direction. Forty foreign traders store gas in Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General makes unannounced visit to Kyiv
On September 28, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made an unannounced visit to Kyiv. It was his second visit to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Stoltenberg met with President Zelenskyi.
He last visited the Ukrainian capital on April 20, 2023. He then said that his very presence in Ukraine sent the message to the people of the country that “NATO stands with Ukraine.”
On the same day, September 28, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi on an unannounced visit to Kyiv. The visit was Shapps’ first to the Ukrainian capital since he became defence secretary last month. French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu visited Kyiv on Thursday.
Ukrainian troops advance in Zaporizhzhia direction
Russian forces likely no longer control a roughly one-kilometer-long trench line west of Verbove, in Zaporizhzhia region, an indication that Ukraine continues to advance in the area, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report on September 27.
Ukrainian forces marginally advanced near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on September 27. Geolocated footage published on September 26 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced near Orikhovo-Vasylivka (10km northwest of Bakhmut). Additional geolocated footage published on September 26 indicates that Russian forces likely no longer control a roughly one-kilometer-long trench line west of Verbove (16km southeast of Orikhiv). The absence of Russian forces in this trench line could facilitate further Ukrainian advances in this area, as this trench line is no longer a significant obstacle for Ukrainian forces. Ukraine’s commander of the Tavria operational strategic group, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi stated that “there will be good news” in the Zaporizhia operational direction.
Forty foreign traders store gas in Ukraine in past six months
Between April and September 2023, 40 foreign companies used short-haul services of the gas transmission operator, GTS Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU), to transport and store gas in the country. Among them are Europe’s largest traders. (With regard to short-haul services, companies interested in storing gas in Ukrainian facilities can import volumes into the country on a cheaper tariff).
The GTSOU has concluded 25 new contracts for gas transportation services with foreign companies, bringing the total number of foreign clients to more than 130. Ukraine holds about two bcm of foreign gas in storage.
“Reliability and responsibility that the GTS and Storage System Operators demonstrate in the provision of natural gas transportation and storage services have been highly appreciated by European customers. The situation on the European gas market creates a demand for additional storage facilities. This demand can and should be covered by Ukraine that provides its international partners with cost-effective services at very competitive prices,” said Dmytro Lyppa, General Director of the GTS Operator of Ukraine.
In August 2023, GTSOU stress tested Ukraine’s gas infrastructure to assess the risk of the war hampering traders’ ability to safely store gas in Ukraine and transport it to the European Union. It partnered with the underground gas storage operator Ukrtransgas, the USAID Energy Security Project, the Energy Community Secretariat, the Directorate General “Joint Research Center” of the European Commission (as an observer), Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy, the Naftogaz Group, and the Simone Research Group to conduct the risk assessment.
The operator said that Ukraine’s gas infrastructure proved its “high reliability and resilience” in the crisis situations modelled.
Do schools in Europe teach enough about Ukraine? Ukraine in Flames #513
The way Ukrainian history is described in school history textbooks and educational materials is quite different from one country to another, such as Poland, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In many cases, the portrayal of Ukraine’s history in European school textbooks seems incomplete and shallow. It often gets overshadowed by the history of the Soviet Union and is more connected to negative historical events and trends. Watch Ukraine in flames #513 to find out about how Ukraine is represented in school textbooks across European countries.
- Anton Drobovych, Head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory
- Maria Protsiuk, Acting Head of the Department of Analytical and Research Work of the Ukrainian Institute
- Oleksandr Hisem, Author of textbooks on history, Teacher of the Ukrainian International School