Day 630: Russia tries to regain initiative in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces try to regain initiative in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops expand a “fluid” foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro in Kherson region. The EU Commission proposes the 12th package of sanctions targeting Russia.

Russian forces try to regain initiative in eastern Ukraine

Is the Kremlin trying to change the course of war? Russian forces are likely trying to regain the theater-level initiative in Ukraine by conducting several simultaneous offensive operations in eastern Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a report on November 14.

Several Ukrainian officials noted that the situation along the frontline is complex but that Ukrainian forces maintain control of the battlespace. Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi stated on November 13 during a conversation with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown that the Avdiivka, Kupyansk, and Marinka directions are the most intense. Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi emphasized that Russian forces are pursuing simultaneous offensive actions in several directions and trying particularly to regain the initiative north and south of Bakhmut.

Russian forces will likely struggle to fully regain the initiative across the theater, however, and Ukrainian forces are continuing their own offensive operations and making tactical-level gains along the front, particularly in western Zaporizhia Oblast and on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast, ISW said.

Ukrainian troops expand “fluid” foothold on left bank of Dnipro in Kherson region

Ukraine’s defense forces are pushing Russian troops back from the eastern bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson region. The frontline there is “fairly fluid,” Captain First Rank Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command said on Ukrainian television on Wednesday. Across the front line that goes along the river, Russian forces “feel very uncomfortable” and are “trying to actively defend themselves, to actively use heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, and aviation as much as possible,” Humenyuk said.

“The pushback from our side is taking place on a line from three to eight kilometers along the entire bank from the water’s edge,” she said. The Ukrainian military command cannot reveal all Ukrainian operations, she added. Ukrainian troops have been putting Russia forces under pressure, Humenyuk said.

“If we look at the frontlines, deployment of troops, and geography of the war theatre, the left bank of the Dnipro is fatal for the Russians. It would be fatal for any troops that are based as far as, say, in Russia,” Ukrainian military analyst Roman Svitan told Radio NV. “There are roughly five hundred kilometers between Rostov or Taman and the left bank [of the Dnipro]. No army has operated such a long land supply route. Besides, the routes through Crimea and the Kerch bridge are unreliable as they can be disrupted at any moment,” Svitan said.

EU Commission proposes 12th package of sanctions on Russia

The European Commission said Wednesday it proposed to the member states the 12th package of sanctions targeting Russia.

“The proposals for listings include actors from the Russian military, defense and IT sectors, as well as other important economic operators,” the EU Commission statement said. It said that the latest package would target more than 120 individuals and entities “for their role in undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

“The proposed measures target those who have orchestrated the recent illegal so-called ‘elections’ in the territories of Ukraine that Russia has temporarily occupied, those responsible for the forced ‘re-education’ of Ukrainian children and actors spreading disinformation and propaganda in support of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” the statement said.

“The [EU] High Representative, together with the Commission, also proposes to adopt new import and export bans, as well as actions to tighten the oil price cap and to counter circumvention of EU sanctions,” it added.

The statement gave no further details.

Archaeological challenges amidst war. Ukraine in Flames #533

The work of archaeologists has not just changed since the beginning of the full scale war, it has almost stopped. The main stage of archaeological work is excavation, which is extremely dangerous to conduct in wartime due to constant shelling, mining and unexploded shells. In addition, most of the archaeological laboratories located in the east of Ukraine are now destroyed, severely damaged, and their employees have left. Watch Ukraine in flames #533 to find out about destruction of monuments of the archaeological heritage of Ukraine and how archaeologists establish work with combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to safeguard these treasures along the lines of contact.


  • Viktor Chabai, Director of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Serhii Telizhenko, Scientific Secretary of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine