Russian forces ‘trying to surround’ east Ukraine stronghold; Germany pledges to meet NATO target

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Friday that the Russian military “does not stop trying to surround” the shattered eastern stronghold of Avdiivka.The industrial hub of Avdiivka, which is regarded as the gateway to Donetsk, has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.The update from Ukraine’s General Staff reported a series of Russian assaults in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions over the last 24 hours.Separately, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said via social media that Russian combat losses had climbed to nearly 310,000 since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February last year.

The figures could not be independently verified by CNBC. Elsewhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, chief of the General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov and other key figures at the southern military grouping’s headquarters to discuss the Ukraine war.

UK failing to clamp down on Russian sanctions circumvention in Central Asia, report finds

The U.K.’s failure to clamp down on Russian sanctions circumvention in Central Asia represents a “real and significant threat” to Western efforts to stifle Moscow’s economy in the wake of its war in Ukraine, a new report by British members of parliament found Friday.The cross-parliamentary report, entitled “Countries at crossroads: UK engagement in Central Asia,” said that the government’s failure to prosecute money-laundering crimes was effectively facilitating kleptocratic regimes in Central Asia.It added the shortcomings were particularly pressing given Russia’s efforts to skirt sanctions via countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Russia says it thwarted Ukrainian attempt to forge bridgehead on River Dnipro’s east bank

Russia said Friday that its military had intercepted an attempt by Ukrainian forces to forge a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the River Dnipro and nearby islands, according to a statement from its defense ministry.The ministry said in its weekly update that the assault killed 505 Ukrainian servicemen, while also destroying 18 field artillery guns, 15 boats and 25 vehicles.“On 9 November, personnel from a motorized rifle company in the Russian military grouping ‘Dnipro’ under the command of Senior Lieutenant Zolto Arsalanov destroyed servicemen from a unit of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Infantry brigade as they were trying to gain a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro River,” the statement said.


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