Here is the situation on Monday, October 16, 2023.
Russia’s military continued its offensive in the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka as local authorities said two civilians were killed in shelling that was so fierce, that emergency crews were unable to recover the dead from the destroyed buildings.The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said its forces had repelled 15 Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Tonenke and Pervomaiske in the Donetsk region.Six people were killed in Russian attacks, including two in the Kherson region, amid relentless shelling. That attack also injured three people, according to Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. Two guided bombs later hit key infrastructure in Kherson city, sparking a partial blackout and disruption to the area’s water supply.Meanwhile, Oleh Syniehubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, said a 54-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man were killed after their home was destroyed in a Russian air attack.Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russian television that the country’s forces had bolstered their positions across the entire front line in Ukraine, claiming a Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in June had “failed completely”.The Russian defence ministry said Ukraine launched 27 drones on western Russia. Officials said that 18 drones were shot down over the Kursk region, leading to speculation in the Russian press that the attack could have been targeting the nearby Khalino military airfield. Officials also said two more drones were shot down over the Belgorod region, but did not say what happened to the remaining drones.Russia said it scrambled a Su-27 fighter jet as a United States Global Hawk reconnaissance drone approached the Russian border above the Black Sea, the Interfax news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying.
Politics and diplomacy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kyiv was working to evacuate nearly 260 of its citizens from Gaza and to fly other Ukrainians out of Israel.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden would hold intensive talks with members of the US Congress this week to push through a new weapons package for Ukraine and Israel, which will be significantly higher than $2bn. Sullivan told CBS’s Face the Nation that the package would include “the necessary military equipment to defend freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity in Ukraine”.Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies