Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ukraine war latest: NASAMS, Aspide air defense systems arrive in Ukraine

by Thaisa SemenovaNovember 7, 2022 10:30 pm
Share

Ukraine war latest: NASAMS, Aspide air defense systems arrive in UkraineU.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) shakes hand with Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov ahead of the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels on Oct. 12, 2022. (Photo by Stephanie Lecocq/AFP via Getty Images)

Key developments on Nov. 7:

  • Ukraine repels attacks near eight settlements over past day. 
  • Over 4.5 million people have no access to electricity due to Russian attacks, Zelensky says
  • Satellite images show over 1,500 new graves near occupied Mariupol, BBC reports.

Ukraine has received long-anticipated Western air defense systems, says Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. 

"These weapons will significantly strengthen the Ukrainian army and will make our skies safer," Reznikov said on Nov. 7.

The arrival of NASAMS and Aspide comes amid Ukraine's calls for more Western air defense systems as the country braces itself for possible Russian missile and drone attacks.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than 4.5 million people have no access to electricity due to Russian attacks.

In a video address, he specified that the most difficult situation is currently in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast. 

"Whatever the terrorists want, we must survive this winter and become even stronger in the spring," Zelensky said.   

After Russia's intensified attacks on Ukraine's energy sector that started on Oct. 10, rolling blackouts began to take place. On Nov. 7, Kyiv experienced extensive emergency blackouts due to a shortage of electricity.

Serhiy Kovalenko, CEO of DTEK Solutions (Yasno) energy supplier, said that the electricity shortages were 32% more than expected.

"It's a lot, and it's a force majeure," he noted.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged residents to reduce electricity consumption as much as possible as "the situation remains difficult."

On Nov. 1, Kyiv Oblast Governor Oleksii Kuleba told Hromadske that if Russia continues to fire at Ukraine's energy infrastructure and the country's air defense can't handle it, a total power outage could happen in the region, the capital included.

President Zelensky said on Nov. 1 that Russian missile and drone strikes have destroyed "30-40% of Ukraine's energy system."

On Nov. 5, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian acknowledged for the first time that his country had provided drones to Russia but claimed that it happened before Russia's full-scale invasion.  

Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, said on Nov. 7 that this claim is false and that Iran had supplied dozens of combat drones to Russia during summer. 

The Economist magazine reported, citing Ukrainian military intelligence and other officials, that "arrangements are already made" for Iran to supply Russia with missiles.

Tehran and Moscow have reached an agreement for Iranian Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles to be delivered by air to Russian-occupied Crimea and by sea to Russian ports on the Caspian Sea, according to the Economist.

"We know arrangements are already made," Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, said as quoted by the Economist.

On the battlefield

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on Nov. 7 that Russia has lost 530 troops in the past day, bringing the total number of Russian soldiers killed since the start of the full-scale invasion to 76,460. 

In the Donbas, the Ukrainian military has repelled a Russian offensive near eight settlements over the past 24 hours, the General Staff said.

According to the report, Russia has attempted to advance toward seven settlements in Donetsk Oblast (Yampil, Andriivka, Krasnohorivka, Mariinka, Pavlivka, Vodiane, and Novomykhailivka) and the recently liberated town of Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.

The Ukrainian military also said it had launched a strike against a Russian battalion based in Moscow-held Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast, killing more than 30 military personnel and wounding up to 15.

In its recent intelligence update, the U.K. Defense Ministry said that Russia's lack of air superiority is "unlikely to change in the next few months" due to poor training and loss of experienced military personnel that is not easily replaceable.

"Russia's aircraft losses likely significantly outstrip their capacity to manufacture new airframes," the ministry wrote on Nov. 7. "The time required for the training of competent pilots further reduces Russia's ability to regenerate combat air capability."

"(The situation) is unlikely to change in the next few months," the report said.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, said Russia had lost twice the number of aircraft in Ukraine than during the Soviet ten-year war in Afghanistan. 

As of Nov. 7, Russian forces have lost 277 aircraft in its war against Ukraine, according to the General Staff. Meanwhile, the Soviet army lost 119 in Afghanistan.

Attacks and casualties

On Nov. 7, numerous explosions were heard in Russian-occupied Donetsk, according to media reports. 

Russian state-controlled media RIA Novosti claimed that a massive fire broke out in a railway administration building in Donetsk. No casualties have been reported at the time of the publication.

Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Russia's attacks on the Ukrainian-held parts of the region killed one person and wounded five over the past day. 

According to him, Russian forces have killed one civilian in Bakhmut and wounded five civilians in other settlements in Donetsk Oblast.

BBC reported on Nov. 7 that satellite images show over 1,500 new graves near occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast. 

Maxar's new satellite images reveal that three mass burial sites near occupied Mariupol have "steadily" grown since spring, according to the BBC. 

There are roughly 1,500 new graves at one of them – in Staryi Krym, north of Mariupol. In total, in Staryi Krym, more than 4,600 graves have been dug since the beginning of Russia's all-out invasion.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russian forces hit a small village with S-300 missile systems early on Nov. 7. The pre-dawn attack damaged warehouses and private houses, according to Ukrainian officials.

Amid intense Russian attacks, Chernihiv Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Chaus urged residents of border settlements of the region to evacuate. 

He said on Nov. 7 that Russian forces attacked the region 234 times over the past week and 87 times the week before.

Thaisa Semenova
Thaisa Semenova
National reporter

Thaisa Semenova is a national reporter at the Kyiv Independent. She worked as a staff writer for the Kyiv Post until November 2021.

Give the gift of democracy
this Giving Tuesday
Become a member of the Kyiv Independent. For as little as $5 per month, you can help ensure the Kyiv Independent continues to produce quality journalism in 2023.
visamasterCardpaypal