SEE the Brethren link for a recent update. [12-Nov-2023]
Due to decreased news coverage of the War in Ukraine and with no impactful news related to our Brethren in recent months, the daily entries are being discontinued. The Links section contains the Ukraine page of those sites which still carry one.
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief of armed forces General Valery Zaluzhny has said that the war in Ukraine in “at a stalemate”, warning that there is likely to be no quick “no deep and beautiful breakthrough” in the counteroffensive against Russia.
Russia has likely lost at least four long range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers to Ukrainian strikes over the last week. On 26 October 2023, Russian media reported that three Russian SA-21 launchers had been destroyed in the Luhansk region
US senators from both parties indicated support for funding for Ukraine, voicing doubts on Tuesday about a House Republican plan to split US president Joe Biden’s request for a $106bn aid package.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “The modern world is set up in such a way that it becomes accustomed to success too quickly. When the full-scale aggression began, many in the world did not think Ukraine would endure,” in his nightly video address on Tuesday.
A senior UN official says Russian strikes are inflicting “unimaginable suffering” on the people of Ukraine and that more than 18 million Ukrainians – 40% of the population – need humanitarian assistance.
Defense secretary Lloyd Austin and secretary of state Antony Blinken will appear before a US Senate hearing on Tuesday to argue in favour of Joe Biden’s $105bn emergency aid request for Israel and Ukraine. New Speaker Mike Johnson has proposed cutting out the Ukraine aid and focusing on Israel alone.
Nine people, including two young children, have been found shot dead in their house in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha. Ukrainian officials say they believe Russian soldiers killed the whole of the Kapkanets family on 27 October for refusing to give them their house.
Moldova has blocked access to the websites of major Russian news media, accusing them of taking part in an information war against the country. Moldova, a small country located between Ukraine and NATO-member Romania, has accused Moscow of trying to overthrow its pro-western government since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. It holds local elections later this week.
The first US-made F-16 combat aircraft the Netherlands is donating Ukraine will arrive in Romania’s training center within two weeks, outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Monday.
Ukraine’s army said it had overnight “successfully hit” part of Russia’s air defense system located in annexed Crimea, AFP reports.
In its latest intelligence update, the UK’ s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that a Russian state-backed private military company (PMC) is specifically attempting to recruit women into combat roles in Ukraine for the first time.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) are headed for a showdown over emergency funding for Ukraine and funding the government beyond Thanksgiving, two tough issues that will test their ability to work together.
A bomb blast rocked a Jehovah's Witnesses Convention in Kerala, India where 2,000 attendees were present. [FULL STORY] Indian Brethren are concerned this incident could result in a crackdown on Bible Students as well as JWs.
A third round of Ukrainian-backed peace talks opens in Malta today with representatives from more than 50 countries. Moscow has oddly denounced it as “a blatantly anti-Russian event”.
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, claimed that Russian forces had lost at least a brigade’s worth of troops attempting to advance on Ukraine’s eastern town of Avdiivka.
French fighter jets have taxied alongside the Romanian Air Force after flying through the sky above the Fetesti air base, as NATO bolsters its military presence in member country Romania, bordering Ukraine.
Yesterday, the Kyiv-based Barva Invest consultancy, British security firm Ambrey and a specialised outlet, Ukrainian Ports, reported that Ukraine had suspended use of the corridor due to a possible threat from Russian warplanes and sea mines. Ukrainian officials denied this and president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said today the corridor would continue to function despite threats.
Russia is executing soldiers who try to retreat from a bloody offensive in eastern Ukraine, the White House has said. According to the US, some of the casualties suffered by Russia near Avdiivka were "on the orders of their own leaders". A Ukrainian army spokesperson said that Russian troops were refusing to attack Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka because of heavy losses and that there had been mutinies in some units.
Newly elected US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said that funding to support Ukraine and Israel should be handled separately, suggesting he will not back President Joe Biden’s $106 billion aid package for both countries. Johnson, speaking in an interview on Fox News, said he had concerns about Ukraine funding in general. “We want to know what the object is there, what is the end game in Ukraine.”
Ukraine has suspended the use of its new Black Sea grain corridor due to what it sees as military risks, the Kyiv-based Barva Invest consultancy has said.
The Kremlin on Thursday said it hoped to receive more “information” from Armenia after the Armenian prime minister said he saw “no advantage” in continuing to host Russian military bases on its territory.
Slovakia’s new populist prime minister, Robert Fico, has said his three-party coalition government was ending military aid to its eastern neighbour Ukraine, fulfilling one of his central campaign pledges.
Newly-elected U.S. Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, was among 93 Republicans who voted for an amendment by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to cut off U.S. military assistance for Ukraine.
South Korea, Japan and the US have strongly condemned the supply of arms and military equipment by North Korea to Russia, saying they have confirmed “several” deliveries.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukraine is preparing for renewed Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure ahead of the second winter of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of the country – and that the country is ready to counterattack if targeted.
A Russian drone attack damaged buildings near the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant in western Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday and 20 people were wounded, Reuters reports.
Ukraine’s economy ministry said GDP grew around 9.1% year-on-year in September. The ministry also said GDP over the first nine months of 2023 rose by 5.3% compared with last year when Russia launched its invasion. It described the figures as positive.
Moldova has blocked access to more than 20 Russian media websites because of what it called an information war being waged against the country.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba cited Forbes as reporting that Russia has spent around $167bn (£137bn) on the war between February 2022 and August 2023, with which it could have built almost 24,000 kindergartens across Russia, or more than 4,500 maternity wards, or about 17,000 schools. “Instead, Russian war criminals have bombed Ukrainian kindergartens, maternity wards, schools, and hospitals, destroying almost 120,000 civilian structures in all.”
Russia appears to be suffering severe losses as it wages its new offensive in eastern Ukraine, amid some of the bloodiest fighting in months, according to Ukrainian officials and independent analysts.
Ukraine’s defense systems destroyed all air weapons Russia launched overnight, Ukraine’s air force said on Monday. The air force said on Telegram that a total of 14 attack drones, including 13 Iranian-made Shahed drones and one unspecified drone, as well as one cruise missile were all destroyed, Reuters reports.
The number of wounded in a Russian missile strike on a postal distribution centre in Kharkiv district on Saturday, in which at least six people died, is now put at 16, rising overnight from 14.
More than a third of the territory of Ukraine is contaminated with mines and explosive objects due to the war with Russia, the official account of the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine posted on Telegram.
The White House asked Congress on Friday to approve a $106bn (£87bn) package of emergency aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as to the southern US border. The request includes $61.4bn for Ukraine, $44.4bn of which is to provide defense department equipment for the country.
The Ukrainian parliament gave initial approval on Thursday to a law that would ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after Kyiv accused it of collaborating with Russia following last year’s invasion.
Biden is reportedly to propose a joint $100bn package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border this week. The package is intended to bypass congressional chaos and bring Democrats, who have sought additional aid for Kyiv for weeks, together with Republicans, who want funds to tighten controls on the southern border.
The images of EU member state Hungary’s prime minister shaking hands with Vladimir Putin were “very, very unpleasant” and defied logic given Budapest’s past history with Moscow, Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, said.
Moscow has launched a drive to recruit Serbs to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine, as the Kremlin seeks to replenish its forces, depleted by 18 months of fighting.
The Ukrainian military used US-supplied longer-range missiles to strike nine Russian helicopters in eastern Ukraine, after Washington secretly shipped the weapons in recent weeks.
A telecommunication cable connecting Sweden and Estonia has been damaged, Sweden’s civil defense minister has said. Carl-Oskar Bohlin said the incident appeared to have occurred at the same time as a subsea gas pipeline and a telecom cable connecting Finland and Estonia were damaged on 8 October.
Ukraine’s forces made successful overnight strikes on Russian airfields and equipment near the cities of Luhansk and Berdiansk in territory controlled by Russian forces, Ukraine’s military said earlier on Tuesday.
Canada said on Tuesday it was targeting nine Moldovan individuals and six TV stations in new sanctions against Russian collaborators in Moldova.
Israel turned down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's request to make a solidarity visit to the country in the wake of Hamas' attack, telling him that the "time is not right". The president was, however, told that the visit might be possible at a later date.
President Biden said the U.S. can aid both Ukraine and Israel while maintaining America's overall international defense.
Slovakia’s populist former prime minister, Robert Fico, and his party signed a coalition deal to form a new government expected to reduce support to Ukraine, Reuters reported.
A top Ukrainian commander has claimed that Russia’s biggest offensive in months is failing. According to the Kyiv Post, 102 tanks and 183 armoured vehicles were destroyed, with 2,840 troops killed. This would be the biggest loss suffered by the Russians since the start of the war.
A senior Israeli official confirms to The Times of Israel that Jerusalem has resumed water supply to the Gaza Strip after shutting it off following the Hamas terror onslaught last Saturday.
Israel plans to send 10,000 troops to capture Gaza City and “destroy” the Strip’s leadership, the New York Times reports, citing Israeli military officers who have spoken publicly.
A US lawmaker tells The Times of Israel that Israeli officials have indicated to them that they will allow food, water and medicine into Gaza after imposing a siege on the enclave.
A Syrian pro-government media outlet says Israel’s military has attacked the international airport of the northern city of Aleppo, putting it out of service.
The United States will soon be sending a second aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran and Hezbollah from attacking Israel in the wake of the war against Gaza’s Hamas terror group, ABC reports, citing two unnamed US officials.
European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited. Kfar Azza during a solidarity trip to Israel following the Hamas onslaught. “We were in Kfar Azza. One of the epicenters of the atrocities committed by Hamas last weekend. The horror of what happened here is unspeakable. We mourn with the families of the victims,”" she said.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel this weekend, his office says.
A Gazan resident speaking to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity confirms that Hamas is preventing residents of the north of the strip from evacuating to the south, following an evacuation order issued by the IDF for Friday morning.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says he believes that in many ways the Hamas terror group is worse than ISIS.
The Israel Defense Forces says it has struck dozens of drone launch sites in the Gaza Strip that were located on the roofs of residential buildings. “This is another example of how the Hamas terror group uses the citizens of the Gaza Strip as a human shield,” the IDF says in a statement.
The IDF notified the United Nations at midnight on Friday that the entire Palestinian population north of Wadi Gaza should relocate to southern Gaza within 24 hours, a UN spokesperson says. The message indicates that the IDF could be readying to launch a ground invasion.
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian says that if Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continues, the war may open on “other fronts,” an apparent reference to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
ISRAEL: More than 1,300 Israeli civilian deaths have been reported. The number of civilian injuries is now over 3,300.
Various activist groups have expressed sympathy for the Palestinian people in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel. A major Black Lives Matter group championed Palestinian resistance to Israel in a recent Instagram post, as did a Black Lives Matter chapter in Chicago.
International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday the "heartbreaking" Israel-Hamas conflict threatened to darken an already murky global economic outlook.
Israeli strikes have knocked Syria’s two main airports out of service, Syrian state media says. The “simultaneous” strikes on the Aleppo and Damascus airports “damaged landing strips in the two airports, putting them out of service,” state media says, citing a military source.
El Al Israel Airlines announced that for the first time since 1982, it will fly on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, to bring back Israelis called up for emergency military reserve duty as well as security and rescue forces stranded abroad.
In light of Hamas massacres in Israel on Saturday, Germany has decided to suspend aid to Palestinians. Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticized Mahmoud Abbas, saying: "The Palestinian President’s silence is shameful."
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has so far notified the families of 97 hostages being held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Energy Minister Israel Katz says no electricity or water will be supplied to Gaza until those abducted during Hamas’s shock onslaught are returned home.
[A number of websites linked to elsewhere on this page have stopped their running blog of the Ukraine conflict.]
An international team of prosecutors seeking to put Russia’s top officials on trial over Ukraine has already gathered “thousands” of pieces of evidence, the head of EU judicial agency, Eurojust, has told AFP.
In its latest intelligence update, the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Russian military is facing a “mental health crisis”, with more than 100,000 personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in 2022 alone.
A former prime minister of Slovakia who plans to end the country’s military support for Ukraine is poised to return to office after his political party signed a deal with two other parties to form a coalition government, the Associated Press reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed, after his visit to Romania, that the military aid provided by the government in Bucharest to Ukraine will consist of artillery ammunition and anti-aircraft systems.
Extensive damage to an undersea gas pipeline and communications cable connecting Finland and Estonia “could not have occurred by accident” and appears to be the result of a “deliberate … external act”, Finnish authorities have said.
Russia failed in a bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body, with Albania and Bulgaria winning far more votes at the general assembly, Reuters reports. Russia received 83 votes, while Albania got 123 and Bulgaria 160 in a secret ballot on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said on Tuesday he had “good news” on artillery and air defense supplies after talks with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, in Bucharest, but gave no details.
Poland's two highest-ranking military officers have resigned days before a key election and amid the war in neighbouring Ukraine. They gave no reason for their decision.
Russia launched 36 drone attacks overnight on Ukraine, according to Kyiv’s air force, in Moscow’s latest air raid targeting the country. Ukraine’s air force said in a statement on Tuesday that its defense systems had destroyed 27 of the drones.
The National Police of Ukraine have documented almost 100,000 war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, according to the head of the body. Speaking to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Ivan Vyhovsky said the evidence being gathered would form the basis of future attempts to prosecute the crimes’ perpetrators.
Ukraine’s parliament registered a draft law on Monday that would allow a ban on activities of the Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The church has been accused by Kyiv of undermining Ukraine’s unity and collaborating with Russia following Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Russia will seek to return to the UN human rights council on Tuesday, just days after a Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian village of Hroza killed more than 50 people. The vote will take place by secret ballot.
UKRAINE: News coverage of the war has decreased dramatically since the Gaza conflict.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will visit neighbouring Romania on Tuesday, his first trip to the NATO member country since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, the Romanian presidency has said.
Russian military analyst Yuri Fedorov noted that the recreation of the Leningrad Military District suggests that Russia is preparing for possible conflicts with Baltic states and NATO. [ISW Daily Report]
UKRAINE: The Kremlin is already and will likely continue to exploit the Hamas attacks in Israel to advance several information operations intended to reduce US and Western support and attention to Ukraine. [ISW Daily Report]
•US President Joe Biden backs Israel’s right to self defense, and warns other parties in the region against joining the attack against the Jewish state.
•The Israel Defense Forces says it struck another two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip, used by Hamas.
•Netanyahu has offered opposition leaders Lapid and Gantz to join him in an emergency unity government.
•A new rocket barrage has been fired at Tel Aviv. Deaths and injuries have been reported.
•Israel has cut the electricity supply to Gaza.
•The Israeli Air Force bombed the home of Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.
•Turkey has declined to condemn Hamas.
•Israel has regained control of the Re'im Military base.
•The number of dead and injured continues to climb.
The UN security council is due to meet in emergency session on Sunday. The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, condemned the attack by Hamas and urged “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration”, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Israeli civilians and soldiers are being held hostage in Gaza, a spokesperson for the Israeli defense forces now confirms.
IN DEPTH: How did Israeli intelligence fail to see this coming?
Russian patriotic bloggers poured scorn on President Vladimir Putin’s intimation that mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane was blown up with hand grenades while those on board were high on cocaine and alcohol.
Many of Ukraine's smaller European allies are dedicating a greater share of their economic power to support Ukraine than the US.
Ukrainian officials said a Russian attack on a village in the northeast of the country killed at least 52 people and injured at least six more. Presidential chief of staff Andrii Yermak and Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov said Russian forces shelled a grocery store and a cafe in the village of Hroza, in the Kharkiv region, around 1pm local time, the Associated Press reported. An eight-year-old boy was among those killed in the attack, Syniehubov said, and one child was also among the wounded.
Moldova’s parliament began moves on Wednesday to prevent members of the banned pro-Russian Shor party running in local elections for other parties or as independent candidates.
Reuters news agency is reporting that Ukraine has carried out a drone attack on the western Russian region of Belgorod overnight and hit an S-400 air defense complex and its radar. It costs about $1.2 billion.
Ukraine’s navy has announced that 12 more vessels were ready to enter a Black Sea shipping corridor on their way towards Ukrainian ports, and that 10 other vessels were ready to depart from the country’s ports.
Western militaries are running out of ammunition to give to Ukraine, NATO and British officials warned Tuesday, as they urged the bloc’s nations to ramp up production to “keep Ukraine in the fight against Russian invaders.”
Russian air defenses destroyed 31 Ukrainian drones over the border regions of Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk overnight, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
Drunk recruits, insubordinate soldiers and convicts are among hundreds of military and civilian offenders pressed into Russian penal units known as "Storm-Z" squads and sent to the frontlines in Ukraine this year. Few live to tell their tale.
In a significant breakthrough that could help resolve their continuing “grain war”, Kyiv and Warsaw announced that they have reached a deal speeding up the transit of Ukrainian cereal exports through Poland to third countries.
Armenia’s parliament on Tuesday voted to join the international criminal court (ICC), obliging the former Soviet republic to arrest President Vladimir Putin if he were to visit the country. Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Yerevan, says Armenia’s decision is a signal of Russia’s waning influence.
The US army is reportedly ready to send an unspecified amount of Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles to Ukraine. With a range of about 300 km (186 miles), these would give Ukraine the advantage to strike Russian targets behind the front line.
Ukraine has received the first batch of refurbished Leopard tanks from Poland, a Polish industrial partner announced Monday.
Ukraine destroyed 29 of 31 drones launched by Russia and one cruise missile, its air force said on Tuesday via Reuters, most of them targeting the regions of Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk.
Ukraine’s troops would soon run short of essential ammunition and equipment if Republican hardliners succeed in stopping US military aid, undermining operations on the ground and reducing their ability to defend against Russian strikes, experts have told AFP.
The Russian defense ministry says it destroyed Ukrainian fuel depots and military aircraft in a strike in Dolgintsevo airfield in Dnipro, according to the news website, Zvezda.
A possible Ukrainian drone struck a helicopter base in Russia’s Sochi today, according to media reports. This strike came after social video showed a drone hitting an aircraft factory in Smolensk.
A drone struck an aircraft plant in Russia’s Smolensk oblast this morning. Earlier, the Russian ministry of defense said air defense systems shot down three Ukrainian unmanned aerial drones – but made no reference to the drones making any contact or causing any damage.
Russian forces launched around 40 drones in an overnight attack on Ukraine’s central and southern regions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) said in an operational update early Sunday. Ukraine’s air force destroyed 30 out of 40 Shahed drones launched from the south overnight.
The US government has avoided a federal shutdown after both House and Senate agreed on a short-term funding deal. A bill ensuring funding until 17 November received overwhelming support, and was signed into law by President Joe Biden minutes before a deadline. However, it was stripped of any new aid for Ukraine for its war against Russia.
The SMER-SSD party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico has won Slovakia’s parliamentary election after criticizing the European Union as well as NATO and promising to stop military aid to Ukraine.
From a Brother in Poland:
This morning I returned from Ukraine. Emotions haven't subsided yet. Together with my two brothers, we took food and cleaning products to our brothers in Ukraine, a total of 2.5 tons. We are still preparing to purchase sunflower oil, which will reach the brothers in the coming days. We wanted to do it before the upcoming frost.
There would be nothing special to report about everything we did if it weren't for the situation at the border. The minimum waiting time for a small truck to cross the border is 48 hours. Much more in a large car. Any humanitarian aid going to Ukraine must be reported via the online portal 24 hours before entering the border, with a precise list of goods. After shopping, we cleared customs, prepared a summary and wanted to report our departure. It turned out that there was a system failure and it was impossible to report a humanitarian crossing. We didn't know what to do. We had goods on the truck and we didn't have permission to pass through. We decided to go. We asked for prayers in our Ecclesias.
Of course, at the border they said it was impossible to cross. After talking and waiting for 10 minutes, something happened. The Polish border guard ran to us, took our documents and after another 10 minutes the border was open to us. They apologized that our journey was taking so long, and we were surprised and couldn't believe what was happening around us. The entire journey took 1.5 hours. We interpreted this situation as our Father's positive response to our prayers.
We safely reached the brothers, unloaded the aid, ate dinner and returned to the border before curfew. The return journey across the border took 50 minutes. 19 hours after leaving the house, I returned home. I don't have all the purchases totaled yet, it will probably be around $10,000.
The brothers are very grateful for the help and support they feel from other brothers. Several people who helped with unloading are missing in the attached photo. One sister gave us three chocolates that she bought herself. She wanted to show her gratitude this way. Everyone in Ukraine needs contacts. It strengthens and calms them down. We promised that we would visit them more often, not only with material help.
Two months ago I was in Ukraine in two congregations. One Ecclesia held a service during which three people were baptized. We also visited one older sister and together with her we participated in a singing meeting organized online. I was surprised how much everyone needs contacts with others, how it strengthens them, encourages them and mobilizes them to remain close to the Lord.
A month ago, brothers from Poland visited brothers in Moldova. We donated $1,500 to the northern brothers for winter expenses. The southern brothers do not need support at this time.
From a Sister near Lviv:
One of the explosions in the latest drone attack on Lviv was very close to a Sister's home, but none of the Brethren were injured and they suffered no property damage.
Specific news about Brethren or from Brethren in Ukraine and Moldova.
News of the events in Ukraine and Moldova that could have a direct impact on the Brethren there.
News that shows how this conflict might develop to impact neighboring countries where Brethren live, or that might be related to prophetic expectations.
News that shows the impact of the war on financial-political-social-religious aspects, related to the Time of Trouble:
—The tremendous financial impact both direct and indirect on a global scale.
—The growing political divide between East and West, and the potential military consequences.
—Social discontent which is increasing in many places.
—Changes in the religious world, especially regarding the Orthodox Church.
Just as Volume IV documented historical events related to prophecy at that time, one of the endeavors of this blog is to draw attention to similar developments in our day that validate those prophetic expectations.