Catch up quickly on the Central and Eastern European stories that matter.
Russia’s war against Ukraine
Ukrainian forces have advance on the Dnipro River on the opposite bank of Kherson Oblast as they pass through Russian-occupied territory, Russian sources said Thursday.
A prominent Russian military blogger, “Rybar,” claimed that Ukrainian troops broke through Russian defenses as they landed on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.
He claimed that they were temporarily occupying the village of Poyma and positions on the northern outskirts of Pishchanivka.
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the military blogger later claimed that Russian forces had pushed Ukrainian forces from these positions towards the Dnipro River.
Russian troops this week launched their own major offensive on the town of Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine. Three battalions, comprising some 2,000 troops, dozens of armored vehicles as well as jets, are believed to have been involved in what is described as the largest attack in the region.
Ukraine’s General Staff said it managed to repel dozens of attacks in and around Avdiivka.
Kyiv said On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces struck airfields in Russian-controlled territory in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The nighttime strikes near the eastern city of Luhansk and the southern city of Berdyansk destroyed nine helicopters, destroying an air defense missile launcher and damaging runways. He did not comment on media reports that kyiv used long-range ATACMS missiles supplied by the United States for the first time in these attacks.
On Thursday, kyiv said Russian forces carried out new airstrikes overnight on targets in eastern, southern and northern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces shot down three drones and a cruise missile.
Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal signed an agreement solidarity path agreement Wednesday in kyiv to ensure the secure transit of Ukrainian products and the development of border crossings between Ukraine and Romania.
“Together we managed to find a way to facilitate both grain transit and protect the interests of Romanian farmers,” Ciolacu said, adding that by the end of 2023, Romania will double grain transit capacity from Ukraine. The agreement comes after months of disputes between Ukraine and European Union members from central and southeastern Europe over the arrival of cheap Ukrainian grain on their markets.
The European Commission welcomed the signing of the MoU, saying the document “will further strengthen the capacity of solidarity pathways”, particularly in light of the damage inflicted on Ukraine’s transport infrastructure following Russian aggression.
Russian ships linked to military transport networks recovered goods from North Korea and delivered it to an apparent Russian military port multiple times over the past two months, according to new satellite images providing the clearest evidence yet that Pyongyang may be aiding Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine.
The two ships had no history of operating this route between North Korea and Russia until August, when high-level meetings between North Korean and Russian officials began, paving the way for a meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin last month.
U.S. intelligence assessments suggested at the time that Russia was seeking to obtain North Korean weapons to replenish its dwindling supplies for the war in Ukraine. White House officials said this appears to be happening and cited a Russian ship, saying North Korea may have transported up to 1,000 containers containing “equipment and munitions” from North Korea towards Russia “in recent weeks”.
Donald Tusk is campaigning ahead of the Polish elections. Photo: Donald Tusk Official Facebook Page.
Other news from the region
Opposition parties obtained enough votes Poland general elections on Sunday to oust the ruling right-wing populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, results published on Tuesday confirmed. PiS won the vote with 35.38 percent, ahead of Donald Tusk’s centrist opposition Civic Coalition with 30.7 percent. However, with PiS far from having a majority, Tusk is now most likely to be able to form a broad coalition. Tusk could gather 248 seats out of the 460 seats in the Sejm if it forms a government with the center-right Third Way and New Left parties.
It was reported this week that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned US lawmakers declared on October 3 that Azerbaijan could soon invade the south Armenia. Regarding the Azerbaijani military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh in September that resulted in the flight of nearly all of the region’s 120,000 ethnic Armenians, Blinken reportedly said the State Department was exploring ways to hold Baku accountable and was not considering renewing a long-standing waiver that allows the United States to provide military assistance to Baku.
HAS Berlin Process meeting in AlbaniaIn the EU capital on Monday, EU leaders Free a new growth plan for the six Western Balkan countries which opens up parts of the EU single market to them in exchange for deep reforms. This would open up the free movement of goods and services, road transport, energy, electricity, the EU’s digital single market and cashless payments within a single European payments area, before full membership of the Balkan states in the bloc.
Georgian President Salomé Zourabichvili escaped indictment Wednesday, amid a bitter conflict with a government she says is pro-Russian and insufficiently committed to applications for membership in the EU and NATO. Georgian Dream, the ruling party, announced impeachment proceedings in September, accusing it of breaking the law by visiting EU leaders to drum up support for membership against the government’s wishes . Eighty-six of the 150 deputies in the Georgian parliament voted in favor of impeachment, far from the two-thirds required.
Italy suspended the Schengen Treaty on freedom of cross-border movement on Wednesday and reinstated it border controls with Slovenia, citing an increased threat of terrorist attacks following the October 7 massacre by Hamas in Israel. Schengen members Poland And Czechia to have Also recently introduced temporary border controls with Slovakiaciting the risk of illegal migration.
THE leaders of Hungary, Serbia, Kazakhstan, UzbekistanAnd Turkmenistan attended the third Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing to celebrate ten years of China’s vast development agenda. Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the summit – the first photographed handshake between the Russian president and an EU leader since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Estonia said Thursday he would probe damage to a Baltic Sea telecommunications cable linking the country to Sweden, as part of its ongoing investigation into the break in another telecommunications cable linking Tallinn to Helsinki. On October 8, a gas pipeline and telecommunications cable connecting Finland and Estonia were broken, in what Finnish investigators believe may have been deliberate sabotage. On Wednesday, Sweden said a third link was damaged around the same time as the other two.
Officials in Uzbekistan to have said A government delegation will travel to Afghanistan to hold negotiations on an ambitious 285-kilometer canal project that has raised deep concerns about water security in the region. The announcement follows news that the Taliban-led government in Kabul is set to begin work on the second phase of the Qosh Tepa Canal, touted by Afghan officials as a way for Afghanistan to secure its own agricultural needs by irrigating 550,000 hectares of now arid agricultural land.
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