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Kyiv’s Advances In The South Could Cut Off 25,000 Russia Troops

The southern advance in the Kherson region is closing in along the west bank of the Dnipro River to cut off Russian supply lines.

Photo of ​Ukrainian soldiers flying a Ukrainian flag while riding a tank through in Izium, near Kharkiv

Ukrainian soldiers in Izium, near Kharkiv

Cameron Manley and Bertrand Hauger

Ukraine’s military breakthroughs in the south and in the east of the country in the past couple of days is being hailed as the biggest advance Kyiv has made since the start of the Russian invasion.

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In particular, the southern advance in the Kherson region is closing in along the west bank of the Dnipro River to cut off Russian supply lines. If successful, as many as 25,000 Russian troops could be isolated, after Ukraine had destroyed the river's main bridges, forcing Russia to use makeshift crossings.

"The fact we have broken through the front means that [...] the Russian army has already lost the ability to attack, and today or tomorrow it could lose the ability to defend," Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst based in Kyiv, told Reuters on Tuesday.

During his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Ukrainian forces are pressing ahead, liberating more towns in a number of areas, adding that “more and more occupiers are trying to escape, more and more losses are being borne by the enemy army, and there is a growing understanding that Russia made a mistake by going to war against Ukraine.”

The recently re­cap­tured ter­ri­to­ry in two of the four Russian-occupied regions form a large front that is forcing Moscow to retreat from areas it conquered only days ago. The military wins in the south echo similar breakthroughs in the east in recent days and weeks, which some say signal a shift in the war in recent weeks, prompting Russia to mobilize hundreds of thousands of reserve troops.

"Ukraine seems to be on track to achieve [key military] objectives right now," Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs told the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Russian Army Under Pressure” On German Daily Front Page

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Zelensky Signs Decree To Refuse Negotiations With Russia While Putin Is At The Helm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Wikimedia Commons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed an official decree stating that Kyiv would not conduct negotiations with Russia while Vladimir Putin is its president.

The decision is just the latest sign that a negotiated way out of the war is highly unlikely in the near term, and comes in response to Putin’s decision to annex four regions of Ukraine to make them part of Russia.

Chech­nya’s Kadyrov Boasts About Sending Young Teenage Sons To Ukraine Front

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov


Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov published a video on his social media in which his three sons — Akhmat, Eli and Adam — can be seen combat training at a Russian training ground. They fire several types of weapons (from a shotgun to a grenade launcher), operate an armored personnel carrier and fire its 30mm cannon.

In a Telegram post accompanying the video, Kadyrov writes that “minor age children should not interfere with the training of defenders” (his sons are 14, 15 and 16 years old). The leader of Chechnya — a republic of the Russian Federation that has already sent many troops to Ukraine — says his children’s war preparations “began long ago” and “the time has come to show themselves in a real battle […] they will soon go to the front line.”

The “Convention on the Rights of the Child,” ratified by Russia, expressly prohibits the participation in hostilities of children under 15 years of age. The International Criminal Court considers their involvement in armed conflicts a war crime.

If Kadyrov's sons indeed go to war, the Family Code potentially allows depriving him of parental rights on several grounds at once: child abuse, abuse of parental rights, the commission of an intentional crime against the life or health of a child.

IMF And U.S. To Pledge $1.3 billion And $625 million To Help Ukraine

Ukrainian tanks on parade

Flickr/ CC

The International Monetary Fund is expected to consider Ukraine’s request for $1.3 billion in additional emergency funding on Friday. A source close to the matter told Reuters that the IMF has received sufficient financial assurances from its global partners to meet the organization’s debt sustainability requirements and qualify for further emergency funds

Meanwhile, the U.S. is expected to announce a $625 million military aid package for Ukraine. It would include four High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, munitions, mines, and mine-resistant vehicles, two sources told Reuters.

The aid comes in addition to a $1.1 billion military aid package announced last week that included 18 HIMARS. The Biden administration will use the Presidential Drawdown Authority to source this latest military aid for Ukraine, allowing for the quick delivery of defense articles and services from the U.S. Department of Defense without any congressional approval.

Head Of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Released

Ihor Murashov (center) among Urainian forces

Anton Gerashchenko via Twitter

The head of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been released from Russian captivity. International Atomic Energy Agency Chief Rafael Grossi said that Ihor Murashov, head of the plant that had come under fire last month, had been "returned safely to his family."

According to the state nuclear company Energoatom, Russian forces kidnapped Murashov in occupied Enerhodar when he was on his way home on September 30.

Nine Eastern European Countries Support Ukraine’s NATO Application

Marek Studzinski

Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have released a statement in favor of Ukraine joining NATO.

The statement Monday comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced last week that Ukraine had applied for fast-track NATO accession following Vladimir Putin’s declaration of the annexation of Ukraine's four regions of Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts.

Quoted by Lithuanian media outlet LRT, Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said that Ukraine can count on his country’s "unconditional support" when it comes to its NATO membership application, "even if it looks like an elusive goal."

Anusauskas said that negotiations with NATO member states and other formal procedures should already begin. "The Western countries cannot remain in the same position as before the war. Security guarantees for Ukraine must be increased now," he added.

North Korea Defends Russian Annexations, Calls Out U.S. “Gangster-Like Double Standards”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin


North Korea defended Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory, while accusing the United States of "abusing" the UN Security Council, state news agency Yonhap reports.

Jo Chol Su, director-general of international organizations at Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry, said the referendums held in the Russian-held regions of Ukraine were in line with the UN charter, while Washington was holding “gangster-like double standards,” having itself invaded other countries to maintain its own “supremacy.”

EU Countries To Train Ukraine Armed Forces

German troops

Europe Africa

The member countries of the European Union have agreed to organize military training for 15,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Germany’s Der Spiegel reports. The weekly magazine says that the first 3,000 military personnel from Ukraine will receive special training (tactical and combat training for commanders; engineering courses will also be organized).

According to preliminary data, the central training headquarters will be deployed in Poland, however, individual training programs will be implemented in other EU countries. The training infrastructure will be more carefully protected from possible espionage by Russia, since, according to the publication, Russian drones were detected by local authorities during the exercises of the Ukrainian military in Germany.

How To Welcome Russians Fleeing Conscription? Europe Should Be Careful

Conscripted man RussiaA conscripted man says goodbye to his family following Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial military mobilization in Russia on Sept. 21.Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

How should European governments deal with the mass of Russian conscientious objectors fleeing the country? asks Jacques Schuster of German daily Die Welt, noting that it’s a question that may not be going away soon.

“Countries like Finland, but also the Baltic states with small populations, rightly point to the security problem that those Russians can present. They recall that many of these newcomers welcomed the war, except that now they don't want to join.”

Meanwhile, Germany and France, appear more relaxed about opening their gates to exiled Russian. Read more about it here on Worldcrunch.

Elon Musk’s Tweets Enrage Ukrainian Officials

Profile of Elon Musk with a black and white background

Elon Musk in March 2022.

Patrick Pleul/dpa/ZUMA

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has once again sparked controversy on Twitter, offering an unsolicited “peace plan” that has ired Ukrainian officials. Musk asked his Twitter followers to vote in a poll “yes” or “no” for his take on a Ukrainian-Russian peace deal, which would include the formal consolidation of Russian power over occupied Crimea and "re-elections" in other occupied lands.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said in response that he had a better proposal: Ukraine liberates its territories, including the annexed Crimea; Russia to undergo demilitarization and mandatory denuclearization and can no longer threaten others; war criminals are subject to an international tribunal.

After a wave of criticism, Musk created another poll, which he simplified to the question: “Should the residents of the annexed Crimea and Donbas decide whether they are part of Russia or Ukraine?”

To the remark that his posts outraged many Ukrainians, Musk replied that he was more concerned that "millions of people could die needlessly for the same result."

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to Musk's posts by publishing his own poll on Twitter: " Which Elon Musk do you like more: the one who supports Ukraine or the one who supports Russia?"

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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