Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 599 of the invasion | Ukraine
Fierce fighting in Avdiivka on the eastern frontline entered a fifth day as Russia continued to deploy new forces in an attempt to surround the city, according to Vitaliy Barabash, the head of its military administration. Shelling was so fierce that emergency crews were unable to recover the dead from wrecked buildings, Barabash said. Both Russia and the United States have described the upsurge in violence around Avdiivka as a new Russian offensive. “They are striking with everything they have. Bouts of shooting, artillery, multiple rocket launchers, mortars and a lot of aircraft,” Barabash told national television. He said 1,620 residents remained in Avdiivka, a town with a large coking plant and a pre-war population of 32,000.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked troops in areas where fighting was “particularly hot”. In his regular address he said: “I thank everyone who is holding their positions and destroying Russian troops”, citing Avdiivka, Maryinka and other key locations in the Donetsk region.
Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea near the southern resort city of Sochi on Saturday morning. The city’s mayor, Alexei Kopaigorodskyi, said there had been no casualties or damage and that the situation was under control.
A top Ukraine general said fighting in the north-east had “significantly worsened” as daily Russian attacks continued.
Protesters gathered outside city hall in Odesa again to speak out against the misuse of budget funds and pay tribute to Ukrainian soldiers killed or injured in the war.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet is highly likely to have reinforced its defensive and reactive posture since suffering a series of strikes in August and September, the UK Ministry of Defence said. In its latest intelligence update, the ministry said the BSF has relocated many of its prestige assets – including cruise missile-capable ships and submarines – from Sevastopol to operating and basing areas further east, such as Novorossiysk.
Russia has detained three lawyers of the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and raided their homes, aides said, a step that comes as pressure on the Kremlin’s critics increases. The move was an attempt to “completely isolate Navalny”, his ally Ivan Zhdanov said on social media.