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Amid Shelling, Kherson Marks Year Since Liberation From Russia
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Amid Shelling, Kherson Marks Year Since Liberation From Russia

Citizens of Kherson, located in Eastern Ukraine, are commemorating the one-year anniversary of their city being freed from Russian occupation. Despite ongoing shelling from Russian troops stationed on the left bank of the Dnipro River, they have developed resilience against these attacks.

City employees are used to donning protective vests and being prepared to clean up debris resulting from frequent strikes.

During periods of quiet between artillery attacks from the river, Ukrainian citizens leave their homes to purchase food, ride bicycles along residential streets, or congregate at the limited number of open restaurants.

On November 11, 2022, residents commemorate the anniversary of their city’s liberation and express the value of freedom, having experienced life under occupation.

Grigori Malov, owner of one of the three remaining restaurants in the city, expressed a unique perspective on the ongoing shelling. He stated that their ability to endure it stems from their understanding of how much worse it could be.

Municipal workers in the city of Kherson, Ukraine, decorate the wall of the regional administration building with a national flag to mark one year since Ukrainian troops retook the city from the Russian army, Nov. 10, 2023.

On November 10, 2023, municipal employees in Kherson, Ukraine adorned the regional administration building with a national flag in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Ukrainian troops reclaiming the city from the Russian army.

Ukrainian officials reported that Russia conducted a missile strike on Kyiv and the surrounding area on Saturday. Drones were also used to attack the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv city military administration, reported on the Telegram messaging app that after a 52-day break, the enemy has once again launched missile attacks on Kyiv. Fortunately, the missile was intercepted and destroyed by air defenders before reaching the capital.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday morning that two Ukrainian drones were shot down by anti-aircraft units in the Moscow and Smolensk regions near the Belarusian border.

The accuracy of the reports could not be confirmed by Reuters.

The British Ministry of Defense stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and former President Dmitry Medvedev have released documents that the British ministry refers to as the “weaponization of history”. The purpose is to instill anti-Western beliefs in the Russian population and intimidate neighboring Western countries.

In the latest intelligence update regarding Ukraine on Saturday, the British Ministry of Defense stated that Putin’s recent release consists of 242 documents titled “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” These documents, ranging from the 11th to the 20th century, serve as Putin’s justification for the Kremlin’s current actions towards Ukraine and include “interpretative comments” from the president.

The British ministry claims that Medvedev’s article about the history of Russian-Polish relations was “ostensibly written” by him. According to the ministry, he accuses Poland of pursuing a “hostile and revisionist anti-Russia agenda” and even threatens them with the possibility of military action.

EU aid to Ukraine

In the meantime, member nations of the European Union are hesitant to provide a long-term funding of $21.4 billion for military assistance to Ukraine, as their ongoing military efforts against Russia’s invasion persist.

The plan, proposed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in July, will be discussed by EU defense ministers on Tuesday in Brussels. However, some countries, such as Germany, have expressed concerns about committing up to $5 billion per year for four years to support Ukraine’s defense, as part of larger Western security efforts.

The European Union’s diplomatic service reports that they have given assistance worth $26 billion in the form of weapons and equipment.

A senior diplomat, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that Germany has raised numerous questions, which is understandable considering the significant amount of money involved.

The discussion regarding military support coincides with ongoing discussions among EU nations about a proposal to provide Ukraine with approximately $54 billion in economic aid.

Certain members of the EU have expressed concerns that they will face difficulties in committing to a significant long-term pledge due to limitations on their domestic budgets.

According to a second diplomat from the EU, certain member states are facing challenges with their public finances.

Furthermore, the European Union is encountering difficulties in achieving its goal of providing Kyiv with one million artillery shells and missiles by March of next year.

Obstacles from Hungary

For several months, Hungary has been preventing the distribution of over $500 million from the Peace Facility to EU member countries in order to provide aid to Ukraine. This is due to Ukraine’s decision to blacklist a Hungarian bank, OTP.

After being taken off the blacklist, Hungary has been adamant about receiving assurances that it will not be placed back on it.

Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orban, stated on Friday that he is against continuing talks about Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union. This suggests that Hungary could impede Kyiv’s efforts to become part of the EU.

All member states must agree in order to allow a new country to join the bloc, granting Orban a significant veto power.

During an interview with state radio on Friday, Orban stated that Ukraine is far from achieving membership in the world’s largest trading bloc.

He stated that the negotiations should not commence, according to the firm stance of Hungary.

The administration of Orban has declined to provide weapons to Ukraine in their conflict against Russia. Additionally, it condemns Ukraine for infringing upon the rights of a Hungarian minority in western Ukraine by limiting their ability to use the Hungarian language in educational institutions.

The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse contributed information to this report.