Ukrainian and Russian forces are continuing combat operations in eastern and southern Ukraine, although the rainy weather will likely continue to slow the pace of combat operations until winter conditions fully set in. A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces continue to defend against a strong group of Russian forces attacking near Avdiivka and that Ukrainian forces maintain the initiative in southern Ukraine. The milblogger added that it is premature to declare any Russian victories to avoid creating any false impressions about the situation on the battlefield. Another Russian milblogger observed that poor weather is impeding the use of armored vehicles in western Zaporizhia Oblast but that Ukrainian forces are still attacking Russian positions with infantry units. The United Kingdon (UK) Ministry of Defense (MoD) assessed on November 18 that neither side has achieved any substantial progress in the Kupyansk and Avdiivka directions, or in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast — where the most intense battles are ongoing. The UK MoD added that there are fewer immediate prospects of major changes on the frontlines as colder winter weather begins to set in. Ukrainian military officials anticipate that Russia will launch a third wave of assaults on Avdiivka. Freezing weather conditions during the winter will likely prompt the resumption of more active combat operations, and ongoing rainy weather is unlikely to halt Ukrainian or Russian attacks.
Russian forces conducted another series of drone strikes primarily targeting Kyiv, Poltava, and Cherkasy oblasts on the night of November 18 to 19. The Ukrainian Air Force reported on November 19 that Ukrainian air defenses destroyed 15 of the 20 Russian Shahed-131/-136 drones. Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat stated the strike series did not result in any casualties or critical damages and that this was an “excellent result.” The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces struck Ukrainian ammunition depots in Kirovohrad City, Kirovohrad Oblast and Olshanytsya, Kyiv Oblast and a fuel storage facility at the Kanatove airfield, Kirovohrad Oblast.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces are continuing combat operations in eastern and southern Ukraine, although the rainy weather will likely continue to slow the pace of combat operations until winter conditions fully set in.
- Russian forces conducted another series of drone strikes primarily targeting Kyiv, Poltava, and Cherkasy oblasts on the night of November 18 to 19.
- Ardent nationalist and former Russian officer Igor Girkin formally announced his intent to run in the 2024 Russian presidential elections despite his imprisonment.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may be censoring irregular Russian armed formations as part of its ongoing efforts to formalize Russia’s irregular forces and establish greater control over the Russian information space.
- Ukrainian officials announced on November 19 that Bohdan Yermokhin, a teenage Ukrainian whom Russian authorities forcibly deported from occupied Mariupol to Russia and attempted to conscript, returned to Ukraine.
- A prominent Kremlin-affiliated milblogger expressed anger on November 19 about Armenia’s decisions to distance itself from Russia against the backdrop of recent deteriorating Armenian-Russian relations.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and reportedly advanced in some areas on November 19.
- Regional Russian officials continue to fear the emergence of localized protests in response to the Russian military’s refusal to return some mobilized personnel from the frontlines.
- Occupation authorities continue efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian children in occupied Ukraine into Russian national and cultural identities.