Russian forces conducted a series of drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of November 17 to 18. Ukrainian military sources reported on November 18 that Ukrainian air defenses downed 29 of 38 Russian-launched Shahed-131/136 drones over multiple unspecified oblasts. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian Shaheds struck an energy infrastructure facility and administrative building in Odesa Oblast. The Ukrainian Northern Operational Command reported that Russian Shaheds also damaged infrastructure facilities in Chernihiv Oblast. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces struck an oil depot in Altestove, Odesa Oblast, the Starokostyantyniv airfield in Khmelnytskyi Oblast, and Kyiv City, Kyiv Oblast.
The European Commission will reportedly include sanctions on the sale of petroleum tankers to Russia in an upcoming sanctions package in an effort to curb Russian schemes to skirt the G7 price cap on Russian crude oil and petroleum products. Reuters reported on November 17 that the European Union’s upcoming sanctions package against Russia will ban the sale to Russia of tankers for crude oil and other petroleum products and will stipulate contractual clauses in the sale of tankers to third countries prohibiting the re-sale of tankers to Russia and the transfer of Russian crude oil and petroleum products that violate the G7’s price cap. The Financial Times reported on November 14 that Western officials stated that Russia is likely currently selling almost all of its crude oil at or above the G7’s $60 per barrel price cap. The Financial Times added that Russian export data for crude oil suggests that Russia sold crude oil at an average of roughly $80 a barrel in October. Only 37 of the 134 vessels that reportedly ship Russian oil held insurance from Western countries, and Russia has reportedly increasingly relied on aging oil tankers with obscure ownership to build a ”shadow fleet” to sell crude oil and petroleum products above the G7 price cap. European economic think tank Bruegel reported on October 11 that by July 2023 over 60 percent of tankers carrying Russian crude oil were covered by insurance from an unknown country of origin, whereas less than 20 percent of the tankers carrying Russian crude oil had been covered by unknown insurance at the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
- Russian forces conducted a series of drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of November 17 to 18.
- A Kyrgyzstan government official called on the Russian government to help Kyrgyz migrants in Russia against the backdrop of recent proposals from Russian government officials to decrease migrant work opportunities in Russia.
- Courts in the Republic of Dagestan reportedly continue to charge participants of the October 29 antisemitic riots with minor administrative crimes, while select Russian ultranationalists call for increased government control in order to curb the alleged spread of Islamic extremism in Dagestan.
- The Russian government continues efforts to restrict citizens’ access to the internet and to strengthen its control over the Russian information space.
- The European Commission will reportedly include sanctions on the sale of petroleum tankers to Russia in an upcoming sanctions package in an effort to curb Russian schemes to skirt the G7 price cap on Russian crude oil and petroleum products.
- Russian forces continued 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 advanced near Avdiivka and Donetsk City.
- Russia has reportedly frozen prisoner of war (POW) exchanges with Ukraine since the summer of 2023.