Ukraine Battlefield ‘Complex,’ As General Warns Of Stalemate


(RFE/RL) — The operational situation in the east and south of Ukraine “remains complex,” the Ukrainian military said on November 1, as the commander of Ukrainian forces said the war is moving into a new phase that puts the opposing forces into a stalemate.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces said in its evening briefing that 43 combat clashes took place across the front line during the day. In addition, the enemy launched four rocket and 59 air strikes and 36 attacks from rocket salvo systems on positions of Ukrainian troops and populated areas.

In addition, Russian forces launched three Kh-59 guided air missiles and 20 Shahed drones. The General Staff said air-defense forces destroyed all three missiles and 18 of the drones.

“Private residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed and damaged. Unfortunately, there are wounded among the civilian population,” the General Staff’s evening summary said.

According to the General Staff, the Ukrainian military repelled attacks by Russian forces in areas around Kupyansk, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, Marinsk, and Shakhtarsk.

Pavlo Dyachenko, a spokesman for the Main Directorate of the National Police in the Donetsk region, said that civilians were being taken out of Avdiyivka, which is under massive shelling by Russian troops.

“If we take Avdiyivka specifically, people are leaving both from the city itself and from nearby settlements. Evacuation takes place every day. The shelling does not abate,” he said, adding that the Russian forces “use everything they can,” including rocket salvo systems, artillery, mortars, and aviation.

The vast majority of civilians who remain in the city live in basements, he said.

Vitaliy Barabash, head of Avdiyivka’s military administration, said on October 31 that Avdiyivka is bracing for a new wave of attacks.

“The enemy is bringing in forces and equipment. Our boys are preparing for a new wave,” Barabash told national television.

Ukrainian General Valeriy Zaluzhniy, in an article published on November 1, spoke of a new phase of the war involving positional warfare and attritional fighting.

“Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” Zaluzhniy said in comments published by The Economist.

The general concludes that it would take a massive technological leap to break the deadlock and said there likely will be no such breakthrough.

“The simple fact is that we see everything the enemy is doing, and they see everything we are doing,” he said. “In order for us to break this deadlock, we need something new.”

He argued that the Ukrainian military needs innovations in drones, electronic warfare, anti-artillery capabilities, and de-mining equipment, including new robotic solutions.

“We need to ride the power embedded in new technologies,” he said.

He also called for Ukraine to build up its army reserves and expand the categories of Ukrainian citizens who can be called up for training or be mobilized.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said earlier on November 1 that 118 cities and villages were shelled by Russia on October 31, the largest number of settlements to come under attack this year. The shelling was recorded in 10 Ukrainian regions.

The ministry reported that an oil refinery in Kremenchuk, a city in the central Poltava region, was targeted by the Russian military, requiring nearly 100 firefighters to extinguish the ensuing blaze. No casualties were reported.

One person was reported killed and another injured as a result of overnight shelling in the northeastern Kharkiv region, according to the ministry.

In the eastern Donetsk region, one person was reported killed due to shelling by Russian forces.

Heavy shelling was reported in the southern Kherson region, resulting in two injuries and one death.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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