SBU raids Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Russian missile stocks depleting, Canadian-Ukrainian bonds

23 November 2022, 03:40 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022.

•   The SBU has raided the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery.

The raid came about as part of a probe into pro-Russian sentiments and possible enemy intelligence activity at the Orthodox Christian holy site, following the appearance of a video showing parishioners singing a pro-Russian song at the Lavra on social media. The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was previously administered by the Russian Orthodox Church, though the Ukrainian branch of the church claimed to have split away from Moscow following the onset of full-scale war. However, a significant number of former Russian Orthodox priests and clerics have been uncovered as Russian collaborators or saboteurs.

Video of day

•   Every single region that is or was under Russian occupation has evidence of systemic war crimes.

That’s according to U.S. State Department Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, Beth Van Schaack. She specified that Russian war crimes include deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilian population and infrastructure, cruelty towards civilians and POWs, and attempts to conceal these crimes. Furthermore, incoming reports indicate numerous cases of executions, torture, and sexual violence, perpetrated by invading Russian forces.

•   Russian missile stocks are depleting, but they’re being bolstered by new production.

This has allowed Russia to continuously launch mass missile attacks on Ukraine without running out, though stocks are still low – according to an infographic shared by Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Russia has only 119 Iskander cruise missiles left, out of a pre-war stock of 900. 48 of them are newly produced.

•   Russia is moving its troops towards Zaporizhzhya.

The redeployment was noted by Mariupol mayoral advisor Petro Andriushchenko, who said that a convoy of 25 tanks, 15 KamAZ trucks with ammunition and troops, and three armored personnel carriers left the village of Yalta through Mangush-Mykilske, escorted by a war plane, in the direction of Zaporizhzhya.

•   Russians are feeling increasingly pessimistic about the war.

In a new Kremlin-commission survey, focus group data clearly indicates that the Russians "don’t feel optimistic about their future and the future of the country,” writes independent Russia media outlet Meduza. “They aren’t switching to opposing or rejecting the ‘special military operation,” one source told Meduza. “They are just indifferent and apathetic."

•   Graffiti in Kyiv, believed to have been created by famed street artist Banksy, has been ‘improved’ with the addition of a Cossack and a condom.

The piece, located in central Kyiv, was itself drawn around earlier graffiti of a penis. Unknown artists seemingly decided the Banksy-attributed piece was uncompleted, and ‘improved’ with a drawing of a wounded cartoon Cossack clutching the entire Banksy portion in a blown-up condom.

•   Ukraine banks made five times less profit in 2022 compared to the same period last year.

From January to October this year, Ukrainian banks earned net profits of $298 million, compared to 2021’s $1.58 billion. Revenues grew by 32%, however, though expenses ballooned by 73%.

•   A Polish court has canceled a fine levied on Gazprom for $6.3 billion.

Poland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Court ruled to cancel the fines, connected to construction of the now-sabotaged Nordstream pipelines. The country’s Competition and Consumer Protection Agency said it will appeal the decision.

•   Canada launches a $500 million Ukrainian sovereignty bond.

“The funds will assist the Government of Ukraine so it can continue to provide essential services to Ukrainians this winter, such as pensions, the purchasing of fuel, and restoring energy infrastructure,” the Department of Finance of Canada announced in a press release.

•   Ukraine will raise transit fees on oil flows through the Druzhba Russia-Europe pipeline.

The raise in fees is a direct result of Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, Ukrainian oil transit operator Ukrtransnafta wrote in an open letter to their Russian counterpart. The Ukrainian company announced the transit fee on flows to Hungary and Slovakia will rise up to EUR 13.60. The tariff will be increased by about 15%, so the annual increase will be 51%, also taking into account a previous rise of the transit tariff in April earlier this year.

•   The day’s long read: Kherson euphoria highlights the folly of a premature peace with Putin

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The Atlantic Council’s Peter Dickinson explains why pressure on Ukraine to engage in immediate negotiations with Russia is at best misplaced.

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