Russia’s Heavy Defeats near Avdiyivka Amidst Kyiv-Backed Peace Talks in Malta

Heavy fighting continued around the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiyivka on October 28, despite representatives from dozens of nations meeting in Malta to discuss peace proposals. British intelligence suggests that Moscow committed elements of up to eight brigades to the sector around Avdiyivka and likely suffered some of Russia’s highest casualty rates of 2023 so far.

Ukrainian forces claim to have repelled multiple Russian attacks in Kyiv, resulting in significant losses for Russia since October 11, including 125 armored vehicles and military equipment. Moscow accused Ukraine of deliberately attacking a nuclear-waste facility near Kursk, claiming Kyiv knew the action could have caused a major nuclear disaster. Russia said it had thwarted a drone attack there, with an explosion damaging a warehouse storing nuclear waste, although no injuries were reported.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the drones used in the attack on the Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant in western Ukraine likely used components supplied by Western countries. The incident came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a Russian drone attack likely targeted the area’s nuclear power station. The UN nuclear watchdog said the attack blasted out “numerous windows” at the site but had not disrupted the plant’s operations or its connection to Ukraine’s electricity grid.

On Malta, representatives from over 50 countries held a third round of closed-door peace talks pushed by Ukraine, which Moscow dismissed as a “blatantly anti-Russian event” and had nothing to do with the search for a peaceful resolution.

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