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Nov 29, 2023, 2:28pm EST
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November was Russia’s worst month for casualties since the war began, UK says

Ukrainian service members fire a mortar during an exercise, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv region, Ukraine November 8, 2023.
REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko
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Russia suffered its highest number of casualties per day in November since the start of its war with Ukraine, UK defense officials said, citing Ukrainian data.

An average of 931 Russian troops were killed or wounded per day this month, the UK Ministry of Defence said, noting that it was unable to independently verify the numbers. The apparent uptick in casualties comes as the war reaches an impasse at the start of a grueling winter, and as much of the world’s attention shifts to conflict in the Middle East.

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Following a mostly unsuccessful Ukrainian counteroffensive earlier this year, the war has been ”largely stalemated,” a top official at a British think tank told Times Radio. “Neither side has the offensive advantage,” he said, noting that personnel attrition will become more important. Bad weather has also slowed down the ability for either side to make substantial advances. Ukrainian military officials said Russia was sending “waves” of attacks, but troops were met with minefields, drones, and anti-tank missiles, AFP reported. One Ukrainian drone operator equated the scene to a ”zombie movie.”

Photos and videos from the frontline have shown heaps of rats and mice in Russian trenches. That can be the sign of a long war, a Ukrainian biologist told The Counteroffensive newsletter. That’s because unharvested grain in fields once used for agriculture have led to weeds, which is a food source for rodents. The weeds also allow mice to build more nests and camouflage easier, so “their numbers are increasing rapidly,” the biologist said.

Ukraine is still hoping it can rely on its global allies to keep up their support, even “amid signs that the provision of weapons and funding is slowing and that the war in Gaza is limiting global attention,” Al Jazeera wrote. The country’s foreign minister told a summit of his NATO counterparts on Wednesday that “Ukraine is not going to back down” in the fight against Russia, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “every single NATO member” backed ongoing support for Ukraine.

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