Russian missile strike hit infrastructure site, injures 3 in Odesa Oblast

Russian forces struck an infrastructure facility in Odesa Oblast with a Kh-31P missile launched from the Black Sea on Nov. 5, wounding 8 people, the Southern Command reported.

The strike damaged administrative buildings and surrounding houses, the military said, adding that Russia's priority in the area is obstructing civil vessel movement.

Russian forces have repeatedly attacked Ukraine's port infrastructure in the Black Sea since Kyiv launched a corridor for grain exports in September. The move followed Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative which previously allowed Ukraine to export agricultural products during the full-scale invasion.

Over hundred companies from UK admit violating sanctions against Russia

As of May 17, 2023, at least 127 UK companies have voluntarily admitted to violating the sanctions against Russia since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These sanctions violations have been reported to the UK Treasury. Companies can disclose their violations voluntarily, which may result in reduced fines or other less severe measures, according to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation of the UK (OFSI).

The UK's imposition of sanctions against over 1,600 physical and legal entities, along with a moratorium on UK companies' cooperation with certain Russian banks and oligarchs, has presented significant challenges for British businesses due to Russia's extensive integration into the global economy. As a result, some UK companies may find it in their interest to admit to violations of the sanctions against Russia to avoid more severe penalties, including criminal proceedings.

Stacey Keen, a partner at Pinsent Masons specializing in financial crimes, emphasizes the complexities of these sanctions, citing Russia's global economic ties as a major factor that distinguishes it from other sanctioned countries. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has indicated that it aims to avoid unduly penalizing honest mistakes. Penalties for sanctions violations can range from warnings to fines without a top limit.

Notably, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands recently punished four Dutch companies and eight individuals for violating EU sanctions against Russia from 2014 to 2017. These sanctions were imposed in response to the construction of the Kerch Bridge, which connects mainland Russia to Russian-occupied Crimea.

We are preparing for worst winter in history – Ukraine's Foreign Minister

Ukraine is making extensive efforts to safeguard its power plants from potential Russian attacks but is also bracing for what it anticipates to be the most challenging winter in its history, according to Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister. In an interview with Die Welt, Kuleba expressed a degree of pragmatism, indicating that Ukraine no longer expects to receive long-range Taurus missiles from Germany, a move that was previously discussed.

Kuleba emphasized the significance of preparing for a severe winter, as the country faces potential challenges, including energy supply and missile threats. Despite Ukraine's efforts to protect its power plants, he acknowledged that Russia may continue to test the country's resilience with missile attacks.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that Ukraine's situation has been overshadowed by other global events, such as the war in Gaza, causing the country to lose some of the international community's attention. He urged that the stakes remain high for Europe in addressing the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Germany recently announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, which includes various types of equipment, from armored vehicles to protective goggles. This assistance also includes sending IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine, demonstrating Germany's support in enhancing Ukraine's defense capabilities.