MAIN TAKEAWAY OF THE MONTH
Kherson was liberated this month. However, Russian shelling of Ukrainian energy infrastructure continued, resulting in widespread blackouts. Fears of a military escalation increased mid-month, when a missile reached Poland and killed two people, marking the first time that a NATO country has been directly affected by the war since it began. However, the conflict hasn’t escalated – instead, it continued in a similar manner, in Ukraine, towards the end of the month, with no major events taking place. Meanwhile, Kyiv has continued to receive international funding for resisting the invasion, while Russia relies on Iranian military aid to maintain its offensive.The grain corridor in the Black Sea was almost disrupted when Russia’s abruptly withdrew from the agreement at the beginning of November. However, with the assistance of Turkey and the United Nations, the agreement was reinstated and extended for 120 days.
In Russia, reports point to poor morale existing among newly mobilized Russian soldiers as their expectations do not match the realities of the battlefield. As a result, an increasing number of Russian troops are refusing to fight. Instead, they complain about poor training and combat conditions. With internal protest against the war in Ukraine intensifying, social unrest appears to be is on a growing trend in Russia. However, the Kremlin is actively fighting back as it is increasing control over the media inside the country.
Finally, the Balkans have experienced some political turmoil in Montenegro and Bulgaria, while a Kosovo-Serbia agreement brought an end to months of tensions (even if temporary).