The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, called to accelerate the construction of fortifications to stop Russia’s advance on the front, which he claimed this Friday to have improved its positions on the battlefield.

“In all major areas we must intensify and accelerate the construction of (fortification) structures,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the nation.

He added that, first of all, this is necessary on the Avdivka, Marinka fronts and other combat theaters in eastern Ukraine. “Also the south, the region of Kherson,” must be fortified, he stressed.

The Ukrainian president made this call after covering the entire arc of the front from the south to the northeast. With measures like this, Ukraine is trying to prepare for a difficult winter in which Russia begins to regain the initiative on the front.

According to the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, Russia is currently improving its positions in all sectors of the front.

“Our soldiers act in a professional and determined manner, occupy more advantageous positions and expand the areas of control in all sectors” of the front, said the Defense Minister in a meeting with the senior staff of the Russian Army.

The Russian advance in eastern Ukraine was also mentioned this Friday in the latest report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Shoigu positively assessed the Russian tactics on the battlefield and stated that “we will continue to carry out active defense, increasing the combat potential of the Armed Forces based on the experiences of the special military operation.”

The minister indicated that “during half a year of the so-called counteroffensive the enemy lost more than 125,000 troops and 16,000 combat machines.”

In Shoigu’s opinion, “the total mobilization in Ukraine, the supplies of Western weapons and the sending of strategic reserves to the battlefield did not change the situation.”

Meanwhile, in Russia itself, more than 450,000 people have signed contracts with the Army so far this year to go to fight in Ukraine, said the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev.

Meanwhile, Russian bombings against Ukraine caused 2,000 civilian deaths and another 11,000 injuries in the eleven months of this year, according to the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, Igor Klimenko, during a meeting with the ambassadors of the G7 countries.

“During the eleven months of this year, Russia attacked populated areas in 24 regions of Ukraine 59,000 times. As a result, 11,000 citizens were injured and 2,000 died,” Klimenko wrote in a message on Telegram.

He added that most of the shelling took place in the regions of Zaporiyia, Jershon, Donetsk, Kharkov, Sumi and Chernígov, located in the south, east and north of the country.

In addition, the war in Ukraine has displaced around 900,000 refugees, both people trying to return to their homes and others who leave them due to hostilities, the new director for Europe of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today. Philippe Leclerc.

At a press conference from the streets of Borodianka, the scene of massacres of Ukrainian civilians last year, Leclerc pointed out that many of those who return do so to relatively stable areas of the country, such as central and western Ukraine.

“Many people still do not want to return to the east of the provinces of Donetsk, Lugansk and other areas under temporary (Russian) occupation,” he said, underlining that many of the returnees come from European Union countries, but also from neighboring Moldova.

But despite the human suffering, the war is still far from over. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Moscow sees no signs from kyiv or the West that they are ready for a political settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.

“So far we have not seen any sign from Kiev or its masters that they are ready for any political agreement,” said the head of Russian diplomacy, at a press conference in Skopje, where he attended the 30th meeting of foreign ministers. Foreign Affairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

He added that “to start a political process you need two, like in tango, but the guys on the other side don’t dance tango, but breakdance.”

“And there you have to be a soloist,” stressed the minister, who stressed that Russia sees no reason to review the objectives of its military campaign in Ukraine, which Putin defined when ordering it as the “demilitarization and denazification” of the neighboring country.