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Ukraine war live updates: Russia says U.S. aid for Kyiv is a ‘calming pill’; Ukraine tells its people ‘we have to be strong’

‘We have to be strong,’ Ukraine says as it remembers uprisings

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians that they must be tenacious in the battle against Russia, as Kyiv commemorated pro-Western uprisings that cemented its split with Russia.

Celebrated as the “Day of Dignity and Freedom,” Nov. 21 is a public holiday established to honor the beginning of two anti-Russian uprisings in Ukraine — the Revolution of 2004 and 2014’s Revolution of Dignity that began with a wave of pro-European and anti-Russian protests, known as the Euromaidan or Maidan uprising, 10 years ago.

The 2013-2014 protests in Ukraine were a catalyst for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

“10 years ago, we started a new page in the struggle. 10 years ago, Ukrainians launched their first counteroffensive. Against lawlessness, against the attempt to deprive us of our European future. Against our subjugation,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

“We fought and we are still fighting. Both in the center of the capital back then and on the outskirts of Bakhmut now. On Hrushevskoho Street then and near Kharkiv, near Kherson, near Avdiivka now … We have to be strong. Because people believe in the strong only, and only the strong create the future. Only the strong can be united.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia says new U.S. aid for Ukraine is a ‘calming pill’

Anatoly Antonov, Russian ambassador to the United States.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The aid includes anti-tank weapons, artillery ammunition and another High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. Announcing the latest tranche of aid during a visit to Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin pledged the U.S.’ long-term support for Ukraine despite concerns about the sustainability of such help.

Russia poured scorn on the aid package, with Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S. claiming Ukraine nevertheless faces defeat.

“It is important for the West to understand: Russia, which is fighting for its national interests and security, cannot be defeated on the battlefield. Any supply of Western weapons to a post-Soviet state is a prolongation of the agony of the bankrupt Kyiv regime,” Antonov said.

— Holly Ellyatt

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin reaffirms ‘steadfast support’ for Kyiv

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to employees of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv during his visit to Ukraine, November 20, 2023. 

W.G. Dunlop | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday reaffirmed Washington’s “steadfast support for Ukraine,” as he made a surprise visit to Kyiv, meeting with President Volodymy Zelenskyy and other senior officials.

“We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements,” Austin wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

– Elliot Smith

Russia formally launches protest with Finland over border crossings

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it had spoken to Finland’s ambassador to Russia and protested Finland’s decision to close its borders to Russia over the weekend.

Finland’s actions would impact tens of thousands of people in both countries, the ministry said in a Google-translated statement released on its website.

“The decision was made hastily, without any consultations with the Russian side, which had previously been an integral part of cooperation in ensuring the effective functioning of the joint border,” the statement said.

It comes after Finland closed crossing points on its border to Russia to limit an influx of asylum seekers, which it has suggested were assisted by Russian authorities.

— Sophie Kiderlin

Yellen: Further Ukraine military aid ‘critical’ to U.S. national security

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlines the improvements the IRS will deliver to taxpayers in 2024, during remarks at IRS Headquarters in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday that passing legislation to provide further military aid to Ukraine is a “critical priority” for U.S. President Joe Biden and for national security.

The Biden administration is seeking Congressional approval for a $105 billion security aid package, but faces opposition from some Republican lawmakers. The bill remains in limbo while Congress is in recess over the next two weeks.

“We can’t allow Ukraine to lose a battle on the home front because it lacks enough money to keep schoolteachers in the classroom and first responders on the job, when it’s fighting valiantly on the battlefield, so Ukraine is utterly dependent on this aid,” Yellen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

She added that the U.S. needs to do its part alongside the European Parliament’s 50 billion euro aid package approved to Ukraine over the next four years and the $15.6 billion funding facility supplied by the IMF.

“This aid is critical to the national security of America. If Putin were to win this brutal war in Ukraine, next we might see an attack in a NATO ally of ours. We need to stop this,” Yellen said.

– Elliot Smith

Putin to speak at G20 virtual summit, state media reports

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks after signing bilateral documents with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana, Kazakhstan November 9, 2023. 

Turar Kazangapov | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver remarks at a virtual G20 summit on Wednesday, Russian state TV reported, citing Putin’s weekly schedule.

In a Telegram post, Rossiya state TV presenter Pavel Zarubin said that this would be the “first event in recent months” that will include both the Russian president and Western leaders.

Putin did not attend the last two G20 meetings in India in September and in Indonesia last year, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov travelling in his place.

The Indian government confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Prime Minister Narenda Modi would chair a virtual summit on Wednesday in order to “take forward key, select outcomes / action points from the New Delhi Summit as well as review developments since then.”

“The Virtual G20 Summit is also expected to push for effective implementation of various G20 decisions, including through relevant national and international platforms,” it added.

India holds the G20 presidency until Nov. 30, after which it passes onto Brazil.

– Elliot Smith

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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