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Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy says time not right for elections

Zelenskyy said it would be 'irresponsible' to hold elections while the country is fending off attacks from Russia

Zelenskyy said it would be 'irresponsible' to hold elections while the country is fending off attacks from Russia

With some Western officials calling for Ukraine to hold wartime elections, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed the idea, calling it "irresponsible."

In his nightly address, he urged for unity in the face of potentially divisive political discussion — saying the focus at the moment is on defense.

Some Western officials have been calling on Ukraine to hold an election despite the war, to show the country could still hold a democratic vote.

Here's a look at the latest developments on Tuesday in Russia's war in Ukraine:

G7 commitment to Ukraine 'has not wavered' despite Israel-Hamas war, says Japan

While the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants is set to dominate G7 talks in Tokyo, Japan said the group's support of Ukraine remains strong.

"Our commitment to continue strict sanctions against Russia and strong support for Ukraine has not wavered at all, even as the situation in the Middle East intensifies," Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told reporters.

Concerns have grown that with the conflict in the Middle East taking center stage in diplomatic circles, that the conflict in Ukraine could fall by the wayside.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations as well as European Union officials are meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday and Wednesday. The G7 includes Germany, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Italy and Japan.

Kamikawa said the G7 will hold a virtual call with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during its Tokyo meeting.

The G7 group has been at the forefront of sanctions against Russia since Moscow launched its invasion in February 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also made a surprise appearance at the G7 leaders' summit in May.

Zelenskyy says 'not right time' for elections

Due to Russia's ongoing assault on Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he believes it is not the right time to hold national elections.

"We must realize that now is the time of defense, the time of the battle that determines the fate of the state and people, not the time of manipulations, which only Russia expects from Ukraine," he said in his nightly address late Monday.

"I believe that now is not the right time for elections," Zelenskyy said.

"If we need to put an end to a political dispute and continue to work in unity, there are structures in the state that are capable of putting an end to it and giving society all the necessary answers," the president added.

Prior to Russia invading Ukraine, the country was slated to hold parliamentary elections in October 2023, followed by presidential elections in March 2024.

The elections have been suspended under martial law, which has been in place in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022.

Some Western officials, including US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, have called on Ukraine to stage national polls to show the country could still hold democratic elections — even while battling Russia's invasion.

In September, Zelenskyy said he was open to holding elections in 2024 and supported inviting international observers.

The actual process of voting, however, could be logistically difficult to carry out with so many Ukrainian refugees living abroad and with many Ukrainian soldiers involved in fighting on the front.

Ukraine strikes likely to cause Russian shipbuilding delays

Russia's ship deliveries and repairs are likely to be delayed after a recent Ukrainian attack hit a shipyard in Russia-annexed Crimea, the UK has said.

"Ukraine's capability to hit Crimean shipbuilding infrastructure will likely cause Russia to consider relocating farther from the front line, delaying the delivery of new vessels," the British Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence briefing.

Ukraine's military said it had destroyed a new Russian warship near the coastal city of Kerch on November 4.

Russia says it shot down 17 Ukrainian drones over Crimea

Russia's Defense Ministry said it thwarted an overnight attack over the Black Sea and Crimea, downing over a dozen drones.

In a statement, the ministry said the attempted attack by Ukraine involved "17 unmanned aerial vehicles." Russian forces "destroyed" nine of the drones and "intercepted" the other eight.

DW could not independently verify the claims.

Debris from the destroyed drones hit one man in the port city of Sevastopol in the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula. The man is currently in serious condition, said the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev.

For months, Russian and Ukrainian forces have launched overnight drone attacks at each other, with both sides claiming to have downed dozens of drones.

rs/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters, DPA)