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Ukraine updates: Russia admits Kyiv forces crossed Dnipro

Ukrainian marines cross the Dnipro River in small boats in the southern Kherson region

Ukrainian marines cross the Dnipro River in small boats in the southern Kherson region

Russia has conceded for the first time that "small groups" of Ukrainian troops had established positions on the Russian-held side of the Dnipro river.

Separately, the Ukrainian military said its troops were trying to push back Russian forces along the Dnipro river in the southern Kherson region and called for operational "silence" along what it described as a "fairly fluid" front line.

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had secured a foothold on the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the vast river, for the first time confirming an advance that could open a new line of attack towards occupied Crimea.

Meanwhile, at least one person was killed in an overnight Russian missile strike that hit an apartment building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Selydove.

Here's a look at the latest developments on Wednesday, November 15, in Russia's war in Ukraine:

1 killed in Russian missile strike in eastern Ukraine

At least one person was killed in an overnight Russian missile strike that hit an apartment building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Selydove, northwest of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk.

Five others, including a child, were rescued but at least one person is believed to be trapped under the rubble after the attack on Selydove, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said. A four-story building was heavily damaged, he said on Telegram.

Rescuers early on Wednesday were clearing the rubble and warned residents against approaching the structure, which appeared to have been obliterated by the impact.

A large crane assisted workers in clearing a mass of loose rubble from where the top floor once had been. Many onlookers were shocked, some cried.

Russia has carried out regular missile and drone strikes on population centers behind the front line of its 21-month-old full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Baltic states press EU to ensure Ukraine munitions plan doesn't fail

Eastern European Baltic states want the European Union to do more to ensure the EU's ammunition plan for Ukraine doesn't fail. If enough ammunition cannot be delivered from EU states' stocks and new orders from European manufacturers, the bloc should be prepared to buy from third countries, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told dpa in an interview.

"This is one of the possible solutions," he said. Pevkur pointed out that, according to EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, significant quantities of ammunition produced in the EU are supplied to other countries due to existing contracts.

Negotiations could be held with these countries to redirect the orders to Ukraine, the ministers said. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday that he expected the plan to fail due to limited production capacity in Europe.

"The production is there," Pevkur however insisted. The government of Latvia, Estonia's Baltic neighbor, expressed a similar view. Latvian Defence Minister Andris Spruds called on Tuesday for "aspiration and ambition" in order to achieve the target.

EU states agreed to provide Ukraine with 1 million rounds of ammunition by March 2024 to help the country defend itself against Russia, but are in danger of failing to meet their promise. So far, some 300,000 rounds have been delivered and a further 180,000 have been ordered through joint procurement projects, according to EU figures.

Russian delegation visits North Korea for talks

A Russian delegation led by natural resources minister Alexander Kozlov is visiting Pyongyang, North Korean state media said , as the politically isolated state announced new progress in its banned ballistic missile programme.

Russia and North Korea were conducting talks on economy, science and technology, KCNA state media reported, without elaborating.

Kozlov told a reception that Russia wants to develop "substantial cooperation" with North Korea based on the agreements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when they met in September in Russia's far east, KCNA reported.

He also thanked North Korea for extending its "full support" to Russia over regional and international issues, the report said.

Washington has accused North Korea of supplying military equipment to Russia for use in its war with Ukraine, and Moscow of providing technical military support to help North Korea.

North Korea and Russia have denied any arms deals, though their leaders pledged closer military cooperation at their September summit.

Zelenskyy says Russia will pay heavy price for Avdiivka

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said defending the shattered eastern town of Avdiivka was key to Kyiv's war plans, with heavy Russian losses there likely to undermine Moscow's conduct of the wider conflict.

Moscow's forces have focused on eastern Ukraine since failing to advance on Kyiv in the first days of the invasion in February 2022. They've been targeting Avdiivka since mid-October, and officials from the town, which used to boast a pre-war population of 32,000, say not a single building remains intact.

Zelenskyy said Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region, including Avdiivka, had been "very intense."

"Russia is already losing men and equipment near Avdiivka faster and on a larger scale than, for example, near Bakhmut," he said, referring to months of heavy fighting that culminated in Russian forces capturing the eastern town of Bakhmut in May.

"Withstanding their pressure is extremely difficult ... The more Russian forces that are destroyed near Avdiivka, the worse the overall situation will be for the enemy and the overall course of this war," Zelenskyy added.

Bakhmut lies about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Avdiivka, which is only 20 kilometers west of the Russian-held regional capital of Donetsk.