The battle for Bakhmut has been the longest and bloodiest of the invasions. Genya SAVILOV/AFP

This morning, Monday 30 October, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia is "ready for talks" on the post-conflict settlement of Ukraine.

Addressing the crowd at the Xiangshan forum in Beijing, the largest annual military diplomacy event in China, Shoigu noted that Russia would also be open to discussing "co-existence" with the West.

However, Shoigu accused the West of seeking to expand the conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

"In case the necessary conditions are created, we remain ready for political discussions on a realistic basis - both on the post-conflict resolution of the Ukrainian crisis and on the further coexistence with the West as a whole," he said.

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russian forces are following in the Ukrainian forces' footsteps, recruiting and deploying women on the front lines for the very first time.

More than 75,000 women in Ukraine have chosen to play key on-the-ground roles in the fight for Ukraine's freedom.

The Russian state-backed private military organisation (PMC) announced that it is attempting to recruit more women into its combat ranks, sharing social media posts that have "appealed for female recruits to join Borz Battalion, a part of Russian PMC Redut, to work as snipers and uncrewed aerial vehicle [UAV] operator".

This news comes after a recent report, published by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, documented a number of indiscriminate war crimes conducted by the Russian Armed Forces.

The report exposed the Russian authorities for using the same pattern of torture against Ukrainian prisoners of war as their own armed forces.

In some cases, the assault victims said that they went without food and water and were subject to torture during intense interrogation sessions.

According to the Russian state news agency RIA, a Russian national was detained by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) in Crimea after he was accused of treason.

More than 75,000 women in Ukraine have chosen to play key on-the-ground roles in the fight for Ukraine's freedom.

In a statement, the FSB said that the unnamed man was charged with passing military secrets to Ukrainian officials, writing that the suspect had "collected and transmitted information about specified sites with reference to geographic coordinates to a representative of the Ukrainian military".

Although Crimea is widely recognised as Ukrainian territory, since 2014, Crimea has been under the unofficial control of Russia.

A Ukrainian Military Commander also revealed today, that Russia has significantly stepped up its forces and is taking "active actions" around the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut.

Bakhmut has witnessed some of the most brutal conflict in the 20-month war so far and was seized by Russia in May 2023.

In June, the Ukrainian Armed Forces ordered a counteroffensive in an attempt to retake the southern and eastern regions of the city.

On Telegram messenger, General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Commander of the Ground Forces, wrote: "In the Bakhmut area, the enemy has significantly strengthened its grouping and switched from defence to active actions."

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that the Ukrainian forces have made advancements near Bakhmut, particularly over a railway line that is located south of Andriivka, a city 10km away from Bakhmut.

Appearing on live TV, a spokesperson for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Andrii Kovaliov, announced that after achieving success in the east of Andriivka: "Ukraine's defence forces continue to conduct offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol directions. In the Bakhmut sector, defence forces are conducting offensive operations to the south of Bakhmut."

According to Kovaliov, Russia is moving to surround Avdiivka with additional units in an attempt to recapture the ground. The spokesperson said that Russian invaders in the sector made more than 50 unsuccessful attempts to regain control of the region.

In response to its unsuccessful assault, Russia witnessed "considerable losses in both manpower and heavy weapons", Kovaliov added.

In the last 36 hours, around 60 combat clashes took place in the region. Ukrainian aircraft launched 16 of the strikes.