The Russians have collected over 800 missiles in the annexed Crimea, which – according to the Ukrainian side – will be used to attack energy facilities before the upcoming winter. Fighting continues in the Avdiivka area, and on the occupied bank of the Dnieper, Ukrainian forces are creating further bridgeheads to repel Russian troops. We summarize the last week of fighting in Ukraine.
Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Ukrainian troops in the south of the country, said on Thursday that Russians in the annexed Crimea they have already concentrated over 800 missiles, mainly Kalibr and Oniks. She added that all these missiles will be used during energy terror Ukraine before the approaching winter.
According to estimates by the Ukrainian energy operator DTEK, Russia carried out 1,200 attacks on Ukraine’s energy system between October 2022 and April 2023. Therefore, the authorities in Kiev are preparing to repel a new wave of attacks.
President Volodymyr Zelensky he previously stated that during Russian attacks on infrastructure facilities, “Ukrainians’ entire attention should focus on defense and response.”
Targets of Russian attacks
According to forecasts, the Russians will increase their attacks during winter, not only using missiles, but also drones. The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported earlier, citing sources in the Ukrainian military, that in September the Russians used 500 drones to attack Ukraine, and several hundred in October.
According to ISW, the use of fewer drones may indicate preparations for “a large campaign of combined attacks, which is to be synchronized with large land operations.”
According to the spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ihnat, the upcoming winter may be record-breaking in terms of the number of uses of Iranian-made Shahed combat drones, used by the Russian army to attack Ukraine.
According to military experts in Kiev, massive Russian attacks may also have another purpose – to exert psychological pressure to increase discouragement, frustration and depression in Ukraine. – The authorities in Moscow hope that such a situation will cause Ukrainians to become dissatisfied with their own government and president. This was the task set by the Kremlin last year and it is still valid, said analyst Mykhailo Samus.
On the left bank of the Dnieper
The Kherson Oblast is one of the few areas on the battlefield where Ukrainian forces, instead of going on the defensive, continue the offensive, the BBC’s Ukrainian section reported in its Wednesday analysis. She reported that on the occupied left bank of the Dnieper, the marines of the Ukrainian armed forces managed to capture and maintain small bridgeheads.
In a conversation with journalists, military analysts in Kiev emphasized that the most important task for the Ukrainian armed forces is the transfer of heavy armored vehicles to the captured bridgeheads and their expansion.
– We only have a few weeksin order to take advantage of the “unpreparedness of the enemy” in this direction, said expert Andriy Ryzhenko. He recalled that in the Zaporizhia direction, the Russians managed to build the “Surovikin line” (construction of fortifications of three defensive lines in the south of Ukraine under the supervision of General Sergei Surovikin), mined the area and erected concrete barriers.
The Institute for War Studies reported earlier that Ukrainians continued “greater than usual” operations on the left bank of the Dnieper. Natalia Humeniuk said that Ukrainian forces “are displacing the Russian army to a distance of three to eight kilometers.”
Fights for the Akhmetov plant
Russian occupation forces continue their offensive on Avdiivka. There, the occupiers launched their third assault wave. One day, for the first time, Russian troops managed to enter the industrial zone of this city on a tank, the Ukrainian portal tsn.ua wrote on Sunday.
The coke chemical plant, owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov in Avdiivka, located near occupied Donetsk, is key to control over the city. Fierce fighting is taking place in this area.
According to media reports in Kiev, the offensive of Russian forces on Avdiivka is currently the largest since 2014, when fighting broke out with pro-Russian separatists in Donbass.
Over the last week, the Russian army has lost over seven thousand soldiers in Ukraine, said Oleksandr Pavliuk, deputy head of the Ministry of Defense in Kiev.
In a Sunday report, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that 1,190 Russian servicemen were killed on the Ukrainian front in the last 24 hours.
The losses of the Russian army since the beginning of the armed invasion exceeded 318,000 soldiers.
Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine/Facebook