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Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 201: Russia targets power stations to revenge the defeat on the Kharkiv front

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 201: Russia targets power stations to revenge the defeat on the Kharkiv front
Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The Ukrainian Army liberated more than twenty settlements and reached positions within 15–25km of the Russo-Ukrainian border in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, Izium’s northern outskirts, and Lyman’s south and southwestern outskirts, and captured the western half of Kupiansk. Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv Oblast are collapsing Russia’s northern Donbas axis. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the withdrawal of troops from the Balakliya-Izium line on September 10. Russian forces are reinforcing frontline positions in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces conduct positional battles and attack Russian logistics lines. Russian forces are reportedly intensifying filtration measures in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensives on the Southern Axis. The Russian troops fired 12 rockets on the territory of Ukraine, as a result of which settlements in five regions were left partially without electricity and water. Ukrainian air defense forces destroyed nine missiles of the Russian army

Daily Review, September 12, 2022

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, September 9, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

 
The two hundred-first (201) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The enemy is concentrating its efforts on establishing control over the territory of the Donetsk oblast, holding the temporarily captured territories and disrupting the offensive of our troops in certain directions.
The enemy continues to attack our positions by fire, conducts aerial reconnaissance and tries to take measures to restore the lost position.
A further threat of air and missile strikes remains on the entire territory of Ukraine. Over the past day, the enemy launched 18 missile and 39 air strikes on military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine. More than 30 settlements were affected, in particular, Kramatorsk, Kostyantynivka, Dnipro, Pavlohrad, and Velykomykhayilivka. The russians committed another terrorist act – they launched a missile attack on the Kharkiv Thermal Power Plant, an object of the city’s critical infrastructure. As a result, power was partially cut off in several oblasts.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly.
In other directions, the enemy fired at military and civilian infrastructure from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery, namely:
in the Siversky direction – near Kindrativka, Sumy oblast;
Kharkiv Battle Map. September 10, 2022. Source: ISW.
in the Kharkiv direction – the settlements of Kostyantynivka, Udy;
Donetsk Battle Map. September 10, 2022. Source: ISW.
the enemy did not fire in the Sloviansk direction;
in the Kramatorsk direction – in the areas of Tetyanivka, Donetske, Raihorodok, Kryva Luka, Verkhnokamiyanske and Spirne settlements;
in the Bakhmut direction – in the areas of the settlements of Vesele, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Mykolaivka Druha, Zaitseve;
Karlivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, Mariinka, and Novomykhailivka were shelled in the Avdiivka direction;
in the Novopavlivskyi direction – fire activity in the Prechystivka, Velykiy Novosilky, Bohoyavlenka, Neskuchne and Mykilske districts;
in the Zaporizhzhia direction – near Novosilka, Vremivka, Novopole, Novoandriyivka, Poltavka, Hulyaipole and Zaliznychne
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. September 10, 2022. Source: ISW.
In the direction of Yuzhno-Buzka, the areas of Novovoznesensk, Bila Krynytsia, Osokorivka, Velike Artakove, Sukhy Stavok, Kostromka, Partizanske, Bezimenne, Blagodativka, Ivanivka, Zarichne, Bilogirka and Myrne settlements were hit by shelling.
Defense forces repelled enemy attacks near Mayorsk and Krasnohorivka. Fighting continues in Mykolayivka Druha and Zaytseve areas.
After the successful actions carried out by the Defense Forces in the Kherson direction, the enemy suffered significant losses in manpower.
According to available information, the 810th separate brigade of marines (point of permanent deployment in the city of Sevastopol) lost almost 85% of its personnel. The rest of the servicemen have an extremely low morale and psychological state, they massively refuse to return to the combat zone.
The liberation of settlements from the russian invaders in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions continues. As previously reported, during the retreat, russian troops quickly abandon their positions and flee deep into the temporarily occupied territories or into the territory of the russian federation.
This trend persists. So, over the past day, the occupiers have taken away property and vehicles looted from local residents from Velikiy Burluk and Dvorichna settlements of Kharkiv oblast.
In the Luhansk region, the russian military and their families left the town of Svatove, only the soldiers of the so-called “people’s militia” from among the local residents remained.
In general, during the past day, the Defense Forces managed to dislodge the enemy from more than twenty settlements. Taking them under full control and stabilization measures are being carried out.
Aviation of the Defense Forces made eight strikes – a platoon stronghold, six areas of concentration of enemy manpower and military equipment, as well as one anti-aircraft missile system were hit.
One UAV of the Orlan-10 type was destroyed, one X-59 guided missile, four Kalibr-type sea-based guided missiles and five X-101 air-based guided missiles were shot down. Enemy manpower losses are being refined.
Missile troops and artillery of land troops continue to perform tasks of counter-battery combat, fire damage to manpower and combat equipment, disruption of the enemy’s command and control system and logistical support, as well as support of counteroffensive actions of our troops.

Military Updates 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1569143761396965376

The Ukrainian army returned more than 3,000 square km. territories from the beginning of September, — the commander-in-chief Zaluzhny said. In the Kharkiv direction, the Ukrainian military began to move not only to the east but also to the south. Only 50 km remained before reaching the state border. The Ukrainian forces liberated the villages of Bayrak, Nova Husarivka, Shchurivka, and Olkhovatka and launched a counterattack on Balakleya, Izium, and Kupiansk.

“Armed Forces of Ukraine will stop where our interests end,” said the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Danilov. “And the interests of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will end where the end of the Russian wannabe-empire begins,” said. According to him, one of the tasks of the war is “to finally put an end to the issue of Russia’s influence on its closest neighbors.”

The rapid fall of Izium in the Kharkiv region was Moscow’s worst defeat since pushing back troops from Kyiv. According to Reuters, Russian troops used the city as a logistics supplies base for one of their campaigns, in particular, a months-long offensive from the north into the neighboring region Donbas. Kyiv is under pressure to show progress before winter comes amid Russian President Putin’s threats to cut off all energy supplies to Europe.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1569072602919931904

Russian invaders frantically retreat, taking the looted Ukrainian property, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports. About 150 Russian soldiers left Borshcheva and Artemivka in the Kharkiv Oblast in two buses, a truck, and 19 stolen cars. In Svatovo, Luhansk region, the invaders fled in 4 KamAZ trucks, 20 armored vehicles, and 20 stolen cars.

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

The Russian troops fired 12 rockets on the territory of Ukraine. Settlements in Poltava, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts were left partially without electricity and water. Ukrainian air defense forces destroyed nine missiles of the Russian army.

  • 6 Caliber cruise missiles of the Russian Federation fired from ships from the Black Sea.
  • 6 Kh-101 missiles fired by strategic aircraft from the Caspian Sea area.

Anti-aircraft missile units of the Ukrainian army shot down 9 out of 12 occupying missiles.

Regional Updates

In the Donetsk Oblast, Russian troops shelled the cities of Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Mykolaivka, damaging and destroying industrial facilities, residential buildings, gas stations, and office buildings. 1 injured.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, Russian troops attacked critical infrastructures, including a power station. The city and areas nearby, including Sumy and Poltava Oblast, lost electricity and water. The services were promptly restored.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russians launched a rocket in the center of the Dnipro. A residential area hit. 1 injured. Destruction of administrative buildings, shops, markets, warehouses and houses. ️Nikopol was shelled three times during the night with more than 35 shells from Russian Grads and heavy artillery. 3 injured.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, Russian troops shelled the city of Mykolaiv. 9 people injured, 4 in the hospital. Residential buildings damaged. Voznesensk was also shelled. At least 1 injured.

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 48 hours): 

  • In the face of Ukrainian advances, Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River. Isolated pockets of resistance remain in this sector, but since Wednesday, Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London.

 

  • In the south, near Kherson, Russia is likely struggling to bring sufficient reserves forward across the Dnipro River to the front line. An improvised floating bridge Russia started over two weeks ago remains incomplete; Ukrainian long-range artillery is now probably hitting crossings of the Dnipro so frequently that Russia cannot carry out repairs to damaged road bridges.

 

  • The rapid Ukrainian successes have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design. The majority of the force in Ukraine is highly likely being forced to prioritize emergency defensive actions. The already limited trust deployed troops have in Russia’s senior military leadership is likely to deteriorate further.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 12 September, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

https://twitter.com/voxukraine/status/1549292827158388738*

Humanitarian 

Environmental 

Power unit 6 of the Zaporizhzhia NPP disconnected from the power grid at 3.41 am. The station is completely stopped, informed Energoatom NAEC. Preparations are underway for its cooling and transfer to the “cold stop” state. Shutting down the power unit was possible after restoring one of the power lines for Zaporizhzhia NPP’s own needs. The line connects the station to Ukraine’s energy system. Authorities emphasize the need to stop shelling the power grids connecting the ZNPP to the power system. In the event of repeated damage to these power grids, the only power source for ZNPP’s own needs will be diesel generators. Their functioning is limited by the amount of diesel fuel available. Electricity is needed to maintain the cooling system for the nuclear reactor and nuclear waste.

For the last three days, power unit 6 has been operating in the isolated mode, supplying only the ZNPP’s own needs at a critically low power level (from 114 to 140 MW).

Yermak-McFaul group and the Ukrainian media presented a special communication project designed to promote the recognition of Russia as a country sponsoring terrorism. According to a member of the group, Ukrainian politician and statesman Andriy Pyshny, the materials of the project answer all the questions that arise in connection with the granting of this status to the Russian Federation. “The position of the Ukrainian authorities, primarily the President of Ukraine, our expert working group and, frankly, Ukrainian society, is unequivocal: Russia must be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism,” says Andriy Pyshny. The group expects that the arguments set out in the special project will resonate throughout the world. And the recognition of Russia as a terrorist country will turn from a discussion field into a legally formalized decision with all the ensuing consequences for Putin and his accomplices.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1569098958722457600

Support 

New Developments 

President Zelenskyy called Russian attacks on critical infrastructure facilities “terrorist attacks” and advised the Russian Federation to “read lips”: Ukraine would be better off without light and water, but without such “friendship and brotherhood.” Mikhail Podoliak, the adviser to the head of the Presidential Administration, believes that today’s terrorist attacks are Russia’s reaction to the defeats on the battlefield.

Zelenskyy paid tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. “This day is one of the most tragic in the history of the United States and the world. Ukraine, which experiences rocket attacks on a daily basis, knows well what terrorism is and sincerely sympathizes with the American people. Terrorism is an evil that has no place in the modern world!”

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 11 September 2022:

The Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast is routing Russian forces and collapsing Russia’s northern Donbas axis. Russian forces are not conducting a controlled withdrawal and are hurriedly fleeing southeastern Kharkiv Oblast to escape encirclement around Izium. Russian forces have previously weakened the northern Donbas axis by redeploying units from this area to Southern Ukraine, complicating efforts to slow the Ukrainian advance or at minimum deploy a covering force for the retreat. Ukrainian gains are not confined to the Izium area; Ukrainian forces reportedly captured Velikiy Burluk on September 10, which would place Ukrainian forces within 15 kilometers of the international border.[1] Ukrainian forces have penetrated Russian lines to a depth of up to 70 kilometers in some places and captured over 3,000 square kilometers of territory in the past five days since September 6 – more territory than Russian forces have captured in all their operations since April.

Ukrainian forces will likely capture the city of Izium itself in the next 48 hours if they have not already done so. The liberation of Izium would be the most significant Ukrainian military achievement since winning the Battle of Kyiv in March. It would eliminate the Russian advance in northwest Donetsk Oblast along the E40 highway that the Russian military sought to use to outflank Ukrainian positions along the Sloviansk – Kramatorsk line. A successful encirclement of Russian forces fleeing Izium would result in the destruction or capture of significant Russian forces and exacerbate Russian manpower and morale issues. Russian war correspondents and milbloggers have also reported facing challenges when evacuating from Izium, indicating Ukrainian forces are at least partially closing a cauldron in some areas.[2]

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the withdrawal of troops from the Balakliya-Izium line on September 10, falsely framing the retreat as a “regrouping” of forces to support Russian efforts in the Donetsk Oblast direction – mirroring the Kremlin’s false explanation for the Russian withdrawal after the Battle of Kyiv.[3] The Russian MoD did not acknowledge Ukrainian successes around Kharkiv Oblast as the primary factor for the Russian retreat, and claimed that Russian military command has been carrying out a controlled withdrawal from the Balakliya-Izium area for the past three days. The Russian MoD falsely claimed that Russian forces undertook a number of demonstrative actions and used artillery and aviation to ensure the safety of withdrawing Russian forces. These Russian statements have no relation to the situation on the ground.

The Russian MoD’s inability to admit Russian failures in Kharkiv Oblast and effectively set information conditions is collapsing the Russian information space. Kremlin-sponsored TV propagandists offered a wide range of confused explanations for Ukrainian successes ranging from justifications that Russian forces are fighting against the entire Western Bloc, to downplaying the importance of Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCS) in Kupiansk.[4] The Kremlin’s propagandists appeared unusually disorganized in their narratives, with some confirming the liberation of certain towns and others refuting such reports. Guest experts also were unable to reaffirm the hosts’ narratives that Ukrainian successes are not significant for the Donbas axis. Such programming may reveal the true progress of the Russian “special military operation” to the general Russian public that relies on state media and the Russian MoD for updates.

The withdrawal announcement further alienated the Russian milblogger and Russian nationalist communities that support the Kremlin’s grandiose vision for capturing the entirety of Ukraine. Russian milbloggers condemned the Russian MoD for remaining quiet, choosing self-isolation, and distorting situational awareness in Russia.[5] One milblogger even stated that the Russian MoD’s silence is a betrayal of Russian servicemen that fought and still fight in Ukraine.[6] A Russian milblogger also noted that the Russian MoD has repeatedly ignored or demeaned the milblogger community that raised concerns with Russian military leadership and lack of transparency on the frontlines.[7] The milbloggers called on the Russian MoD to take the information space into its own hands and stop relying on silencing information.

Prior to the withdrawal announcement, the Russian MoD released footage of Russian military convoys reportedly moving to reinforce the Kharkiv direction on September 9.[8] Many Russian outlets and milbloggers expressed hope that these reinforcements would stabilize the frontline and repel Ukrainian advances on Izium despite the Russian MoD failing to address the unfolding situation days prior. Russian milbloggers would have likely accepted MoD’s announcement of a withdrawal like they previously did with the Russian retreat from the Zmiinyi (Snake) Island and other tactical Russian losses if the Russian information space was not oversaturated with footage of Ukrainian successes. Such inconsistencies in messaging further support ISW’s assessment that the Russian MoD faces challenges in responding to unexpected developments within the established informational framework, which portrays Russian invasion of Ukraine as an easy and faultless operation.[9] Most importantly, such unaware information practices erode the Russian public’s trust in Russian MoD messaging and disrupt the Kremlin’s propaganda facade.

Russian milbloggers also criticized the Russian occupation authorities for failing to organize evacuation measures in Kharkiv Oblast. Some milbloggers noted that occupation administrations are disoriented and lack initiative.[10] The Ukrainian counteroffensive is effectively paralyzing the Russian occupation leadership that is likely afraid for its fate.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv Oblast are collapsing Russia’s northern Donbas axis, and Ukrainian forces will likely recapture Izium itself in the next 48 hours.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the withdrawal of troops from the Balakliya-Izium line on September 10, and the Russian MoD’s failure to set effective information conditions is collapsing the Russian information space.
  • The withdrawal announcement and occupation authorities’ failure to organize evacuation measures is further alienating the Russian milblogger and Russian nationalist communities that support the Kremlin’s grandiose vision of capturing the entirety of Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces reached positions within 15–25km of the Russo-Ukrainian border in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, Izium’s northern outskirts, and Lyman’s south and southwestern outskirts, and captured the western half of Kupiansk.
  • Russian forces are reinforcing frontline positions in Kherson Oblast while Ukrainian forces conduct positional battles and continue their interdiction campaign against Russian logistics lines.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground assaults north of Kharkiv City, south of Bakhmut, and west of Donetsk City.
  • Russian recruitment drives are generating some criticism among Russian milbloggers and regions.
  • Russian forces are reportedly intensifying filtration measures in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensives on the Southern Axis.

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