Russo Ukrainian War. Day 213: More Russian war crimes in Kharkiv Oblast–447 bodies exhumed

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian partial mobilization efforts are suffering from serious and systemic problems in their first days. Protests, attacks against recruiting centers, and vandalism reported across Russia in the first 48 hours after the announcement of partial mobilization. Ukrainian forces continued to advance north and northwest of Lyman. Ukrainian forces continued their interdiction campaign in Kherson Oblast and maintained operational silence regarding this front. Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful assaults near Bakhmut and northwest of Donetsk City. Iranian drones reported over the Dnipro and Odesa. In the occupied territories, pseudo-referendums are held at gunpoint. The exhumation of 447 bodies from the mass grave in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, is completed. 

Daily overview — Summary report, September 24

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, September 24, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below.

Situation in Ukraine. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW.

https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua

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The two hundred-twelfth (212) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
Donetsk Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW.

The enemy continues to focus its efforts on attempts to fully occupy the Donetsk oblast, organize defence and maintain the captured territories, and also tries to disrupt the active actions of the Defence Forces in certain directions. It ires at our positions along the contact line, takes measures to regroup his troops, and constantly conducts aerial reconnaissance.
The enemy does not stop striking the civilian infrastructure and the homes of the civilian population. The threat of air and missile strikes by the russian occupiers remains for the entire territory of Ukraine.
During the current day, the enemy launched 1 missile and 2 air strikes, carried out more than 15 MLRS attacks on military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine, violating the norms of international humanitarian law, laws and customs of warfare.
More than 10 settlements were affected by enemy strikes, in particular, Pechenihy, Yatskivka, Yarova, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Bilohorivka, Myrolyubivka, Mykolayiv, Sukhy Stavok, and Novohryhorivka.
The enemy used an attack UAV against an infrastructure object in the city of Odesa.
In the Volyn and Polissya directions, the situation remains without significant changes.
In other directions, the enemy fired from tanks, mortars and artillery, namely:
in the Siversky direction – in the areas of Hremyach and Khotiyivka settlements of Chernihiv oblast and Novovasylivka, Nova Huta, Studenok, Shalyhyne, Andriyivka, Khotin, Myropilske and Yizdetske of Sumy oblast;
Kharkiv Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhanskyi direction – in the areas of Veterynarne, Kudiyivka, Hoptivka, Strilecha, Krasne, Hlyboke, Vovchansk, Budarky, Dvorichna, Kupyansk and Kamyanka settlements;
in the Kramatorsk direction – Bohorodychne, Pryshyb, Mayaky, Shchurove, Raihorodok, Stary Karavan, Dibrova, Ozerne, Kryva Luka, Mykolaivka, Siversk, Spirne, Rozdolivka, Vesele and Bilohorivka;
in the Bakhmut direction – Vyimka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna, Odradivka and Zaitseve;
in the Avdiyivka direction – New York, Kamianka, Yuryivka, Orlivka, Avdiyivka, Vodyane, Opytne, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka;
in the Zaporizhzhia direction – Novomykolayivka, Zelene Pole, Vremivka, Velyka Novosilka, Novoukrainka, Zolota Nyva, Vuhledar, Neskuchne, Pavlivka, Hulyaipilske, Mali Shcherbaki and Mala Tokmachka.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy was shelling along the entire contact line. More than 30 settlements were shelled. Among them are Nikopol, Myrolyubivka, Ukrainka, Shyroke, Dobra Nadiya, Ternovi Pody, Lymany, Stepova Dolyna and Myrne.
In the temporarily captured and occupied territory of Ukraine, the occupying power started holding so-called “referendums”. Employees of the so-called “election commissions” conduct an active campaign to attract the maximum number of local residents to fake voting.
Residents of most settlements in the temporarily occupied territories were restricted from leaving, with the aim of their participation in the so-called “referendums” and further training of men of conscription age for forced mobilization into the occupation forces.
In connection with the forced mobilization of workers of the Alchevsk metallurgical plant in the Luhansk oblast, production at the enterprise has been completely stopped.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. September 23, 2022. Source: ISW.

Damage to the enemy’s facilities in the previous days has been confirmed. Namely: the ammunition warehouse in the area of ​​Borozenske settlement of Kherson oblast and three areas of concentration of enemy personnel in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. The losses of the Russian occupiers are up to 110 dead and over 120 wounded.
During the day, units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Spirne, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Odradivka, Kurdyumivka, Zaitseve, Mayorsk, Kamyanka, Avdiyivka and Opytne settlements.
During the current day, in order to support the actions of land groups, the aviation of the Defense Forces made 10 strikes. Damage to 6 areas of concentration of enemy manpower and military equipment and 4 positions of anti-aircraft missile systems was confirmed.
In addition, our air defense units destroyed the occupiers’ helicopter.
Missile troops and artillery continue to inflict fire damage on the enemy’s facilities, the losses of manpower and equipment of the invaders are being clarified.

Military Updates

Six Iranian Shahid-136 drones and one Su-25 attack aircraft shot down in Ukraine.
The Russian Federation manufactures ammunition for the MLRS, BMP-1 and T-72 without modern features. “These are old cars, they don’t have, for example, laser rangefinders, night vision devices, other features that exist in France, Italy, or Germany. They used to produce the BMP-3, a more modern version. Now they have rolled back to the BMP-1,” said Oleksandr Musienko, head of the Center for Military Legal Research.
The loss of the Ukrainian army in the war is about 9,000, according to the Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar. However, the Ministry of Defense cannot give an exact figure due to the impossibility of counting the dead soldiers in Mariupol. “Of course, we have Mariupol, where we don’t fully know the number of dead. It’s thousands, but it’s definitely not hundreds of thousands … If they have more than 50,000, and we say about 9,000.”
Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

Regional Updates 

In the Donetsk Oblast, the Ukrainian military liberated the village of Yatskovka in the Donetsk region and restored previously lost positions south of Bakhmut, as announced by the Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Gromov.

In the Luhansk Oblast, the Ukrainian army is preparing to liberate settlements in the Liman direction, according to the adviser of the Eastern Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Serhiy Cherevaty. “Our headquarters know the details… they clearly carry out the tasks assigned to them. The enemy does not need to know too many details, and our population will soon find out,” Cherevaty said. After the liberation of Kupyansk, Liman is the next step towards the liberation of the Luhansk Oblast. “And, of course, this will be done at a certain time. Each settlement is important for us, and [Liman], including from the operational-tactical point of view.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1573351704686362625

In the Kharkiv Oblast,  in Izium, Russian troops left behind more than one mass grave with the corpses of civilians. the law enforcement officers completed the exhumation of 447 bodies from the mass grave in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast. Many bodies show signs of violent death, torture. 425 civilians, 5 children, 22 servicemen.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, 2 Iranian Shahid-136 UAVs reported in the Dnieper, some intercepted and eliminated.

In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, a civilian infrastructure facility destroyed, houses and cars around damaged. 3 hospitalized with minor injuries.  Also, one rocket hit a construction site near the city in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. No casualties reported.

The Russian occupying forces hold a “referendum” in the Zaporizhzhia region at gunpoint.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, 35 private houses, 6 high-rise buildings and two stores damaged. The explosion damaged the city’s water supply. The repair team has been working on site. Residents of the occupied Snihirevka, Mykolaiv region, rallied against the “referendum.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1573321476714938368

In the Odesa Oblast, Odesa was attacked by Iranian kamikaze drones from the sea, 1 civilian dead. An administrative building destroyed in the port area, and rescue services are fighting the fire. One “Shahid-136” was shot down over the sea by air defense forces.

Odesa waits to join UNESCO list while grappling with monument to Russian Empress Catherine II

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

https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1573336327730372609

  • On 21 and 22 September 2022, Russia struck the Pechenihy dam on the Siverskyy Donets River using short range ballistic missiles or similar weapons. This follows a strike on the Karachunivske Dam near Krivyy Rih in central Ukraine on 15 September 2022.

 

  • Ukrainian forces are advancing further downstream along both rivers. As Russian commanders become increasingly concerned about their operational set-backs, they are probably attempting to strike the sluice gates of dams, in order to flood Ukrainian military crossing points.

 

  • The attacks are unlikely to have caused significant disruption to Ukrainian operations due to the distance between the damaged dams and the combat zones.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 24 September, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Humanitarian 

UN team of experts uncovers evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. The team came to the conclusion that war crimes had been committed in Ukraine. Experts have documented numerous cases of executions of civilians, sexual and physical abuse. Their investigation is ongoing, and its results can be used in the International Criminal Court.
https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1573375079446155270
John Harding is one of the foreigners that Ukraine managed to free during a prisoner exchange with Russia on 21 September. The British paramedic, who was on Azovstal, was taken prisoner in May. For several months, the Russians held him in a prison in Donetsk, tortured him and threatened him with the death penalty. “There were beatings, electric shocks and much more. One guy was stabbed in the leg, after which he received stitches. I think they tortured us for fun,” he recalls.

Environmental 

Legal 

Fake referendums are held in the occupied territories of  Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. People are driven to the polling stations by force, seized at home and in the street. if the results of the expression of will.

Putin’s press secretary Peskov spoke about pseudo-referendums and future actions of the Kremlin. “If the decision is positive” at the “referendums” in the occupied Ukrainian territories, “the actions of the parliament and the president of Russia will follow.” “Documents will be signed, everything will be prompt,” he said. He answered the question of what would happen if, after the “accession” of the captured Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to fight for them. The answer is: “in the event of accession, the Constitution of the Russian Federation will apply to them.” Simply put, Ukraine’s attempts to return the occupied territories of Donbas after their annexation will be considered as attacks on the Russian Federation.

Almost all EU countries will join the lawsuit of Ukraine against the Russian Federation in the ECHR. Only Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Hungary and Cyprus do not see mass violations of human rights in Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Among non-EU members, Norway is represented. The UK and Iceland are expected to follow. In addition, the non-governmental organization of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is seeking accreditation.

Support 

New Developments 

Turkey stands for the abolition of the right of veto in the UN Security Council and is in favor of replacing the right of veto with decision-making by a majority vote. Recall that thanks to this right, Russia, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocks any decisions aimed at counteracting its own crimes.

In one evening, Ukrainians collected 10 million UAH for the rehabilitation of Azov fighters released from captivity.

The actual number of people mobilized in the Russian Federation may reach 1.2 million people, Meduza writes, citing a source in the government.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 23 September, 2022:

The Russian mobilization system is struggling to execute the task Russian President Vladimir Putin set and will likely fail to produce mobilized reserve forces even of the low quality that Putin’s plans would have generated unless the Kremlin can rapidly fix fundamental and systemic problems. Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the Russian Armed Forces would mobilize combat-ready reservists to quickly stabilize the frontlines and regain the initiative on the battlefield.[1] Milblogger and social media reports, however, show that Russian military recruitment centers, enlistment officials, and local administrations are mobilizing men who do not meet the Kremlin’s stated criteria, especially Shoigu’s promise that mobilization would prioritize men with “combat experience.” Russian opposition outlets and Telegram channels leaked information suggesting that the Kremlin aims to complete this partial mobilization by November 10 and that the Kremlin is seeking to mobilize 1.2 million men instead of the publicly announced 300,000.[2] ISW cannot verify these reports, but significant available information suggests that this mobilization campaign (the first in post-Soviet Russia) is overwhelming an ineffective and unmotivated bureaucratic system and could fail to generate the much-needed combat-ready reserve force in a short time or at all.

Russian pro-war milbloggers and social media users are raising concerns about unlawful mobilization practices and showcasing many serious Russian mobilization problems on the second day of the mobilization effort. Russian milbloggers reported receiving numerous complaints from social media users that older men, students, employees of military industries, and civilians with no prior military experience are receiving illegal mobilization notices.[3] Shoigu and other officials have repeatedly stated that these categories of individuals would be exempt from this partial mobilization. Other sources reported that Russians are mobilizing airport and airline employees and workers from other industries.[4] The Russian government FAQ portal also indicated that local mobilization-enforcing officials may mobilize part-time students, despite the Kremlin’s declaration that no students will undergo mobilization.[5]

Some milbloggers noted that Russian enlistment personnel are assigning men with prior military service to very different specializations from those in which they served, while other sources recounted instances of military recruitment centers mobilizing men with chronic illnesses.[6]

The quality of Russian bureaucrats and military trainers are also raising fears among the Russian pro-war crowd that the partial mobilization effort may not succeed. Milbloggers noted that employees of the military enlistment centers are unmotivated and underpaid, reducing their enthusiasm to adhere to the envisioned mobilization plan. Milbloggers also pleaded with officers and commanders in charge of preparing mobilized men for war to train them before deployment.[7]

Challenges and errors in the first days of executing a large-scale and demanding partial mobilization in the midst of a failing war are not necessarily surprising, although they suggest that the Russian military mobilization infrastructure was not better prepared for a major war than the Russian armed forces themselves. It is nevertheless conceivable that the Russian Ministry of Defense will address some of the worst problems and get the mobilization effort on track. It is also possible, moreover, that much of the partial mobilization is proceeding more or less as planned and that social media and the milblogger community are highlighting problems that are serious but not necessarily pervasive. Some of the reports suggest, however, that regional mobilization officials have been given quotas to fill and received pressure to fill them in ways that are more likely to cause errors than to reward adherence to the stated principles and the needs of an effective, combat-ready reserve force.

Divergences from the mobilization decree and from Putin’s and Shoigu’s statements about the categories of men who are exempt from mobilization are also causing anger and mistrust toward Russian federal subjects and the Kremlin itself. Some social media footage already shows mobilized men fighting with enlistment officers, arguing with mobilization representatives, and refusing to serve under unlawful orders.[8] Some milbloggers claimed that some of the discontented men who have been wrongfully mobilized would have accepted their fate if they had actually met the mobilization criterium.[9] The Kremlin is thus committing unmotivated and potentially angry men to war with the task of regaining the initiative in an offensive war in a foreign land on a battlefield far from home.

The highly nationalist and pro-war milblogger community is calling on the Kremlin to address these mobilization issues rapidly, but the Kremlin is unlikely to be able to meet their demands. Russian milbloggers express cautious optimism that partial mobilization will reinforce degraded combat units and allow Russian forces to advance in Donetsk Oblast, but are concerned that the Kremlin’s failures to enforce mobilization according to the law and stated policies will create political unrest.[10] One milblogger stated that the Kremlin’s poor handling of the partial mobilization is giving rise to “separatist movements” and opposition media.[11] Another milblogger noted that the Kremlin’s failure to fix mobilization practices within the military recruitment centers may shatter Russians‘ trust in the military-political leadership.[12] A failed or badly flawed partial mobilization campaign may risk further alienation of the Russian nationalist crowd that has been supportive of the war and mobilization.

Disparate mobilization processes across different regions may exacerbate social tensions in Russia already raised by perceived inequalities in the creation of volunteer battalions. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov stated in a live TV broadcast that the Republic of Chechnya will not conduct mobilization because the Republic has already exceeded an unspecified force generation plan by 254 percent.[13] Kadyrov added that Chechnya has already deployed 20,000 servicemen to war since February 24. Kadyrov threatened to mobilize any protesters in Chechnya and send them to the front, however. Kadyrov then seemingly modified his statements by encouraging those opposing mobilization to respect Russian sovereignty instead of using the constitution to avoid service.[14] Kadyrov’s initial statement, addressed to the Chechen public, may be an attempt to both address and discourage criticism of mobilization, the war, and himself within the Chechen community. Kadyrov’s statement could also be a worrisome indicator for the Kremlin—if one of the war’s most vociferous and aggressive advocates feels the need to refuse to mobilize his people, at least publicly, that could indicate that even Kadyrov senses the popular resentment the partial mobilization will cause and possibly even fears it.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian partial mobilization efforts are suffering from serious and systemic problems in their first days, generating popular resentment and setting conditions to produce a mobilized reserve force incapable of accomplishing the tasks Russian President Vladimir Putin has set for it.
  • Protests, attacks against recruiting centers, and vandalism have occurred across Russia in the first 48 hours after the announcement of partial mobilization.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to advance north and northwest of Lyman.
  • Ukrainian forces continued their interdiction campaign in Kherson Oblast and maintained operational silence regarding Ukrainian progress on the axis.
  • Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful assaults near Bakhmut and northwest of Donetsk City.
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly shot down an Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drone in an unspecified area of the Black Sea, likely near Odesa.
  • Russian occupation authorities began the voting period for their sham annexation referenda on September 23 with overt coercion and falsified turnout numbers.
  • Russian occupation authorities remained on high alert to prevent partisan attacks against sham election workers, polling stations, and government facilities.

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