Russo Ukrainian War. Day 217: Poland, Denmark launch a new gas pipeline to transport Norwegian gas to Europe

 

Daily review

Ukraine has pressed its offensive operations in the north-east and makes slow advances in the direction of the Oskil and Siverskyy Donets rivers, made further gains on the outskirts of Lyman. Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication. Russian forces continued unsuccessful offensive operations around Bakhmut and west of Donetsk City. The newly-mobilized Russian military is transported to the Kherson and Kharkiv Oblast frontlines without prior training. Russian forces inflicted severe damage on a Ukrainian airfield in Kryvyi Rih. Putin will likely announce the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory on September 30. Russian officials are setting conditions to forcibly mobilize or conscript Ukrainian civilians in soon-to-be annexed areas of occupied Ukraine. Russian authorities are establishing checkpoints at Russia’s borders to forcibly mobilize Russian men who are seeking to avoid forced mobilization by fleeing the country.  Heavy fighting continues in the Kherson Oblast.  Russians have launched 10 missiles and 17 air strikes, carrying out more than 105 MLRS attacks. More than 40 settlements were affected by enemy fire.

Daily overview — Summary report, September 28

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

Situation in Ukraine. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two hundred- seventeenth (217) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
Donetsk Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW.

The enemy is shelling the positions of our troops along the contact line, continues to focus its efforts on attempts to fully occupy the Donetsk oblast and hold the captured territories, as well as disrupting the active actions of the Defense Forces in certain directions. In addition, it tries to restore lost positions in certain directions, conducts aerial reconnaissance.
The enemy is striking the civilian infrastructure and the homes of the civilian population. There remains the threat of air and missile strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine.
Over the past day, the enemy has launched 10 missile and 17 air strikes, carried out more than 105 MLRS attacks. russian occupiers also attack civilian objects, violating the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws and customs of warfare.
More than 40 settlements were affected by enemy fire. In particular, Kharkiv, Slovyiansk, Kramatorsk, Mykolayiv, Avdiyivka and Maryinka.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly.
In other directions, the enemy shelled populated areas with tanks, mortars and artillery of various types:
Kharkiv Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhanskyi direction – in the areas of the settlements of Strilecha, Sosnivka, Krasne and Hrushivka;
in the Kramatorsk direction – Ridkodub, Katerynivka and Stary Karavan;
in the Bakhmut direction – Spirne, Siversk, Serebryanka, New York, Bakhmutske, Vesela Dolyna, Yakovlivka, Bilohorivka and Rozdolivka;
in the Avdiyivka direction – Avdiyivka, Berdychi, Opytne, Vodyane, Tonenke, Krasnohorivka, Karlivka, Maryinka and Paraskoviyvka.
More than 25 settlements were shelled by tanks, mortars, and barrel artillery in the Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia directions. Among them are Mykilske, Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Neskuchne, Novomykolaivka, Vremivka, Temyrivka and Olhivske.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. September 27, 2022. Source: ISW.

More than 30 settlements along the contact line were damaged by fire in the South Buh direction. For the purpose of conducting reconnaissance, adjusting fire and launching strikes against civilian infrastructure objects, the enemy made more than 25 flies of UAVs.
russian occupation forces, the recruitment of personnel called up for partial mobilization has begun. Thus, reinforcements arrived for the units of the 1st tank regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division of the 1st tank army, which are deployed to the combat zone. It was not trained at all. Also, the military-political leadership of the russian federation, at the same time as the partial mobilization, continues the so-called “self-mobilization” measures. Persons convicted of criminal offenses arrive at units already fighting in Ukraine.
During the current day, units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repelled attacks in the areas of Zaytseve, Mayorsk, Zalizne, Mykolaivka Druha, Pervomaiske, Pobyeda, Novomykhailivka, and Bezimenne settlements.
Aviation of the Defense Forces made 17 strikes. It was confirmed that 14 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the enemy, 3 strongholds and 7 positions of anti-aircraft missile systems were destroyed. In addition, during the day, Ukrainian air defense units destroyed an enemy aircraft, 6 UAVs and 1 Х-59 guided air missile.
Missile troops and artillery hit 12 areas of concentration of enemy manpower and equipment, 4 warehouses with ammunition, positions of anti-aircraft defense and radio-electronic warfare, in particular, the automated jamming station “Zhitel”. Total losses are currently being clarified.

Military Updates

US will have to get “fully involved” if Russia goes nuclear – Former Commander Army Europe

Shooting by the Russian troops. Icelandic data analyst. ~

Shooting by the Russian troops. Icelandic data analyst.

At one of the stations in the Russian Federation, old KrAZ-257 trucks marked with Z were noticed. Produced in 1965, they have been now

removed from storage and are being transported to Ukraine.

Regional updates

In the Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian military shelled the city of Kharkiv. Power outages reported. The emergency call line is broken.  The was shelled. One infrastructure object damaged. A Ukrainian flag raised over Kupyansk-Uzlov on the eastern bank of the Oskol River.
In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian military fired 10 S300 missiles at the city of Zaporizhzhia and hit infrastructure facilities. A power line damaged.

In Mykolaiv Oblast, the city center shelled, 8 high-rise buildings damaged.

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

  • Ukraine has pressed its offensive operations in the north-east of the country over the last few days. Units are making slow advances on at least two axes east from the line of the Oskil and Siverskyy Donets rivers, where forces had consolidated following their previous advance earlier in the month.

 

  • Russia is mounting a more substantive defence than previously, likely because the Ukrainian advance now threatens parts of Luhansk Oblast as voting in the referendum on accession to the Russian Federation closes.

 

  • Heavy fighting also continues in the Kherson region where the Russian force on the right bank of the Dnipro remains vulnerable. Russia continues its grinding attempts to advance near Bakhmut in the Donbas even while it faces severe pressure on its northern and southern flanks. This is likely due to political pressure as Russia is using forces that could otherwise reinforce the other flanks.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 28 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 

28,000 Hasidic Jews celebrated RoshHashanah in Uman at Rabbi Nachman grave. 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1574892079355920384

Environmental 

The IAEA recorded new attacks on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the last two days. The organization’s director general, Rafael Grossi, called for immediate action to reduce the threat to the nuclear facility.
Poland and Denmark launch a new Baltic Pipe pipeline to transport Norwegian gas to Europe. In Gdansk, Poland, the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline with a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year has been opened from Norway to Poland. “Today we can say this with complete confidence: the era of Russian dominance in the gas sector is ending. An era marked by blackmail, threats, and extortion,” said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Not only Poland for the first time will be able to import Norwegian gas through Denmark, but also neighboring countries, in particular, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will get the same opportunity. The pipeline will start working on October 1, and full capacity is expected before the end of November. The investors are transportation operators: Danish Energinet and Polish Gaz-System.
Footage from the Nord Stream leak site published by the Danish military. It is reported that the width of the circle is several hundred meters.The Swedish national seismic network recorded two apparent explosions at Nord Stream. One of them had a magnitude of 2.3, like a perceptible earthquake, and was registered at 30 measuring stations in southern Sweden.
The Nord Stream operator Nord Stream AG announced the unprecedented destruction of a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. They report a pressure drop from 105 bar to 7 bar. The cause of the destruction on both threads of the Nord Stream pipeline could be targeted sabotage. It is not yet possible to estimate the timeframe for restoring the working capacity of the Nord Stream gas transmission infrastructure, the operator reports. And this means that with a temporary shutdown of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, gas supplies from the Russian Federation to Germany and Central Europe will be possible only through Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.
The EU begun to cautiously criticize Ukraine for schemes in the energy sector. This is the so-called “single energy trader” – the Energy Company of Ukraine (ECU).

Legal 

The Russian occupying authorities announced that they counted all 100% of ballots at pseudo-referendums (all the data below are taken from the Russian media and do not reflect reality):
Kherson region: 96.75% allegedly for joining,
Zaporizhzhia  – 97.81%,
Luhansk (“LPR” ) – 97.93%,
Donetsk (“DPR”) – 98.69%.

Support 

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna visited Kyiv.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1574713459807240192

New Developments 

The United States does not object to the use of Western weapons by Ukraine against regions that may become part of the Russian Federation after pseudo-referendums, as stated by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a briefing.

Mobilisation response:
  •  The US is ready to provide asylum to the Russians fleeing the mobilization.
  • Turkish Airlines has canceled all flights to Minsk, Sochi, Rostov, and Yekaterinburg until the end of the year. Passengers will be able to choose another route or get a refund. The reasons for the cancellation of flights are not reported.
  • Bulgaria asks its citizens to leave Russia.
  • The US announced that they would not impose an entry ban on Russians fleeing the mobilization.
  • Zimbabwe supported the Russian Federation and its invasion of Ukraine.
  • The number of requests to surrender on the hotline of the “I Want to Live” project from newly mobilized Russians has increased, – said Andrey Yusov, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
  • The EU border control agency Frontex recorded an increase in the number of Russians crossing the EU border: almost 66,000 Russian citizens entered in the past week, 30% more compared to the previous week. Most of them arrived in Finland and Estonia.
  • Kazakhstan will extradite Russian citizens put on the wanted list. 98,000 Russians have entered Kazakhstan since September 21, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

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

Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts completed their falsified annexation “referenda” on September 27 and implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents.[1] Russian officials pre-ordained and falsified the approval ratings and alleged voter participation rates for the sham referenda while coercing Ukrainian civilians in occupied territories to performatively vote for Russian annexation, as ISW has previously reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely announce the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory on September 30. The completion of the performative referenda marks the last prerequisite for Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory. The UK Ministry of Defense reported that Putin will likely make the declaration before or during an address to both houses of Russia’s parliament on Friday, September 30.[2] Putin followed a similar approach when he illegally annexed Ukrainian Crimea in 2014: a sham referendum, followed by a presidential decree of recognition and a treaty of accession that the Russian Federal Assembly formally approved within five days of the sham Crimean referendum. The Russian proxy leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Denis Pushilin, told Russian media on September 27 that he previously asked Putin to approve the results of the referendum before it was held and would travel to Moscow to sign an agreement.[3] The head of Russia’s proxy Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), Leonid Pasechnik, announced on September 27 that the LNR will join Russia “very soon” and that he will travel to Moscow on September 27 or 28 to ask Putin in person to approve the results of the sham referenda.[4] ISW previously forecasted that Putin will annex occupied Ukrainian territory by or soon after October 1 to enable the forced conscription of Ukrainian civilians into the Russian military in the normal autumn conscription cycle.[5]

Russian forces are reportedly committing newly-mobilized Western Military District (WMD) men to the Kherson and Kharkiv Oblast frontlines without prior training. A mobilized servicemember of the 1st Tank Regiment of an unspecified unit recorded a video plea stating that his unit will not receive training prior to deploying to Kherson Oblast on September 29.[6] RFE/RL’s Mark Krutov geolocated the serviceman’s surroundings to the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division’s base in Kalininets, Moscow Oblast. ISW previously reported that Russian forces have committed elements of the 147th Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Motor Rifle Division to Kherson Oblast in late August, and are likely attempting to reinforce units in the south (that have operated in Kyiv and Kharkiv Oblasts) in short periods with untrained, newly-mobilized men.[7] Elements of the 2nd Motor Rifle Division previously based out of Izium asked to leave their positions on August 30 due to moral exhaustion.[8] Russian opposition outlet Mediazona also reported that mobilized men of the 237th Tank Regiment of the WMD’s 3rd Motor Rifle Division based out of Valuyki are deploying to Donbas frontlines after only one day of training.[9] ISW cannot independently verify Mediazona’s report, but the 237th Regiment also operated around Izium since late March.[10] Mobilized men with a day or two of training are unlikely to meaningfully reinforce Russian positions affected by Ukrainian counteroffensives in the south and east.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely announce the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory on September 30 after Russian officials completed their falsified “referenda” on September 27.
  • Russian forces are reportedly committing newly-mobilized Western Military District (WMD) men to the Kherson and Kharkiv Oblast frontlines without prior training.
  • Ukrainian forces are consolidating their positions on the eastern bank of the Oskil river and made further gains on the outskirts of Lyman.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) as part of the southern counter-offensive interdiction campaign, particularly disrupting Russian efforts to build barge crossings.
  • Russian forces continued unsuccessful offensive operations around Bakhmut and west of Donetsk City, increasingly leveraging penal units.
  • Russian forces inflicted severe damage on a Ukrainian airfield in Kryvyi Rih and continued routine air and missile strikes across southern Ukraine.
  • Russian authorities are establishing checkpoints at Russia’s borders to forcibly mobilize Russian men who are seeking to avoid forced mobilization by fleeing the country.
  • Russian officials are setting conditions to forcibly mobilize or conscript Ukrainian civilians in soon-to-be annexed areas of occupied Ukraine.
  • The Russian annexation of occupied Donetsk and Luhansk will likely exacerbate tensions within DNR and LNR forces, who regularly mutiny when asked to fight outside the borders of their own oblasts.
  • Russian officials may attempt to reframe their invasion of Ukraine and occupation of soon-to-be-annexed Ukrainian territory as a “counterterrorism operation.”

We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we™ do not describe them in these reports.

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