Russo Ukrainian War. Day 232: UN condemns Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine

 

Daily review

Article by: Hans Petter Midttun

Russia caused damage to 28 energy facilities over three days. Over 70 people killed in Zaporizhzhia by Russian rockets since 30 September. Russia is intensifying efforts to set information conditions to falsely portray Ukraine as a terrorist state to deflect recent calls to designate Russia as a terrorist state. Russian forces may have imported Iranian military to occupied areas in Ukraine to train Russian troops use Shahed-136 drones. Ukrainian troops continue the counteroffensive in Svatove and Kreminna areas. Ukrainian forces are conducting ground attacks in Kherson Oblast. Russian forces conducted ground attacks around Bakhmut and Avdiivka. Russian forces are likely reinforcing the frontline in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down 4 Russian helicopters in 18 minutes. Russia’s ‘irrecoverable losses’ in Ukraine: more than 90,000 troops dead, disabled, or AWOL. Another convoy with tanks and trucks heading to Russia was spotted in Belarus. FSB prepares a plan to evacuate families of Russian officers from Ukraine. Russia kidnaps over 500 residents in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, exit from occupied territory almost blocked. More than 120 bodies were exhumed in liberated areas of the Donetsk region. Russia strikes at infrastructure in Sumy Oblast, two districts are cut off from the grid. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast: Russians hit energy facilities in Kamianske district. United Nations condemns Russia’s move to annex parts of Ukraine

Daily overview — Summary report, October 13

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, October 13, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below

Situation in Ukraine. October 12, 2022. Source ISW ~

Situation in Ukraine. October 12, 2022. Source ISW

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“Russian forces are trying to hold the temporarily captured territories, are concentrating their efforts on trying to disrupt the counteroffensive actions of the Defence Forces in separate directions, and at the same time is trying to conduct offensive actions in the Bathmut and Avdiivka directions.

Donetsk Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW ~

Donetsk Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW

Russian forces are shelling the positions of our troops along the contact line, carrying out the engineering of positions for equipment and defence lines in separate directions and conducting aerial reconnaissance.

Violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, the laws and customs of war, it strikes critical infrastructure and the homes of the population.

Over the past 24 hours, the occupiers have launched 3 missile strikes,  21 airstrikes and 104 MLRS attacks.

Objects and civilians in more than 40 settlements were hit by Russian forces. Russian forces struck, in particular, in the districts of Mykolaiv, Vinnytsia, Cherkas, ​​Chernyakhiv, Bilohorivka, Spirne, Pavlivka, Myrne and Davydiv Brid.

For this, he used winged, aviation, anti-aircraft guided missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles of Iranian production. [The occupiers continue to use Iranian-made Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles. Yesterday, 10 of them were destroyed by the forces and means of air defence of the Defence Forces of Ukraine.]

The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly. [A comprehensive inspection of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus with training and combat tasks is underway. There is still a threat of missile and air strikes, as well as the use of the “Shahed-136” UAV from the territory of the Republic of Belarus.]

Russian forces fired in other directions:

  • in the Siverskyi direction – from mortars and artillery, in the areas of Myropillya, Seredyna-Buda, Stukalivka and Pavlivka settlements;
Kharkiv Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW

  • in the Slobozhansk direction – from artillery of various types, in the areas of the settlements of Buhruvatka, Hryanikyvka, Dvorichna, Nova Vovcha, Strilecha, Udy, and Chervona Zorya;
  • in the Kramatorsk direction – from tanks, mortars, b artillery and MLRS, along the entire line of contact. In particular, near Bilohorivka, Zarichne, Novoehorivka, Serebryanka, Spirne, Terny, Torske and Yampolivka;
  • in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks and artillery of various calibres, along the entire line of contact. In particular, in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Zelenopilya, Soledar, Mayorsk, New York and Yakovlivka;
  • in the Avdiivka direction – from tanks, mortars, artillery and MLRS, in the Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Nevelske and Pervomaiske districts.
  • On the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions – Russian forces shelled more than 15 settlements. Among them are Bohoyavlenka, Vremivka, Zaliznychne, Mykilske, Novopil, Novosilka and Poltavka.
  • in the Pivdennyy Buh direction – Areas of more than 20 settlements along the contact line were damaged by fire.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 12, 2022. Source ISW

Over the past 24 hours, units of the Defence Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmutske, Ozaryanivka, Ivanhrad, Bakhmut and Maryinka. [Yesterday, units of the Defence Forces of Ukraine repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Novosadove, Bakhmutske, Ivanhrad, Bakhmut, Soledar, Spirne, Mayorsk and Krasnohorivka.]

In some areas of hostilities, in particular, in the Donetsk oblast, enemy units began to receive orders from the top commanders to temporarily stop offensive operations. The main reason is the extremely low morale and psychological condition of the recruits, numerous facts of desertion from among the mobilized and non-fulfilment of combat orders.

According to available information, in the area of ​​the city of Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia oblast, our units hit three S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes of Russian forces along with personnel. The injured occupiers were transported to a local hospital. In the Kherson region, as a result of point fire damage in the Tokarivka area, the losses of Russian forces amounted to 150 people killed.

It is also known that the repair base of the occupiers in the area of ​​the settlement of Kalanchak accepts up to thirty units of damaged armoured vehicles that are suitable for repair every day.

[Up to five hundred mobilized military personnel from the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 49th Combined Arms Army were deployed to the combat zone to replenish Russian losses in the temporarily captured territories. Characteristic signs of the so-called “young replenishment”: protective equipment, soviet-style helmets and AK-12 assault rifles, which have a very negative experience of use.]

[For reference: AK-12 was created by the Kalashnikov concern and presented to the general public in January 2012. It was fundamentally new but implemented using the general scheme and technical solutions of former AKs. The experience of combat use during the battles in Ukraine turned out to be so negative that after a few weeks of real operation, it was proposed to de-modernize this type of weapon.]

[Training for 200 demobilized servicemen is ongoing at the base of the 3rd Guards Special Forces Brigade. In the brigade itself, after participating in the war against Ukraine, every second person wrote reports for dismissal or early termination of the contract.]

Aviation of the Defence Forces carried out 32 strikes during the past 24 hours. More than 25 areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment, as well as 7 anti-aircraft missile systems of Russian forces, have been damaged. In addition, our air defence units shot down 4 enemy helicopters and 26 unmanned aerial vehicles.

Over the past day, missile forces and artillery hit 6 control points, 7 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, and 4 ammunition depots. Enemy artillery positions, electronic warfare and other military targets also fell into the fire damage zone.“

Military Updates

Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down 4 Russian helicopters in 18 minutes, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing the press service of the Air Force. “From 8:40 to 8:58 on 12 October, in the south of Ukraine, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force destroyed at least four attack helicopters of Russian forces (presumably Ka-52s) which provided fire support to occupying troops on the ground on the southern front.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580331226740801536

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580286431863316481

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

  • After retreating around 20km in the north of the Kherson sector in early October, Russian forces are likely attempting to consolidate a new front line west from the village of Mylove.
  • Heavy fighting continues along this line, especially at the western end where Ukrainian advances mean Russia’s flank is no longer protected by the Inhulets River. Most of the Russian troops on this front line remain understrength VDV (airborne) units.
  • In recent days, the Russian occupation authorities have likely ordered preparation for the evacuation of some civilians from Kherson. It is likely that they anticipate combat extending to the city of Kherson itself.
  • Russia has deployed Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) since at least August 2022, including the one-way attack Shahed-136 variant. Russia included Shahed variants among the extensive wave of strikes it conducted on 10 October 2022. Previously, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russia had launched a total of 86 Shahed-136s and claimed that 60 per cent had been destroyed in the air.
  • These UAVs are slow and fly at low altitudes making lone aircraft easy to target using conventional air defences. There is a realistic possibility that Russia has achieved some success by attacking with several UAVs at the same time.
  • Despite a reported range of 2,500 km, the Shahed-136 only has a small explosive payload. It is unlikely to be satisfactorily fulfilling the deep strike function which Russia probably aspired to use it for. With Russian tactical combat jets still achieving limited effect over Ukrainian territory, the lack of a reliable, sustainable, and accurate operational-level strike capability is likely one of Russia’s most significant capability gaps in Ukraine.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Thursday 13 October, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

  • Personnel – more than 63800 (+420),
  • Tanks – 2511 (+6),
  • Armoured combat vehicles – 5167 (+11),
  • Artillery systems – 1556 (+17),
  • Multiple rocket launchers –MLRS – 357 (+2),
  • Air defence means – 183 (+0),
  • Aircraft – 268 (+0),
  • Helicopters – 240 (+6),
  • Automotive technology and fuel tanks – 3935 (+9),
  • Vessels/boats – 16 (+0),
  • UAV operational and tactical level – 1182 (+33),
  • Special equipment – 140 (+0),
  • Mobile SRBM system – 4 (+0),
  • Cruise missiles – 316 (+0)

Russian enemy suffered the greatest losses (of the last day) in the Кramatorsʹk and Kryvyi Rih directions.

Russia’s ‘irrecoverable losses’ in Ukraine: more than 90,000 troops dead, disabled, or AWOL, Meduza reports. “More than 90,000 troops make up Russia’s “irrecoverable” military losses in Ukraine, as reported by the Russian media project iStories (or Vazhnye Istorii). One of the two sources of this information works in the FSB; the other is a former state security officer.

“Irrecoverable losses” is a category that includes servicemen who were killed, went missing, died from their wounds or were disabled and cannot return to military service.

This new estimate is close to the figures stated earlier by the Pentagon and the British Defense Ministry. Last August, the Pentagon estimated that 70–80 thousand Russian troops had been killed or critically wounded since the start of the war. In September, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stated that the Russian army’s total losses exceeded 80,000; of those, about 25,000 were thought to have been killed.”

Russia has depleted a large part of precision ammunition – NATO official, Reuters reports. “Russia has depleted a significant proportion of its precision-guided ammunition in its invasion of Ukraine and its industry cannot produce all kinds of ammunition and weapon systems due to Western sanctions, a senior NATO official said on Wednesday.

The official said he did not know how long it would take for Russia to mobilise the 300,000 troops Moscow is aiming for and suggested it could take a few months.”

Another convoy with tanks and trucks heading to Russia was spotted in Belarus, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Belaruski Hajun. “On 11 October, the second group of 19 loaded platforms with de-conserved military equipment of the Belarusian Armed Forces left the Staryye Dorogi railway station (Minsk Oblast, Republic of Belarus) to the Millerovo railway station (Rostov Oblast, Russian Federation) and further towards  Luhansk. The estimated date of arrival is 10/19/2022.”

It is indicated that the 288th Base of the Reserve of Automobile Equipment is located in the city of Staryye Dorogi, where at least 28 Ural trucks, which were transported by railways spotted on 11 October near Minsk, were most likely de-conserved from storage. At least 8 T-72A tanks were also present in that echelon.

On 11 October, the Chief Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine reported that as of 10 October, Russia had already delivered 32 Shahed-136 Iranian-made kamikaze drones to Belarus. At the same time, material, technical means and ammunition are being taken from Belarusian territory to Russia.”

FSB prepares a plan to evacuate families of Russian officers from Ukraine, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing the press service of the National Resistance Center (NRC). “Evacuation plans have been received by servicemen of the FSB in all temporarily occupied territories, particularly in Crimea, where a large number of officers are stationed. The families of puppet governors, so-called leaders of the districts, as well as top military leadership have already begun to leave the temporarily occupied territories.

The NRC has also urged the [Ukrainian] underground to take advantage of the panic among the occupation leadership and report on the movement of Russian equipment and military facilities.”

https://twitter.com/voxukraine/status/1580455496351637505

Humanitarian 

Russia kidnaps over 500 residents in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, exit from occupied territory almost blocked, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Oleksandr Starukh, the Head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration. “According to Starukh, invaders almost completely blocked the exit for Ukrainians from the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast after Russia signed the “document” on the annexation of this Oblast. In addition, at least 529 people in the oblast were kidnapped by the Russians.

Yesterday, about 60 people left, although earlier, last month, 1,500 people left those territories [per day – ed.], because it is very difficult to live there: there is no gas, electricity is in question, [and] medical help is limited“.

Winter will be difficult because Russia uses cold as a weapon – Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing a statement by the head of the government. “Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, calls on Ukrainians to stock up on warm clothes, candles, flashlights, and batteries to get through the winter of 2022-2023 more easily. He says it will be a hard winter because of Russia’s efforts to leave Ukraine without electricity and heat in order to use the cold as a way of putting pressure on the country.

According to Shmyhal, the country is now more than 90% ready for the heating season. Special warming centres for the population have also been prepared and “evacuation plans have been developed for cases when critical infrastructure cannot be quickly restored.”

To get through this autumn and winter, we need to reduce electricity consumption so as to need fewer rolling power outages. Ideally, between 17:00 and 22:00, Ukraine should use 25% less electricity. So far, Ukrainians have been able to reduce consumption by 10%.

Shmyhal also urged people to use gas and coal sparingly after the beginning of the heating season, although this will lead to a decrease in the air temperature indoors. The minimum permissible temperature will be 16 degrees and the average 18 degrees.”

Millions of refugees from Ukraine have crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more have been forced to move inside the country. The escalation of conflict in Ukraine has caused civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance the UNHCR reports. As of 11 October:

Individual refugees from Ukraine recorded across Europe: 7,671,584
Hungary, Republic  of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia 1,740,022
Russian Federation, Belarus 2,867,975
Other European countries 3,063,587
Refugees from Ukraine registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe: 4,242,609
Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia 1,635,732
Other European countries 2,606,877
Border crossings from Ukraine (since 24 February 2022): 14,031,127
Border crossings to Ukraine (since 28 February 2022): 6,715,377

Environmental 

Russia strikes at infrastructure in Sumy Oblast, two districts are cut off from the grid, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, Head of Sumy Oblast Military Administration. “On 12 October, Russia shelled infrastructure facilities in Sumy Oblast with artillery systems.  Two districts of the oblast have been left without electricity as a result of the attack.”

Dnipropetrovsk Oblast: Russians hit energy facilities in Kamianske district, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Valentyn Reznichenko, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration, said that on the morning of 12 October, Russian troops hit energy infrastructure facilities in Kamianske district, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

PM Shmyhal: Russia caused damage to 28 energy facilities over three days, Ukrinform reports, citing Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. “For three days in a row, Russian forces have been launching missile strikes and using suicide drones against our civil and energy infrastructure. Over the past day alone, three regions of Ukraine have come under enemy fire eight times. Over the past three days, 128 enemy attacks have been recorded. As a result, over 200 different objects were damaged, including 28 energy infrastructure facilities, Shmyhal noted. In his words, Russian troops attacked both generating and power distribution facilities.”

Ukraine urges civilians to save energy after Russian air strikes, Reuters reports. “Ukraine urged civilians on Tuesday not to use domestic appliances like ovens and washing machines to save electricity as millions faced blackouts after the biggest Russian attack on its energy network since war broke out. Authorities are trying to repair the damage after Russia fired missiles at energy facilities across Ukraine on Monday, causing widespread power outages and prompting Kyiv to announce it was halting electricity exports.

The Kyiv capital region began rolling power cuts to save energy, but repairs of the grid in the western city of Lviv were set back by a new Russian missile strike that left 30% of the population there without power.

The government said residents of 300 settlements in the Kyiv region and a similar number in the Lviv region had woken on Tuesday to find they had no electricity. A further 200 settlements in the northeastern Sumy region and over 100 in the Ternopil region of western Ukraine were also without power.”

Legal 

Top US general suggests Russian strikes on civilians are war crimes, Reuters reports. “The top US general on Wednesday condemned indiscriminate Russian missile strikes on Ukraine that killed civilians, suggesting they met the definition of war crimes under the international rules of war. Russia has deliberately struck civilian infrastructure with the purpose of harming civilians, Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

They have targeted the elderly, women, and children of Ukraine. Indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilian targets is a war crime in the international rules of war.”

Over 70 people killed in Zaporizhzhia by Russian rockets since 30 September, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Oleksandr Starukh, the Head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration. “As a result of Russian attacks since 30 September, over 70 people have been killed and hundreds were injured in Zaporizhzhia. High-rise, private-sector buildings, and infrastructure facilities were destroyed and damaged. Terrible scars were left behind in the city after these barbaric attacks on civilian infrastructure.

All of the missiles that struck the city were high-precision guided missiles. They hit where they were supposed to. These bastards targeted residential buildings, and that’s why we have so many casualties.”

Officers discover 25 convoy shooting victims in Kharkiv Oblast; female victim seemingly crawled 200m before death, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Kharkiv Region Prosecutor’s Office. “Law enforcement officers found 25 victims of the Russian shooting of a car convoy in a wooded area during an inspection near the village of Kurylivka, Kupiansk Raion, Kharkiv Oblast. Officers believe a 75-year-old woman crawled 200 metres before her death.”

More than 120 bodies were exhumed in liberated areas of the Donetsk region, Ukrinform reports, citing the communication department of the Donetsk regional police. “The police found 35 burial sites in the liberated settlements. Three of them are mass grave sites. One is in Sviatohirsk, where seven people (six women and a man) were buried. The others are at the Lyman cemetery. Several dozen servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were buried in a mass grave, and more than a hundred civilians were buried in a second location. Whole families were buried,” the report said.

Exhumation at the mass burial sites in Lyman continues. During the first week of work, the police retrieved the bodies of 56 people. To date, the bodies of 22 civilians and 34 military personnel have been exhumed in Lyman. The police recorded traces of both natural death and violent acts. The investigation will determine whether the injuries were caused by shelling or torture. The bodies were sent for examination to determine the causes of death.

In total, more than 120 bodies were found in the liberated areas of the Donetsk region, including 64 civilians. The dead civilians include 32 men and 29 women, whereas the gender of another three people has yet to be established. Proceedings have been launched under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the laws and customs of war).”

422 children were killed, 808 children injured, 8,140 deported by foe forces, and 239 reported missing – the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports as of October 13. 2,614 educational establishments are damaged as a result of shelling and bombings, and 313 of them are destroyed fully. 39,774 crimes of aggression and war crimes and 17,612 crimes against national security were registered.

Support 

The top question of meeting in the Ramstein framework is strengthening Ukraine’s air defence – Defence Minister, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has announced that the most burning issue on [Wednesday’s] agenda of the contact group meeting in the Ramstein framework will be the issue of strengthening Ukraine’s air defence.”

First German IRIS-T air defence system in Ukraine, three more to come – minister, Reuters reports. “A first IRIS-T air defence system promised to Kyiv by Germany has reached Ukraine, with three more of these systems to be supplied next year, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Wednesday.”

Germany to send more Panzerhaubitze 2000 and MARS II to Ukraine, Ukrinform reports. “The German Federal Ministry of Defence has pledged to hand over more PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers and MARS II MLRS to Ukraine in the coming weeks. We coordinate our ongoing support. In the next few weeks, more PzH2000 and MARS II will be handed over to Ukraine, the Ministry posted on Twitter.

Britain to donate air defence missiles to Ukraine, Reuters reports. “Britain said it would donate air defence missiles capable of shooting down cruise missiles to Ukraine in the wake of Russian strikes on Kyiv and other cities in recent days. Britain said the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, which will be provided in the coming weeks, could be used with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS air defence systems pledged by the United States.

Hundreds of additional air defence missiles of other types would also be donated, along with more aerial drones and a further 18 howitzer artillery guns, it said.”

France to deliver anti-air systems to Ukraine in coming weeks – Macron, Reuters reports. “France will deliver radar and air defence systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks, in particular, to help Ukraine protest itself from drone and missile attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday. Speaking in an interview on France 2 television, Macron did not give any details on what type of anti-aircraft missiles or how many would be delivered.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580212765536374784

The Netherlands to give Ukraine 15 mln euros worth of air defence missiles -statement, anews reports. “The Netherlands will deliver 15 million euros worth of air defence missiles to Ukraine, the government said in a letter to parliament on Wednesday, in reaction to Russian air raids on Ukraine earlier this week.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580235794437898248

Canada announces new military package for Ukraine after Russian missile attacks, Reuters reports. “Canada said on Wednesday it will provide over C$47 million ($34.06 million) in new military aid to assist Ukraine in dealing with Russia’s invasion, with the package including artillery rounds, satellite communications, winter clothing and drone cameras, among other assistance.”

Lithuania will transfer self-propelled mortars and armoured cars to Ukraine, Lithuania Post reports. “Lithuania continues and will continue its support to Ukraine: we will hand over winter clothes and winter equipment to the Ukrainian army, allocate additional funds for next year’s material support, provide 120 mm mortars on platform 113, armoured cars, thermal imaging cameras, drones, and other equipment, – after the meeting in Brussels said Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas.

Norway contributes to the purchase of artillery ammunition for Ukraine, the Norwegian Government announces. “Norway will use up to NOK 210 million [19,5 million USD] of its deposit in the British-led “International Fund for Ukraine” to purchase artillery ammunition for Ukraine. – The need for military support for Ukraine is extensive and time-critical. Effective artillery, including sufficient amounts of ammunition, has proven to be very important in Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion, says Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.”

EU Ambassadors Agreed to Set up Military Assistance Mission for Ukraine – Media, European Pravda reports. “EU ambassadors today agreed to set up an EU Military Assistance Mission for Ukraine with HQs in Germany and Poland. It should be greenlighted by EU foreign ministers on Monday and get off the ground as soon as possible, [the correspondent of “Radio Liberty” Rikard Jozwiak] wrote.

As reported, at an informal meeting of EU leaders on October 7 in Prague, the countries reached a consensus on the creation of a joint training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces. According to the media, the EU plans to train up to 15,000 Ukrainian servicemen as part of the training mission.”

NATO sets sights on rebuilding Ukraine’s defence industry, Politico reports. “NATO is developing a 10-year plan to rebuild the Ukrainian defence industry, with the first meeting between the alliance and Kyiv slated for next week. The meeting will be the start of a long process hinted at for weeks by US and NATO officials of a long-term commitment to Ukraine to bring it closer to the alliance in both training and equipment.

We will be looking at defence planning requirements to get Ukraine fully interoperable with NATO, said a senior NATO official who asked not to be named due to ground rules for speaking to reporters during alliance meetings in Brussels this week. It’s about shifting away from Soviet equipment … to NATO-compatible Western equipment.

The top acquisition officials from the alliance already met this month to start planning ways to help the Ukrainian defence industry while simultaneously replenishing their own stocks of weapons and equipment that have been donated to Kyiv since the start of the war. This new NATO-led effort will focus only on Ukraine, however. We’ll be looking at ways to try and rebuild Ukraine’s defence industry,” the official said.

The wider effort of looking beyond the day-to-day battlefield needs of the Ukrainian military will require years of attention from partners stretching from Warsaw to Ottawa, an effort that could eventually transform Ukraine into a NATO country by default, even if it is not a member of the alliance.”

US plans to disburse $4.5B in direct budget support to Ukraine in coming weeks, Ukrinform reports, citing Reuters. “The United States intends to disburse $4.5 billion in direct budget support to Ukraine in coming weeks. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this before a meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Serhiy Marchenko.

According to the report, Congress approved that funding two weeks ago, bringing total US direct budget support for Ukraine to $13.5 billion – all in grants.”

Ukraine to support energy infrastructure with EUR 550M from EIB, Ukrinform reports, citing Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. “The European Union, in cooperation with the EIB, will help Ukraine to restore energy infrastructure. Today the EIB has transferred an additional EUR 550 million to Ukraine. These funds, in particular, will help us to cover the repair costs of the energy infrastructure objects damaged and maintain the stability of Ukraine’s electrical power system. The aid will also be aimed at restoring the provision of municipal and basic services to the population in communities, Shmyhal noted.

Generally, over two months, as part of the immediate assistance from the EIB and the European Commission, Ukraine has received EUR 1.05 billion. Another EUR 540 million will be paid through financing joint projects.”

New Developments 

  1. United Nations condemns Russia’s move to annex parts of Ukraine, ReutersThe United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four partially occupied regions in Ukraine and called on all countries not to recognize the move, strengthening a diplomatic international isolation of Moscow since it invaded its neighbour. Three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly – 143 countries – voted in favour of a resolution that also reaffirmed the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Only four countries joined Russia in voting against the resolution – Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and Belarus. Thirty-five countries abstained from the vote, including Russia’s strategic partner China, while the rest did not vote.”
  2. Biden believes Putin won’t dare nuke Ukraine, Ukrinform reports, citing CNN. “S. President Joe Biden does not believe his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will follow through on his nuclear threats and ultimately use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.”

  1. Admission of Ukraine to NATO can lead to third world war – Russian official, ReutersThe admission of Ukraine to NATO could result in a third world war, the deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Alexander Venediktov, told the state TASS news agency in an interview on Thursday. Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War Three, TASS cited Venediktov as saying.”
  2. Russia’s atrocities have further united the nations of goodwill that stand with Ukraine. So we are here because rules matter, because rights matter and because sovereignty matters. – closing remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III US Department of Defense (DoD) at the press conference after the Sixth Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence on Oct. 12, Brussels, Belgium.
  3. West plans more arms for ‘brave’ Ukraine as sirens sound again, ReutersMore than 50 Western countries met on Wednesday to promise more weapons for Ukraine, especially air defences after Russia launched its most intense missile strikes since the war began. At the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia’s latest attacks had laid bare its “malice and cruelty” since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.”
  4. Ukraine urgently needs more air defense weapons – Stoltenberg, UkrinformThe main priority in the supply of weapons to Ukraine from NATO allies should be the supply of air defence equipment and systems of various types and purposes to protect the cities and territories of Ukraine, its critical infrastructure from terrible and barbaric attacks by Russia. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said thisin Brussels on Wednesday”.
  5. The US not to hold talks with Russia on behalf of Ukraine – State Department, UkrinformThe United States has reaffirmed its policy of no talks on Ukraine without Ukraine at the table, and has no intentions to launch a settlement dialogue with Russia on behalf of the Ukrainian authorities as the Kremlin would wish Washington to do.”
  6. The US considering a complete ban on Russian aluminium -Bloomberg, ReutersThe Biden administration is considering putting in place a complete ban on Russian aluminium in response to Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.”
  7. Biden vows consequences for Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ decision, ReutersPresident Joe Biden pledged on Tuesday “there will be consequences” for US relations with Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ announced last week that it would cut its oil production target over US objections. His announcement came a day after powerful Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States must immediately freeze all cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including arms sales.”

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

map source: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-12*

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 12 October, 2022:

Eastern Ukraine: (Oskil River-Kreminna Line)

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna on October 12. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian forces in the vicinity of Kyslivka, Kharkiv Oblast (25km northwest of Svatove). […] A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced to the outskirts of Vilshana (44km northwest of Svatove) and reinforced positions in Dvorchina (54km northwest of Svatove) with air defense systems on October 12. Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces unsuccessfully attempted to cross the Zherebets River northwest of Kreminna near Raihorodka, Karmazinovka, Andriivka, Makiivka, and Novoliubivka in Luhansk Oblast. ISW makes no effort to evaluate these Russian claims and does not forecast Ukrainian ground movements. Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire in the Kupyansk direction.

Russian forces continued to conduct counterattacks west of Kreminna while strengthening defensive positions in the Svatove-Kreminna area on October 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian ground attack on Novosadove (16km west of Kreminna), despite recent Russian claims that Russian forces captured the settlement. A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces are still operating in Terny and Yampolivka (both 17km west of Kremina), despite similar claims that Russian forces recently occupied those settlements. The Russian milblogger added that Russian forces regained control of the left bank of the Zherebets River and that the area around Torske is currently a grey zone, although ISW cannot independently verify these claims. Ukrainian and social media sources reported that Russian forces continue efforts to establish trenches and fortified defensive positions along the Kreminna-Svatove line. Ukrainian sources also reported that Russian forces continue to mine bridges and territory around Kreminna-Svatove. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces completely control the Kreminna-Savtove highway despite previous reports of Ukrainian forces shelling the road and conducting reconnaissance-in-force operations in the area. Russian forces may be conducting counterattacks west of Kreminna to delay Ukrainian advances and buy Russian forces time to reinforce and resupply units and strengthen defensive positions in the Kreminna-Svatove area. However, the Russian elements in this area are likely substantially understrength. Odesa Oblast administration spokesperson Serhiy Bratchuk, citing unspecified partner sources, reported on October 12 that elements of the Russian 488th Motor Rifle Regiment of the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division stationed near Kreminna are experiencing critical supply issues after Ukrainian forces struck Russian supply columns in the area on October 10 and 11.

Southern Ukraine: (Kherson Oblast)

Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian troops conducted counteroffensive operations in northwestern and western Kherson Oblast on October 12. Several milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces are continuing efforts to push south of the current frontline in northwestern Kherson Oblast and attacking toward Mylove (30km northeast of Beryslav along the western bank of the Dnipro River). Russian sources additionally claimed that Ukrainian troops are attempting to advance past the Davydiv Brid pocket in western Kherson Oblast, with several milbloggers indicating that Ukrainians attacked toward Ishchenka and Kostromka (both within 10km south of Davyid Brid) from positions near Davydiv Brid. ISW makes no effort to evaluate these claims or make forecasts regarding Ukrainian ground attacks in Kherson Oblast.

Ukrainian military officials confirmed that Ukrainian troops liberated five settlements in northern Kherson Oblast and otherwise maintained operational silence regarding specific Ukrainian ground maneuvers in this area on October 12. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command noted that Ukrainian troops successfully retook control of Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka, Nova Kamianka, Trifonivka, and Chervone—all settlements in northern Kherson Oblast within 25km south of the Dnipropetrosk Oblast border that Ukrainian forces liberated around October 4. Ukrainian military officials also noted that Ukrainian troops are continuing their interdiction campaign to target Russian concentration areas and military assets in Kherson Oblast to support ongoing ground maneuvers. […] 

Russia has seemingly intensified its information operation to falsely portray Ukraine as a terrorist state, likely to set information conditions to counter efforts to designate Russia as a terrorist state. Several Russian sources made unverified claims that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained Ukrainian citizens for allegedly planning “terrorist attacks” in Sverdlovsk, Moscow, and Bryansk oblasts on October 12. Russian milbloggers relatedly amplified rhetoric accusing Ukraine of being a terrorist state and calling for Russian authorities to enhance “counterintelligence” procedures and formally designate Ukraine as a terrorist state. Claims of preparations for alleged and subversive Ukrainian activity in Russia align with a wider attempt to set information conditions to respond to Ukrainian attempts to formally designate Russia a terrorist state, especially in the wake of recent massive attacks on critical Ukrainian infrastructure and residential areas. The Russian information space may also be setting conditions to justify further massive strikes on Ukrainian rear areas; although, as ISW has previously assessed, these tactics are part of the Russian way of war and will likely be utilized regardless of informational conditions. Russian authorities may also be setting conditions for false-flag attacks against Russia framed as Ukrainian-perpetrated acts of terrorism.

Russian forces may have brought Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-affiliated personnel to occupied areas in Ukraine to train Russian troops in the use of Shahed-136 drones. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on October 12 that Russian forces brought an unspecified number of Iranian instructors to Dzankoi in Crimea and Zalizniy Port and Hladivtsi in Kherson Oblast to teach Russian forces how to use Shahed-136 attack drones. The Resistance Center stated that the Iranian instructors directly control the launch of drones on civilian targets in Ukraine, including in Mykolaiv and Odesa oblasts. The IRGC is notably the primary operator of Iran‘s drone inventory, so these Iranian instructors are likely IRGC or IRGC-affiliated personnel.

Key Takeaways

  • Russia is intensifying efforts to set information conditions to falsely portray Ukraine as a terrorist state to deflect recent calls to designate Russia as a terrorist state.
  • Russian forces may have imported Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-affiliated personnel to occupied areas in Ukraine to train Russian troops in the use of Shahed-136 drones.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations toward Svatove and Kreminna. Russian forces are continuing defensive operations in this area.
  • Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces are conducting ground attacks in northwestern and western Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces are likely reinforcing the frontline in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The Russian military continues to face problems equipping individual Russian soldiers with basic personal equipment.

Russian and occupation administration officials continue to employ coercive measures against residents in Russian-occupied territories.

Belarusian forces are to be fiercely repulsed in event that they invade Ukraine from the north, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Ihor Bondarenko, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. “Mining on the border of Ukraine with Belarus is an exclusively defensive measure; in case of an invasion from the north, the Belarusian Forces will be fiercely repulsed directly at the border with Ukraine. The logic of Ukraine’s actions is necessarily defensive. We have already had reports of a ground invasion by our neighbour to the north [Belarus], the use of its infrastructure and attacks – [because of that] we would not react otherwise.

Losses on the part of the aggressor will be high [in the case of an invasion from the north – ed.], and they will be repulsed directly at the border. He added that in October, Ukraine is much better prepared for a possible invasion from the north than, for example, it was in June.

“Mining is a measure of a defensive nature. We do it so that the aggressor understands that there will be a rebuff, and a situation like the one [that happened] in February will not repeat, when we expected to observe the practice of good neighbourly relations, but faced a different scenario, he said.”

With Putin under pressure, Belarus edges closer to joining the war in Ukraine, Reuters reports. “A flurry of military activity in Belarus this week has caught the attention of Ukraine and the West as a potential sign that President Alexander Lukashenko may commit his army in support of Russia’s flailing war effort in Ukraine. Lukashenko has ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near the Ukraine border, and his defence ministry says “combat readiness” drills are underway. On Tuesday, the interior ministry held exercises to eliminate “sabotage groups” near Yelsk, only 20 km (12 miles) from the border with Ukraine. […]

Belarus allowed itself to be used as a launchpad for Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine but has not joined the fighting directly. Analysts say Lukashenko would have no choice but to comply if Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded he enters the war, at a moment when Moscow is reeling from a series of defeats and facing unprecedented public criticism of its generals’ failings.

But they are sceptical that Belarus’s intervention would make much of a difference. Its armed forces total just 48,000 personnel, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and have not fought a war in more than 30 years of independence since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It’s not exactly a combat-tested armed force,” said Samir Puri, author of “Russia’s Road to War with Ukraine. He said, however, that the risk of intervention by Belarus could force Ukraine to beef up security in the north of the country, drawing forces away from the frontlines with Russia in the south and east. […] Lukashenko has not specified the size and role of the joint force he announced on Monday, though he said then that he expected the arrival of thousands of troops on Belarusian territory.

Not all the evidence suggests the Belarus military is on the verge of joining the fight. The Belarusian Hajun project, which monitors military movements, said there is evidence of equipment moving in the other direction, including the transfer to Russia of at least two trains with 28 Belarusian tanks.

Pavel Slunkin, a former Belarusian diplomat now at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said […] he did not believe Lukashenko was on the point of committing his forces to fight alongside Russia’s, but he may be readying himself for that eventuality. Maybe he hasn’t decided yet but he understands that this could happen and in this scenario, it’s better to have the army prepared. Slunkin said Lukashenko, who survived mass protests with Russian help in 2020 and depends on Putin both politically and economically, would be in no position to withhold military support if the Kremlin required it.

His guarantee of keeping his power very much depends on Putin, he said. Lukashenko can’t survive without Russia’s support and without repression. His dependence is so deep, he has almost no space for manoeuvre.”

The US predicts Ukraine will battle through winter, Reuters reports. “Ukraine is expected to battle through harsh winter conditions to try to recapture even more territory from Russia, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday, as allies announced the delivery of new air defences and committed more aid in the wake of Russian missile strikes. Military analysts are watching to see whether fighting subsides during Ukraine’s tough winter, potentially [allowing] troops on both sides of the conflict to reset after months of brutal fighting since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

But Austin, speaking at a gathering at NATO headquarters in Brussels of about 50 countries providing military aid to Ukraine, said he expected Kyiv to do what it could to press ahead after regaining territory occupied by Russian forces in recent weeks. I expect that Ukraine will continue to do everything it can throughout the winter, to regain its territory and to be effective on the battlefield, Austin told a news conference. And we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they have what’s required to be effective.

A senior US defence official said there was an “outpouring” of support to help Ukraine get through the winter fighting months, including the provision of winter clothing. But what about those Russian forces? What kind of support are they going to have through the winter? Right now, the Russians are isolated and alone, the official said.”

Russia classified quarter of 2023 expenditures amid war, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Meduza [Latvia-based Russian media outlet]. “The Russian government has classified a quarter of all expenditures for 2023. The media believe that RUB 6.5 trillion might have been allocated to fund the war and the annexation of Ukrainian territories. Classified expenditures will increase in 2023 by over RUB 2.8 trillion.

Russian Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, confirmed on 3 October that resources designated for the restoration of the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts of Ukraine have been included in the budget since the Kremlin labelled them the territory of the Russian Federation.

Earlier, the minister had confirmed that the Russian government does not intend to disclose the volume of expenditures for the war, which Moscow deceitfully calls a “special military operation.” However, the classified part of the expenditures of the Russian draft federal budget for the next year is unprecedentedly large.

According to the calculations of Meduza (which match estimates by Bloomberg and Vedomosti, a Moscow-based business newspaper), secret and top-secret items of expenditure will account for RUB 6.58 trillion in 2023 or 22.66% of all expenditures of the federal budget. This is RUB 2.8 trillion more than in the 2022 budget when the share of classified expenditures was less than 16%. The Russian classified expenditures similarly peaked in 2015 (21%).

Not all sections and subsections of the 2023 draft budget are split into open and classified parts: some sections remain completely open, e.g. “Functioning of the President of the Russian Federation”, while some are entirely classified, such as “Nuclear Weapons Complex”.

The classified expenditures designated for national defence and security purposes will increase dramatically in 2023. The classified part of expenditures on national defence in the Russian draft budget for 2023 increased by RUB 1.36 trillion, and its share in total expenditures in this section increased from 65% to 73%.”

 

  1. Consequences and what to do? 

Russian terror led to the decline of the Ukrainian economy by more than a third, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing President Zelenskyy, at the Second Ministerial Roundtable Discussion for Support to Ukraine under the leadership of the Ukrainian Government, the World Bank Group and the IMF. “This year, Russian terror led to the decline of the Ukrainian economy by more than a third. Similarly, the real income of our people decreased by a third. Thousands of enterprises and infrastructure facilities were destroyed. Millions of people became internally displaced. Zelenskyy stated that there are currently two key state financial needs, namely:

  • USD 38 billion to cover the state budget deficit next year to secure salaries for teachers, doctors, social benefits, and pensions;
  • USD 17 billion, which are verified by the World Bank and are necessary for the reconstruction of critical infrastructure within the RDNA. These are schools, hospitals, critical transport, and energy infrastructure, as well as damaged housing. 

Zelenskyy also said that Ukraine needs targeted loans of 2 billion dollars to rebuild the electricity infrastructure after the destruction and to expand exports to Europe. Ukraine also needs credit limits for the purchase of gas and coal for the next heating season. The volume of this level of support is at least 5 billion dollars. 

Zelenskyy stated that the new program of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund is critically important to counter the deficit and guarantee stability. He said that the realistic volume is up to USD 20 billion.”

Hans Petter Midttun:Russia’s atrocities have further united the nations of goodwill that stand with Ukraine. So we are here because rules matter, because rights matter and because sovereignty matters”, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded yesterday.

Yesterday, the great majority of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson and called on all countries not to recognize the move, strengthening a diplomatic international isolation of Moscow since it invaded Ukraine.

The outcome of the sixth Ukraine Defense Contact Group Ramstein meeting further demonstrated international resolve. The 50 nations strengthened their support for Ukraine after Russia’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

While the 10 October massive missile and drone strikes caught the attention of the international community, they only marked a continuation of Russian war crimes. Every day 20-40 Ukrainian settlements are subject to artillery, rocket and missile attacks from its neighbour. Civilians are being killed and wounded constantly.

OHCHR recorded 15,592 civilian casualties in Ukraine as of October 10. 6,221 were killed (including 396 children) and 9,371 injured (including 714 children).

These numbers, however, only reflect verified casualties. They do not reflect the Russian atrocities not yet uncovered on temporary occupied territories. The war crimes that are exposed every time a city and village are liberated are indicative. Ukraine has revealed too many mass graves, indiscriminate murders and torture chambers already.

According to Mykola Osychenko, the president of Mariupol TV and civic volunteer, as of mid-August, “the Illichivskyi morgue of Mariupol documented 87,000 dead people. In addition, there a database of unidentified killed people is kept in the Novoazov Prosecutor’s Office and contains 26,750 entries. Bodies of these people are buried and reburied in mass graves.”

In reality, Ukraine has suffered around 150-200,000 casualties already. The fact that Russia probably lost as many soldiers during the 8 months of full-scale war offers no consolation. The former are victims, while the latter are perpetrators.

As winter is approaching, the number of casualties will not recede. On the contrary, we must expect the numbers to increase as “King Winter” is also a ruthless killer.

Being increasingly isolated and feeling the full impact of the international sanctions, the Russian soldiers are facing a particularly harsh season. During the first phase of the invasion, “frostbite accounted for a notable share of casualties in some units in the initial phase of combat operations. According to CIT’s source, in a single unit, only 20% of the personnel were provided with winter uniforms, which were partially purchased by the contract servicemen at their own expense. Many soldiers may have frozen to death in the spring.”

The partial mobilisation of 300,000 men will not alleviate a defective logistical system. Empty storages, corruption and incompetence are not fixed overnight despite the constant replacement of leaders. We have already seen multiple reports on Russian mobilised personnel being forced to buy the equipment they need to survive both the battle and the climate. “The Russians have “misplaced” 1.5 million winter uniforms that were about to be sent to the Russian soldiers in Ukraine”, Visegrad24 recently twittered. Russia is desperately trying to procure the Personal Protective Equipment and winter uniforms needed from abroad.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian units have been ordered to temporarily stop offensive operations in some areas along the frontline because of the “extremely low morale and psychological condition of the recruits, numerous facts of desertion from among the mobilized and non-fulfilment of combat orders”.

Morale will continue to drop as the temperatures start falling below zero. The level of casualties will increase dramatically as winter reaches its peak and the temperature plummets to minus 35.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will, in contrast, have the benefit of being supported by 50 countries which have already ramped up their production of equipment needed for the winter. According to Spiegel, NATO members are preparing a winter aid package for Ukraine, including warm uniforms, winter shoes and tents. In late July already, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov a request to the NATO Secretary General to provide 200,000 winter uniforms for Ukraine. Civil society and NGOs are already working hard to meet the needs of the Security and Defence Sector.

Russia’s hope to avoid defeat is ironic, linked to an escalation of its energy war against the West. Russian soldiers will freeze. Ukraine will freeze. Putin will make sure that what he sees as the weakest link – Europe – will freeze as well.

Russia’s war for great power status at the cost of Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, international law and Euro-Atlantic security and stability is most probably about to escalate in the North Sea region. NATO members have already started patrolling the maritime domain as Norway steps up its protection of critical infrastructure ashore.

It is high time politicians, media and experts stop talking about the “Russian-Ukrainian War”. While it has been misleading for nearly 9 years, it’s outright dishonest today.

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