Russo Ukrainian War. Day 233: PACE declares “the current Russian regime as a terrorist one”

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian forces continued to launch strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure. In the last three days, pro-Russian forces have made tactical advances towards the center of the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian forces made gains northwest of Svatove. Russian forces are continuing defensive operations in anticipation of potential Ukrainian attacks towards Kreminna. Russian troops are attempting to recapture positions in northern and northwestern Kherson Oblast. Damage to the Kerch Strait Bridge continues to impede the movement of Russian supplies and personnel to southern Ukraine. Russian occupation officials called for the evacuation of civilians from occupied Kherson Oblast. PACE adopted a resolution recognizing Russia as a terrorist state. 20 Ukrainian POWs returned home.

Daily overview — Summary report, October 14

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, October 14, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below

Situation in Ukraine. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two hundred-thirty-third (233) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
Donetsk Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

The aggressor continues to focus his efforts on attempts to implement his plans to enter the administrative border of Donetsk oblast, as well as to maintain the captured districts of Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv oblasts.
The enemy is shelling the positions of our troops along the entire contact line, carrying out engineering equipment of the positions in separate directions and conducting aerial reconnaissance, raising reserves, carrying out mobilization, and recruiting mercenaries.
The enemy does not stop striking the critical infrastructure and civilian facilities of our country. During the past 24 hours, objects and peaceful citizens of the settlements of Brody, Nalyvaykivka of the Kyiv region, Mykolaiv and Nikopol were damaged.
The enemy used cruise, aviation, anti-aircraft guided missiles and strike unmanned aerial vehicles of Iranian production to carry out the strikes.
In general, over the past day, the occupiers have launched 2 rocket and 16 air strikes, carried out more than 70 MLRS attacks.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly.
The enemy fired in other directions:
in the Siversky direction – from mortars and barrel artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Ukrainske, Atynske, Velyka Rybytsia of the Sumy oblast and Mykolaivka of the Chernihiv oblast;
Kharkiv Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhansk direction – from mortars, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of the settlements of Strilecha, Ohirtseve, Starytsa, Hatyshche, Dvorichna and Hryanikyvka;
in the Kramatorsk direction – from artillery of various types, in the areas of the settlements of Spirne, Terny, Zarichne, Nadiya, Olhivka, Torske, Bilohorivka, Yampolivka and Travneve;
in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery along the entire line of contact. In particular, in the areas of the settlements of Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Ivanhrad, Zelenopillia, Soledar, Mayorsk, Chasiv Yar and Opytne;
in the Avdiivka direction – from tanks and artillery of various calibers, in the areas of Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Vodyane, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Nevelske, Pervomaiske, and Zolota Nyva settlements.
On the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions, the areas of the settlements of Vuhledar, Novoukrayinka, Vremivka, Novoandriivka, Novodanylivka, Dorozhnianka, Hulyaipole and Komyshuvaha were shelled.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

Areas of settlements near the contact line were damaged by fire in the South Buh direction. Nikopol and Vyshchetarasivka were directly affected by the fire of the occupiers.
In the city of Enerhodar, on October 10-11, an increase in the personnel of the russian occupying forces was noted on the territory of the nuclear power plant. According to the available information, the occupiers use the station as a base for the placement of personnel, due to the fact that the object is not fired upon.
The enemy is intensifying regime measures. At the checkpoints around Melitopol, to conduct thorough searches, representatives of the russian federal security service (fsb), together with ordinary military personnel, are present.
To replenish the losses in manpower, the russian military leadership does not stop the practice of recruiting mercenaries. In particular, citizens of other countries. It became known about the arrival of about four hundred foreign militants on the temporarily occupied territory of the Republic of Crimea on October 9 of this year. In the future, it is planned to involve them in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.
In addition, in Primorsko-Akhtarsk of the Krasnodar Territory, the sending of demobilized persons to the training centers of the armed forces of the russian federation has been suspended until November 1. All because these institutions are not ready to accommodate, train and comprehensively provide a large number of personnel.
Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the direction of Terny, Opytne, Vesele, Nevelske, Odradivka, Ivanhrad, Bakhmut, Nova Kamianka and Suhy Stavok settlements.
During the past 24 hours, the Air Force of the Defence Forces carried out 25 strikes. Damage to more than 19 areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment, as well as 6 anti-aircraft missile systems of the enemy, has been confirmed. In addition, our air defence units shot down 5 cruise missiles and 9 UAVs.
Missile troops and artillery hit 3 control points, 5 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, and 2 ammunition depots during the day. An enemy electronic warfare station also fell into the zone of fire damage.

Military Updates

 

 

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

Iran sends 2,400 kamikaze drones and instructors to teach the Russian troops to use the drones.
NATO will provide Ukraine with anti-drone weapons with hundreds of devices to jam drones, Secretary General Stoltenberg said.

Regional Updates

In Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian military shelled Kharkiv and the Oblast. Infrastructure objects damaged.

In Dnipro Oblast, five shillings and one wounded reported. More than 30 multi-story and private houses, gas pipelines, and power lines damaged. More than 2,000 families left without electricity.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian military shelled the city of Zaporizhzhia again. The infrastructure object damaged. In Orekhov, the Russian military destroyed residential buildings. 9 injured. 3 civilians injured in nearby Stepnohirsk.

In Mykolaiv Oblast, a Russian rocket hit a residential building. 2 killed.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580665376131919873

In Lviv Oblast, 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580582204140199936

In Russia, explosions in Belgorod reported. 

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

  • In the last three days, pro-Russian forces have made tactical advances towards the centre of the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast. Elements of 2nd Army Corps, the pro-Russia militia of the Luhansk region, likely advanced into the villages of Opytine and Ivangrad to the south of the town.

 

  • There have been few, if any, other settlements seized by regular Russian or separatist forces since early July. However, forces led by the private military company Wagner Group have achieved some localised gains in the Donbas: Wagner likely remains heavily involved in the Bakhmut fighting.

 

  • Russia likely views seizing Bakhmut as a preliminary to advancing on the Kramatorsk-Sloviansk urban area which is the most significant population centre of Donetsk Oblast held by Ukraine. Russia continues to prosecute offensive operations in central Donbas and is, very slowly, making progress. However, its overall operational design is undermined by the Ukrainian pressure against its northern and southern flanks, and by severe shortages of munitions and manpower.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 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:

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

Humanitarian 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580626032574357504

14 Ukrainian soldiers, four troopers, a National Guardsman, and a Navy soldier returned home.14 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, four troopers, one National Guard, and one Navy soldier were released from Russian captivity, according to the head of the OP Andriy Yermak. Among the released are PoWs held by the Russian military in Olenivka, as well as in the temporarily occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580565450613612545

Environmental 

The IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi discussed a nuclear safety and protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power point with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba in a bomb shelter in Kyiv. Kuleba stressed that in order to ensure nuclear safety, Russia must leave the Zaporizhzhia NPP and stop the kidnapping of Ukrainian personnel of the nuclear power plant.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580690343242002432

The power supply in Ukraine is stabilized after a large-scale attack by Russians on October 10-12. , according to Ukrenergo.
Consumers need to be prepared for the fact that Ukrenergo can, if necessary, apply power supply limitation schedules in order to maintain a balance in the energy system,” said Volodymyr Kudrytsky, head of the board of NPC Ukrenergo.

Legal 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580685303894880256

Support 

 

Israel provides Ukraine with information on Iranian drones that the Russian Federation uses in Ukraine.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas Estonia agreed on a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, including equipment and ammunition.
Ukraine will receive air defense missiles from the UK. Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced the transfer of AMRAAM missiles to Ukraine for NASAMS air defense systems.  Advanced AMRAAM missiles will be delivered in the coming weeks. They can be used in conjunction with the NASAMS air defense system promised by the US.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580613425188597760

New Developments 

14 NATO states join forces on joint purchases of missile defense and air defense for protecting the European aerial space. The project, presented by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is aimed at facilitating the purchase of Iris-T and Patriot systems that will allow to defend the Alliance against all air and missile threats. The German initiative was joined by: Great Britain, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania.

PACE recognized the Russian Federation a terrorist regime. 99 delegates voted for the resolution, one abstained.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1580694877213425666

Russia will receive a powerful non-nuclear response from the West if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, said  EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.  “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create a response, not a nuclear one, but such a powerful response from the military side that the Russian army will be completely destroyed,” the press service of EU diplomacy quoted Borrell as saying.
Russia deployed nuclear-capable aircraft to the border with Norway. Two days later, one Tu-160 was spotted on the runway of the air base. Experts believe that the maneuvers of the Russians can be both evidence of the traditional Thunder exercise and Putin’s nuclear blackmail.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin urged Hungary and Turkey to ratify Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO “as soon as possible.” Of the 30 members of the Alliance, only these two countries are hindering the process. On May 18, Finland and Sweden submitted applications for NATO membership, and on July 5, protocols on their accession to the bloc were signed at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
The summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) started in Astana, Kazakhstan. Putin attended the summit. Two issues were announced on the agenda of the summit – an updated catalog of confidence-building measures in Asia and the transformation of the CICA into a full-fledged international organization.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 13 October, 2022:

Public reports of the first deaths of ill-prepared mobilized Russian troops in Ukraine have sparked renewed criticism of the Russian military command. Russian media reported that five mobilized men from Chelyabinsk have already died in combat in Ukraine just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of partial mobilization on September 21.[1] The report led many pro-war milbloggers to claim that the number of dead and wounded among mobilized servicemen is likely higher than this due to lack of promised training, equipment, unit cohesion, and commanders, as well as repeated instances of wrongful mobilization.

Russian milbloggers claimed that Commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District (SMD), Mikhail Zusko, ordered the immediate deployment without any pre-combat training of newly mobilized servicemen of the 15th Regiment of the 27th Motor Rifle Brigade from Moscow City and Moscow Oblast to the collapsing frontline around Svatove around October 2nd and 3rd.[2] Ukrainian outlets had previously reported that the Kremlin has arrested Zusko due to combat losses, and it is unclear why an SMD commander would issue orders pertaining to a unit within the Western Military District (WMD).[3] Milbloggers noted that relatives found half of the 15th Regiment personnel wounded in a Belgorod Oblast hospital after the unit got caught in heavy artillery fire when attempting to reach the Svatove frontline. Milbloggers noted that the regiment had no orders, military command supervision, signal, or supplies, and that the other half of its personnel is still at the Svatove frontline. Another milblogger noted witnessing the coffins of mobilized men arrive in Chelaybinsk, Moscow, and Yekaterenburg, and claimed that many mobilized men are surrendering to Ukrainian forces.[4] One Russian milblogger complained on October 13 that newly mobilized men are being deployed in a haphazard way that will lead to 10,000 deaths and 40,000 injuries among them by February 2023.[5]

Russian mobilization structures are continuing to face bureaucratic challenges, which may further undermine the combat effectiveness of mobilized personnel. Milbloggers claimed that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) did not set proper conditions to integrate and monitor the deployment of mobilized men at the frontlines.[6] Russian military units reportedly disperse mobilized men among different units without keeping proper records of their deployed locations on the frontlines, causing families to complain to military leadership. Russian military officials are also continuing to assign men with previous military experience to units that do not match their expertise. One milblogger even warned that Russian MoD’s inability to properly update families of the whereabouts of their relatives will lead mothers and wives to form human rights groups that “will break Russia from within.”[7]

ISW cannot independently verify milblogger claims, but the community has been proactive in highlighting the Kremlin’s mobilization since the day of its declaration in hopes of improving the prospects of the Russian war in Ukraine.[8] ISW has also previously reported on a video of mobilized men from Moscow Oblast in Svatove who complained about their lack of equipment and deployment to the frontlines without proper training, which corroborates some milblogger reports.[9] The persistence of such complaints supports ISW’s assessment that the mobilization campaign will not produce enough combat-ready Russian personnel to affect the course of the war in the short term. The Kremlin’s rapid deployment of mobilized servicemen to the Kreminna-Svatove line may also indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to throw away the lives of mobilized men in a desperate effort to preserve a collapsing frontline.

The Kremlin continues to struggle to message itself out of the reality of mobilization and military failures. The Kremlin continued its general pattern of temporarily appeasing the nationalist communities by conducting retaliatory missile strikes on Ukraine in an effort to deflect from persistent mobilization problems. Renewed milblogger critiques about mobilization again show how ephemeral the Kremlin’s successes are at deflecting attention from them. The nationalist community resumed its calls on the Kremlin to replace senior officials and commanders and declare war, which some had anticipated would be the Kremlin’s response to the Kerch Strait Bridge explosions, broken mobilization process, and loss of most of Kharkiv Oblast and Lyman.[10] The Kremlin remains trapped in a cycle of appeasing its pro-war constituencies but retaining Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision of a limited war in Ukraine that is incompatible with their demands and expectations.

Russian forces continued to launch strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure on October 13. Ukraine’s Western Air Command noted that Russian forces launched Kalibr cruise missiles at infrastructure in western Ukraine, four of which Ukrainian troops destroyed.[11] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops launched missile strikes on critical infrastructure and civilian objects in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv Oblasts throughout the day on October 13.[12] Ukrainian military sources also reported that Russian troops continued drone attacks all over Ukraine, and that Ukrainian troops shot down four drones over Vinnytsia and Cherkassy on October 12.[13] Social media footage additionally shows explosions in Rivne, Ternopil, Lviv, Chernivitsi Oblasts following the activation of Ukrainian air defense systems.[14]

Russian forces are likely continuing to use Iranian Shahed-136 drones to support massive strike campaigns against critical Ukrainian infrastructure due to their low efficacy in active combat situations. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command Spokesperson, Nataliya Humenyuk, claimed on October 13 that Russian forces are employing Shahed-136s primarily to strike buildings and infrastructure because the drones have limited efficacy against troop concentrations.[15]  Humenyuk cited various sources who stated that Russia has received between 300 to several thousand Shahed-136s and is using them in areas as far away as 1,000km from the launch point, which is why Shahed-136 use has been densely concentrated around southern Ukraine.[16] Russian forces are also increasingly trying to launch the drones from the northern border area. Humenyuk’s statement, and the pattern of recent Shahed-136 strikes against infrastructure in Ukrainian rear areas, supports ISW’s previous assessment that Shahed-136s will not generate asymmetric effects for Russian forces because they are not being used to strike areas of critical military significance in a way that directly influences the frontline.[17]

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is likely continuing efforts to distinguish himself and Wagner Group forces from more conventional Russian and proxy troops. Prigozhin emphasized in a comment to Russian outlet RIA FAN that Wagner Group forces singlehandedly took control of Ivanhrad, a settlement just south of Bakhmut, on October 13.[18] However, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Territorial Defense Force claimed that Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) and DNR joint forces took control of Ivanhrad and the nearby settlement of Opytne, apparently contradicting Prigozhin’s statement that “not a single person from other units, except for employees of the Wagner Private Military Company” was in Ivanhrad at the time of its capture.[19] Prigozhin additionally rebutted the claim that Russian forces have taken Opytne and stated that fierce fighting is ongoing on its outskirts.[20] The disconnect between Prigozhin’s and the DNR Territorial Defense’s claims, as well as Prigozhin’s apparent desire to have Wagner Group fighters receive sole credit for the capture of Ivanhrad, is consistent with ISW’s previous observations that Prigozhin is jockeying for more prominence against the backdrop of his recent harsh critiques of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) establishment.[21]

Increasingly degraded morale, discipline, and combat capabilities among Russian troops in combat zones in Ukraine may be leading to temporary suspensions in offensive operations in limited areas. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that, particularly in Donetsk Oblast, certain Russian units are receiving orders from commanders to temporarily halt offensive operations due to extremely low morale, psychological conditions, high rates of desertion, and non-execution of combat orders.[22] The General Staff statement is likely a reflection of the fact that Russian detachments are becoming increasingly degraded as they impale themselves on relatively small and insignificant settlements throughout Donetsk Oblast, especially around Bakhmut and the Donetsk City area. As these units become more degraded, they are likely reconstituted ad hoc with disparate combat elements, which leads to further demoralization and incoherence in the conduct of offensive operations. However, the apparent suspension of offensive operations in areas of Donetsk Oblast, nearly the only areas in Ukraine where Russian troops are engaged in offensive operations, will further complicate Russian efforts to take additional territory and likely further contribute to poor morale and overall attrition of combat capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Public reports of the first deaths of ill-prepared mobilized Russian troops in Ukraine have sparked renewed criticism of the Russian military command.
  • Russian forces continued to launch strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure on October 13.
  • Increasingly degraded morale, discipline, and combat capabilities among Russian troops in combat zones in Ukraine may be leading to temporary suspensions in offensive operations in limited areas.
  • Ukrainian forces made gains northwest of Svatove.
  • Russian forces are continuing defensive operations in anticipation of potential Ukrainian attacks towards Kreminna.
  • Ukrainian and Russian sources stated that Russian troops are attempting to recapture positions in northern and northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Damage to the Kerch Strait Bridge continues to impede the movement of Russian supplies and personnel to southern Ukraine.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks in Donetsk Oblast and claimed to make marginal advances south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian incompetence continues to take its toll on mobilized personnel before they ever reach the front lines, likely exacerbating already-low morale.
  • Russian officials are likely increasingly limiting freedom of movement in Russia to preserve additional mobilizable populations and prevent them from fleeing the country.
  • Russian occupation officials called for the evacuation of civilians from occupied Kherson Oblast.

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