Russian Defense Minister called his four NATO counterparts putting forward allegations that Ukraine is going to use a “dirty bomb” in a false flag attack, Ukraine president says Russia might be planning such an attack. Russian troops continued ground attacks on Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. Ukraine arrests engine factory director who supplied helicopter engines to Russia. Ukrainian efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 UAVs are “increasingly successful.”
Daily overview — Summary report, October 25
The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, October 25, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below:
The enemy is trying to hold the temporarily captured territories, improve the tactical position, concentrates efforts on restraining the actions of the Defence Forces in certain directions, and at the same time conducts offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions.
According to available information, the Russian Federation continues the training of a part of the mobilized persons at the combined military training grounds and in the training units of specialists of certain specialties.
Over the past 24 hours, the Defence Forces of Ukraine have repelled attacks by the occupiers in the areas of Zemlianka and Chuhunivka settlements of Kharkiv oblast, as well as Soledar, Bakhmut, Andriivka, Klishchiivka, Novomykhailivka, Mariinka, Nevelske, Pervomaiske, and Avdiivka of Donetsk oblast.
The enemy is shelling the positions of our troops along the contact line and conducting aerial reconnaissance. Over the past day, the Russian occupiers have launched missile and air strikes on the infrastructure and homes of the civilian population, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, the laws and customs of war.
In general, during the previous day, the occupiers launched 2 missile and 28 air strikes, carried out 65 MLRS attacks.
Objects of civil infrastructure in the settlements of Bakhmut, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia Oblast’s Novotavrycheske were hit by enemy attacks.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissia directions has not changed significantly.
During October of this year, measures to check mobilization resources are ongoing on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. Special groups have been created at local executive authorities to check and clarify information on potential conscripts. The type of activity of men of conscription age, military accounting specialties, and marital status is being clarified.
There is still a threat of launching missile and air strikes against the critical infrastructure of Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus, including the use of Iranian-made attack UAVs.
The enemy shelled in other directions:
- in the Slobozhansky direction – from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery, in the areas of Hryhorivka, Krasne, Ohirtseve, Starytsa, Petro-Ivanivka, Fiholivka, Khatnye, Chervona Zorya and Chugunivka settlements;
- in the Kupiansk and Lyman directions – from tanks and artillery of various calibers, in the areas of the settlements of Berestovka, Hrekivka, Zarichne, Kovalivka, Makiivka, Yampolivka, Kamianka, and Bilohorivka;
- in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Bilohorivka, Vesele, Zelenopillia, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, New York, Ozaryanivka, Opytne, Soledar, Spirne, and Yakovlivka;
- in the Avdiivka area – from tanks and artillery of various types, in the areas of Avdiivka, Opytne, Vodyane, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Kostyantynivka, Pervomaiske, Novomykhailivka, Mariinka, Prechistivka, Novopil, Novosilka, and Zaliznychne;
- in the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions – from barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Vuhledar, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Malynivka, Mykilske, Olhivske, Pavlivka, and Shevchenko.
- In the South Buh direction, the enemy fired in the areas of populated areas near the contact line. Among them are Shevchenkove, Ternovi Pody, Myrne, Novohryhorivka, Kvitneve, Kiselivka, Blahodativka, Novopoltavka, Bilohirka, Davydiv Brid, and Trifonivka. The infrastructure of Nikopol and Ilyinka of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast was directly affected by rocket and barrel artillery fire.
According to updated information, the destruction of three BM-21 “Hrad” multiple rocket launcher systems, as well as the evacuation of about seventy wounded enemy servicemen on October 22 of this year in the Mykhailivka settlement of Zaporizhzhia oblast, has been confirmed.
In the city of Enerhodar, the Russian occupiers rotated personnel at the nuclear power plant. Further, the facts of physical and moral pressure on employees of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in order to force them to sign contracts with the Rosatom Corporation are recorded. In addition, the invaders forbade the employees of the power plant to leave the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.
The aviation of the Defence Forces during the past day made 11 strikes. It has been confirmed that 11 areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment of the enemy have been destroyed. Air defense units shot down 12 Shahed-136 UAVs (the Air Defense Command says 14 Shaheds were destroyed, – Ed.).
Over the past day, Ukrainian missile forces and artillery hit four control points, five areas of concentration of manpower, weapons, and military equipment, four ammunition depots, an anti-aircraft missile complex, an area of artillery firing positions, and other important enemy objects.
- Russian allegations that Ukraine plans to use “dirty bomb” “as absurd as dangerous” – Ukrainian FM
- Ukraine’s Army continues to move frontline southwards in Kherson Oblast – Operational Command South’s spox
- Germany will deliver three more IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine as soon as possible, and each of them can protect a large city. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said this in a speech at the opening of the 5th German-Ukrainian Business Forum on the reconstruction of Ukraine in Berlin.
- Israel destroys Iranian drone factory in Syria – human rights activists
- First Russian Shahed drone strike on military infrastructure in Ukraine’s south reported
- Satellite photos reveal fortification plans in Russia-occupied Ukraine: miles-long trenches are under construction in occupied areas of Ukraine.
- Ukraine is aiming to create a high-tech military-industrial complex, including with the help of European and international military technologies. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this at the opening of the 5th German-Ukrainian Business Forum in Berlin
According to British Defence Intelligence:
The October 24 British Defence Intelligence update says that Ukraine’s efforts at shooting down the Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones are increasingly successful as Russia is likely using these kamikaze drones as a substitute for dwindling stockpiles of its long-range weapons.
- Russia continues to use Iranian uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets throughout Ukraine. “Ukrainian efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 UAVs are increasingly successful, with official sources, including President Zelenskyy, claiming that up to 85% of attacks are being intercepted,” the report reads.
- “These UAVs are slow, noisy and fly at low altitudes, making lone aircraft easy to target conventional air defences.”
- “Russia is likely expending a high number of Iranian Shahed-136 UAVs in order to penetrate increasingly effective Ukrainian air defences.”
- British Defense Intelligence believes that Russia is likely using the Shaheds “as a substitute for Russian-manufactured long-range precision weapons which are becoming increasingly scarce.”
Losses of the Russian army
As of 24 October, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:
- In Northern Ukraine, Chernihiv braces for a tough winter amid Russian attacks on energy grid
- Ukraine restored power supply in all areas affected by Russia’s Oct 22 missile attack – Zelenskyy
- 86% of Ukrainians say Ukraine should continue repelling Russian aggression despite Russian shelling of civilian infrastructure
- UK MPs demand ‘just reconstruction’ in Ukraine amid fears for workers’ rights. Money for Ukraine’s recovery must ‘not disappear into the hands of oligarchs’
- Ukrainians consider Poland, Lithuania, UK & US the most friendly nations; Hungary and China joined the list of hostile — poll
- Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink by 30% this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said on Monday, as Russia’s invasion enters its ninth month.
- The creation of the territorial defense of Kherson by the occupation regime may turn into a direct mobilization of Ukrainians. The invaders are creating a humanitarian crisis in the city. Serhii Khlan, a deputy of the Kherson Regional Council, said this at a briefing
- Ukraine lost almost all wind power capacity, half of solar power facilities due to Russian invasion – Minister
- The share of Russian gas on the EU market decreased from 40% to 7%, the Commissioner for the Internal Market said
- Ukraine said seven vessels sailed off from its ports carrying grain bound for Asia and Europe, but accused Russia of blocking the full implementation of Black Sea grain deal.
- Motor Sich president charged with treason after Ukrainian engines found in Russian helicopters
- Published phone calls prove treason of the arrested Motor Sich president who supplied engines to Russia
- Russian Red Cross raises funds for families of Russian soldiers
- Anton Krasovsky, from Russian state-funded RT channel, is suspended after calling for Ukrainian children to be drowned or burned alive
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will commit up to EUR 3 billion over 2022-2023 to help Ukraine’s businesses and economy keep functioning.
- Investing in Ukraine means investing in a future EU member state, Scholz says
- 74% of Germans are still willing to support Ukraine
Ukrainians will be the ones to “choose the moment and the terms” of peace in the war with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said
- As Ukraine’s energy infrastructure comes under sustained Russian attack, two summits in Berlin will seek to spur the country’s post-war reconstruction. Germany has proposed a Marshall Fund for Kyiv
The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 23 October 2022:
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu likely sought to slow or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and possibly weaken the NATO alliance in scare-mongering calls with several NATO defense ministers on October 23. Shoigu separately called his counterparts from France, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States on October 23, claiming that Ukraine is preparing to conduct a false-flag attack using a dirty bomb (a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material that is not a nuclear weapon) to accuse Russia of using weapons of mass destruction. Russian state media amplified this false and ridiculous claim. Russian Ministry of Defense reports on the calls contain slight differences; they state that Shoigu discussed a claimed “steady tendency towards further, uncontrolled escalation” in Ukraine in the call with his French counterpart; discussed the “situation in Ukraine” and made false claims that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb in his calls with the United Kingdom, France, and Türkiye; and simply discussed the situation in Ukraine without reference to a dirty bomb in his conversation with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Shoigu last spoke with Secretary Austin on October 21. Representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, and Ukraine categorically denied and condemned Shoigu’s false allegations, and US Secretary Austin called his UK counterpart, Ben Wallace, following the calls with Shoigu. France and Türkiye have not issued formal statements as of this writing.
The Kremlin is unlikely to be preparing an imminent false-flag dirty bomb attack. Shoigu’s claims further a longstanding Russian information campaign. The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that Western states will help Ukraine conduct a false-flag WMD attack since the earliest stages of its invasion of Ukraine in February. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed it had information the US was “preparing provocations to accuse the Russian Armed Forces of using chemical, biological, or tactical nuclear weapons” in April. Putin claimed in his pre-invasion speech on February 24 that Ukraine was preparing for a nuclear attack against Russia, and Russian state disinformation outlets repeatedly claimed Western states were supporting Ukraine’s development of nuclear weapons and planning false-flag attacks.
Shoigu’s claims likely do not portend Russian preparations to use non-strategic nuclear weapons in Ukraine either. ISW previously stated on September 30 that “ISW cannot forecast the point at which Putin would decide to use nuclear weapons. Such a decision would be inherently personal, but Putin’s stated red lines for nuclear weapon use have already been crossed in this war several times over without any Russian nuclear escalation.” Russia does not “need,” under formal Russian nuclear doctrine, a further event to justify nuclear weapons use. Ukraine is not apparently on the verge of tripping some new Russian redline, on the other hand, that might cause Putin to use non-strategic nuclear weapons against it at this time. Shoigu’s comments are thus unlikely to presage a nuclear terror attack against one or more major Ukrainian population centers or critical infrastructure in hopes of shocking Ukraine into surrender or the West into cutting off aid to Ukraine. Such attacks would be highly unlikely to force Ukraine or the West to surrender, as Ukraine’s government and people have repeatedly demonstrated their will to continue fighting, and the West would find it very challenging simply to surrender in the face of such horrific acts because of the precedent such surrender would set.
Shoigu’s calls—and Russian state media’s amplification of false dirty bomb threats—are therefore likely intended to intimidate Western states into cutting or limiting support for Ukraine as Russia faces continued military setbacks and the likely loss of western Kherson by the end of the year. ISW has assessed since May that Putin seeks to force Ukraine to accept his terms and deter continued Western support for Ukraine through nuclear brinksmanship. The recipients of Shoigu’s calls are also notable. The Kremlin has repeatedly framed the United States and the United Kingdom as Ukraine’s primary backers and the enablers of what it claims are aggressive policies toward Russia, while France and Türkiye have (to varying degrees) framed themselves as mediators in the conflict. Shoigu’s round of calls was likely further Russian saber-rattling to intimidate Ukraine’s Western supporters and possibly widen fissures within the NATO alliance, not condition setting for imminent nuclear use.
Key inflections in ongoing military operations on October 23:
- Russian authorities likely cut internet access in Kherson City on October 22 to limit local reporting of Russian evacuations to the east bank of the Dnipro River. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian ground attacks in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
- Ukrainian and Russian sources reported fighting near Siversk, Soledar, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Marinka in eastern Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian ground attacks in western Donetsk Oblast.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna and Svatove.
- Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia City, Mykolaiv City, and other areas in Mykolaiv Oblast with Shahed 136 drones and S-300 missiles. Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces targeted Nikopol and Marhanets with multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) strikes.
- A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command claimed that Ukrainian forces have shot down a total of 273 Iranian-provided Shahed-136 drones since Russia began using them in Ukraine on September 13.
- A Ukrainian government source reported that Iranian instructors in Belarus (in addition to previously reported instructors in Crimea) aided Russian forces in the coordination of previous Shahed-136 drone strikes against Kyiv Oblast and northern and western oblasts in Ukraine.
- Russian outlets continued to set conditions to blame Ukraine for the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, which Russian forces will likely destroy to slow advancing Ukrainian forces.
- Russian sources widely discussed the construction of defensive positions in Kursk Oblast.
- A Ukrainian source reported that Russian authorities in Krasnodar Krai have “indefinitely” extended the “vacations” (meaning forced abductions as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign) of children from Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- Russian sources reported that private businesses are offering to train mobilized men on privately owned military and medical equipment in exchange for money. Another Russian fighter aircraft crashed into a two-story building in Novo-Lenino, Irkutsk Oblast.
- Russia is digging in and the West must respond in kind, only deeper and stronger – Hans Petter Midttun