Russo Ukrainian War. Day 248: Russian losses in Ukraine surpass 70,000 troops

 

Daily review

Ukraine builds fortifications in liberated parts of Donetsk Oblast. Russian forces are not making significant progress around Donetsk’s Bakhmut or anywhere else. Russian representative to UN claims Ukraine has “combat mosquitoes.”  Biden is skeptical about Putin’s comment that he had no intention of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine (if he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it?). Medvedev proposes to fulfill Russia’s “demands” so Ukrainians can have electricity, admitting to Russian state terrorism. Shoigu announces end of mobilization: 82,000 conscripts are already in Ukraine. Almost 200,000 Russians have fled from Russia to Uzbekistan since July alone. Amid the full-scale invasion, more Ukrainians believe that events are developing in the right direction has significantly increased compared to “pre-war” indicators.

Daily overview — Summary report, October 29

A map by War Mapper of the approximate situation on the ground in Ukraine as of 00:00 UTC 29/10/22. “There have been no notable changes to control since the last update.” ~

A map by War Mapper of the approximate situation on the ground in Ukraine as of 00:00 UTC 29/10/22. “There have been no notable changes to control since the last update.”

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, October 30, 2022, supplemented by its [18:00 assessment] is in the dropdown menu below.

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“Russian forces are trying to hold the temporarily captured territories, concentrating efforts on restraining the actions of the Defence Forces in certain directions, while at the same time not stopping offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions.

Et bilde som inneholder kart Automatisk generert beskrivelseRussian forces are shelling the positions of our troops along the contact line and conducting aerial reconnaissance. Violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, the laws and customs of war, it continues to strike critical infrastructure and the homes of the civilian population.

Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of Vodyane, Kamianka, and Nevelske settlements of the Donetsk oblast.

Over the past day, Russian forces launched 4 missile strikes, up to 25 airstrikes, and more than 70 MLRS attacks.

Areas of more than 35 settlements were hit by Russian forces. Among them are Siversk and Prechystivka of the Donetsk oblast; Mali Shcherbaki, Zaporizhzhia oblast; Davydiv Brid and Mala Seideminukha in the Kherson oblast and Kobzarka, Mykolaiv oblast.

The situation in the Volyn and Polissia directions has not changed significantly. The Republic of Belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The threat of missile strikes and the use of attack UAVs from the territory of this country remains.

Russian forces shelled in other directions:

  • in the Siversky direction – from mortars and artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Hai, Khrinivka, and Leonivka, Chernihiv oblast;
  • in the Slobozhansky direction – with the use of artillery of various types, in the areas of Veterynarne, Dvorichna, Starytsa, Strilecha, and Chugunivka settlements;
  • on the Kupiansk and Lyman directions – from mortars, artillery and MLRS, in the areas of Berestove, Nevske, Spirne, Olhivka, and Novoyehorivka settlements;
  • in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks and artillery of various calibres, in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Chasiv Yar, Klishchiivka, Soledar, Zelenopillia, and Yakovlivka;
  • in the Avdiivka direction – from tanks, mortars, artillery, and MLRS, in the areas of Avdiivka, Vodyane, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Pervomaiske settlements.
  • In the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions, Russian forces fired at the positions of the Defense Forces and civilian infrastructure in the areas of Velika Novosilka, Vremivka, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, and Pavlivka.
  • In the Pivdennyy Buh direction, more than 20 settlements along the contact line were hit by fire. To conduct aerial reconnaissance, Russian forces made about 20 flights of UAVs of various types.

In the Beryslav settlement of the Kherson oblast, the occupiers are en masse changing into civilian clothes and moving into private residences.

The so-called “evacuation” of occupiers from the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region, including medical facilities, continues. All equipment and medicines are taken out of Kherson hospitals. Doctors who refuse to leave are not allowed to enter hospital grounds, even for personal belongings.

[The so-called “evacuation” from the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region continues. In the settlement of Kachkarivka, the occupiers gave the residents of the settlement two days to evict them from their homes and evacuate. Additional roadblocks were set up on the “evacuation” routes to the temporarily occupied Crimea, where careful care and checks of the civilian population were organized.]

Russians withdraw military equipment from key airfield near occupied Kherson

[At the same time, another batch of mobilized Russian servicemen arrived in the settlements of Chervonyi Mayak, Novoraysk, and Zmiivka.]

[The occupiers have intensified filtering measures in the settlement of Velyka Bilozerka, Zaporizhzhia oblast.]

In connection with the unstable operation of medical aviation, the unpreparedness of the medical infrastructure of the Belgorod region, and the 100% capacity of hospitals, Russian forces are forced to evacuate wounded by buses to nearby Voronezh.

[According to the updated information, it was confirmed that Russian manpower and equipment were damaged in the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia oblast. Thus, artillery units of the Defense Forces in the settlement of Novovodyane destroyed an ammunition warehouse, up to 5 trucks with ammunition, and 3 D-30 guns. Up to 110 enemy servicemen were wounded in the areas of Tokmak, Molochansk, and Kinsky Rozdory settlements. The number of dead is carefully concealed by the occupiers.]

As a result of point strikes by units of the Defence Forces of Ukraine, about 300 occupiers who were preparing for another attack were destroyed in the area of ​​the settlement of Mayorsk the day before. About 60 more lightly wounded were taken the next day to medical facilities in the city of Horlivka. Up to 20 enemy servicemen were eliminated in the village of Chervonopopivka, Luhansk oblast, and about 30 occupiers were wounded of various degrees of severity.

During the past 24 hours, the Air Force of the Defence Forces carried out 24 strikes on the areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment, as well as on the positions of Russian air defence systems. In different directions, our air defence units shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft, one Mi-8 helicopter, and one enemy UAV.

During the current day, soldiers of the missile troops and artillery hit the positions of batteries of self-propelled artillery installations and other important military objects of Russian forces.“

Fortifications are being built in liberated parts of Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Ukrainian authorities, in coordination with the military, are building defensive fortifications in the liberated territories of Donetsk Oblast.”

Ukraine carrying out the defensive operation according to plan – Zaluzhnyi, Ukrinform reports, citing the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine talk with General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Despite an absolute superiority in firepower, increased number of troops and, accordingly, attacks at the expense of mobilized soldiers, the enemy has no success. Thanks to the courage and professionalism of Ukrainian soldiers and officers, our lines remain unchanged, and the defence operation is being carried out successfully according to the plan, Zaluzhnyi said.

He also informed Milley that Ukrainian forces are focusing their efforts on the key tasks of liberating the occupied territories, preventing the capture of new areas by the enemy, ensuring the protection of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with the help of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, and continuing to form and prepare reserves for future hostilities.”

According to British Defence Intelligence (past 48 hours):

  • On 27 October 2022, the Russian-appointed governor of Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said that more than 70,000 people had now left Kherson city.
  • On 26 October 2022, Saldo also claimed that Russia had removed the remains of the well-known 18th century Russian statesman, Prince Grigory Potemkin, from his tomb in Kherson’s cathedral to east of the Dnipro.
  • In the Russian national identity, Potemkin is heavily associated with the Russian conquest of Ukrainian lands in the 18th century and highlights the weight Putin almost certainly places on perceived historical justification for the invasion. This symbolic removal of Potemkin and the civilian exodus likely pre-empts Russian intent to expedite withdrawal from the area.
  • Russia has likely augmented some of its units west of the Dnipro River with mobilised reservists. However, this is from an extremely low level of manning. In September 2022, Russian officers described companies in the Kherson sector as consisting of between six and eight men each. Companies should deploy with around 100 personnel.
  • In the last six weeks, there has been a clear move from Russian ground forces to transition to a long-term, defensive posture on most areas of the front line in Ukraine. This is likely due to a more realistic assessment that the severely undermanned, poorly trained force in Ukraine is currently only capable of defensive operations.
  • Even if Russia succeeds in consolidating long-term defensive lines in Ukraine, its operational design will remain vulnerable. To regain the initiative, it will need to regenerate higher quality, mobile forces which are capable of dynamically countering Ukrainian breakthroughs and conducting their own large-scale offensive operations.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Friday 29 October, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

  • Personnel – more than 70250 (+550),
  • Tanks – 2659 (+19),
  • Armoured combat vehicles – 5401(+23),
  • Artillery systems – 1708 (+9),
  • Multiple rocket launchers –MLRS – 380 (+1),
  • Air defense means – 195 (+3),
  • Aircraft – 273 (+1),
  • Helicopters – 252 (+1),
  • Automotive technology and fuel tanks – 4107 (+19),
  • Vessels/boats – 16 (+0),
  • UAV operational and tactical level – 1406 (+5),
  • Special equipment – 152 (+1),
  • Mobile SRBM system – 4 (+0),
  • Cruise missiles – 351 (+0)

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 248: Russian losses in Ukraine surpass 70,000 troops ~~

Shoigu announces end of mobilisation: 82,000 conscripts are already in Ukraine, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing RIA Novosti. Shoigu stated that 300,000 people were mobilised, with an average age of 35. According to him, 218,000 conscripts are undergoing combat training at training grounds.

Shoigu said 41,000 of the 82,000 who have been sent to Ukraine are now participating in hostilities. It should be noted that Putin has not yet signed the decree on the termination of mobilisation in Russia.

The dispatch of citizens called up through mobilisation was completed today [28 October – ed.]. The notification of citizens has been completed. The target of 300,000 people that you set has been achieved. No further targets are planned.”

Almost 200,000 Russians have fled from Russia to Uzbekistan since July alone, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing the Russian media outlet Interfax. “Almost 320,000 Russian citizens fled to Uzbekistan during the first nine months of this year, 189,000 of them in the third quarter.

Uzbekistan’s State Statistics Committee reports that the number of Russian tourists over the period of January to September – 395,100 people – was 2.1 times higher than in the same period of 2021.”

Putin says Russia is losing 10 times fewer troops than Ukraine, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Putin’s speech at a plenary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. He falsely alleged that “There are losses in certain places, and I am sad to tell you this, it can be 1 to 10 or 1 to 8 soldiers [Russian soldiers to Ukrainian soldiers, respectively]. Recently, it is almost always 1 to 6, 1 to 8. They are not spared at all. Can true patriots of their country allow this?

The dictator stated that Ukrainian troops are motivated by “economic” considerations rather than the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine, the protection of their people from the Russian occupation, or resistance to the genocide of Ukrainians.

Belarus handed more than 65,000 tonnes of ammunition over to Russia in 7 months, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Belaruski Hajun. “More than 65,000 tonnes of ammunition has been transferred from Belarus to Russia over the course of seven months of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Belaruski Hajun noted that the largest amount of ammunition (22,534 tonnes or 689 freight cars) was transferred in April 2022. In addition to ammunition, Belarus is transferring tanks and other military equipment to the Russian Federation. In the past several weeks, Belarus has handed over at least 94 T-72A tanks and 36 to 44 Ural trucks to Russia.”

Russia’s military aircraft exports are headed for a nosedive, Defense News reports. “Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s aerospace leadership had planned to market the next generation heavy fighter bomber, the Su-57, and its highly touted derivative the Su-75 to several foreign military buyers. These plans now appear to be in ruins.

The Su-57 suffers from a low production rate. Export models are unlikely to be available until the end of the decade. As for the medium-weight Su-75, the so-called “Checkmate” aircraft, it has been only realized in models and computer graphics. It’s yet to have a single successful test flight.

For foreign buyers, that leaves the Sukhoi 35 (Su-35), the only Russian military aircraft in serial production. This is Russia’s signature heavy fighter bomber — although its combat record over the skies of Ukraine is mixed. But even the Su-35 might not be successfully exported in any significant numbers this decade. […]

Now the Ukraine war and ensuing sanctions are having a devastating impact on the Russian aerospace sector. Sanctions are crippling the Russian capacity to finish the development of, much less mass produce, next-generation combat vehicles such as the Su-57 and Su-75. […] Indeed, the military reputation of the Russian Aerospace Forces has been badly tarnished by its poor performance during the invasion of Ukraine — and that is rubbing off on the aircraft. Even with a clear numerical and quantitative superiority over the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia has failed to gain any measure of operational or tactical superiority over the battlefield from the air.”

Humanitarian 

International Committee of Red Cross fails to fulfil its mandate to the full extent – Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Dmytro Lubinets, the Human Rights Commissioner of Ukraine, believes that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has so far failed to fulfil its mandate in Ukraine to the fullest.

I am constantly asking them to live up to their mandate. If they cannot do so, they have to publicly acknowledge it. The most important thing is to name the country that prevents them from fulfilling their duties – that is, the Russian Federation [sic],” Lubinets stressed.

He added that the ICRC’s mandate in Ukraine is set out in the Geneva Conventions, which stipulate that the ICRC has to monitor whether the rights of military and civilian prisoners of war held in the countries that are party to an international conflict are protected.”Their main duty is to carry out this mandate and maintain neutrality,” Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner reiterated.”

Donetsk region’s de-occupied areas make preparations for the winter period, Ukrinform reports, citing the Head of Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko. “Preparations for the winter period are underway in the Donetsk region’s de-occupied areas. In particular, the power supply was connected in Sviatohirsk and Lyman, and gas supply services were fully restored in 15 territorial communities. Restoration works are now impossible in 10 more communities due to continuous hostilities. […]

The Sviatohirsk community and the Lyman community were liberated from Russian invaders in early October 2022. The enemy destroyed 80% of infrastructure within the de-occupied areas. Additionally, 90% of the housing stock was damaged or destroyed

Russians already destroyed more than 8,000 objects in the Mykolaiv region, Ukrinform reports, citing Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the President’s Office. “Mykolaiv region is also under attack. Russian terrorists destroyed 8,297 objects there, including 4,826 private houses and 1,155 multi-storey buildings, he said.

At the same time, Tymoshenko informed that humanitarian aid is being delivered to the de-occupied territories of the Kherson region, namely, Nova Kamianka, Novohryhorivka, and Ivanivka. ATMs and post terminals have started working there. According to him, the service centre of the Pension Fund has resumed work in Vysokopillia. The power supply is also being resumed.”

Environmental

Ukrenergo instructs that power supply restrictions be imposed across all regions, Ukrinform reports. “Ukrenergo National Power Company has instructed regional power distribution companies to impose restrictions on power supply services for different consumer groups all over the country.

At 07:00 a.m., Ukrenergo’s Operations Control Center instructed distribution network operators (regional power distribution companies) to impose restrictions on power supply services for industrial consumers across all regions of Ukraine, the report states. At the same time, additional restrictions will be applied to industrial consumers in central Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, Kyiv region, Chernihiv region, Cherkasy region, and Zhytomyr region).

Forced restrictions will also affect household consumers in central Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, Kyiv region, Chernihiv region, Cherkasy region, Zhytomyr region) and northern Ukraine (Sumy region, Kharkiv region, Poltava region), whose power grids have suffered the most this week, Ukrenergo noted.

A reminder that, on the night of October 27, 2022, Russian invaders again struck Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. For this reason, Ukrenergo National Power Company had to introduce tougher power supply restrictions in the city of Kyiv and four regions.”

Stabilization blackouts have affected 4 million citizens of Ukraine – Zelenskyy Ukrainska Pravda reports. “As of now, many cities and districts of our country are applying stabilization blackout schedules – about 4 million Ukrainians face restrictions now, [President Zelenskyy said]. Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast, Zhytomyr Oblast, Poltava Oblast, Rivne Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, Sumy Oblast, Cherkasy Oblast, Kirovohrad Oblast. Emergency blackouts are also possible in other oblasts.”

IAEA frustrated by slow progress on protection zone for Zaporizhzhia NPP, Ukrinform reports, citing CNN. “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is disappointed with the slow progress in creating a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said this at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

He said he was very frustrated. For me, establishing a protection zone around a nuclear power plant is as self-evident as anything can be. How can you shell a nuclear power plant for God’s sake? Grossi said. He added that the detention by the Russian occupiers of two staff members of the ZNPP causes great concern.”

Legal

Russia’s admit to state terrorism – Podoliak, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. According to the Russian statesman, the situation with the electricity supply in Ukraine will get better when the annexation of territories captured by Russia is “recognised”. Podoliak replied that Medvedev’s statement demonstrates Russia’s admission of terrorism at the state level.

Fantastic! The Kremlin has directly stated through Medvedev: we will destroy the Ukrainian energy system and terrorise millions of people until Ukraine agrees to surrender. In fact, it is an official confession of terrorism at state level. What kind of negotiations can be considered here? With whom?”.

Et bilde som inneholder tekst Automatisk generert beskrivelse430 children were killed, 823 children injured, 9,441 deported by foe forces, and 255 reported missing – the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports as of October 29. 2,688 educational establishments are damaged as a result of shelling and bombings, and 331 of them are destroyed fully. 42,832 crimes of aggression and war crimes and 18,622 crimes against national security were registered.

Russia introduces “automatic Russian citizenship” for residents of occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Ivan Fedorov, Mayor of Melitopol. “The Russian-appointed occupation regime in Zaporizhzhia Oblast has declared that as of 30 October, all residents of the temporarily occupied territory of the Oblast will be granted automatic citizenship of the Russian Federation“.

Support

Germany is almost ready for the decision on supplying tanks, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Liga.net. The newly appointed Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, believes that Berlin is ready for a political decision on the supply of armoured vehicles and tanks to Ukraine.

The weapons that are supplied to Ukraine are clearly defensive in nature. Ukraine is defending its territory and is not going to attack anyone. I am sure that Germany is ripe for a political decision on the supply of armoured vehicles and tanks, as we succeed in convincing its leaders to change its position on multiple rocket launchers, artillery, portable anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as anti-aircraft systems. Because in addition to the IRIS-T [an advanced anti-aircraft missile system -ed.], let’s mention the 30 Gepards that protect our skies, Makeiev noted.”

Nine countries leave European Press Council Alliance in support of Ukraine

Ukrainian Armed Forces await shipment of Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Yurii Ihnat, “Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force. “Unmanned aircraft have become an integral element of military conflicts. We have Bayraktar TB2 strike UAVs. We also have kamikaze drones already, provided to us by our partners, and they are being used. 

And we are already waiting for the latest drone – we had the Switchblade 300, and our partners will be supplying us with several sets of Switchblade 600 attack UAVs. This is also the latest UAV, which has very powerful tactical and technical characteristics and, we hope, will prove itself in combat operations in Ukraine.”

US to provide Ukraine with $275 mln in military aid, Blinken says, Reuters reports. “The United States will provide $275 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine, including arms, munitions and equipment from US Department of Defense inventories, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.”

US provides 3 mn doses of Pfizer vaccine for Ukraine – Health Ministry

The US sends more military aid to Ukraine that includes ammunition, mines and satellite antennas, Stars and Stripes reports. “The latest shipment — expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks — will primarily include ammunition, including rocket and precision-guided artillery rounds, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Friday. The Pentagon has now provided some $18.5 billion of its own weapons to Ukraine under President Joe Biden’s authority to transfer US supplies to aid the Ukrainian war effort, she said. […]

The latest aid includes 500 Excalibur precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, 2000 155mm remote anti-armor mine systems, more than 1,300 anti-armor weapons, more than 2.75 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and an unspecified number of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems —or HIMARS — rockets, Singh said. The tranche also includes 125 Humvees and four satellite communications antennas, which Singh said would bolster Ukrainian command and control capabilities.”

More than 95% of Ukrainians trust Armed Forces, and more than 80% trust President, Ukrinform reports. “This is evidenced by the findings of a nationwide survey conducted by the Razumkov Center as part of a project supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation office in Ukraine.

Andrii Bychenko, Director of Sociological Service of the Razumkov Centre, presented the results of the survey at a press conference at Ukrinform. According to him, the survey showed that more than 80 % of Ukrainian trust the President of Ukraine, and more than 90 % – the Armed Forces. In addition, 78% of Ukrainians trust humanitarian and charitable organizations, Bychenko added.”

Zelenskyy honors soldiers who died during liberation from Nazi invaders in WWII

New developments

  1. Biden: Putin’s talk of the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is ‘dangerous’, Reuters reports. “US President Joe Biden expressed skepticism on Thursday about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment that he had no intention of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. Putin, in a speech earlier in the day, played down a nuclear standoff with the West, insisting Russia had not threatened to use nuclear weapons and had only responded to nuclear “blackmail” from Western leaders. If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?” Biden said in an interview with NewsNation. He’s been very dangerous in how he’s approached this, Biden said.”
  2. No indication Russian nuclear drills are ‘cover activity’ -Pentagon, Reuters reports. “The United States has not yet seen any indications that Russia’s ongoing annual “Grom” exercises of its nuclear forces may be a cover for a real deployment, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday.
  3. Medvedev proposes to fulfil Russia’s “demands” so Ukrainians can have electricity, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Medvedev. “Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, has said that in order for the Russian military to stop attacking the energy system, Ukraine must fulfil the Kremlin’s demands. The Office of the President of Ukraine says this is recognition of terrorism on the state level.
  4. “Combat mosquitoes” follow “dirty bomb”: Russian representative to UN tells more frenzy lies, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Vasily Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, has said that the Russian occupiers allegedly discovered drones in Ukraine that can “spread mosquitoes infected with dangerous viruses. Nebenzya also stated that the Russian Federation had received some documents regarding “the spread of dangerous infections through migration birds, in particular highly pathogenic influenza and Newcastle disease, and bats, in particular capable of infecting humans with the causative agents of plague, leptospirosis, brucellosis, as well as coronaviruses and filoviruses.”
  5. US, allies slam Russia for wasting U.N. Security Council time, Reuters reports. “The United States and allies slammed Russia on Thursday for wasting the time of the U.N. Security Council and spreading conspiracies by again raising its accusation that the United States has “military biological programs” in Ukraine. […] U.N. disarmament officials have long said they are not aware of any biological weapons programs in Ukraine.”
  6. UN sees no sign of biological weapons in Ukraine, Ukrinform reports. “The United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programs in Ukraine. That’s according to Adedeji Ebo, a senior official in the Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), who spoke in a briefing to the Security Council on October 27. The UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumu Nakamitsu, had previously informed ambassadors – first in March, and then again in May – that the UN had seen no evidence of biological weapons use in Ukraine. This remains the case today, her Deputy, Adedeji Ebo, told the Council.”
  7. Russia’s Lavrov holds call with Chinese counterpart, thanks for the support on Ukraine, Reuters reports. “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday spoke by telephone with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. In the statement, the ministry said that Lavrov thanked Wang for what it called China’s support for Russia’s position on a settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.”
  8. ‘No room for old dreams’, German president says of Russia ties, Reuters reports. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused an “epochal break” in Germany’s ties with Moscow and the war has shattered former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev’s dream of a “common European home”, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday.”
  9. Kuleba calls on parliaments of all nations to recognize Holodomor as a genocide of Ukrainians, Ukrinform reports. “Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on the parliaments of all countries to support Ukraine and recognize the artificial Soviet Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as genocide.”

Assessment

  1. On the war

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Friday 28 October:

Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna on October 28. […] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces conducted an assault near Kuzemivka, Luhansk Oblast (13km northwest of Svatove). Another Russian miblogger claimed that Russian artillery fire repelled attempted Ukrainian advances in the direction of Nyzhnia Duvanka near Kyslivka (28km northwest of Svatove) and Orlianka (31km northwest of Svatove) in Kharkiv Oblast. Russian sources reported that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian assaults northwest of Kreminna near Chervonopopivka (6km northwest of Kreminna).  ISW cannot independently verify the claims made by Russian sources about Ukrainian assaults in eastern Ukraine on October 28. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian counterattacks west of Lysychansk near Bilohorivka (11km west of Lysychansk) and west of Svatove near Andriivka, Luhansk Oblast (15km west of Svatove). 

Russian forces may be facing continuing personnel issues in the Svatove-Kreminna area. A Russian milblogger in the Svatove-Kreminna area claimed on October 27 that Russian forces there are just starting to entrench their defensive positions and that there are instances of personnel refusing orders. The milblogger claimed that low morale among newly mobilized personnel in the area has led commanders to believe they will not willingly fight and therefore commanders have placed mobilized personnel only in the second and third lines of defense. The milblogger also claimed that he witnessed a Russian general pleading with a Russian company to return to their positions on the battlefield along the Svatove-Kreminna line. Personnel issues will likely persist in the Svatove-Kreminna area as Russian forces continue to rely on severely demoralized units and poorly trained mobilized personnel to stabilize the front line in eastern Kharkiv Oblast and western Luhansk Oblast.

Svatove-Kreminna highway “practically under control of Ukraine’s Armed Forces” – Luhansk Oblast Head

Southern Ukraine: (Kherson Oblast)

Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces continued to deploy mobilized men and establish defensive positions on the western bank of the Dnipro River on October 28. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that 1,000 mobilized men arrived at the Dnipro River’s western bank, with some deploying to Chervony Mayak, Novoraysk, and Zmyivka about 20km northwest of Beryslav. The spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command, Nataliya Humenyuk, stated that Russian forces are continuing to prepare for street fights in Kherson City and are establishing defenses on both western and eastern riverbanks. The advisor to the head of Kherson Oblast, Serhiy Khlan, added that Russian forces are also heavily mining the outskirts of Kherson City and are clearing hospitals of civilians in the city to prepare to treat military personnel. The deputy head of the Kherson Occupation Administration, Yekaterina Gubareva, announced in October 28 that Russian forces prepared Kherson City for street fighting by strengthening the first floors of buildings, emplacing sandbags, and checking for Ukrainian “saboteurs.” Ukrainian partisans reportedly conducted an arson attack against a Russian patrol police station in Kherson City on October 28. Ukrainian officials also reported that Russian forces are stealing medical equipment from northwestern Kherson Oblast and transporting it to Skadovsk and Henichesk, likely in an effort to prepare defensive positions closer to Crimea. A Russian milblogger operating in Kherson City noted that Rosgvardia units are providing security on the eastern riverbank. Another milblogger noted that Russian forces are turning Kherson Oblast into a ”giant fortress” aimed at defending Crimea and cutting off Ukrainian access to the Black Sea.

Ukrainian forces continued their interdiction campaign on October 28, and a Russian source on the ground corroborated the campaign’s successes. […] A Russian milblogger in Kherson City told a Russian state media outlet that the Ukrainian interdiction campaign has seriously disrupted the supply of food and medicines from the eastern bank to the western bank of the Dnipro River. The milblogger stated that due to the damage to the Antonivsky Road Bridge, he had to wait in traffic to board a 10-minute-ferry ride across the river to Kherson City. […]

Russian forces are not making significant progress around Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast or anywhere else along the front lines. A Russian information operation is advancing the narrative that Russian forces are making significant progress in Bakhmut, likely to improve morale among Russian forces and possibly to improve the personal standing of Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose forces are largely responsible for the minimal gains in the area. Russian forces have made limited advances towards the Ukrainian strongpoint in Bakhmut but at a very slow speed and at great cost. […] Ukrainian forces recaptured a concrete factory on the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut around October 24. Ukrainian military officials stated on October 16 that Russian forces had falsely claimed to have captured several towns near Bakhmut within the past several days, but Ukrainian forces held their lines against those Russian attacks. Russian forces are likely falsifying claims of advances in the Bakhmut area to portray themselves as making gains in at least one sector amid continuing losses in northeast and southern Ukraine. Even the claimed rate of advance would be failure for a main effort in mechanized war–and the claims are, in fact, exaggerated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared the end of Russian military mobilization on October 28. Shoigu stated that military commissariats will recruit only volunteers and contract soldiers moving forward. Shoigu stated that Russia mobilized 300,000 men, 82,000 of whom are deployed in Ukraine and 218,000 of whom are training at Russian training grounds. Putin stated that 41,000 of the 82,000 servicemen in Ukraine are serving in combat units. Putin acknowledged that Russian forces experienced logistical and supply issues with mobilized forces but falsely asserted that these problems affected only the ”initial stage” of mobilization and that these problems are now solved. Putin stated Russia must ”draw necessary conclusions,” modernize ”the entire system of military registration and enlistment offices” and ”think over and make adjustments to the structure of all components of the Armed Forces, including the Ground Forces.”

Putin likely ended mobilization in Russia to free up administrative and training capacity in time for the delayed start of the Russian autumn conscription cycle, which will begin on November 1. Russia’s military likely does not have the capacity to simultaneously support training 218,000 mobilized men and approximately 120,000 new autumn conscripts. It is unclear how autumn 2022 conscripts will complete their training, moreover, since the usual capstones for Russian conscripts‘ training involves joining a Russian military unit – which are already fighting in Ukraine and badly damaged.   

Russia‘s now-completed mobilization is unlikely to decisively impact Russian combat power. Putin described a 50-50 split between mobilized personnel in combat and support roles in Ukraine. If that ratio applies generally, it suggests that a total of 150,000 mobilized personnel will deploy to combat roles in Ukraine after training is complete, likely sometime in November. Russia’s deployment of 41,000 poorly trained combat personnel to Ukraine may have temporarily stiffened Russian defensive lines, although these reservists have not yet faced the full weight of a major and prepared Ukrainian counteroffensive thrust. The deployment has not significantly increased Russian combat power. The deployment of an additional 110,000 or so mobilized men to combat units therefore remains unlikely to change the trajectory of the war.

Putin may be attempting to reestablish Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s authority in the Russian information space to balance the growing influence of the Russian pro-war siloviki faction. The Russian siloviki faction refers to people with meaningful power bases within Putin’s inner circle who are fielding combat forces in Ukraine. Putin could have announced the end of mobilization himself instead of in a meeting with Shoigu or could have tasked Shoigu with concluding the flawed mobilization effort on his own. Their staged public meeting is consistent with the recent surge in Shoigu’s media appearances. For example, Shoigu held several publicized calls with his Turkish, Chinese, and Western counterparts between October 23 and 26.[…] These high-profile meetings differentiate Shoigu and the Russian higher military command from the siloviki, who do not hold the same rank or authority despite their popularity in the Russian information space. Shoigu had made very limited public appearances over the spring and summer. […].

The growing influence of the siloviki faction – led by Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin – is further fracturing the Russian pro-war community. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov for the second time criticized the commander of the Central Military District (CMD), Colonel General Alexander Lapin, for his management of the Svatove-Kreminna line on October 27. Kadyrov contrasted his harsh criticisms of Lapin with high praise for Prigozhin and Wagner units, even calling Prigozhin a ”born warrior.” Kadyrov has resumed his criticisms of the progress of the Russian invasion and Russian higher military command since October 25, likely in response to a Ukrainian strike on Chechen units in northeastern Kherson Oblast. Kadyrov has since announced that the Ukrainian strike killed 23 Chechen fighters and wounded 58 troops. […]

Wagner Deputy Chief of Staff killed in Ukraine – military unit

Kadyrov claimed that Chechen units had to hold Russian defensive positions without Lapin’s support, stated that soldiers are increasingly deserting from Lapin’s units, and insinuated that Lapin will soon lose Svatove. Kadyrov previously attacked Lapin on October 1 for moving his headquarters far from the frontlines and for his military failures, and Prigozhin publicly agreed with Kadyrov’s statement at that time. Kadyrov’s praise of Prigozhin further demonstrates that siloviki are increasingly promoting their parallel military structures at the expense of the reputation of the Russian Armed Forces.

Kadyrov’s accusations have once again created a rift among pro-war Russian milbloggers and exposed concerns over the growing influence of the siloviki faction within the pro-war community.[,,,] Most pro-Lapin milbloggers blamed the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) for abstaining from publicly defending Lapin against the likes of Kadyrov and Prigozhin. A milblogger even noted that it is unacceptable for any Russian governor or regional head to criticize the Russian Armed Forces as such critiques can lead ”to the direct road to the erosion of the very essence of the Russian state.” Kadyrov’s only formal position is head of the Chechen Republic. The milblogger noted that Russian commanders cannot defend their actions on Telegram – unlike Prigozhin and Kadyrov – and stated that such critiques only ignite internal conflicts. Wagner-affiliated Telegram channels, by contrast, amplified reports of dire conditions on the Svatove-Kreminna frontline, discussing the high number of deserters, low morale, poor living conditions, and command cowardice.

Kadyrov’s second critique of Lapin indicates a further fragmentation within the pro-war community that may allow Priogozhin to accrue more power in the long-term. Putin will need to continue to appease the siloviki faction while attempting to support his disgraced higher military command and retain favor with the milbloggers that respect some conventional Russian military commanders such as Lapin and the Commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin.

Key Takeaways            

  • Russian forces are not making significant progress around Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast or anywhere else along the front lines.
  • President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the end of partial mobilization.
  • Putin may be attempting to rehabilitate Shoigu’s image in the information space to counter the growing influence of the pro-war siloviki faction.
  • The growing influence of the siloviki faction is continuing to fracture the Russian pro-war community.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna and Svatove.
  • Russian forces continued to deploy mobilized personnel to and establish defensive positions on the west bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks in Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian occupation authorities completed their “evacuation” of parts of occupied Kherson Oblast.

Russian occupiers give Kherson locals two days to leave the city – OperCommand South

  • Russian occupation authorities reportedly plan to force Russian citizenship on Ukrainian civilians in occupied parts of Ukraine by October 30, likely in part to legalize the forced mobilization of Ukrainian civilians as part of the November 1 autumn conscription cycle.
  • Russian occupation authorities are continuing their attempts to erase Ukrainian history, culture, and national identity in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

Ukraine has shot down more than 300 Iranian-made drones – air force spokesman, Reuters reports. “Ukraine has shot down more than 300 Iranian Shahed-136 ‘kamikaze’ drones so far, air force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat told a briefing on Friday.

The drones have become a key weapon in Russia’s arsenal during its war in Ukraine and have often been used in the past month to target crucial energy infrastructure.”

Iranian diaspora in Ukraine protested against Iran’s participation in Russia’s war in Ukraine

  1. Consequences and what to do?

Recession risk looms large over the eurozone, ECB policymaker says, Reuters reports. “The likelihood of a eurozone recession is rising but the European Central Bank needs to keep raising interest rates as inflation remains high and projections may even need to be raised, Lithuanian policymaker Gediminas Simkus said on Friday. The ECB on Thursday doubled its deposit rate to 1.5% to fight inflation which is now five times its 2% target and said that further policy tightening is necessary to prevent rapid price growth from getting entrenched.

The ECB sees inflation falling back to 5.5% in 2023 but Simkus said models are struggling to calculate the effects of one-off shocks so they have been underestimating price pressures. It seems they will be revised upwards again, especially for next year, said Simkus, who sits on the rate-setting Governing Council.

Simkus also suggested that growth forecasts may need to be cut to account for a recession, as the bloc struggles with sky-high energy costs. The likelihood that the eurozone enters a technical recession has grown, Simkus said.”

Political and ideological orientations of citizens of Ukraine, according to a Razumkov Center survey.

Citizens’ assessment of the situation in the country. Before the start of large-scale Russian aggression in Ukraine, critical assessments of how the country was developing prevailed. In December 2021, the majority (65.5%) of respondents believed that events in Ukraine are developing in the wrong direction. […] After the large-scale invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, the share of those who believe that events are developing in the right direction has significantly increased compared to “pre-war” indicators. According to the survey conducted by the Razumkov Center in September-October 2022, 51% of respondents believed that events in Ukraine are developing in the right direction and only 28% – that they are in the wrong direction. […]

Concerning Ukraine’s ability to overcome existing problems and difficulties, after the start of a large-scale war, citizens’ assessments became noticeably more optimistic. If 18% of respondents believed that Ukraine is capable of overcoming existing problems and difficulties within the next few years in December 2021, then 41% in September-October 2022. […]

Trust in social institutions, international unions and organizations. Among social institutions, Ukrainians have the most trust in the Armed Forces (96% trust them completely or to some extent), the President of Ukraine (82%), humanitarian and charitable organizations (78%), the Church (70%), universities (62%), women’s organizations (59.5%), state institutions (55%), police (55%), environmental organizations (54%). The attitude towards the Government of the country is controversial (51.5% express confidence in it, but not much less – 48% – express distrust), the same applies to television (respectively 51% and 49%), and the press (respectively 49% and 50%).

Distrust is most often expressed in political parties (77% do not trust them), courts (72%), banks (66%), trade unions (64%), the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (60%), large companies (57%) and elections as social institute (56%). […] The growth of trust in state institutions is connected with the growth of trust in the system of state power in general. If in 2020 35% of citizens trusted state institutions, now – 55%. […]

Compared with 2020 in Ukraine, the share of those who trust the European Union has increased significantly (from 43% to 76%). The European Union is trusted by the majority of respondents in all regions, although in the East somewhat less (57%) than in other regions (from 76% to 85%).

Also compared to 2020. in Ukraine, the level of trust in NATO (from 31.5% to 67%), the UN (from 45% to 58%), the International Monetary Fund (from 28% to 51%), the International Criminal Court (from 30% to 54%) increased ), the World Health Organization (from 41% to 55%), to the World Trade Organization (from 29% to 49%). […]

Socio-political values ​​and orientations of citizens of Ukraine

In the period between 2010 and 2021, the share of respondents who considered democracy the most desirable type of government system was in the range of 48-56%, and those who preferred an authoritarian regime – in the range of 18-24%. According to the survey conducted in September-October 2022, that is, after the start of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war, the share of the former increased to 68%, and the share of the latter decreased to 11.5%.

Compared with 2017 the share of supporters of democracy increased in all regions (for example, in the East – from 47% to 58%, in the West – from 67% to 75.5%, but, as before, remains the highest in the Western region and the lowest in the East. […]

Evaluation of different types of political systems. Over the past decade, the total share of Ukrainian citizens who believe that the democratic political system is “rather good” or “very good” for their country has changed slightly — from 85% in 2011 to up to 90% in 2022 At the same time, compared to previous years, the share of those who consider the democratic political system “very good” in Ukraine has significantly increased (54%, while in previous years the share did not exceed 36%). […] If in 2021, 69% of those surveyed answered that they do not seek the restoration of the Soviet Union, then according to the latest survey, they make up 87%. […]

Choosing between two models of social development — European and Russian, 70% prefer the European model, only 0.5% – the Russian one (in 2017, these figures were 58% and 4%, respectively. The share of supporters of the European model is significantly higher in the Western and Central regions (82.5% and 76.5%, respectively ), while in the East they make up 53% of respondents, and in the South – 45%. However, the share of supporters of the Russian model is extremely low in all regions (from 0.2% to 1%), but in the South and East there are many who who do not like either model (33.5% and 34%, respectively). The share of supporters of the European model increases as the age of the respondents decreases (from 60% among those aged 60 and over to 80% among those aged 18 to 29 ). […]

Willingness to defend the country. Willingness to fight for one’s country during war is one of the most frequently used indicators of patriotism in sociological research. After 2011 in Ukraine, the share of those who gave a positive answer regarding such readiness constantly increased (from 40% in 2011 to 57% in 2020 and to 71% in 2022).

Willingness to defend the country is expressed by the majority of residents of all regions — from 54% in the East to 79% in the South of the country, 74% of Ukrainian-speaking respondents and 62% of Russian-speaking respondents […].

Putin is asking the West to surrender Ukraine, international law, and its core values and principles

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