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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 563: Ukraine chips away at Russian forces despite setbacks

Ukraine continues to make incremental gains against Russian forces near Bakhmut and Robotyne, even as Russia targets its own retreating soldiers. Japan’s foreign minister visited Kyiv for the first time, stopping in Bucha to commemorate victims. The first batch of Leopard 1 tanks promised to Ukraine has arrived.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 563: Ukraine chips away at Russian forces despite setbacks

Exclusive

Former Wagner mercenaries confess to killing women and children in Ukraine. In an interview with a Russian human rights organization, Russian ex-convicts recruited in the Wagner Group told how Wagner mercenaries committed war crimes in Ukraine.

Military

Zelenskyy: Ukraine to receive more Gepard AA tanks to protect energy infrastructure. President Zelenskyy says Russia has been plotting more attacks against Ukraine’s energy sector during the upcoming winter season. Meanwhile, Ukraine will receive more Flakpanzer Gepard anti-aircraft self-propelled guns to protect the energy system.

Ukrainian soldiers launched a flag on balloons in the frontline city Avdiivka on the city day; it flew over the occupied Donetsk. On 9 September 2023, in honor of 245th Avdiivka City Day, the Ukrainian military released balloons carrying the national flag into the sky, sending them in the direction of occupied Donetsk.

Frontline report: Russian artillery fire denies retreat to own troops after failed counterattack on Robotyne. Russian forces experience a setback in a counterattack on Zaporizhzhia’s Robotyne as their own artillery targets their retreat paths, with the Russian Defense Ministry exaggerating stats on Ukrainian losses.

Ukrainian military on gains near Robotyne: “Not quickly, but we’re squeezing the enemy out”. Ukrainian forces continue their slow but steady push on the southern front near Robotyne, as Russian attempts to retake lost ground fail, according to the Ukrainian military.

Frontline report: Cluster munitions help Ukraine inflict “mindboggling” losses near Klishchiivka. After recent setbacks, Ukrainian forces have regained momentum in eastern Ukraine, launching successful attacks near Klishchiivka and Andriivka

ISW: Ukrainians keep advancing near Bakhmut and Robotyne. Ukrainian forces are making territorial advances in Zaporizhzhia Oblast near Robotyne, and in Donetsk Oblast near Bakhmut, although the extent of their success remains uncertain, ISW reports.

British intel: Ukrainian pressure near Robotyne triggers Russia’s troop transfers, limiting Russian offensive capabilities. Ukrainian Armed Forces are advancing into the main Russian defensive line near Robotyne, southern front, exerting pressure on Russian positions. This may impact Russian offensive capabilities, leading to potential troop redeployments, according to British intelligence.

As of 9 Sep 2023, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 268140 (+600)
      • Tanks: 4544 (+15)
      • APV: 8739 (+13)
      • Artillery systems: 5789 (+36)
      • MLRS: 757 (+3)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 508 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 315
      • Helicopters: 316
      • Warships/boats: 19
      • UAV: 4588 (+18)
      • Cruise missiles: 1455
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 8298 (+34)
      • Special equipment: 870 (+10)

Intelligence and technology

Financial Times: British BAE Systems will start building artillery spare parts in Ukraine within “months”. This first step can potentially lead to the beginning of the production of artillery systems and other advanced weapons in Ukraine by the UK defense contractor. BAE Systems will begin by using Ukrainian industrial facilities to make spare parts for BAE’s 105mm artillery — a similar strategy to German Rheinmetall, which announced in August it will start production in Ukraine.

ABC News: US likely to send long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine for the first time. US officials told ABC News that Ukraine is likely set to receive ATACMS long-range missiles in an upcoming military aid package, but the decision isn’t final and the supplies may take months.

Only one Russian fighter jet and 2,100 Russian troops remain in Belarus. Only one Russian fighter jet, SU-25, currently stays in Belarus after Russia withdrew all aviation of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation. The Russian aviation group in Belarus ceased to exist.

International

Japan’s Foreign Minister visited Kyiv for the first time, discussed cooperation, and commemorated victims of Russian crimes in Bucha. Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on 9 September 2023. This was the first time he visited Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Hayashi met with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, and Minister of Digital Transformations Mykhailo Fedorov. He also visited the memorial to victims of Russian war crimes in Bucha.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Bucha, 9 September 2023. Photo: Kyiv Oblast administration

Former UK Prime Minister Johnson visited two Ukrainian cities, paid tribute to fallen defenders (photos). Boris Johnson visited Kyiv on 8 September 2023, speaking at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) forum. On 9 September, he traveled to the west Ukrainian city of Lviv by ordinary train, where he met with the city mayor, paid tribute to the fallen defenders in Lychakiv cemetery and also near the memorial of the Heavenly Hundred commemorating nearly 100 protesters killed during the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014.

The first ten Leopard 1 tanks from the promised batch of 100 arrived in Ukraine. The first ten Leopard 1 tanks supplied by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands have arrived in Ukraine, Denmark’s armed forces said on 8 September 2023.

UK to monitor Black Sea against Russia’s “weaponization of Ukrainian grain”. Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports have reduced the country’s export capacity by one-third and destroyed grain that could feed 1 million people for a year, the UK government says as it promises to step up surveillance of the Black Sea

Romania to warn civilians near Ukraine border of Russian drone strikes. Romania will alert civilians when there is a risk of falling debris due to Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports, as well as construct public shelters

Chinese media & cultural figures visit Mariupol, sing in the place of mass murder, sparking outrage. Chinese opera singer Wang-Fang performed the Soviet WWII song Katiusha in destroyed Mariupol Drama Theater, where the Russian army killed about 600 civilians who were seeking shelter in the theater during the bombing of the city. Also, several Chinese media representatives and bloggers visited the city and occupied Crimea in what Russian authorities called a “visit of the Chinese People’s Republic delegation.” Ukraine demanded explanations from China.

US Senate foreign chief grills oilfield firms over continued Russia presence. “There is simply no good explanation for this behavior, other than to make a dollar,” Bob Menendez said, addressing SLB, Baker Hughes, and Halliburton.

Romanian Naval Forces will conduct “Sea Breeze 23.3” exercises in the Black Sea with the participation of Ukraine and the US. The naval forces of Romania, together with the US Naval forces, organized multinational naval exercises named “Sea Breeze 23.3”, scheduled to take place from 11 September to 15 September in the Black Sea near the Danube Delta.

Photo of the day

Snyder Zaluzhnyi kyiv
American historian Timothy Snyder meets Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi during a visit to Kyiv. “The force is with us. And happiness too,” he captioned this photo.

Humanitarian and social impact

Official: Russian attacks on Kherson kill three, injure eight civilians. Russian artillery and air attacks on Kherson Oblast killed three civilians on 8 September, local authorities say.

One killed, 52 injured in Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih police station. One policeman was killed, and 19 people are hospitalized, with three of them in heavy condition after the 9 AM Russian missile strike on the hometown of Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy

Russian strikes kill, injure civilians in strikes on Ukraine’s south, east, north. Russia carried out air and missile strikes on Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson Oblast, killing at least three civilians and injuring seven

Bodycam captures first minutes of rescue operation after Russian strike on police station in Ukraine’s south. According to updated information, the Russian strike on Kryvyi Rih police station injured 72 people and killed one policeman on 8 September 2023. Many survived under the rubble.

Political developments

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry: G20 “has nothing to boast” about its declaration on Russo-Ukrainian war. Ukraine condemned the G20 declaration regarding the Russo-Ukrainian war and showed how the document could be written “to be closer to reality.”

UN conducts secret negotiations with Russia on lifting sanctions in exchange for “grain deal” – BILD (Updated). The United Nations is secretly negotiating with Russia to cancel many substantial sanctions in exchange for renewing the “grain deal,” BILD reports. The editorial staff obtained a confidential letter from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, dated 28 August.

Ukrainian partisans allegedly liquidated one of Russian “mobile commissions” trying to conduct local elections in occupied south. According to the Ukrainian Center of National Resistance, which coordinates partisans, the Ukrainian underground in the occupied city of Nova Kakhovka (Zaporizhzhia oblast) managed to carry out a successful sabotage against the occupation administration. Partisans blew up the car of the occupiers, which was used to transport “ballots” and “polling stations” during the so-called elections. As a result of the car explosion, one Russian soldier was killed, and two others were injured.

New developments

Ukraine invests “billions” in Domestic Military-Industrial Complex — Prime Minister. Ukraine’s Prime Minister said the Ukrainian government has already invested tens of billions of hryvnias ($1-2 billion) into its domestic military-industrial complex.

Russian woman arrested for allegedly guiding strikes on Ukraine’s Sumy. The Russian national had allegedly cooperated with Russia’s GRU by sending information on where Ukrainian troops might be stationed to her handlers

Musk confirms thwarting major Ukrainian attack in Crimea. Admitting he denied the Ukrainian government’s urgent request to activate Starlink in Crimea, he tweeted that “both sides” should agree to a “truce”

32 mn tons of Ukrainian grain exported in grain deal, slashing global prices by 23% – UK intel. Developing nations have especially benefitted from the deal; however, Russia’s recent withdrawal has reduced Ukrainian exports in an effort to degrade its economy

Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s counteroffensive is faster than new sanctions packages today. “There are specific square kilometers” liberated from Russians, but due to the lack of air superiority and long-range weapons, the Ukrainian counteroffensive can’t progress faster, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said while speaking at the 18th Yalta European Strategy meeting in Kyiv on 8 September 2023.

Russians improve their tactics, utilize chemical weapons from WWI and drones, says Ukrainian field commander. Company commander in the Da Vinci Volves battalion Serhii Filimonov, talked about the defense of Kupiansk and how it differs from the defense of Bakhmut in the new interview with Roman Kravets. He said Russians use chemical weapons from WWI together with “meat grinders” tactics. Yet, they are constantly learning and adapting as well, becoming a “difficult enemy.”

Ukrainian religious scholar who survived Russian captivity dies at the age of 69. In Kyiv, people said goodbye to Ukrainian scientist and religious scholar Ihor Kozlovsky, who died on 6 September 2023. The funeral and memorial services were held in St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery on 9 September 2023.

Ihor Kozlovsky

Read the daily review for Fri Sep 08 2023 here

 

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