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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 569. Europe surpasses US in military aid to Ukraine

European nations have now pledged over $170 billion in military and financial aid to Ukraine, exceeding the US commitment, according to new data. Ukraine’s blows against the Russian fleet involved both drones and Western-supplied missiles, Ukraine’s air force commander hinted.

Exclusive

“Gates of Europe”: Luxembourgish band dedicates entire album to Ukraine’s fight. Ukrainians will never kiss the hands of the moskali, neofolk musicians from the Rome band sing and take their album on a Europe-wide tour

Ukrainian soldier eyes

How badly do the US and Europe want peace?. We’ve been there in WWII. The only way to achieve peace is to fight for it.

Military

Frontline report: Ukrainians use drones and missiles in coordinated attacks to destroy Russian air defense in Crimea. Ukraine launched strikes with drones and missiles on 13-14 September that destroyed Russian air defenses in occupied Crimea. The attacks targeted radar, missile launchers, ammunition depots, and patrol boats.

Ukraine’s Air Force commander hints Western missiles were used in the recent attack on a Russian naval base in Crimea. Commander of Ukraine’s Air Force Mykola Oleshchuk hinted that British “Storm Shadow” and French “Scalp” missiles were used in the recent attack on the Russian naval base in Sevastopol on 13 September 2023, which destroyed two ships.

Ukrainian marine drone allegedly hit Russian missile carrier “Samum” near Sevastopol. An experimental Ukrainian marine drone named “Sea Baby” reportedly struck the Russian missile ship “Samum,” damaging it near Sevastopol. If confirmed, it would already be the 4th ship destroyed or damaged by 13-14 September strikes.

Expert: Ukraine strikes Russian landing ships not over fear of landing but to suffocate Russian supplies. In its recent strikes on Russian landing ships, Ukraine is pursuing not to disable any potential Russian landing operations but to cut off Russian supplies to its occupation forces via sea when Ukraine cuts off the railway, officer in the Israeli Defense Forces and military analyst Yigal Levin has said.

Ukraine retakes a completely destroyed village in Donbas after encircling Russians there. On 15 September 2023, Ukraine’s separate 3rd assault brigade officially confirmed previous information that it had liberated the village of Andriyivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, south of Bakhmut. The brigade said they had encircled Russian troops of the 72nd brigade in Andriyivka and eliminated them, including the chief of the brigade intelligence, three battalion commanders, and most of the infantry of the 72nd brigade.

British intel: Sevastopol missile strikes deal major blow to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The Ukrainian attack on the Sevastopol shipyard has destroyed two key Russian warships, undermining Moscow’s Black Sea capabilities. This significantly affects Russia’s ability to strike further targets in Ukraine.

ISW: Russia loses another top commander in battle in Ukraine. A key Russian paratrooper regiment lost its commander in combat in Ukraine, making him the unit’s second officer to be killed this year, the Institute for the Study of War said in an update.

As of 15 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: 271440 (+470)
      • Tanks: 4612 (+13)
      • APV: 8814 (+4)
      • Artillery systems: 5972 (+28)
      • MLRS: 774 (+5)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 521 (+4)
      • Aircraft: 315
      • Helicopters: 316
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • UAV: 4714 (+17)
      • Cruise missiles: 1455
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 8492 (+34)
      • Special equipment: 889

Intelligence and Technology

Ukraine air forces destroy all Russian Shahed drones attacking Khmelnytskyi Oblast. During a nighttime operation, the Ukrainian Air Forces neutralized 17 Shahed drones targeting Khmelnytskyi Oblast.

International

UK declares Russian Wagner Group a terrorist organization. The British government designated Wagner as a terrorist group. Being part of or supporting Wagner is now a crime in the UK, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

European aid to Ukraine now surpasses US contributions – Kiel Institute. European nations, including both EU and non-EU countries like the UK, Norway, and Switzerland, have pledged a total of €156 billion in aid to Ukraine, nearly doubling the US’s contribution of less than €70 billion.

34 foreign observers participated in Russian “elections” in occupied Ukrainian territories. The European Platform for Democratic Elections urged the EU to consider sanctions and visa restrictions for non-EU nationals involved in unauthorized activities in Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions.

EU Commission lifts ban on Ukrainian agricultural export; Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia protest. On 15 September, the EU Commission lifted the previous ban on Ukrainian agricultural products. The ban was introduced on four categories of products on 2 May 2023 as a temporary measure “to avoid market distortions.”

Lithuania reconsiders citizenship of ice dancer over Russian performances. Margarita Drobiazko’s ties to Russia, including ongoing performances and personal associations, trigger a re-evaluation under new dual citizenship law.

Humanitarian and Social Impact

Mandatory evacuation for children ordered in Kherson Oblast amid continued Russian shelling. 31 populated areas targeted for evacuation as the Defense Council prioritizes safety of families and children.

Political Developments

Ukraine’s Security Service charges MP with state treason, conducts searches. Nestor Shufrych is known as one of the most pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. He was elected as a member of “The Oppositional Party for Life,” which had 13% of votes in the 2019 elections.

New Developments

Proekt media challenges reputation of Gulagu.net founder Osechkin. Embellished stories and accusations of profiteering are dogging Vladimir Osechkin, the Russian activist lionized for criticizing the war and exposing Russian prison torture.

Ukraine to boost defense production sevenfold in 2024 budget plan. On 15 September 2023, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers submitted to the parliament the draft budget of Ukraine for 2024. The priority is security and defense. In particular, state investments in the defense sector are increasing sevenfold and will likely be approved by the parliament.

Ukrainian company showed its first anatomically-designed body armor for women in the Armed Forces. The company “Ukrainian Armor” unveiled its first anatomically designed body armor tailored for women serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Russia considers WhatsApp ban, citing risk of “prohibited information”. Russia warns blocking WhatsApp after it unveiled a new channel feature that resembles Telegram’s. The Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state censor’s proposal showcasing the Kremlin’s push to tighten its grip on media, according to ISW’s daily report.

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