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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 583. Russian forces mistakenly down own fighter jet

In an embarrassing blunder, Russian forces shot down their own Su-35 jet near Ukraine. Hundreds of Wagner mercenaries return to frontline positions. Ukraine implicates Skripal poisoners in 2015 attack on major ammo warehouse.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 583. Russian forces mistakenly down own fighter jet

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Military

Blue on blue: Russian anti-air troops down own Su-35 fighter jet, killing pilot. Ukrainian monitoring Telegram channels say Russian anti-aircraft defense forces mistakenly brought down one of their own fighter jets in the early hours of 29 September. A Russian Air Force-linked channel indirectly confirmed the report.

SBU: Ukrainian drone strikes down stealth Russian radar station. Ukrainian officials are mocking Russian military capabilities after their drone apparently evaded defenses to knock out a radar station

ISW report: Ukrainian offensive in south draws Russian forces away from east. A new report from the Institute for the Study of War suggests Ukraine has frustrated Russian offensives on several fronts, even as Moscow redirects its aviation assets.

Frontline report: Russian kamikaze tank tactics fail in Vuhledar direction. Faced with strong resistance, Russians have abandoned attempts to take Vuhledar from the south, shifting focus north toward Novomykhailivka instead. A new tactic involves kamikaze tanks to penetrate defenses, but this has proven ineffective so far.

Russia launches manhunt for “saboteur group” after Crimea military airfield dispatcher goes missing. A missing flight dispatcher from Russia’s Saky military airbase in occupied Crimea prompts Russian law enforcers to probe potential Ukrainian covert operations.

Ukraine warns Russia with drone hit on Kursk energy site. Looks like Ukraine’s recently-announced “deterrence and retaliation” plan to counter Russia’s expected campaign against energy sites has arrived

British intel: hundreds of Wagner mercenaries return to Ukraine frontlines. Reports suggest a concentration of Wagner fighters near occupied Bakhmut, highlighting their expertise and the potential impact on the ongoing conflict.

Putin recruits former Wagner chief to lead new volunteer battalions in Ukraine. The newly-formed units will be operating on the frontlines, performing the same tasks as the Wagner Group did previously, but now under the supervision of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

As of 29 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: 277660 (+340)
      • Tanks: 4687 (+8)
      • APV: 8972 (+10)
      • Artillery systems: 6409 (+34)
      • MLRS: 794 (+1)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 536 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 315
      • Helicopters: 316
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • UAV: 4991 (+34)
      • Cruise missiles: 1529
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 8836 (+21)
      • Special equipment: 930 (+1)

Intelligence and Technology

CNN: Some Ukrainian pilots receive English training in Texas ahead of F-16 Jet instruction. A small number of Ukrainian Air Force pilots have begun English language lessons at a Texas air base to prepare for their upcoming training on F-16 fighter jets.

International

Switzerland pledges some USD 109 million for demining efforts in Ukraine. Switzerland bolsters its involvement in Ukraine’s humanitarian mine action, granting CHF 100 million to fund demining operations and train local deminers.

IAEA calls on Russia to return Zaporizhzhia NPP to Ukrainian control. The resolution says Russia should “immediately cease all actions” at the plant, withdraw its military, and enable Ukraine’s nuclear operator to resume full control

Norway bans Russian cars’ entry following similar bans in five EU states. Norway joined Finland, Baltic states and Poland in banning entry of Russian passenger cars starting October 3, part of measures aimed at cutting Russia’s income for its invasion of Ukraine.

Seven EU countries order ammo under EU scheme to aid Ukraine. Seven EU states purchase 155mm artillery rounds for Ukraine under bloc’s €2 billion joint defense procurement scheme.

State Department: no diversion of US weapons for Ukraine. State Department spox Matthew Miller says Ukraine is using US-provided weapons responsibly, with no instances of misuse found.

Humanitarian and Social Impact

Russia shells south-Ukrainian cities, injures utility workers. Two men, 24 and 68, are hospitalized in one of Russia’s daily strikes on Kherson

US House approves $ 300 mn in support for Ukraine after carve-out from defense budget. A controversial GOP defense spending bill finally passed the House after aid to Ukraine was carved out, but is unlikely to pass the Senate

Switzerland tightens sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones used against Ukraine. The Swiss government aligns Iran sanctions with EU, targeting exports of drone components and enabling restrictions against Iran’s drone program actors and entities.

UK sanctions Russians linked to sham elections in Ukraine’s occupied parts. The UK sanctions Russian officials involved in recent sham elections in Ukraine’s occupied regions of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

New developments

Ukrainian agent infiltrates Russian Spetsnaz, helps expose crimes. Russia’s vaunted special forces have been infiltrated by Ukraine, the SBU disclosed Wednesday, with an undercover Ukrainian operative helping expose plots and document war crimes.

Ukraine links deadly 2015 depot blasts to GRU’s Skripal poisoning unit. Two Russian GRU agents wanted for poisoning Sergei Skripal are now implicated by Ukraine in a 2015 major munitions depot attack. In 2014, the same men destroyed an ammo dump in the Czech Republic which was to send ammunition to Ukraine.

Read our earlier daily review here

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