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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 601: Ukraine uses ATACMS for first time, destroying nine Russian helicopters, equipment

President Zelenskyy confirmed Ukraine has received long-range ATACMS missiles from the US. Russia admitted forcibly transferring nearly 5 million Ukrainians, including 700,000 children, to Russia.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 601: Ukraine uses ATACMS for first time, destroying nine Russian helicopters, equipment

Exclusive

Ukrainian soldier survives hell and walks 200 km to freedom. Oleksandr Ivantsov recounts his incredible story of resilience and escape from the bowels of Azovstal.

Military

Military: Ukrainians reclaim territories near Zaporizhzhia’s Verbove, Donetsk’s Bakhmut. The Ukrainian military reports advancements in regions of Zaporizhzhia’s Verbove and Donetsk’s Bakhmut, while Russian attempts to move towards Kharkiv’s Kupiansk are met with robust resistance and setbacks.

Zelenskyy confirms use of ATACMS missiles by Ukraine’s forces. “My special gratitude today goes to the US. Our agreements with President Biden are being fulfilled. They are being fulfilled very accurately – ATACMS have proven themselves,” Zelenskyy said.

Operation Dragonfly: Ukraine claims destruction of Russia’s nine helicopters at occupied Luhansk and Berdiansk airfields. Overnight missile strikes on two Russian-controlled airfields in occupied Luhansk and Berdiansk destroyed nine Russian helicopters, the Ukrainian military says.

Frontline report: Ukrainians use bad weather to advantage in attacks near Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Despite rainy conditions, Ukraine struck Russian strongpoints around Verbove, combining artillery, rockets, airstrikes, and made ground advances, using Leopard tanks.

ISW: Ukraine keeps pushing near Bakhmut and in south as Russia presses on Avdiivka. While Ukraine maintains counteroffensives near Bakhmut and in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russia continues assaults near Donetsk’s Avdiivka, per ISW.

US officials: 31 American-made Abrams tanks now in Ukraine. The promised delivery of all 31 Abrams tanks from the US was completed faster than expected, as winter nears.

As of 17 Oct 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: 289430 (+800)
      • Tanks: 4979 (+14)
      • APV: 9405 (+20)
      • Artillery systems: 6936 (+26)
      • MLRS: 814
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 547
      • Aircraft: 318
      • Helicopters: 317
      • UAV: 5291 (+11)
      • Cruise missiles : 1533 (+2)
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 9293 (+22)

Intelligence and technology

Russia steps up Crimea’s defenses amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Atesh partisans say. Russian troops prepare to defend occupied Crimea, deploying “significant forces” in Dzhankoi, as Moscow doubts its ability to retain control of occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, Atesh reported.

UK intel: Russia reframes Avdiivka offensive as “active-defense” due to heavy toll. As Russia targets Avdiivka in its latest offensive, entrenched Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy casualties on the Russian side, leading to a change in Russian military rhetoric from an offensive to “active-defense.”

Ukraine’s combat-damaged Leopard tanks undergo repairs in Lithuania. The Lithuanian armed forces are collaborating with the German defense industry in Lithuania to repair Leopard tanks that were damaged in combat in Ukraine.

International

US to allocate nearly $700 mn for Ukraine’s transport, logistic modernization. According to Minister Kubrakov, the upgrades will “improve logistics and increase export capacity” as Ukraine seeks to boost economic activity amid Russia’s invasion.

“Dangerous” arms shipments from North Korea to Russia trouble US. The US reiterates concerns over North Korea’s alleged role in supplying arms to Russia amidst the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, deeming such transfers “dangerous.”

EU parliament backs €50 billion for Ukraine’s recovery. The EU Parliament greenlights €50 billion for Ukraine’s recovery, emphasizing urgent adoption, democratic accountability, and proposing Russian assets fund reconstruction, aiming to modernize the nation by 2027.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian nighttime air attack hits Sloviansk as Ukraine downs all drones, Kh-59 missile. On the night of 17 October, Russian forces attacked Ukraine using a Kh-59 guided air missile, S-300 missiles, and six Shahed drones.

Ukraine’s losses from Russia’s destruction of Kakhovka dam surpass $11 billion. The Kakhovka dam’s destruction by Russia in Ukraine led to losses surpassing $11 billion, as per a joint UN-Ukraine report detailing significant damages, especially in the energy and housing sectors.

Russia attacked residential districts in Kherson, hospital in the oblast, injuring 8. On 17 October Russia attacked Kherson Oblast four times, targeting hospital, residential buildings, transportation enterprise, and Kherson city center.

Russian cluster munitions target police unit delivering aid to Avdiivka’s residents. “Despite everything, the ‘White Angels’ managed to deliver bread to the local residents,” Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said.

ISW: Russia admits to forcibly transferring nearly 5 mn Ukrainians, including 700K children. Qatar mediated the return of 4 Ukrainian children from Russia; however the difference between the Russian list with hundreds and the Ukrainian list with thousands of deported children complicates the process.

Ukrainian parliament passes anti-money laundering bill, addressing EU recommendations. Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada voted to impose tighter financial monitoring on politically exposed persons, instituting lifelong financial oversight of top officials.

New developments

WSJ: Ukraine fires missiles ATACMS at Russian forces for first time. With new secretly deployed American ATACMS missiles in recent days, Ukraine expands its offensive range and can now strike Russian forces from over 100 miles away.

Defense Ministry: Number of women in Ukraine’s army up 40% in two years. It’s explained because women can now serve in positions previously off-limits, like machine gunner, sniper and infantry fighting vehicle commander; and a contract for military service risen from 40 to 60, on par with men.

Health Ministry: Ukraine restores 410 hospitals out of 1,500 damaged by Russia. Ukraine’s Ministry of Health announced that 410 healthcare facilities damaged by Russia during the ongoing war have been fully restored. An additional 413 are undergoing partial or full repairs.

Another three ships leave ports of Odesa via Black Sea corridor amid Russia’s blockade. Another three ships traverse the Ukraine-established temporary Black Sea corridor, leaving Greater Odesa ports amid Russia’s blockade. So far, a total of 33 ships have used the corridor.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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