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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 605: Russia renews Avdiivka offensive, Russian troops rape women in occupied territories

A UN report accused Russian troops of raping and killing women in occupied Ukrainian areas, as Russia suffered heavy losses trying to capture the city of Avdiivka.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 605: Russia renews Avdiivka offensive, Russian troops rape women in occupied territories

Exclusive

Ukraine makes first step to ban Russian-backed church. Ukraine moved closer to cracking down on a Ukrainian Orthodox Church aligned with Russia, with parliament approving a law to ban the religious body.

Military

ATACMS have significant impact on the battlefield, Ukraine’s Defense Minister says. Rustem Umerov and Lloyd Austin discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in a phone call.

General Staff: Russian troops try to encircle Avdiivka. Russia continues the Avdiivka offensive despite heavy casualties.

Frontline report: Russians lost 1400 soldiers and 175 tanks and armored fighting vehicles in Avdiivka in one day. The renewed Russian offensive near Avdiivka unveils shocking statistics of massive losses, marking a major setback for Russian forces.

Russian forces launch renewed offensive near Avdiivka – ISW. On October 20, Russian forces initiated a renewed offensive push near Avdiivka, demonstrating their continued commitment to offensive operations in the region despite significant material and personnel losses, Institute for the Study of War reports.

Half a million mines laid on the border with Belarus. Ukraine increased the density of minefields on its northern border 16 times to prevent possible advance of enemy troops from Belarus and Russia.

Ukraine forces establish presence in a village on the east bank of Kherson Oblast – ISW. Footage from October 19 shows Ukrainian forces advancing into northeastern Krynky, a settlement 27 kilometers east of Kherson City and 2 kilometers from the Dnipro River.

Russian losses.

As of 21 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: 292850 (+790)
      • Tanks: 5063 (+16)
      • APV: 9612 (+55)
      • Artillery systems: 7017 (+5)
      • MLRS: 822
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 548
      • Aircraft: 320
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 5330 (+4)
      • Cruise missiles: 1535
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 9391 (+21)

Intelligence and technology

Ukrainian govt expedites production of electronic warfare equipment. This move follows a previous successful initiative that accelerated the domestic drone market, making it more accessible to the military and reinforcing Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

Ukraine’s intel head explains his involvement in combat operations in Kharkiv Oblast. Budanov took part in military operation to liberate Ruska Lozova in late April 2022.

International

Supporting Israel and Ukraine is vital to US security, Biden says. When terrorists and dictators do not pay a price for aggression, they cause more death and destruction, the US President said.

Zelenskyy and Erdoğan discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine in phone call. Ukrainian and Turkish presidents discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the Middle East and Ukraine’s Peace Formula.

France ramps up production of howitzers used by Ukrainian army. Along with a tripling of the production capacity of Caesar howitzers, the delivery time for the howitzers was reduced from 30 to 15 months.

Humanitarian and social impact

UN report: Russian military rape and kill Ukrainian women in occupied territories. Russian soldiers raped girls and women aged 16 to 83 during the occupation of Kherson Oblast.

Several more children deported by Russians have returned to Ukraine. One Kherson Oblast family separated due to the war, with the mother, a servicewoman, unable to evacuate her son when Russia occupied part of the region.

Germany commits 200 million euros for Ukraine’s recovery. Focus is on education, healthcare, water supply, and city rebuilding. This commitment brings Germany’s total support for Ukraine’s civilian population to almost one billion euros since February 2022.

The US-EU joint statement reaffirms long-term support for Ukraine. The US and EU urge Russia to withdraw its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine, including occupied Crimea.

New developments

Kyiv airport to resume operations one month after war ends. Currently, Boryspil airport incurs a monthly cost of 3.2 million euros for personnel and electricity maintenance.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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