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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 609: Russia flexes nuclear muscles, Ukraine aid opponent becomes new US House speaker

Rep. Mike Johnson was elected House speaker. Russia conducted drills of Strategic Nuclear Forces and announced its withdrawal from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 609: Russia flexes nuclear muscles, Ukraine aid opponent becomes new US House speaker


Ukraine uses underwater drones to strike Russian military. Ukraine continues to design new military systems such as kamikaze robots and underwater drones to fight back against Russian aggression. Meanwhile, Germany has pledged a “winter” military aid package for Ukraine that will include vital air defense systems.


Ukrainian pilots start training on F-16s in the US. Training will last several months, a US Air Force spox said.

Australia pledges $12.7 mn in new military aid to Ukraine. It includes bomb disposal equipment, portable x-ray machines, a 3D printer for metal, and counter-drone systems.

As of 25 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: 296310 (+800)
      • Tanks: 5112 (+7)
      • APV: 9697 (+28)
      • Artillery systems: 7125 (+44)
      • MLRS: 833 (+5)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 554 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 320
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 5372 (+9)
      • Cruise missiles: 1538 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 20
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 9474 (+27)

Intelligence and technology

Ukraine to boost domestic drone output to tens of thousands a month, minister says. Ukraine seeks to ramp up drone production to tens of thousands per month by year’s end to strengthen defense capabilities, Ukraine’s Strategic Industries Minister says.

Ukraine’s ammo production surges but still lags behind consumption. Ukraine’s defense industry has grown its production of shells, but still cannot meet the demand and requires Western assistance.

ISW: Russia deploys cheaper domestic drones alongside Shaheds to evade Ukrainian defenses. Russia aims to maximize impact on critical targets in a such way, as new Italmas drones can evade defences and strike targets the Shaheds can’t reach.

British intel: Russia retained Dnipro artillery after 2022 withdrawal. Russia has braced for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive across the strategic Dnipro River, reinforcing defences around the eastern bank city of Orikhiv after withdrawing from the western side in 2022.


EU’s dependence on Russian raw materials fuels war against Ukraine. European companies continue to pay billions of euros to Russia for minerals needed to produce electronics, solar panels, and electric vehicles.

Finnish National Bureau of Investigation: Balticconnector likely damaged by a Chinese ship. Finnish investigators reconstructed the sequence of events during the Balticconnector accident.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian drones attack Ukraine’s nuclear plant, Zelenskyy says. Ukraine’s air defense shot down all Russian kamikaze drones close to the Khmelnytskyy nuclear power plant last night.

Multiple Russian fire attacks kill five civilians across Ukraine. On 24 October and into the following morning, Russian forces continued their routine fire attacks across various localities in Ukraine, impacting both frontline and rear areas, killing at least five, injuring 21 civilians, and damaging numerous residential buildings.

Another Russian strike on Khmelnytskyi Oblast hits nuclear plant area, injuring 16. 11 apartment buildings, nine private houses and two schools were damaged after Russian drones struck the city of Slavuta

Ukraine aid opponent becomes new US House speaker. Rep. Mike Johnson, the newly elected House speaker, repeatedly voted against support for Ukraine in the US Congress.

Russia increases mobilization efforts targeting migrant communities. Russia escalates pressure on Central Asian migrants inside its borders under the guise of fighting “ethnic crime” in order to meet mobilization quotas, insider sources say.

Pro-Ukraine US House speaker candidate drops out after Trump backlash. Tom Emmer failed to win broad support of the Republican Party before the House vote.

New developments

Zelenskyy: Ukraine will respond to Russia’s critical infrastructure strikes. Kremlin is aware of Ukraine’s intent to retaliate, as Russia first removed its fleet from Crimea and is repositioning its aircraft farther from Ukraine’s borders.

Russia simulates massive nuclear strikes in drills, exits test ban treaty. Russia demonstrated its nuclear capabilities by launching missiles from various platforms and announced its withdrawal from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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