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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 672: Ukraine strikes back against Russia on land, sea, cyber fronts

Ukraine unleashed attacks on multiple fronts against the Russian invasion this week, blasting a ship in the Black Sea and breaching an enterprise management system, which resulted in million-dollar losses for Russia.

Exclusive

What Russian Black Sea Fleet ships were destroyed by Ukraine. A game of Battleship is unfolding in the Black Sea, where navy-less Ukraine, left to its own resorts against Russia’s menacing fleet, takes out ships one by one with a combination of missiles, drones, and ingenuity

Military

Ukraine’s Security Service says it destroyed over 500 Russian tanks in 2023. Ukraine’s Security Service says in 2023, it has destroyed more than 500 Russian tanks assaulting eastern and southern Ukraine, using anti-tank armaments and UAVs in coordination with Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Frontline report: Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Novocherkassk destroyed with Fleet’s 20% total losses over four months. Using coordinated drone and missile attack, Ukraine strikes Russia’s Novocherkassk landing ship in Feodosia on 26 December, destroying weapons and supplies with blast that sinks ship.

Russian troops execute Ukrainian POWs in southeastern Ukraine. A video filmed by a Ukrainian recon drone revealed a brutal murder of three unarmed Ukrainian soldiers near Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Russia continues demolishing buildings in occupied Mariupol to conceal its crimes against civilians, Ukraine says. Russia’s occupation authorities in Mariupol City, Donetsk Oblast, are planning to demolish 16 detached houses and one shopping center to eliminate traces of their crimes, the city council said on Telegram.

Frontline report: Russian assaults on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka resume after fortnight respite to regroup units. After regrouping for about two weeks, Russian troops attacked Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka again, resulting in intense combat as Ukrainians beat back Russian assaults on the town.

Intelligence and technology

Ukrainian hackers’ cyber attack on biggest enterprise management system results in million-dollar losses for Russia. Ukrainian hackers’ cyber attack on the biggest enterprise management system results in million-dollar losses for Russia.

Reuters: Russia to deploy newest howitzers against Ukrainian forces. Russian officials said that howitzers of this class are “needed to provide an advantage over Western artillery models in terms of firing range.”

International

Estonia’s MoD says it trained 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers in two years. Estonia has trained over 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers, about one-sixth of the total number of its own conscripts, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, per Estonia’s MoD. Training includes basic skills, artillery, sniping, and cybersecurity.

DPA: German investigators identify Russian soldiers responsible for attacking civilians in Hostomel in 2022. German investigators have identified Russian soldiers responsible for attacking the city of Hostomel during Russia’s invasion of Kyiv Oblast, German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann stated, as per DPA.

UK Defense Minister: 20% of Russia’s Black Sea fleet destroyed over past four months. UK Defense Secretary says 20% of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been destroyed over 4 months, and those claiming stalemate in the Russo-Ukrainian war are incorrect.

FT: EU crafts €20 bn plan B for Ukraine aid to bypass Hungary veto. The EU is working on a 20 billion euro backup aid package for Ukraine using a debt structure that avoids needing Hungary’s approval, after a proposed 50 billion euro four-year package was vetoed by Hungary, as per FT sources.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukraine’s Olympic Committee: Over 400 Ukrainian athletes killed due to Russia’s aggression. As Russia claims it’s being “treated unfairly” by a ban on its athletes at the 2024 Olympics, Ukraine’s Olympic president Vadym Hutsayt said over 400 Ukrainian athletes had been killed & 500 sports facilities had been destroyed since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Russia’s suicide drone attack kills two in Odesa as Ukraine downs 32/46 UAVs. Russia struck central/southern Ukraine using 46 launched suicide drones overnight, air defenses intercepted 32 drones but falling wreckage still killed 2 civilians in Odesa.

Russia shells crowded Kherson train station killing police officer, injuring four more people. Russian artillery struck Kherson railway station as civilians awaited an evacuation train, killing a police officer and wounding two officers and two civilians, per official reports. The station building and trains were damaged.

Poll: Trust in Ukrainian Army at 94% in the country with highest distrust in political parties. A new poll reveals that Ukrainians place the most trust in the army, and volunteer units and organizations, while political parties, officials, and judiciary entities are the most distrusted.

New developments

ISW: Ongoing Russian offensives in Ukraine’s east can result in gradual tactical advances. Russian offensive operations pressure Ukrainian defenses in eastern Ukraine, forcing possible limited tactical retreats to preserve personnel as marginal Russian gains accumulate amid continued heavy casualties, ISW says.

Regional leader: Kharkiv Oblast’s Synkivka under Ukrainian control, contrary to Russian advance claims. Kharkiv Oblast chief asserts Ukraine retains control over Synkivka village near Kupiansk, despite intensive Russian efforts to seize settlement.

Read our earlier daily review here.

As of 27 Dec 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: 355750 (+790)
    • Tanks: 5913 (+14)
    • APV: 10973 (+17)
    • Artillery systems: 8376 (+10)
    • MLRS: 934
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 616 (+2)
    • Aircraft: 329
    • Helicopters: 324
    • UAV: 6471 (+13)
    • Cruise missiles: 1620 (+2)
    • Warships/boats: 23
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11140 (+31)
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