• AFU forces appear to breach key defensive lines near Verbove, ISW says
  • Kyiv warns of “difficult winter” after missiles attack energy infrastructure
  • Explosions in Tula, Russia, leave some 5,000 residents without power
  • Embarrassed by bungled missions, Moscow muzzles coverage of ground forces
  • Poland clarifies its stance on future military assistance to Kyiv
  • Ukraine forces clear path to a Bakhmut highway for artillery resupply
  • Biden urges US Congress to pass newest round of Ukraine aid
  • See Ukraine’s air defenses in action Thursday night
  • VIDEO: Russians watch their anti-tank missile blown up by Ukrainian counterpart

Ukraine’s forces appear to push through “tri-layer” Russian lines in the Zaporizhzhia Region

Geolocated footage appears to show that troops from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have broken through Russian defensive layers outside of Verbove in Western Zaporizhzhia, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Thursday.

The ISW cautioned it could not confirm a definitive breakthrough but said it would represent the first time since the occupation of the area that Ukrainian armored vehicles were spotted beyond what it termed a “tri-layer” defense just west of Verbove, 18 km southeast of Orikhiv.

After deadly missile strikes, government warns of tough months ahead

The Zelensky administration on Thursday said a “difficult winter” could await Ukraine after Russian missile strikes hit civilian targets and energy infrastructure. Among the targets were parts of Kyiv, Rivne (in Western Ukraine) and in Kherson, where three people were killed, AFP reported.


The missile strikes were followed by power outages across the country, reigniting fears that the Kremlin’s strategy could be to freeze Ukrainian citizens in the winter months, as was the case last year. About 400 towns and cities across the country, from Kyiv to Kharkiv, experienced at least partial outages on Thursday, according to state utility Ukrenergo.

“Most of the missiles were shot down. But only the majority,” President Zelensky said as he was meeting with the American president and stressing the importance of sending more air-defense systems to Kyiv.

Moscow Launches Propaganda Trains to Attract Conscripts
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Moscow Launches Propaganda Trains to Attract Conscripts

Russia is scaling up campaign activities in its regions to stop the decline in the number of people willing to enlist in the military by painting trains with militaristic prints.

According to the ISW, Ukrainian air defenses reportedly intercepted 38 of the 44 cruise missiles aimed at Kyiv, Cherkasy and Lviv. Six S-300 missiles were launched at the city of Kharkiv.

“With the days beginning to turn colder, Russia once more looks to use winter as a weapon against people in Ukraine,” Biden said.

Oleksiy Kuleba, the deputy head of Kyiv’s presidential office, said, “Difficult months are ahead: Russia will attack energy and critically important facilities,” AFP reported.


Explosions in Russia reportedly leave 5,000 without power

Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti claimed that 5,000 residents in the Zarechensky district lost power in the district of Tula on Thursday, after locals reported hearing a series of explosions in the Russian city.

Russian officials from local emergency services said the outages were due to a technical failure.

A post by a Ukrainian blogger purports to show the explosions:

The outages occurred just hours after thousands of Ukrainians lost power across the country following Russian missile strikes.

Moscow issues media a manual on how to keep ground forces mishaps under wraps

According to Russian opposition media outlet Meduza, the Kremlin is “reportedly pushing propaganda narratives that highlight Russian artillery and aviation while downplaying the efforts of Russian forces conducting ground operations, likely in order to avoid discussion of Russian personnel losses and poor counterbattery capabilities,” the ISW reported.

On Thursday, Meduza wrote that the Kremlin issued a manual earlier in the week that instructed its affiliated media to highlight Ukrainian equipment and personnel losses and emphasize that Russian artillery fire and air strikes are effectively suppressing Ukrainian offensive actions.


The Russian media – military bloggers especially – have repeatedly complained over the past couple of weeks about the poor performance of ground units and their humiliating losses.

Operations: Bakhmut area

The ISW reported that Ukrainian forces made advances in the Bakhmut area on Thursday, quoting Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Ilya Yevlash. Yevlash said that the AFU’s newly gained positions near Andriivka and Klishchiivka now allow Ukrainian forces to bring artillery closer to the Bakhmut-Horlivka highway, making it more difficult for Russian forces to use this ground line of communication.

Yevlash reported that Ukrainian forces achieved success near Odradivka (9 km south of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10 km southwest of Bakhmut), and Kurdyumivka (12 km southwest of Bakhmut.)

US President says first Abrams tanks to arrive in Ukraine next week

US President Joe Biden said at a meeting with President Zelensky in Washington D.C. on Thursday that the long-promised M1 Abrams tanks will arrive in Ukraine next week.


However, US Congress still needs to pass the latest aid package, valued at about $325M, which includes anti-tank weaponry and latest-generation air defenses, but not the long-range missiles Kyiv was hoping for.

With US presidential campaigns heating up and partisan polarization reaching a fever pitch, some conservatives have balked at Biden’s enthusiastic support for Kyiv.

“I’m counting on the good judgment of the United States Congress. There's no alternative,” Biden said.

Poland clarifies PM’s comments about future military aid to Ukraine

On Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his Prime Minister’s assertion that Poland would not be sending further military aid to Ukraine were “interpreted in the worst way possible,” AFP reported. Instead, Duda claimed, what Mateusz Morawiecki meant in his statement Wednesday was that Poland would not be sending its newest weapons to Kyiv.

“In my opinion, the prime minister meant that we won’t be transferring to Ukraine the new weaponry that we’re currently buying as we modernize the Polish army,” Duda told a Polish television station.

Morawiecki’s statement, coming against a backdrop of a highly contentious Polish embargo of Ukrainian grain, that the country is “no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” apparently referred to newly acquired weaponry from South Korea. Warsaw is expecting a shipment of K2 “Black Panther” tanks and K9 howitzers from the Asian nation, according to AFP.


“Poland will only carry out previously agreed deliveries of ammunition and armaments, including those resulting from contracts signed with Ukraine,” government spokesman Piotr Muller said.

WATCH: Ukraine’s own Stugna guided-missile system outperformed its Russian counterpart

A video filmed by Russian soldiers, surfacing on social media Thursday, purports to show their own 9K114 Shturm anti-tank missile system as it gets hit by what was described as a Stugna-P, a Ukrainian designed and built anti-tank guided-missile system with a range of 5 km.

No location was given for the attack.

The Stugna-P is similar to the US-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems that have been sent to Ukraine in aid packages.

Air Force Colonel posts video of air defenses in action

Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk of the Ukrainian Air Force posted a video on YouTube on Thursday showing one of his unit’s missile systems striking an airborne target.

“[This is] the combat performance of the Air Force’s surface-to-air missile units on the night of September 21, 2023,” he wrote.

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