Overview:

  • Ukraine to receive billions in returns on confiscated Russian property
  • Death toll rises in Russian strike on school in Dnipropetrovsk region
  • US DOD announces first aid package since Congress collapsed
  • Russian troops advance around Avdiivka, thanks to “electronic warfare”
  • Black Sea Fleet brigade honored despite reported defeats
  • Tank-killing Switchblade drones 
  • AFU and Russian forces trade gains in Zaporizhzhia region
  • See Ukrainian drone drop a surprise on invading troops

Kyiv to get $1.8B from frozen Russian assets

Ukraine will receive $1.8 billion in revenue generated from taxes on assets of mostly Russian oligarchs, Belgium's prime minister said Wednesday, AFP reported.

“The money will be made available to Kyiv next year, Alexander De Croo told a Brussels news conference held jointly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Belgium has already allocated 600 million euros to go to Ukraine this year on the same basis, according to a government official,” AFP reported. The taxes on the interest of these assets should go 100 percent to the Ukrainian people, De Croo said.”

Frozen Russian assets around the world are estimated at about $300 billion, mostly in Europe, with estimated billions of dollars generated in taxes.

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Four were reported killed in Russian missile strike on a school

The death toll on a school in the Dnipropetrovsk region has risen to four, the governor of the region said via Telegram.

A Russian missile strike in the village of Nikopol reportedly killed a 60-year-old woman, a 70-year-old woman, and a 72-year-old man on Wednesday. Later that evening, rescuers recovered the body of a 67-year-old woman as well.

The bombardment also destroyed about 40 residences, about 20 commercial buildings and other property.

Tank-Killing Switchblades Drones Might Enhance Ukrainian Arsenal Soon

Ukraine is set to receive a fresh shipment of Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones, a critical asset in the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) arsenal for neutralizing Russian tanks.

23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine

The speakers of parliaments across Europe urge their US counterpart to adopt the historic decision to provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight against Russian aggression.

Charlie Dean, the Vice President of AeroVironment, a US defense industry manufacturing company, in a comment to the media outlet, hinted that the number of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the Ukrainian Defense Forces' control is “steadily rising.”

As reported by journalists, Ukrainian forces are actively deploying both the Switchblade 300 and 600 models. Currently, there is a higher stockpiled inventory of the earlier (300) version, but this balance is expected to shift soon.

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Read the full report story here. 

US defense leaders announce package of air defense missiles

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meetings in Brussels on Wednesday that the US was sending $200M in aid including surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. The aid comes as Kyiv has fretted that the lack of a US House of Representatives leader and the war in Israel posed major threats to funding the counteroffensive.

“It was made clear that America will continue to provide Ukraine with the constant and uninterrupted support necessary for its defense,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily address.

“Make no mistake,” Austin said at the start of the meetings, “the United States will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes... the United States will remain able to project power and to direct resources to tackle crises in multiple theatres.”

Operations: Avdiivka area

Footage from Tuesday and Wednesday confirms that Russian troops have advanced southwest and northwest of Avdiivka, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have identified these battalions as part of three motorized rifle brigades of the Southern Military District’s 8th Combined Arms Army.

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Analysts from the ISW suggested that Russian forces are applying lessons learned from operations in southern Ukraine to other sectors of the front, especially in the area of “electronic warfare” (EW).

A Russian source who claimed to be fighting in the area reported that Russian forces are using EW systems, “conducting sound artillery preparation of the battlefield, and are demonstrating ‘clear interaction’ between command headquarters, assault groups, aerial reconnaissance, and artillery elements… rather than relying on human wave-style ‘meat’ assaults.

The analysts went on to emphasize that Russian forces have found elements of EW – counterbattery, artillery preparation, aerial reconnaissance, and inter/intra-unit communication – to be the strengths of Russia’s defense against counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.

This is especially true, they said, with elements of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) 1st Army Corps, a volunteer group fighting in the Avdiivka area, which previously had very poor communications with the Russian command.

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On the other hand, the ISW analysts concluded, these tactical-level adaptations and successes “are unlikely to translate into wider operational and strategic gains for Russian force... Avdiivka is notoriously well-fortified and defended Ukrainian stronghold, which will likely complicate Russian forces’ ability to closely approach or fully capture the settlement.”

Ukrainian officials have already identified the Avdiivka push as a Russian “fixing operation”, and they are unlikely to commit additional manpower to this axis.

Russia confers honors upon defeated Black Sea naval brigade

The deputy commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF), Rear Admiral Ildar Akhmerov, presented awards on Wednesday to servicemen of the Russian 810th Naval Infantry Brigade for “repelling Ukrainian attacks” somewhere on the front. This comes a week after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu lauded the unit for its efforts around Robotyne.

It’s an odd awards ceremony, considering that Ukraine claims to have “completely defeated” the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade, the ISW noted, and that Russian command had withdrawn the brigade from the western Zaporizhzhia region.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

Ukrainian forces made reported gains in the western Zaporizhzhia region on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian General Staff and Tavriisk Group Commander Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi. AFU units “improved their tactical positions west of Robotyne,” coinciding with Russian military bloggers’ claims that Ukrainian forces continued attacks near Robotyne, Novoprokopivka (just south of Robotyne), and Verbove (10 km east of Robotyne).

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Meanwhile, Russian forces chalked up limited gains near Kopani, and forced Ukrainian troops to retreat back towards the Verbove area, according to Russian bloggers on the ground, one of whom claimed that the renewal of Russian attacks in the Zherebyanka-Pyatykhatky sector (about 25 km northwest of Robotyne) took Ukrainian forces by surprise and that Russian forces managed to advance “several hundred” meters in this direction over the past two days, the ISW reported.

Watch AFU drone strike Russian troops taking shelter by a disabled armored vehicle

A video posted to X on Wednesday purportedly shows an AFU drone striking a group of Russian troops with a burned-out vehicle:

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