Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian sources claimed that likely company-sized elements of two Ukrainian naval infantry brigades conducted an assault across the Dnipro River onto the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast on October 17-18.
  • Russian sources expressed pronounced concern about ongoing Ukrainian activity on the east bank of Kherson Oblast and framed these activities as part of a potential larger Ukrainian operation.
  • ISW will not speculate on the scope and prospects of ongoing Ukrainian activity on the east bank of Kherson Oblast but does not assess that Ukrainian forces have created a bridgehead on the east bank of Kherson Oblast suitable for the further maneuver of sizeable mechanized forces at this time.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in eastern and southern Ukraine and reportedly advanced near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Western media reported that the US has thus far provided Ukraine with a limited number of ATACMS missiles, and the Kremlin issued a muted response to the provision of these systems
  • Satellite imagery from October 17 suggests that the Ukrainian ATACMS strike on the Berdyansk airfield likely substantially damaged Russian aircraft and airfield infrastructure, but ISW cannot yet confirm the extent of the damage.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated his desire to deepen Russian-Chinese economic and political ties but did not announce any practical changes at the One Belt One Road International Forum in Beijing, China on October 18.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, in the Avdiivka direction, southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced south of Avdiivka.

Authors:Angelica Evans, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, Christina Harward, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Mason Clark.

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