Overview:

  • Russian missile attacks near Bakhmut kill two more civilians on Sunday, AFP reports
  • Crimean official says Russian forces knocked down three Ukrainian missiles
  • AFU destroys Russian guided missile and several enemy drones
  • Kidnapped Ukrainian children rescued from Russia
  • Russian soldiers admitting difficulties in taking Avdiivka
  • Moscow’s forces making headway in push from Luhansk into Kharkiv region
  • Forces continue to trade attacks in Zaporizhzhia region

Civilian death toll climbs over the weekend as some 36 Russian missiles rain down on towns and cities in South

Hours after Russian missile strikes killed at least six civilians and wounded at least 17 others at a mail depot in the Kharkiv region on Saturday, another volley of missiles hit near Bakhmut on Sunday, killing two, AFP reported. Specific details of the damages in the Bakhmut-area strike had not emerged by Sunday night.

The six people killed on Saturday were all workers at the Ukrainian postal operator Nova Poshta in Korotych, a village just outside of Kharkiv, all aged between 19 and 42 years old. More than a dozen others injured in the attack were fighting for their lives at the hospital.

A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Natalia Humeniuk, said 36 Russian missiles had been launched in the southern theater over a period of about 24 hours, with a number of cities and villages hit.

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Three Ukrainian missiles targeting Crimea intercepted

An official in occupied Crimea said on Sunday that Russian forces shot down three missiles on Sunday bearing down on the peninsula, AFP reported.

“Three enemy missiles heading toward Crimea were downed,” a Moscow-installed official, Vladimir Saldo, posted on Telegram.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces on Sunday destroyed a Russian guided missile and three drones, AFU officials said.

Three more Ukrainian children rescued from Russia

The parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, posted to social media over the weekend that three more children who had been forcibly taken to Russia have been returned to Ukraine.

No Russian Missile Carriers Spotted Off Crimea Coast
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“The work of returning children home will continue, so once again I sincerely thank everyone who helps to do this,” he wrote. “It is necessary for the state, it is necessary for our future!”

Operations: Avdiivka

AFU forces have had success repelling the beefed-up Russian attack on Avdiivka over the weekend, various sources reported, including the destruction of two Russian tanks.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that “a prominent Russian milblogger” claimed that Ukrainian forces “unexpectedly” counterattacked near the abandoned village of Pisky (8 km southwest of Donetsk) and “pushed Russian forces from positions in the area.” However, another such blogger, the ISW, reported that claims of Ukrainian advances near Pisky and Opytne (4 km south of Avdiivka) are false.

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Moscow’s forces have been trying to encircle the town in the occupied Donetsk region for weeks. The ISW has been documenting reports of increased Russian personnel and armor in the area in recent days.

One Kremlin-affiliated blogger on Sunday posted about a “positional deadlock” around Avdiivka, noting that “the proliferation of FPV drones and other relatively inexpensive precision weapons has significantly increased the vulnerability of armored vehicles on the battlefield, making storming positions even more difficult.”

Or, in the words of the ISW, “It is difficult to conduct warfare on a static front line with a large number of personnel and fortified areas on both sides.”

In his evening address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said “The Avdiivka and Maryinka fronts are particularly tough. Numerous attacks by Russians. But our positions are protected.”

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Operations: Kharkiv and Luhansk regions

Russian forces made some advances on Sunday along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line as part of their broader strategy to push westward from the Luhansk region to control more of the Kharkiv region, the ISW reported.

Geolocated footage posted on Sunday, the ISW analysts wrote, “indicates that Russian forces advanced southwest of Pershotravneve (21 km northeast of Kupyansk), southwest of Yahidne (22 km southeast of Kupyansk), and east of Terny (17 km west of Kreminna, in the Poltava region), while a Russian news aggregator claimed on Saturday that Russian forces achieved unspecified success in the Serebryanka forest area (10 km southwest of Kremmina).”

Readers will remember Yahidne as the site of one example of Russia’s continued genocide in Ukraine, where soldiers sequestered the town’s families in a school basement in horrific conditions along with the corpses of their dead relatives.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

Fighting continues in western Zaporizhzhia and the Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk regional border, but no significant gains by either side have been confirmed.

According to the General Staff of the AFU, its forces continued attacks in the Melitopol area, while Russian sources, including the Russian Ministry of Defense, claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian assaults near Robotyne, Novoprokopivka (3 km south of Robotyne), and Verbove (9 km east of Robotyne). The General Staff countered that Ukrainian forces indeed repelled Russian assaults near Robotyne and Verbove.

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“The enemy continues to ignore the laws and customs of war, uses terror tactics, and fires at both military and civilian objects,” the General Staff wrote on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, another Russian blogger claimed that small Ukrainian groups are conducting “reconnaissance-in-force operations” near Verbove, the ISW wrote.

 

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