Overview:

  • Interior Minister calls the day’s 118 attacks on Ukrainian towns “the highest this year”
  • Air Force spokesman says Russia is exploiting “weak points” in Ukraine's air defenses
  • A second trio of Russians in Brooklyn charged with sending drone electronics to Moscow
  • Commander-in-chief describes what Ukraine needs to do to win
  • More Russian advances observed near Avdiivka
  • Heavy fighting continues near Kupyansk

Russia shells ten regions across Ukraine, killing at least two and igniting an oil refinery

“Over the past 24 hours, the enemy shelled 118 settlements in 10 regions,” Interior Minister Igor Klymenko stated on Wednesday in a social media post. He noted that the number of attacks over the previous 24 hours represented “the highest number of cities and villages that have come under attack since the start of the year.”

The overnight barrage of artillery killed one civilian in the Kharkiv region and another in the Kherson region, local officials said. Russian sources also claimed that Russian forces struck the Myrhorod airfield in the Poltava region.

Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat explained that Russian forces are targeting “weak points” in Ukrainian air defenses.

Ukraine's Air Force, however, said it shot down 18 of 20 Russian drones that were launched in the early hours between Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Top commander Zaluzhny insists that better EW, drone superiority, and improved counterbattery fire will break “tactical parity” in Ukraine’s favor

In an interview with The Economist, and in his own essay, “Modern Positional Warfare and How to Win It” Ukraine’s Commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhny outlined the steps Ukraine's Armed Forces (AFU) need to take to win the war with Russia.

In his magazine interview, Zaluzhny said that “technological and tactical parity” between opposing forces in Ukraine has resulted in a “stalemate” similar to World War I, and is “gradually moving to a positional form.”

In his essay, as summarized by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Zaluzhny wrote that his forces need to, among other measures:

Ukraine Frees First Prisoners to Bolster Frontline Forces
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Ukraine Frees First Prisoners to Bolster Frontline Forces

According to government sources, over 3,000 convicts have expressed their willingness to join the military following the recent enactment of a law facilitating this recruitment.
  • Significantly improve drone capabilities to gain air superiority; overload Russian air defenses; neutralize Russian strike drones; and “degrade Russian visibility over the front by deploying cheap drones en masse, developing specific drones meant to target Russian strike drones,” the ISW noted.
  • Introduce necessary command and control processes for electronic warfare (EW) systems, increase EW production capabilities, and streamline engagements with volunteer organizations that provide smaller such systems, while developing new drones with EW in mind.
  • Use more reconnaissance and strike drones to improve Ukrainian counterbattery fire and strengthen GPS support for these units and increase the number of counterbattery assets.
  • Improve sensors and boost mine-clearing capabilities, as anti-drone equipment will allow his forces to more successfully and more covertly breach Russian mine barriers.

Again in Brooklyn, conspirators busted for selling military-use electronics to Russia

Three more Russians were charged in New York City on Wednesday for conspiring to sell dual-use electronics to aid Moscow’s forces, just one day after three other Russians were arrested in the same neighborhood of the city on the same charges.

AFP reported that Nikolay Grigorev, Nikita Arkhipov and Artem Oloviannikov face federal charges of conspiracy to export drone components to Russia. Only Grigorev was arrested on Wednesday, while the two other individuals, residing in Russia, remained at large, said a statement from federal prosecutors of the Eastern District of New York.

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Grigorev, who resides in Brooklyn and recently traveled to Russia on a Russian passport, prosecutors said, was released on $250,000 bail and was required to wear a tracking bracelet.

According to the charges, AFP wrote, the group funneled about a quarter-million dollars from a sanctioned Russian entity into their Brooklyn-based company and was in the process of sending more than 11,500 banned electronic devices to Russia before they were intercepted by US authorities.  

Operations: Avdiivka

Once again, Russian forces continued attacks near Avdiivka on Wednesday, making gains, and threatening an assault on the city’s coke plant.

The ISW reported that a prominent Russian military blogger claimed that Russian troops, including mobilized servicemen from Siberia, advanced from positions in Krasnohorivka (7 km northwest of Avdiivka) across the railway tracks toward Novokalynove and Keramik (both about 12 km northwest of Avdiivka). Other Russian gains were reported west and south of Avdiivka, near Sjeverne (5 km west of Avdiivka) and Pervomaiske (11 km southwest of Avdiivka).

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There continues to be heavy fighting north of Avdiivka near the famous “Tarakan” [“Cockroach”] slag heap, and one blogger, once again, claimed that Russian units are preparing to begin attacks on the industrial zone of the Avdiivka coke plant in northern Avdiivka. The claim is often repeated but the assault has yet to materialize, although observers have continually noted a build-up of Russian personnel in the area over the past week at least.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations west and southwest of the city of Donetsk on Wednesday and made confirmed gains. Geolocated footage shows that Ukrainian forces have advanced south of Novomykhailivka.

Operations: Kharkiv region

Mocow’s troops made marginal gains near Kupyansk on Wednesday, the ISW reported, while Ukrainian sources says they successfully repelled about a dozen Russian attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.

Geolocated footage indicates that Russian infantrymen advanced east of Petropavlivka` (7 km east of Kupyansk), while a Russian military blogger claimed that Russian planes in the Kupyansk area continue to target Ukrainian crossings across the Oskil River. Another Russian blogger posted footage purporting to show elements of the Russian 1st Guards Tank Army (Western Military District) capturing an unspecified stronghold in the Kupyansk vicinity.

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Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi posted on Telegram that Russian forces continue their attempts to recapture Kupyansk but have not achieved any strategic success.

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