Overview:

  • Russian strikes kill civilians at a Donetsk-region hospital and at a house in Kharkiv
  • UN pegs non-military deaths at more than 10K, “far away from the front lines”
  • Moscow’s forces reportedly tightened their hold north of Avdiivka
  • Kyiv’s troops continue their march inland from Dnipro
  • Kremlin pumps out propagandistic figures for Ukrainian casualties

Russian strikes killed two civilians, wounded many others, in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions

Kremlin forces bombarded Kyiv and southern regions with drones and missiles early Tuesday morning, killing two civilians, AFP reported.

Russia’s targets included a hospital, a building at a mine and private residences, the Ukrainian military said. The Ukrainian Air Force said that it had destroyed nine out of 10 drones used in the attack and one of the missiles. The military spokespersons said that four guided missiles were used in the attack.

“The central city hospital in the town of Selydove in the Donetsk region, the building of the Kotlyarevska mine and other civilian infrastructures were destroyed and damaged,” the military statement read.  

One civilian was killed and eight were wounded in the attack on the hospital, the AFP quoted Ukraine’s general prosecutor as saying, while the attacks on the mine infrastructure killed a 63-year-old employee.

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The fatality in the Kharkiv region was a 29-year-old man who died in a fire resulting from the shelling of a private home.

More than 560 children killed in Russian attacks, United Nations reports

At least 10,000 civilians, including more than 560 children, have been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMU) posted to its website on Tuesday. The organization added that more than 18,500 Ukrainian civilians have been injured.

 “Ten thousand civilian deaths is a grim milestone for Ukraine,” said Danielle Bell, who heads the monitoring mission. “The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, now entering into its 21st month, risks evolving into a protracted conflict, with the severe human cost being painful to fathom.”

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The HRMMU clarified that the actual figure may be significantly higher “given the challenges and time required for verification,” Bell said.

“During the recent three-month period, from August to October, most verified civilian casualties – 86 percent – occurred in government-controlled territory. The vast majority were caused by explosive weapons with wide area effect – such as artillery shells and rockets, cluster munitions, missiles, and loitering munitions.”

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The commission noted that older people are “disproportionally represented” although there are weekly reports of teenagers and infants murdered in the attacks, and that “nearly half of the civilian casualties in the last three months have occurred far away from the frontlines. As a result, no place in Ukraine is completely safe.”

Operations: Avdiivka

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian forces continued to make gains on the pivotal city of Avdiivka on Tuesday.

Citing Russian military bloggers, ISW reports that Moscow’s troops advanced north of Krasnohorivka (5 km north of Avdiivka) and in Stepove (5 km northwest of Avdiivka) and said Moscow-affiliated bloggers were repeating recent unverified claims that units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) “have largely withdrawn from Stepove.”

Russian sources also claimed that invading forces continue to make gains in the city’s southeastern industrial zone and that fighting is ongoing near the city’s famous coke and chemical plant to the northeast. Other Russian sources posted to social media that both sides are trading attacks in Novokalynove (10 km northwest of Avdiivka).

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Meanwhile, the AFU’s General Staff contend that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks east of Novobakhmutivka (10 km northeast of Avdiivka) and near Stepove, Sjeverne (5 km west of Avdiivka), and Pervomaiske (11 km southwest of Avdiivka).

As muddy conditions and sometimes difficult weather continue to slow the pace of combat, the area’s military administrative head, Vitaliy Barabash, describes the Russian tactics as “increasingly using vehicles to conduct assaults southeast of Avdiivka, where there is asphalt while continuing to use infantry to attack the flanks of Avdiivka, where there is soil,” the ISW noted.

No significant Ukrainian advances were reported Tuesday around Avdiivka.

Operations: Dnipro River

Continuing a weeks-long string of successes on the occupied left bank of the Dnipro River, Ukrainian forces reportedly advanced again on Tuesday, this time entering a forested area where there were a lot of Russians near their foothold in Krynky.

Russian sources said that the AFU also holds the areas near the Antonivsky Road Bridge and the small railway bridge six kilometers east of that.

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Meanwhile, geolocated footage published Tuesday indicates that Russian forces advanced northeast of Krynky.

Information Wars: Kremlin comically inflates AFU casualty figures

Not that Kyiv’s official figures on Russian war casualties are very accurate, but the Kremlin just released some very head-scratching numbers on Ukrainian troop fatalities in recent weeks.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed at his ministry’s collegium on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces have lost more than 13,700 soldiers and about 1,800 weapons and equipment over the past three weeks.

Russia regularly sets the authoritarian-government standard for outrageous inflation of such tallies, because, well, by definition it is illegal there for any journalists to question the numbers.

A Ukraine-based but politically independent organization, Book of Memory, last week estimated the total number of deaths among Ukrainian troops during the entirety of the 21-month invasion at approximately 30,000.

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