Overview:

  • Disgruntled Russian troops refuse to attack on left bank, AFU says
  • Ukrainian troops continued march inland from the Dnipro
  • Moscow’s forces are escalating attacks in Donetsk region, make gains in Avdiivka
  • White House circulates US map of economic benefit of Ukraine aid
  • Russia kicked off of chemical-weapons monitoring body
  • Invading army makes marginal gains in Zaporizhzhia region

Operations: Dnipro River

Complaining among other things that they were not told where their own forces had placed minefields along the left bank of the Dnipro, members of the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade (Black Sea Fleet) refused to conduct attacks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) General Staff is claiming.

The soldiers reportedly have been upset about the lack of artillery coordination, the communication of tactical intelligence, and being kept in the dark about the location of Russian mines. Such miscommunications have resulted in 50 mine-related fatalities there over the past month.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said the reported minefield incident “suggests that the command of the [previous units for whom he 810th took over, the 18th CAA] did not share relevant tactical details with the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade’s command, suggesting that higher-level Russian commanders responsible for the defense of the east bank have yet to remedy this failure in coordination.”

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Noted the General Staff: “Maps of these minefields are classified, and information to the assault units of the Russian occupiers is transmitted only by squares and without clear coordinates.”

The ISW reported, citing Russian bloggers, that Ukrainian forces made advances along the left bank on Wednesday, making more progress around Krynky and a nearby forested area, heavily populated with enemy units. The bloggers said that Russian military strikes in the area were increasing, but that Russian infantry attacks there have slowed.

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Moscow’s army has “doubled its artillery fire” in Donetsk and increased use of cluster bombs

Military spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun said on Wednesday that Russian forces have “doubled their artillery fire and airstrikes” and had “intensified ground infantry attacks” in the Donetsk region.

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, commander of the Tavria Operational Group of Forces, said that Moscow had “significantly increased” its activity around Avdiivka, AFP reported. Tarnavsky estimated that Russia carried out nearly 20 airstrikes, launched four missiles, carried out 56 infantry assaults, and fired more than 1,000 artillery shells.

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British intelligence noted that Russia also noticeably has increased its use of cluster munitions in the region, the types of bombs that each scatter a couple hundred sub-munitions in a wide spray around their targets.

The ISW noted that Russian forces made headway just northwest of Avdiivka on Wednesday, and were “clearing and consolidating” positions in the city’s southern industrial area.

On Wednesday, the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s General Staff claimed that the AFU repelled 20 attacks in the Avdiivka vicinity, as the Russians launched artillery and mortars at some 15 settlements in the area.

Biden administration outlines the economic benefit, by state, of Kyiv aid

The administration of US President Joe Biden is circulating a map, obtained by Politico, that shows exactly which American states are economically benefitting by sending weapons and munitions to Ukraine, and by how much.

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By putting that graphic in front of American voters, and their congressmen, the White House hopes to reframe the discussion about the $60 billion request for military aid to Kyiv, a proposal that has met strong resistance from a faction of the Republican-led House of Representatives.

“Let me be clear about something,” Biden said in his last Oval Office address. “We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own stockpiles with new equipment… Patriot missiles for air defense batteries, made in Arizona. Artillery shells are manufactured in 12 states across the country, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas. And so much more.”

The five leading states, in terms of revenue for the fiscal year between 2022-23 generated by new arms manufacturing as a result of the war, were:

  • Arizona: $1.98 billion
  • Pennsylvania: $1.96 billion
  • Missouri: $1.27 billion
  • Wisconsin: $1.02 billion
  • Florida: $987 million

With the exception of Missouri, which has leaned heavily conservative in recent presidential elections, and Florida, which has shaded Republican in the last few contests, those states are considered tight battlegrounds. Texas, which comes in at number six on the list ($930 million), and Ohio, also in the top ten at $684 million, have two of the most vocal opponents of Ukraine aid on Capitol Hill in Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and JD Vance (R-OH).

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Russia kicked off of international chemical watchdog council

Russia was booted on Wednesday from the decision-making body of the world’s leading chemical watchdog group, losing its re-election bid for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council.

President Volodymyr Zelensky applauded the news on social media, saying “OPCW is a very reputable international body and terrorists have no place in it.”

“In less than a month, Russia failed three elections to international bodies for the first time in history,” Zelensky continued. “This is the logical result of Russia’s actions: its role in international affairs keeps diminishing and its isolation keeps growing.

Neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine were competing for three seats on the OPCW Executive Council, with Russia netting the fewest votes, thereby losing its place on the board for the first time in history, AFP reported.

The Nobel Prize-winning organization played a key role in the Syrian civil war, AFP noted, helping in 2013 to broker Damascus’ agreement to dismantle its chemical weapons arsenal.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

Russian forces advanced on Wednesday in the Zaporizhzhia region, ISW reported, citing Russian sources. One of these bloggers claimed that several unspecified Ukrainian positions near Robotyne were captured, while another military blogger said that Russian forces “counterattacked along the Kopani-Robotyne-Novoprokopivka-Verbove (7 km northwest of Robotyne to 9 km east of Robotyne) line and that elements of the Russian 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment, 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment, and 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade (all of the 58th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District) advanced up to 800 meters in several areas near Kopani and Robotyne.” 

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The source additionally claimed that Russian forces captured unspecified Ukrainian strongholds near Verbove. 

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